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Tour Mash: Vaughn’s revival and Langer wins No. 99

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Phil Mickelson, in the midst of a career revival, awakened Sunday with a two-stroke lead at the AT&T Championship. His may have been the story that people wanted to write, but Vaughn Taylor had an even better comeback story to offer. Taylor hadn’t won on the PGA Tour since 2005, when he captured his second consecutive Reno-Tahoe Open. Taylor’s place on the 2006 U.S. Ryder Cup side (he fell way off form leading up to the event) was one of the catalysts for changing the points structure, and his career spiraled downward thereafter, to a loss of exempt status in 2012. On Sunday, Taylor posted nine birdies and two bogeys, then stood by as Mickelson and others failed to match his score. A few weeks shy of his 40th birthday, Taylor gave himself the greatest gift he could imagine — another PGA Tour win and a trip to the Masters.

But I still can’t believe Phil missed that putt. It seemed like a sure bet he’d make birdie after a phenomenal birdie on hole No. 17 to give himself a chance. Golf is a crazy game, isn’t it?

Related: See the clubs Taylor used to win.

Schwartzel keeps Tshwane Open title in-country

Charl Schwartzel succeeded George Coetzee as titleist in the European Tour’s Tshwane Open. The 2011 Masters champion took complete charge on Friday, after opening with a hum-drum 71 on Thursday. Rounds of 64, 66 and 63 totaled 17-under for the final 54 holes and led to an eight-stroke lapping of the field. Jeff Winther of Denmark saved his best for Day 4, posting seven birdies in a six-under 64. The effort moved him from 10th to 2nd place and prevented a South African route. The day and week belonged to Schwartzel, who claimed his eighth professional victory in his home country, with his first Tshwane triumph.

Quake fails to halt Ko’s march to victory

LydiaKo

Despite challenges from unheralded contestants and a too-real earthquake of 5.7 on the Richter Scale, Lydia Ko shook off last week’s final-round foozle at Coates and won a third New Zealand Open championship by two strokes. Shortly before Ko teed off, a seismic shift lasting 30 seconds struck near Christchurch. No injuries or fatalities were reported. On the course, Amelia Lewis of the USA made a strong run at the title, taking over the lead at 10-under before three closing bogeys dropped her to a tie for sixth. Ko played consistent, error-free golf to successfully defend her 2015 title.

Chubb Classic

BernhardLangerIt turns out that Bernhard Langer can take a day off from being Bernhard Langer and still have enough fuel to win on the PGA Tour Champions circuit. Langer stood seven strokes clear of the field as Day 3 of the Chubb Classic began, but closed with a 1-over 73 to offer hope to the masses. Fred Couples drew the closest, reaching 7-under on the day with one hole to play. Rather than the birdie he needed, Boom-Boom closed with a bogey. Langer’s two-day burst of 16-under was enough to clinch his 99th professional victory. 99!! The next one will be quite special, and given his penchant for low numbers, will come quite soon.

Bangladesh Open’s Tiger Trophy goes to Chuayprakong

In an Asian Tour event that might have Olympic ramifications, Thailand’s Thitiphun Chuayprakong finished at 21-under for a two-stroke victory over Sutijet Kooratanapisan. The runner-up made things interesting with a birdie on the 17th, closing the gap to one. The champion was steadfast on the final hole, despite driving in the rough, making par against Sutijet’s bogey, to create the final margin. For many players from golf’s developing countries, the Asian Tour is the venue for amassing World Ranking points that will ultimately determine places on national teams for Rio 2016.

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Ronald Montesano writes for GolfWRX.com from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.

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Tour Photo Galleries

WRX Retrospective: Interesting photos from the 2019 Masters

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As of now, we know the 2020 Masters is going to have to wait until November. The tournament will be as exciting as it will be interesting since it will be the first modern glimpse into Augusta National beyond April.

It has also given us the great opportunity to look back with hindsight 20/20 (that was very much an unintended pun) at our pictures from 2019 to showcase some of the most noteworthy and interesting, including some potential foreshadowing of the week that was to come.

2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson isn’t one to change putters too often, but he must have been searching for something last year when testing out this TaylorMade Spider.

This was Viktor Hovland’s last Masters as an amateur. He won low amateur honors and went on to capture the same distinction at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

TaylorMade always does a wonderful job with major-themed accessories and bags. 2019 was no exception.

Little did we know at the time this was taken, this man would be leading heading into Sunday’s final round. How the tables turned so quickly.

Callaway’s collab with Seamus Golf lead to these flower-themed headcovers.

We can’t forget that Tuesday practice day was rained out and the course was closed at 10 a.m. to both players and spectators. It wasn’t the warm spring kickoff many had hoped for!

Although it was short-lived, it was a rainy Tuesday for all, including caddies.

The weather broke on Wednesday and the view up the 10th hole never gets old.

Did you realize two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson’s Flightscope has a custom pink paint job?

Inexpensive snacks and beverages are always a highlight of any Master’s visit.

The 2019 Masters featured pre-bulked Bryson, who also happened to have a custom FlightScope X3. He looks like a veritable stick!

They say a picture says 1,000 words, but in the case of Tiger Woods, we had no idea how many words would be written come Sunday.

A peek into the bag of Gary Woodland, who would go on to become the U.S. Open Champion only a few months later.

Special shoutout to Gary Woodland’s caddy Brennan Little, who hails from St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, and is obviously a big Toronto Blue Jays fan. He was also on the bag for Mike Wier’s win in 2003.

Although the relationship was short-lived, Sergio used some very cool custom Toulon putters while on staff with Callaway Golf.

The eighth green is one of the most interesting and mounded on the course, there’s not a bunker to be found but danger lurks everywhere.

Undulations at No. 1 are a sight to be seen at ground level.

The iconic, understated clubhouse of ANGC.

The tucked-away first tee spike cleaner is something every course should have.

And of course, the iconic 12th, where so much would be decided come Sunday.

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Tour Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from the 2020 Players Championship

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2020 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

The field this week featured the best golfers in the world, including Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, and more.

Rory McIlroy enters the tournament as the defending champion, looking hoist the crystal again.

Check out all our galleries below, along with highlights from TPC Sawgrass.

General Galleries

Special Galleries

Bettinardi’s St. Patrick’s Day covers  

Brand-new Srixon 745 in Keegan’s bag

Roger Sloan’s custom Cameron

Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal irons spotted in Nick Watney’s bag 

Joel Dahmen with a battle-worn hybrid

Fresh eggs for Patrick Reed…

Justin Rose continues to tweak his equipment

Carlos Ortiz looks to be picking up some supplies to mark the end of his driveway…

Jordan Spieth with a Vokey WedgeWorks Proto 60T in the bag

Kiradech Aphibarnrat with lead tape and stamping on cavity-back irons. Solid! 

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Tour News

GolfWRX Spotted: Justin Rose with mixed bag at Arnold Palmer Invitational

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It’s not very often we get breaking equipment news this time of year on the PGA Tour schedule, but this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, one of the highest-profile players on tour, Justin Rose, was spotted testing multiple brands of clubs throughout his entire bag.

It started last week at the Honda Classic when Rose put a TaylorMade SIM driver with Mitsubishi Kuro Kage in play. As of today’s first round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rose has a mixed set including TaylorMade, Cobra, and Titleist clubs, along with an Axis1 putter.

Here are the details of Rose’s equipment:

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 degrees @ 8.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage XTS 70 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage XTS 80 TX

5-wood: Cobra SpeedZone Tour (16.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 80 X

Irons: TaylorMade P730 (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (52, 56 degrees), Titleist Vokey Design Prototype K Grind (60 degrees)
Shafts: Project X 6.5 (52, 56), Proto Hi-Rev 135X (60)

Putter: Axis1 Rose
Grip: Flat Cat Svelte

Ball: TaylorMade TP5 ‘19 (No. 1)

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