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CN Canadian Women’s Open: I was there, were you?

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By Vince Robitaille

GolfWRX Staff Writer

Significant sporting events are somehow hard to come by. We’ve all witnessed a thriller once in a while. We’ve all stood there rooting for the overwhelming underdog to complete the comeback. Rarely though, do we get to say “I was there” or  “I saw that” when a defining moment in a sport’s history is discussed. Well, if you watched Lydia Ko’s victory this weekend, congratulations folks, you can now pull the line off.

Not only did the young Auckland, New Zealand resident win an LPGA event as an amateur on Sunday, a feat that last occurred months before the original Woodstock, she did so at a National Open that was a major in the pre-Cigarette Ban era, a mere decade ago. Just there, the performance could be described as top-tier. If we add the fact that she became the youngest winner on Tour at 15 years, 4 months and 2 days old – sorry Lexi – or that she’s the reigning U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, we’re reaching a whole other level. Of course, one could argue that said level could be named Matteo Manassero-level, but the Italian captured The Amateur two years before his first professional win at a rather minor European Tour event.

To further keep things in perspective, the scale by which all golfers are now judged – Tiger Woods – only made the cut on 7 occasions as an amateur for a batting average 0.412. Oh, before I forget, those stats covered a four-year period that ranged from age 16 to 20. Ko is just 15, and has notched her second professional victory; the other coming in the Bing Lee Samsung Women’s NSW Open back in January. If you can do the math, she was 14 years old at the time.

The newest prodigy’s Canadian visit began with a decision that brought us back to the Fuzzy heydays at Augusta National, i.e. picking a local rounder to handle bag duties for the duration of the Championship. In the modern era of golf, this could be seen as a move with high probabilities of backfiring, especially for a still “immature” golfer; psychological backup and comfort zone being forfeited for unparalleled course knowledge. Once more, however, the advantages trumped the possible cons. Ko’s stoic attitude could, of course, have something to do with this.

After a sneaky 68 that had her sitting in third place behind LPGA forerunners Yani Tseng – resurging briefly only to fade away – and Na Yeon Choi, Ko’s steady climb to the top of the leaderboard culminated in a bind with Chella Choi after 36 holes. Moving day represented the only bump in the eventual champion’s proverbial road, but sometimes you’ve simply done enough work before moving day to render it obsolete. In fact, despite Ko staying stuck in neutral all day – four missed three-footers representing the main reason for such a stall – the South Korea-native found herself ahead of the pack as her closest pursuers headed backwards and her previous lead on rest of the field had them covered. Interestingly enough, Saturday’s round saw two other former every-week-contenders lurking around in hopes of a disastrous stumble by the 2012 Robert Cox Cup recipient, namely Suzann Pettersen and Jiyai Shin. Much like the pair previously alluded to, the former’s blunders left her shaking her head as the latter climbed on the podium’s last step.

The final round looked like it would lead to a highly polarized outcome, a sad return to reality for an astounding athlete and the crowd supporting her or the celebration of a new hero. Seven birdies, four of which came right after the turn, sealed the Tiger Red-wearing Ko’s fate pretty quickly. On-lookers catching a piece of golfing history weren’t the only lucky ones this weekend. The CN Canadian Women’s Open champion’s reiteration of her intention to enroll at Stanford University saved LPGA executives from having to deal with another case of Lexithompsonitis. I guess that the Tour’s petition procedure incongruities will have to be revised some other time. For now, I was there. I saw that.

Click here for more discussion in the “LPGA/Ladies Golf Talk” forum. 

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  1. Alessandra

    Nov 3, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Just keep focusing on golf and when the time comes to cross the birdge, you’ll find a way. But it’s very hard to stick with golf especially with ur handicap. that’s my handicap and i’m grade 8

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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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