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Navistar LPGA Classic: Alabama Slammin’

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By Vince Robitaille

GolfWRX Staff Writer

When one discusses Bobby Jones and sweeps, it’s usually in reference to the Georgian’s 1930 Grand Slam. But Stacey Lewis successfully added herself to the potential subjects when such a conversation comes up last weekend. The American forerunner, with her third win of the season, made it three in a row on Alabama’s soil and three in a row on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.

In a tournament that seemingly had Lexi Thompson written all over it coming out of Thursday’s round – Puma’s flag bearer shooting the lights out by way of 9-under 63 on a course that she has made her own in recent memory – Lewis simply wasn’t going to roll over and let an opportunity to slip by, not only vault above Inbee Park in the Rolex World Rankings, but complete the proverbial Alabama Slam. With Thompson, the defending champion, widening her lead to four strokes on Day 2, however, Lewis needed to make something happen quickly, to push every edge she could find… and so she did.

The fun thing with applying pressure in golf is that, while the course won’t ever falter – it might let you have one for the day, but assuming that it’ll fold in the long run is simply ludicrous – your opponents just might. One couldn’t overlook this potential consequence on Saturday in Prattville; Thompson seemingly collapsing – her 2-over tally fairing quite disastrously in comparison to the field’s upper portion – under her Solheim Cup teammate’s assault. Moreover, the Rolex Player of the Year leader wasn’t the only member of last year’s unit that ventured deep in Ireland happening to make a charge upon the leaderboard during the third loop, as Angela Stanford’s 68 had her comfortably sitting in 2nd place behind Lewis heading into the 55th hole.

Fortunately for the Texan and the Arkansan, being paired together didn’t yield the same dreadful results as their alternate shot partnership of a year ago; both golfers recording rounds in the red numbers this time, as Stanford finished in a quandary over third place. As for Lewis, her birdies around the turn created enough of a cushion to palliate any comeback attempt from her pursers and, specifically, from Lexi Thompson; the latter clawing herself back within a lone stroke of Lewis before a birdie on 16th from the former Razorback would effectively nail the defending champion’s coffin.

The victory on Capitol Hill’s Senator course carries huge implications for Steady Stacey as she gets ever closer to ending the Player of the Year drought for the Americans; the last recipient being Beth Daniel, 18 years ago. With Lewis’ top-10 finish efficiency, only a win by Inbee Park, Ai Miyazato or Jiyai Shin within the next month could shake things up atop the rankings. Until then, assume that The Stars and Stripes will be planted upon the LPGA Tour in December.

Click here for more discussion in the “LPGA/ladies golf talk” forum.

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Tour Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from Tuesday at the Zurich Classic

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GolfWRX is live from the 2018 Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana, where, among other things, a giant three-legged crocodile roams.

Now in it’s second year, the tournament’s unique two-man team format has attracted a wealth of top talent, including 10 of the top 14 golfers in the OWGR. We’re on the scene snapping bag pictures and have five galleries from TPC Louisiana’s range Tuesday. We also have a look inside Ryan Ruffels bag, a peek at Jimmy Walker’s putter, a look in Brooks Koepka’s bag, and more!

Let’s dig in.

Well, this certainly is interesting, Xinjun Zhang. Not sure about the context, but not something you traditionally see on a PGA Tour driving range…

Hard not to love Ryan Ruffels’ 009M

Look’s like Michael Greller is enjoying some well-earned relaxation

Ryan Palmer boldly going where few Tour pros dare to: serif font

Roman numeral loft stamping? Savage grind? We like your style, Bud Cauley

Is this a new Wilson Staff PMP wedge prototype or a one-off thing for Ricky Barnes?

Finally, Whitney comes to a wedge

Ham & egg!

Jimmy Walker’s silver Spider

Our Tour Photographer risking the wrath of Bubba (we assume he had permission)

 

Tuesday’s Photos

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the photos in our forums

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Detroit could be getting a PGA Tour event

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As a business based in the Detroit metro area, GolfWRX is happy to hear this: the Motor City could be getting a PGA Tour event.

With the PGA Tour’s 2019-2020 schedule expected in the weeks ahead, the Detroit News reports the Tour could announce (Detroit-based) Quicken Loans will sponsor an event at Detroit Golf Club. The company ceased sponsorship of the former Quicken Loans National in Washington, D.C. last year.

The Detroit News quotes a source with knowledge of the Tour’s scheduling discussions as saying an official announcement is near.

While the Tour, Quicken Loans, and Detroit Golf Club are mum on the matter, Quicken Loans’ statement to the paper last year made clear the company’s intention to bring a tournament to the city.

“As we look to the future, we remain interested in exploring ways to highlight the energy and revitalization taking place in Detroit…A prime golf event, featuring the world’s best players, is certainly something we would be interested in pursuing as a way to showcase our great American city.”

If the Detroit tournament takes the calendar spot of the The National, it would be contested in late June/early July. Additionally, with the PGA Championship’s move to may next year, there’s some speculation the Detroit event could be contested in August.

As mentioned, we know the PGA Championship is moving to May in 2019. Additionally, The Players will move to March, TPC Southwind will take over  WGC hosting duties from Firestone Country Club, and the FedEx Cup Playoffs will wrap before start of football season.

We’ll have to wait (eagerly) for official word on the Detroit event.

 

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Tuesday’s Photos from the 2018 Zurich Classic

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GolfWRX is live from the 2018 Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana (par 72; 7,425 yards), designed by Pete Dye with consultants Steve Elkington and Kelly Gibson.

The Zurich Classic is a unique event on the PGA Tour because it’s not an individual stroke-play event. Instead, the format consists of two-man teams playing best-ball on Thursday and Saturday, and alternate-shot on Friday and Sunday.

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Last year, Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt won the event after four playoff holes against Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown. The Smith/Blixt duo will be back to defend their title, and the Kisner/Brown pairing will be back avenging their loss.

Other notable pairings in the field include Daniel Berger/Gary Woodland, Wesley Bryan/Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed/Patrick Cantlay, John Daly/Rory Sabbatini, Jason Day/Ryan Ruffels, David Duval/Jim Furyk, Tony Finau/Daniel Summerhays, Sergio Garcia/Rafa Cabrera Bello, J.B. Holmes/Brand Snedeker, Matt Kuchar/Bubba Watson, Louis Oosthuizen/Charl Schwartzel, Sean O’Hair/Jimmy Walker, Pat Perez/Jason Dufner, Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson, Jordan Spieth/Ryan Palmer, Justin Thomas/Bud Cauley and more!

Check out our photos from the event below!

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the photos in our forums

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