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Tour Mash: Matsuyama repeats, Garcia wins in Dubai

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The week of the NFL’s big game was an exciting one on three of the world’s professional golf tours. The PGA Tour visited Scottsdale, while the European Tour stopped in Dubai. The Asian Tour was in Bangladesh and an important amateur event was contested in coastal Georgia.

No performance was as unbelievable as Tom Brady’s, but they came close. Let’s Mash On!

PGA Tour: Matsuyama repeats at WM Phoenix Open

Hideki Matsuyama dispatched another American golfer in extra holes at TPC Scottsdale, making birdie for the second consecutive year on Sunday’s 22nd hole. Last year, it was Rickie Fowler. This year, he sent Webb Simpson away with a runner-up finish. In the process, Matsuyama moved ahead of Justin Thomas and into first place in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings.

The day began with Byeong Hun An in first place. An, the 2009 U.S. Amateur and 2015 BMW PGA champion, turned to Sunday’s back nine with a three-stroke lead. An inward 40 dropped him to sixth place, opening the door for runs by a number of players. None was more brilliant than Simpson, whose 18th-hole birdie completed a round of 64. Matsuyama had putts to win on each of the last three regulation holes, but he burned the edge on each.

Related: Hideki Matsuyama’s Winning WITB

Demonstrating the patience of a champion for the ages, Matsuyama matched Simpson shot for shot until they reached the 17th hole for the first time in extra holes. There, Matsuyama finally knocked down a birdie putt and the fourth PGA Tour trophy of his career was in his grasp.

No. 16 at TPC Scottsdale: Brilliant, but…

I’ve a congregation of suggestions for the Waste Management team for next year, but I’ll limit it to a trio. Payment may be offered in free garbage pickup for a lifetime.

  1. Entrance Music: Yup, just like batters and relief pitchers in MLB. They come through the tunnel, why not bring them in… in style?
  2. Mascot Races: We get that some health concerns (heart attack, sprains) were offered as the demise for the caddie races. Fair. How about mascot races? Get someone dressed in the college or country colors of each golfer and have those mascots make a dash for the green.
  3. Swag Slingshots: It’s great that the tour guys feed the animals with personalized swag, but in reality it’s only the front-row folks that benefit. Take a book out of the David v. Goliath showdown and #BringTheSling. Gun some of the tees and the… whatever else into the upper decks.

European Tour: Garcia becomes 4th Spaniard to Claim Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Sergio Garcia played a bogey-free final round on Sunday in Dubai to claim his 12th European Tour title. Following in the spikemarks of countrymen Ballesteros, Olazabal and Jimenez, the world’s best iron player drove a dagger into the hopes of Open champion and nearest pursuer Henrik Stenson on the par-3 15th hole. With his lead whittled to two slim strokes, Garcia capitalized on a wayward Stenson tee shot with a dart to two feet to seize a four-stroke lead.

Showing all the signs of a mature golfing professional, Garcia took no risks on his road to victory. Stenson made birdie at the last to close the gap to three, finishing second alone on 16-under. Lasse Jensen of Denmark had the round of the day, a seven-under 65, which vaulted him all the way to a tie for 3rd with Englishmen Tyrrell Hatton and Matthew Fitzpatrick.

Related: Sergio Garcia’s Winning WITB

Filed under Headline We Wanted To Write required a victory by Li Haotong, who tied for 39th. On this #BigGame Sunday, we would have lead with “Super Bowl LI.”

Asian Tour: Jazz wins Bangladesh Open

And I used to think that my last name was legendary! Jazz Janewattananond opened with 64 at the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open. Then he followed it with three more rounds in the 60s and won going away by four strokes for his first Asian Tour victory.

The young Thai golfer held off local legend Siddikur Rahman with a flawless four-birdie, zero-bogey final round. A bogey on the 13th hole ended Rahman’s chance at the title. American Dodge Kemmer came in third, two behind Siddikur and six back of the champion.

Filed under Things We Learned While Scrolling Twitter: Fourth-place finisher Panuphol Pittayarat has the handle of the week. Happy birthday, @ProCoconut.

Amateur Golf: Jones Cup in hands of Thornberry

Braden Thornberry of Ole Miss thrust his name into the mix of the U.S. Walker Cup team with a five-stroke win at the prestigious Jones Cup Invitational. Contested at the Ocean Forest Club on Sea Island, Georgia, Thornberry began the week with a 67 on Friday, two strokes clear of Bryson Nimmer and Sam Burns. Only Thornberry played near par during the remaining two rounds. Max McGreevy of the University of Oklahoma closed with 70, the low round on Sunday, to move into second place. High school golfer Cole Hammer of Houston place third, one back of McGreevy and six behind the champion.

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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.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Mark

    Feb 8, 2017 at 2:52 am

    Hideki is now the best player on the planet. Sweden waited a long time for a men’s major. I think Japan will get one this year.

  2. Tom54

    Feb 6, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Now that Sergio is engaged he might not beat himself up so much over his golf. He certainly has the talent. I wish him well.

    • Ronald Montesano

      Feb 6, 2017 at 8:31 pm

      Astute observation. I think he was always chasing Tiger, because he was told to do so. He was unable to measure himself in any other way.

  3. mlecuni

    Feb 6, 2017 at 9:02 am

    I wish to Hideki and Sergio a major win this year !

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