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Tour Mash: Horschel snaps MC streak with AT&T Byron Nelson win

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Two playoffs, a rainout, redemption and the inevitable: how to summarize the third week of May 2017 in professional golf. If you can’t glean the rest of the story from that eight-word tease, read the rest of our weekly tour mash for the entire back story.

PGA Tour: Horschel Wins AT&T Byron Nelson in Playoff

Billy Horschel and Jason Day were already in for a playoff at 12-under par when James Hahn lipped out his approach at the last in an effort to join them. If that doesn’t get your juices flowing, you’re dry, mate.

The 2017 AT&T Byron Nelson will debut a new home next year, the Trinity Forest Golf Club designed by from Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. A playoff ending seemed an appropriate send off for the TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas. Off went Day, the No. 4-ranked golfer in the world, and Horschel, the 2014 FedEx Cup Champion, each in search of a first victory in 2017, to extra holes.

Make that extra hole. It was over quickly. Horschel made a routine, two-putt par and Day inexplicably yanked his 4-footer for par. Just like that, Horschel had returned to the top of the podium for the first time since the fall of 2014. What a way to snap a string of four missed cuts.

Related: Horschel’s Winning WITB

LPGA Tour: Lexi dominates for 8th tour victory

When you fly into the week, you deserve a shot at victory. Lexi Thompson matched three 65s with one 69 after sky-diving into Kingsmill. Those numbers totaled 20-under and earned her a five-stroke victory over In-Gee Chun. Kingsmill was her first win of the 2017 campaign, and it helped salve the wounds from last month’s ANA Inspiration debacle.

Thompson was never seriously threatened in her Sunday march to victory. A number of golfers were positioned to make a Sunday run at the title, but other than Chun’s 4-under 67, none materialized. The LPGA Tour moves on to Ann Arbor, Michigan, next week for the Volvik LPGA Championship.

Related: Lexi Thompson’s Winning WITB

European Tour: Quiros Returns to Winner’s Circle in Sicily

Greatness for Alvaro Quiros was predicted by more than a few pundits and golf experts back in the day, but things didn’t work out as forecast for the long-hitting Spaniard. After winning the Dubai Double (Desert Classic and World Championship) in 2011, the Cadiz native would drop outside the top-700 golfers in the world and wait six years before securing a seventh European Tour title.

The dry spell showed as Quiros saved his worst round of the week for Sunday. Fortunately for su altura, only Zander Lombard of South Africa could muster enough birdies to tie him. They went away to a playoff, and Quiros made par at the second extra hole to claim the title. Despite his gift with the big stick, it was the putter that saved the week for the champion.

Champions Tour: Langer Claims Year’s First Senior Major

Forty-seven wins on the world’s regular tours, 32 on the world’s senior tours. They say that Bernhard Langer turns 60 in 2017. We’re not convinced it matters. Langer continues to hit the shots and continues to win. On Sunday, the German champion claimed his 8th senior major at the Regions Tradition.

For a time, Fred Funk was tied atop the leaderboard, but a triple bogey on the 12th did him in. The Maryland native tumbled down to a tie for fourth. Scott Parel, in second at sunrise, acquitted himself quite well on the final day. He posted 70 to tie Scott McCarron for the runner-up spot. No one could match Langer, who dropped nine birdies against one bogey over the final 18 holes. His five-stroke margin of victory tied him with Jack Nicklaus for most senior tour major titles.

Web.com Tour: Sunday’s rains hand title to Jaeger at BMW

Stephen Jaeger knows the alternating tastes of glory and agony. Jaeger won the Ellie Mae Classic on the Web.com Tour in July of 2016, then finished three spots out of the top-25 on the season-long money list, barely missing his PGA Tour card.

On Sunday morning, Jaeger awoke in South Carolina with a one-stroke lead over three talented pursuers. All hoped to make the BMW Charity Pro-Am their first win of 2017. By 2 p.m., weather in the form of precipitation had eliminated all hope for a start to Round 4. As a result, Jaeger’s one-shot margin over Andrew Yun and Tyler Duncan of the U.S., and Xinjun Zhang of China, was made official.

With the victory, Jaeger jumped 96 spots, from No. 103 to the top-10 in the season-long chase for one of 25 PGA Tour cards. Yun and Zhang also moved inside the top-10, while Duncan ascended inside the magic, 25th spot.

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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.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Kenn

    May 22, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    It’s gotta be the PXG clubs and putter. They gotta be the best. I want them.

  2. Tom1

    May 22, 2017 at 11:13 am

    This oughta make steelpride happy…lol

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Tour News

Tiger Woods fires second-round 76, will miss Genesis Open cut

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Tiger Woods’ trip to Los Angeles is over sooner than he’d hoped. Woods fired a 5-over 76 during the second round of the Genesis Open to miss the presumed cut at Riviera by four strokes (the second round won’t be completed until Saturday morning due to darkness).

Hopes were high Woods would continue to build on a T-23 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, as the driving woes that plagued him at Torrey Pines followed him to the Riv, despite changing shafts in his TaylorMade M3.

RELATED: Tiger Woods WITB

Wayward off the tee, Woods made eight bogeys Friday, unable to grind out a decent score as he did with his opening-round 1-over 72. He was unable to rely on his putter the way did in this first round, three-putting back-to-back holes (No. 11 and 12). A stretch of three straight bogeys sunk Woods’ hopes of hanging around for the weekend.

(c/o PGATour.com)

We won’t have to wait long to see the Big Cat back in action, however, as Woods committed to next week’s Honda Classic at PGA National in Florida. Woods most recently put a peg in the ground at the course in 2014, where he ultimately withdrew due to back spasms.

The 79-time PGA Tour winner hasn’t teed it in back-to-back weeks since 2015, so while fans may not be encouraged by his play, at least he continues to be free from any issues with his surgically repaired back.

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Tour News

Tiger Woods shoots an opening-round 72 (1-over) at the 2018 Genesis Open

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After hitting just 17 fairways all week at the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open, where he finished T23, Tiger Woods switched driver shafts and added 0.75 degrees of loft in his TaylorMade M3 driver ahead of the 2018 Genesis Open this week. He went from using a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 70TX shaft, to a Matrix TP6HDe shaft — he used a TP7HDe shaft back in 2015.

So how did the switch work out for him at Riviera CC on Thursday?

Well, he hit driver 9 times during his round of 72 strokes; four went right — one of which got lost in a tree and he had to re-tee — one went left, and four found the fairway. He hit 8-of-14 fairways in total; no Fred Funk, but an improvement. Woods’ bigger issue on Thursday, actually, was that he hit only 7 greens in regulation, leaving himself a few tricky up-and-downs. Despite hitting only 38 percent of greens, Woods managed to make 5 birdies, and he continues displaying prowess on the greens (1.784 Strokes Gained Putting, and 82 feet worth of putts made).

He also showed some flashes of old Tiger with Arnie-esque follow through.

Of course, that means he missed the fairway way right, and he did go onto bogey the hole, but the shot made for some excitement on golf twitter, at least.

According to @RandallMellGC, Tiger described his round in a post-round interview: “I fought hard. I made a few simple, silly mistakes, bad shots here and there, missed on the wrong side, made a few birdies as well. 1-over’s not bad.”

Yea, that’s about right.

Tiger currently sits at T66, and six shots off the leader. Lots of golf to play, but he’ll likely be contending with the cutline come Friday afternoon. How do you think Tiger will finish this week at the 2018 Genesis Open?

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Tour News

Bill Haas injured in fatal car crash in Los Angeles

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Bill Haas was involved in a fatal car crash in Pacific Palisades, Calif., site of the Genesis Open, Tuesday night.

The 35-year-old was riding in the passenger seat of a Ferrari driven by a member of the family with whom Haas is staying this week. According to LA County fire officials, the Ferrari collided with a BMW driven by a 50-year-old woman. Haas and the driver of the BMW were transported to a local hospital. The 71-year-old male driver of the Ferrari was pronounced dead on the scene.

The Ferrari also reportedly “clipped” a vehicle driven by actor Luke Wilson prior to the rollover. Wilson was not injured, per a police report.

Per PGATour.com, Bill Haas’ manager, Allen Hobbs of Players Group Management, released the following statement Wednesday morning.

“Last night in Pacific Palisades, California, Bill Haas was involved in a serious car accident in which the driver—a member of the family with whom Haas and his family were staying for the Genesis Open—was killed. While Bill escaped serious injuries and has been released from the hospital, he is understandably shaken up and—more importantly—his deepest condolences go out to the host family during this tragic and difficult time.“

“Bill will withdraw from the Genesis Open and plans to head home to Greenville to recover. He appreciates the support of friends, family and the golf world as a whole, and he has asked for privacy as he processes what has happened.“

Geoff Shackelford tweeted this video of the KTLA coverage of the crash.

Bill Haas’ father, Jay, spoke with Todd Lewis on Golf Channel’s morning drive earlier in the day, saying his son was “very fortunate.” Beyond swelling in one of his legs and pain, Haas sustained no serious injuries, according to his father.

See the discussion in the forums here

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