Old Faithful erupted again on the Champions Tour, while a few fresh faces appeared on the podium at the LPGA, PGA and European Tour stops this week. Late May offers a bit of a lull between majors, but the golf was grand. Let’s mash it up and have a taste.
PGA Tour: Kisner wins close race at Dean & Deluca
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 28, 2017
Kevin Kisner must have breathed a sigh of relief when birdie putts from Jordan Spieth and Jon Rahm failed to fall on the 18th hole at Colonial. The South Carolina native so far is a sure bet in PGA Tour playoffs … to lose. Kisner has gone to extra holes four times since 2015, and each time he left with second-place money.
Related: Kisner’s Winning WITB
Not so on Sunday, as six birdies through 15 holes staked him to a two-shot advantage on the field. Even a sloppy bogey on the 16th wasn’t enough to derail the express, and Kisner parred home for his second PGA Tour victory. The trio of runners-up included Spieth, Rahm and Sean O’Hair, who did birdie the difficult closing hole.
With his triumph, Kisner moved to No. 7 in the FedEx Cup race, while Spieth jumped two spots to No. 5. Rahm maintained his hold on the No. 4 spot in the season-long race.
BMW PGA Championship: Noren sets course record in victory
That shot of the week pic.twitter.com/HaTiQjnu0D
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) May 28, 2017
Alex Noren is the least-heralded name on the top-15 in the Official World Golf Ranking list… on the western side of the Atlantic, that is. This should change as the golf world turns its attention to the three remaining majors of 2017.
Noren was the most explosive of a number of final-round charges at Wentworth on Sunday. Nicolas Colsaerts and Dean Burmester closed with 65, but it didn’t matter. Francesco Molinari, Hideto Tanihara and Henrik Stenson signed for 68, but it wasn’t enough. Why? Noren capped an eight-birdie round with an eagle at the last for 62, securing a two-stroke victory over Molinari.
Noren has won on links and inland courses. He has five wins in the last 24 months on the European Tour — nine in total. For all that, he has a surprisingly poor record in the major championships. His only top-10 was a tie for 9th at the 2012 Open Championship. Expect that to change this year.
Senior PGA: Langer wins record-setting 9th senior major championship
A lengthy birdie from Langer and a tap-in birdie for Singh, and they remain tied… pic.twitter.com/mnclahcHtl
— Senior PGA Champ (@seniorpgachamp) May 28, 2017
It was just last week that we wrote about Bernhard Langer’s 8th senior major title. The one that tied him with Jack Nicklaus, you’ll recall. Time to change the ranking. Langer and Vijay Singh played hot potato with the lead all week long. When the last green was cleared, it was Langer by a putt for his first Senior PGA title and his 9th senior major, the most of all time.
A glance at the leaders’ scorecards revealed very little discrepancy. Langer had five birdies and a bogey for 68, while Singh had four birdies and two bogeys for 70. Billy Andrade began the day giving chase from the third position, but had far too many bogeys to figure in the outcome. Miguel Angel Jimenez snuck in with a 68 of his own to tie Andrade for third.
The most telling aspect of Langer’s success was his willingness to figure out a way to overcome the USGA’s ruling on anchored golf strokes. All other wielders of the long wand threw up their hands in defeat. The German developed a method that kept the broomstick in his bag and stayed within the tenets of the game.
LPGA: Shanshan Feng earns 7th LPGA Tour title in Michigan
— LPGA (@LPGA) May 29, 2017
Shanshan Feng has a little bit of everything in professional golf. She is an Olympic medalist (bronze at Rio in 2016), a major champion (Wegman’s LPGA in 2012) and now a seven-time winner on the LPGA Tour. Like Kevin Kisner, she’s not so good at extra holes (0-3 record), so her finish on Sunday had to leave her just a bit nervous.
Feng seemed to have a clear path to victory, but bogeys at Nos. 16 and 18 brought her back to 19-under. Minjee Lee and Sung Hyun Park smelled an opportunity, and each was able to make birdie near the end. Lee signed for 65 and Park counted 66 strokes on Sunday. Both came up one meager swing shy of a tie at the top.
Park and Lee moved inside the top-10 on the LPGA Tour money list, with Feng elevating all the way to 11th spot with her victory. The LPGA Tour moves to Atlantic City and the Seaview Resort this week for the ShopRite Classic, where Anna Nordqvist defends her title.