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Tour Mash: Kisner wins Dean & Deluca, Langer sets senior major record

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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 

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

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

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

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.

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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.

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  1. Ben Armato

    Jun 20, 2017 at 1:40 am

    Congrats to Berhard BUT it took him almost 50 tries to get there while Jack did it in 10

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5 things we learned on Sunday of the 2018 U.S. Open

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Opportunity knocked for so many golfers, yet it was the 2017 champion who seized the moment when it was his. Brooks Koepka fired his second sub-par round of the week on Sunday to separate from playing partner Dustin Johnson, and enter the pantheon of multiple major champions. He became the 7th player to defend his title, joining old-school legends like Willie Anderson and John McDermott, mid-century icons like Ralph Guldahl and Ben Hogan, and the last man to accomplish the feat, Curtis Strange. With that introduction, let’s move to the main event, the 5 things we learned on Sunday at Shinnecock Hills.

5) The USGA gave golf a chance

True to its word, the USGA pulled out all the stops in the wee hours of Sunday morn. The course set-up team ensured that enough water was distributed to putting surfaces, that worthy shots would not be punished. Hole locations were assessed and confirmed, also ensuring that multiple opportunities for success were available. As a result, 15 golfers turned in scores under par of 70, highlighted by Tommy Fleetwood’s 7-under stunner. Although many fans, writers and players were quick to assault the organizers for losing control of the course, the USGA reminded us that it always had control of the conditions at Shinny, and that its only mistake was to soar too close to the sun.

4) Captain America ran out of gas

If Patrick Reed had been able to sign his card on the 9th tee, when he stood 5-under on the day and 1-over for the tournament, he would be in a playoff with the eventual champion as I type. Unfortunate for this year’s Masters champion was that 10 holes remained. Reed promptly bogeyed the 9th, added 3 more bogeys on the inward half, and summoned just one birdie toward the end. His fourth-place finish was his best in a U.S. Open, but knowing that victory was in the cards will sting for a while.

3) DJ and Finau gave it a run

Where to begin? How about this: DJ had four bogeys on Sunday. He totaled that many on Thursday-Friday combined. He had birdies, too, but couldn’t find the game that possessed him over the opening 36 holes. Oddly enough, this type of experience won’t be a setback for the 2016 champion. After all, he came back from a career-killer in 2015, when he 3-whacked his way out of a playoff with Jordan Spieth at Chambers Bay. As for Milton Pouhau Finau, aka Tony, the Utah native had never before been in the final group on any day of a major professional championship. He acquitted himself well, standing even on the day and 3-over for T2 at the 18th tee. Knowing that he needed eagle for a playoff might have taken the final winds from his sails, and he limped home with double bogey and solo third. Looking ahead to the final August playing of the PGA Championship, Bellerive near St. Louis might just be his type of course.

2) Tom Terrific nearly made his own U.S. Open history

I’ll write this cautiously, as I’m certain I would have intimated in the 1980s and 90s that Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood would have been major champions by now. Tommy Fleetwood ought to win one of these things soon. His record-tying 63 was a short putt away from a record-breaking 62. Eight birdies against a single bogey was the stuff of legend, and if only he had trusted that final putt a bit higher on the break … that’s not fair. Fleetwood right now is the fellow to watch at Carnoustie next month. Bet a few quid or bob or whatever on the Southport native, as he should contend for the title.

1) Brooks cooks up a winning broth

It’s easy to look back and see all the great shots that the defending champion hit over the four days of the 2018 U.S. Open, shots that would win him his second consecutive trophy. Remember that 60-feet bomb to save par on Saturday? Shades of Costantino Rocca. How about the approach shots to within mere feet that earned him 5 birdies on Sunday, including a competition-killer on 16? Koepka was the guy we thought Dustin Johnson would be. Perhaps it was the time off for wrist rehabilitation early this season that gave him the burning desire to win. Out for nearly 4 months, Koepka had plenty of time to ponder what he achieved last June in Wisconsin, and what might lay ahead for him. The begged question is, does the most recent, two-time major winner have the game to acquire more of the game’s cherished trophies?

Related: Brooks Koepka’s Winning WITB from the 2018 U.S. Open

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Wednesday’s Photos from the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills

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GolfWRX is live from the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club (par 70; 7,440 yards) in Southhampton, New York. The U.S. Open returns to Shinnecock for the first time since 2004 when Retief Goosen won (he failed to qualify for the 2018 event).

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Phil Mickelson, who has two top-5 finishes at Shinnecock Hills, will seek to fill out his career Grand Slam with a win this week. Also, it’s Tiger Woods’ 10-year anniversary of winning the legendary 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines — that was his most recent major championship victory.

Also in the field are headliners Dustin Johnson (now ranked No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings), Justin Thomas (No. 2), Justin Rose (No. 3), Jon Rahm (No. 4) and Jordan Spieth (No. 5).

Brooks Koepka (No. 9) is the defending champion; he won last year by four shots for his first and only major so far in his career.

Check out our photos from Shinnecock Hills below!

Wednesday’s Galleries

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

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Spotted at Shinnecock: #RVLife, superb staff bags, stellar stampings

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We’re on the famed grounds of Shinnecock Hills Golf Club for the second major of the year. With the U.S. Open returned to such a visually and historically rich venue, it may be a bit tough to focus on equipment.

Nevertheless, we spotted some cool stuff, Tuesday, as the players move ever closer to the second major of th eyear.

Let’s get to the photos.

#RVLife propronent, Jason Day’s putter cover is incredible.

Michael Greller displays an essential caddie skill…

Face of Tiger’s wedge. Do these look like standard TaylorMade MG grooves to you?

Greatest side panel on a bag ever?

Who isn’t happy to see “Woods” on USGA tournament signage?

Shintaro Ban’s unique dot stamping is, well, money.

A look at the Bridgestone U.S. Open staff bag and headcovers.

Kenny Perry: Still gaming R7 irons.

Scott Gregory with some solid wedge stamping.

What is this lead taped and war torn beauty?

All our photos from Tuesday

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

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