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Tour Mash: Dufner wins rain-delayed Memorial

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We can all taste summer in the Northern Hemisphere, but spring weather continues to hold on with rain and cool temps around the globe. Battling the elements was a popular phrasing across the tours, and the hardiest of them all emerged as champions. Splish, splash, let’s mash!

PGA Tour: Memorial to Dufner after rain delay

After Jason Dufner opened with 65-65, pundits were ready to inscribe his name in the slot reserved for the 2017 Memorial champion. When he signed for a third-round 77, those same wags offered that he was toast; he was done; he couldn’t win.

There was another 65 at Muirfield Village on Sunday, but it went to Anirban Lahiri. It moved him into a tie for second with Rickie Fowler. Dufner, meanwhile, made two late birdies and a 40-foot bomb for par at the last to finish at 13-under par, two clear of the field.

Winning WITB: See Dufner’s clubs

Golfers like Fowler, Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar and Daniel Summerhays all began the day in contention, but none of them were able to summon the round required to overcome the 2013 PGA Champion. Two late-round rain delays did nothing to stop the Dufner Express from its appointed stop at the champion’s station.

European Tour: Nordea Masters to Italy’s Paratore

When you’re 20, you make all the putts. That’s the way it seemed for Renato Paratore, not yet 21, on Sunday in Sweden. By rights, one of England’s 2016 Ryder Cuppers (Chris Wood and Matthew Fitzpatrick) should have won, but they didn’t. Fitz made a bunch of birdies, but an early double left him one back. Wood was tied at the top at the last, but a wayward drive compelled him to make bogey and drop into a tie for second.

As for Paratore, he chipped and putted his way to victory. Time and again, the lanky lad found himself in position to collapse, yet he never did. His long putt for par at No. 17, followed by a massive lag putt on No. 18 to tap-in range, sealed the deal for the youngest winner on tour since countryman Matteo Manassero. Finishing in a tie for fourth were South Africa’s George Coetzee and Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen.

Web.com Tour: Rex Hospital Open marks Shindler’s 1st triumph

Conrad Shindler had a mighty battle on his hands. In order to earn his first Web.com Tour victory, he would have to derail Chesson Hadley, hometown Raleigh boy and once a victor at this event. The local hero matched Shindler shot for shot on Sunday, and the two headed to overtime to decide the keeper of the trophy.

Shindler ended things quickly with a routine par on the first playoff hole. Hadley was unable to par the difficult 18th, and the Texas A&M alumnus had his trophy. The triumph took Shindler from 50th to fifth in the chase for a PGA Tour card. Hadley, splitting time between the PGA and Web.com tours, moved from 57th to 18th on the same list.

Tied for third place at 14-under, one shot out of the playoff, were Andrew Putnam, Andrew Landry, and Kyoung-Hoon Lee.

LPGA: I.K. Kim makes Shoprite Classic her fifth win

Anna Nordqvist was on a quest to win her third-consecutive Shoprite Classic, and she beat every player in the field but one on the way. In-Kyung Kim matched Nordqvist shot for shot on the day, and her lead after two rounds held up for a two-stroke win.

Making the biggest runs of the day were Michelle Wie (65 for 7-under and 3rd) and Jaye Marie Green (66 for 6-under and T7). Paula Creamer, tied with Kim for the lead entering the final day, had a forgettable afternoon with 74, and she dropped to 6-under and T7.

PGA Tour Latinoamerica: Quito Open in Yonke’s hands

Curtis Yonke might have figured that his work was done after six consecutive birdies to close his outward Sunday nine. For the most part, it was. Jose Toledo opened his front nine with three bogeys, two birdies and an eagle. Other than the those three burps, his card was clean. An 18th-hole birdie brought Toledo within two of Yonke at 12-under.

Yonke’s U.S. countryman Chip Lynn was 3-under on the day through 10 holes, but he must have felt steamrolled by the eventual winner’s run of birdies. Lynn’s last shot at victory was derailed by a bogey at No. 15, and he ended in third place by himself at 10-under.

Correction: This story originally stated that Lydia Ko lost her top spot in the Rolex Rankings to Ariya Jutanugarn. Long story short, there was a bug in the projections and she didn’t (by 0.01 points). Golf Digest has the full story

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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.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Old Putter

    Jun 5, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    The LPGA rankings should reflect looks and curves

  2. leo vincent

    Jun 5, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Ariya Jutanugarn has been the best LPGA player for a year now.It is about time the rankings reflect that.Ko realized it a while back too hence the swing and equipment changes.

  3. Jon

    Jun 5, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Just curious as to where you are getting your Rolex Rankings information. Ko is still number, albeit by .01 of a point. http://www.rolexrankings.com/en/rankings/

    • Phil

      Jun 5, 2017 at 1:39 pm

      because PXG

    • Ronald Montesano

      Jun 5, 2017 at 4:50 pm

      Jon, This one is on me. Every report I read/heard/watched all weekend long talked about her surrendering the top spot after 84 weeks. I finalized the piece and went to bed, thinking that this was the case. Thanks for keeping me honest. It is appreciated.

      RM

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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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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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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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