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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 Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from Monday at the Zurich Classic

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GolfWRX is live from the 2018 Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana, were, among other things, a giant three-legged crocodile roams.

Now in it’s second year, the tournament’s unique two-man team format has attracted a wealth of top talent, including 10 of the top 14 golfers in the OWGR. We’re on the scene snapping bag pictures, and have WITB looks at Matt Jones and Roberto Diaz, in addition to a general gallery from the TPC Louisiana range.

Let’s dig in.

Matt Jones doesn’t need his name embroidered on his headcovers: tape and a marker will do just fine, thanks

Last week, Faaaabel the Goat. This week, someone who would eat Faaabel

Roberto Diaz: Brand agnostic

Wesley Bryan’s Taco Bell(t) lives

Homemade putting aid or soon to be seen on a Golf Channel infomercial (or both)?

UDI with a side of lead

Shaft bags: Assemble!

Roberto Diaz Fourteen RM wedge

What more do you need in life?

A bouquet of Circle T putter covers

Check out our photos from Monday below!

Monday’s Galleries

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

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Monday’s Photos from the 2018 Zurich Classic

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GolfWRX is live from the 2018 Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana (par 72; 7,425 yards), designed by Pete Dye with consultants Steve Elkington and Kelly Gibson.

The Zurich Classic is a unique event on the PGA Tour because it’s not an individual stroke-play event. Instead, the format consists of two-man teams playing best-ball on Thursday and Saturday, and alternate-shot on Friday and Sunday.

Last year, Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt won the event after four playoff holes against Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown. The Smith/Blixt duo will be back to defend their title, and the Kisner/Brown pairing will be back avenging their loss.

Other notable pairings in the field include Daniel Berger/Gary Woodland, Wesley Bryan/Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed/Patrick Cantlay, John Daly/Rory Sabbatini, Jason Day/Ryan Ruffels, David Duval/Jim Furyk, Tony Finau/Daniel Summerhays, Sergio Garcia/Rafa Cabrera Bello, J.B. Holmes/Brand Snedeker, Matt Kuchar/Bubba Watson, Louis Oosthuizen/Charl Schwartzel, Sean O’Hair/Jimmy Walker, Pat Perez/Jason Dufner, Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson, Jordan Spieth/Ryan Palmer, Justin Thomas/Bud Cauley and more!

Check out our photos from the event below!

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

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Tour News

Tour Rundown: Moriya Jutanugarn and Andrew Landry win their first titles

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It was a week of firsts on two of the world’s major professional tours. Moriya Jutanugarn claimed her first LPGA title in an impressive manner, while 2016 U.S. Open surprise Andrew Landry seized control in Houston to inscribe his name on the winner’s trophy for an initial time. Elsewhere, a pair of underdogs upset the favorites at the Champions Tour’s Missouri affair, while two veterans added additional titles to their resumes in Europe and on the Web.Com tour. It’s an interesting brew in this week’s cauldron, so let’s give it a stir and see what we taste in this week’s Tour Rundown.

Landry holds off resurgent trio to claim Houston Open

Andrew Landry led that U.S. Open at Oakmont after day one, and hung around the top of the leader board until the fourth day. When his name resurfaced at this week’s Tour stop, few were certain he could hold off a resurgent Zach Johnson, the two-time major winner. Well, few other than Zach Johnson thought Landry might pull it off.

How Landry locked in

From the 10th hole on Friday, through the same hole on Sunday, Landry made zero bogeys. He had 13 birdies in that stretch, on a course that gives a few up, but not in buckets. That 36 hole run of brilliance, including birdies on Sunday’s first three holes, staked Landry to an advantage that he would not relinquish. For the entire week, only four bogeys dotted his scorecards, and two of those came on Thursday. Landry’s putter was hot all week, and his driving game was laser-accurate. The sum total: welcome to the winner’s circle, Mr. Landry.

Click here to see the clubs Landry used to win the 2018 Valero Texas Open

Who made a run?

It wasn’t Johnson. Iowa’s favorite son hasn’t won since the 2015 British Open, although his game has shown its old fire of late. Johnson couldn’t find a groove on day 4, making as many bogeys in that round as Landry did all week. In the end, Johnson had a top-5 finish, amid signs that another victory may not be far in the offing. Sean O’Hair had the low round (66) of the day, and that magic was enough to boost him to a second-place tie with young Trey Mullinax, who followed a Saturday 62 with a notable 69 to rock steady. Jimmy Walker, finally recovered from a bout of illness, had the day’s 2nd-lowest score of 67, and he moved all the way to 4th spot.

Mighty Moriya holds off Korean trio for first tour title

Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand has been close before. She has seen little sister Ariya hoist victory awards before. On Sunday, it was her turn. Jutanugarn and Marina Alex were two of the leader with no title to their credit, heading into the closing 18 holes. While the key to victory still eludes the young American, it was Jutanugarn’s turn to triumph.

What Moriya discovered on Sunday

Actually, she dug deepest on Saturday. The older sibling opened round three with a double bogey, stood 3-over on the day after six holes, and appeared to be sinking. The ship’s wheel steadied with two birdies and hole-out eagle coming home, and then it began the final day with four birdies and no bogeys in the first 15 holes. A late bogey served only to add faux drama, as Jutanugarn calmly closed the deal for victory the first.

Park, Young and Yeon can’t win this case

Reading a bit like a law firm, Inbee Park, Jin Young Ko and So Yeon Ryu made their runs at Moriya. Inbee had a bogey at the turn, and needed perfection on Sunday. She didn’t get it, so a tie for second was in the offing. Ko might have had the best opportunity at day’s start, but a 2-over outward nine took her too far off pace for a 3-under inward half, to provide recovery. She also came second, at 10-under. Ryu put an opening bogey behind with four birdies through 12 holes, but could not go deeper over the closing stretch. Her fourth-place finish was her best of 2018.

Levy wins for third consecutive year on European Tour

France’s Alexander Levy nearly has a five-year win streak. His first two tour titles came in 2014. He skipped 2015, but hasn’t missed in the subsequent years. His work in Morocco this week added up to a one-shot win over a literal blast from the past, Spain’s Alvaro Quiros. Eight golfers finished within three strokes of the top spot, adding drama to the finish at Royal Dar-Es-Salaam.

Nothing spectacular leads Levy to win

There were no great streaks of brilliance, no runs of multiple birdies, for the 28-year old. All that he did, efficiently, was make enough birdies to stay ahead of his pursuers. After bogey at the antepenultimate hole on Sunday, Levy responded with a dart at the par-three 17th, to re-establish his lead. The win was the fifth of his career.

See the clubs Levy used to win

Oh so close for Oh so many

Let’s begin with Quiros. The Spaniard, compared with Dustin Johnson (for his length off the tee) in his early years, has been adrift. Sunday was his best chance in forever to secure a tour title. His first 16 holes were a tangle of bogeys and a pair of birdies. The Iberian closed admirably, with birdies at the final pair, to claim solo second, one back of Levy. Also close were Mikko Illonen (tied for third with three others at 7-under) and England’s Andy Sullivan, one more back at 6-under, in a tie for seventh.

Two more for the road: Axley wins on Web, while Broadhurst/Triplett claim Legends

Eric Axley would have preferred to win his 3rd professional event in glorious fashion. He’ll take a rain-shortened title at the North Mississippi Classic, his second career Web.Com title and his first title of any sort in 12 years. Waaaay back in 2006, Axley won the very same Houston Open (see above) contested this week on the PGA Tour, and a bit of success was predicted for the left-hander. Success, as we know, doesn’t come to all hands, and Axley was able to birdie his final two holes on Saturday to stake a one-shot advantage. Tied for second were the USA’s Willy Wilcox, Columbia’s Sebastian Munoz, and Korea’s K.H. Lee.

Triplett and Broadhurst birdie 1st playoff hole for victory

The rules for the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf are slightly simpler than those of field hockey, which means that they aren’t very simple. Both courses in use boast par-3 holes alone, but each has a different number of holes, so numbers on the scoreboard are meaningless. With the two Spaniards (Olazabal and Jimenez), the defending champs (Franco and Singh) and two major champions (Lehman and Langer) in the mix, the undervalued pairing of Kirk Triplett (he of the hat) and Paul Broadhurst (he of the …) were not anyone’s favorites to emerge. And here we are.

No one seemed bent on making any heroic moves on Sunday, so it came down to which teams would find their way. Lehman/Langer joined the eventual winners at the 9th hole. Triplett played the hole to perfection: tee shot into bunker, bunker shot into hole, thank you very much. No birdie putts were holed, and the title belonged to the unlikely pairing of Kirk and Paul.

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