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Tour Mash: DeChambeau breaks through, Park wins U.S. Women’s Open

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If April is the cruelest month (and not just for golf), then July is the kindest. Major championships on multiple major tours culminating the third week with the Open Championship at … Whoa, slow down, masher! We’ve got five important events to summarize, so buckle in and #MashOn.

PGA Tour: DeChambeau breaks through at John Deere

Bryson DeChambeau turned in the performance predicted for him since his magical amateur summer of 2015. Down two strokes to Indiana favorite son Patrick Rodgers (coincidentally, also in search of an initial PGA Tour triumph) with scant holes remaining, DeChambeau hit a blind, flat-footed metal from an awkward lie, oh, about 260 yards onto the 17th green. He two-putted from 45 feet, and Rodgers made bogey on the same hole three groups later.

With a chance at victory, DeChambeau knocked an iron toward a hole cut dangerously close to water at the home hole, finishing nearly 15 feet past. His putt had just enough steam to catch the low edge and fall in for a closing birdie, a 67 on the day and a one-stroke margin on Rodgers. The Avon, Indiana, native drove into the rough on No. 18 and was unable to match DeChambeau’s birdie. Rodgers finished one stroke back at 17-under for his best Tour finish. Wesley Bryan and Rick Lamb tied for third at 16-under, while perennial winners/contenders Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson finished in a fifth-place tie at 15-under.

Related: Bryson DeChambeau’s Winning WITB

The victory was doubly tasty for the cerebral golfer, as DeChambeau earned a spot in the Open Championship this week at Royal Birkdale.

LPGA: U.S. Women’s Open is Park’s 1st major and tour title

One way or another, the U.S. Women’s Open of 2017 would have been a coming-out party for a talented golfer from Korea. After Shanshan Feng struggled to 73 and relinquished a slender lead, a quartet of golfers seized an opportunity to challenge for the big cup. Hye-Jin Choi was the most compelling story; the 17-year old amateur was bidding to become the first non-pro since Catherine Lacoste in 1956 to hoist the hardware. Also in the mix were M.J. Hur and So Yeon Ryu, the 2011 winner.

Choi acquitted herself well, holding the lead into the back nine on Sunday. She ran into trouble on No. 10 and 16, where she returned three strokes to her pursuers. Twenty-three-year-old Seoul Sister Sung Hyun Park seized the opening and played a flawless (3-under par) back nine to overtake Choi and all the rest. Indeed, it was Park who represented best over the weekend rounds, matching 67s on Saturday and Sunday. Choi ended in the runner-up podium spot at 9-under, two shots behind the winner. Hur and Ryu found themselves another 2 shots back in a 3rd-place tie.

European Tour: Scottish Open to Cabrera-Bello in playoff

You wouldn’t call Rafael Cabrera-Bello a 10-year, overnight sensation, but you wouldn’t be far off if you did. It’s hard to imagine that the 33-year old from Spain’s Canary Islands has been at this professional game since 2005, but it’s true. Followers of the European Tour came to know him in 2009, when he won the Austrian Open. The world of golf was introduced to him in 2016, when he represented Europe well in the Ryder Cup. Now Cabrera-Bello holds an important professional title and is among the favorites to contend this week at Royal Birkdale’s 10th Open Championship.

Low was the only way to go on Sunday, and Cabrera-Bello’s 64 dropped the limbo bar the farthest. The Spaniard returned a clean card of eight birdies and 10 pars. Then he waited to see what third-round, co-leader Callum Shinkwin of England would do. Needing a mere par at the par-5 18th to win his first professional title, the Englishman struggled to scratch out a bogey on a hole that his pursuer had birdied just moments before. Off the two golfers went to the 18th, where Bellow once again dominated the par-5 finisher, making another birdie to eliminate Shinkwin.

A look back saw the contrast between the steely Cabrera and the untested Shinkwin. The latter left par and birdie putts short on the 18th and playoff holes, while the champion absolutely nutted a 276-yard 3-metal to within 20 feet for eagle during extra time.

Champions: Senior Players Championship 1st senior major for McCarron

The final round at Caves Valley, near Baltimore, turned into an unexpected battle of the long putters. Bernhard Langer, who never gives away a lead, appeared on a march toward senior major victory No. 10 (and third of 2017.) The German champion was out in 2-under 34, enough to keep fellow long wander Scott McCarron (out in 31) at bay.

The inward half played out like a masquerade, as Langer donned the mask of an untested rookie. He closed with zero birdies, a bogey and a double bogey for 3-over on his final 9, and a shocking 17-under total. McCarron, who had opened with five birdies on his outward half, needed only one more (at No. 10) and a shoal of pars to outlast Langer by one and join Park as debutantes at the majors ball.

Despite his struggles, Langer appeared in control until the penultimate hole. At the daunting par-3, a wayward tee ball into the gunge forced the three-time defending champion to take a penalty drop. The resulting double dropped him out of first place for the first time all week.

Web.com Tour: Garnett makes Utah Championship his ticket to PGA Tour

These days, a win on the Web.com Tour can equal a trip to the PGA Tour. Brice Garnett found that out on Sunday in Utah, when eight birdies overcame two bogies, totaling 65 and 21-under for the week. Although Mexico’s Abraham Ancer nearly gave Garnett more than he desired with 10 birdies of his own, the alum of college golf powerhouse Missouri Western was able to stem the Ancer tide and claim his first Web.com Tour title. The win also cemented his spot in the Web.com Tour’s Top-25, earning Garnett a 2017-2018 PGA Tour card.

On a day when par felt like 68, nine players shot 65 or better. Another eight posted 66. Former amateur stalwart Denny McCarthy had a shot at victory on Saturday evening; by Sunday afternoon, his 2-under 69 dropped him to a tie for 5th with overnight leader Jacques Blaauw. Blaauw had 70 on Sunday, and it was not nearly good enough.

If anyone had a right to feel unfulfilled, it was Rob Oppenheim. On a day when birdies over the final four holes were plentiful, Oppenheim had none. He finished one meager stroke out of a playoff, in a tie with Ancer and Austin Cook at 20-under.

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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.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Mike Hunt

    Jul 20, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Dechambeua needs to go back to where he came from(and take his stupid single length clubs with him!)! “I surrender” – the only French I know!

  2. Ronald Montesano

    Jul 18, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    conceivable.

  3. Ronald Montesano

    Jul 18, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    No lack of confidence in this one.

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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

Special Galleries

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!

Monday’s Galleries

Special Galleries

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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