Connect with us

Tour News

Tour Mash: Curry Impresses, Matsuyama Heats Up for PGA

Published

on

What a week in professional golf! The Solheim Cup teams for Europe and the U.S. were solidified, a British Open champion and a WGC champion were crowned, and an NBA superstar moonlighted as a Web.com Tour player. And all this on the eve of the PGA Championship! Here we go with this week’s Tour Mash.

Steph Curry, Am I Right?

You know that Curry thought long and hard about accepting the invitation to play in the Ellie Mae Classic on the Web.com Tour this week. Once decided, he was all in. Then, the hard-core training began! Great job with 74-74.

Matsuyama Shoots Course-Record 61 on Sunday, Wins WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

The fear that Hideki Matsuyama might one day realize his potential is real, and golf may turn a page because of it. Matsuyama went out in Sunday in 30 strokes thanks to an eagle and three birdies. He came home with birdies on four of his final six holes for 61 and a three-stroke win over Zach Johnson.

Winning WITB: See what clubs Matsuyama used to win. 

The best tweet on the great, young champion asked, “Does Matsuyama know that it’s OK if every approach shot doesn’t finish in the hole?” No one hits the ball better and closer more often than the 25-year-old from the island of Shikoku, Japan. He absolutely blew past Johnson, one of the overnight leaders, by seven shots on Sunday. Charley Hoffman, who might surprise this week at Quail Hollow, shot 66 on Sunday for a third-place finish.

With the victory, Matsuyama moves to No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings and became the man to watch at Quail Hollow, a course similar in many ways to Firestone, at this week’s PGA Championship.

Stroud Earns Quail Hollow Berth with 1st PGA Tour Win

Chris Stroud had to work a bit longer for victory, but it finally came for the 37-year old Texan. After eliminating Greg Owen on the first playoff hole with a birdie, Stroud again birdied the closing hole in Reno to fend off Richy Werenski’s run at victory and claim his first PGA Tour win. With the victory, Stroud earned a spot in this week’s PGA Championship.

Stroud came from the great beyond on Sunday with 20 points, nearly half of his week-long total, in the modified Stableford event. Despite making three bogeys on the day, the champion closed with three birds and an eagle in his final six holes.

IK Kim Finally a Major Champion at Women’s British Open

It turns out that a six-stroke lead is safe, but only when the nearest pursuers don’t make much of a dent. In-Kyung Kim, she of the infamous 12-inch miss at the Nabisco Championship, played marvelous golf through 54 holes and then held on for dear life on Sunday. Her grip was just strong enough to secure her first major title.

Kim stood at 19-under par with 10 holes to play on Sunday, but Jodi Ewart Shadoff was in the midst of an eight-birdie 64 that would bring her to 16-under. Kim bogeyed No. 9, and then she made nine consecutive pars to earn a two-stroke victory at Kingsbarns. Unlike the 2012 Nabisco, where a 72nd-hole yip of a one-foot putt dropped her into a playoff for the title (which she would lose), Kim closed and locked the door today.

Michelle Wie also made a run at the title, but her last of seven birdies came at the 12th hole. She bogeyed No. 17 to fall into a tie for the third spot with Caroline Masson and Georgia Hall.

Ellie Mae Classic Win Makes Piller’s Day Complete

Beyond golf and Steph Curry, there were other winners at TPC Stonebrae this week. One is Martin Piller, whose wife was named to the U.S. side of the 2017 Solheim Cup. Piller had 62 on Friday, and on Sunday he turned in a closing 64 for a one-stroke win over Brandon Harkins. Both the winner and runner-up birdied the 16th hole, but Harkins could not get to 18-under with birdie on either of the closing holes.

Andrew Yun held the overnight lead, but he stumbled out of the gate with two bogeys in his first eight holes. He shot even par on the day and dropped into a tie for third with Nate Lashley at 15-under. As for Steph Curry, he proved that he’s no sideshow. His concentration and game translated well from the hardcourt to the softcourt, as he smiled from tee to green and offered great appreciation for his competitors and the gallery.

Goydos Shoots 60-66 on Weekend to Win 3M Championship

A day after playing his final four holes in 5-under to shoot 60, Paul Goydos had enough in the tank to shoot 66 to tie Gene Sauers in regulation and then win a playoff. Goydos’ finish on Sunday was not nearly as electric as Saturday, but his 54th-hole birdie was enough to move on to extra holes.

The playoff ended quickly. The daunting second shot over water proved too much for Sauers. He flared an iron right and failed to clear the massive hazard. Goydos did so (barely) and made a routine par for the victory. Sunshine, as Goydos is known on tour, moved inside the top-5 in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup Race.

Be like Charley, Be Honest!

We love our heroes and we love a guy like Charley Hoffman. Most of us can’t hit 280-yard shots from rough over water, but we, too, are tired of finishing second!

Your Reaction?
  • 17
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW1
  • LOL1
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

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.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Tom1

    Aug 7, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Matsuyama and SRIXON come thru again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Popular Photo Galleries

Tuesday’s Photos from the 2018 Honda Classic

Published

on

GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 Honda Classic at PGA National’s Champion course (par 70: 7,110 yards) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Related

The field this week is stacked at the top, and it includes defending-champion Rickie Fowler, 2017 FedEx Champion Justin Thomas, four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, and reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia, who’s making his first PGA Tour start of 2018. Also in the field is Tiger Woods, who committed to play in the event just last week. Woods is coming off a disappointing missed cut at the 2018 Genesis Open.

Last year, Fowler won by four shots over Morgan Hoffmann and Gary Woodland, despite playing his final round in 1-over par.

Check out our photos from the 2018 Honda Classic below!

Tuesday’s Photos

Special Galleries

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

Your Reaction?
  • 8
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK3

Continue Reading

Popular Photo Galleries

Monday’s Photos from the 2018 Honda Classic

Published

on

GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 Honda Classic at PGA National’s Champion course (par 70: 7,110 yards) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

The field this week is stacked at the top, and it includes defending-champion Rickie Fowler, 2017 FedEx Champion Justin Thomas, four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, and reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia, who’s making his first PGA Tour start of 2018. Also in the field is Tiger Woods, who committed to play in the event just last week. Woods is coming off a disappointing missed cut at the 2018 Genesis Open.

Last year, Fowler won by four shots over Morgan Hoffmann and Gary Woodland, despite playing his final round in 1-over par.

Check out our photos from the 2018 Honda Classic below!

Monday’s Photos

Special Galleries

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

Your Reaction?
  • 11
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW1
  • LOL1
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

Tour News

Tour Rundown: Bubba is back (from near retirement)

Published

on

The California cruise on the PGA Tour came to an end at Riviera, as it always does. Tiger Woods played poorly over the George Thomas classic, as he always does. Oh, and Bubba Watson showed why he is not in the ranks of ballers Dustin Johnson and Gary Woodland. Big wins were earned from Australia to Florida, by 22 year olds and 41 year youngs. Our tour rundown runs gathers results from five unique tours, and breaks each triumph down for you. Have a glance at this week’s Tour Rundown.

Watson returns to form with third Genesis Open win

There are too many ledes to unearth for this one: Horses for courses or Mercurial Watson, or how about My wife’s the hoops star, I’m the golfer? Whatever was in that Tracy McGrady rejection on Friday night was the medicine Bubba Watson needed to return to the winner’s circle. Along the way, Watson schooled the 20-somethings (and even the other Lefty) on how to close the deal in Hogan’s Alley.

How Watson came back from near-retirement

While the siren song of the candy store, car dealership and baseball team might have been strong, Bubba Watson wanted to be a champion golfer again. After nine, up-and-down holes (3 birdies and 2 bogeys) on Sunday, Watson was looking up at Patrick Cantlay, Kevin Na and even Phil Mickelson. Not to worry, as the Florida portsider had played the inward half under par all week. Watson closed with 3 birdies and 0 bogeys over his final 9 holes, sealing a 2-stroke win over Na and Tony Finau.

See the clubs Bubba used to win the 2018 Genesis Open

How a quartet missed out

Let’s summarize: Na played the back side in 1-under par and needed Watson’s 3-under for a playoff; Tony Finau was 2-under on the closing half, but needed double that for extra holes; Phil Mickelson bogeyed 15 and 16 when he knew that birdies were needed; Patrick Cantlay played 1 over in his final 9, when 2-under would have meant playoff. All the also-rans and almost-weres didn’t do what Watson did: close the deal.

Jin Young Ko secures Australian Open on LPGA Tour

It’s a stretch to call Jin Young Ko an LPGA player, as her first 9 wins came on the LPGA of Korea tour. In October and now in February, Ko bested world-class fields to win co-sanctioned events, and is now a two-time LPGA champion. At this rate, it might be difficult for her to remain tethered to the Korean tour.

How Ko won the week

A 7-under 65 on Thursday was the fuel Ko needed to take a lead that she would not relinquish. Although Katherine Kirk matched that number on Sunday, no one was able to wrest the advantage from the 22-year old Ko. Two rounds of 69 and one of 71 brought her to 14-under on the week. On day four, Ko started quickly with two opening birdies. A pair of bogeys on the outward half kept her within sight of the field, but birdies at 9, 13 and 17 were the recipe for re-establishing her three-shot margin of victory.

How she kept the field at bay

The challenging Kooyoonga golf club was not very free with low rounds this week. Ko’s compatriot Hyejin Choi, posted a flawless 67 on Sunday to move up one spot, into solo second at 11-under. In third and fourth were a pair of Australians, Hannah Green at 10-under and the aforementioned Katherine Kirk, at 9-under. Marina Alex was the low USA golfer at 7-under, tied for fifth spot with Minjee Lee.

Oman Open on European Tour

Joost Luiten began the fourth day at Oman in a three-way tie for first spot, but asserted himself early on Sunday with birdies on holes 2 through 4. It was enough to separate from the field, and he was able to hold off Chris Wood to earn his 8th European Tour title, by two strokes.

How Luiten claimed victory

After the fiery beginning, Luiten cooled off in the later stages of the opening nine holes. Bogeys at 7 and 8 brought him back to the field, but he wasn’t done for the afternoon. Luiten birdied 12 and 13, then added the clincher on a tricky birdie putt on the 16th hole. That final birdie gave him a 2-shot separation on Chris Wood, and he held on for pars at the final two holes for a 68 on the day and 16-under for the tournament.

How Wood and others came up shy

Matthew Southgate and Julien Guerrier began Sunday in a tie with Luiten, but the day turned sour early for Southgate. The Englishman had four bogeys in a five-hole stretch. Two more miscues on the inward half dropped him into a three-way tie for ninth at 9-under par. Guerrier held the wheel a bit steadier: two bogeys at the turn were offset by three birdies coming in, and the young Frenchman was able to coax a solo third-place finish out of the week. It was Chris Wood who gave the greatest chase to Luiten. Wood had four birdies on the day, and was in a tie at the top at 15-under, when he yanked a drive at 17 and found a hazard. Although he was able to play his ball, the ensuing bogey was the mistake he could not afford. A par at the last placed him at 14-under, one shot clear of Guerrier and two behind the champion.

Durant welcomes second PGA Tour Champions title at Chubb Classic

Technically, it’s his third, but the first was a two-man win with Billy Andrade. Durant probably caught wind that Billy Mayfair and Tim Petrovic were going super-low (8-under on Sunday) and that David Toms was at their heels (7-under on the day.) Each of those three earned a top-four finish, but Durant took matters into his own hands over the closing seven holes. He left Naples as the 2018 Chubb champion.

When Joe Durant woke up

Durant was 1-over through 7 holes on Sunday, headed in the wrong direction. Birdies on 8 and 9 reminded him that he still had a chance, but the eagle on 13 kicked his game into a higher gear. Birdies at 14, 17 and 18 were enough to offset a bogey at 15, and Durant cruised home with a four-stroke victory over Mayfair, Toms, Petrovic, Lee Janzen and Steve Stricker.

How that quintet fell away

After eight birdies through 14 holes on day 3, Mayfair had zero over his closing four. Toms did the opposite-He played the outward half in 2-under, but came home in 5-under to reach the podium. Petrovic had 4 birdies on each half, but also simply ran out of holes. Janzen threw an early scare into the eventual champion, but two bogeys and not enough chirps were his undoing. Stricker’s finish was the most painful. Within site of Durant and needing birdie at the last for 18-under, Stricker was forced to go for the flag, and instead got wet. His double-bogey finish dropped him from solo second to the five-way tie.

Daniel Fox surprises at Australian PGA championship

Daniel Fox had one previous victory on the Australasian circuit, but he made the most of opportunity’s knock on Sunday. The 41-year old played error-free golf over his final 14 holes, counting 6 birdies for a one-stroke victory over Matthew Millar and Steven Jeffress.

How Fox found the winner’s platform

Fox might say he was the last man standing, and none would argue. The runners-up had chances at birdie at the final hole, but neither one could convert. Fox counted three rounds of 65 and one of 67 on his card.  On the week, he had three bogeys and one double, against 21 birdies and one eagle. In an event where the margin ‘twixt victory and not-victory was razor-thin, Daniel Fox shaved the final whisker.

How Millar and Jeffress came up short

The easy answer would be: they didn’t birdie the 72nd hole. Jeffress had the low round (63) of the week, but his 67-67-66 lost ground on the other three days! As for Millar, one might point to his last two, outward nines. On both weekend days, he made nine consecutive pars to open his round. Against a par of 33, it wasn’t bad, but he gained no ground on the leader. Millar’s stat line for the week read: one eagle, 21 birdies, six bogeys. Yup, nearly identical to Fox, but nearly is the operative word.

Your Reaction?
  • 16
  • LEGIT3
  • WOW2
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK4

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending