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!

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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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