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Tour Mash: U.S. wins Solheim Cup, Stenson sets scoring record

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Match play or medal play, the choice was yours this week across the globe. The Solheim Cup, the U.S. Amateur, and the Paul Lawrie were all contested in the traditional, head-to-head format. On the flip side, the Wyndham Championship, Dick’s Sporting Goods Open and News Sentinel Open counted every stroke. With the tour playoff season poised to begin on the PGA and Web.com tours, this week was the last mash for many in an effort to extend their seasons.

Match Play

The Solheim Cup might be distilled down to one singles match, the opening tout between Anna Nordqvist and Lexi Thompson. While the U.S. representative struggled to find her stroke, Nordqvist jumped out to a four-hole lead after the same number of holes.

After nine holes, the lead remained the same. Then, Thompson came out of her funk with a legendary run of three birdies and two eagles in a seven-hole stretch to erase the discrepancy and take the lead. Nordqvist birdied the last to halve the match, but any chance the European Team had to come back from its deficit was gone. The final tally was U.S. 16.5, Europe 11.5.

The 2017 U.S. Amateur offered a classic final that went to a 37th hole after Doug Ghim of Illinois and Doc Redman of North Carolina had battled to a draw in regulation.

Redman had qualified in a 13-for-8 playoff, earning the No. 62 seed of 64 in match play. His road to the final saw him eliminate No. 3 seed Logan Lowe in the round of 64 and No. 7 Mark Lawrence in the semifinals. In contrast, Ghim was the No. 9 seed after medal qualifying. He did not meet a higher-ranked opponent until Saturday when he outlasted No. 4 Theo Humphrey to earn his place in the 36-hole final match.

In the final, Ghim had a two-up lead with two holes to play, but Redman eagled the 35th hole and birdied the 36th to force extra holes at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. The golfers returned to the short 10th hole where Redman recorded a third-consecutive birdie to claim the national amateur title and all the baubles that accompany it. Both Redman and Ghim will represent the U.S. in September’s Walker Cup at Los Angeles Country Club.

After Adrian Otaegui blitzed past Spanish countryman Alejandro Cañizares with seven birdies in the 15 holes of their semifinal match of the European Tour’s Paul Lawrie Match Play, it was a shock to see zero birdies and a three-hole deficit for Otaegui in the final match. Germany’s Marcel Siem had seemingly turned the tables, going out in 3-under par and staking himself to a three-hole advantage.

And then, the tide shifted. Actually, it was more like a tsunami. Otaegui proceeded to win six of the final eight holes outright, claiming a 2 & 1 victory over a startled Siem. Otaegui birdied each of his final three holes after Siem had regained a one-up lead with a birdie at the 13th. The triumph was his first on the European Tour.

Medal Play

Henrik Stenson claimed the 2017 Wyndham Championship, the final, non-playoff tournament on the PGA Tour by one stroke over Ollie Schniderjans. Stenson had a topsy-turvy front nine for the second time this weekend, but he repeated his torrid, Saturday inward-half performance on Sunday to edge the young Texan.

Stenson had four birdies against two bogeys on his first nine holes on Sunday. Over that stretch, Schniederjans picked up a stroke by going out in minus-three. On the homeward side, Stenson recorded four birdies against zero bogies, reaching a tournament record 22-under, enough to keep the former Georgia Tech star at bay… and he did it without a driver in the bag.

Related: Stenson’s Winning WITB

Kevin Na took the early lead on Sunday with a 31 on the front nine. He gave most of it back with 38 coming home, and finished in a tie for fourth at 17-under. Webb Simpson finished solo third at 18-under.

At the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open on PGA Tour Champions, Scott McCarron and Kevin Sutherland served notice early on Sunday that the field was playing for third place. The two waged an epic duel in central New York at the En-Joie Golf Club. McCarron had eight birdies for 64 on Sunday, while Sutherland had five birdies and an eagle for 65.

Tied heading to the back nine, Sutherland birdied the 12th to take the lead, only to have McCarron even things up with birdie on No. 13. Sutherland birdied the 16th and 18th holes to finish at 19-under. Unfortunately for him, McCarron birdied the closing trio to take the title at 20-under. Three of the most popular golfers in town this week (John Daly, local lad Joey Sindelar, and Woody Austin) tied for third at 13-under.

When Ken Looper, overnight leader, triple-bogeyed his opening hole on Sunday of the News Sentinel Open on the Web.com Tour, eyes on the prize became the rallying cry of all golfers within sight of the top spot on the leaderboard. A slew of challengers took runs at the top, and it was Talor Gooch who had enough arrows in his quiver for the title. Gooch had six birdies on the day, finishing at 18-under to climb three spots into the pole position.

Jonathan Hodge, the runner-up, had five birdies for 30 on his outward half. The back nine was less kind, however, as the man from Tennessee played it in even par to open the door for Gooch. As for Looper, each time he made amends for his opening 7 a bogey would get in his way. Looper tied for third at 16-under, one behind Hodge and two back of the champion.

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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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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Patches O'Hullahan

    Aug 21, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    The Solheim Cup is a snoozer. Let’s be frank, the European team didn’t have any serious talent other than Norquist. It is time to make this a real competition by allowing the Asian players, whom are the best in the world, to display their talent in the international stage. If the LPGA wants to survive, they need to go where the money is, Asia.

    • Darryl

      Aug 24, 2017 at 2:57 am

      Sorry Patches, a US – Asia competition would be as one sided as the Solheim is now, with the US taking on the European sacrificial role.

  2. Rex

    Aug 21, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    What was the history that stenson made?

    • Ronald Montesano

      Aug 21, 2017 at 3:36 pm

      He set the tournament scoring record. Not the same as winning an election, but a nice four days, nonetheless.

      RM

  3. Leon

    Aug 21, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Solhiem cup is fun but not exciting. Let USA groups with Europe and play against South Korea, who has 10 players among world TOP20. That’s we called a fair and exciting match. The current Solhiem cup is more like flight for the 2nd tier. Sad

  4. Woody

    Aug 21, 2017 at 9:03 am

    I can’t say the Solhiem cup is the best golf or most entertaining golf when the majority of the best players aren’t participating …aka Asian players.

    • Guantanemo

      Aug 21, 2017 at 11:02 am

      Agreed, at this point, it might be an interesting idea to have a USA vs South Korea event for the women…

  5. Vic

    Aug 21, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Once again the Solheim Cup IMO, is some of the most entertaining Golf of the year.

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GolfWRX is live this week from The 2017 RSM Classic at Sea Island Golf Club — the Seaside course plays as a par 70 measuring 7,005 yards — in St. Simons Island, Georgia.

Headlined by last week’s OHL Classic champion Patton Kizzire, and 2015 RSM Champion Kevin Kisner, this week’s field is filled with notable names including Ricky Barnes, Zac Blair, Luke Donald, Ernie Els, Harris English, Tommy Gainey, Bill Haas, Beau Hossler, Zach Johnson, Smylie Kaufman, Matt Kuchar, Davis Love III, Graeme McDowell, Ollie Schniederjans, Brandt Snedeker, Hudson Swafford, Bubba Watson and others.

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Check out out photos from Sea Island G.C. below!

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