Over this extended, Labor Day weekend, the heart of golf illuminated the LPGA Tour, the second FedEx Cup Playoff event revealed no more Doubting Thomas, and a prodigal son left Ohio a Web.com Tour titleist. For a little autumn mash, pull up a chair and help yourself.
PGA Tour: Thomas Claims 1st FedEx Playoff Win in Boston
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 4, 2017
Early in his round, upon hearing a roar for Justin Thomas’ eagle at the fourth hole, Jordan Spieth said to his caddie, “This is gonna be a shootout.” It was. Marc Leishman seized the lead with a six-birdie, front-nine 30, but then decided he didn’t want to win after all. He gave it all away on the back with a five-bogey 40, and finished in third place, one back of Spieth.
Oops, spoiler alert. Spieth didn’t win, not that he didn’t try. Birdie putts at Nos. 16 and 17 didn’t fall, leaving him three back of Thomas, who posted 66 in Round 4 to preserve his third-round lead. Those in the know, know that Thomas (cough, U.S. Open, cough) has had difficulty following a brilliant Round 3 with a sufficient Round 4. At the Dell Technologies Championship, at least for one week, he dispatched that tendency. Thomas was out in 32, back in 34, and he never let Spieth have a glimpse at the lead when the going got tough.
Winning WITB: The clubs Thomas used in Boston
With the win, his fifth of his 2016-2017 PGA Tour season, Thomas moved into second place in the FedEx Cup Playoff standings. Although he didn’t win, second meant first for Spieth, who now occupies the top spot in the standings. Dustin Johnson, last week’s winner, tumbled from first to third after a banal final round in Boston.
LPGA: Lewis Wins for the 1st Time in 3 years, Donates Check to Harvey Relief
— LPGA (@LPGA) September 3, 2017
Stacy Lewis closed her final round on Sunday with 11 pars. She wasn’t the best golfer on the course, and she barely avoided In Gee Chun’s furious comeback round of 66. At the end of the Portland Classic, Lewis had nothing to show, monetarily, for her week’s effort. She did have a trophy, and the unwavering admiration of all LPGA followers.
Lewis, you see, pledged all of this week’s winnings to those struggling against the impact of Hurricane Harvey. “That’s nice,” most people thought. She’ll finish top-10, maybe a bit higher, but winning? Lewis hadn’t done it since June of 2014. Were there chances? Too many to count. On Sunday, the Team USA stalwart brought the show pony home to the winner’s podium, notching LPGA Tour win No. 12 and a place in Houston’s heart.
European Tour: Porteous Notches 2nd Tour Win at Czech Masters
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) September 3, 2017
Golf? No, we haven’t figured it out, either. Lee Slattery went without a bogey for 27 holes on Friday-Saturday, making 11 birdies along the way. On Sunday, the bogeys arrived and away went his lead. Joining the battle was South Africa’s Haydn Porteous. When the final putts were holed, it was Porteous holding his second European Tour trophy, edging Slattery by two shots.
Neither man appeared comfortable as the final nine holes began. Each made bogey at the par-five 10th, and Slattery added two more coming home. Porteous bogeyed the 11th, but birdies at Nos. 14 and 16, coupled with his outward 33, were enough to reach 13-under par and secure his first victory since the 2016 Joburg Open.
Web.com Tour: PGA Tour Card for Uihlein after Finals win
— Web.com Tour (@WebDotComTour) September 3, 2017
If you’re scratching your head, trying to recall when you last read Peter Uihlein’s name, be patient. Unless you follow the European Tour, it was 2010 when he won the U.S. Amateur. Since then, Uihlein has earned his way across the other continent. On Sunday, he made a triumphant return to the U.S. with a win in the opening event in Web.com Tour Finals.
Uihlein began final-round play behind leader Ryan Armour, an Ohio State alum with great knowledge of the Columbus, Ohio Scarlet course. Many former NCAA Division golfers know it, and it gives them an advantage when this professional event comes to town. The top dog struggled to a 70 in Round 4 after opening with three rounds in the 60s. In contrast, Uihlein put his accelerator to the floor and inked seven birdies on his card for a 6-under 65. When Armour bogeyed the 18th, the title and all the trappings belonged to the prodigal son.
Champions Tour: McCarron’s 4th win of 2017 Comes at Shaw Charity
— PGA TOUR Champions (@ChampionsTour) September 3, 2017
It’s difficult to know which golfers will figure it out on the Champion’s Tour. No one would have predicted journeyman Scott McCarron would, but here he is, tied with Bernhard Langer for 2017 victories and in the second spot behind the ageless German wonder in the season-long Schwab Cup.
McCarron battled Spain’s version of Langer, the enchanting Miguel Angel Jimenez, over the Canyon Meadows course in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. McCarron’s boat was unsteady on Sunday, with three bogeys for 67 and a 16-under total. Although he didn’t match his electric start (63-64), his work was enough to edge Jimenez by one shot. The Spaniard was bogey-free for 66 in the final round, but he could not summon one final arrow to force McCarron to extra holes.