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Tour Mash: A Case of the Monday finishes

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If the President’s Cup isn’t the anticlimactic team competition of them all, please tell us which one gets your vote! With little to bind the rest of the world team together, this one was over on day one. As if that weren’t enough of a kick in the teeth, the LPGA and the Web.Com tours had their Sunday rounds postponed into Monday. We are patient fans, and are happy to bring you this delayed but still-tasty, Tour Mash.

Presidents Cup to USA for 10th time

It might be troublesome to see that the big news out of the big team event of 2017 revolves around ancillary golf gear. The team from USA came out hot on Thursday and Friday, amassing a 7.5 to 0.5 lead with two days of competition remaining. Call it foursomes, call it fourball, the format mattered little. And nothing changed on day three, as the Red-White-and-Blue won 6 of 8 pair matches to tuck in on Saturday night with an unthinkable, 13.5 to 2.5 advantage.

Were the Americans that good? Were the Rest of the World that off their game, or perhaps disinterested? Not for us to surmise. Although the visiting squad mounted a comeback effort on day four, winning six singles matches outright and halving three others, the final outcome was resolved. At this juncture, the questions on aficinionado minds revolve around importance and improvement of the event. Perhaps when the golf world arrives at Royal Melbourne (Australia) in 2019, some answers will be known.

Byrd claims Web.Com Tour Championship

The week began with an electrifying 59 from Sam Saunders, just a few days past the 1-year anniversary of the passing of his grandfather, Arnold Daniel Palmer. Saunders was in the mix all weekend long, ultimately tying for second with Shawn Stefani at 20-under par. The winner, Jonathan Byrd, established himself with consistently-stellar golf from the start.

Over the four days of competition, Byrd made three bogeys in 72 holes. Top that! His 27 birdies elevated him to 24-under through 72 holes, four shots clear of the runners-up. In addition to the champion, Stefani and 48 others officially received their 2017-18 PGA Tour membership cards. Matt Jones, Cameron Tringale and Tom Hoge joined Byrd and Stefani in solidifying tour status during this week’s competition.

Dunne hoists first European Tour trophy

Paul Dunne captured the attention of the golf world at St. Andrews in 2015. The then-amateur from Ireland led the entire tournament after 54 holes. Two years later, Dunne is a tour winner, zooming past Rory McIlroy at the British Masters for a 3-stroke win.

Dunne’s final-round 61 was brilliant; seven birdies and an eagle elevated him from second to first on day four. McIlroy might have imagined that his 63 was pretty nifty, until he saw Dunne’s magic. Robert Karlsson of Sweden shot no higher than 67 all week, but was unable to maintain a grasp on the lead he held after 54 holes, ultimately finishing in third spot, one back of McIlroy and four strokes out of the lead.

New Zealand Open marks Henderson’s fifth LPGA title

One of the missteps that journalists and fans make with prodigies is projection. We project all-time greatness onto them, and anything less than perfection or triumph is viewed as unacceptable. It’s our job to not make that mistake with Brooke Henderson. The young Canadian champion made a visit to Auckland last week and, despite a fourth-round delay, finished off her fifth tour win by five strokes.

Henderson trailed Belen Mozo of Spain at the beginning of round four, but the young Iberian went the wrong way on Sunday/Monday. Six bogeys and a double sent her spiraling to 78, dropping to a fifth-place tie with countrywoman Beatriz Recari and Su Oh of Korea. At the high end of the leaderboard, Henderson seized momentum with birdies on 3 of her first 5 holes. She closed with 69 in round four, with Jing Yan of China in second spot.

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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.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Thomas A

    Oct 3, 2017 at 11:35 am

    My opinion; the World and European teams should play each other. And then take a year off between each tournament so matches are on every other year. It’s too diluted now with the USA playing every year.

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Tour News

Tiger Woods catches fire after a slow start, shoots 5-under 65 at Tour Championship to tie lead

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Tiger Woods, who came to the Tour Championship 20th on the FedExCup points list, is making early moves at the Tour Championship at East Lake. After an opening-hole 3-putt from 25 feet for a bogey, and then three straight pars, Tiger played the rest of his round 6-under par (birdies at 5, 6, 12 and 14), capping it with a 27-foot eagle putt at the 18th hole. In the end, it was a 5-under 65 for Tiger, who currently sits tied for the lead with Rickie Fowler.

Here’s his approach to the par-5 18th hole, which measures 590 yards in total:

And here’s the eagle putt, to which he reacted with a few casual fist pumps and a putter raise.

As we’ve reported, Tiger recently switched back to his Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS putter with which he’s one 13-of-14 majors throughout his career. He may have found the spark of old on the greens.

The only problem is, even if Tiger wins this week’s Tour Championship, he’s going to need some help winning the FedExCup and $10 million payout. Here are the scenarios he needs to happen:

But hey…

Here’s where the top-5 players on the FedExCup points list sit currently on Day 1:

  1. Bryson DeCheambeau (+3 thru 15, T27)
  2. Justin Rose (-2 thru 15, T6)
  3. Tony Finau (-2 thru 16, T6)
  4. Dustin Johnson (+2 thru 16, T23)
  5. Justin Thomas (-3 thru 16, T4)

Who do you think is going to win the Tour Championship and the FedExCup?

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Tour News

Tour Rundown: Sangmoon Bae is headed back to the PGA Tour

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The schedulers may have whiffed with Tour Championship and Ryder Cup in back-to-back weeks, but that’s what we have on the horizon. As the 2017-18 PGA Tour season comes to a close, and with it, the Web.Com Tour playoffs, number one on everyone’s mind is next season: where will I play? Do I have status? Some of those questions were answered last week, so let’s run down the answers to the questions, in this week’s Tour Rundown.

Bae back on PGA Tour after Web.Com playoff win

The oldest event on the Web.Com Tour was the site of Sang-moon Bae’s comeback completion. Two years of mandatory military service in South Korea did little to derail the 32-year old’s professional career. Bae birdied the 72nd hole to hold off his challengers, including the eponymous Anders Albertson, to win the Albertson’s Boise Open at 19-under. Bae was a stroke off the first-round lead, then moved into a first-place tie after 36-holes. He continued to advance, seizing the 54-hole lead. Albertson caught fire on Sunday, making 5 birdies in his opening 9 holes. After a bogey stall at the 11th, Albertson birdied 5 of the closing 8 holes. Roberto Diaz of Mexico was tied with Bae after round 3, but a Sunday 68 dropped him back to 5th place. Bae guaranteed a return to the 2018-19 PGA Tour with his Idaho triumph.

Wu works wonders in Holland for KLM victory

Like Bae, Ashun Wu of China birdied the 72nd hole at The Dutch club, host site of The KLM championship on the European Tour. Like Bae, his closest pursuer (Chris Wood) failed to match it, and Wu walked away with his third career European tour title. Wood held a 1-stroke lead over Wu after 54 holes, and the battle to see which “W” would emerge with the “W,” came down to the final 9 holes. Wood played well, making 3 birdies in the inward half. They were sandwiched around a double-bogey at the 12th, and the Englishman closed with 5 pars to finish at 15-under. Wu’s card included only one hiccough, a front-nine bogey, and he was a bit more clutch when it counted. The victory moved Wu inside the top 50, in the season-long Race To Dubai.

Stanford claims first LPGA major title at Evian

For her entire career, Angela Stanford has been a fixture in the top 5 of major championships. It has been a wonder that she did not claim one of them until the fall of 2018. In France, Stanford mounted a final-round comeback, overcame 3rd round-leader Amy Olson, and captured the Evian Championship by one shot over Olson and 3 others. Stanford opened with 72 on Thursday, then dived into the 60s with abandon. Rounds of 64-68-68 brought her to 12-under par. The Texan was able to keep her head, despite an eagle-double-birdie stretch on holes 15-17. Austin Ernst had a clean card on Sunday, but 3 birdies were 1 shy of victory. Mo Martin also had 3 birdies on day 4, but 2 bogeys brought her back to 11-under with Ernst. Sei Young Kim and Olson both went above par in the 4th round, after playing marvelous golf through the first 3 days. Despite their struggles, they also finished in that second-place tie.

Broadhurst claims third title of PGA Tour Champions

Paul Broadhurst won his first 2 Champions title in 2016. After taking a break in 2017, the Englishman returned with abandon in 2018. Wins at the 2-man Bass Pro and the May Senior PGA were followed this week with a triumph in Michigan. Broadhurst overcame a surging Brandt Jobe, who birdied 5 of his firs 6, back-9 holes, before he stalled. Jobe reached 13-under to claim second place alone. Broadhurst finished in style, with birdie at the last, for a 2-shot win.

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Popular Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2018 European Tour Properties Senior Classic

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Thanks to photographer Mladen Aleksandrov, GolfWRX was live from the 2018 European Tour Properties Senior Championship at Lighthouse Resort & Spa in Balchik, Bulgaria.

For those who don’t know, this tour is essentially the equivalent to America’s Champions Tour, and this event hosted legends such as Ian Woosnam and Jarmo Sandelin. Magnus P Atlevi took home this year’s title, winning by three shots over Stephen Dodd.

Check out our photos from the event, including a bit of culture and a bit of golf equipment. Enjoy!

Photo Galleries

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