We’re enhancing the format of Tour Mash this week. For each event, we’ll give you our take on how the winner won, and why the others didn’t. We’ll offer even more crucial information for those Monday office discussions and chat-room chirps. Have a sample and enjoy the flavor.
Steele defends at PGA Tour’s Safeway Open
In the first of two title defenses for the week, Brendan Steele took advantage of faltering golfers ahead to close with 69 for 15-under par, two shots clear of Tony Finau, also on 69 for the day. In 2016, Steele finished at 18-under for a 1-stroke win over Patton Kizzire. Phil Mickelson and Chesson Hadley tied for 3rd spot on the podium at 12-under, three strokes behind the champion
How he won
While Steele was closing with two birdies over his final three holes, the third-round leaders wavered. Despite two bogeys on his inward half, the three-time tour winner kept his composure and closed strong to seal the deal
How he didn’t
How many fellows lay awake on Sunday evening? Tony Finau doubled his 14th hole on Sunday, finishing two back of the top spot. Tyler Duncan had the 54-hole lead, but bogeyed his first three holes on Sunday, falling to a tie for fifth. Chesson Hadley, fresh off the Web.Com tour, bogeyed 10 and doubled 12 on day 4, finishing three shots back. And Phil? Phil was simply Phil, with five bogeys and three birdies on the day for 70.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 9, 2017
Hatton wins second consecutive Dunhill Links on European Tour
Tyrrell Hatton defended his 2016 Dunhill Links championship by three shots over Ross Fisher, in a battle of Englishmen. Hatton concluded his week at 24-under par, with Victor Dubuisson of France closing with 63 for 17-under, alone in third place.
How he won
Each contestant plays a round over Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and the Old Course, before closing on Sunday again at St. Andrews. Hatton’s high round (68) of the opening three was at St. Andrews, where he shot 66 on Sunday. His twin 65s on Friday and Saturday, at Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, distanced him enough from the field to make Sunday a mid-60s walk along the strand.
How he didn’t
Fisher’s Furious Finish might have been the headline on Sunday, if not for Hatton’s stellar play. Ross Fisher came to the 16th tee on Sunday at 11-under for the round. Birdies on any two-of-the-final-three holes would have granted him a magical 59. Alas, he concluded with pars, including a missed 30-inch putt at the last. Still, his 61 set a new course record for the Old, lowering the mark by one stroke. On the week, Hatton was simply too good: lesson learned.
That chip-in. ???? pic.twitter.com/NWHe7HQzJC
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) October 8, 2017
Kerr’s emotion win at the Open de France on the Ladies European Tour
Cristie Kerr of the USA won the Lacoste Open de France by four shots over Xi Yu Lin of China. Kerr finished at 17-under through four rounds at the Golf de Chantaco course. Third place went to Azahara Muñoz of Spain. Muñoz ended at 8-under.
How she won
Kerr birdied five of her opening nine holes on Thursday, signing for an eight-birdie, 62 in the first round. As if that weren’t enough, she made six more birdies on Friday for 64, going without a bogey in her first 36 holes. Although she hiccoughed on Saturday, the American champion closed with an eagle for 68, then finished on Sunday with another 68.
How she didn’t
“She” could have have been any other golfer in the field, after Kerr’s opening 126 through two rounds. Anne Van Dam of the Netherlands was closest, at 132, but each of her opening rounds was marred with bogey. When she lost three more strokes on Saturday to the leader, the die was cast.
WHAT. A. SHOT! ????????????????????
— Ladies European Tour (@LETgolf) October 8, 2017