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Tour Mash: Pat Perez wins his third, Hatton goes back-to-back

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If tournament golf provides a brief respite from the floods and fires that have ravaged much of our world, it has served its purpose. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by these disasters. With that in mind, we offer you this week’s Tour Mash.

PGA Tour: CIMB Classic is Perez’s third career victory

Pat Perez won for the second consecutive fall, this time in Malaysia. The resurgent Perez kept his card in the 60s all four days, reaching 24-under par in the end. His margin of victory was four strokes over countryman Keegan Bradley, and lifted him to second position in the very early stages of the 2018 FedEx Cup chase.

How he won:

The long look is the successful shoulder surgery and bye-Callaway-hello-PXG equipment shift that took place in 2016 and 2017. The short look is the 23 birdies (against 2 bogies) of the first 54 holes. Perez improved more than anyone else over those three days, then opened Sunday with three birdies in his first four holes. Against that type of performance, what can you do? Yep, just clap your hands.

See the clubs Pat Perez used to win the 2017 CIMB Classic

How they didn’t:

Xander Schauffele and Sung Kang might have put pressure on Perez with a low-60s round on day four, but neither one had the juice to pull it off. They finished tied for 3rd at 17-under. Cameron Smith had the best first and fouth rounds in the CIMB Classic (both 64s) but did the opposite of Perez, struggling in rounds 2 and 3. Smith tied for fifth with Hideki Matsuyama, who followed a 63 with a closing 71.

European Tour: Italian Open

No doubt that the home crowd was pulling for back-to-back wins by Francesco Molinari, the 2016 champion. Well, they have their back-to-back winner, but it’s not Molinari. Instead, Tyrrell Hatton, last week’s victor in Scotland, claimed another European Tour title, this time on the 72nd hole.

How he won:

If last week’s win was one of elegance, this week was one of guts. Hatton had virtually nothing going through eleven holes, then came the fireworks. Four consecutive birdies from holes 12-15, then the coupe de grace, the 20-feet putt for another birdie, to reach the magic, 21-under par total. Left as co-runners up were Ross Fisher and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, at 20-under.

How they missed out:

Overnight leader Matt Wallace did nothing wrong through 13 holes, then a wretched bogey at the par-5 14th did him in. He had birdie at the 17th and a fine putt to save par at 18, to collect solo fourth place. Fisher faltered at the last green for the second consecutive week. In Scotland, he had a tiny putt for 60 at the Old Course, but missed. This week, well in advance of the final group, Fisher just missed a putt for 62. Aphibarnrat was the man in charge through 15 holes, until a sloppy double bogey dropped him out of the lead. He rallied with birdie at the next, but could not make three at the last, finding himself even with Fisher.

LPGA Tour: Hana Bank Championship is all about Ko

The golf world met Ko Jin-young in 2015, when she miserably lost a three-shot advantage over the British Open’s final 9 holes, falling into a runner-up position behind Inbee Park. Ko made a bit of amends this week, holding off Sung Hyun Park by two strokes, for her first career LPGA Tour title.

How she won:

Sometimes it’s better to finish strong than start with a flurry. Sunday offered a slow start for Ko, with bogeys on holes 2 and 3. After that, it was pedal to the metal, with six birdies and a 4th-round 68. Ko reached 19-under, out of reach for Park. As important as the birdies was the absence of bogeys over the same stretch.

How they came close:

In contrast to Ko, Park started her round in hyperdrive, with birdies on three of the first five greens. She added another on the 11th and seemed game for a stretch battle with her Korean mate. Bogeys on 14 and 16 did her in, offering the final margin of victory. In Gee Chun made a scant three bogies on the week, half of what the two golfers ahead of her penciled in. Unfortunately for Chun, she was unable to ride the birdie train as long as Park and Ko, and came third at 16-under.

PGA Tour Champions: SAS Championship

“W” is the last letter in “low,” but low is the key to the W, when W means Win. No matter the tour, Sunday is the new moving day most weeks, and the SAS saw everyone move past third-round leaders Phillip Price and Jerry Kelly. So many birdies, so little time! Here goes nothing.

How he won:

Colin Montgomerie has finished runner-up in the season-long Schwab Cup for three consecutive seasons, to the same Bernhard Langer. Monty is a bit behind his previous years’ pace, but never say never to the chipper Scotsman. Montgomerie shined brightest on Sunday at the Prestonwood Country Club outside Raleigh, earning his second victory of 2017. His final round of 64 was low on the day, and enabled him to surge past all challengers.

How they lost:

The Saturday night leader board was tightly packed, with three co-leaders at 136, four more at 137, and four at 138. Vijay Singh’s third-hole double bogey was too much to overcome, despite six birdies and an eagle. Defending champion Doug Garwood has five birdies, an eagle and one bogey on the day, good enough to tie Singh for the runner-up spot. As for Monty’s 36-hole co-leaders, Kelly and Price totaled seven bogeys between them and dropped to sixth and T11, respectively.

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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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Wednesday’s Photos from The 2017 RSM Classic

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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.

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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.

In last year’s RSM Classic, Mackenzie Hughes won in a five-man playoff to secure his first PGA Tour victory. He’s back in the field this year to defend his title.

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

Wednesday’s Galleries

 

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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Tuesday’s Photos from the 2017 RSM Classic

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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.

Related

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.

In last year’s RSM Classic, Mackenzie Hughes won in a five-man playoff to secure his first PGA Tour victory. He’s back in the field this year to defend his title.

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

Tuesday’s Galleries

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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Monday’s Photos from The 2017 RSM Classic

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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.

In last year’s RSM Classic, Mackenzie Hughes won in a five-man playoff to secure his first PGA Tour victory. He’s back in the field this year to defend his title.

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

Monday’s Galleries

Special Galleries

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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