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Tour Mash: Justin Thomas and Bernhard Langer just won’t stop winning

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If you’re sick of reading about Justin Thomas and Bernhard Langer and their expanding trophy shelves, we’ve got no good news for you. Both gentlemen won again during American football season, as did Sergio Garcia. With warm weather sweeping the USA northeast, golf is still on the minds of many. Here’s our weekly mash of everything tour.

PGA Tour: Justin Thomas narrative has a new chapter

The CJ Cup is a new event on the PGA Tour; the first world-class, individual event played in Korea for male golfers. The site, Nine Bridges on Jeju Island, had been proven a quality layout on the LPGA Tour. At the end of 72 holes, many PGA golfers gave it their all, but a familiar face held the winner’s plaque.

How Thomas won:

Justin Thomas visited the 60s only once all week, and that was on opening day. He went deep on Thursday, with 2 eagles and 7 birdies for a 63 (9-under-par). As the weather got dicey (winds the next three days), the low round of the day went 65-67-68 over the next 54 holes. In other words, Thomas didn’t need to go low.

Justin Thomas’ Winning WITB

How the others didn’t:

Two Aussies gave Thomas their best shot. Cameron Smith opened with 69-68, reached 8-under with 6 holes to play, but could not summon one more birdie to reach the magic figure of 9-under. Marc Leishman survived 3 bogeys in 4 holes on Sunday’s outward nine to reach the 17th hole at 9 deep, bogeyed 17, then birdied 18 to tie Thomas. Their playoff lasted two holes, when Leishman got into trouble on the par-five 18th and made bogey, delivering victory to Thomas.

LPGA Tour: Ji Eun-hee finally claims third LPGA Tour victory

Ji Eun-hee won twice in her first three years on the LPGA Tour. Both were major victories, the 2008 Wegman’s LPGA and the 2009 U.S. Open. No one thought that it would be eight years before she would win again.

How Ji won:

She won going away, by a 6-stroke margin over Lydia Ko. Ji bookended her week with 66 and 65, the low rounds each day. Ji made 3 bogies all week long, and was bogey-free in rounds 1 and 4. Ji provided no opportunity for anyone to close in. It was her week, plain and simple.

How they didn’t:

Lydia Ko was unstoppable for the early part of her career. When one thinks of recent LPGA prodigies (Michelle Wie and Yani Tseng come to mind) Ko resembles the latter more than the former. After a four-win season in 2016, Ko is winless in 2017. Is it an aberration, growing pains, or something else? Ko played well enough to win this week, four strokes clear of the five-way tie for third. Her time is near.

European Tour: The host with the most, Garcia wins at home

Many think that Garcia’s win at Augusta was seminal, releasing him to play great golf under great pressure. His work at Valderrama did nothing but support that assertion. He had many opportunities to lose the tournament, but found the will to win it.

How the host won:

Garcia balanced birdies and bogeys all week, finding a way to stay in red figures from start to finish. On Sunday, he made a solitary bogey, and birdied the penultimate hole to counter his closest pursuer’s birdie and preserve his one-stroke margin. Despite all the distractions, Garcia preserved his focus through the final putt, accepting the accolades a host-champion deserves.

How Joost didn’t:

You can’t accuse him of not trying. Luiten made a double-eagle on Friday’s 11th hole, took a share of the lead on Sunday’s back nine, and pushed Garcia as far as possible, falling just short of a playoff. Luiten claimed the runner-up spot for a second consecutive year. Like Ko above, his time is near. His work was so good that we gave him the media feature below, despite not being the champion.

PGA Tour Champions : Sixth victory of season for Langer

Is it possible to quietly win six times in a professional golf season? Nah, just a thought. Bernhard Langer won three major titles on the senior circuit this summer, and closed out his latest triumph by one stroke in Virginia.

How he won, again:

How does a walk-off eagle sound? Langer made zero putts, by his own admission, until the final green. There, he drained an 18-feet putt for three and a narrow victory over Scott Verplank. On Friday, Langer knocked down 9 birdies for 63 and a 3-stroke edge over Vijay Singh, who signed for the same score. On Sunday, Singh struggled but Scott surged.

How Verplank didn’t:

Scott Verplank took advantage of Langer’s weak putting day. He posted 6 birdies on a clean card for 66 on Sunday, but failed to birdie the closing 18th, the easiest hole on the course, statistically. You can’t make them all, but to beat Langer, you have to. Billy Mayfair and Kenny Perry enjoyed surges of their own, with 65s, to jump into a tie for third spot with Singh.

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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.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Peter

    Oct 23, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    Looks like Langer was using a Ping with Graphite Design Shaft. ALso M2 3 wood?

    • MT

      Oct 24, 2017 at 10:03 am

      Langer’s success hinges on the brand and style of clubs he uses… believe it…

      • Bob Jacobs

        Oct 24, 2017 at 5:17 pm

        His success is all about that illegal putter

  2. Ben Jones

    Oct 23, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    What kind of driver does Langer use instead of the Fast 12LS he was using?

  3. HeineyLite

    Oct 23, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Langer in my opinion does anchor, not with his fist, but with his upper arm and forearm against his body…IMO…

    • Bob Jacobs

      Oct 24, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      Definitely anchors…we have a guy at our club that does the exact same thing as Langer and up close there is ZERO doubt that he is indeed anchoring the putter.

  4. 2putttom

    Oct 23, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    The Tiger Woods of the Champions Tour

  5. Andrew

    Oct 23, 2017 at 11:18 am

    How about a WITB with pics for Langer? It’s been far too long for such an accomplished player in win mode. Wedge grinds and face pics of the Apex irons too please.

    • Bob Jacobs

      Oct 23, 2017 at 3:55 pm

      What’s in the bag for Langer?? A putter that’s against the rules:) Actually not a joke

      • Ronald Montesano

        Oct 23, 2017 at 7:11 pm

        The putter is not illegal. The anchoring is illegal. Langer does not anchor. Nothing is illegal.

        • MT

          Oct 24, 2017 at 10:02 am

          It may not be ‘illegal’ but it certainly reeks of cheating by bending the rules with a loophole.

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Tour Photo Galleries

WRX Retrospective: Interesting photos from the 2019 Masters

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As of now, we know the 2020 Masters is going to have to wait until November. The tournament will be as exciting as it will be interesting since it will be the first modern glimpse into Augusta National beyond April.

It has also given us the great opportunity to look back with hindsight 20/20 (that was very much an unintended pun) at our pictures from 2019 to showcase some of the most noteworthy and interesting, including some potential foreshadowing of the week that was to come.

2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson isn’t one to change putters too often, but he must have been searching for something last year when testing out this TaylorMade Spider.

This was Viktor Hovland’s last Masters as an amateur. He won low amateur honors and went on to capture the same distinction at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

TaylorMade always does a wonderful job with major-themed accessories and bags. 2019 was no exception.

Little did we know at the time this was taken, this man would be leading heading into Sunday’s final round. How the tables turned so quickly.

Callaway’s collab with Seamus Golf lead to these flower-themed headcovers.

We can’t forget that Tuesday practice day was rained out and the course was closed at 10 a.m. to both players and spectators. It wasn’t the warm spring kickoff many had hoped for!

Although it was short-lived, it was a rainy Tuesday for all, including caddies.

The weather broke on Wednesday and the view up the 10th hole never gets old.

Did you realize two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson’s Flightscope has a custom pink paint job?

Inexpensive snacks and beverages are always a highlight of any Master’s visit.

The 2019 Masters featured pre-bulked Bryson, who also happened to have a custom FlightScope X3. He looks like a veritable stick!

They say a picture says 1,000 words, but in the case of Tiger Woods, we had no idea how many words would be written come Sunday.

A peek into the bag of Gary Woodland, who would go on to become the U.S. Open Champion only a few months later.

Special shoutout to Gary Woodland’s caddy Brennan Little, who hails from St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, and is obviously a big Toronto Blue Jays fan. He was also on the bag for Mike Wier’s win in 2003.

Although the relationship was short-lived, Sergio used some very cool custom Toulon putters while on staff with Callaway Golf.

The eighth green is one of the most interesting and mounded on the course, there’s not a bunker to be found but danger lurks everywhere.

Undulations at No. 1 are a sight to be seen at ground level.

The iconic, understated clubhouse of ANGC.

The tucked-away first tee spike cleaner is something every course should have.

And of course, the iconic 12th, where so much would be decided come Sunday.

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Tour Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from the 2020 Players Championship

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2020 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

The field this week featured the best golfers in the world, including Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, and more.

Rory McIlroy enters the tournament as the defending champion, looking hoist the crystal again.

Check out all our galleries below, along with highlights from TPC Sawgrass.

General Galleries

Special Galleries

Bettinardi’s St. Patrick’s Day covers  

Brand-new Srixon 745 in Keegan’s bag

Roger Sloan’s custom Cameron

Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal irons spotted in Nick Watney’s bag 

Joel Dahmen with a battle-worn hybrid

Fresh eggs for Patrick Reed…

Justin Rose continues to tweak his equipment

Carlos Ortiz looks to be picking up some supplies to mark the end of his driveway…

Jordan Spieth with a Vokey WedgeWorks Proto 60T in the bag

Kiradech Aphibarnrat with lead tape and stamping on cavity-back irons. Solid! 

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Tour News

GolfWRX Spotted: Justin Rose with mixed bag at Arnold Palmer Invitational

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It’s not very often we get breaking equipment news this time of year on the PGA Tour schedule, but this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, one of the highest-profile players on tour, Justin Rose, was spotted testing multiple brands of clubs throughout his entire bag.

It started last week at the Honda Classic when Rose put a TaylorMade SIM driver with Mitsubishi Kuro Kage in play. As of today’s first round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rose has a mixed set including TaylorMade, Cobra, and Titleist clubs, along with an Axis1 putter.

Here are the details of Rose’s equipment:

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 degrees @ 8.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage XTS 70 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage XTS 80 TX

5-wood: Cobra SpeedZone Tour (16.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 80 X

Irons: TaylorMade P730 (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (52, 56 degrees), Titleist Vokey Design Prototype K Grind (60 degrees)
Shafts: Project X 6.5 (52, 56), Proto Hi-Rev 135X (60)

Putter: Axis1 Rose
Grip: Flat Cat Svelte

Ball: TaylorMade TP5 ‘19 (No. 1)

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