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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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Equipment

Charles Howell III’s winning WITB: 2018 RSM Classic

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Driver: Titleist TS3 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 65

Fairway woods: Titleist TS2 (15, 21 degrees)
Shafts: Fujikura ATMOS Tour Spec Black 8X, Fujikura ATMOS Tour Spec Black 9X

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB 4-iron, Titleist 718 AP2 (5-7), Titleist 718 CB (8-PW)
Shafts: Project X LZ 6.5 (hard stepped)

Wedges: Vokey SM7 (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Align

Ball: Titleist Pro V1 (proto)

SEA ISLAND, GA – NOVEMBER 17: Charles Howell lll tees off on the eighth hole tee box during the third round of The RSM Classic at the Sea Island Resort Seaside Course on November 17, 2018 in Sea Island, Georgia. (Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR)

RELATED: See what members are saying about CH III’s equipment in the forums.

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Equipment

Danny Willett’s Winning WITB: DP World Tour Championship

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Driver: Callaway Rogue (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana W 60x

3-wood: Callaway Rogue Fairway Wood (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana W 70X

Irons: Callaway X Forged Utility Irons (18, 21, 24 degrees), Callaway X Forged 18 Irons (5-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Superlite

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy Forged PW (48 degrees), Callaway Mack Daddy 4 Wedges (54, 58 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold

Putter: Odyssey Prototype (Stroke Lab)

Ball: Chrome Soft X

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Equipment

Lee Westwood’s winning WITB: 2018 Nedbank Golf Challenge

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Driver: Ping G400 LST (10 degrees) (D6)
Shaft: Veylix Rome 60 X Tip 1”, 45.25″

3-wood: Ping G400 (14.5 degrees) (D3)
Shaft: Aldila Phenom 70X, 43″

Hybrid: Ping G (19 degrees) (D2+)
Shaft: Aldila ATX Tour Green 85X, 40.5”

Irons: Ping i210 4-PW, UW (50 degrees) UW (54 degrees) (Std length, Blue color code, D0+)
Shafts: Ping JZ Stiff

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged (60 degrees)
Shaft: JZ Stiff

Putter: Ping Sigma 2 Fetch 35”
Grip: PING Pistol Sigma 2 PP60

Grips: Lamkin Crossline Full Cord (+1 wrap) on woods, PING Id8 Half Cord on irons

Ball: Titleist ProV1x

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