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Tour Mash: Rose continues to roll, Cantlay gets first win

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Justin Rose and his faux “I’m looking for a game” GolfNow commercial will have everyone booking with that service, hoping for a meet-up, given his stellar play over the last fortnight. Rose wasn’t the only one to serve up tremendous play this week, so let’s get after some of our weekly Tour Mash and read about the rest of them.

PGA Tour: Shriner’s Open

If painful lessons are the most valuable, J.J. Spaun’s double-double finish will be worth a lot. The third-round leader was 1 up with two to play, but dropped all the way to a tie for 10th. With the clubhouse door wide open, Alex Cejka, Whee Kim and Patrick Cantlay headed off to a playoff.

How the west was won by Patrick Cantlay

When the playoff hole is 456 yards, with trees right and desert scrub left, the premium is on the drive. Cantlay, Cejka and Kim sawed the first playing with bogeys, so the threesome headed back to the tee for a second overtime go. Cantlay’s drive ended behind a tree, but he took it and the greenside pond on and conquered them both. His putt for birdie from the rear fringe just missed, and his tap-in sealed an unforgettable Sunday, which included a final-round 67. Had he lost, Cantlay might have suffered nightmares from his bogey-bogey finish in regulation.

How Kim and Cejka lost their way in the playoff

Whee Kim’s double-cross drive did him in. Teeing off from the right side of the deck, he hooked his tee ball into the scrub and took an unplayable penalty. His putt for bogey missed, and he was relegated to a tie for 2nd spot. Cejka’s pitch from greenside rough did the unthinkable: it checked up! His 10-foot putt for par broke low, setting the stage for Cantlay’s 2-foot putt for victory. Both Kim and Cejka had to feel fortunate to be in the mix at all. Both played spectacular final rounds (66 and 63, respectively) and earned deserved applause for their work.

European Tour: Turkish Airlines Open

How Rose went back to back

You don’t have to birdie every hole on the final 9 these days; it simply feels that way. Justin Rose had a bogey on Sunday, but it was super-early (3rd hole) and didn’t seem to impact him that much. Unlike last week, when he was chasing 2nd, Rose was always in the mix in Turkey. His 7 final-round birdies (three in the last four holes) propelled him to a 64-65 weekend and the Turkish title. The Olympic champion jumped from 3rd to 2nd in the Race To Dubai sprint, and don’t you believe that leader Tommy Fleetwood doesn’t hear the footsteps.

How close the others came

If you want to improve your short game, watch the final-round highlights for inspiration. In addition to a Rose chip-in, co-runner up Dylan Fritelli chipped in for birdie on THREE CONSECUTIVE HOLES. Padraig Harrington chipped in for one of his own, then holed a wedge shot for par (after dunking his approach in a pond.) Fritelli had 64 on Sunday, while 36-hole leader Nicolas Colsaerts rebounded from a dud Saturday with 66 on Day 4. Both came up 1 shot shy of the champion. Harrington didn’t lose; he simply ran out of holes.

LPGA Tour: Toto Japan Classic

Shanshan Feng couldn’t make up her mind on the type of Sunday she preferred. Beginning bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie does that to a golfer. Once she opted for birdies, the runway was clear for landing, and Feng secured her second win of the year, and eighth overall.

How Feng found her way

Feng had finished 3rd-2nd in her last two starts, and she was the defending champion at Toto. In other words, the stars were aligned. She had to do a little more than simply show up, and when she played her final 11 holes at 4-under par on Sunday, the chasers had little input into the conversation.

How Ai almost thrilled the home crowd

Suzuki had to wonder what she needed to do, to win the Toto. Birdies on 16 and 17 brought her to 18-under, but there was Feng, also birdieing the penultimate hole to preserve her lead. Suzuki’s bogey at the last secured 2nd place, and marked her as a player to watch at next year’s event. Anna Nordqvist had an ace (watch it below) at the 3rd, and closed with 66 to vault into solo 3rd spot.

Asian Tour: Panasonic Open India to Kapur

Kapur and Kumar didn’t go to White Castle. Instead, they went to duel city, where Shiv Kapur’s 68 was enough to hold off Chirgah Kumar and six others by 3 strokes. The win was his third career Asian Tour and fifth professional win.

How Kapur capped off the win

He did nothing erratic. Kapur was a model of consistent excellence, with 5 birdies and 1 bogey on the day. By not making big numbers, he forced the field’s hand, demanding that someone shoot 61 to have a shot at victory.

How seven golfers gave it their best

Of the second-place septet, Chiragh Kumar gave the greatest chase. He birdied half of his day-four holes, but needed to be perfect to have a glimpse at the top spot. A 3rd-hole bogey toughened his task. Unbelievably, 9 of the top 10 golfers hail from Indonesia, with only the USA’s Paul Peterson crashing the party.

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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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Tuesday’s Photos from the 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge

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GolfWRX is live from the 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge at the TPC Stadium Course at PGA West (7,113 yards, par 72) in La Quinta, California.

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The field this week is headlined by Jon Rahm, who’s currently ranked No. 3 in the Official World Golf Rankings after his second-place finish at the 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions two weeks ago. Joining him in the field are notables John Daly, Brian Harman, last week’s Sony Open champion Patton Kizzire, Phil Mickelson, Jimmy Walker and Bubba Watson.

Defending-champion Hudson Swafford notched his first career victory at the 2017 CareerBuilders Challenge, where he won by one stroke over Adam Hadwin. He’ll be back in the field this year to defend his title.

Check out our photos from the 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge below!

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Final-round coverage of Sony Open not surprisingly affected by strike

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Shortly before the final round of the Sony Open in Hawaii began, news that members of the telecast team would be striking filtered through the golf mediasphere. Viewers were unsure what type of a patchwork production they were in for as a short-handed team tried to make up for an absence of video and audio workers.

Whit Watson, Frank Nobilo and Mark Rolfing, the main announcers for the telecast through Saturday, were absent. Instead, the team of George Savaricas, Billy Kratzert and Jim Gallagher Jr. called the action from Golf Channel studios in Orlando. Plenty of camera angles weren’t available, and there were no camera crews inside the ropes, which led to some awkward coverage moments. On-course reporting was also absent.

Interestingly, Jerry Foltz, normally a reporter, was pressed into action of a different sort.

So, what’s at issue here? Why the walkout? Per a K5 News report John Culleeny, a representative for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, indicated last-minute talks broke down.

“We’ve been in negotiations with Golf Channel for second contract for nine months, and they’ve proved fruitless. We rejected one vote a while back and when they put their last proposal out, 83 percent of our members rejected it. After a couple of last minute talks, nothing happened so we just pulled the crew today. We pulled the crew in the Bahamas and we pulled the crew in Orlando.”

More specifically for the IATSE workers at Golf Channel? Below industry standard pay.

“The biggest issue is the fact that Golf Channel wages are below industry standard, below what other people are making…We have people who are stay at home, work regionally in San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Phoenix, New York, whatever. They make more money than people who go on the road for the Gold Channel. And they have to leave their families, stay in a hotel room for weeks at a time, and they’re getting paid less than people who stay home. We want parity.”

Attention now turns to when the strike will be resolved. Reportedly, a lawyer for the IATSE is trying to jumpstart talks, and a meeting between the two sides is scheduled for Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

Golf Channel is scheduled to cover this week’s PGA Tour event, the CareerBuilder Challenge, as well as the PGA Tour Champions’ season-opener, the Mitsubishi Electric Championship.

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Monday’s Photos from the 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge

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GolfWRX is live from the 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge at the TPC Stadium Course at PGA West (7,113 yards, par 72) in La Quinta, California.

The field this week is headlined by Jon Rahm, who’s currently ranked No. 3 in the Official World Golf Rankings after his second-place finish at the 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions two weeks ago. Joining him in the field are notables John Daly, Brian Harman, last week’s Sony Open champion Patton Kizzire, Phil Mickelson, Jimmy Walker and Bubba Watson.

Defending-champion Hudson Swafford notched his first career victory at the 2017 CareerBuilder Challenge, where he won by one stroke over Adam Hadwin. He’ll be back in the field this year to defend his title.

Check out our photos from the 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge below!

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

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