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Tour Rundown: Potter earns second win, Aphibarnrat wins Down Under

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Golf knows the Olympic Games, but since these are the winter version, no amount of creativity could develop a golf competition in Pyeongchang. Better to schedule events in Colombia, California, Australia and Florida, where the snow didn’t fall and short sleeves were the norm. There were no playoffs, which had become commonplace in 2018. Enough anticipation, let’s run down the week’s events.

Ted Potter Jr. earns second Tour win at AT&T Pro-Am

Potter, unexpectedly, established himself as one of the top closers in the PGA Tour’s first two months of 2018. The world’s number 1 and 2, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm, were unable to put together a Sunday round to challenge the Florida native. Potter wrote a different story. He had moved into a tie with Johnson on Saturday thanks to a 9-under 62 at Monterey Peninsula Country Club, the low round of the week. Given Johnson’s track record around Pebble Beach, lesser competitors might have played a lesser game. Not Potter. The 34-year-old journeyman endured slow play from the groups ahead and a fresh wind that featured on the final four holes. Potter’s 68 was two back of the low round of the day, so the star-studded foursome of Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day and Chez Reavie ended in a tie for second at 14-under, three shots behind Potter.

See the clubs Potter used to win at Pebble

Aphibarnrat claims European Tour’s World Super 6 Perth

The Super 6 should be on every tour, no questions asked. Not every week, but every year. After medal qualifying on site, eight golfers receive a bye in to the second round of match play, while 16 others battle for the right to advance. Since golfers have only six holes to decide the match, things happen early and quickly. Kiradech Aphibarnrat was not one of the top eight seeds; in fact, he was the last golfer to qualify on to match play. He gained momentum with each match triumph, defeating Ben Eccles, Yusaku Miyazato, Sean Crocker and Lucas Herbert. In the final match, Aphibarnrat faced off against Australia’s Jamies Nitties for the title. Aphibarnrat secured his position with a stunning tee ball to 3 feet on the short, par-four 14th hole. One hole later, the title was his.

Jiyai Shin claims Ladies European Tour Canberra Classic

In 2014, in the prime of her career, Jiyai Shin left the LPGA Tour to return to Korea. Since then, she has played the majority of her golf on the Japan LPGA Tour. From time to time, Shin mixes it up with her rivals from a past time, and this weekend, she came out on top of the LET’s Canberra Classic. Shin was in second place, behind last week’s winner, Australian Minjee Lee, when Round 3 began. Both golfers birdied the first hole, but Shin began to chip away at the lead, or perhaps Lee proceeded to chip away at her own lead. Lee bogeyed the 4th, 5th and 8th holes, allowing Shin to take the lead. After going out in 31, Shin came home in 33 for 64 and a six-stroke win.

England’s Ben Taylor wins Web.Com Tour’s Club Colombia Championship by 6

The Club Colombia championship was one of Ben Taylor’s top finishes on the 2017 Web.Com tour. In 2018, Taylor improved by 20 spots, claiming his first professional victory in impressive fashion. Keeping with the theme of the week, where the favorites fall away and an unheralded champion emerges, Taylor was the only competitor to play four rounds in the 60s. He took the lead for good after Round 2, and held off a quartet of runners-up to move from 50th to third position in the order of merit. Kyoung-Hoon Lee lit the back nine on fire, with an eagle and four birdies for 30, but Taylor’s outward nine of 32 allowed him to coast home for the victory.

Calcavecchia bags PGA Tour Champions’ Boca Raton Championship

Mark Calcavecchia reviewed his first two rounds, in which he made 17 birdies, and concluded that low was the way to go on Sunday. After all, Bernhard Langer was on his heels, along with a host of challengers. When Calc birdied his first three holes of Round 3, he was headed in the right direction. Langer had four birdies of his own through the first 12 holes to keep pace. Calcavecchia bogeyed holes 14 and 16, the latter after dunking his tee shot on the par three. Although the two were tied at the top, it was short-lived. Langer bogeyed the two closing holes, in unlikely fashion. Long known as the steely eyed closer, Langer’s collapse was still in keeping with an odd week of professional golf. The victory was Calcavecchia’s fourth on the senior circuit, and first since 2015.

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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.

1 Comment

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  1. Sam

    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Ted Potter’s win is thus far the best of the season. The fact that he was able to patiently wait out all of the slow and boring play in front of him (not to mention having to suffer through watching it) without falling into a coma speaks volumes of his history and experience. Well done Ted! Well done!

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Tour News

WATCH: Tiger Woods on Facebook Live with Bridgestone Golf

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Tiger Woods just appeared in a Bridgestone Golf Facebook Live video. While the audio isn’t the greatest (sounds like there’s some mowers rolling by), we’ve got to pass it along.

Check out the video below.

Woods initially discusses his wedges, before moving on to sharing some insights about how he hits his patented stinger–covering the ball, starting it farther right, and keeping his follow through short.

On his ball, the Bridgestone Tour B XS, which he presents as a softer ball well-suited to his swing, Woods says

“I need spin. I don’t spin the ball a lot. My swing has never produced a lot of spin. I’ve always been able to take spin off the golf ball–I grew up in an era where we played balata. What separated a lot of guys was the ability to take spin off the golf ball…to keep it below the tree line. There was a lot more movement in the golf ball.”

“My swing has naturally evolved. I’ve had different swings throughout the years, but each swing didn’t spin the ball a lot. So, when I get up to my long irons with a harder ball that most people would launch…I don’t. It falls out of the sky because it has so little spin.”

Woods mentioned that he hasn’t played Shinnecock since the course’s pre-U.S. Open makeover, but that he expects the course will be particularly difficult: an old-school U.S. Open with minimal graduated rough where it will be difficult to shoot under par.

Responding to comments, Woods sings Hazeltine’s praises and mentions he’d love to be able to wear shorts during PGA Tour events

“We play some of the hottest places on the planets and it would be nice to wear shorts…even with my little chicken legs,” Woods says.

Woods tells amateurs looking for more spin around the greens that they need a soft golf ball, mentioning that solid contact, maintaining loft, and allowing to club to do its job are key. Woods mentions that he has “a couple extra shots around the greens” thanks to the softness of his golf ball.”

We’ll next see the 14-time major champion in action at next week’s Memorial Tournament (which he discusses to wrap up the video).

 

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10 interesting photos from Tuesday at the Fort Worth Invitational

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GolfWRX is on the ground at Marvin Leonard’s famed pet project, Colonial Country Club, peeking into players bags and taking in the action on the driving range.

While you’ll want to take a trip through the buffet line, we’ve made you a plate of some of the tastiest morsels.

Absolutely savage new putter cover for Jon “Rahmbo” Rahm. Just killer.

Prettier than a new penny.

Spotted: Aldila Rogue Silver 130 MSI

Everything here is excellent. Just excellent.

More like Garsen Murray. Am I right?

If you were Aaron Wise standing over the winning putt at last week’s Byron Nelson, this is what it’d have looked like (of course, you’d have had a ball and the putter would be soled on the green, but you get the point…)

Abraham Ancer’s new Artisan wedges are simply incredible… All of this: Artisan star stellar stuff.

Rickie Fowler has gone grape.

You can’t fool me. You’re not Adam Hadwin, you’re a golf bag.

Is Patrick Cantlay considering a switch to a Cameron Napa?

Check out all our photos from the 2018 Forth Worth Invitational below.

Tuesday’s Photos

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

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Tuesday’s Photos from the 2018 Fort Worth Invitational at Colonial

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 Forth Worth Invitational at Colonial Country Club (par 70; 7,209 yards). The event has now been hosted here for 73 straight years.

Headlining the field this week are Jordan Spieth, who’s currently ranked No. 3 in the Official World Golf Rankings, Jon Rahm (No. 4), Justin Rose (No. 5) and Rickie Fowler (No. 6). Joining them are notables Webb Simpson, who’s coming off his win at The 2018 Players, as well as Wesley Bryan, Jason Dufner, Bryson DeChambeau, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Brooks Koepka, Louis Oosthuizen, Pat Perez, Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel, Jimmy Walker, and last week’s champion, Aaron Wise.

Related

Last year, Kevin Kisner captured the second PGA Tour victory of his career after shooting a final-round, 4-under 66.

Check out our photos from the 2018 Forth Worth Invitational below.

Tuesday’s Photos

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

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