Connect with us

Tour News

Tour Rundown: Bubba crushes Kisner in championship match

Published

on

As the golf world enters the fortnight of the first two majors of the season, the competitors shift and shuffle at the top of the rankings. Favorites struggle while unknowns and used-to-be-knowns discover and rediscover top form. The ANA Inspiration is this week on the LPGA tour, while the Masters follows a week later, for the men. For this week, however, we had match play in Texas hill country, windy medal play in the Caribbean, along with some bayou and Cali golf to round things out. Sprinters, get in your blocks for this week’s Tour Rundown.

Watson wins the year’s second WGC event going away

An interesting statistic made the rounds on social media, as Bubba Watson and Kevin Kisner prepared to contest the final match of the Dell WGC Match Play championship at Austin Country Club. The bit suggested that Kisner stood a good chance against the tall lefty, having bested him head-to-head on multiple occasions. On this day, that statistic lied. Kisner match his worst start with Watson’s solid play, and was down five holes after five. It didn’t get much better, and both Watson and Kisner were able to have an early dinner, playing just 12 holes of their final match.

Watson’s ways were winderful

Kisner was a blend of bad and unfortunate on Sunday afternoon. When he bogeyed, Watson parred. When he parred, Watson birdied. When he conceded, well, Watson accepted. His only birdie in the final match came at the 11th, when Watson held a 7-hole advantage. This week was one of those occasional Bubba Watson bubbles of genius, where his clubs are like magic wands, and his interaction with caddie Ted Scott is flawless. With the exception of his 3rd match in the qualifying round (a half with Julian Suri) and his first knockout-rounds victory (2 & 1 over Brian Harman) Watson never reached the 17th tee. Most anticipated that his semifinal win over Justin Thomas was the de-facto championship match, and it’s hard to argue that assertion.

Related: Watson’s Winning WITB

Kisner, Thomas and Noren had their run

If Justin Thomas cares to become the top-ranked player in the world, his loss to Bubba Watson in Sunday’s semifinal match was frustrating. Both golfers putted well, hit the ball well, but Watson held firmer. He was 5-under par for the 16 holes of their match, and made zero bogeys. As mentioned above, Kisner seemed spent after his 19-hole overtime against Noren in the morning, leaving Noren as the only question mark. The Swede was down 1 hole to Kisner when he went birdie-par at the 7th and 8th, to take the lead for the only time that morning. Kisner eagled the 12th to square the match, then made par at the 19th to edge Noren.

Garnett collects first PGA Tour title in Dominican Republic

Brice Garnett entered round 4 with a narrow lead over recent Valspar challenger Corey Conners. Would the experience help the young Canadian, or would Garnett maintain his advantage and secure a first PGA Tour victory at the Corales Puntacana championship? The answer came early, much as it did three weeks back at Innisbrook.

How Garnett remained in the lead

No one could ever say that Garnett plays boring golf. After opening with par in round 4, he converted 4 birdies and 2 bogeys over the next 6 holes. Standing minus-two on the day after 7 holes gave the Missourian space enough on his pursuers to coast home at that number, for a 4-stroke win. On the week, Garnett had 23 birdies and 1 eagle, an unbeatable amalgamation.

Where Conners and company lost ground

For the second time this month, Corey Conners had an opportunity to claim victory on the PGA Tour. For the 2nd time, he fired and fell back. On Sunday at Corales, Conners made 1 birdie against 2 bogeys on the front nine, then 2 more bogeys and a closing double on the inward half. Conners will figure out the key to the 4th round eventually, but his Sunday . 2nd place ultimately belonged to Keith Mitchell, who birdied the 18th hole for a 1-stroke margin over 3rd-place Kelly Kraft.

Eun-Hi drives away with LPGA’s Kia Classic

Eun-Hi won two cars on Sunday at Carlsbad. The first came with her tournament trophy; the second? We’ll keep you guessing for just a little while. Jee last won on tour at the Swinging Skirts in 2017. Although the margin of victory was 2 strokes over Cristie Kerr and Lizette Salas, it was in doubt until midway through the final nine holes.

How Eun-Hi won the day

Eun-Hi Jee closed out her 4th LPGA victory on Sunday with flair and drama. After making five bogeys in her first 13 holes, Ji closed the door on her pursuers with an ace at the watery 14th hole. After opening with 70, to trail Kerr and I.K. Kim by 3, Jee improved over the next two days, with 68-67, to enter the fray. Her Sunday 67 was the 2nd-lowest round of the day (Aditi Ashok had 65) and the initial burst of birdies allowed her to make bogey at two of the closing five holes and still win going away.

Where Kerr and company went off-course

Kerr was on fire after 36 holes. 67-64 left her 13-under par and in command. Saturday was a different story. Kerr managed only 2 birdies on the day, and stumbled with 2 bogeys and a double. For the other 3 rounds, she totaled 19 birdies, so the Saturday slide was crucial in giving Jee the slightest opportunity to win. Kerr made bogey at the par-five 17th hole on Sunday, where birdie would have earned a spot in a playoff. It’s safe to say that Kerr left Carlsbad grinding her teeth.

Stricker strides to Rapiscan win on Champions

You can sense it, can’t you? We bet the fellows on the Champions Tour can, too. Stricker remembered how to win, so watch out. Steve Stricker, the ultimate late-bloomer on the regular tour, was a bit slow to warm up to winning on the Champions Tour. He has now done it twice in three weeks, and the rest of the tour is waking up with night shivers.

How Stricker crossed the finish line

Steve Stricker was the only golfer to post 3 rounds in the 60s. Enough said. The Wisconsinite had 2 bogeys in each round, but made a bushel of birdies and 1 eagle to make up for the miscues. On Sunday, Stricker had birdies on 4 of the first 6 holes of the closing nine, eliminating the remainder of the field from contention.

How the competition reacted

Billy Andrade was close, but couldn’t make birdies over his final five holes to close the 3-stroke gap. He finished solo 2nd at 8-under par. Gene Sauers had a forgettable Saturday (73) and a memorable Sunday, but all it got him was a tie for 3rd with Scott Parel at minus-7.

Etulain victorious on the bayou on Web.Com tour

An Argentine with a French name was right at home in Cajun country. Julian Etulain, a graduate of PGA Tour Latinoamerica, grabbed the top spot on Thursday and never let go. His win at the Chitimacha Louisiana Classic came by two strokes over the USA’s Taylor Moore.

How Etulain found Zydeco

It seemed he had, with his 9-birdie 62 in round one. Etulain held the lead by one after 18 holes, and never left the top spot through tournament’s end. His struggle came on day two, when he went birdieless for 12 holes and added his first of three bogeys on the week, for 70. Etulain found the putting stroke on day 3 and 4, returning to the 60s both days, to close with 66 and 67 for 19-under par 265. The triomphe moved the Argentine 35 spots to the good, into 5th in the season-long chase for a PGA Tour card.

How Moore and others came up shy

Taylor Moore scratched his way to a tie with Etulain at the tournament’s midway point. His 65 and 67 stood him in terrific shape, headingo to the weekend. On day three, Moore was all over the score sheet, posting 1 eagle, 1 birdie, 2 bogeys and 1 double for 72. As quickly as he made strokes up on day 2, he gave many back on day 3. He fought his way into 2nd spot on Sunday, thanks to a 63 of his own. 2 back of Etulain and 2 clear of 3rd-place Justin Lower.

Your Reaction?
  • 7
  • LEGIT2
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

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.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Popular Photo Galleries

Thursday’s photos from the Web.com Tour’s United Leasing & Finance Championship

Published

on

GolfWRX stopped by the Web.com for some WITB action, Thursday. The United Leasing & Finance Championship from Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Indiana, is the host venue for golf’s seasoned grinders and up-and-comers this week.

We have seven galleries from the range, as well as an in-hand look at the always WITB-envy inducing Lee McCoy’s putter.

Thursday’s galleries

Special galleries

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

Your Reaction?
  • 1
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP2
  • OB2
  • SHANK4

Continue Reading

Tour Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from Tuesday at the Zurich Classic

Published

on

GolfWRX is live from the 2018 Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana, where, among other things, a giant three-legged crocodile roams.

Now in it’s second year, the tournament’s unique two-man team format has attracted a wealth of top talent, including 10 of the top 14 golfers in the OWGR. We’re on the scene snapping bag pictures and have five galleries from TPC Louisiana’s range Tuesday. We also have a look inside Ryan Ruffels bag, a peek at Jimmy Walker’s putter, a look in Brooks Koepka’s bag, and more!

Let’s dig in.

Well, this certainly is interesting, Xinjun Zhang. Not sure about the context, but not something you traditionally see on a PGA Tour driving range…

Hard not to love Ryan Ruffels’ 009M

Look’s like Michael Greller is enjoying some well-earned relaxation

Ryan Palmer boldly going where few Tour pros dare to: serif font

Roman numeral loft stamping? Savage grind? We like your style, Bud Cauley

Is this a new Wilson Staff PMP wedge prototype or a one-off thing for Ricky Barnes?

Finally, Whitney comes to a wedge

Ham & egg!

Jimmy Walker’s silver Spider

Our Tour Photographer risking the wrath of Bubba (we assume he had permission)

 

Tuesday’s Photos

Special Galleries

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

Your Reaction?
  • 3
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Popular Photo Galleries

Tuesday’s Photos from the 2018 Zurich Classic

Published

on

GolfWRX is live from the 2018 Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana (par 72; 7,425 yards), designed by Pete Dye with consultants Steve Elkington and Kelly Gibson.

The Zurich Classic is a unique event on the PGA Tour because it’s not an individual stroke-play event. Instead, the format consists of two-man teams playing best-ball on Thursday and Saturday, and alternate-shot on Friday and Sunday.

Related

Last year, Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt won the event after four playoff holes against Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown. The Smith/Blixt duo will be back to defend their title, and the Kisner/Brown pairing will be back avenging their loss.

Other notable pairings in the field include Daniel Berger/Gary Woodland, Wesley Bryan/Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed/Patrick Cantlay, John Daly/Rory Sabbatini, Jason Day/Ryan Ruffels, David Duval/Jim Furyk, Tony Finau/Daniel Summerhays, Sergio Garcia/Rafa Cabrera Bello, J.B. Holmes/Brand Snedeker, Matt Kuchar/Bubba Watson, Louis Oosthuizen/Charl Schwartzel, Sean O’Hair/Jimmy Walker, Pat Perez/Jason Dufner, Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson, Jordan Spieth/Ryan Palmer, Justin Thomas/Bud Cauley and more!

Check out our photos from the event below!

Tuesday’s Galleries

Special Galleries

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

Your Reaction?
  • 11
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL2
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK2

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending