Connect with us

Tour News

Tour Rundown: How Jason Day got the job done at the 2018 Wells Fargo

Published

on

Weather patterns in the majority of the USA returned to spring conditions, and familiar names regained their places on leader boards across the world’s golf tours. The Web.Com had the week off, but important events were played by the other caravans. The PGA Tour prepped for its Players Championship with a visit to the site of last year’s PGA Championship, while the women visited the lake country north of Dallas. Enjoy this week’s Tour Rundown as May captures our attention.

Day-light shines at the Wells Fargo

Jason Day ruled the golfing world for 2 years, mid-decade. Two years went by without a win, but Day is off that run with his victory at Quail Hollow. The Aussie played quietly-remarkable golf on day 4 in Charlotte, closing with 2 birdies in his last 3 holes. He finished on 12-over, winning by 2 over Aaron Wise and Nick Watney.

How Day did the Carpe Diem

He seized the day with smart play. His lead was two strokes at the beginning of the round, and he made more birdies than bogies. Meanwhile, no great moves were being made, certainly not of the 9-under that Peter Uihlein (more on him later) posted on Saturday. Day made four bogies on Sunday, both times consecutively, but rebounded within immediately with back-to-back birdies. Great champions have short memories and quick recoveries, and Day reminded us of that feature.

Jason Day’s Winning WITB

How Wise and Whatney made their runs

One might have expected a flameout from the young Oregon product Wise, or at least a spate of bogeys equal to those of Day (4) and Mickelson (5, for T5). Not so, as the 21-year old Pato played patiently, pairing 4 birdies with 1 bogey. Temperament like that suggests that Wise will challenge in his next run at a title, so getting in position is what matters most. For Whatney, it had been quite a while since his last run at victory. He won Barclays and CIMB in the fall of 2012, hinting at a rise up the rankings, but injuries kept it from materializing. Like Wise, Whatney minimized his bogeys (2) and made the most of his birdies opportunities. Peter Uihlein, he of the Saturday 62, finished in a tie for 5th spot despite shooting even on Sunday. Had he not used up all his putts in round 3’s blazing exhibition, which included 5 birdies and 1 eagle from holes 5 to 10, he might have made a move on Sunday.

Ireland’s duo of Dunne and Moynihan claim Golf Sixes

One of those events that give hope to Top Golf and other renaissance efforts, Golf Sixes pits 2-golfer teams head to head. First, 4-team groups battle to send 2 teams on to the knockout stage. Then, one loss sends you home! In the end, Ireland’s Paul Dunne and Gavin Moynihan defeated the French pair of Mike Lorenzo-Vera and Romain Wattel, with 2 holes in hand. Denmark, the defending champion, failed to advance out of group play.

What was wonderful about 2018

First, the inclusion of two teams of women from the Ladies European Tour, plus the bonus team of European captains. England sent a squad of two ladies, while Spain and England combined to contribute a second pairing of women. Finally, the most recent Solheim and Ryder cup captains from the continent joined forces in competition. Both ladies’ sides advanced to group play, while the combined captains narrowly missed out.

Next, the Greensomes format contributes to extended excitement. It’s alternate-shot, or foursomes, with a twist. Both golfers drive, then one drive is selected, and shots are alternated from that point on. In essence, no team should be out of the hole after the drive in this format, as the safe play is always possible.

Finally, it’s quick and clean. Six holes to get the job done. Teams are more likely to go for broke and birdies, rather than bide their time. Fans love it and tours everywhere would benefit from its inclusion at some moment each season.

Park holds off Duncan at Volunteers of America for third LPGA title

Sung Hyun Park came over to the LPGA tour from Korea in 2017. She made the U.S. Open her first official win, then backed it up with a Canadian Open victory the following month. Park overcame an inspired performance from the USA’s Lindy Duncan to finish at 11-under and win by one stroke.

Park’s victory secret

Birdies. Much like the GolfSixes strategy, mentioned above, Park went out and made birdies and eagles during the abbreviated event. Rains kept the VOA from reaching a 72-hole, then 54-hole finish, so the faster, the better. Park hit the year’s finest, bump-and-run recovery shot, and the ball went 4 inches down, to the bottom of the cup. Her closing birdie seemed like icing on the cake, but ultimately proved to be the shot that won the title outright.

Duncan’s comeback

On the other side of the golf course, Lindy Duncan was making noise. The American had five birdies to her credit when a horrific, power lip-out led to her only bogey of the day. Undaunted, she birdied her final three holes to finish at -10. The solo second was the highest of her career, and only Park’s miracle chip-in kept the Duke U. alumna from her first career playoff and a chance at victory.

Langer wins 37th at Insperity Invitational

Earlier in his PGA Tour Champions career, Bernhard Langer would win going away. Six and seven-stroke margins were not uncommon. These days, whether it’s the dogged pursuit of Old Man Time, or a newfound generosity, the German seems to be giving other golfers a chance to catch him. Langer opened with 63, then held on with 72-70 to finish on -11, 1 ahead of a trio of pursuers.

How Langer edged closer to 40 wins

Langer had 9 birdies on Friday, then 7 more over the weekend. The bogeys that he avoided on day one, came back with a vengeance over the weekend. Luckily for the Teutonic tornado, none of his pursuers was up to the challenge. After playing his first 8 hole in +2 on Sunday, Langer regained control with -4 the rest of the way, to hold off the triumvirate of pretenders to the title.

The firm of Maggert, Goydos and Bryant doth protest

Paul Goydos bogeyed the 18th on Sunday, slipping out of a playoff with Langer. Maggert had no business being runner-up…until he closed with 5 birdies on his final nine holes. Same for Bart Bryant, who played the inward half in 3-under par. Decades from now, bards will sing of the exploits of Bernhard of Langer, and this triumvirate and other challengers will gain solace from offering their best efforts against the man who refuses to lose.

Your Reaction?
  • 7
  • LEGIT2
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

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.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Tully McMuffin

    May 9, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Looks like he has also been getting the job done at the buffet.

  2. Underachiever

    May 7, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    Day finished “on 12 over” …. ????

Leave a Reply

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

Tour News

It’s the Ardmore! Woods begins Quicken Loans National with TaylorMade putter in the bag

Published

on

If you had a bet going with your buddies that there was no way Tiger Woods would depart from his beloved 13 major-winning Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS this week, you lose.

Woods started the first round of the Quicken Loans National with the TaylorMade Ardmore 3 he has been practicing all week with at TPC Potomac.

Adam Schupak spotted Woods’ caddie, Joe LaCava, on the way to the first tee for Woods’ 1:20 ET start time with the camo TaylorMade putter cover in the bag (not surprisingly, the TaylorMade Ardmore 3 was beneath the cover).

Woods has struggled with the putter this season, as we’re all well aware, particularly since the Memorial. No. 89 on Tour in strokes gained: putting, the 14-time major champion knew he had to do something.

“I’m trying to find something that I can feel again, like the swing of the putter, getting my body in the right positions and seeing the lines again,” Woods said. “You know, it’s just one of those things, once I start to get the ball rolling on my lines, then I’ll be back to putting like I was. I just have not been rolling it on my lines. And then on top of that, when they don’t roll on lines, then I have a hard time seeing my lines and it’s a vicious cycle. And I’m just trying to get out of that cycle.”

Woods reportedly tried a number of TaylorMade putters in the Bahamas last week, arriving (as far as we know) at the Quicken Loans National with just the Ardmore and his Newport to choose between.

He has made his choice for the first round. We’ll see how it pans out and whether Woods remains a mallet man all week.

Your Reaction?
  • 8
  • LEGIT2
  • WOW1
  • LOL2
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP0
  • OB1
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

Tour News

5 things we learned on Sunday of the 2018 U.S. Open

Published

on

Opportunity knocked for so many golfers, yet it was the 2017 champion who seized the moment when it was his. Brooks Koepka fired his second sub-par round of the week on Sunday to separate from playing partner Dustin Johnson, and enter the pantheon of multiple major champions. He became the 7th player to defend his title, joining old-school legends like Willie Anderson and John McDermott, mid-century icons like Ralph Guldahl and Ben Hogan, and the last man to accomplish the feat, Curtis Strange. With that introduction, let’s move to the main event, the 5 things we learned on Sunday at Shinnecock Hills.

5) The USGA gave golf a chance

True to its word, the USGA pulled out all the stops in the wee hours of Sunday morn. The course set-up team ensured that enough water was distributed to putting surfaces, that worthy shots would not be punished. Hole locations were assessed and confirmed, also ensuring that multiple opportunities for success were available. As a result, 15 golfers turned in scores under par of 70, highlighted by Tommy Fleetwood’s 7-under stunner. Although many fans, writers and players were quick to assault the organizers for losing control of the course, the USGA reminded us that it always had control of the conditions at Shinny, and that its only mistake was to soar too close to the sun.

4) Captain America ran out of gas

If Patrick Reed had been able to sign his card on the 9th tee, when he stood 5-under on the day and 1-over for the tournament, he would be in a playoff with the eventual champion as I type. Unfortunate for this year’s Masters champion was that 10 holes remained. Reed promptly bogeyed the 9th, added 3 more bogeys on the inward half, and summoned just one birdie toward the end. His fourth-place finish was his best in a U.S. Open, but knowing that victory was in the cards will sting for a while.

3) DJ and Finau gave it a run

Where to begin? How about this: DJ had four bogeys on Sunday. He totaled that many on Thursday-Friday combined. He had birdies, too, but couldn’t find the game that possessed him over the opening 36 holes. Oddly enough, this type of experience won’t be a setback for the 2016 champion. After all, he came back from a career-killer in 2015, when he 3-whacked his way out of a playoff with Jordan Spieth at Chambers Bay. As for Milton Pouhau Finau, aka Tony, the Utah native had never before been in the final group on any day of a major professional championship. He acquitted himself well, standing even on the day and 3-over for T2 at the 18th tee. Knowing that he needed eagle for a playoff might have taken the final winds from his sails, and he limped home with double bogey and solo third. Looking ahead to the final August playing of the PGA Championship, Bellerive near St. Louis might just be his type of course.

2) Tom Terrific nearly made his own U.S. Open history

I’ll write this cautiously, as I’m certain I would have intimated in the 1980s and 90s that Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood would have been major champions by now. Tommy Fleetwood ought to win one of these things soon. His record-tying 63 was a short putt away from a record-breaking 62. Eight birdies against a single bogey was the stuff of legend, and if only he had trusted that final putt a bit higher on the break … that’s not fair. Fleetwood right now is the fellow to watch at Carnoustie next month. Bet a few quid or bob or whatever on the Southport native, as he should contend for the title.

1) Brooks cooks up a winning broth

It’s easy to look back and see all the great shots that the defending champion hit over the four days of the 2018 U.S. Open, shots that would win him his second consecutive trophy. Remember that 60-feet bomb to save par on Saturday? Shades of Costantino Rocca. How about the approach shots to within mere feet that earned him 5 birdies on Sunday, including a competition-killer on 16? Koepka was the guy we thought Dustin Johnson would be. Perhaps it was the time off for wrist rehabilitation early this season that gave him the burning desire to win. Out for nearly 4 months, Koepka had plenty of time to ponder what he achieved last June in Wisconsin, and what might lay ahead for him. The begged question is, does the most recent, two-time major winner have the game to acquire more of the game’s cherished trophies?

Related: Brooks Koepka’s Winning WITB from the 2018 U.S. Open

Your Reaction?
  • 47
  • LEGIT6
  • WOW1
  • LOL0
  • IDHT3
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK11

Continue Reading

Popular Photo Galleries

Wednesday’s Photos from the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills

Published

on

GolfWRX is live from the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club (par 70; 7,440 yards) in Southhampton, New York. The U.S. Open returns to Shinnecock for the first time since 2004 when Retief Goosen won (he failed to qualify for the 2018 event).

Related

Phil Mickelson, who has two top-5 finishes at Shinnecock Hills, will seek to fill out his career Grand Slam with a win this week. Also, it’s Tiger Woods’ 10-year anniversary of winning the legendary 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines — that was his most recent major championship victory.

Also in the field are headliners Dustin Johnson (now ranked No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings), Justin Thomas (No. 2), Justin Rose (No. 3), Jon Rahm (No. 4) and Jordan Spieth (No. 5).

Brooks Koepka (No. 9) is the defending champion; he won last year by four shots for his first and only major so far in his career.

Check out our photos from Shinnecock Hills below!

Wednesday’s Galleries

Special Galleries

 

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

Your Reaction?
  • 8
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP1
  • OB2
  • SHANK5

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending