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

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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.

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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.

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” …. ????

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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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