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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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Tour News

Tour Rundown: Sangmoon Bae is headed back to the PGA Tour

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The schedulers may have whiffed with Tour Championship and Ryder Cup in back-to-back weeks, but that’s what we have on the horizon. As the 2017-18 PGA Tour season comes to a close, and with it, the Web.Com Tour playoffs, number one on everyone’s mind is next season: where will I play? Do I have status? Some of those questions were answered last week, so let’s run down the answers to the questions, in this week’s Tour Rundown.

Bae back on PGA Tour after Web.Com playoff win

The oldest event on the Web.Com Tour was the site of Sang-moon Bae’s comeback completion. Two years of mandatory military service in South Korea did little to derail the 32-year old’s professional career. Bae birdied the 72nd hole to hold off his challengers, including the eponymous Anders Albertson, to win the Albertson’s Boise Open at 19-under. Bae was a stroke off the first-round lead, then moved into a first-place tie after 36-holes. He continued to advance, seizing the 54-hole lead. Albertson caught fire on Sunday, making 5 birdies in his opening 9 holes. After a bogey stall at the 11th, Albertson birdied 5 of the closing 8 holes. Roberto Diaz of Mexico was tied with Bae after round 3, but a Sunday 68 dropped him back to 5th place. Bae guaranteed a return to the 2018-19 PGA Tour with his Idaho triumph.

Wu works wonders in Holland for KLM victory

Like Bae, Ashun Wu of China birdied the 72nd hole at The Dutch club, host site of The KLM championship on the European Tour. Like Bae, his closest pursuer (Chris Wood) failed to match it, and Wu walked away with his third career European tour title. Wood held a 1-stroke lead over Wu after 54 holes, and the battle to see which “W” would emerge with the “W,” came down to the final 9 holes. Wood played well, making 3 birdies in the inward half. They were sandwiched around a double-bogey at the 12th, and the Englishman closed with 5 pars to finish at 15-under. Wu’s card included only one hiccough, a front-nine bogey, and he was a bit more clutch when it counted. The victory moved Wu inside the top 50, in the season-long Race To Dubai.

Stanford claims first LPGA major title at Evian

For her entire career, Angela Stanford has been a fixture in the top 5 of major championships. It has been a wonder that she did not claim one of them until the fall of 2018. In France, Stanford mounted a final-round comeback, overcame 3rd round-leader Amy Olson, and captured the Evian Championship by one shot over Olson and 3 others. Stanford opened with 72 on Thursday, then dived into the 60s with abandon. Rounds of 64-68-68 brought her to 12-under par. The Texan was able to keep her head, despite an eagle-double-birdie stretch on holes 15-17. Austin Ernst had a clean card on Sunday, but 3 birdies were 1 shy of victory. Mo Martin also had 3 birdies on day 4, but 2 bogeys brought her back to 11-under with Ernst. Sei Young Kim and Olson both went above par in the 4th round, after playing marvelous golf through the first 3 days. Despite their struggles, they also finished in that second-place tie.

Broadhurst claims third title of PGA Tour Champions

Paul Broadhurst won his first 2 Champions title in 2016. After taking a break in 2017, the Englishman returned with abandon in 2018. Wins at the 2-man Bass Pro and the May Senior PGA were followed this week with a triumph in Michigan. Broadhurst overcame a surging Brandt Jobe, who birdied 5 of his firs 6, back-9 holes, before he stalled. Jobe reached 13-under to claim second place alone. Broadhurst finished in style, with birdie at the last, for a 2-shot win.

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Photos from the 2018 European Tour Properties Senior Classic

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Thanks to photographer Mladen Aleksandrov, GolfWRX was live from the 2018 European Tour Properties Senior Championship at Lighthouse Resort & Spa in Balchik, Bulgaria.

For those who don’t know, this tour is essentially the equivalent to America’s Champions Tour, and this event hosted legends such as Ian Woosnam and Jarmo Sandelin. Magnus P Atlevi took home this year’s title, winning by three shots over Stephen Dodd.

Check out our photos from the event, including a bit of culture and a bit of golf equipment. Enjoy!

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Tiger Woods puts his Scotty Cameron Newport 2 back in the bag at the BMW Championship

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Tiger Woods and his beloved flatstick have ended their separation and are once again an item. Woods put his Scotty Cameron Newport 2 back in the bag for the first round of the BMW Championship. The putter, which Woods has used for 13 of his 14 major championship victories, had been on the shelf since the Quicken Loans National in June.

We hinted this was a possibility earlier this week after spotting Woods practicing with both his famed Newport 2 and a TaylorMade Juno. Woods arrived at Aronomink without the TaylorMade Ardmore 3 he’s been using for five events prior to last week’s Dell Technologies Championship.

Woods used the Juno at TPC Boston to less than satisfying results: Woods was 36th in the field in strokes gained putting and was particularly poor during the final round when he needed 33 putts and lost 1.352 strokes to the field on the greens.

Woods, who is 50th in strokes gained: putting this season, put the Cameron in play for a nine-hole practice round Tuesday.

 

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