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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

GolfWRX visits with Ryan Palmer

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The 2019 Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial is upon us. I got the chance to sit down with three-time PGA Tour winner and Colonial Country Club member Ryan Palmer ahead of his opening round at the PGA Tour’s stop in Fort Worth, Texas. We discussed why he loves Colonial, how it felt to win on tour again, his friendship with Jon Rahm, the Ryan Palmer Foundation, and why he chooses not to have a club equipment sponsorship.

(GolfWRX spoke with the actual, not the cardboard, Ryan Palmer)

JN: Do you have a home field advantage here at Colonial?

RP: To a point, I guess. Obviously, I have played this golf course in every type of wind. I mean, I know certain holes play shorter than they are. So, a little bit of an advantage because I don’t put much stress into the golf course itself. I just know it. And of course, James, my caddie, knows it. And that is nice. But I do put more pressure on myself because I want to play well here

JN: Why did you decide to join Colonial as a full golfing member?

RP: The history of it. To me, it’s one of the most prestigious clubs…if not the most prestigious club…in Dallas/Fort Worth. History of the golf course, history of the tournament. The more and more I played it…playing in the tournament for 16 years now…the guys that play in the ‘big game’ took me in and they’ve thrown a few parties for James and me after we won a few times. I thought the best way to give back then is to join and become a full member.

JN: How often do you play out here?

RP: If I am home for a week, I play at least twice a week. Just to play in the big game. If I am home and playing golf, I am playing here.

JN: Tell me about the Ryan Palmer Foundation

RP: I started it in ’03 in Amarillo with my dad and my good friend Billy Slaughter. We do a lot of different things but our biggest thing now is our brighter smiles initiative through dentistry. My wife Jennifer is a dentist. And our good friend Chris Swayden with Smile Workshop here in DFW does a lot of our work here and then Kyle Sparkman in Amarillo, Texas does all our dental work out there. The biggest thing was just bringing in kids to boost their self-esteem, give them a better way of life. A lot of their families don’t have the means and the funds to provide dental care. It’s an easy decision to help these kids and give these kids a sense of confidence. I have read stories about kids wearing hoodies to school because of their teeth. That’s pretty sad. I have always been about giving back and having an immediate impact. So what better way than to provide dental care.

JN: How big was that win at the Zurich in New Orleans for you?

RP: It was unbelievable. Nine years since our last win. But to have Jennifer, my wife, there and our son Mason, 12 years old, was there. He was there in ’08 when I won. But he was a year and half so he had no clue. In 2010, they weren’t there. But to have them there and have him finally see it. Mason always asks “Dad, are you going to get a trophy?” So to have him there to finally witness it…that was special.

JN: How did the partnership with Jon Rahm come about?

RP: We met in ’15 at the Phoenix Open. I knew Jordan wasn’t playing this year at Zurich. Jon and I had played some rounds together. He played in my charity event last year. So, I knew Jon a little bit and I know his caddie, Adam Hayes real well. We’ve known him since we have been on tour, James and I. And so, I talked to James about players we should want to play with and Jon was one of the top ones. So, I texted Adam and mentioned the idea to Jon and he loved it. Jon and my games are pretty similar as far as ball striking. So I shot Jon a text and he accepted.

AVONDALE, LA – APRIL 28: Ryan Palmer and Jon Rahm fist bump on the fourth hole during the final round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana on April 28, 2019 in Avondale, Louisiana. (Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

JN: Are you going to play together again next year?

RP: It would be hard not to play together again next year. I will have to run it by Jordan….no I’m kidding. Jordan was happy for me and excited. He gets it. As long as Jon wants to play, we will go try to defend.

JN: What are your thoughts on not having a full bag club sponsorship?

RP: It is just a matter of playing with what I like. When I first got on tour, you would sign a full deal and it was pretty good. Now you are signing for balls and all 14 clubs. I love the Taylor Made driver but they cut out the driver only deals. They went just full line. Fortunately, with the help of Mike Chisholm and Chisholm Sports, I have some great corporate partners. United Rentals, a great deal with Unisys, RBC. I am able to have these corporate sponsors allow me to play what I want. I made some comments like ‘two hundred grand is not worth an equipment contract on tour because of what you can make that week.’

So, I got ribbed a little bit for making that comment but honestly it is not worth it in today’s game. We play for so much money now each and every week that by the time you get a $200,000 deal, you’re paying taxes and management, at the end of the day its worth a top 20-finish. And then you have to play those clubs all year long, whether you like them or not. So now I can play whatever putter or iron or driver I want. I am only under contract with ball, shoes and gloves. Footjoy and Titleist. I test and I tinker now and then but I always go back to what I have performed with in the past. I stand over a tee shot and I think, I know I hit this driver this way at this tournament at this particular moment. Why would I change?

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Tour Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from Monday’s U.S. Open sectional qualifier at Northwood Club

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GolfWRX had feet on the ground at Northwood Club in Dallas, Texas for this Monday’s U.S. Open sectional qualifying. We have seven galleries in our forums filled to the brim with photos from Monday’s action, and here are ten interesting selections for you to enjoy.

“Talk to me Goose.” And presumably, “I feel the need for speed.” Top Gun all the way!

Jim Nous’ bag full of Ping clubs features three visible wedges all with different bounce.

Blaine Hale rocking this great looking TaylorMade Spider headcover.

Shorts on the course –  a rarity.

Conner Koberg showing off his colors with this Iowa State headcover.

Julius Boros won the 1952 U.S. Open at Northwood Club. One of his three major triumphs. How about that bag?

Stephen Jaeger played collegiate golf at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, but he’s quite clearly proud of his homeland too.

Noah Goodwin is another player who loves the raw finish on the Callaway Apex MB irons.

Up close with the Titleist 718 T-MB utility iron

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A glance at Northwood Club itself.

Check out all of Monday’s photos on our forums.

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Tour Photo Galleries

12 interesting photos from Tuesday at the PGA Championship

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black!

We have two general photo galleries, plenty of WITB galleries as well as some specialized galleries from Tuesday’s action at Bethpage Black for you to enjoy and you can find all the links below. Here are twelve interesting selections from those galleries for you to enjoy.

Another look at Callaway’s NYC-themed headcovers, (these in Jim Furyk’s bag)

Hideki Matsuyama’s new Scotty Cameron putter.

Rickie Fowler’s custom COBRA x Vessel Tour Staff Bag.

And the 30-year-old’s Puma Warning headcover for this week’s championship.

Luke List’s Axis 1 putter.

New Steelfiber “Black Label” shafts have been spotted at Bethpage Black.

A look inside Jon “Rahmbo” Rahm’s bag ahead of his effort to land his maiden major title.

A closer look at the “warning” sign on the TaylorMade staff bag

Jason Dufner’s Spider putter which according to one of our members, looks as if it’s “wearing a tuxedo”

Aldila’s new Rip X shaft.

Recent winner on the European Tour, Mikko Korohen, has this unique flat-stick in his bag in New York.

What’s on offer for spectators this week.

Check out all of Tuesday’s photos on our forums.

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