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Tour Rundown: Webb Simpson doesn’t blow it, wins The Players

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Even thought the majors of male professional golf are limited to four tournaments each year, there is no denying the regard in which The Players is held by golfers, fans and the media. TPC-Sawgrass might never have been more beautiful in its final year of May play; the tournament returns to March in 2019. This year’s winner drew on the experience he earned down the stretch at the 2012 U.S. Open, the site of his major title. For more, let’s skip the pomp and get right to the Rundown.

PGA Tour: Simpson wins The Players

Webb Simpson’s swing is not a thing of beauty. Equal parts lurch, hip check and MMA lash, it can be incredibly efficient when combined with stellar putting. Such was the case this week, as Simpson turned wonders into believers with each passing round. He found a way to add strokes to his lead, and did not hit one stinker until his approach to the 72nd hole. By that point, the Wake Forest alum had a six-shot lead and the opera lady was three bars in to her aria.

How Simpson outmatched the entire field

He had zero bad rounds. He kept going 2-3 shots lower than anyone in the mix. Simpson was on tracks to shoot 62 or 61 on Friday, until he banked his tee shot on 17 off the railroad ties, not once, but twice, and made double. On Sunday, his approach at the last was a bit strong and bit left, and ran through the green, into Pete’s Pond. Simpson made nearly every putt he looked at, be it for eagle, birdie or par. He made them from off the green, far away on the green, and from 8 feet for saves when it mattered most. This week, it was his world and the rest were merely guests.

Webb Simpson’s Winning WITB

What we heard from the rest of the field

Since second-place money was 1 million greenbacks, the tournament-within-The Players saw a 3-way tie for the runner-up spot. Charl Schwartzel, Jimmy Walker and Xander Schauffele each posted 67 on day four, to finish 4 back of the champion. Tiger Woods was 6-under on the day through Sunday’s 13th, but played the last five holes in 3-over, when 3-under would have thrown a scare into the eventual winner. You can’t help but think that the cat is certainly back, and that a win is not far off. Oh, and the best shot of the week came from Brooks Koepka, who one-bounced an iron into the 16th hole for albatross on day four, on his way to 63.

European Tour: Sicilian Open sails off in the hands of Lagergren

Ask someone to play with the lead, other than Johnny Miller, and she or he will tell you how challenging it can be. Neither Joakim Laegergren nor Mike Lorenzo-Vera is particularly versed in the cadence of front-runner, although Vera was coming off a successful week of Golf Sixes, where he partnered with Romain Wattel to advance France to the finals. Lagergren emerged from the pack with 4 birdies on his outward half, then stalled, coming home in 1-over to reach 16-under. Lorenzo-Vera, the 3rd round pole-sitter, was unable to produce magic for a 3rd consecutive round, after 64-63 had boosted him to the top spot. His mundane Sunday went like this: bogey-birdie-lots of pars, bogey-birdie-lots of pars, one more birdie to tie for top spot. At day’s end, a single, extra hole was required, as the Swede dispatched the Frenchman with birdie from 10 feet.

As for those who were left wanting…

Andy Sullivan of England and Lucas Herbert of Australia posted the day’s best rounds of 65 and 63, respectively. Herbert was particularly sensational, making birdie on half of his holes on the day. Sullivan had a marvelous eagle at the 9th, on his way to a T3 finish with the Aussie. On a day when the pair started so far back, that only perfection would do, each had one bogey to arrive on shot shy of the playoff family photograph.

Web.Com Tour: Jaeger denies Im a second win in in 2018 at Knoxville Open

While Sungjae Im runs away with the prize for the breakout star of 2018 Web, equally as impressive a question is, why Stephan Jaeger needs the Web.Com tour. The German seems to win a pair of events each year, yet has failed to find success at the next level. No matter, he’ll certainly have another chance as the 2017-18 season continues next week.

Jaeger returns to comfortable surroundings

After 2 Web wins in 2018, including next week’s BMW, Jaeger has struggled at level one. No matter. His week in Tennessee certainly reminded him of the scores he is capable of shooting. 128 strokes on the weekend tends to do that.

Jaeger is the meister once more

Also known as A tale of two Jaegers. After 3 doubles and 2 bogeys over his first 36 holes, Jaeger went into orbit, with 13 birds, 1 eagle and a solitary bogey over his final two days. Nothing more to say than, as with Simpson above, when a golfer finds that mojo, there’s neither explanation nor a halt. With Im in the clubhouse at 13-under, Jaeger birdied his final two holes to jump from a 1 to a 3-stroke margin of victory.

Im on the cusp of something bigger?

Sungjae Im became one of a handful of golfers to win in his first Web.Com tour start. Since then, he has garnered a pair of runner-up finishes, but has yet to repeat his triumph in the gradually-aging season. No doubt a massive success, the next step toward second-tier stardom and a shot at the big leagues, is another victory. Wyndham Clark, another young stalwart with heavy shoulders and an eye on the Bigs, closed with 65 to nab solo 3rd money.

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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.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Dave r

    May 14, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    Come on guys . Try not to get to personal . the story is about him .

  2. Scott

    May 14, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Good for him, but another garbage winner of the Players. Si Woo Kim, Stephen Ames, KJ Choi, Craig Perks, Fred Funk, Tim Clark, Jodie Mudd, etc.

    • BRODIE

      May 16, 2018 at 8:46 am

      I think this is due to how ridiculous the course is set up. It’s more often than not lucky/unlucky bounces that decide winners at TPC.

  3. WAGs all day

    May 14, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    even if he did blow it…. did you see that smoke show wife…. good for him!

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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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