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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

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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