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Tour Rundown: DJ’s walk-off eagle, the first Tour event with a shot clock



It borders on comical to suggest that Dustin Johnson, or anyone, is the favorite for this week’s U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills. That course is played in competition once every dozen years, and its presentation changes from decade to decade. The only guarantees are an interesting tournament and a grateful winner. For now, that’s enough. We have tournaments to run down, beginning with Johnson’s win in Memphis. He wasn’t the only winner during this first, full week of June, but his conclusion was the most exciting, without doubt.

DJ takes 18th tour trophy in Memphis

Voted Best Guy To Hole Out On 18 he might not be, but Dustin Johnson calmed his way past the closing eagle on Sunday to win by 6 over pugnacious Andrew Putnam. Johnson smiled his trademark half-moon, waved laconically, and eased closer to XX victories. After posting the second-low round for 3 consecutive days, Johnson’s margin of victory was trebled with his 171-yard hole-out at the 72nd green. The tall & bearded one’s overnight tie was broken when Putnam doubled the first hole to drop back. The runner-up gave another shot back, 3 holes later, before steadying the nerves somewhat with a birdie at the 7th. Putnam concluded his day with 11 consecutive pars, allowing Johnson the freedom to play (how else?) casually in. J.B. Holmes had birdies at 15 & 16, to close with 67 and ascend to a third place finish, 4 back of Putnam. With the victory, the regular PGA Tour takes a week-long break as the USGA’s national men’s open championship takes center stage

Korhonen avoids the Clock-Keeper on way to 6-stroke triumph

In the first-ever, clocked event on a major professional tour, Finland’s Mikko Korhonen played 4 rounds in the 60s to emerge with a six-stroke win over Scotland’s Connor Syme. While Korhonen and Syme were tending to business as usual, the European Tour began a crackdown on the snails of the golfing world. Allotted-time imits were established at week’s start, and four penalties were assessed for laggards. Clemens Prader was the worst of the transgressors, taking a full 4 extra seconds to hit a putt at the 6th, in round 3. Grant Forrest, Markus Brier and Oscar Stark were also gifted with extra strokes on the week, thanks to their pause. Back to the golf-Korhonen began the week with 62, bogey-free holes, posting 16 birdies along the way. He wobbled with 2 mid-round bogeys on day four, but had enough petrol in the tank to lock up his 1st Euro Tour title. Syme made an absolute bomb of a putt at the par-3 closer to separate from a quartet at 9-under, and claim solo second for himself. For his efforts, Syme earned 2 of the week’s Best Shots, as seen below.

Metro NY girls take 1st and 3rd at ShopRite on LPGA tour

Annie Park might be forgiven for thinking that a final-round 63 would give her the kind of walk in the park that Johnson and Korhonen (see above) enjoyed on Sunday. Neither lad had a Sakura 61 in his field, however, as did Park. The Long island native signed for 6 birdies and 1 eagle in round 3, which were enough to keep Sakura Yokomine at bay, and earn her first Tour title. The Japanese golfer made eagle at the third, then piled 8 more birdies into her kettle, to finish the day at 10-under, 15-under for the week, one behind Park. Also in the mix was yet-to-win Marina Alex, the tour’s Jersey Girl and Vanderbilt alumna. Alex aced the 17th hole, to counteract a 14th hole bogey, and post 64 for 14-under and solo third. It was her second top-3 finish of the season, and certainly buoys her spirits as summer arrives en force.

Wright goes overtime for Web.Com win

Kyle Jones and Christian Brand were hoping to hoist a trophy at day’s end; instead, Chase Wright and Alex Prugh did battle in extra holes for the RustOleum Championship title. Jones and Brand fell back early, victims of not enough birdies on a day when the little warblers were a necessary commodity. Wright had 4 in regulation, plus another on the 2nd playoff hole, to claim an inaugural Web.Com tour victory. Prugh had 7 birdies on the day, but 2 bogeys were enough to keep him from outright victory. After finishing at 17-under, 1 clear of Brand, the two combatants played the finishing hole twice. On the 2nd go-round, Wright was able to convert his birdie putt and ascend to the podium’s top spot.

Lehman claims the Principal Charity Classic by 2

Fifteen months ago, Tom Lehman secured his 10th Champions Tour victory. On Saturday, the Minnesota native overcame a week of weather disruption and hot pursuit to earn win No. 11, by 2 strokes over Scott Parel, Glen Day, Woody Austin and Bernhard Langer. Why Saturday? Sunday’s final round was cancelled by extreme weather, leaving Lehman as the title holder. He had established a 3-shot cushion by the time he arrived at the 18th tee, so he took his time playing the last in 5 bogey strokes. In any other circumstance, Lehman might have been irked. In this case, he suffered not a bit for the final-hole faux pas. Austin closed with 4 consecutive birdies to jump into the 2nd-place quartet, while Langer could not approximate his opening 64 on Sunday. 2 too many bogeys dropped him out of the top spot. With the cup in his grasp, Lehman moved up 10 spots, into 10th position, in the season-long Schwab Cup race. Langer reclaimed the top spot with his runner-up finish, after dropping behind last week’s winner, Paul Broadhurst, for 7 days.

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Ronald Montesano writes for 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.



  1. Richard

    Jun 12, 2018 at 9:09 am

    It’s about time the PGA Tour did something like The Euro Tour with playing times. As an example, the time it took Daniel Berger to decide to chip the ball 40yrds the other day was absurd and he’s not the only one! It’s becoming a joke the time these guys take to play a shot.

    You could have put the name of the Euro Tour tournament in the write up Ron. A bit slack.

  2. Tony Lutz

    Jun 11, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Principal Classic was in Des Moines, IOWA – Tom Lehman is from Minnesota, so not his HOME STATE

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The drivers used by the top-10 longest hitters on the PGA Tour in 2017-2018



What drivers do the PGA Tour’s longest golfers use to bomb their tee shots? Now that the 2017-2018 PGA Tour season is behind us, we can do a thorough examination.

First, here’s a tally of what the top 10 in driving distance on Tour are using by driver manufacturer. Interestingly, only two OEMs figure.

  • Ping: 4
  • TaylorMade: 6

But this is GolfWRX, so of course you want to know more. Below is a breakdown of the driving-distance leaders on the PGA Tour in 2017-2018, the specifics of their drivers, shafts and how far their average tee shots flew.

10) Keith Mitchell

Driver: TaylorMade M1 440
Loft: 10.5 degrees (10 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS T1100 7.5 (tipped 1 inch)
Length: 45.25 inches
Swing weight: D3
Grip: Golf Pride Victory Cord 58R
Average driving distance: 312.6 yards

9) Bubba Watson

Driver: Ping G400 LST
Loft: 8.5 degrees (7.6 degrees)
Shaft: Ping BiMatrix-X (tipped .50 inch)
Length: 44.5 inches
Swing weight: D4
Grip: Ping 703 Gold
Average driving distance: 312.9 yards

See what GolfWRX members are saying about Bubba’s clubs

8) Brooks Koepka

Driver: TaylorMade M3 460
Loft: 9.5
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 70TX
Average driving distance: 313.0 yards

See what GolfWRX members are saying about Koepka’s clubs

7) Gary Woodland

Driver: TaylorMade M3 440
Loft: 9 degrees (8 degrees)
Shaft: Accra RPG 80X (tipped 2 inches)
Length: 45.25 inches
Swing weight: D5
Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord Mid
Average driving distance: 313.4 yards

See what GolfWRX members are saying about Woodland’s clubs

6) Dustin Johnson

Driver: TaylorMade M4
Loft: 9.5 degrees
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution 2.0 Tour Spec
Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet
Average driving distance: 314.0 yards

See what GolfWRX members are saying about Dustin’s clubs

5) Luke List

Driver: TaylorMade M4
Loft: 8.5 degrees
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana White D+ 80TX
Average driving distance: 314.7 yards

See what GolfWRX members are saying about List’s clubs

4) Tony Finau

Driver: Ping G400 Max
Loft: 9 degrees (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Accra Tour Z X485 M5 (tipped 1 inch)
Length: 45.25 inches
Swing weight: D5
Grip: Custom Lamkin UTX Mid
Average driving distance: 315.3 yards

See what GolfWRX members are saying about Finau’s clubs

3) Tom Lovelady

Driver: Ping G400 Max
Loft: 9 degrees
Shaft: TPT MKP 15.5
Length: 44.75 inches
Swing weight: D3+
Grip: Golf Pride V55 Full Cord 58R
Average driving distance: 315.9 yards

2) Trey Mullinax

Driver: Ping G400 Max
Loft: 9 degrees
Shaft: Mitsubishi KuroKage XT 60-X
Length: 45 inches (tipped 1 inch)
Swing weight: D4
Grip: Golf Pride V55 Full Cord
Average driving distance: 318.7 yards

1) Rory McIlroy

Driver: TaylorMade M3 460
Loft: 8.5 degrees
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 70XTS
Length: 45.625 inches
Swing weight: D8
Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 58R
Average driving distance: 319.8 yards

See what GolfWRX members are saying about Rory’s clubs.

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Tour News

Patrick Reed airs out Jordan Spieth and Captain Jim Furyk following the 2018 Ryder Cup loss



In an interview with Karen Crouse of The New York Times, Patrick Reed held zero punches about his displeasure with former Ryder Cup partner Jordan Spieth, Captain Jim Furyk, and the egos of the United States team.

First, a bit of back story. Patrick Reed — dubbed “Captain America” — played foursomes and fourballs with Jordan Spieth in both the 2014 and 2016 Ryder Cups, amassing a 4-1-2 record as partners in the two events.

But when it came to the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National, Patrick Reed was paired with Tiger Woods in both fourball sessions (losing both), while Spieth played with Justin Thomas in fourballs and foursomes (Spieth/JT went 3-1). Reed sat the bench for both foursomes sessions.

According to Reed, the decision to split from Spieth was not his call, or the captain’s, but rather, due to Spieth’s wishes. Reed also took shots at Furyk for sitting him in both fourball matches.

Here’s what Reed had to say…

About Jordan Spieth

“The issue’s obviously with Jordan not wanting to play with me,” Reed said, according to the NYT. He added: “I don’t have any issue with Jordan. When it comes right down to it, I don’t care if I like the person I’m paired with or if the person likes me as long as it works and it sets up the team for success. He and I know how to make each other better. We know how to get the job done.”

In the post-Ryder Cup press conference with the entire team, the ex-partners were asked about the split, to which Spieth answered: “We were totally involved in every decision that was made… Jim allowed it to be a player-friendly environment.”

When asked about this moment in the interview by the NYT, Reed said, “I was looking at (Jordan Spieth) like I was about to light the room up like Phil in ’14,” in reference to Phil Mickelson calling out Captain Tom Watson in the 2014 post-Ryder Cup interview.

About Captain Furyk

“I thought he might go back with the groups that have worked in the past (after the first alternate-shot session).”

“For somebody as successful in the Ryder Cup as I am, I don’t think it’s smart to sit me twice.”

About the U.S. Team

“Every day, I saw ‘Leave your egos at the door,’” Reed said, of inspirational messages in the team room. “They (the Europeans) do that better than us.”

Full New York Times article.

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Team USA provides Sunday thrills, but ultimately loses the 2018 Ryder Cup



Team USA was trailing 10-6 going into Sunday’s 12 singles matches against Team Europe at the 2018 Ryder Cup. It was a highly unlikely comeback — about a 9 percent chance according to multiple data sources — but there were moments on Sunday it looked possible.

Justin Thomas, in a back-and-forth match against Rory McIlroy, pulled off a crucial win after Rory drove the ball into the lip of a fairway bunker on 18 and hit his approach shot into the hazard.

Other things were happening, too.

Finau was finessing Fleetwood. Webb was waxing World No. 2 Justin Rose. Koepka was keeping up with Casey. Woods was withstanding Rahm’s will. Reed was rolling.

But ultimately, alliteration aside, the Europeans were simply winning too many holes, and racking up points. The United States needed to win 8 matches. It had to be an utterly one-sided Sunday in the USA’s favor, and it simply was not.

Tiger vs. Rahm in the fourth slot proved to be a huge swing match after USA recorded 2.5 points in the first three matches. Rahm missed a four-footer on 16, giving Tiger a chance at 1 down with 2 to play, but Rahm closed the deal on 17 with a short birdie putt (leading to an expectedly huge celebration) after Tiger missed the fairway off the tee and failed to chip in. Tiger finished 0-4 in the 2018 Ryder Cup.

About the time Rahm closed the door on Tiger was when Ian Poulter took hold of the match against Dustin Johnson (despite DJ holing a few long putts to give hope), and he closed the door with fantastic approach shots on the final three holes. Thorbjorn Olesen closed out Spieth 5&4. Bubba Watson went down 5 to Henrik Stenson, Molinari went up 3 on Phil Mickelson, and Sergio Garcia was up 2 holes on Rickie Fowler. With too much blue on the scoreboard and just not enough red, it was just a matter of time. Europe was a lock to take back the Ryder Cup. And they did.

The Ryder Cup officially ended when Francesco Molinari hit the green on 16 and Phil flared one into the water. Fittingly, due to Molinari’s 5-0 performance, his 4&2 victory on Sunday gave Europe its winning point.

The overlying factor in the entire Ryder Cup was the United States’ inability to hit fairways on a Le Golf National course that penalizes missed fairways. This could have something to do with it…

Here’s how the relevant matches finished as Europe clinched the Cup:

  • JT def. Rory 1up
  • Brooks and Casey: halved
  • Webb def. Rose 3&2
  • Rahm def. Woods 2&1
  • Finau def. Fleetwood 6&4
  • Poulter def. DJ 2up
  • Olesen def. Spieth 5&4
  • Molinari def. Mickelson 4&2
  • Stenson def. Bubba 5&4
  • Garcia def. Rickie 2&1

So what’s the takeaway? Did the task force make bad choices with the captains picks? Did Furyk’s pairings cost the U.S. in the first two days? Was it simply a great performance by the Europeans?

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Ryder Cup here. 

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19th Hole