The third week of June 2K18 brought a respite from the men’s U.S. Open madness. The PGA Tour traveled a bit north, to Connecticut, while the Webbies went to Kansas. The Champions tour found itself in the Cheese state, while the Euros trekked to Germany. Oh, and the LPGA Tour took the week off, preparing for its Women’s PGA Championship this week. After the mayhem of Shinnecock Hills, and with anticipation high for the Open Championship at Carnoustie next month, a bit of leisure was a fit prescription. Here’s a rundown of all the week’s scores.
Watson leads parade of horses for courses at Travelers
The Travelers Championship was one of the first to practice awarding spots to highly-ranked amateurs. For that reason, golfers who might normally skip Connecticut, feel a loyalty to the tournament. Bubba Watson wasn’t one of them, but his affinity for the course is evident. His third career win at TPC River Highlands came by 3 strokes on Sunday, over a quartet of runners-up. Bubba’s card wasn’t clean on the week, but he found a way to make a few more birdies (and a few less bogeys) each round, than the competition. A third of the lanky Floridian’s PGA Tour titles have come along the banks of the Connecticut river, so expect another one soon.
Stewart Cink doesn’t win often on tour (apologies to 59-year old Tom Watson) but he tends to contend at the Travelers. The same affection can be applied to J.B. Holmes, Paul Casey and young Beau Hossler. Those four edged their way past Kevin Tway and Brian Harman, to 14-under and a tie for second place. Cink birdied 7 of his first 10 holes on Sunday, and made 3 more coming home. Those would have brought him within a whisker of the magical 59, but alas, he had 2 ill-advised bogeys during that same, closing stretch. Hossler charged at the end, with 4 birdies over the closing sextet. If any young golfer catches our eye these days, as the next to break through for victory, it is the Californian-turned-UTexas alum. He lost to Ian Poulter in Houston this spring, and should break through before trees shed their leaves.
Of all the also-rans, it was a gutted Casey who leaves town with regret. A day after starting his own 62, the Englishman stumbled home with 72. He made one birdie on day 4, and that was at the 1st hole. Still in the mix at the closing bell, the expat bogeyed 2 of his final 3 holes to complete his wretched story.
#BubbaGolf is crafty.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 24, 2018
Schnell accepts props for first Web.Com Tour title
Brady Schnell received a decorative propeller as trophy for his inaugural Web win, but we suspect a print of the closing hole might have been more suitable. After flirting with the cut line on Friday, Schnell finished with a firm handshake, including birdie at the last. On Sunday, he birdied the hole 2 times in a 3-man playoff. The first helped to send Scott Pinckney away, and the second dismissed Brandon Hagy. Hagy went out in 30 on Sunday, but could apply enough tour sauce coming home, to end the event in regulation. Pinckney held the reigns on Saturday night, but 2 bogey bumps over the final 7 holes undid his fine week of work. With the trophy, Schnell jumped all the way from 68th to 12th in the chase for a PGA Tour card. Both Hagy and Pinckney moved inside the top 60 on the same list.
His entire life, @Brady_Schnell had been building toward this moment.
— Web.com Tour (@WebDotComTour) June 25, 2018
McCarron’s first 2018 win comes at American Family
Scott McCarron came out on PGA Tour Champions in 2016, and rolled 2 wins during that inaugural campaign. When he followed it up with a stellar 2017, including his first senior major among 4 triumphs, aficionados wondered if a dynasty was brewing. Since September, the McCarron train left the tracks for the yard, but it seems to be back. The California native held off home-stater Jerry Kelly by a stroke, thanks to a 3-birdie run from holes 14-16 on day 3. The victory was his 7th on the senior circuit, and elevated him to 3rd on the season points list, behind leader Kelly and Bernhard Langer. With a slim lead on the home hole, McCarron stuck an approach from a slightly-hanging lie to 15 feet, then 2-putted for the win.
Esteban Toledo had the 36-hole lead, but he found out what a closing 73 gets you on the Champions Tour: very little. The 4-time winner on Tour Champions faded away with 3 front-nine bogeys on Sunday. In addition to Kelly, Colin Montgomerie (64) and Steve Stricker (65) finished strong, joining defending champion Fred Couples at 13-under, one behind Kelly, in a third-place tie.
— PGA TOUR Champions (@ChampionsTour) June 24, 2018
Wallace wins second of campaign at BMW International
Matt Wallace inserted himself into a trend of young Englishmen breaking through. Along with lads like Andy Sullivan and Andrew “Beef” Johnston, Wallace has quietly started a noteworthy, professional golf career. His third career title, and 2nd of 2018, came by one stroke over a trio of dissimilar runners-up. A resurgent Martin Kaymer nearly made good in front of the home crowd. Although he birdied the last, a bogey at the penultimate hole cost him a playoff spot. Mikko Korhonen won his 1st tour title a fortnight ago, and nearly doubled-down in Germany. After birdies at 15 through 17, the Fin could not add a 4th at the closer, and matched only Kaymer.
Try as Wallace and company might, they could not steal the spotlight from the capricious Dane, Thorbjorn Olesen. The Mighty One’s erratic week went like this: open with 73, then improve by 5 strokes to make the cut. Drop 9 strokes higher on Saturday to enter afterthought status. Close Sunday 16 strokes better with 61 and tie for second. Now…breathe. Olesen had 9 birdies and 1 eagle on day four, elevating his standing by 40 places over the final 18 holes. In the end, it was Wallace who accepted the hardware and moved into 11th spot in the season-long Race To Dubai.
Fist pump time for @mattsjwallace ?
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) June 24, 2018
Morning 9: More on the dollars and sense of TW’s win | Don’t forget Mr. Hogan | Masters ticket scheme
By Ben Alberstadt (email@example.com)
April 23, 2019
Good Tuesday morning, golf fans.
1. More perspective on the financial impact of Tiger’s win
ESPN’s Tom VanHaaren collected some interesting (and wide-ranging) data points related to the financial impact of Tiger Woods’ Masters win
Wisely, Bridgestone is launching a commemorative edition of the Tour B XS with Woods’ image on the box cover and “thank you for letting us be part of your 15th major” printed on the bottom. A source at the company told me that ALL Bridgestone Tour B XS balls are currently sold old.
2. A refresher on Ben Hogan’s comeback
Geoff Shackelford, rightly, quotes Tiger Woods at the 2018 Masters and reminds us that when we call Woods’ comeback the greatest ever in golf, we do a disservice to the legacy of one William Ben Hogan.
3. Masters ticket scheme
Digest’s Stephen Hennessey with the story…
4. Bullish or bearish on Zurich Classic format?
A pair of Golf Digest staffers discuss the merits of the Zurich Classic’s team format.
5. More Williams on Woods
Per ESPN’s Bob Harig, who spoke with Tiger’s former bag man, Steve Williams…
6. Gainers and losers
Strokes gained. Probably the easiest way to see what ailed those who suffered and why those who prospered did so. I’d like to call attention to our Gianni Magliocco’s weekly roundup of the gainers/losers, this week from the RBC Heritage.
7. More on the “Nantz 2.5”
Golf Digest’s Alex Myers (quoting a Sports Business Journal report)
8. Showman Jimenez
Peter Wallace at Golf Australia talked to the Most Interesting Golfer in the World…
Stephen Hennessey on Doug Coupe’s cracking collection of golf balls.
Tour Rundown: Pan finds Neverland, Henderson hammers the field, and more
There was strange golf to be played, the week after Augusta 2019. Vijay dunked three consecutive wedge shots on Saturday. DJ gave seven shots away in a five-hole span on Sunday’s second nine. All of Brooke Henderson’s third-round chasers played like five-handicaps on day four. Scott McCarron tried to give the MEC away on PGA Tour Champions, but no one would take it. Perhaps April Fools came late, or maybe the golf world needed a bit of macabre humor before returning to the major-championship season. No matter the rationale, we found some unique ways to win on this day, and are happy to offer another week of Tour
Pan finds Neverland on Hilton Head Island, wins RBC Heritage
CT Pan had no business winning the 2019 RBC Heritage Classis at Harbour Town. Matt Kuchar had won the tournament before, posted four rounds in the 60s, and improved each day. Dustin Johnson looked for all the world as the guy most likely to finally find his birdie wand and run away with his home-state event. Patrick Cantlay and Shane Lowry had each won on the PGA Tour, poised to add a second title to their shelves. And then came Pan, not yet putting on the par-5 16th after four shots, with the temerity to stand alone after 72 holes at 12 under, one shot clear of Kuchar.
Day four was a space oddity of Bowie-esque proportions. Johnson, the top-ranked golfer in the world, turned for home at 10-under par, where he began his day. Beginning at the 11th, Johnson made three consecutive bogeys, followed by twin double bogeys, to tumble out of the top 10, outside the top 20 to a tie for 28th. That is what tree-lined golf courses, unlike any other on tour, can do to today’s longest hitters. Kuchar won’t ever be mistaken for a long hitter, but he did do one thing Sunday that Pan did not: make two bogeys. One behind the former UWashington golfer at day’s open, Kuchar bogeyed the short 17th to fall two behind. Even a final-hole birdie was not enough to catch the young titleist. Few golfers were able to survive the back nine without a blemish. If they did, as in the case of J.T. Poston, Seamus Power and Kevin Streelman, they shot into the top 10.
Remember Pan’s struggles on the 15th? He survived with bogey, then bounced back with birdie at the next. He closed with two strong pars to finish an even dozen below par, where a tartan jacket and trophy awaited, emblematic of the tournament victor.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 21, 2019
Henderson hammers field for second-consecutive Lotte Championship
Brooke Henderson, like so many snowbirds before her, is developing quite an affinity for warm-weather locales. Learning to flight her ball through trade winds, and roll her ball across tropical grasses, is now second nature to the Ontario native. Henderson and fellow wunderkind Nelly Korda were matched at 14 under through three rounds. While Korda encountered all sorts of messes, en route to a closing 77 and an 8th-place finish, Henderson rebounded from an opening bogey six with three birdies. Her blase 70 was more than enough to distance her from the field. When the final flag stick was replaced, Henderson stood four shots clear of Eun-Hee Ji, with her 8th career trophy in her embrace.
The toughest task of the week was Korda’s. She bolted to a two-shot lead with 63 on Wednesday, thanks to a 50-50 split of nine birdies and nine pars. Korda maintained a two-shot lead over Henderson through 36 holes, despite a pair of Thursday bogeys. On Friday, Korda posted three bogeys on her card, yet still preserved a tie at the top spot, thanks to four birdies on the card. On Sunday, the young Floridian continued trending downward, lowlighted by a double-bogey six at the ninth hole, and wet, quadruple-bogey eight at the finisher. The nearest threat came from Ariya Jutanugarn, who stood at 14-under par with four holes remaining. At precisely the time when she needed a big finish, the former No. 1 closed with a bogey and a double over the final four holes. She tied for third, one stroke behind Ji.
HIGHLIGHTS ?? pic.twitter.com/eWZFQggt9s
— LPGA (@LPGA) April 21, 2019
Lanto Calrissian claims 2nd career Web.Com in Alabama
He’s no spice runner, but Lanto Griffin might be mistaken for the suave, Baron Administrator of Cloud City. Why, you ask? Well, the Californian-turned-Virginian held off Alabama son Robby Shelton in a dramatic, four-hole playoff, to claim his second career, Web.Com Tour event. In the first year of the RTJ Golf Trail Championship, Griffin birdied 4 holes in his outward nine to seize the lead, then bogeyed the 12th to lose it. Playing Cat and Mouse with him was Shelton, who interrupted a run of birdies with a pair of bogeys, then birdied the 16th to take over the top spot. With everything on the line, Griffin made 3 at the par-four finishing hole to join Shelton atop the leader board. The pair played the 18th hole twice in extra time, matching the other’s pars. They moved to the ninth, also a par 4, before returning to the 18th once more. There, Griffin ended matters with an exquisite birdie from 14 inches, his 2nd of the day at the closing hole. The victory moved the winner from 93rd to 9th in the chase for a PGA Tour card. Shelton moved from 46th to 12th with his runner-up finish.
— Web.com Tour (@WebDotComTour) April 21, 2019
McCarron wins first title of 2019 at Mitsubushi Electric Classic
Scott McCarron won three times on the regular PGA Tour, with two of those wins coming at TPC Sugarloaf, near Atlanta. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that he won this week’s PGA Tour Champions event at the same course, but that it took him four attempts to do so. With wet weather wreaking havoc on golfers’ psyches, McCarron needed all of his concentrative abilities to stay the course. On Saturday, within one stroke of the lead, Vijay Singh dumped three wedges into the pond fronting the final green. His 10 dropped him from contention, leading to a T14 finish overall. McCarron made a clutch birdie at the same hole to expand his overnight lead to three shots. He would need all of them.
Jerry Kelly mounted an early Sunday charge, with birdies at his first three holes and fourth on the sixth. He added a lone bogey on the 13th, then closed with shot-savers at the final two holes. McCarron, meanwhile, played topsy-turvy over his opening four holes. Birdies at two and four did not compensate for bogey at No. 1 and double bogey at three. In little more than an hour, his lead was nearly gone. Kirk Triplett, Kent Jones, and Joe Durant also joined the fray. Each would match Kelly, coming up short of the winner’s effort.
As noted, Kelly cooled off after his hot start, while McCarron found stability. His final 14 holes consisted of 12 pars and two birdies, enough to force a desperate field to give chase, something it failed to do. McCarron won four times on tour in 2017, but tapered off to 2 victories and a handful of missed chances in 2018. Will 2019 be the year that he becomes THE elite winner? Atlanta was a good start.
Scott McCarron increases his lead. ????
— PGA TOUR Champions (@ChampionsTour) April 21, 2019
Morning 9: Pantastic! | Henderson greatest in history of Canadian women’s golf? | Rough Sunday for DJ
By Ben Alberstadt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
April 21, 2019
Good Monday morning, golf fans.
Not the Dustin Johnson triumph we expected, true. Nevertheless, C.T. Pan’s W was compelling and steely down the stretch.
2. The (co-) winningest Canadian woman ever
Golf.com’s Pat Ralph…”Brooke Henderson captured her second straight Lotte Championship in Hawaii on Saturday to tie the Canadian record for LPGA Tour wins with eight thus far in her career. The 21-year-old Henderson now shares the record with former pro golfer Sandra Post.”
3. Rough Sunday for DJ…and viewers?
John Strege writes…”Johnson, 6-foot-4 and as athletic and talented as anyone in golf, shot a 77 (41 on the back nine) and tied for 28th. The tournament was won by C.T. Pan, a 5-foot-6 package of professional mediocrity prior to posting his first PGA Tour victory. In nine previous starts in the calendar year, he had not finished better than a tie for 42nd.”
Forgive the length of the excerpt, but Josh Vitale’s (of the Montgomery Advertiser, excerpted in Golfweek) use of Maya Brown, Lanto Griffin’s girlfriend, in his game story is superb.
5. …and Bhatia made the cut
Joel Beall writes…”Bhatia, the 17-year-old who made his PGA Tour debut last month at the Valspar Championship, was able to Monday qualify into the Web.com Tour’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Championship, and has made the most of his opportunity by making the cut at the rain-delayed event.”
A first-round 73 left Bhatia outside the top 100, but the homeschooler from North Carolina bounced back in Round 2 with a two-under 70, moving into a tie for 40th and good enough to advance to Saturday play.
Bhatia finished tied for 42nd.
6. McCarron gets it done
AP Report…”Scott McCarron completed a wire-to-wire victory in the Mitsubishi Electric Classic on Sunday for his third victory at TPC Sugarloaf on the PGA Tour Champions circuit.”
7. President Trump tees off with Lexi Thompson, Rush Limbaugh
Rachel Frazin of the Hill…
8. Every shot technology…almost
Golfweek’s Forecaddie on the Masters attempt to have every shot available to view online…
9. Recapping the Ventus Experience
A handful of GolfWRXers visited Fujikura HQ for a look at the company’s newest wares, fittings, and more. Check out their experiences (along with plenty of photos) in this forum thread.
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