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Tour Rundown: Jimenez wins the Senior Open at St. Andrews

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The essence of professional golf remained outside the USA as July soldiered on. The PGA Tour contested the Canadian national championship near Toronto, while the LPGA and Ladies European Tours visited the Open championship of Scotland in East Lothian. Of even greater importance, the senior men journeyed to the home of golf for the Senior Open championship. Many unique ingredients in the batter, so let’s blend up a Tour Rundown and see how it tastes.

DJ claims third victory of season at Canadian Open

One thing you can say about Dustin Johnson: he bounces back well. After his first missed cut of the season, Johnson traveled across the Atlantic and played outstanding golf in Oakville. His work over the Glen Abbey course was without peer, and he ambled his way to a 3-shot victory over Whee Kim and Byeong Hun An. That trio began day 4 in a first-place tie. While Johnson and An had won on the professional stage, Kim had not. Johnson threw down his challenge on the outward half, playing 3-under golf over the opening nine holes. Neither challenger remained apace, and the 2016 U.S. Open champion built a comfortable lead. Then came a mid-round rain delay, and the spirits of the challengers returned. Kim played 3-under over the closing nine, while An closed in minus-two.

Unfortunately for the them, Johnson upped his game as well. He birdied each of the back-nine, par-five holes, after making his only bogey of the round at number twelve. By round’s end, Johnson was in at 23-under par, sufficient to wear the Canadian Mountie’s hat for the first time. The victory was the 19th of his increasingly-storied career, and moved him over 500 points ahead of Justin Thomas in the FedEx Cup points race. An moved to 36th spot, while Kim jumped to 51st on the same list.

Senior Open belongs to Jiménez after unmatched week

Miguel Ángel Jiménez might remember 2018 as the year he learned to close out a senior major championship. The 54-year old champion from southern Spain had captured the fancy and imagination of the golfing public, morphing from The Mechanic to the The most interesting golfer in the world. Cigars, knee swirls and a unique hairstayle will do that for a man. Throughout his career, the major-championship column remain unchecked. In May, Jiménez claimed the Tradition, and this week, he added a second at the Old Course at St. Andrews. Dueling down the stretch with the eternal poise of Bernhard Langer, Jiménez eeked out a single-shot victory over the German, 12-under to 11-under.

Both golfers went away from the start in great fashion. Jiménez was -4 on the day through 12 holes, while Langer stood at the same figure, through 8. This week, the winds played against on the homeward run, and neither golfer could post much red on the inward trek. Scott McCarron played the back nine in minus-3, a move that elevated him to T3 with Stephen Ames and Kirk Triplett. A unique two-putt, from the 18th tee to the 17th green, preserved the Spaniard’s advantage and par at the last was enough to join him forever, with countryman Seve Ballesteros, as winners of Open championships at The Old Course.

Jutanugarn holds off Lee for Scottish Open

The golf courses of Gullane put on a show this month for fans of golf. This week, the ladies contested their Scottish Open over the sublime layouts, and two golfers matched skills down the stretch. World number-one Ariya Jutanugarn held off Australia’s Minjee Lee by a single shot, claiming her 3rd title of 2018, and 2nd national championship of that stretch. The Thai golfer reached 13-under par, 1 ahead of Lee and 5 beyond 3rd place Jin Young Ko and Haeji Kang.

Through the first 6 holes on Sunday, Lee had assumed a one-stroke lead over the 2018 U.S. Open champion. Jutanugarn’s only bogey came at that 6th hole, but she rebounded with immediacy, making birdie at 4 of the next 5 holes. Lee was 2-under over that same stretch, but could only watch as Jutanugarn moved one ahead. As they came to the last, Lee found herself 10 feet from birdie, while Jutanugarn faced a tricky pitch shot over creased fairway. The potential for a 2-stroke swing was nigh, but Jutanugarn’s touch was exquisite. Her ball nested 1 foot from the hole, forcing Lee to make birdie to tie. She erred, and the title belonged to Ariya, her third of the season.

Price Cutter Charity is Trainer’s second win of 2018

Martin Trainer occupies third spot on the Web.Com Tour’s money list. He has 2 victories in this calendar year, yet he might be the most unrecognizable star of the 2018 season. After winning in Mexico in March, Trainer missed 7 of 8 cuts and, until a T9 finish in Utah this month, had not finished inside the top 50 on tour. He missed the cut last week in Missouri, but destiny again inserted her hand, and Trainer again found his game. He opened with a 10-birdie 62 on Thursday, played three more rounds in the 60s, and survived a Henrik Norlander, weekend charge with a birdie of his own at the 72nd hole. The victory elevated the Southern Cal alumnus from 24th to his current 3rd, secure in the knowledge that a 2018-19 PGA Tour card awaits.

All credit to Norlander for applying pressure. After opening with 68, he survived the lowest-ever cut on the Web.Com Tour (-7) with 67 on day 2. Scores of 65 and 64 on the weekend moved him oh-so-close to the top. His season has featured consistent yet unspectacular play, with a T8 at LECOM earlier this month, his previous best. Like Trainer, he birdied the final hole, and finished 24-under par. The runner-up finish moved him 30 spots on the season-long race for The 25, to 22nd position.

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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.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Gurn Blanstin

    Jul 31, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Wish that we could see a bunch of Senior WITB… Watson? Lehman? Etc…

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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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