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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.

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  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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Equipment

Charles Howell III’s winning WITB: 2018 RSM Classic

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Driver: Titleist TS3 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 65

Fairway woods: Titleist TS2 (15, 21 degrees)
Shafts: Fujikura ATMOS Tour Spec Black 8X, Fujikura ATMOS Tour Spec Black 9X

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB 4-iron, Titleist 718 AP2 (5-7), Titleist 718 CB (8-PW)
Shafts: Project X LZ 6.5 (hard stepped)

Wedges: Vokey SM7 (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Align

Ball: Titleist Pro V1 (proto)

SEA ISLAND, GA – NOVEMBER 17: Charles Howell lll tees off on the eighth hole tee box during the third round of The RSM Classic at the Sea Island Resort Seaside Course on November 17, 2018 in Sea Island, Georgia. (Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR)

RELATED: See what members are saying about CH III’s equipment in the forums.

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Equipment

Danny Willett’s Winning WITB: DP World Tour Championship

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Driver: Callaway Rogue (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana W 60x

3-wood: Callaway Rogue Fairway Wood (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana W 70X

Irons: Callaway X Forged Utility Irons (18, 21, 24 degrees), Callaway X Forged 18 Irons (5-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Superlite

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy Forged PW (48 degrees), Callaway Mack Daddy 4 Wedges (54, 58 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold

Putter: Odyssey Prototype (Stroke Lab)

Ball: Chrome Soft X

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Equipment

Lee Westwood’s winning WITB: 2018 Nedbank Golf Challenge

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Driver: Ping G400 LST (10 degrees) (D6)
Shaft: Veylix Rome 60 X Tip 1”, 45.25″

3-wood: Ping G400 (14.5 degrees) (D3)
Shaft: Aldila Phenom 70X, 43″

Hybrid: Ping G (19 degrees) (D2+)
Shaft: Aldila ATX Tour Green 85X, 40.5”

Irons: Ping i210 4-PW, UW (50 degrees) UW (54 degrees) (Std length, Blue color code, D0+)
Shafts: Ping JZ Stiff

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged (60 degrees)
Shaft: JZ Stiff

Putter: Ping Sigma 2 Fetch 35”
Grip: PING Pistol Sigma 2 PP60

Grips: Lamkin Crossline Full Cord (+1 wrap) on woods, PING Id8 Half Cord on irons

Ball: Titleist ProV1x

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