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Tour Rundown: 20 Ws for DJ, Yang’s third in Thailand, Trainer no longer

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While the arrival of a major championship or a World Golf Championship event heightens enthusiasm among viewers, it makes the job of Tour Rundown an arduous one. Other tours tend to take the week off (European, Web and Champions, for example, this week) and our intrepid investigators (me!) are forced to scour the planet for golf news. Fortunately, the Ladies European Tour and the PGA of Australia bailed us out this week, with wonderful events. With that said, here is this week’s GolfWRX Tour Rundown, highlighted by the WGC Mexico Championship.

Dustin Johnson double-decade in wins after WGC Mexico

We’ve come a long way since the USGA planted a tree, to stop Lon Hinkle from taking a US-Open shortcut. While purists bemoan the traversing of entire par fours in one mighty strike, it makes for great golf. Such was the tale at Chapultepec this week, as Rory and Rickie and DJ (and many others) took countless lines over treetops, arriving on or near the putting surface in one. Trouble still lurked, which made Dustin Johnson’s triumph an impressive tableau.

The lanky one drove the ball supremely all week, matched it with steely iron play and nervy recovery efforts. McIlroy tried mightily to put pressure on the 2015 US Open champion on Sunday, but Johnson responded each time with the shot required. In the end. DJ stood atop the pyramid with 21-under par, 5 shots clear of his pursuer from Northern Ireland. Paul Casey, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Ian Poulter came third at -11. His 20th tour win and 6th WGC title brought Johnson to 8th in FedEx Cup standings and 2nd in world golf rankings.

Yang claims 3rd LPGA Thailand title by 1

Make a note to bet Amy Yang in 2020, when the LPGA Tour returns to Thailand in February. The Korean-turned-Australian-turned Floridian made this year’s playing her 4th LPGA title, and 3rd in 5 years in the Land of Smiles. As for Minjee Lee, the young Korean-Aussie must wonder what more it takes to win. Despite four rounds in the 60s (one of two golfers to achieve this distinction all week), Lee came second to Yang’s 9-birdie Sunday effort.

Despite 2 bogeys in round four, Yang rode 5 consecutive front-nine birdies to 64 and victory. Lee had no blemishes on her Sunday card, but still came up one agonizing stroke from a playoff. Spain’s Carlota Ciganda also went stratospheric over the final 18. The Iberian had 2 eagles in her 63, and certainly imagined herself in the mix. Alas, her -20 was 2 off the pace and 1 behind Lee’s runner-up tally.

Trainer no longer, Martin wins on PGA Tour

After 2 Web.Com tour titles in 2018, Martin Trainer didn’t slow his roll one bit in Puerto Rico. The USC Trojan kept his 2018 Web.Com momentum at full speed at Rio Grande golf club this week. He overtook 54-hole leader Aaron Baddeley with a 7-birdie 67, and earned a convincing, 3-shot win over Baddeley and 3 cohorts.

The title was Trainer’s first in 11 events on tour. He had solo appearances in 2011 and 2014, all while working his way up from PGA Tour Latinoamerica to the Web, to the top shelf. Johnson Wagner was within a stroke of the winner late Sunday, but made bogey at 17 to fall 2 back. Trainer’s 72nd-hole birdie established the final victory margin. Wagner and Baddeley were joined by Roger Sloan and Daniel Berger in the runner-up stable.

Skarpnord earns 4th Ladies European Tour title in Australia

After 2 titles in 2K9, followed by another in 2K13, Norway’s Marianne Skarpnord waited 6 years to secure victory number four. She did so at the Australian Ladies Classic, by two shots over Spain’s Nuria Iturrios. Skarpnord and hometowner Hannah Green.

The only bumps along the road for the Norwegian appropriately came at the diabolical 13th. Skarpnor bogeyed the hole each day, accounting for 4 of her 11 bogeys on the week. The rest of the way, she was in control. 19 birdies, including the 71st and 72nd holes, gave her the 2-shot margin of victory over the runners-up. Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom owned a slim 3rd round over a host of players, but received no love from the Bonville course on Sunday. She ballooned to 75 and a t6 finish in the end.

Nisbet in control at Queensland PGA Championship

A wonderful competition ensued late Sunday, between Harrison Endycott and Deyen Lawson. In the end, the pair tied at -18. Officially, that tie represented second place, as Daniel Nisbet lapped the field by a 6-stroke margin. Nisbet’s greatest victory came in 2018, at the New Zealand Open. Since then, a spate of missed cuts and mediocre finishes have kept him mired near the 400th spot on the official world golf rankings. This week, however, was a different story. The Queenslander etched 24 birdies and 3 eagles onto his 4 scorecards this week, and closed with rounds of 63-63-64 after a ho-hum 66 in round one. The title is Nisbet’s 3rd in the past 2 seasons on his home tour.

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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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Tour Photo Galleries

Interesting photos from the Safeway Open

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GolfWRX was scouring the range and practice greens at the Safeway Open earlier this week, and we have a ton of photos from Napa for your viewing pleasure.

In addition to five general galleries of photos, we got WITB looks at Hideki Matsuyama, Morgan Hoffmann, Jhonny Vegas, among others. We also took a peek at Bryson DeChambeau’s prototype LA Golf Shafts “Rebar” wedge shaft, the new Scotty Cameron Tour Rat putter cover, some Nippon prototype and KBS graphite driver shafts, and new Ping PLD putters.

So, yeah, it was a pretty good week if you’re a gear junkie in need of your tour equipment photo fix.

A few of the most interesting shots, below.

*Featured image: Kevin Stadler’s Callaway Steelhead III 4+ wood

When at the Safeway Open…

Hey, we know that guy!

Bryson DeChambeau’s new “Rebar” wedge shaft (details here)

Hideki Matsuyama with a leaden offering to the golf gods

Jhonny Vegas may be the last Nike Vapor wood holdout on tour

SuperStroke with a geographically appropriate limited-edition grip offering

Prototype Nippon N.S. Pro iron shafts

New Scotty Cameron Tour Rat putter covers spotted

KBS graphite shafts spotted

Callaway’s tour only 60T Jaws MD5 wedge

Ping PLD goodness

General galleries

Special galleries

WITB

 

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Tour Photo Galleries

Interesting photos from the 2019 Sanderson Farms Championship

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GolfWRX was on site at the 2019 Sanderson Farms Championship at the Country Club of Jackson in Jackson, Mississippi.

In addition to the usual spread of range photos from Monday and Tuesday, we also got a look at a new flatstick from Bettinardi, a few of Matt Jones’ Scotty Cameron putters, new wands from PXG, and some new shafts from Mitsubishi.

Check out a few highlights below and find the links to all our galleries after that.

2018 Scotty Cameron Hula Girl cover sighting!

A look at the unique tee markers

New Callaway staffer Akshay Bhatia’s awesome Callaway Apex MB irons

“Furby Boy” Joaquin Niemann’s 56-degree wedge

New Mitsubishi Tensei AV shafts spotted

One of the several new PXG Gen2 putters we got an in-hand look at

Sam Ryder with a little weight taken out of his Cleveland RTX-3 wedges

One of Matt Jones’ prototype Scotty Cameron putters

An in-hand look at the limited Bettinardi QB8 that launched in The Hive this week

All our photos from the Sanderson Farms Championship

WITB

General galleries

 

 

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Tour Photo Galleries

Interesting photos from A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier

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GolfWRX was watching the range, circling the putting green, and generally keeping an eye on the notable equipment on display for the first PGA Tour event of the 2019-2020 season, A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier.

While we encourage you to check out all of our photos from White Sulphur Springs, here are a few hand-picked shots to whet your appetite.

New Mitsubishi MMT 125-gram iron shaft

Kevin Chappell with a Golf Pride SNSR putter grip..on his driver?

Maverick McNealy’s Top Gun-inspired putter cover

Face on shot of one of the many new SeeMore putter models spotted at The Greenbrier

Odyssey’s New Stroke Lab Ten putters

Face-on look at Cam Smith’s Scotty Cameron Teryllium TFB 1.5

Jason Dufner’s prototype LA Golf Shafts iron shaft (more info)

TaylorMade Original One Mini Driver spotted on Tour! (in Grayson Murray’s bag)

2019 BV Proto wedge belonging to Rafa Campos

…and another Vokey, this time it’s Kris Ventura’s 60-degree SM7

Check out all our photos from The Greenbrier below!

General

Special

WITB

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