Memorial Day weekend brought something not seen in 2019: zero rain delays. Well, OK, they had a few in Rochester, but the Senior PGA still finished on schedule. The remainder of the golfing world saw wonderfully-sunny skies, and the players responded with spectacular golf. Come again? They pushed up the tee times in Chicago to avoid a thunderstorm? Oh. Fine, it was business as usual in professional golf, with organizers doing the Tango Mother Nature. Some things never change, but winners do. This week, we had two first-time victors on their respective tours, along with a first-time, major championship winner. Have a look at Tour Rundown for Monday, May 27th, 2019.
PGA Tour-Charles Schwab Challenge
In the event known only by me as “The Artist Formerly Known As Colonial National Invitational” #ReferencePrinceTilIDie, Kevin Na rode a 2nd-round 62 (8-under par) to his 3rd career tour win, and 2nd in the last 12 months. Off on Sunday morning with a 2-shot advantage over Tony Finau and four others, Na doubled his margin of victory by driving the ball straight. He hit 71% of fairways on day 4, verse 43% for Finau. Na was also 10% better in GIR, and nearly a full stroke better in strokes gained putting. That type of an advantage means, unless the chaser holes shots from off the green with abandon, the leader wins. Na birdies all the even-numbered holes on the front nine to set a bar for his challengers. None was up to the task, and a 2-birdie, 1-bogey inward half brought Na his first trophy of 2019. Na talked about how the course plays into his hands, and statistics bore that out:
It’s a great designed golf course. You got to hit a lot of draws off the tee. Just some of the way the hole sits, I like it. Few cut holes. I can cut it when I need to. Mostly I think a lot of my draws work out here.
And I mentioned this many times, I feel like it’s a second-shot-in golf course. The golf course, everyone kind of puts it in the same position off the tee and same spot.
It’s about how good you can hit it with the irons and how well you can putt. I’m a pretty good player fairway in.
Kevin Na is leading by 2.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 26, 2019
Made In Denmark is Wiesberger’s 5th Euro Tour title
During the early years of the present decade, Bernd Wiesberger’s name was in the mix for a spot on the European Ryder Cup squad. He didn’t make it, but did earn three tour titles through 2015. Over the next four seasons, only one more title came the Austrian’s way, and his facility with victory appeared to go away. This week, the magic touch returned, and Wiesberger earned a 5th title at the Made In Denmark event. His margin of victory was razor-thin, one stroke over Robert MacIntyre of Scotland. The Scot was nearly flawless on day four, charting a course of six birdies and the rest, pars, through 16 holes. A bogey at 17 ended the perfect game, and was the one shot lost on the day. For Wiesberger, his 65 was filled with a volatile cocktail of non-pars. He had a double at the 4th, an eagle at the 11th. Seven birdies offset bogeys at 13 and 18. The final misstep served to make the final result closer than it was, and a well-earned trophy rested in Wiesberger’s hands.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) May 26, 2019
LPGA Tour’s Pure Silk not “pear-shaped” for England’s Bronte Law
The Englishwoman crafted a unique metaphor for potential derailing of her final round. We’ll get to it in the ending quote, but suffice it to say that her first victory on the American tour was a potent one. She held off an international brigade from Japan (Nasa Hataoka) Canada (Brooke Henderson) and Sweden (Madelene Sagstrom) by one thin putt. Law broke from the gate with 4 birdies over her first 8 holes. A bogey at the 9th quieted the charge, but she did play the inward half under par. Hataoka began the day in a tie with the victor, but her 4 birdies were offset by 2 bogies. The fiery first half, despite the bogey, of Law’s round four, compelled the field to chase after her with abandon, which typically includes lost shots. There were enough wayward efforts on the day to allow Bronte Law to claim a maiden LPGA title.
Today was tough out there. I was trying to stay calm out there in 92 degree heat. It’s not that easy. Feel like I held it together pretty well in the middle of a round when it could have all gone pear shaped.
FINAL ROUND HIGHLIGHTS ?? pic.twitter.com/Nq2PTYIKrw
— LPGA (@LPGA) May 27, 2019
Scheffler defeats Colombia at Web.Com Tour’s Evans Scholars Invitational
After four years at the University of Texas, Scottie Scheffler took to the road of so many predecessors, the one that leads to the PGA Tour. His performance over Memorial Day weekend guaranteed that a big-tour card would be his in the near future. Scheffler and Colombia’s Marcelo Rozo finished regulation play at 17-under par, one shot clear of Rozo’s countryman, Nicolas Echavarria. The 3rd-place man had a brilliant finish to his round, with birdies at 5 of the final 6 holes, for 63. Behind him, Scheffler also closed fast, with 6 birdies on the back 9, for an inward 30. Rozo had 4 chirps of his own, coming home, but a wayward drive on 16 led to his 3rd bogey on the day, dropping into a tie with the Longhorn. The pair traveled to the 18th hole twice in extra holes, where Scheffler finally made the 3rd time the charm, and made birdie. With that 4, he leaped over everyone but Robby Shelton in the race for a PGA Tour card. Rozo ascended over 100 spots, to 30th, and Echavarria jumped to 46th.
On the second playoff hole @ESInvite, Scottie Scheffler faced an 18-foot birdie putt for the win.
— Web.com Tour (@WebDotComTour) May 26, 2019
Senior PGA is Oak Hill East’s final major before restoration
After nearly four decades of undoing Donald Ross, Oak Hill returns to the master’s plan this summer. The East course will return to a layout not seen in major championship play since 1968. A farewell of sorts to the modernized course was held this week, as the Senior PGA Championship came back to the Rochester (NY) club. Known in some circles as “Choke Hill,” the venerable and challenging course gave the elders little chance to breathe easy, especially on Sunday. Six scores below par were returned on day four, with Billy Andrade’s 66 the low. It elevated him nearly 20 positions on the final afternoon. Doing battle late in the day were defending champion Paul Broadhurst, Scott McCarron and his college teammate, Ken Tanigawa. Broadhurst struggled on day four, ballooning to a 75 that dropped to him to -1 and 3rd place. McCarron gave chase all afternoon, but needed one more shot to catch the winner. Ken Tanigawa found a way to make birdies at 15 and 16, then added a spectacular up-and-down from 1243 yards at the last for the win, acknowledging all the while how difficult it was to win a senior major title:
I was leaking oil…once you hit it in the rough here, it gets really, really difficult. And (on 15) boy, it’s a tough shot really, under the circumstances… I hit an 8-iron — I was kind of between clubs … hit it really solid … hit a good putt and was really fortunate to make two there.
And then the next hole really was, you know, I drove it in that right rough again and hit a really good second shot to chip it down there and have it run on the green. And that was maybe the kind of a pivotal point, kind of gave me a little bit of cushion, because I was leaving so many putts short… Luckily it went in and made the birdie.
Ken Tanigawa's clutch finish stood out as the top shots on Sunday at Oak Hill. pic.twitter.com/zeOnJmAVW0
— PGA TOUR Champions (@ChampionsTour) May 27, 2019
Morning 9: Danny Comeback | Nelly | Munoz (and the rise of Latin American golf)
September 23, 2019
Good Monday morning, golf fans.
1. Danny Comeback
James Corrigan at The Telegraph…”The great Danny Willett comeback is finally complete. The Englishman, who fell so far and so dramatically in the wake of his Masters glory, proved that all the talent and competitive resilience of 2016 remains with a 20-under destruction of Jon Rahm and a world-class field.”
2. Munoz gets it done
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Munoz started the day with a one-shot lead, and for much of the afternoon it appeared to be his tournament to lose. But Im rallied with three straight birdies on the back nine to overtake him, leaving Munoz in the unenviable position of needing a birdie on the hardest hole to force the Tour’s first playoff since the RSM Classic in November. But his 15-footer on the 72nd hole found the bottom of the cup, and when Im missed a short par putt on the first playoff hole Munoz was left with a 4-footer for the win. The Colombian was battling to save his card at last month’s Wyndham Championship, but with the win he’s now exempt through the 2022 season and will make his Masters debut in April.”
3. Meet Munoz
So, who is this guy?
PGATour.com’s Sean Martin…“Like his former teammate, he didn’t take long to enter the winner’s circle. Munoz won his second start on the Korn Ferry Tour, after receiving a sponsor exemption into the event in his native Colombia. It translated into his first PGA TOUR card.”
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell…”Nelly Korda didn’t leave Europe without a trophy after all.”
5. Unleash the calves!
Steve DiMeglio for Golfweek on what’s ahead in Napa…
6. Rising, falling in strokes gained putting
Some research from David Dusek and the Golfweek team shows who’s improving (and who isn’t) in SG:P…”Unlike Spieth, who went from being a below-average putter to elite, Denny McCarthy went from being solid to the best on tour by lifting his average from 0.449 to 0.926, the 14th biggest rise last season.”
7. On spending $400 on a putter…
A question for Bomb & Gouge…Do I need to spend $400 on a putter or nah? –@Sam_Beishuizen
“Do you “need’ to spend $400 on a putter? No one truly needs to spend $400 on a putter. Of course, if you’re willing to spend $500-plus on a new driver, you could investigate the value of a higher end putter because you might be better fit at that price point than one from the bargain barrel. But fact is, most putters on the Golf Digest Hot List are well below that, and we’ve even had putters that go for as little as a hundred bucks make the list. And tour players have won with putters they picked up on sale or even used at the local golf shop or Golf Galaxy. If you’re the type of golfer that appreciates the quality of materials and the craftsmanship that comes with a $400 putter then you might not need to, but you might want to. It’s no different than the person who drives a Tesla or a Mercedes. They don’t need it to get where they’re going. A Honda CR-V will do just fine. But there’s a certain chest-puffing attitude that comes with knowing you have something special. Same applies to putters.”
8. Slow start to slow play monitoring
Geoff Shackelford writes…”The four-point plan debuted this week at the BMW PGA and despite some nice additions to the list of slow play remedies, we know the players aren’t always to blame. Even with the overrated field size reduction to 132, there is the pesky matter of modern distances on any course under 8,000 yards. That means waits, more waits and almost no chance of getting around in the time par of 4:30 or so.”
9. The rise of Latin American golfers?
Golf Digest’s Brian Wacker writes…”A week ago, 20-year-old Joaquin Niemann of Chile became the youngest non-American winner on the PGA Tour since 1923. Sunday, 26-year-old Sebastian Munoz became the first Colombian-born player to win on tour since Camilo Villegas.”
Interesting photos from the 2019 Sanderson Farms Championship
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
- New Bettinardi putter – Sept 2019
- Matt Jones’ Cameron putters – Sept 2019
- Scotty Cameron Teryllium TFB-1.5 (stainless)
- PXG Putters – September 2019
- New Mitsubishi AV shafts – September 2019
- Joaquin Niemann – WITB Sept 2019
- Chandler Phillips – WITB Sept 2019
- Akshay Bhatia – WITB September 2019
- 2019 Sanderson Farms – Monday #1
- 2019 Sanderson Farms – Monday #2
- 2019 Sanderson Farms – Monday #3
- 2019 Sanderson Farms – Tuesday #1
- Sanderson Farms – Tuesday #2
Morning 9: Hoage! | Another Romo sponsor’s exemption | First foreign-born U.S. Mid-Am winner | Skins game details
September 20, 2019
Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1. Another bite at the Hoge
Sean Martin at PGATour.com…“Tom Hoge couldn’t keep pace with Joaquin Niemann over the final holes of last week’s A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier, but now Hoge finds himself atop the leaderboard in the second event of the PGA TOUR season.”
2. Meanwhile, in Europe…
Round one at the BMW PGA…“Rory McIlroy made six bogeys and a double bogey in his last 11 holes to shoot 4-over 76 at the BMW PGA Championship, leaving the world No. 2 already 11 strokes off the first-round lead held by Matt Wallace on Thursday.”
At the time of this writing, Danny Willett has an -8 second round going and is ahead by three at -12.
3. Romo planning to make the cut?
“The Forecaddie perused the Safeway Classic field next week and saw former quarterback Tony Romo will be playing on a sponsor invite. This was hardly earth-shattering given the former Cowboy’s appearance in three PGA Tour events and his passion for competitive golf.”
4. First foreign-born U.S. Mid-Am winner
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…“Australian Lukas Michel rallied to win the U.S. Mid-Amateur final, 2 and 1, to punch his ticket to next year’s Masters and U.S. Open.”
5. Stadium’s a goin’ up!
Golfweek’s Todd Kelly…”The Waste Management Phoenix Open is more than four months away but construction at TPC Scottsdale has already started.”
6. ZJ takes advantage
PGATour.com’s Sean Martin…”‘Opportunity’ is a word used often at the Sanderson Farms Championship. The second event of the PGA TOUR season provides new players fresh off the Korn Ferry Tour the chance to gain experience, get a head-start in the FedExCup race and even earn that maiden victory and all the trappings that accompany it.”
7. Hovland’s “home” debut
Golf Digest’s John Huggan…”Viktor Hovland has never failed to shoot in the 60s on the European Tour. Not even once.”
8. Molinari speaketh
An interesting question for Francesco Molinari in a New York Times interview…”On a personal note, does it bother you that soccer players get more adoration than golfers in Italy?”
9. ICYMI: Skins game details
News from yesterday, in case you missed it. Our Gianni Magliocco…”The upcoming skins match in Japan involving Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama is set, with a prize purse of $350,00 up for grabs.”
Best driver of 2019
Justin Thomas’ winning WITB: 2019 BMW Championship
Top 5 wedges of all time
Rory McIlroy’s winning WITB: 2019 Tour Championship
Top 10 most iconic driver and fairway wood shafts of all time
Titleist Left Dash Pro V1x is headed to retail
Patrick Reed’s winning WITB: 2019 Northern Trust
Phil Mickelson WITB
New 2019 TaylorMade P790 irons: Subtle changes improve a modern cult classic
How much each player won at the 2019 BMW PGA Championship
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How much each player won at the 2019 Sanderson Farms Championship
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The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (9.20.19)
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