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Tour Rundown: Unlikely Shibuno, the Postman, ZB, and more



Major championship season came to an end this week with the Women’s Open championship. Many PGA Tour golfers exhaled a sigh of relief (they kept their cards for 2019-20) or inhaled a deep breath of recommitment (they lost their tour cards.) The European and Champions tours are off on vacation for another week or two, so you get a look at tours you don’t normally see in Tour Rundown. We’ll even toss in an amateur event, which we almost never do. This one is the toughest amateur event in the world to win. You’ll see why. Time for Tour Rundown on Monday, August 5th, 2019.

Wyndham Championship sees Postman cap the regular season with a delivery

The list is long for golfers who kept their card, lost their card, got into the FedEx Cup playoffs, just missed the FedEx Cup playoffs. This column is not about them. It is about J.T. Poston and his first PGA Tour win. Poston’s Twitter handle is JT_ThePostman. On Sunday in Greensboro, he delivered every bit of the mail. Poston began the final round 3 shots in arrears of leader Ben An. An was in control most of the day, until stumbling to an unexpected bogey at the par-five 15th hole. He bounced back immediately with birdie at the 16th, but needed one more birdie coming home to catch Poston. Bogey at the last dropped An to 3rd place. Webb Simpson, a local lad and former winner of this event, began the day in a funk. Bogeys at 2 of the first 3 holes dropped him off the pace. Simpson rebounded with 7 birdies the rest of the way, to ease past An, into 2nd spot at -21. It was Poston’s start that made the difference. 3 birdies and an eagle led to an outbound 30. 3 birdies against 0 bogeys coming home, gave him 32 for 62 on the day. He sweated the final pairings, but no putts would drop against him. The win elevated Poston from 83rd to 27th, almost a guarantee through to the Tour Championship.

Women’s Open Championship to the unlikely Shibuno

Bullet-Point powers, activate! Five things that Hinako Shibuno was NOT supposed to do this week:

  1. Play a heathland course. Shibuno arrived in England, expecting links conditions;
  2. Play the back nine with 18 birdies and 0 bogeys the entire week (yet she did!);
  3. Post a score in the 60s each of the four tournament days  (only one in the field to do so);
  4. Make a double bogey on her 3rd Sunday hole and not vanish (she did, yet she didn’t);
  5. Win by 1 stroke with a birdie on the 72nd hole. Oh, she most certainly did!

Shibuno was no stranger to winning, doing so twice on the Japan LPGA Tour. This was different. It was the LPGA and Ladies European Tour combined. It was a major championship. It was a world stage. And with one massive week, she catapulted herself into the eyes of Japan’s Olympic selection committee. She earned an LPGA card, and she most likely jumped into the world’s top 40 golfers. Snap. A moment, if you will, for Lizette Salas. The American did all that she could have done to win this tournament. She posted 65 with 8 birdies. Wonks might say that her bogey at the par-3 6th hole kept her from a playoff, but that isn’t so. As with Stenson-Mickelson in 2016, 2 deserving golfers were left with only 1 trophy.

Ellie Mae Classic to refocused Blair on Korn Ferry Tour

Zac Blair makes no secret about his love of classic golf course architecture. He shares his thought on the subject on discussion boards, and is in the process of building The Buck Club in Utah, an homage to the great golf holes of yesteryear. Along the line, the love took over from the task, and Blair’s game went a-wandering. In 2019, he rededicated himself to his game, and the work paid off on Sunday. Blair played a mistake-free round at tricky TPC Stonebrae, and won the Ellie Mae Classic by one shot over a surging Brandon Crick. Both Crick and Maverick McNealy had viable shots at the title, but they could not avoid the big number. Crick had a bogey and a double on his outbound nine. McNealy, who led much of the day, had 2 bogies and 1 double on his card. Blair’s error-free golf on Sunday forced the field to take chances. McNealy needed birdie at the last to tie, but made bogey instead. Crick birdied 4 of his final 5 holes, in an effort to overtake the winner. He came up one chirp shy of extra time. Blair moved to 31st on the year-long points chase, positioning himself well for a return to PGA Tour with a top-five finish next week in Portland.

1932byBateman to Canada’s Taylor Pendrith on Mackenzie Tour

Taylor Pendrith had amassed a pile of points without a win on the PGA Tour Canada season. He found himself in 5th position, the final one to earn a pass to the Korn Ferry Tour for season performance. On Sunday, Pendrith earned a victory for himself, and pride for Canada, with a 3-shot victory over the USA’s Lorens Chan. Pendrith began the day in 10th place, but opened with a 4-under 32 to enter the fray. He returned 3 more birdies on the inward half, setting the stage for the 17th hole. On the par five, the long-hitting, Kent State alum made eagle 3 to seize control of the tournament. Chan matched Pendrith’s back-nine 30, but needed much more to contend. 3rd round leader Will Gordon, he who opened 64-64, made double bogey on the hole that Pendrith eagled. For Gordon, that 4-stroke differential was the difference between T3 and playoff. With the win, Pendrith switched spots on the Order of Merit with Dawson Armstrong. Four events remain on the 2019 tour schedule.

Western Amateur heads north of the border with NHL’s Garrett Rank

It is an unlikely story, but one that makes complete sense. What better way to stay fit, than to skate around a rink, all night long, with no one to hit you? Ontario’s Garrett Rank does just that, as an NHL referee. During the off season, he can be found in the world’s best amateur golf events. Rank had finished runner-up in the USGA Mid-Amateur championship (2012) and had won his own country’s mid-am on multiple occasions. On Saturday, Rank won his first major amateur event in appropriate fashion. The Western Amateur demands 4 rounds of stroke-play qualifying, then eliminates all but the top 16 golfers. Those 16 play four rounds of match play to determine a champion. Rank qualified in the 5th spot, at 6-under 274. Davis Thompson won the medal at -13, but was defeated in the 2nd round of match play. It was Daniel Wetterich who raced through the upper bracket of match play. He won on the 17th hole twice, and the 16th hole once, to reach the final. Along the way, Wetterich defeated top junior Ricky Castillo, a probable Walker Cup selection, in the semifinal. In the lower bracket, Rank was extended in every match. He won on the 18th green in round 1, then the 17th green during each of the subsequent rounds. In the final match, Rank won 7 of the 16 contested holes, defeating Wetterich by 3 & 2. Rank entered the week listed #66 in the world. It’s likely that his own ranking will improve a good deal when the WAGR updates its rankings on Monday.

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Ronald Montesano writes for 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. Caroline

    Aug 5, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    Hinako Shibuno maybe the sweetest winner ever on the LPGA tour…what a fantastic young lady…all you young ladies out there working hard to play professional golf…take a minute to watch the way Hinako Shibuno handles the spot light…not only a very good player but someone who shows how much joy this great sport can be.

    • Ronald Montesano

      Aug 10, 2019 at 3:07 pm

      Comment from DOUG: I saw the old list. Zac is now 10th and on his way back to the PGA Tour come September. Thanks, Doug.


  2. Doug

    Aug 5, 2019 at 11:03 am

    “Blair moved to 31st on the year-long points chase…”

    The app takes a bit of time to update for the week (assuming you wrote some of this last evening?). He’s 10th now and has secured his spot in The 25, as all the twitter folks were saying. He was 31st going into the week.

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13-time major champion Mickey Wright passes away at the age of 85




LPGA Tour legend and Hall of Famer Mickey Wright passed away on Monday after suffering a heart attack, according to the AP.

Wright won 82 titles on the LPGA Tour including 13-major titles in a career which began in 1955 and ended with her retirement at the age of just 34.

Per the 13-time major champion’s lawyer, Sonia Pawluc who was speaking to AP, Wright had been hospitalised for the last few weeks after suffering a fall.

The sporting legend is the only LPGA Tour professional to hold all majors at the same time, and Ben Hogan once described her swing as the finest in the game.

Speaking on the news of her passing, LPGA Tour commissioner, Michael Whan said

“We are deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Mickey Wright. We lost a legend, but we may also have lost the best swing in golf history today. Our thoughts are with her family and friends.”

Wright’s long list of accomplishments in the game includes the most victories in a single LPGA season (13), four consecutive LPGA money titles (1961-64), 14 successive years with an LPGA victory (1956-69) and a stunning 44 wins from 1961 through 1964.

She was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1976.



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Morning 9: Tiger: Bad week inside ropes, good week outside | Scott, Park end droughts | CBS’ coverage panned (again)



By Ben Alberstadt
Email me at and find me at @benalberstadt on Instagram and golfwrxEIC on Twitter.
February 17, 2020
Good Monday morning, golf fans.


1. Scott gets first Tour win since 2016
Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner with a succinct breakdown…“Scott started the day in part of a three-way share of the lead, and he suffered an early stumble with a double bogey on the fifth hole. But the notoriously wobbly putter steadied his nerve down the stretch, burying birdie putts on Nos. 13 and 17 that proved to be the difference. Scott earned an unofficial victory at Riviera in 2005 when he won a 36-hole, rain-slogged event, but now he has an official title as part of his Riv credentials. It’s back-to-back worldwide wins for Scott across two calendar years, as the veteran closed out 2019 with a victory at the Australian PGA Championship. But after a number of recent near-misses, the Aussie now has his first PGA Tour win since March 2016, when he went back-to-back at Honda and Doral.”
2. …and Down Under, another title drought endeth
AP report…”Seven-time major champion Inbee Park saw a seven shot lead shrink to two shots Sunday before winning the Women’s Australian Open by three strokes to clinch her first LPGA title in almost two years.”
  • “Park started her final round three shots in front of 19-year old South Korean compatriot Ayeon Cho. She bogeyed the ninth hole but still turned five shots ahead of the field and went out to a seven shot lead early on the back nine at the Royal Adelaide Golf Club.”
3. …and on the Korn Ferry Tour
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Andrew Novak birdied each of his final two holes to earn his first career Korn Ferry Tour victory at the LECOM Suncoast Classic.”
  • “Novak, 24, started the final round in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., one shot off the lead, and he was part of a crowded leaderboard as the tournament entered the closing stretch. But thanks in large part to birdies on Nos. 17 and 18, two of the seven hardest holes at Lakewood National GC, he closed with a 6-under 66. That left him at 23 under, one shot ahead of John Chin and two shots clear of Taylor Montgomery, both of whom closed with rounds of 64.”
4. Not the weekend he wanted’s Ben Everill…”It was another week to lament at the famed course where Woods started his PGA TOUR career as a 16-year-old. He faded on the back nine of his rounds on Thursday and Friday and then shot 76-77 on the weekend to be 11 over par, some 22 shots behind winner Adam Scott.”
  • “Woods was full of praise for the event he and his foundation put on in its new elevated status, but could only try some self-deprecating humor when asked of his personal on course efforts.”
  • “I did not do much well today. Good news, I hit every ball forward, not backwards, a couple sideways. But overall, I’m done,” he said. “I’ve been in this position many times unfortunately. Just keep fighting hole by hole, shot by shot and try to make some birdies, which I did not do.
ESPN’s Bob Harig on what he saw…“Woods was still not moving great. While he looked good at times, his overall game was a shell of what he produced three weeks ago at Torrey Pines, let alone in December at the Presidents Cup or October at the Zozo Championship.”
  • “This was simply a day to endure, not make matters worse — and then hand the tournament trophy to winner Adam Scott, who finished 22 strokes ahead of the tournament host.”
  • “And it was yet another reminder: Woods is 44 years old, has a fused spine, had three previous back surgeries prior to that, and counts himself lucky to be playing the game at all, let alone a high level.”
Full piece. 
5. Chubb champ: Scott Parel
Greg Hardwig of the Naples Daily News…”Scott Parel lost two opportunities at victories last year in playoffs. He wasn’t going to take that chance Sunday in the Chubb Classic.”
“Parel, 54, birdied six of the first 12 holes to come back from five shots off the lead and went on to win at The Classics Country Club at Lely Resort for his third PGA Tour Champions victory. Parel tied the tournament record at 17-under 196 on the par-71 course, and won $240,000 out of the $1.6 million purse.”
6. Rave review for CBS’ golf coverage…
Joel Beall with a (incomplete) tally of some of the (many) errors…
  • “An incorrect score board from the LPGA’s Women’s Australian Open, caught by No Laying Up. The tournament ended Saturday night.”
  • “A singular Korn Ferry Tour highlight, featuring a putt from Peter Uihlein. Although Uihlein entered the day with the lead, he finished T-20 at the Suncoast Classic, which had already been decided when the event update was televised.”
  • “Delayed footage of Harold Varner III topping his tee shot at the iconic 10th hole. Varner was tied at the time of the miscue, which was noted by CBS Sports analyst Ian Baker-Finch. Varner’s top was eventually shown in a highlight package some 90 minutes after it occurred.”
  • “The relative broadcast absences of Max Homa, one of the more popular PGA Tour players on social media, and Joel Dahmen. As the Twitter handle Deep Fried Egg pointed out, at one juncture Homa, then a stroke back of the lead, had only a single shot televised while Rickie Fowler-who was not in the field-had two highlights during the program.”
7. Rory talks Brooks & more
Adam Woodard at Golfweek draws on more of Rory McIlroy’s conversation with journalist Paul Kimmage…a few morsels…
  • “So, I go out in the final round and my midset was . . . It’s another round of golf . . . a great opportunity . . . I’m going to try to play well. And I was beaten on the day,” McIlroy remembered. “Obviously, Brooks played great and shot 65 but I think, more than anything, I was beaten by his intensity and his desire. I was too relaxed.”
  • “Later on in the season, McIlroy learned of a text Koepka sent to his friends before the final round in Memphis: “I’m going to crush him.”
  • “Yeah, and f*** he sort of did,” said McIlroy. “Well, Brooks and I have always got on great – we do get on great – but he was obviously taking that mindset, ‘It’s me and him’. And I guess it was a good thing that he thinks highly of me, or not highly of me, if he was saying he was going to crush me.”
8. Unplanned break ahead
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…”When Muni He triumphed at LPGA Q-Series last November, she seized control of something every professional golfer holds dear: her schedule…”
  • “He, 20, decided early on that she’d skip the first three LPGA tournaments that she was eligible for and start 2020 on a three-week stretch in Asia, playing off of sponsor exemptions in limited-field events in Thailand and Singapore and the Blue Bay LPGA in her native China.”
  • “No one could’ve predicted that her first three starts would be canceled due to threats from the coronavirus. That control He worked so hard for went up in a puff of smoke. She’ll now make her first start of 2020 in late March at the LPGA event in Phoenix.”
9. Genesis a big success for Tiger…outside the ropes
Golf Digest’s Daniel Rapaport rightly points out…”It was not his week on the course, obviously. But Woods’ time here was about more than how he fared inside the ropes. He has hosted this event for the last three years in conjunction with his TGR Live venture, but this was the first year the tournament formerly known as the L.A. Open was no longer an open. It’s an Invitational now, which means a reduced field size to 120, an increased purse and an elevated status.
  • “And the first year was, by any measure, a marked success-four cloudless days, a challenging Riviera that flashed its teeth all week and a bunched leader board that didn’t sort itself until late Sunday afternoon, when Adam Scott prevailed for a two-shot victory.”
  • “From a tournament perspective, it couldn’t have gone any better,” Woods said. “We’ve had perfect weather, people have come out and supported this event. Our elevation, being a part of the new invitational status, look at the players that come out and supported this event that have played this week, we couldn’t have asked for a more dream scenario. The golf course was fantastic. Everything couldn’t have been any better from that side.”


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Tour Rundown: Scott’s grit and guile, Queen Bee, Wofford’s pride



The PGA Tour’s Cali Swing came to a close for 2020, while the Champions Tour returned to the continental USA after a stint in Morocco. The ladies of the LPGA stood tall in Australia, just as the Korn Ferry tour also docked in the lower 48, after time spent in South America. As the world of golf considers the pros and cons of a world tour, it’s easy to look around and see how such a grand plan might come to pass. As the globe continues to orbit, we take our turn in running down this week’s results.

PGA Tour: Scott claims 14th tour title with grit and guile

Say what you must about the back nine at the Augusta National, but I will stand the inward half at Riviera as the ultimate gut-check site in golf. For starters, we saw Tiger Woods go out in 4-under par on Thursday, stoking the embers of bonfires of hope everywhere. El tigre played the inward half in 36-38-41-39, so we know which high-school crush still makes him nervous! Wasn’t much different for the rest of the field; play the inward half well and you stand a chance. How about Adam Scott? After an inexplicable 37 on Thursday, he back-nined Riviera for 31-33-35. For those (like me) not counting, that’s the essential difference between what Tiger tallied, and what the tournament victor posted. Scott had his hands full, as players like Bryson DeChambeau, Matt Kuchar, Rory McIlroy, and late to the party: Sung Kang and Scott Brown. Both Kang and Brown closed fast, reaching -9, joining Kuchar in a tie for 2nd. They call Riviera Hogan’s Alley, for the playing record of the wee ice mon over its 18 holes. It begs the question, which Riviera was Hogan playing, that he could get that good, that repeatedly, over these beguiling, 18 holes?

LPGA: Queen Bee secures 20th title in Royal fashion. Could gold be next?

Inbee Park has been many things over the years: Major champion (she won her first LPGA event at the 2008 US Open); Olympic Gold Medalist (yup, that was her in Rio, wearing the bling); and now, comeback kid. Park was injured in 2017, and despite a victory in 2018, has yet to capture the stature that thrust her to #1 in the world, and 18 tour victories. Watch out, world; she might be back. Park stood sooo tall after three rounds; 67-69-68 had her at  15-under par over the glorious, Royal Adelaide course in Seaton. Only Ayean Cho managed to find similar altitude, with 3 rounds of 69 for -12. Would Cho solve the mystery of the final round, the one that eluded her last week, when she gave back a lead over the final 9 holes? In a word, no. She closed with 77 and dropped to -8 and a tie for 6th place. All part of the learning curve, as they say. With her playing partner stalled, Park played things close to the safety vest. She finished with a +1 74 on Sunday, good for a 3-putts margin of victory over new runner-up Amy Olson of the USA. If Inbee is rounding into form now, she’ll be a certain threat to claim a second gold medal this summer, in Japan.

Korn Ferry: Wofford’s pride birdies final two holes for 1st victory

You know you’re small when … your small town isn’t the bigger of the two small towns in an arguably-metro region. Spartanburg ain’t no Greenville, says no one in those parts, but it’s true. And Wofford College is a charming, southern institution of higher learning, located in the middle of Spartanburg. And Andrew Novak found a golf and learning home at Wofford. And now, he has a title and Wofford again has a pro tour winner. Again? You mean another Boston Terrier has won on tour? Uh-huh, one William McGirt, at the 2016 Memorial Tournament. According to my researchers, that’s all. The dynamic duo of McGirt and Novak.

Right, back to Andrew Novak. He and 5 other golfers reached 20-below par at the Lakewood National (not to be confused with other, national golf clubs) near Sarasota. Greyson Sigg, Chandler Blanchott, and David Kocher ran out of gas there, and tied for 4th. Taylor Montgomery actually reached -22, before a bogey at the last dropped him to -21 and solo 3rd place. John Chin had 5 birdies throught 7 back-nine holes, but failed to summon a 6th, and ended his run at -22. And Novak? He birdied 17 and 18, to jump from 3rd to 1st in the blink of an eye. Novak moved all the way from 26th to 3rd on The 25 chase for PGA Tour cards. He’ll certainly earn his for 2020-2021, but might he manage 2 more victories, for a battlefield promotion? Keep closing and the answer will be uh-huh. #GoTerriers

Tour Champions: The ultimate grinder peppermills his third Senior victory

Bernhard Langer, Stephen Leaney, and Chris DiMarco went out on Sunday and shot wonderful rounds … for the conclusion of a US Open. Hovering near par, on any day, would not bring baubles at the Chubb Classic. Bob Estes went out and posted 64, his best round of the week by 3, to reach 15-under par. He blazed past the aforementioned trinity, but could not reach the brass ring. That plum went to Scott Parel, probably the only Georgia Bulldog who never was … a Georgia Bulldog. Parel posted 63 on Sunday, eclipsing Estes’ 198 by 2 shots. The victory was Parel’s 3rd on the late-stage circuit, and was his first since October of 2018. Parel graduated from the large, state school in Athens, but never competed for the varsity squad. He made his living as a computer programmer, but never gave up his dream of playing professional golf. As a size 50+, he is now living that dream. Langer salvaged a tie for 3rd (with Kevin Sutherland) at -13. Ironically, Parel has been in two Champions playoffs in his career, and has lost both of them … to Kevin Sutherland. Good thing for him that the California native could “only” close with 67

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