Connect with us

News

Tour Rundown: Rahma-Lamma-Double-DingDong in Dubai | Ignorance is victory | Duncan’s debut W

Published

on

All that is professional golf, has ended for 2019. No, the Parent-Child and other silly-season events don’t count. Not even that little get-together that somehow offers world ranking points, but is an unofficial event. In Dubai, Georgia and Florida, the finest golfers on the LPGA, Euro and PGA tours holed their final putts for the last year of this decade. So much happened in 2K19, including the arrival of Lee6, the major return of Tiger, the dominance of Brooks, and the awakening of Scott McCarron. Raise a toast at year-end gatherings to their entertainment of us all, and to the realization of their hopes and dreams. For now, allow us to run down the tours, one last time, before we hopefully meet again in 2020, with the clearest vision.

Rahma Lamma Double DingDong in Dubai

That’s waaaaay too much of an Animal House reference (and also gives away my age) but it sure is fun to say. Jon Rahm won his 3rd European Tour event of the season in unique fashion. Following earlier wins in the Open championships of Ireland and Spain, Rahm arrived in Dubai in a position to challenge for world supremacy. He did not disappoint.

Rahm seized control of the climactic event of the European Tour with 5 birdies in his first 7 holes. Then, golf took over and the Spaniard let Mike Lorenzo-Vera and Tommy Fleetwood back into the tournament. 4 bogies over the next 8 holes (offset by a 2 more birdies) and some heroics from the French and English, made this finish a nail-biter. Fleetwood sliced 5 strokes off par over his last 7 holes, including birdie at the watery 18th. Never a winner on tour, Lorenzo-Vera closed within one with 2 consecutive birdies, midway through the inward nine. Unable to make additional dents in par over the closing four holes, MLV finished alone in 3rd spot, 1 putt behind Fleetwood and 2 back of the champion.

With his victory at Dubai, Rahm matched previous Race leader Bernd Wiesberger for wins (3) on the season. He jumped two spots over the Austrian, into 1st spot on the season. Fleetwood also elevated his stature with his runner-up finish. The Englishman moved into 2nd place in the season-long Race, relegating Wiesberger to a 3rd position on the podium. Shane Lowry (Ireland) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (England) round out the top 5. The wins at Dubai will no doubt cause pundits across the globe to ask, when will Rahm step up in a major way.  We, of course, won’t ask that question, as we hold ourselves to a higher standard. For certain, the Spaniard has improved every facet of his game, allowing himself to be considered in every event in which he competes.

Ignorance is victory at LPGA Tour Championship

Sei Young Kim thought she was up against Nelly Korda in the final round. She didn’t know that Charley Hull had stormed from way behind tor each 17-under par, the figure where SYK stood on the 72nd green. 25 feet from birdie, Kim needed two putts to reach a playoff with the Englishwoman. Her putt found the bottom of the cup, for what she thought was a 2-stroke victory. Never mind that it was only a 1-shot margin of triumph; Sei Young was the holder of the largest tournament check in the history of women’s golf. The CME Race To The Globe, the season-long points race, went to her countrywoman, Jin Young Ko. Ko was also the Rolex Player of the Year, and holder of 4 tournament titles in 2019, 1 more than Kim.

Most aficionados expected Nelly Korda to offer the greatest challenge to the 3rd-round leader, but Korda and Kim each struggled throughout the round. Each had three bogeys on the day, including silly 6s on the par-5 14th hole. Meanwhile, Hull and Danielle Kang were lighting the Tiburon golf club’s gold course on fire. Hull had 6 birdies on the day, including the final 3 holes, and the 5 of the final 7. Kang had 5 birdies on the opening nine holes, then nothing until the 17th hole, where she made an eagle 3. Her 65 moved her from 9th to a tie for 3rd, while Hull moved from 4th to solo 2nd. Korda’s final-hole birdie returned her to red figures for the 4th consecutive day, out of a tie for 4th with Brooke Henderson, into the 3rd-place tie with Kang.

Sea Island site for Duncan’s debut victory

The fall series on the PGA Tour is known to be the proving ground for the unheralded, or the formerly-heralded. Thus far in 2019, Joaquin Niemann, Sebastian MuÑoz, and Lanto Griffin notch inaugural wins. Cameron Champ and Kevin Na earned important victories in their respective resurgences. No one had made more of an impact than Brendon Todd, who had won his last two tournaments and was gunning for a 3rd consecutive at Sea Island. For a time on Sunday, it appeared that he might do just that. Sadly for him, an incredible, 11-round streak in the 60s came to an end. From Bermuda, through Mayakoba, and up to Sunday morning in Georgia, the UGeorgia alum had played the best golf of any golfer, all year long. On Sunday, Todd came undone, to the tune of 72, and wound up in 4th spot. Not bad, but not what he wanted.

What Tyler Duncan wanted, was to rebound from a Saturday 70. No one finds it easy to follow up a 61 with a similar round, but the Purdue alum was hoping for something a bit better than … 70. On Sunday, as Todd struggled and Webb Simpson moved into the lead, Duncan sneaked up on everyone. Simpson came home in the final pairing with 67, for a total of -19. He overcame a 14th-hole bogey with birdies at 15 and 16. Imagine his surprise upon learning that Duncan made birdie at 3 of his closing 4 holes, to also reach the prime minus 19. Into sudden victory did the pair enter, and on the 2nd go-round of the par-4 18th, Duncan made another birdie to shut the door on Simpson and stand atop the PGA Tour podium for the first time.

Your Reaction?
  • 4
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

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.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tour Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from the Honda Classic

Published

on

By

GolfWRX is live this week from the 2020 Honda Classic at PGA National’s Champion course (par 70: 7,125 yards) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

The field this week is stacked at the top, and it includes Brooks Koepka, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Louis Oosthuizen and more.

Last year, Keith Mitchell canned a 15-footer on the 72nd hole, outlasting Rickie Fowler and Brooks Koepka.

Check out all our galleries below, along with highlights from PGA National.

General galleries

Special galleries

Vijay Singh using custom Mizuno MP-20 irons with lofts modified enough they had to stamp new numbers. Link to his full WITB

Camilo Villegas with old-school Air Jordans

Close up of Tommy Fleetwood’s putting grip

Luke Donald with a new putting training aid

LA Golf has a couple of new shafts

Brooks Kopeka with his pink and white Nike Air Zoom Infinity Tour shoes

Odyssey Stroke Lab Ten with new sightlines.  Link to galleries and discussion

Kevin Streelman is a huge Chicago Cubs fan, so he went to a spring training game and had the players sign his staff bag (to be fair, he probably took just the panel and not the whole bag)

Jim Furyk has gone back to his standard length putter and cross-handed after trying the arm-lock style for a while.

Kyle Stanley’s coach is taking a worm’s-eye view of Kyle’s alignment and stroke.

Your Reaction?
  • 12
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL2
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB1
  • SHANK2

Continue Reading

News

Morning 9: Koepka talks golf | Tiger’s Champions Dinner menu | Tour caddies and hot seats

Published

on

1. Koepka talks golf
Adam Woodard at Golfweek…The former World No. 1 – who now sits third behind Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm – opened up in great detail in a profile in GQ about what he would change about the game of golf, a sport that he truly loves despite some outside perception.
  • “One thing I’d change is maybe the stuffiness,” said Koepka, who’s never viewed himself as just a golfer. “Golf has always had this persona of the triple-pleated khaki pants, the button-up shirt, very country club atmosphere, where it doesn’t always have to be that way. That’s part of the problem.”
  • ...”Everybody always says, ‘You need to grow the game.’ Well, why do you need to be so buttoned-up? ‘You have to take your hat off when you get in here.’ ‘You’re not allowed in here unless you’re a member – or unless the member’s here.’…
  • …”I just think people confuse all this for me not loving the game. I love the game. I absolutely love the game,” said Koepka. “I don’t love the stuffy atmosphere that comes along with it. That, to me, isn’t enjoyable.”

Full piece.

2. Fajitas and sushi
“Being born and raised in SoCal, having fajitas and sushi was a part of my entire childhood, and I’m going back to what I had in 2006,” Woods said. “So, we’ll have steak and chicken fajitas, and we’ll have sushi and sashimi out on the deck, and I hope the guys will enjoy it.”
  • “Woods also said he’s considering serving milkshakes for desert like he did during the 1998 dinner.”
  • “That was one of the most great memories to see Gene Sarazen and Sam Snead having milkshakes that night in ’98,” he said.”

Full piece.

3. Why a tour caddie is always on the hot seat 
The Undercover Tour Caddie writeth again…“I’ve been lucky to partner with 18 players on the PGA and developmental tours, four of which were longtime appointments. I’ve also been fired 17 times-and among my friends, that’s on the low end of the spectrum…”
  • “The majority of the time, the breakups are amicable and done in person. I consider myself friends with almost all the players I’ve worked for, and though there were some strong emotions from both sides when it came time to disband, I get it. This is a business, and they’re making a business decision. Plus, you don’t want to burn any bridges. I’ve had two guys toss me aside after a month’s work, only for them to circle back within the year, one of which ended up sticking for five seasons.”
  • “There have been callous splits. In the early 2000s, I was trying to get my guy to hit an 8-iron on an approach at the 71st hole. He was adamant that 9 was the play. I strongly, but respectfully, said he needed to club up. He went with the 9; his ball came up short of the green, and he couldn’t get up and down. That bogey dropped us out of the top 10. He fired me after signing his card, claiming he needed someone “who has faith in me.” Hey, I had faith-faith that his 9 was the wrong club.”

Full piece.

4. The best part of Tiger’s Masters win…
Golf Digest’s Dave Shedloski…”Last April at Augusta National Golf Club, behind the 18th green, after tapping in for a one-stroke victory and fifth Masters triumph, there were hugs all around, none sweeter than those from his daughter and son.”
  • “I think what made it so special is that they saw me fail the year before at the British Open. I had gotten the lead there and made bogey, double, and ended up losing to Francesco,” Woods said. “To have them experience what it feels like to be part of a major championship and watch their dad fail and not get it done, and now to be a part of it when I did get it done, I think it’s two memories that they will never forget. And the embraces and the hugs and the excitement, because they know how I felt and what it felt like when I lost at Carnoustie … to have the complete flip with them in less than a year, it was very fresh in their minds.”
  • “It’s a long and rambling thought, and totally justified in the context of all the emotion woven into the two experiences. Some things are just difficult to express cogently, and the struggle with doing so only underscores their impact.”
5. Dream of Coul is dead
Golfweek’s Forecaddie…”Coul Links was supposed to be Scotland’s next great links golf course. Envisioned to be built by Coore-Crenshaw on a protected wildlife site in Embo on dunes near Dornoch, those hopes took a serious blow on Feb. 21, when the Scottish government denied planning permission for a project spearheaded by golf course developer Mike Keiser.”
  • “I’m moving on. I have so many other projects,” Keiser tells The Forecaddie. “God bless Dornoch.”
  • “In its decision notice, Scottish Ministers determined that the proposed development would adversely affect the local environment, stating in their findings that the “likely detriment to natural heritage is not outweighed by the socio-economic benefits of the proposal.”
6. Koepka: Great round of golf with Trump
Golfweek’s Adam Woodard…“In a profile in GQ, Koepka…talked about a recent round with President Trump…Koepka, his father, younger brother Chase and President Trump “had a blast” at Trump’s course in West Palm Beach.”
  • “It was nice to have my family there, my dad, my brother. Anytime it’s with a president, it’s pretty cool,” said Koepka. “I don’t care what your political beliefs are, it’s the President of the United States. It’s an honor that he even wanted to play with me.”
  • “I respect the office, I don’t care who it is,” added Koepka. “Still probably the most powerful man in the entire world. It’s a respect thing.”

Full piece.

7. Tiger on lengthening Augusta National 
Golf Digest’s Daniel Rapaport…”Augusta National has been at the forefront of trying to keep it competitive, keep it fair, keep it fun, and they’ve been at the forefront of lengthening the golf course,” Woods said. “Granted, they have the property and they can do virtually whatever they want. They have complete autonomy. It’s kind of nice.
  • “But also they’ve been at the forefront of trying to keep it exciting as the game has evolved. We have gotten longer, equipment changed, but they’ve been trying to keep it so the winning score is right around the 12- to 18-under-par mark, and they have.”
8. Inside the Bear Trap
Golf Channel Digital team…“Here’s a look at some of the notable Bear Trap stats according to the PGA Tour (all figures since 2007, when the tournament moved to PGA National):”
  • “Among non-majors, the Bear Trap ranks as the third-toughest three-hole stretch on Tour at 0.644 over par on average. It’s behind only Nos. 16-18 at Quail Hollow (+0.873) and Nos. 8-10 at Pebble Beach (+0.673).”
  • “The Honda Classic field is a combined 3,629 over par across the Bear Trap and 4,934 over par across the other 15 holes at PGA National.”
  • “543 different players have played at least one competitive round at the Honda since 2007, with 76 percent (415) of them hitting at least one ball in the water on the Bear Trap.”

Full piece.

9. San Diego muni renovations (including Torrey)
Jason Lusk of Golfweek…“San Diego’s city council has allotted $15 million for upgrades and renovations to the city’s three municipally operated golf facilities including Torrey Pines’ South Course, site of the 2021 U.S. Open, according to a report Tuesday by the San Diego Union-Tribune.”
  • “…The $15 million approved Monday by the city council also will include contract work at San Diego’s other municipally operated golf facilities at Balboa Park and Mission Bay, the Union-Tribune reported. The courses will remain open during the jobs that include installing new irrigation systems and drainage, replacing and repairing cart paths, renovating bunkers and tree work.”

 

*featured image via Augusta National/the Masters

Your Reaction?
  • 6
  • LEGIT2
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

News

Tour Rundown

Published

on

@asiapacgolfgrp

Only two of the world’s featured tours were in action this week, but the golf that they provided was memorable and historic. Not the type of historic that you find in school books, but certainly the type that golf aficionados point to, down the road. On the one hand, a prodigious yet poliarizing talent demonstrated complete control down the stretch, during his march to a 2nd World Golf Championship victory. On the other, a precocious competitor joined into a talented triumvirate with a marvelous birdie at the last, to secure an inaugural PGA Tour championship.Tuesday Tour Rundown is back, for this week only!

WGC-Mexico flies away in the hands of Patrick Reed 

Golf Twitter, depending on your perspective, is either entertaining or inflamatory. As happens in the world today, people take sides. In the case of Patrick Reed, that’s not difficult. One either forgives (or denies) Reed’s free interpretation (on multiple occasions) of the rules and their enforcement, or one preserves a disregard for a leading player who simply doesn’t act like one. What isn’t up for debate, is Reed’s seizure of this week’s World Golf Championship in Mexico. What looked for so long like a Bryson-DeChambaeau win, ultimately stowed away in Patrick Reed’s check-on pouch.

The tournament came down to the aforementioned duo. Both Jon Rahm and Erik Van Rooyen swam along the margin, but neither made enough of a Sunday move to figure in the outcome. Both, in fact, tied for 3rd place, 2 back of DeChambeau and 3 behind the champion. Bryson and his on-display muscles barged out of the 10th-hole gate like a man (and muscles) on a mission. Birdies at 4 of the first 5 holes on the inward half, staked him to a 2-shot advantage. Over the closing four, however, the magic went away, and a bogey at the penultimate hole brought him back to 17-under par.

Reed looked like a man playing for second. His long game was nothing exceptional, but his putter kept him afloat, time and again. And then, whatever DeChambeau had in his water bottle, came over to Reed. Birdies at 15, 16 and 17 suddenly brought the 2-shot advantage to the 2018 Masters champion. Even the cough of an expectorant fan, mid-backswing on the 18th, was not enough to convulse the champion. A closing bogey made the margin closer than it was, and Reed jumped from 33rd to 5th in the FedEx Cup standings.

PGA Tour Puerto Rico is Viktor Hovland’s debut decision

It wasn’t as mauling as Tyson Fury’s technical decision over Deontay Wilder, but Viktor Hovland and Josh Teater came down the stretch in Puerto Rico, like a pair of pugilists. The young Norwegian, Hovland, was pitted against the career grinder, Teater. First it was the veteran, with 3 birdies on the opening nine, to reach minus-19. Hovland chipped away, with a birdie at 5, and a 2nd at 10. And then, Teater hit Hovland with a right-cross (or Hovland hit himself with a sucker punch; you make the call.) Triple bogey! A startling six at the 11th, dropped Hovland into a tie with Teater (bogeys of his own on 10 and 11) who now had new life … and new pressure.

To his credit, Teater didn’t back down. He made birdies at 15 and 17, to recoup the lost shots at the turn. Unfortunately for him, tour victory the first would have to wait. Hovland, the Oklahoma State alumnus, made a sensational eagle at the 15th, to counter Teater’s birdie, and reclaim the advantage. The pair reached the 18th tee, a par five, all square, and it was there that Hovland dealt the final thrust. He took every bit of break out of a 25-feet birdie putt, and banged it into the hole. With the win, Hovland joined Matthew Wolff and Collin Morikawa as anticipated winners who actually won. Now comes the hard part: winning again and reaching a new echelon of champion.

Your Reaction?
  • 0
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending