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Ernst wins Wells Fargo Championship

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PGA Tour rookie Derek Ernst needed one playoff hole to defeat David Lynn to win the Wells Fargo Championship Sunday at Quail Hollow Golf Club in Charlotte, N.C.

Ernst made par on the first playoff hole, the par-5 No. 18, to defeat Lynn for the first win of his career.

In a final round marked with rain, cold and wind, Ernst found himself one down on the 72nd hole needing to make birdie from 192 yards. He hit his ball to four feet and made the putt to force the playoff.

Ernst came out on top of a strong field that saw Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Nick Watney in contention for the title on Sunday.

“This feeling is unbelievable right now,” said Ernst, who becomes the youngest winner on Tour this year and continues the trend of American dominance of the first half of the Tour season.

Click here to see photos of the clubs Ernst had in the bag at Quail Hollow.

Ernst, a 22-year-old native of California, entered the week ranked No. 1,207 in the Official Golf World Rankings. His best finish in a prior event was T-47 and had missed the cut in five of his seven Tour starts this year. He got into the field this week as a fourth alternate.

Meanwhile, Mickelson appeared to be in total control up by one shot with three holes to play. After bogeys at Nos. 16 and 17, Mickelson watched his 20-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to get into the playoff slide by.

With the win, Ernst earned himself a two-year exemption on the Tour, 500 FedEx Cup points and entry into next week’s Players Championship, the 2013 PGA Championship, 2014 Hyundai Tournament of Champions and 2014 Masters.

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Grant Shafranski is the Program Director for the First Tee of Minneapolis and Head Teaching Professional at Hiawatha Golf Club in Minneapolis, MN. He is a Level 2 PGA Apprentice following a successful amateur career where he played collegiately at Division III University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN).

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Dane

    May 6, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Back to Ernst’s first tour win…Great job Derek can’t wait to see more of ya!

  2. Andrew

    May 5, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Amen!

    • George

      May 5, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      Actually, it was no clear to those of us tuning in Sunday afternoon that our broadcast was on tape delay.

      I drove over to my favorite cigar shop and settled in to watch what was NOT billed as anything other than live. Opened the laptop and BAM! There were the results.

      I placed a small wager with the other poor schmuck who came there to watch– but couldn’t go through with the gag.

      Anyway, this was a problem not only for DVR’ers.

  3. jingo

    May 5, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    why would anyone look at a golf website if he wanted to watch a tape delay of an event and be still be surprised at the results? I’m just saying …

  4. Steve

    May 5, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    I thought there was an understanding that we were not going to spoil the results of the golf matches for those who are watching it play out on TV. There has been so much concern with thread topic spoilers in the forums yet the winner’s bag and the headlines get posted before the tournament on TV plays out. Really guys? C’mon. I guess I can change the channel now…

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5 things we learned on Sunday of the 2018 U.S. Open

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Opportunity knocked for so many golfers, yet it was the 2017 champion who seized the moment when it was his. Brooks Koepka fired his second sub-par round of the week on Sunday to separate from playing partner Dustin Johnson, and enter the pantheon of multiple major champions. He became the 7th player to defend his title, joining old-school legends like Willie Anderson and John McDermott, mid-century icons like Ralph Guldahl and Ben Hogan, and the last man to accomplish the feat, Curtis Strange. With that introduction, let’s move to the main event, the 5 things we learned on Sunday at Shinnecock Hills.

5) The USGA gave golf a chance

True to its word, the USGA pulled out all the stops in the wee hours of Sunday morn. The course set-up team ensured that enough water was distributed to putting surfaces, that worthy shots would not be punished. Hole locations were assessed and confirmed, also ensuring that multiple opportunities for success were available. As a result, 15 golfers turned in scores under par of 70, highlighted by Tommy Fleetwood’s 7-under stunner. Although many fans, writers and players were quick to assault the organizers for losing control of the course, the USGA reminded us that it always had control of the conditions at Shinny, and that its only mistake was to soar too close to the sun.

4) Captain America ran out of gas

If Patrick Reed had been able to sign his card on the 9th tee, when he stood 5-under on the day and 1-over for the tournament, he would be in a playoff with the eventual champion as I type. Unfortunate for this year’s Masters champion was that 10 holes remained. Reed promptly bogeyed the 9th, added 3 more bogeys on the inward half, and summoned just one birdie toward the end. His fourth-place finish was his best in a U.S. Open, but knowing that victory was in the cards will sting for a while.

3) DJ and Finau gave it a run

Where to begin? How about this: DJ had four bogeys on Sunday. He totaled that many on Thursday-Friday combined. He had birdies, too, but couldn’t find the game that possessed him over the opening 36 holes. Oddly enough, this type of experience won’t be a setback for the 2016 champion. After all, he came back from a career-killer in 2015, when he 3-whacked his way out of a playoff with Jordan Spieth at Chambers Bay. As for Milton Pouhau Finau, aka Tony, the Utah native had never before been in the final group on any day of a major professional championship. He acquitted himself well, standing even on the day and 3-over for T2 at the 18th tee. Knowing that he needed eagle for a playoff might have taken the final winds from his sails, and he limped home with double bogey and solo third. Looking ahead to the final August playing of the PGA Championship, Bellerive near St. Louis might just be his type of course.

2) Tom Terrific nearly made his own U.S. Open history

I’ll write this cautiously, as I’m certain I would have intimated in the 1980s and 90s that Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood would have been major champions by now. Tommy Fleetwood ought to win one of these things soon. His record-tying 63 was a short putt away from a record-breaking 62. Eight birdies against a single bogey was the stuff of legend, and if only he had trusted that final putt a bit higher on the break … that’s not fair. Fleetwood right now is the fellow to watch at Carnoustie next month. Bet a few quid or bob or whatever on the Southport native, as he should contend for the title.

1) Brooks cooks up a winning broth

It’s easy to look back and see all the great shots that the defending champion hit over the four days of the 2018 U.S. Open, shots that would win him his second consecutive trophy. Remember that 60-feet bomb to save par on Saturday? Shades of Costantino Rocca. How about the approach shots to within mere feet that earned him 5 birdies on Sunday, including a competition-killer on 16? Koepka was the guy we thought Dustin Johnson would be. Perhaps it was the time off for wrist rehabilitation early this season that gave him the burning desire to win. Out for nearly 4 months, Koepka had plenty of time to ponder what he achieved last June in Wisconsin, and what might lay ahead for him. The begged question is, does the most recent, two-time major winner have the game to acquire more of the game’s cherished trophies?

Related: Brooks Koepka’s Winning WITB from the 2018 U.S. Open

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WATCH: Phil Mickelson purposely hits the ball while moving at the U.S. Open (updated with Phil’s response)

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Update: In a post-round interview, Phil had this to say: “I took the penalty, no disrespect to the game, I didn’t feel like going back and forth and I’ve always wanted to take the two-shot penalty, and I finally did… It’s meant to take advantage of the rules the best you can. I’d gladly take the two shots over continuing that display.”

—–

You don’t see Phil Mickelson lose his cool very often, but that’s seemingly what happened on Saturday — his 48th birthday — at the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills.

After blowing his bogey putt by the hole on No. 13, Phil ran after his ball and decided to hit it while it was still moving. Phil finished out the hole in 8 shots; adding in the two-stroke penalty for hitting the golf ball while moving, and it was a 10 on the scorecard.

Check out the bizarre scene that Phil Mickelson put on at the 13th hole below:

Phil was four-over par in the round going into the 13th hole, and exited the 13th hole at 10-over par after the fiasco. He is currently continuing his third round as regularly scheduled.

Wow.

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WATCH: Ian Poulter, sitting 1 back of the lead, completely butchered his 17th hole

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The majorless Ian Poulter was coming off birdies on hole nos. 4, 5 and 7 — his 13, 14 and 16th holes of the second round of the 2018 U.S. Open — when he came to the 8th hole (his 17th hole) sitting at 3-under and just one shot back of leader Dustin Johnson (4-under).

Then, he bladed one from the greenside bunker, soaring the ball into the fescue over the green.

Yikes. But not a disaster. He drew a great lie… just get it on the green, make the putt and take your bogey — or make double at the very worst. But then he laid the sod over his fourth shot, sending it into the real thick stuff. Three shots later, Ian Poulter made a triple-bogey 7, and back to even par for the event.

Watch it unfold below (or click here if the Twitter embed doesn’t work for you).

 

 

Poulter then finished his round with a closing bogey, and currently sits at 1-over through 36 holes (T4). By no means is Ian Poulter out of this tournament, but finishing triple-bogey, bogey was definitely not what Ian Poulter had in mind sitting in the greenside bunker on his 17th hole just a stroke off the lead.

Can Poulter get back on track and win his first? Will Dustin Johnson run away with his second U.S. Open victory? Or will Stenson, Rose, Koepka or Fowler (each sitting at 1-over par) make a run? Regardless, the champion will need to avoid late-tournament triple bogeys and costly mistakes that can happen so easily at the penal Shinnecock setup.

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