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Unisex Golf Tournaments?

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Another gender bias lawsuit, this time by a female golfer in Massachusetts who insists on competing in men’s competitive golf events.  In Cape Cod, Massachusetts a Nor’easter is brewing and it looks as if the Town of Dennis will be on the receiving end.

Elaine Joyce has filed a discrimination or gender bias lawsuit against the town of Dennis, as well as sibling courses Dennis Pines and Dennis Highlands. Why? She was not allowed to compete in a men’s only tournament. Ms. Joyce is a single digit handicapper and has won numerous women’s amateur events on Cape Cod. No one doubts her abilities. Apparently Joyce has dispatched all same sex competition and seeks to compete on the same field as the men.

According to Joyce, “"The only way to get better is to practice, practice, practice, and to play with people better than you, and that’s the men," she said.” Furthermore, Joyce said she wants to play in tournaments with men because “you play against people who are as good as you or better than you if you want to get better. There are no women at my level except one college student (Mary Chamberlain, who defeated Joyce in last year’s club championship) and she doesn’t always play in Dennis.” Why not try out for a few mini tours or even the Duramed Futures Tour? Please help me to better understand this. Have you exhausted all avenues of female golf competition? It leaves one wondering if playing with the guys is really her main objective.

According to Joyce’s attorneys, Laura Studen and Nancy Newark of the firm Burns & Levinson, they cite the town’s “perpetuation of an ‘historic custom’ of offering ‘men only’ golf tournaments that prohibit women from participating.” Her attorneys compare depriving Joyce the right to play in a men’s only golf tournament to “the once ‘historic custom’ of men’s only bars or of whites’ only drinking fountains.” They further allege that practices at Dennis golf courses “perpetuate the social and economic inferiority of women and cannot be rationalized by any legal standard.” I believe these lawyers are reaching a bit here by comparing civil rights with not being allowed to play in a men’s golf tournament; after all, the town offered a women’s only tournament. According to town officials, the policy was changed, but too late for Joyce’s liking, and thus the lawsuit was filed. According to The Daily News Tribune, it appears that Ms. Joyce is suspicious of the town’s claim of adopting current USGA tournament policy. Joyce contends member-member tournaments will include men’s and women’s divisions rather than allowing people of both genders to play with and against each other. Again, what is wrong with separate gender divisions within the same tournament?

The Dennis Golf Advisory Committee voted in October to adopt the Massachusetts Golf Association and United States Golf Association’s non-gender-biased tournament rules.

According to the Daily News Tribune, “at its first meeting following denying Joyce’s request to play in the May 4-5 men’s tournament, the golf advisory committee discussed its gender-based policy. At the time, GAC Chairman Jim Horvath urged adopting the MGA and USGA non-gender based policies, but the committee voted 5-1 against Horvath’s proposal.

Last June, the GAC voted 6-1 in favor of all 2008 member-member and member-guest tournaments having both a men’s and a women’s field. Believing the change should be implemented for fall tournaments, Horvath opposed the vote. At the same meeting he resigned from the golf committee, citing increased work demands. The town’s gender-based policy was not discussed in July, August or September.

On Oct 22, the GAC unanimously voted to adopt USGA entry procedure, rules and regulations for all tournaments starting in 2008.”

Horvath said, “Personally, I’m glad the issue was raised in May because something needed to be done. I also wish that other members of the GAC had gone along with my suggestion [to adopt USGA policy] on May 14 when I brought this up. At the time, I showed members the USGA and MGA tournament entry forms that are non-gender biased.”

Horvath said he is disappointed with Joyce for not attending any GAC meetings and not voicing her displeasure in person. “She or any woman should have the right to play in a men’s tournament as long as they play from the men’s tee markers and by the tournament rules,” he said. “I wish the change had come sooner, but at least it has come.” I wonder if a man would be allowed to enter a women’s tournament and play from the women’s tee markers? It may be only a matter of time before all golf tournaments are unisex.

This lawsuit came six months after Joyce, a member of Dennis golf courses since 2005, was not allowed to play with her father, Patrick Joyce of Dennis, in a men’s member-member golf tournament at Dennis Pines.  One could surely argue on behalf of Ms. Joyce that “if” her father did not have a son, why not allow the daughter to play in the event? Joyce’s lawyers are “seeking in excess of $75,000 have resulted from Joyce’s “humiliation, embarrassment shunning, disenfranchisement and other losses.” In my opinion, this is absurd. Is it about the money, or the right to play golf with men? Asking for monetary damages infers the opposite of what her primary goal was or should be. She is also requesting that the town of Dennis incur all of her legal fees as well.

According to Golf Director Brian Boone, “If Elaine registers in any Dennis tournament and wants to play against men because it raises the level of her game or for whatever reason, she may do that. This change should cover all possibilities.” It sounds like the committee sincerely listened to her concerns and made a change, for some, for the better. If this was Ms. Joyce’s ultimate goal, why clutter up the court docket with such a lawsuit?

It seems that Ms. Joyce is no stranger to these types of legal wranglings. According to the New York Times’ Marcia Chambers, “a decade ago, Joyce succeeded in playing with men on weekends at Bayberry Hill and Bass River, the public courses in nearby Yarmouth.”

In her present complaint, Joyce said the latest experience at Dennis Pines left her feeling “ostracized, marginalized, humiliated, embarrassed and denounced.” She said many men played in tournaments in each town and knew about her previous case in Yarmouth. There, Joyce wanted to become a member of the so-called Forty Thieves men’s group so she could play on weekend mornings and play competitively.

Eventually, the Yarmouth town administrator found that Bayberry Hill and Bass River were subject to the state’s antidiscrimination laws. He told the Forty Thieves to accept her or lose their block of preferential weekend tee times. They reluctantly accepted her into their group rather than loose their preferred block of tee times.

Joyce said she began to feel hostility after she filed the state discrimination complaint. One Saturday, after a match-play club championship, she walked into the clubhouse after the first round. “There were 20 to 25 guys in there,” she said. “And as soon I walked in the door, everything stopped. Boys will be boys, they always have, and they always will. In fact, there will always be that guy in the gallery holding up an “Iron my shirt” sign.  It’s just the boys, you know, being boys.  No one likes a party crasher from any direction, male or female. In fact, I personally would not want to associate with women, or even men for that matter, that were not sincerely welcoming me into their fold.

What will happen when all of the women’s tours are comprised mostly of men who weren’t quite good enough for the Hooter’s Tour? This is already happening in Massachusetts high school sports. In fact, boys are allowed to play girls’ field hockey in Massachusetts. Field hockey has forever changed, it’s a much rougher game now. Many complain about girls getting injured. According to writer Joe Burns of www.wickedlocal.com,  “In 1991, a Chatham boy joined his school’s girls’ field hockey team because there was no boy’s field hockey team. Boys on Cape Cod and in other parts of the country have joined girls’ field hockey teams for the same reason. Their inclusion has caused concerns for league officials and parents. In an undated entry, a Massachusetts parent on the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation Web site voiced concern for the safety of his daughter. She was taken to the hospital after being injured by one of two boys playing on the Sandwich High School girls’ field hockey team. “Why can’t these schools start boys’ teams?” he asked. Well, I highly doubt that these young lads would have tried out for the girl’s team had a boy’s team been in the offering. In contrast, the Town of Dennis does in fact offer women’s only golf events and in my opinion, herein is the difference.

 

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  1. Graeme Lester

    Apr 1, 2008 at 6:06 am

    I believe Ms Joyce might have an over inflated ego and needs to start winning tournaments with all womens field like the Futures Tour and if she is good enough then take her game to the next level namely the LPGA Tour..

  2. Comment by Kim

    Mar 30, 2008 at 9:29 am

    I think Joyce should get over herself. It sounds to me like a case of an over inflated ego. What is wrong with men only tournaments? Why would Joyce even want to compete in a tournament where the men don’t want her. What would happen to the good women golfers if men could start competing and winning all the womens tournaments? It would really wreck competitve golf for women when they could no longer win their tournaments. I am a woman golfer and dearly love the sport. My game isn’t up to the level of competing with most women let alone men, but one things for sure, I would never wish to make everyone else uncomfortable. It’s not good for there game or mine. If Joyce really wants to improve there are plenty of good women to go compete against.

  3. Chris

    Mar 28, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    this is the DUMBEST thing i have ever heard of. she isnt even a scratch player who cant even win her own ladies club championship.
    also dont you think the rest of the women will be upset when all the events are unisex. if i were a woman golfer i would be outraged when i have to compete with the men!

  4. Bob Beher

    Mar 28, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Let her play, it’s really no big deal till you make it one. If she has an established index then she should be able to play against those with the same, and from the same tees. I think some are threatened by the thought of not being able to behave like they usually do (on a golf course) around a woman. Get over it, it’s 2 or 3 5 hour rounds, you’re not chained to her for the rest of your sheltered life.

  5. Paul

    Mar 28, 2008 at 11:06 am

    I know for a fact that Dennis Pines is a tough course and I have competed in the state four ball at these two courses. I currently have a daughter that plays on her High School boys Hockey team. I do have mixed feeling because they have womens tournaments. The rule for the year should be simple either play play mens golf or you play womens golf not both withn that said I would say give her a chance and if she fails then also plays poorly then she should be rejected on not being a up to mens tournament standards.

    I think she deserves a chance.

    Paul

  6. David

    Mar 27, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    She should have been allowed to play with her father in the tourney. When you discriminate against someone on the basis of sex or race, you better be prepared to pay the consequences. And, they will pay with the bad P.R. and possibly monetarily. In my mind, she didn’t stir things up, the club did. People of equal ability should compete against each other, regardless of sex. We should remember from the 60’s that “separate but equal” does not work. This is no different. I would imagine that most people of lesser golfing ability won’t enter a tournament where they can’t compete. The last tourney I played in had some pretty terrible male golfers, with huge egos, participating. I think many men like to pick on women golfers because it makes them feel a little better about their own terrible games.

  7. Chris

    Mar 24, 2008 at 9:51 am

    Here we go again…..Last time I checked there are Men’s golf tournaments and Women’s golf tournaments. Why does there always have to be someone trying to stir up junk. Trying to get their 5 minutes of fame? Ms. Joyce if your that good then try the Futures tour for women or better yet start women’s league tournaments in your area. And as feeling “ostracized, marginalized, humiliated, embarrassed and denounced.” You brought that on yourself and going this route isn’t helping your case. And as for trying to get money from this, sounds like someone trying to get something for nothing. Hell maybe I ought to play with women in their leagues, not fair you say? There are mens leagues I can play in, you say. Exactly……

  8. Jeremy

    Mar 23, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    I grew up in Dennis and was a member of both town’s golf courses. I also played with Mary and her brother Dan Chamberlain during the summers and Mary in plenty of competition. I also had two friends who played varsity hockey play on the field hockey team during the off season. Knowing Jim Horvath as a friend I’m sad to hear he is no longer on the golf committee. Losing Mr. Horvath is a huge loss and it appears they should have listened to his concerns in May. It sad to see my club when I was a junior golf in this light as I was always treated with integrity. They have one of if not the best junior programs anywhere. I hope the situation is resolved fairly for each party involved

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Morning 9: Tiger’s Monday practice round | Brooks, Sergio switch putters | Masters eclipse glasses

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco.

For comments: [email protected]

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans, as we gear up for the 2024 Masters!

1. Tiger’s Monday practice round

Will Cheney for the Augusta Chronicle…”The early reports from Tiger Woods’ Monday practice round at Augusta National Golf Club were good.”

  • “The five-time Masters Tournament champion landed in Augusta on Sunday afternoon and played a Monday morning practice round with Will Zalatoris. Woods withdrew from the 2023 Masters after making the cut, due to a plantar fasciitis flare up.”
  • “He played great today,” Zalatoris said. “He outdrove me a couple times so there was some chirping going on. So, you know, he looks great. He’s moving as well as he can be. Again, with everything he’s gone through, it’s pretty amazing to see how good he’s swinging it.”
Full piece.

2. Langer delays Masters farewell

ESPN report…”Two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer, whose hopes to play the major for a final time were cruelly dashed after suffering a torn Achilles in February, on Monday said that he’ll instead try to bid farewell as a participant at Augusta National in 2025.”

  • “Most likely,” Langer, 66, told Reuters when asked if the 2025 edition would be his final Masters start. “I hope so, but it all depends how the recovery is going.”
  • “The German player tore his Achilles while playing pickleball and is forced to miss significant time. He said his recovery is trending in the right direction and that he has not had any setbacks.”
Full piece.

3. Rahm: LIV events should be 72 holes

Golf Digest’s Ryan Herrington…”It was to be a sticking point for Jon Rahm as he mulled whether to make the jump from the PGA Tour to the LIV Golf League late last year. In the end, the fact that LIV events were just 54 holes, and included shotgun starts, didn’t keep the Masters champion from making the move and signing a reported $350 million deal with the upstart circuit, but it’s something he hopes might still change in the future.”

  • “I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but I definitely wouldn’t mind going back to 72 holes,” Rahm said in an interview with the BBC ahead of his title defense at Augusta National.
Full piece.

4. Sergio, Brooks make putter switches

Our Matt Vincenzi…“Brooks Koepka, who’s used a Scotty Cameron Teryllium Tour Newport 2 for the past handful of years, had what looked to be a Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 in the bag this week at LIV Doral.”

  • “Koepka has been struggling on the greens this season, but it’s still a bit of a surprise to see him switch to a mallet-style putter so close to the season’s first major.”
  • “Koepka finished with -4.4 strokes gained with his new Phantom following a tough week in Miami.”
  • “With the poor performance on the greens at Doral, it’s worth monitoring whether or not he switches back to his traditional Scottie Cameron at Augusta.”
  • “Sergio Garcia, who lost out in a playoff at LIV Doral, also made a notable putter switch last week.”
  • “The Spaniard asked Scotty Cameron to refurbish the 1999 Scotty Cameron Del Mar Prototype he used as a rookie on the PGA Tour. Garcia used the putter when he went head-to-head with Tiger Woods in the 1999 PGA Championship at Medinah as a 19-year-old. He also used the putter in his first Ryder Cup.”
Full piece.

5. Zalatoris returns to Masters a year after back surgery

Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner…”Will Zalatoris’ mom sent him a text Monday morning to remind him how far he’s come over the past 12 months.”

  • “It was the one-year anniversary of when he underwent back surgery.”
  • “Another reminder came just a few hours later, when Zalatoris linked up with Tiger Woods to play the second nine at Augusta National.”
  • “Over the past several months they’ve been swapping war stories about the microdiscectomy procedures and their different recoveries. It’s been comforting to Zalatoris not just to know that he’s not alone, but to understand the value of patience and his own process.”
  • “It’s always special to be here,” he said, “but obviously given the last year that I’ve had this was a very special day.”
Full piece.

6. GolfWRX’s resident statistician on who can win the Masters

Our Rich Hunt…”Since 2013, I have created a filtering process to help determine the players who are most likely to win the green jacket based on criteria that have strongly predictive outcomes to success at Augusta. The list of players that can win at Augusta is usually filtered down to 20-24 players and in that time I have correctly shortlisted every Masters champion.”

  • “This includes last year’s winner, Jon Rahm. Even though Rahm essentially walked away with the green jack and did not make it very close, there were some close calls on top of the leaderboard as I had filtered out Phil Mickelson (t-2nd) and Patrick Reed (t-4th) as the LIV Tour is still behind on providing advanced analytics for their tour. Russell Henley was also filtered out and finished t-4th, five strokes from Rahm’s winning score of 276.”
  • “If you’re watching at home, the “critical holes” that will likely determine the top finishers will be holes No. 7, 8, 11 and 13. The 11th hole is projected to be the most critical of holes as over the past five Masters the top players have gained nearly a 1.5 strokes for the tournament on that hole alone.”
  • “Just like last year’s column I will get the LIV Tour players I’ve filtered out of the way. Since LIV Tour does not provide ShotLink or Trackman data, it’s more of a guessing game as to how certain LIV Tour golfers are playing. I did utilize recent performance as well as performance at Mayakoba and Doral as they were two former PGA Tour courses that have some semblance of crossover to playing Augusta.”
Full piece.

7. Fields: Listen to the course whisperers

Bill Fields for Masters.com…”Many years after making his debut in the Masters Tournament in 1959, Jack Nicklaus had a sharp recollection of the tutorial he received that spring at Augusta National….Difficult lessons, after all, often are the most memorable.”

  • “Nicklaus was a 19-year-old amateur on the ascent, on his way to becoming one of the best golfers – the best, if measured by his ultimate major-championship tally, highlighted by a record six victories in the Masters. Yet, 65 years ago, the learning curve was steep for him. Despite his credentials, he shot 76-74–150 to miss the cut by one stroke as defending champion Arnold Palmer led at the halfway point.”
  • “I played pretty well from tee to green,” Nicklaus once recalled of that first competitive experience at Augusta National. “I hit 31 of 36 greens. But I had eight three-putt greens in 36 holes and got done and found Arnold was leading the Tournament at 140. He had hit 19 greens in regulation. I said, ‘You’d better learn how to chip and putt and understand what happens on this golf course.’ That’s what I learned.”
  • “Nicklaus, of course, isn’t alone in receiving such an education. More than two decades after the Golden Bear first turned up in northeast Georgia, another promising young golfer experienced the school of hard putts. Bernhard Langer of Germany, 24, was a three-time winner on the European Tour when he played his first Masters in 1982.”
Full Piece.

8. LIV Golf officials invited to Masters

John Turnbull for Bunkered…”It appears that defending champion Jon Rahm and his colleagues will not be the only LIV Golf representatives at The Masters this week.

  • “Despite golf’s civil war rolling on, officials of the Saudi-backed circuit have been invited to The Masters, according to reports.”
  • “The Telegraph has reported that at least one high-ranking LIV official will attend the first major championship of the year.”
  • “LIV’s chief executive Greg Norman, who was a three-times runner-up at the tournament, is not expected to show face at The Masters.”
Full Piece.

9. Masters eclipse glasses

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7 PGA TOUR courses you need to play

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Golf is a unique sport in that you can play where the pros play and make golf history of your own. Nothing in golf can compare to playing a world-renowned course and following in the footsteps of the game’s best golfers. The feeling is incomparable, and it’s one we think more golfers should experience!

To get you started, here are our picks of the best PGA TOUR courses you can (and should!) play:

PGA Tour courses you can (and should) play

Pebble Beach Golf Links (AT&T Pro-Am, U.S. Open, PGA Championship)

Early morning light on the par-4 8th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links on the Monterey Peninsula.

One of the most recognizable golf courses in the world, Pebble Beach Golf Links is the definition of a bucket golf course. Golfers will play iconic holes like the par-3 7th to the stunning par-5 18th. Enjoy great views of the Pacific Ocean as you play amongst the clifftop fairways and make memories that will last a lifetime when you play this PGA TOUR and major championship course.  

TPC Sawgrass – Stadium Course (THE PLAYERS Championship)

The 17th hole of THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL Photo by: Chris Condon/PGA TOUR (Photo by Chris Condon/PGA)

Home to arguably the most famous par 3 in golf, the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass is a top bucket-list course designed by Pete and Alice Dye. A challenging layout awaits that will test all facets of your game, especially shot shaping and course management. Subtle elevation changes, undulating greens, and unique bunkering add a degree of difficulty that stump even the best players in the world. Not to mention one of the best finishing stretches in golf with the long par-5 16th, the iconic 17th hole island green, and the testy par-4 18th. 

Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill  (Arnold Palmer Invitational)

A course fit for “The King” is what you will experience when you visit Orlando and play Bay Hill’s Championship Course. This classic Florida layout offers generous landing areas off the tee with few trees, but bunkers guard the greens and large ponds will make you rethink your shot choices. The course is only available for members and guests staying at The Lodge, so a stay is required to play this stunning course. But with year-round sunshine and pristine course conditions, it is never a bad time to visit Bay Hill! 

Torrey Pines – South  (Farmers Insurance Open, U.S. Open)

Another California clifftop course that should be on your bucket list is the South Course at Torrey Pines. Located just north of San Diego, this annual PGA TOUR stop has also hosted two U.S. Opens, which adds to the allure of the property. Narrow fairways and tall rough combined with amazing views of the Pacific Ocean and the California coastline make for an unforgettable round of golf. Large bunkers and elevation changes add to the challenge of the course, but the moderately sized greens offer golfers some respite. Who would’ve thought that a municipal course could be so exciting?

Harbour Town (RBC Heritage)

Hole 18 Harbour Town

Most recognized by the famous red and white striped lighthouse behind the 18th green, Harbour Town is the brainchild of Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. While the course is relatively short for a PGA TOUR event, the challenging design offsets length for accuracy with the narrow fairways framed by overhanging trees making it a shot makers course. A majority of the course winds through the wooded and sandy terrain before looping back towards the coastline with the final two finishing holes playing along the water. 

PGA National – Champion Course (Honda Classic, Ryder Cup, PGA Championship)

With the prominent golf tournaments this course has held, it is hard to leave it off the list. A fantastic Jack Nicklaus design, the Champions Course at PGA National is also home to a famous stretch of golf holes called “The Bear Trap.” The fairways and greens are player-friendly while the bunkers and water hazards are the course’s biggest defense. You will enjoy a 5-star experience and feel like a professional when you visit PGA National’s Champion Course.

Innisbrook Resort – Copperhead Course (Valspar Championship)

At more than 7,200 yards the Copperhead Course is the most recognizable of Innisbrook’s four Tampa, Florida courses and plays host to the PGA TOUR’s Valspar Championship.

One of the more under-the-radar courses on Tour, the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort still offers a challenge even to the pros. Designed by Lawrence Packard, the course, while not heavily wooded, requires accuracy with tight fairways, strategically placed bunkers, especially around the greens, and a decent amount of water hazards that come into play. As you head towards the clubhouse, you will encounter “The Snake Pit;” a collection of the most difficult finishing holes on the PGA TOUR.

There you have it, GolfWRXers. Have you played any of these PGA TOUR tracks? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments.

Editor’s note: This article is presented in partnership with Golfbreaks. When you make a purchase through links in this article, GolfWRX may earn an affiliate commission. 

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Tour Rundown: 4 straight for Nelly | Bhatia outlasts McCarthy

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A week of southern USA golf with a gambler’s flair, concluded on Sunday. The Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the national Drive, Chip, and Putt finals were celebrated in Augusta, Georgia. The LPGA offered its version of the OK Corral with the annual match-play event in Las Vegas. The Korn Ferry Tour gathered in Savannah, Georgia, for the Club Car Championship. Finally, the PGA Tour offered a final opportunity to qualify for this week’s Masters tournament, at the Texas Open.

In order to run something down, you have to be faster. Luckily for me, I took typing in school. Let’s run down a bunch of events this week, beginning in Augusta.

Augusta National Women’s Amateur: Woad wins

The ANWA begins play each year with 36 holes at Champions Retreat golf club, north of Augusta and adjacent to the Savannah river. A cut is made, and the finalists move to the storied Augusta National golf club two days later, for the third round. On Friday, every golfer in the field has the opportunity to play a practice round at ANGC, cut made or not. It’s a nice touch that sweetens the week for golfers like Carolina Lopez-Chacarra, who has missed the cut by one shot, each of the last two years.

Sweden’s Ingrid Lindblad is currently the most successful contestant in ANWA history. The LSU all-america golfer has thrice finished inside the top three at Augusta National. This year, she posted minus-four to claim solo third position. Ahead of her was Bailey Shoemaker, a former New Yorker who now lives in Florida, and is bound for the University of Southern California. Shoemaker posted six birdies against zero bogies on day three, for a dream score of 66. She moved from one-under par to the top of the leader board, at seven deep.

As the golfers with leads began to lose their way, Shoemaker’s position looked better by the minute. Even the overnight leader, Lottie Woad of England and Florida State University, began to stumble. Her bogey at the par-five 13th dropped her two shots behind Shoemaker. It was then that magic returned to the National. Woad secured a birdie with a 15-feet putt at the long 15th, to move within one of the leader. After a par at the 16th, Woad faced the uphill climb of the final two holes.

At 17, Woad ripped a long drive up fairway center, then finessed a wedge to 15 feet, and holed the putt for a three. At the home hole, she was long with her approach, and faced a downhill putt from … you guessed it, just about 15 feet for the victory. As the putt turned left, into the center of the hole, the magnitude of what Woad had done began to sink in. Three-under par over the closing four holes takes a special something, and all Bailey Shoemaker could do, was smile and acknowledge Woad’s work.

PGA Tour @ Texas Open: AB takes down DMC for second Tour title

It’s a good thing that Akshay Bhatia was paired with Denny McCarthy on day four, else he might not have believed what transpired. There was AB, with a four-shot advantage after 54 holes, targeting a second triumph and a Masters invitation. There was McCarthy, attempting to break through for his own, maiden Tour title. After nine holes on Sunday, the lead had swelled to six shots. At that point, the Silver Streak rolled into town.

Bhatia played a decent back nine, overcoming a bogey at ten with three other birdies. And he got annihilated by McCarthy. The 2015 Porter Cup champion made but one par on the inward half, at the 11th. He wrote “birdie” on the other eight holes, closed in 28 (eight under for the nine) and tied Bhatia at 20-under par. Rory McIlroy probably felt good about his 66, which moved him to third position, but he could only claim the “A” Flight on this day. He was nine shots back of the playoff.

As for the playoff, it was an anticlimax. Moments after making birdie at the par-five closer, McCarthy could not repeat his sucess. Despite a celebratory shoulder injury, Bhatia did make four, and the tournament and Masters invitation were his.

LPGA @ T-Mobile Match Play: No JK; NK has four straight

If it looks like stroke play, and smells like stroke play, it just might be match play. The LPGA took a page from the Western Amateur script this year. Three rounds of stroke play took place from Wednesday to Friday, as the field was trimmed to 65, and then to 8. The great eight then went head to head to decide who moved on and who went home. Four golfers tied for the eighth position, and three holes later, Moriya Jutanugarn had defeated Yuka Saso, Brooke Henderson, and Hae Ran Ryu for the right to move into match play.

Leona Maguire had been the queen of Shadow Creek, site of the event, and she preserved that royal title with a 4 & 3 win over Jutanugarn in round one of knockout play. Joining her in the semifinals were Sei Young Kim (6 & 5 over Rose Zhang), Narin An (1 up over Minami Katsu) and Nelly Korda (3 & 2 over Angel Yin.) The penultimate round saw Maguire (3 &2) and Korda (4 & 3) emerge triumphant, creating a dream conclusion pitting two of the top young talents.

Proponents of match play point to the elimination of all other competitors save the one. Medal-play aficionados reply by saying shoot a number and let the chips and putts fall where they may. On this day, Leona Maguire posted plus-two through the fifteen holes of the match, while Nelly Korda played the sequence in three below par, It doesn’t matter which style of competition you prefer. A five-shot difference tells you all that you need to know, about who played better that day.

On the occasion of her fourth consecutive victory on the LPGA circuit, Nelly Korda is the best player of this day, this week, this month. What a run.

Korn Ferry Tour @ Club Car Championship: Fisk takes risk and wins in Savannah

Philip Knowles and Kevin Roy each had thoughts on a first-time win on the KFT this week, but their hopes and dreams were postponed. Knowles dropped back from 1st to 3rd with a final-round 71. He tied John Pak and Max McGreevey at 12-deep, two shots behind the first-place tie. Roy posted 72 and finished one shot farther back, in a tie for sixth at minus-eleven. The spotlit stage for overtime was occupied by Rob Oppenheim and Steven Fisk. Fisk closed with 68, moving up two shots in the process. Oppenheim went one better, finishing off a day-four 67 with a jittery 36 on the inward half.

Oppenheim turned in 31 shots on Sunday, and looked for all the world to be on his way to a convincing victory. Nerves and jitters got in the way, and he matched bogeys and birdies on the way home for minus-14. In the playoff, Steven Fisk was able to negotiate par from the final hole at The Landings, and it was enough to earn the title. Oppenheim’s bogey-six relegated him to a coveted, but frustrating, second-place finish. And for those not in the know, it was Fisk who earned the breakthrough, initial victory on the KFT.

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