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Tour Mash: Garcia ends 4-year drought, Rory’s dramatic finish in Ireland

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Around the tours in six countries for us this week. We had winners from Spain, Ireland, Thailand, Germany, Mexico and the U.S. Two golfers won their own national championships, which made this version of around the world even better.

PGA Tour: Garcia wins Byron Nelson Classic in playoff

Sergio Garcia jumped ahead of the field in Irving, Texas, on Thursday with a 63. He stayed in the hunt despite Brooks Koepka’s fireworks in Rounds 2 and 3, and made enough birdies on Sunday to tie Koepka at 15-under par, leading to a playoff.

Koepka’s pyrotechnics went out on the first playoff hole, as the 2015 Phoenix Open winner dunked his tee ball in left lake and went on to make double bogey. Garcia made a routine par and the title was his. The win was Garcia’s first PGA Tour triumph in nearly four years, dating back to a victory in Greensboro in 2012. El Niño last won on the European Tour in Qatar in 2014.

Hometown hopeful Jordan Spieth did “that thing” again on Sunday, shooting 74 to drop from second place to 18th. Here’s Peter Kostis’ analysis of his swing, which he’s fighting at the moment.

European Tour: McIlroy wins in dramatic fashion on his home turf

Rory McIlroy’s sanity was questioned last summer, after the Irishman badly injured his ankle playing soccer. The little romp caused him to miss a defense of his Open Championship title. Since then, the former No. 1-ranked golfer in the world has struggled to recover his dominating form, watching as Jordan Spieth and Jason Day captured major championships and overtook him in the rankings.

Those days at the top may be over for Spieth and Day. McIlroy finished birdie-par-eagle at The K Club on Sunday to wrest the Irish Open title away from Scotsman Russell Knox, and lay claim to the title for the first time in his career.

McIlroy lost his lead on the 15th hole, where Knox made his second-consecutive birdie, but earned it back after a two-shot swing on No. 16. With 271 yards to the hole, McIlroy smacked his 3-wood to the middle of the green, while Knox made on bogey.

On No. 18, another par-5 hole, McIlroy pulled his 5-wood again, resulting in an eagle tap-in to finish his round. McIlroy finished 12-under, three shots clear of Knox and fast-closing Bradley Dredge of Wales, who posted 66 in round four to climb way up the leader board on day four.

Back To Back for Ariya at Kingsmill Championship

Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand flipped the winner’s switch last week, when she won her first LPGA event. While she threatened to steal defeat from the jaws of victory near Richmond, Jutanugarn won for the second consecutive week on the LPGA Tour.

Su Oh of Australia (by way of South Korea) lit the match on the front nine, posting 5-under to move up the leaderboard. The youngster added two more birdies on the back nine, but a bogey on the 12th hole dropped her one critical stroke behind Jutanugarn in the end. One more stroke behind were Sei Young Kim and Gerina Piller, at 12-under.

Champions Tour: Langer seizes First Regions Tradition win in rout

There was a point during Round 4 when Olin Browne had closed to within a stroke of the indomitable Bernhard Langer. His attention captured, the German responded with five back-nine birdies to turn a potential duel into a six-stroke rout over the field. Langer captured his sixth senior major title, leaving him a Senior PGA win away from a Champions Tour grand slam.

Browne had three birdies of his own on the inward half, and the runner-up finish was his best of the season so far.

Web.com Tour: Werenski rides weekend birdie binge to BMW Charity Pro-Am Crown

Many golfers made a run at the top spot over the weekend near Greenville, South Carolina. Only one of them made 13 birdies and one bogey in the final two rounds, and his score of 21-under secured Richy Werenski’s his first Web.com Tour title.

Brandon Hagy had the third-round lead at the BMW. While his final-round 69 was no cause for dismay, an 11th-hole double bogey stopped his momentum, and he finished in 5th place. A trio of golfers finished two back of Werenski. Among them were Zack Sucher, Brian Campbell and Brad Drewitt. With his victory, Werenski closed to within $23K of The 25 leader Wesley Bryan, assuring himself of a PGA Tour card in 2016-17.

PGA Tour LA: More iTiempo Extra! at Abierto Mexicano de Golf on PGA Tour Latinoamerica

In a battle of Tildes (Spanish word for accent marks over letters), Sebastián Vázquez had one more strike than Augusto Nuñez, and one less stroke on the first playoff hole. The two had tied in regulation at 16-under, one stroke better than the American Austin Quick.

On the Mexican flag, an eagle devours a serpent, and the home country’s representative followed suit. Vázquez made a devouring eagle of his own on No. 15, then defeated the Argentine Nuñez to move into the top-15 on the order of merit.

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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.

21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Mark Donaghy

    May 24, 2016 at 10:13 am

    An interesting observation is that Rory won the Irish Open with an ice cold putter. He had 127 putts over 4 days, with 33 putts on the final day. In the forth round he was -5 on the par 5s, a testament to his ‘bombing’ skills. He still needs to work on the putting aspect of his game for the Majors. Day’s putting at TPC was awesome. Day once said he had Jordan’s putter and Rory’s driver. That gives him a massive edge right now as it’s the flatstick that gets things done.

  2. Ronald Montesano

    May 23, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    Point of reference for the slow of us in the crowd?

    • Ronald Montesano

      May 24, 2016 at 11:02 am

      I agree on the LPGA coverage as well. It’s hard not to feature what Tiger does, as he was the most relevant athlete in the world for a 5-year period, and most relevant golfer for a 15-year period.

  3. golfraven

    May 23, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    That was some nice finish from Rory and I am well impressed he donated it all to his charity.
    As for Sergio, we still may see him winning the Open. Glad I put same grip on my flat stick. Go Europe – here is one pairing for the Ryder Cup

  4. Pierre

    May 23, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Nice win for two Europeans in a Ryder Cup year,….. if you look at the top 10 players in the world they all have a whole arsenal of golfing weapons, Speith however only has his flat stick and history will tell you no one has ever has managed to put that well year after year.

    • Ronald Montesano

      May 23, 2016 at 9:58 pm

      Good thing Day is an Aussie. Spieth does need to do something about that chicken wing. I know that people say let him be him, but it has to have something to do with the rights that he suffers.

  5. Scott

    May 23, 2016 at 11:16 am

    “Those days at the top may be over for Spieth and Day. McIlroy finished birdie-par-eagle at The K Club on Sunday to wrest the Irish Open title away from Scotsman Russell Knox, and lay claim to the title for the first time in his career.”
    WTF? I am usually not going to call out a writer on his opinion, but since Jason just whipped on Rory at the Players, Rory winning a minor league event hardly equates to, well, much of anything. Spieth certainly has real issues right now, but Ron, you need to pull your head out of your rear end on that comment about Jason Day’s reign at the top being over soon.

    • Ian

      May 23, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

      • Scott

        May 24, 2016 at 9:52 am

        @Ian Huh?

        • Ian

          May 24, 2016 at 11:41 am

          Ok let me put it another way – objects in the rear view mirror are closer than they appear.

          • Scott

            May 25, 2016 at 10:00 am

            Oh my gosh, “closer than they appear”?. Those three have been almost interchangeable at the top for almost 2 years. This is the first time that one one the 3 have started distancing themselves since last August. Until Rory develops some consistency with the putter, he will always be behind Jason Day.

    • Ronald Montesano

      May 23, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      Scott,

      Thank you for your candid opinion. There is a difference between “may” and “are,” and I opted for the former. Rory, in my mind, needed the jump-start of a win to remind him that he was the once and future king. I think that we will see Rory and Jason battle it out at Oakmont, but that Jordan won’t resurface until British or PGA. Now, if I’m incorrect, don’t lose sleep!

      Keep reading and commenting. It is appreciated.

    • Robert

      May 23, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      I think he was more so referencing how Rory ended the tournament, not necessarily what tournament it was. Pretty silly sick finish if you ask me!

      • Ronald Montesano

        May 23, 2016 at 10:05 pm

        You got it, Robert.

        • Scott

          May 24, 2016 at 10:01 am

          “May” or “are” and/or a nice finish still does not change the fact that Rory beat a bunch of nobodies that won’t do anything all year except win the Ryder Cup. Let’s pump the breaks on all of the GOAT talk.
          Day is playing at such a high level right now and Rory still has issues with his putter. Maybe do an article on which putting stroke and putter Rory is using this week.

          • Ronald Montesano

            May 24, 2016 at 10:58 am

            Nothing changes anything. I’m surmising, as I saw evidence of something we’ve anticipated since Rory’s first tournament back.

          • WK

            May 26, 2016 at 5:39 am

            A bunch of nobodies ?
            Off the top of my head, there was Rory himself, current Masters champ Willett, current WGC champs Knox & Lowry, major champ McDowell, double major champ Kaymer, major winner and double WGC champ Clark, former world no.1 Westwood.
            Prize money aside, the field was far deeper than the bunch that turned up in Texas IMHO.

  6. Ronald Montesano

    May 23, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Tim, thanks…looked at the flag on the LPGA site and guessed incorrectly.

    Malcolm, I had it as a hybrid…5 metals and hybrids are so similar these days.

    RM

  7. Malcolm Herbert

    May 23, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Rory’s shot on 18 was a 5 wood not a 3 wood

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      May 23, 2016 at 9:59 am

      Thank you for the edit, Malcolm, and for reading.

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Tour Photo Galleries

Check out Scotty Cameron’s 2022 “Las Vegas” putter cover

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Las Vegas traditions include both losing your shirt at the craps table and limited-edition putter covers from Scotty Cameron at the Shriners Children’s Open.

Last year’s cover featured an abundance of red dice against a green background. 

Prior to that, the iconic Las Vegas “welcome” sign served as inspiration.

This year, Cameron and Company went with a silver cover with a traditional Vegas showgirl, “777,” jackpot, a pair of cards totaling blackjack, and more.

Check out Scotty’s 2022 “Las Vegas” covers, below.

Check out more photos from the 2022 Shriners Children’s Open here.

 

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Photos from the 2022 Presidents Cup

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GolfWRX was live for the “United States vs. Everyone (except Europe)” showdown, otherwise known as the Presidents Cup.

Contested this year at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, from an equipment standpoint, the Presidents Cup offers the opportunity to get an up-close look at the wares of the best golfers in the world and always provides for some interesting custom equipment — like Justin Thomas’ wedge, below (and Max Homa’s in the featured image).

Check out all our galleries from the Presidents Cup, below.

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Photos from the 2022 Fortinet Championship

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GolfWRX is live this week at the Fortinet Championship as the 2022-2023 PGA Tour season gets underway in Napa.

Plenty of general galleries to fill your cup with this week, as well as WITB looks — including Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler. We also have a limited-edition Odyssey putter cover and new drivers from Wilson and Srixon.

Check out Rickie discussing his new irons in this PGA Tour x GolfWRX video.

 

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Also featured this week: An in-hand look at Greyson Sigg’s Mizuno JPX923 Tour irons (the long-rumored and already widely discussed successor to 2020’s 921).

Check out links to all our galleries after the photo of Hideki Matsuyama doing Hideki Matsuyama things, below.

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