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Tour Mash: Hadwin claims first PGA Tour title, Chowrasia repeats on home soil

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March is an odd month for both weather and professional golf. Some weeks are absolutely filled with a diverse offering of each, while others give us just a taste of interest. T.S. Eliot called April the cruelest month, so perhaps March was a bit generous in advance (at least for this week) as two first-time winners etched their names onto trophies.

Curious? Mash on!

PGA Tour: Hadwin claims first PGA Tour title at Valspar

The Copperhead course at Innisbrook, a wee bit north of Tampa, has a singular ability to identify balanced champions. The 2017 edition of the Valspar promised nothing less. The 2016 feel-good story of the year, first-time winner Jim Herman, was in the mix, as was comeback kid Patrick Cantlay. Also seated near the front was another young player filled with promise, Adam Hadwin of Canada.

Hadwin and Cantlay had separated themselves from the chasers by a few shots midway through the inward nine. On the 15th Cantlay made bogey, extending Hadwin’s lead. The Canadian gave it all back one hole later, thoughr, scratching out a double bogey to drop into a tie at the top spot. Both Herman and 2016 Web.com Tour graduate Dominic Bozzelli remained within two, but neither could make any noise over the closing holes.

The tournament was decided at the uphill 18th. Hadwin reached the fringe and got down in two for par. Cantlay was bunkered and could not get up and down for a tying par. Hadwin finished 14-under par, one ahead of the 2011 U.S. Amateur runner-up. Tied for 3rd at 12-under were Herman and Bozzelli.

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European Tour: Hero Indian Open to Chowrasia, again!

In 2016, SSP Chowrasia finally won his national open after four runner-up finishes. Perhaps a small dam burst for him at Delhi Golf Club last year, but the defending champion returned to the Indian Open and seized control once again. The end result was the same, with Chowrasia adding a second, bookend trophy to the one he raised one year ago.

The venue was different, as was the weather, and both impacted the performance of the field. Chowrasia played championship golf in all four rounds (72-67-68-71) while his pursuers rose and fell over the final 36 holes at the Gary Player-designed course. In the end it was SSP at 10-under, seven shots in front of Gavin Green of Malaysia, who came second alone. Matteo Manassero (Italy) and Scott Jamieson (Scotland) finished T3 at 2-under.

PGA Tour LA: Molino Cañuelas Championship to Matthews

Brandon Matthews of the U.S. established a nice cushion after three rounds of the PGA Tour LA’s stop in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but winning rarely comes easily at the top levels of professional golf. Playing in front of a passionate, home-country crowd, Matias Simaski offered up inspired golf on Day 4 at the Cañuelas Golf Club and almost chased Matthews down.

On the outward half the leader posted two birdies, but he struggled to find his form after a double bogey-bogey run on Nos. 3 and 4. Meanwhile, Simaski clawed his way up the leaderboard, captivating the crowd with a 97-yard hole out for eagle at the 18th, catapulting him within one of the leader. He ultimately tied for second with the Jared Wolfe at 12-under.

Matthews played the inward nine in 1-under with eight pars and a birdie. That single shot under par was the difference maker, as the Pennsylvania native claimed his first professional victory after just five months in the paying ranks.

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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.

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Tour Photo Galleries

Interesting photos from the Zozo Championship

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This week is the Zozo Championship at Sherwood Golf Club, and with most of the worlds top golfers including Tiger Woods playing and prepping for the November Masters, there is a lot going on around the range when it comes to gear and testing.

As a reminder, you can check out all of our photos in the GolfWRX forums.

New Fourteen irons and wedges

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The irons are a throwback to a classic “channel back” style iron with mass positioned towards the top and bottom of the face to increase vertical stability of the blade while also maintaining feel.

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Justin Rose with Artisan lob wedge

The little shop from Texas continues to make big waves with more wedges spotted on tour every week including in former world number 1 Justin Rose.

Xander Schauffele’s new Apex irons and testing putters on Quintic

Xander’s prototype Callaway Apex irons look a lot like the newly released 2021 X-Forged irons but with obvious Apex branding. We also can’t forget about putting, and it’s cool to see a Quintic high-speed camera system on the practice green getting players dialed in to launch conditions just like how they would for a driver.

Ricky using older generation Cobra Amp Cell Pro Irons

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If there is one thing pros love, it’s a set of older irons—they’re the golf equivalent of putting on a pair of comfy broken-in jeans. For Ricky and his custom Amp Cell Pro’s with tungsten toe inserts, there must be some magic there because he has previously used multiple newer sets of irons but continues to gravitate towards these.

Hideki Maruyama testing new Bettinardi putter

Hideki isn’t someone to shy away from testing putters, and this week he was spotted testing one of the new Bettinardi putters that debuted last week in Las Vegas at Shadow Creek.

Pros are “just like us” – Justin Thomas and Mac Hughes edition

Yes, tour pros are just like us except for the fact that they are exceptional golfers, but even JT likes help in his long game and has a Titleist T300 3-iron in the bag, and when it comes to breakfast Mackenzie Hughes happens to like ketchup with his breakfast sandwich—although personally, I’m anti-ketchup when it comes to breakfast sandwiches.

Mickelson testing older X-Hot 3Deep

We’ve heard rumblings, of Champions Tour terminator Phil Mickelson testing 47.5″ drivers in the name of speed and distance, but as a way to also have a “fairway finder” it appears that he is contemplating putting his old X-Hot 3Deep in play. (Being able to identify a multi-generations old fairway wood from a distance based on its paint scheme is part of the reason we are WRX)

Gary Woodland testing Ping G425 driver

With the launch of the Ping G425 woods on tour a few weeks ago, it’s no surprise to see more players testing them in prep for the Masters, and for the fact that, they are the next evolution of the well-loved Ping G410—Gary Woodland is no exception.

 

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Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2020 Zozo Championship

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GolfWRX is live from the 2020 Zozo Championship, which takes place at Sherwood CC this year following the cancellation of the tour’s Asia swing.

With a loaded field that features Tiger Woods, there is plenty of WITB intrigue, as well as a number of Japanese players, whose setups are always worth taking a look at.

Check out our 12 general galleries and a selection of special collections below, including plenty of Woods, Mickelson, and McIlroy photos.

General galleries

Special galleries

See what GolfWRXers are saying in the forums.

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Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2020 CJ Cup

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GolfWRX is live at the relocated 2020 CJ Cup, which is being contested at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas after the COVID-19 pandemic made the PGA Tour’s Asian Swing an impossibility.

Our photo sampling this week includes four general galleries packed with imagery, in-hand looks at the new Ping G425 driver and woods, drool-worthy putters and more.

Check out links to all our photos below.

General galleries

Special galleries

Join the discussion in the forums.

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