Connect with us


Tour Rundown: Five victors over long weekend



Across the USA and Canada, it’s a long weekend that marks a celebration of fall. Across the golf world, victors were anointed in England, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Florida, and North Carolina (OK, mainly across the USA:) The colorful passing of leaves from trees forewarns the arrival of cold temperatures, snow and, in some places, a break from the golf. For us, we chase the sun as Hogan did, running down professional tournaments wherever they are played. Have a nice cup of something warm and enjoy this week’s Tour Rundown.

Hatton claims homeland PGA Championship

The great debate rages on, as to why the USA is home to three of the world’s four major men’s golf titles. Important events are played across the globe, and the British PGA must certainly be counted as one. The uncontainable Tyrrell Hatton withstood an early charge from France’s Victor Perez, then countered mid-round with a volley of his own. He then closed firmly, to claim a 5th European title and second professional win of 2020.

Hatton had stamped himself as the frontrunner over three days, but when Perez stood minus-six on the day through twelve holes, the Englishman was compelled to seek something deep. His lead was a single stroke at the time, thanks to consecutive birdies at 9, 10 and 11. Perez simply wouldn’t go away … until the next hole. The man from Gaul had emptied his storehouse of birdies, and two closing bogies brought him back to -15. After a hiccough at 13, Hatton finished off a -19 performance with birdies at 15 and 18. The closing hole was kind to him all week; he made birdie each of the days, and secured a coveted, homeland title of importance.

Sei-young Kim finds major glory at Aronimink

With this taste of fall major championships, golf’s followers might lobby to do this more often into the future. First the US men’s open, and now the Women’s PGA! The scattering of events of magnitude throughout the calendar year is compelling, and might encourage the admins to rethink the way (and the places) that they shape their schedules.

Sei Young Kim won four of her ten previous LPGA titles in playoffs. She is money in extra time, but came nowhere close to needing a playoff in Philadelphia this weekend. Kim entered Sunday with a two-shot advantage over Brooke Henderson, and the Canadian would have needed 61 just to reach one of those aforementioned playoffs. That’s due to the monstrous 63 that Sei-young etched into history on Sunday. Three birdies on the front nine to preserve the lead, as Henderson struggled. Four more over the closing six holes, to reach -14 over a stored Donald Ross course. It’s a lengthy, one-paragraph summary; in essence, it was a one-woman event. Despite the heroics of Carlota Ciganda and Inbee Park (65s on Sunday) and Nasa Hataoka (64 punctuated by a hole-out eagle at the 1st), WPGA 2020 will be forever known for the separation of Sei-young Kim from the field. Welcome to the Major table, SYK!

Martin Laird is a winner once more

Unlike Sei-young Kim, Martin Laird is not Money Martin in playoffs, unless they take place in Las Vegas, kind of. Laird has been involved in three Shriners playoffs (2009, 2010, 2020) and has won two of them. Take him away from the desert, and he is zero for two. Time to focus on what he did brilliantly this week, holding off Matthew Wolff and Austin Cook in extra time for a 4th tour title.

Laird entered round four in a tie with Patrick Cantlay, at -20. After a 63 and two 65s, Cantlay went somewhere mysterious with a front-nine 39 on Sunday. He had two birdies coming home, but the damage was done. Laird soldiered on, as many around him made mid-6os runs at the lead. In addition to the aforementioned Wolff and Cook, Peter Malnatti and Bryson DeChambeau had 66s, and burst into the top ten. With the tournament in his hands, Laird made bogey at the watery 18th, falling into a three-way tie and a lagoon of doubt.

Regrouping quickly, the Scotsman headed off to extra holes with two associates. All three made par at the first playoff hole, with Wolff and Laird excruciatingly close to a winning birdie. At the 2nd playoff hole, the par-three 17th, Laird’s putt never looked like it would stay high enough, until it caught the lower edge and dropped for a winning birdie. Seven years after his last tour win, the now-gray Laird had a fourth title, and one to share with his young family.

Mullinax locks gate on Korn Ferry 2020 with Orange County win

Trey Mullinax was a part of those Justin Thomas-led, University of Alabama teams of the early 2010s. Since his time in Tuscaloosa, Mullinax has ground out a living across America’s PGA Tours. He has two victories on the Korn Ferry Tour, along with a stint on the big tour, to show for his efforts. This weekend, Mullinax claimed that second KFT victory, by one stroke at the Orange County National complex in Orlando.

Round four was an unstable one for the man from Birmingham. Five birdies were offset by three bogies, and he closed with 69 for -23. Fortunately for Mullinax, one of those birdies came at the par-five finishing hole. Gaining ground behind him were Brandon Wu and Stephan Jaeger. After forging his seventh birdie of the day at the 15th, Wu could summon no more, ending at -22. Jaeger was the antithesis. After dropping a stroke at the par-five 14th, he closed with three birdie along the four-hole, finishing stretch. After reaching the last in two, his putt for eagle and a tie came up shy, and Mullinax had a victory to close the 2020 campaign.

The Big Easy plays well in Cary

The SAS Championship celebrated its 20th playing this week, all of them in Cary, North Carolina. The little town that could has grown up, and what better champion to celebrate two decades of success than Ernie Els? Situated west of Raleigh, and south of Durham and Chapel Hill, Cary makes no claims on enlarging the triangle into a quadrilateral. It likes who it is, just fine, and should serve as a fine host to the PGA Tour Champions for years to come.

Els came oh-so-close to being one of those winners in his first senior event, earlier this year. He has now won twice in his maiden campaign on the Champions Tour, by one shot this week over Colin Montgomerie. In truth, the SAS appeared to be a reset to the early 2000s, with Els, Monty, Vijay Singh and Bernhard Langer giving chase. After 74 on Sunday, it appears that the the great German champion Langer might be finally showing signs of passing the torch to a new generation of old guys.

For all the world, it seemed that Singh and Montgomerie would do battle for the title. Both had 70 on day four, and finished at -10 and -11, respectively. Els stood +1 through five holes on Sunday, apparently out of the picture. Along came the seven-birdie train, however, punctuated by gained shots at the final two holes, and just like that, the South African hero had snatched the title from the mitts of Scotland and Fiji. The title boosted Els into the Schwab Cup lead, with two events left before the grand finale in Phoenix, in November.

Your Reaction?
  • 1
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Ronald Montesano writes for 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.


Morning 9: Mickelson dials up pre-Match chatter | Korda sisters land GD cover | Augenstein on going pro



By Ben Alberstadt
Email me at [email protected]; and find me on Twitter and Instagram.
November 24, 2020
Good Monday morning, golf fans. May you enjoy your Thursday feasting and giving of thanks and Friday shopping! I will see you all next Monday.
1. Augenstein energized
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…”Augenstein went on to reach the semifinals of the U.S. Junior Amateur that summer. He later signed with the Commodores and made an instant impact as a freshman, winning two extra-hole matches to lead Vanderbilt to its first SEC title in 2017. The one they call “Flash” – or, as this writer has coined, “Johnny Golf” – continued to establish himself as one of the preeminent match-play competitors in amateur golf, going 8-1 in the format between conference and nationals while also finishing runner-up at the 2019 U.S. Amateur and scoring the winning point for last year’s U.S. Walker Cup team at Royal Liverpool. Last spring as a senior, he was named SEC Player of the Year and an All-American for the fourth time.
  • “In other words, Augenstein left quite the mark on the Vanderbilt program. From “best player here” to one of Vanderbilt’s best ever.”
  • “As a coach, you dream of being able to coach guys like John Augenstein,” said Limbaugh, who on Monday had to say so long to his superstar.
  • “After four and a half seasons in Nashville, Augenstein announced that he has decided to forego the final semester of his extra year of eligibility and turn professional.”
2. “Chuck tees”
Golfweek’s Todd Kelly with some remarks from Lefty amid his usual pre-Match pot-stirring…”Mickelson will likely have to carry plenty of the weight on Friday. Curry is a talented player, and Manning has shown he can swing the stick a little bit himself. As for Barkley, well, we’ve all seen that swing.
  • “At Stone Canyon, we actually have Chuck tees,” Mickelson said. “They’re a little bit further up.”
  • …”Mickelson then described part of the strategy that he and Barkley plan to deploy later this week.”
  • “If I can hit the green, and let him putt, that’s our strategy on that. Same thing on the drivable par 4s. We saw what happened in Match II where we were really getting beat up pretty good and then Tom and I, on 11, I drive the green and he rolls the putt in for eagle and it just turns the whole match the other way.”
3 Korda sisters land Golf Digest cover
…and Keely Levins landed the Q&A…Good background on the pair which could eventually be written in the history books best golfing sister duo ever.
How do you balance being sisters and competitors?
Nelly: You’re always competing against the golf course, my parents always said.
Jess: People like to put us against each other all the time to see if they can spark a rivalry or something. But we just keep disappointing everybody.
Nelly: We have little side bets here and there. At the end of the day, we want the best for each other, even though we want to beat each other as well. You go into every tournament wanting to win.
4. WMPO organizers cautiously optimistic for 2021
Nick Piecoro for the Arizona Republic…”The annual event at TPC Scottsdale is known for its raucous, jam-packed crowds. It can feel like a tailgate party, rock concert, beer festival and sporting event rolled into one. It is a defining event on the Valley’s social calendar, an excuse even for non-golf fans to head to the course and bask in the sunshine.”
  • “But no one knows what elements of Phoenix Opens past will be visible the first week of February, when the tournament is scheduled to take place.”
  • “For now, organizers expect to go forward with the event. They say it will be scaled down in every respect. Gone will be many of the temporary structures that ran parallel to the course. Organizers hope to have fans, albeit nothing close to the 200,000-plus who typically turn out on Fridays and Saturdays.”
GolfWRX Recommends
One for the Memory Banks is part Final Rounds, part Dewsweepers, part To the Linksland, and part Rick Reilly—and 100% one of the best golf books you’ll ever read! This hilarious and heartfelt travelogue features stories of golf and friendship. If you’ve played golf in the UK, One for the Memory Banks will connect with you on so many levels—if you haven’t, this book will have you calling your travel agent!
Great gift for the holidays!
GolfWRX may earn a commission on sales of “GolfWRX Recommends” products.
5. England’s courses reopen
Elliott Heath for Golf Monthly…”Golf courses in England will be allowed to re-open on 2nd December as the country exits its second lockdown.”
  • “UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson says that the rule of six will once again apply so it looks like fourballs will also be back.”
  • “The country is going back to its Tier system, with each region set to find out on Thursday…More regions will fall into higher tiers than previously, Boris Johnson said.”
6. Course whisperer readying the Ocean Course
The Post and Courier’s Jeff Hartsell…”The man known as the PGA Championship’s “course whisperer,” Kerry Haigh, is keeping an eye on those ever-increasing distances as he prepares the Ocean Course for its next turn on the golf world’s main stage.  The Ocean Course, designed by the late, great Pete Dye, has hosted the famed “War by the Shore” Ryder Cup of 1991 and the 2012 PGA Championship, where McIlroy dusted the field by eight shots.”
  • “But with the PGA moved from August to May on the golf calendar, and with long hitters such as Bryson DeChambeau leading the distance evolution in the game, the Ocean Course will face a new challenge next year. The PGA Championship, set for May 20-23, will be the second major on golf’s 2021 calendar, following The Masters in April.  Haigh, chief championships officer for the PGA of America, is responsible for the operation and course set up for the PGA Championships. He visited the Ocean Course last week to check on preparations. His goal, he said, is to not be the subject of any post-PGA analysis, good or bad.”
7. Pro-Am golf: Reifers captures TaylorMade Pebble Beach Tournament title
John Devine of the Monterey Herald…”Sitting five strokes off the pace after Thursday’s opening round, Reifers inched closer each day before producing the lowest score on Sunday to capture the 49th TaylorMade Pebble Beach Pro-Am Tournament.   Reifers overcame fast and firm conditions at Pebble Beach Golf Course to finish 4-under-par, erasing a one stroke deficit to win the tournament by three strokes over Kirk Triplett, a four-time winner of various tournaments at Pebble Beach.  Finishing a combined 13-under, Reifers used a pair of eagles on the second and third holes at Pebble Beach to grab his first lead of the four-day event, which was played at Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Spanish Bay over the first three days.”
8. h/t Geoff Shackelford: CBS Moneywatch on golf participation
Another item for the “golf is booming” cornucopia…Via Geoff Shackelford…”CBS Moneywatch’s Megan Cerullo doesn’t tell us much we haven’t already read about golf in the pandemic. Still, after years of stories about the decline of the sport’s participation numbers, it’s worth noting pieces like this one, if nothing else to highlight that a resurgence in the game had nothing to do with the opportunity to spend $600 for ten more yards off the tee.”
  • “In August, consumers spent a record $331 million on clubs, balls, gloves and other gear — that was up 32% over the year-ago period and topped the previous sales record for that month in 2006, according to Golf Datatech.”
  • “For the first 10 months of 2020, golf equipment sales were up nearly 30% compared to the same period last year, Matt Powell, an analyst with market research firm NPD Group, told CBS MoneyWatch. Training tools, such as hitting screens, swing aids and putting matts are up 75% as enthusiasts practice their technique away from the golf course.”
9. Streb’s winning WITB
Driver: Titleist TSi2 (10 degrees)
Shaft: Project X EvenFlow RipTide 60 6.5
3-wood: Titleist TS3 (15 degrees, B2 Surefit)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana S+ 80 TX
Hybrid: Titleist TS3 (21 degrees, B2 Surefit)
Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Black Hy 95X
Irons: Titleist TMB (4), Titleist 620CB (5-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S300
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (46-10F, 52-08F, 56-08M, 60-04L)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S300
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Prototype
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet
Your Reaction?
  • 2
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK2

Continue Reading


GolfWRX Insider: Interview with RSM Classic winner Robert Streb



This week at the RSM Classic at Sea Island, Robert Streb won in clutch fashion on the second playoff hole with a pitching wedge to within inches from 160 yards. It not only set up his second PGA Tour victory but also his second victory at Sea Island with his first also coming in a playoff against Brendon de Jonge in 2015.

After the win, we had the chance to speak with Robert about that final shot on 18 as well as his clubs, how he goes about testing new equipment, and the most common mistakes he sees from amateur golfers.

RB: To start, I have to ask you about the shot you hit on the second playoff hole to set up the win. It was a pitching wedge from the rough from 160 yards. How were you able to judge the distance so well?

RS: As soon as my caddie and I saw the lie we had a really good feeling it was going to jump a bit, and that’s why I hit my pitching wedge instead of my 9-iron. We don’t always judge it as right as we did on that shot, but the big key was to make a confident swing and trust that we made the right decision— it obviously worked out for the best.

RB: If we take a deeper look at the club you hit for that shot in the playoff, you use a pitching wedge that matches your wedges rather than one that matches your irons (Vokey Design SM8 46 degree) is there a specific reason you choose to use that club vs a set matching pitching wedge?

RS: For a long time I used the pitching wedge from my iron set, but for me being a self-described feel player I like using the Vokey 46 degree because I feel I have a bit more control on half shots because of the groove technology and the overall profile of the club. When the SM8’s hit the tour I asked Dill (Titleist wedge tech Aaron Dill) about getting set up with that, and it pretty much went right into the bag. I also really like using it around the green.

RB: Sticking to new equipment, you also recently put the Titleist TSi2 driver into play. What do you like about that club versus your previous driver, and what was your process for putting that club into play?

RS: I know I mentioned this already, but I really am a feel player when it comes to my clubs, and everything has to fit my eye. The TSi2 is really appealing since I’m a guy that plays a draw and the shape of the toe is extremely appealing at address behind the ball. I did a lot of hitting it on the range before ever getting on Trackman, because I want to know that I really love it before dialing it in.

The other thing I really like is the ability to hit it a bit higher and see a flight that I really like without having it ever feel out of control. Since I like to play a draw, I like that it helps my misses stay in the air longer and go straighter—like any golfer, I like knowing that my misses are going to be better when I switch to something new.

RB: We’ve talked wedges, and we’ve talked the driver, so now let’s talk everything in between and how you like to gap your set. You previously used a 2-iron as the next club after your 3-wood and now you go from a 3-wood to a 21-degree  hybrid and then a 4-iron. What are your main goals when gapping your set?”

RS: Over time I realized that I would make more birdies and save more shots using a gap wedge over a 2-iron, so I finally made the decision to take that out of the bag and play a full four-wedge setup (46/52/56/60) and use the hybrid. I used to have to work really hard at managing my distance gapping since there was almost a 20-yard gap in the short end of my bag, but now I don’t ever have to worry about that.

At the top end of my bag, the hybrid is really versatile and I always find I get more control with a shorter club with a bit more loft vs a 5-wood, so I’ve stuck with it since I really like the iron feel I get out of that club.

From there, my 4-iron (Titleist TMB) really plays like a 3 1/2 iron—I feel confident getting a few extra yards out of it when needed because it’s hollow, while still offering the ability to hit softer shots with it, which is whys its a club I don’t mess around with.

RB: Being a player at your level, you understand how to get around a golf course and minimize mistakes. If there was one piece of advice you could offer to golfers trying to break their next scoring barrier what would it be?

RS: The biggest mistakes I see golfers make is not playing within themselves and hitting shots they aren’t truly comfortable with. This could mean a shot around the green and trying to get too aggressive, or not pulling the right club on approach shots. When I play in pro-ams, the vast majority of golfers miss short and don’t take enough club—they hit the club they think should get there rather than the one that will, and over the course of a round of golf those missed shots add up.

Being able to take your medicine when you put yourself in a bad spot can be the difference between a bogey and a triple and a hole like that can mean the difference between making a cut, or in the case of many golfers, not getting to that next scoring barrier.

Check out Streb’s full WITB: Robert Streb’s RSM Classic winning WITB

Your Reaction?
  • 13
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading


The DailyWRX (11/23/2020): Do not enter if…



Don’t do it….


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by PGA Memes (@pgamemes)

My God…..


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by European Tour (@europeantour)

“Bad Little 9″……..


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Parsons Xtreme Golf (@pxg)

It’s an honest question…

True Legend spotted in the wild…

DM @johnny_wunder

Your Reaction?
  • 4
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK2

Continue Reading