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A Lim Kim is your 2020 U.S. Women’s Open champion

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When destiny and angels collide, the outcome rests in the hands of the big D. The winged ones put a guiding, comforting hand on your shoulder, but it’s fate that wins the day in golf. A Lim Kim was fated to win the 75th playing of the USGA Women’s Open, while Amy Olson gave a heroic effort on day five, all the while bearing the burden of a lost, loved one. There wasn’t much about the postponed national championship that resembled the expected and the anticipated As the mud settled, it was a dramatic conclusion to the year’s final major championship.

Hinako Shibuno entered Monday’s delayed final round in first place, where she had been for the better part of three days. Shibuno needed an early birdie to plant a flag and stake a claim, but her first sub-par score would not come until the 13th hole. By that point in the round, she had returned four strokes to par, was even on the week, and would ultimately finish in solo 4th position. Top four in a major is a career feat for professionals, and an undreamed-of occurrence for mortals. For Shibuno, after her surprising 2019 British Open title, the non-victory certainly had to sting a bit.

Moving up the leader board was two-time major champion and world number one Jin-young Ko. Ko spent the better part of 2020 ensconced in safe harbor, at home in Korea. She rode the viral wave in the company of family, finding practice and competition opportunities nearby. In her return to the world stage, Ko tied for 34th at Pelican, then moved up to 5th at the VOA, two weeks ago. This week, she surged in the final round with a marvelous 68, three under on the day. Ko’s progress should make her a lock to win the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples this week, but a playoff for a third major title escaped her grasp by one stroke.

Back to the angels. Amy Olson hails from North Dakota, and won the 2009 U.S. Girls championship. Eschewing the lure of large-school college golf, Olson remained in her native state at North Dakota State, where she excelled in the classroom and on the course. She turned professional after graduation, and has competed on the LPGA Tour for just over seven complete seasons. Without a victory, but with a pair of top-ten finishes in major events, Olson took the opening round lead with a stellar 67. That number would prove on Monday to be fated, as it was the low round for the week, on either of the Champions Golf Club courses. Four of them were posted, one in each round, and Olson owned one of them.

On Saturday evening, Olson’s beloved father-in-law passed from this world. Her husband was travelling from home to Houston when he received the news. Olson spent much of Sunday in tears, preparing for a round that would never begin. Perhaps fate and the angel conspired that day, to make the course just unplayable enough as the day unwound, to delay competition and give Olson time to gather.

On Monday, Olson went out in the final threesome, with Shibuno and Moriya Jutanugarn. Three bogeys at holes 2 through 4 were quickly countered by birdies at 5 and 6. Olson reeled off nine pars to the 16th, where an adrenaline-laced hybrid overshot the green, resulting in her fourth bogey of the day. A birdie at the last returned her to 2-under on the week, in a tie with Ko. Her admirable score of 72 outdistanced her playing companions, but there was one golfer that she could not overtake.

A Lim Kim was not a recognizable name, a considered name, a feared name, at any point during the week. Although the 25-year old Korean had signed for 68 on Thursday, her subsequent rounds of 74 and 72 had returned her to a place outside of apparent contention. In that interim, Shibuno had posted 67 on Friday to assume the lead position, while Ji Yeong Kim2 would return a 67 of her own on day three, to make a hasty leaderboard move, inside the top then. Kim2 would tumble away on Sunday, to an 80, and a tie for 30th place.

The fourth 67 was presented by destiny to A Lim Kim on Sunday. Birdies at 5, 6 and 8 brought her out of the cloud cover, into the center of the campaign for the Mickey Wright medal. Bogeys past the turn, at 10 and 11, returned the lead to Olson. Then, the most unexpected thing happened, Beginning at the 16th hole, the one that would prove to be Olson’s undoing, A Lim Kim birdied home. She rolled an iron three feet past the cup on the par-three hole, then dunked the putt, dead center. On 17, from the fairway’s middle, she ripped an iron and quickly looked away, knowing it had found its line. The ball rolled to a stop, 16 inches from the hole. At the 72nd hole, her wedge approach settled eight feet away. Her putt never wavered and, when it dropped, she punched the air and smiled with her eyes, behind the mask that she wore for the entirety of the competition.

In truth, she might have logged four consecutive birdies. A long birdie effort at the 15th, downhill and gaining speed, pulled up one turn shy of a three, in the heart of the cup. In the end, the USGA had a deserving champion and a spate of worthy contenders. The players and this writer second-guessed the manner in which round three was conducted, something that has become commonplace at national championships. Champions Golf Club proved to be a worthy venue for an Open championship, and should be featured more often. As A Lim Kim returns home to Korea with a treasured trophy, we look ahead to 2021, and a 76th Open championship at California’s Olympic Club.

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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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WGC-Workday Championship Tour Truck Report: New putter for Rory, more AutoFlex experiments

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First and foremost, prayers and love to Tiger Woods and his family.

TaylorMade

Rory McIlroy is going back to an older model putter this week at Concession swapping his Spider X for a TP Juno.

Robert McIntyre AKA “Bobby Mack” put a new TaylorMade Rescue ’21 Hybrid ([email protected]) in the bag with a Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black Hybrid 100 6.5 TX.

Matthew Wolff put a new TaylorMade (19) UDI in the bag with a Mitsubishi MMT 125TX.

Collin Morikawa was testing SIM2, SIM2 Max hybrids this week with Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 80 TX shafts.

Dustin Johnson alongside TaylorMade’s Keith Sbarboro was testing SIM2 drivers with Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X, Fujikura Speeder Evolution 661 and an LAGP Proto.

Callaway

Jon Rahm made adjustments to his Mavrik Sub Zero 5-wood to optimize launch. The 5-wood has 16.4 degrees of loft and a Black Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8X. The adjustments were to the lie of the club going from 59.8 to 58.9 and weight distribution from 12g Front/6g Back to 10G Front/6g Back. Dialed.

Min Woo Lee put a new Epic Speed ([email protected]) with a Fujikura Ventus Red 7X. Lee also debuted his new logo which is on fire.

Titleist 

Genesis Invitational champion Max Homa tested TSi2 5-woods to give him some options for some of the tee shots at Concession. It’s equipped with a Graphite Design Tour XC 8 TX.

Lanto Griffin swapped into a shorter driver going from 45 to 44.5 in his TSi3 (10). Griffin’s driver has a Project X HZURDUS Smoke Black 70 6.5TX

Justin Thomas put a TSI3 (9) in the bag this week. The new set up is powered by a Mitsubishi Diamana ZF TX

Ping

Cameron Champ switched back into a shorter length Ping G425 LST this week going from 45 to 44.25 inches. The shaft is a Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green 70 6.5 TX (@44.25 , Tip 1.5, D4 SW).

Louis Oosthuizen did something interesting. He had a Ping build him a G425 LST (10.5 @ 9.4, Small -) with the company’s lightweight Alta Slate CB 55 stiff shaft. The 2010 Open Champion was looking for a softer feel with the driver, which isn’t surprising, considering he was seen taking a hard look at Adam Scott’s TSi with an AutoFlex. The whippy lightweight plot thickens…

Ping released a bunch of new putters this week for seeding. Multiple staffers tested them and we will see on Thursday if any go in play.

Cobra

Cobra’s Ben Schomin (and king of the mullets) is doing something to Bryson’s driver—wanted to post this because of the respect for Ben’s hair. Hair aside, Bryson did put a new LAGP Axis Blue 6X in his driver and was also testing new Rad Speed 3 Woods.

Misc/Free Agents

Tommy Fleetwood swapped out his Callaway MD5 Jaws wedges for a set of Titleist Vokey’s (52M, 56M, and 60T) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts.

Adam Scott (Titleist staff) was testing long center shafted Odyssey Two Ball 10.

 

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Interesting photos from WGC-Workday (plus links to all 9 galleries)

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This week, the PGA Tour is at Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida, where we were on-site Tuesday and Wednesday to spy some interesting things from the grounds and on the range as players were getting ready to battle for a $10.5 million purse at the WGC-Workday Championship.

Don’t forget you can check out all our image galleries in the GolfWRX Tour Equipment forum.

Frankin 2-Ball

There is a lot going on with the center-shafted 2-Ball Ten. It has weight plugs epoxied into the sole cavity, a hand-drawn marker line on the alignment discs, and a White Hot OG insert—and did I mention it has a long grip?

Speaking of 2-Ball…

The aforementioned 2-Ball Ten caught the attention of Adam Scott, and he was spotted messing around with it around the putting green.

Iron covers: the new trend?

Before you start thinking Bubba Watson was the trendsetter, it was actually Aaron Rai who has been using iron covers longer. Indeed, he won while using them at the 2020 Scottish Open.

JT’s putter cover flex

JT with the full flex on his fellow players as he has his own “Inspired by” Justin Thomas cover in the bag.

Santa?

Does Santa moonlight as a caddy on the PGA Tour?

Xander: Always working

A few weeks ago it was a Quintic. This week, it’s an iPad on a very clever stand. Xander is always working hard on his putting!

Louis Loves that Callaway wedge

Louis Oosthuizen has been a long-time Ping guy, but the one club he can’t seem to shake is his Callaway PM grind wedge.

A couple of guys talking putters

Collin Morikawa—with his TaylorMade FCG Spider—was spotted talking to Rory McIlroy, who looks to have gone back to a TaylorMade Juno blade putter from his Spider.

Fleetwood hanging onto his TVD Vokey wedge

Tommy Fleetwood has transitioned almost his entire bag to TaylorMade, but a couple of the holdout include a classic Vokey TVD wedge.

More Autoflex testing on tour?

Adam Scott looks to be more than just a fashion influencer out tour. Louis Oosthuizen was spotted talking with Mr. Scott about his Autoflex shaft and even gave it a few wiggles.

DJ testing all kinds of shafts

Look at this action!

As reported last week in the Genesis Invitational Tour Truck Report, DJ was testing a new LA Golf shafts DJ Proto, and this week at the WGC, it looks like the testing continues. He was spotted hitting his tried-and-true Fujikura 661, a Ventus, and the LA Proto. What will go into play Thursday, nobody knows (I mean we will, of course…).

Testing looked to have continued on Wednesday—DJ was rotating through three different drivers on the range, along with some prototype putters on the green.

Laurie Canter with Honma blades

Although not a household name (yet), Laurie Canter is inside the top 100 in the official world golf rankings and has a very interesting bag of clubs—including Ping woods, Honma blades, and both Callaway and Titleist wedges.

New Ping putter line spotted

Ping loves to seemingly randomly drop new putters, and although we don’t have the tech story on these yet, we can conclude that there is some sort of insert technology to go along with some sort of heavy (likely tungsten) heel and toe weights to boost MOI.

Check out all of our galleries below

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Tiger Woods recovering after surgery for multiple leg injuries following single-car accident (Update)

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Update, 2/25, 8:50 p.m.: According to a statement released Thursday, Tiger Woods has been transferred to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles “for continuing orthopedic care and recovery.”

Update: Tiger Woods is currently “awake, responsive and recovering in a hospital room” after undergoing major surgery.

The surgery followed a single-car accident which left Woods with “comminuted open fractures” to both the upper and lower portions of his tibia and fibula in his right leg, as well as damage to the ankle bones.

Per a statement from the Woods camp on his social media sites, Woods’ right leg was stabilized by inserting a rod into the tibia, while screws and pins were used to stabilize the bones in the foot and ankle. A surgical release of the muscle covering was also performed to relieve pressure due to swelling and trauma.

Update: On Wednesday, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva spoke during a Q&A on Facebook where he confirmed that the incident was an accident and that there was “no evidence of any impairment whatsoever”.

“There was no evidence of any impairment whatsoever. He was lucid, no odor of alcohol, no evidence of any medication, narcotics or anything like that. That was not a concern so no field sobriety test and no drug expert needed to respond. This is what it is – an accident.”

Then asked if Woods could face charges, Villanueva continued: ‘No. A reckless driving charge has a lot of elements to it. This was purely an accident. ‘

In a statement on Wednesday, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said

“I think that the only thing that really matters now is his well-being, his recovery, his family, the level of support that we provide to him.

When Tiger wants to talk about golf, we’ll talk about golf, but I think right now the entirety of our efforts needs to be around the support. When you’re going to overcome what he needs to overcome, I think the love of all of our players and everybody out here, it’s going to come forward in a big way and across the entire sporting world.

I think he’ll feel that energy and I think that’s what we should all focus on. We’ll all be talking about (the PGA Tour without Woods) at some point down the road, but right now that’s not what we should be talking about.”

GolfWRXers are discussing Tiger’s accident and surgery in the forums.


Tiger Woods was involved in a single-car rollover accident a little after 7 a.m. in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, and is undergoing surgery at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center after suffering multiple leg injuries, according to reports.

Lt. Michael White of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has since told KCBS-TV in LA that Tiger Woods’ injuries are “non-life-threatening.”

Per the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, the vehicle sustained major damage and Woods was extricated from the site by the L.A. firefighters and paramedics.

In the original L.A. County Sheriff Department statement below, it is said that the jaws of life were used. However, in a media briefing this afternoon the Department told media that this was not the case and that an axe and hand tools were used to pry Tiger Woods from his SUV.

In the same briefing, officials told media that Woods had serious leg injuries and that he was conscious while being removed from car, reiterating that there were “no signs of impairment.”

Here is the original statement:

A spokesman for the L.A. County Fire Department told the L.A. Times that “because of the situation and the way that you found the vehicle, he wasn’t able to open the door and come out. We extricated him, we helped assist him out of the vehicle.” Per the L.A. Times, Woods was removed from the vehicle through the windshield.

In a statement given to Golf Digest, Mark Steinberg disclosed that Woods had sustained multiple leg injuries and is currently in surgery.

“Tiger Woods was in a single-car accident this morning in California where he suffered multiple leg injuries. He is currently in surgery and we thank you for your privacy and support.”

TaylorMade has issued the following statement after the accident

“We are shocked at the news of Tiger Woods’ accident earlier this morning and are sending our thoughts and prayers to him, his family and his team as they support him through his surgery and recovery.”

Per Golf Digest, Woods remained in California following the Genesis for a two-day content shoot with Golf Digest/GOLFTV. Despite photos surfacing on social media with Woods with David Spade at Rolling Hills Country Club on Monday, he did not hit balls or play any holes.

The report also notes that Tiger “was in good spirits on Monday but did not arrive to the course for the second day of shooting.”

We will continue to update this post as soon as more details emerge.

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