Connect with us

News

Tour Rundown resumes: Kim, Korda, Hatton, and Clarke take trophies

Published

on

My predictions are usually declassified, years after the fact, as wretched fails by a desperate prognosticator. Such attachments fail to dissuade me from continuing to prognosticate, and my anticipation for 2021 is that it will be the Year of the Hatton. If interested, read the European Tour summary below.

After two weeks of single events on the PGA Tour, the pistons of three other tours began to pump in week three of January 2021. Such machinations can mean but one glorious thing: the return of Tour Rundown … Olé!

From the LPGA to the PGA, from the Europeans to the Champions, welcome back and welcome home. It’s great to have your eyes on these words again. Sit back and enjoy Tour Rundown número uno for 2021.

PGA Tour: The American Express counts three wins for Kim

Patrick Cantlay probably figured that he needed to make birdie on two-thirds of the holes Sunday, to have a shot at the title at The American Express. It’s not that he feared third-round leader Tony Finau, who has developed an uncomfortable penchant for not closing the deal on Sunday. It’s that too many finishers, starting with Abraham Ancer and Si Woo Kim, were close enough to threaten. On Sunday, Cantlay posted 11 birdies for 61 and came up one shot shy of a playoff. Despite doubling his strokes under par, from -11 to -22, Cantlay found only second spot on the podium.

Prior to Sunday, Si Woo Kim had not won in nearly four years. His last victory, his second, was at The Players Championship in 2017. That’s a pretty strong victory for anyone, so when victory beckoned in Palm Desert, Kim was ready. His round wasn’t as electric as Cantlay’s, but its strength lay in its consistency. Four times on Sunday, Kim made back-to-back birdies. That four-pack of duets totaled eight under par, enough to vault him past Finau (4th place), past a hard-charging Cameron Davis (130 on the weekend for solo 3rd) and Cantlay, to minus-23.

European Tour: Abu Dhabi Classic is Hatton’s sixth tour title

Tyrrell Hatton, Knight of the Thrice Double Consonant, is golf’s heir to the Most Interesting Man crown, worn currently by Miguel Ángel Jiménez. From the coiffed facial hair, to the square jaw, from the clenched-when-not-grinding teeth to the under-his-breath narrative, Hatton oozes hilarity. It’s not that he doesn’t look, sound, nor play like a boss; it’s that the combination of all of his characteristics, mannerisms, and nuances is beyond the pale when it comes to interest and humor. And when he wins, it is glorious.

Hatton’s generation lay in the shadow of one Rory McIlroy. When the Northern Irishman and his massive curls arrived fifteen years back, his counterparts certainly wondered “Why him?” and upped their games. As a result, we have Hatton, Fairway Jesus, Shane Lowry, and others, from the British isles, playing at McIlroy’s level. The shadow has grown weighty for McIlroy, and Hatton is poised to claim it from the four-time major champion.

Hatton posted four bogies on the entirety of the week in the United Arab Emirates this week. McIlroy twice had rounds with four bogies or worse. Hatton is tidy, while poor Rory has grown sloppier with age. In the first and fourth rounds, Hatton posted clean cards, consisting of five or more, sub-par holes. After opening with an eight-birdie, no-bogey effort, McIlroy set sail on the seas of turbulence. What is most enervating about his play is that he finished five back of Hatton, after opening with birdies on two of his first three holes in round four. Where was the continuity of that brilliance? Absent.

In total contrast, Hatton played thorough and conservative golf until the turn of the course arrived in view. Standing one-under on the day and in complete command of his senses and game, the Englishman notched three birdies from holes seven to ten, to seize absolute control of the tournament. Even though Aussie Jason Scrivener would match Hatton’s closing 66, it would gain but a solo second finish, four back of the pride of High Wycombe. Thus spake Zarathustra: 2021 will be the Year of the tight-jawed bloke from Buckinghamshire.

LPGA Tour: Diamond Resorts is Jessica Korda’s sixth tour title

No one, let me restate, NO ONE, should follow up a third-round 60 (featuring a back-nine 28) with a 66—while playing with her younger sister (#4 in the world) and the #5-ranked player (the overnight leader.) Despite the long odds, Jessica Korda did precisely that. After her meteoric rise from nowhere to contention, thanks to a nine-birdie, one-eagle Saturday round, things looked gloomy for Korda early on Sunday. She stood at one over through five holes, already two shots down on the day to overnight leader Danielle Kang.

We may never know what transpired at that point, but a switch certainly flipped. Kang played two-under golf the rest of the way, and lost four shots to Korda. Younger sister Nelly Korda caught her own bottle of lighting, posting a seven-under 64. It vaulted her to solo third, two behind Korda and Kang. In the end, Jessica and Danielle went into overtime, with Korda making birdie at the first extra hole for the win.

Know this: you’ll see many a stellar third round in 2021, on all the world’s tours, as players avail themselves of moving day. You’ll also count on one hand the number who challenge on Sunday, and you might count on your thumbs the number who win. What Jessica Korda did to open the 2021 tour was certainly uncommon, if not outright unbelievable.

PGA Tour Champions: Mitsubishi Electric is Clarke’s 2nd senior title

There is no doubt that contestants want to know how Fred Couples shot 63 on day two of the Mitsubishi Electric. A quick scan of the top 15 finishers reveals that most signed their worst scorecard of the week for that middle round. Another one of golf’s mysteries, so let’s move on to the finish and Darren Clarke.

The 2011 Open champion claimed an inaugural Champions Tour win in November of 2020. The victory was his first since his seminal triumph at Royal St. George’s. This week, on the Big Island of Hawai’i, Clarke outmatched his 2nd round co-leader, Jerry Kelly, and the other 41 competitors in round three. He departed paradise with a two-shot victory, a smile, and a trophy … and some cash.

Clarke began the week with a flawless 63 (7 birdies and 1 eagle) to stand one back of Retief Goosen’s 10-birdie 62. Day two arrived, and Goosen “soared” to a 71. Clarke held firm with 68, and seized a two-advantage, courtesy in part of Goosen’s bogey-bogey finish. Those strokes would stand up in round three, as both golfers posted 64 over the final round, tied for low daily by two strokes.

Jerry Kelly might have had his Green Bay Packers on the mind, as he could not match playing partner Clarke’s magnificence. The Wisconsin native posted the same number of birdies as his Northern Irish counterpart, but stumbled thrice with a double and two bogeys. No doubt a third-place finish is not the worst way to begin the 2021 campaign, but Kelly will certainly chew his lip on the long mainland flight over what slipped away.

Your Reaction?
  • 5
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK2

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.

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.

News

Morning 9: Search warrant executed for black box in Tiger crash | Man makes 3 aces in 5 days

Published

on

By Ben Alberstadt
For comments—or if you’re looking for a fourth—email me at [email protected].
You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram.
March 4, 2021
Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. Sheriff’s department seeking “black box” from Woods’ SUV
  • ESPN staff…”The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant Monday to get data from the so-called black box in the SUV that Tiger Woods was driving when he was seriously injured in a crash last week.”
  • “To get a warrant, probable cause that a crime was involved has to be determined, even if it’s just a misdemeanor. A sheriff’s deputy downplayed the warrant as routine to USA Today Sports on Tuesday, saying he considered it due diligence.”
  • “We’re trying to determine if a crime was committed,” Sheriff’s Deputy John Schloegl said. “If somebody is involved in a traffic collision, we’ve got to reconstruct the traffic collision, if there was any reckless driving, if somebody was on their cellphone or something like that. We determine if there was a crime. If there was no crime, we close out the case, and it was a regular traffic collision.”
2. Status update on “Operation Drive the 6th”
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…”For those wanting to see Bryson DeChambeau drive the sixth green this week at Bay Hill, his two water balls Wednesday probably didn’t inspire much confidence. But the weather forecast does provide a glimmer of hope.”
  • “While there was about a 15-mph wind humming in off the right and slightly into him, DeChambeau came up well short on both attempts during his practice round for the Arnold Palmer Invitational.”
  • “The par-5 sixth is listed at 555 yards, but from the back tee box it requires about a 350-yard carry to safely clear the water. On Wednesday, DeChambeau teed his ball up at the very front of the back tee box, about 10 yards in front of the markers.”
3. C.T. Pan saw COVID-19 on the horizon
Dave Shedloski for Golf Digest…“But, again, they [C.T. Pan and his wife] had been exercising extraordinary caution for more than a month.”
  • “Obviously, with family at home in Taiwan, my wife and I have a better idea of what goes on in Asia,” Pan, 29, explained. “Taiwan is only about 80 miles away from China, so from our family and from the Taiwan government we heard about this unknown virus that could be very deadly and spreads fast, and while we didn’t know that much about it, we knew in January that people could be asymptomatic but still have it and might spread it.”
  • “We were being really careful. The last time we were in the restaurant dining was in San Diego [during the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines], but after we started getting the news about this virus we didn’t go in any more restaurants. We really tried to not go anywhere except for golf. Unfortunately, the rumors were true.”
4. How everything changed for Tiger
ESPN’s Bob Harig and Ramona Shelburne frame the Feb. 23 Tiger Woods crash in compelling fashion…”RIVIERA COUNTRY CLUB in Pacific Palisades, California, is a special place for Tiger Woods — even if it is the venue he has played the most without a victory on tour.”
  • “It is the PGA Tour stop — known back then as the L.A. Open — closest to Woods’ boyhood home in Cypress, California. It is where he made his debut in a professional tournament, playing as an amateur in 1992 at age 16. And it is where, in 2017, his TGR Foundation became the beneficiary of tournament proceeds, with Woods as tournament host.”
  • “That’s why he traveled by private jet from Stuart Aviation near his home in Jupiter, Florida, to Los Angeles on Feb. 19.”
  • “Woods wasn’t playing in the event. He was just eight weeks removed from his fifth back surgery in seven years. There was still plenty for him to do, though: meet and greet tournament sponsors, converse with foundation employees, catch up with other players and preside over the trophy presentation.”
5. Three aces in five days
Wild stuff! Viva Jim Wolklin! Greg Hardwig, Naples Daily News…”Golf has been pretty wild for Wolklin since he got back into the game in the 1980s. The three holes-in-one at Heritage Bay gave him a total of 11.”
  • “When you least expect them, they go in the hole,” said Wolklin, 68. “It’s when you’re not thinking about it, and you’re just trying to make par.”
  • “Wolklin’s wild stretch started on Feb. 12 on No. 13 on the Cypress Course, holing out with an 8-iron from 144 yards with Gary Bradbury, Brad Kroll and Randy Johnson witnessing. Three days later, Wolklin made his second on the 148-yard No. 21 Oak with a 7-iron, with David Foltz, Anthony Nizzardo and Michael McCarthy witnessing. The third was the next day, with his wife Cheryl, Steve Kosek and Mary Kosek witnessing the 9-iron from 130 yards on No. 26 on the Oak Course.”
  • “It’s regular rounds playing with friends,” Wolklin said. “I hit a good shot and then it’s one or two bounces right in the hole.”
6. Your top-ranked golfer in the API field? Tyrrell Hatton
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…“Asked on Wednesday how that all feels, Hatton replied: “Standing at 5’8, I wish I could walk onto the range a little taller (laughing), but sadly that’s out of my control.”
  • “Hatton, who boasts six worldwide top-5s (including two wins) since last year’s API triumph, the continued.”
  • “No, I mean, I feel confident when I go to a tournament if I know that my swing’s in a good place and I can kind of, if I manage my emotions well throughout the week then, sure, I’ll give myself a chance,” said Hatton, who is coming off of a T-22 at the WGC-Workday last week. “I felt last week that I was, I didn’t feel like I was swinging it that good and I was getting a bit frustrated and my golf got a little bit better each day. I actually played really good on Sunday … so I take confidence from that, that my swing kind of feels like it’s getting into a good place again and I guess we’ll see exactly tomorrow how it is.”
7. Tiger’s best shots at Bay Hill—and the clubs he used
Our Gianni Magliocco—for PGATour.com—rounded up Tiger Woods’ best shots from his incomprehensible career at Bay Hill…”5. 2012 (final round): Approach to No. 8”
  • “At the 2012 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, Tiger was looking to end a two-and-a-half-year winless streak, on what was a windy Sunday with greens and pins that Woods would afterwards describe as the most difficult he had ever experienced at this event.”
  • “On the treacherous eighth hole, Woods held a two-stroke lead. Sitting in the middle of the fairway with the pin on the left side guarded by the pond in front of the green, Woods, who would often lean on his cut shot during his time working with Sean Foley, struck a high draw. The ball landed softly on the front portion of the green and rolled to within 5 feet of the cup.”
  • “The bold shot paid off and gave Woods a three-stroke advantage, and he would go on to secure his 72nd PGA TOUR win and begin his ascension back to World No. 1.”
  • Club Used: Nike VR Pro Blade 8-iron with a True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaft.
8. Why Claude Harmon III was dismissed
Our Gianni Magliocco…”Brooks Koepka and Claude Harmon III’s split was a surprise when it was announced in January, and the swing coach has given his view on the break up this week on The Filthy Lipout Golf Podcast.”
  • “On the podcast, Harmon III stated that he believed that Brooks “wanted to hear something different”, bringing an end to their highly successful 8-year spell.”
  • “I just got fired by Brooks Koepka. I was with Brooks for eight years. You know, I think you get players that say ‘Listen, I’m just tired of hearing the same thing’ and I’ve always been one that would say, ‘Well listen, I’m not gonna make stuff up, I can try and tell you something different but we kind of know what you do as a player and if you’ve had success.’”
9. Arnold Palmer Invitational Tour Truck Report: Rickie’s iron experiments continue, MMT train rolls on, Rose tests a ton
Yours truly took a stab at the Tour Truck Report…”The fleet of tour trucks arrived southwest of Orlando this week for the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge.”
“It’s an appropriate place to be digging into the nuances of pro golfers’ gear, given the club building, tinkering, and general gear junkie-hood of the tournament’s namesake, Arnold Palmer, whose 10,000 club-filled workshop is gear nut’s cave of wonders.”
  • “Let’s dig into the tweaks and wholesale switches we’re hearing about at the King’s place.”
  • “Byeong Hun An plugged a Mitsubishi MMT Utility 125 TX shaft in his Titleist U500 2-iron.”
  • “Bernd Wiesberger is testing a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 9 TX shaft (tipped 1.5 inches) in his TSi2 3-wood as he searches for more of a consistent cut ball flight. His current gamer features a Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 8 TX shaft with the same tipping.”
  • “Denny McCarthy, Robert Streb, and Byeong Hun An are all testing new Project X EvenFlow RipTide shafts (which began tour seeding in late January)”.
Your Reaction?
  • 0
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

News

“We know exactly the optimal launch and spin you should be chasing” Ping’s Marty Jertson – On Spec podcast

Published

on

On this week’s episode of the “On Spec” podcast presented on the GolfWRX radio network, host Ryan Barath had the opportunity to speak with Ping Golf’s VP of Fitting and Performance Marty Jertson about their new virtual fitting platform along with a whole bunch of other topics related to club fitting and beyond.

One of the key point made by Marty on the topic of optimization was

“…we now have the ability to pass information to the golfer on what exactly the optimal launch and spin you should be chasing “

You can listen to the full show below, the above quote starts at 17:30

Your Reaction?
  • 4
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

News

‘New Course’ by Gil Hanse set for summer opening at Les Bordes Golf Club in Loire Valley, France

Published

on

golf course, aerial view, golf

The new owners of Les Bordes–the principals of European private equity firm RoundShield and a few outside partners–have spent two years invigorating new life into France’s famed Loire Valley region through the historic estate and globally recognized golf club.

Embraced by nature, a sense of community, and spread across 1,400 acres of mythical Sologne Forest, substantial investment since 2018 has created an environment for fun and adventure for families at Les Bordes. Located a 90-minute drive from Paris, the Loire Valley is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage region famous for its chateaux, medieval towns, fine wine, gastronomy, and breath-taking landscape.

New family facilities have been delivered across the estate including a natural swimming lake with a white sand beach, enhanced equestrian facilities, boating lakes, archery, fishing, cycle, and electric quad paths, and a new tennis center. Younger family members can experience a petting farm, go-kart track, pony riding, and adventure playgrounds, with a kids’ club, ice-cream shop, and zip lines coming this winter.

golf course, aerial view, golf

Gil Hanse designed the New Course at Les Bordes Golf Club. It is scheduled to open this summer. When it does, there will be three courses at the private golf club, which many cite as one of continental Europe’s finest. This is an aerial view of the 7th hole.

Les Bordes Golf Club is exclusively private and governed separately from the rest of the estate. The opening of its highly anticipated second 18-hole course will take place this summer. Named the New Course, it was created by globally acclaimed golf architect Gil Hanse, who authored world top-100 courses Castle Stuart and Ohoopee Match Club as well as the 2016 Rio Olympic Course. The New Course is Hanse’s first project in continental Europe.

Lauded for his restoration work, including two of the next three U.S. Open venues–The Country Club and The Los Angeles Country Club–Hanse has already completed work on an accompanying 10-hole short course at Les Bordes, the Wild Piglet.

The recently developed new golf courses join the existing Old Course, to provide members with a diverse yet complementary array of playing options. Commissioned by Baron Marcel Bich in 1987, the Old Course is one of Europe’s premier golf courses. A tree-lined, par-72 course measuring more than 7,000 yards, it weaves through the Sologne Forest, intertwined with a stunning complex of lakes that offer a sublimely serene setting.

This course was designed by the late Robert von Hagge, whose award-winning portfolio includes more than 100 courses around the globe; with the Old Course widely considered to be his masterpiece. The design of the course represents the epitome of heroic golf architecture, with exciting risk/reward decisions to be made throughout. Much like his later effort at Le Golf National, host of the highly successful 2018 Ryder Cup, the Old Course is perfectly suited to the match play format and provides a stage for the utmost in spirited competition amongst the Golf Club membership.

Throughout its history, the Old Course has been perennially ranked amongst the top five courses in continental Europe and has often been regarded as one of the most difficult courses in the world. Whilst the challenge of the course is still quite formidable from the back tees, recent improvements have made the course more playable and multi-dimensional. Overly penal rough and trees encroaching on the lines of play have been removed, resulting in a more enjoyable and strategically compelling course presentation. In addition, the implementation of a new maintenance program is already yielding much firmer conditions that promote the ground game to a greater extent and make the length of the course less impactful.

As a result of these developments, the global allure of Les Bordes Golf Club is greater than ever. Formed in August 2019, it is accessible to members only and their guests, and includes approximately 140 current members.

Additionally, leading London-based architects Michaelis Boyd have completed a full renovation of the clubhouse and 24 of the 39 member cottages, while work on a new member gym, sports bar, mini-spa, and private lounge and games room, including a golf simulator, is to be completed for March 2021.

“We are blessed with a beautiful site in one of the most stunning and culturally-rich areas of France, 90 minutes south of Paris,” said Driss Benkirane, founder of RoundShield and an avid 6-handicap golfer. “With my fellow owners, a group which includes my co-founder and a handful of other long-dated partners, we aim to create the pre-eminent European golf club and to build a relaxed and fun-filled community for all members of the family – golfers and non-golfers, adults and children alike.”

Near-term plans include the announced partnership with Six Senses for the transformation of the on-site 19th century ‘Chateau Bel Air’ into an 88-key luxury hotel and spa, the creation of a community village square with restaurants, shops, a farmer’s market, and an outdoor amphitheater centered around the estate’s 13th-century priory, and a variety of residential homes also designed by Michaelis Boyd, half of which have already been reserved by golf club members prior to a mid-year release to market.

 

Your Reaction?
  • 6
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending