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Tour Rundown: Valspar Classic gets some side Burns action and more

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Another five-tournament week makes a writer feel spoiled. So much to talk about this first weekend of May. The European Tour continued its three-week stay in the Canary Islands off Africa, while the PGA Tour Champions nearly turned into a sponge in Texas. The LPGA Tour went overseas to Singapore, while the Korn Ferry tour touched down in Alabama. Finally, the PGA Tour dipped its toe in Florida’s gulf coast, at the fabled Copperhead course at Innisbrook.

Take a breath and dive on into this week’s action as we offer another edition of Tour Rundown on GolfWRX.Com.

PGA Tour: Valspar Classic gets some side Burns action

Sam Burns was that stellar college standout who got hosed by the USGA. They do it every fifteen years or so. Dude was a lock for the Walker Cup squad, until he wasn’t fitted for a kit. Can’t explain it, but the kid didn’t let it get him down. On Sunday, Burns stared down major champion Keegan Bradley and claimed his first PGA Tour event at the Valspar. Burns had been oh-so-close in California, finishing one stroke shy of the Genesis Invitational playoff ‘twixt Finau and Homa, and this time around, he secured his hold on victory with gutty play.

Burns’ card wasn’t clean on Sunday. He had three bogeys, including one at the last. By then, the outcome was decided, and his winning margin was reduced from four to three. Bradley was one of those also hosed by the USGA, when the decision to disallow the anchored putter came down half a decade ago. He had struggled since his breakout years in 2011-12, and the loss of his belly putter put a nail in his tire. Bradley won again in 2018, but has not found the podium’s top spot since then.

The leaders were each three-under par on the day when they reached the final six holes. Bradley lost his ability to make birdie, and tripped over a double and a bogey coming home. Burns wasn’t perfect, but he did balance his bogies and birdies, and won by three strokes.

LPGA Tour: Women’s World Championship sails off with Hyo Joo

XiYu Lin has the best profile picture for golfers on twitter (is that a manhole cover?), and she almost snared an important professional title this weekend in Singapore. The birdie machine (6-7-7 over three rounds) stopped churning them out on Sunday (just two) and Janet from The Good Place settled in a third-place tie with Patty T and Inbee Park. Actually, that sounds like a fun talk show: Xi, PT, and Inbee. I’m going to put out some feelers and get back to you.

Oh, right, the golf. On day four in Singapore, Hannah Green surged just enough with a minus-three 69, after consecutive rounds of 66, to move ahead of our talk show/podcast/dinnertime theater trio to 16 deep and what looked like a second big win in her career (she did win the 2019 PGA Championship, before all this viral craziness.) What absolutely gutted the talented Aussie was her finish: bogey and bogey. After a ripping eagle two a the 14th, along with three more birdies, the Ozzie came in for the kill, but tripped and stumbled coming home. Although second-place money from a bank spends well, it’s titles that drive these golfers.

Back to #KoreaStrong, aka Hyo Joo Kim. Her Sunday scorecard looks for all the world like a Numbers Are Nifty tease: four pars, two birdies, par, two birdies, par, two birdies, three pars. Move the birdie at six to the fourth, and you’d have the most balanced, binary thing ever. No one was stopping the Hyo Joo Express on day four in Singapore. Her two pars at 17 and 18 must have felt like birdies 9 and 10 on the day, after Green’s derailment. The win was her first since 2016 on the LPGA Tour, and first since 2020 on any circuit.

European Tour: Tenerife Open to Burmester

If it begins with a “T” consider “DB.” Feeling the rhyme today. Dean Burmester began the week on Tenerife (aka paradise) with 63, and closed it with 62. Them’s some numbers! His win on Tenerife was his second on the European Tour, following a 2017 win at the Tshwane Open. Burmester began round four with a one-shot deficit to Kalle Samooja and Nicolai Von Dellinghausen (don’t even get me started!), but quickly swiped right toward birdies, and won going away by five.

#BirdiesForBurmester at one and two were followed by three more at five through seven. NVD had two birds and two bogies, and gave back five strokes to the South African. Samooja remained near the lead when he turned in three-under par, but his back-nine 37 submerged him in a third-place tie that he desired not at all. In contrast, NVD went out with a pair of bogies and birdies each, but came home in minus-three, including eagle at the last. His tenacity bumped him one stroke ahead of the third-place tie, into solo second.

A snazzy little note to close out the Burmester report: he birdied the 1st and the 18th all four days. Both par five holes, it’s true, but that’s a heck of a way to start and finish each round. Raise a toast to this week’s winner, and look ahead to 72 more holes on Tenerife at the Canaryd Islands Championship next week, at the Golf Costa Adeje layout.

Korn Ferry Tour: RWB was bound to win at the Huntsville Championship

What happens when France, Chile, and the USA go into a playoff? Red, White and Blue is your winner, no matter how it shakes out. Billy Kennerly of the state shot 63 on Sunday, and reached 15-under 265 in regulation. A bit later, Mito Pereira of South America’s Thinland posted 66 for the same number, and France’s Paul Barjon signed for a 69 for … you guessed it, 265. All three made par at the 18th in regulation, and that was where they headed for the three-wayoff to decide the winner in sudden death.

Each had four the first time through, with Kennerly lipping out for the win, so they returned to the tee a second time. Barjon and Pereira repeated, but Kennerly was unable to match and dropped away with a bogey. For giggles, the golfers moved to the par-five tenth hole and sparks flew. Pereira made a stellar birdie … and lost to Barjon’s eagle! What makes those numbers that much more curious is that all three playoff participants had played the hole in five in regulation. Pars on a long hole certainly don’t predict low numbers in a playoff.

Barjon began the day with a three-stroke lead, but gave back most of it with a double bogey at the first. He was plus-two through nine, but came back to the clubhouse in minus-three. Brandon Wu and Cameron Young were in the mix after three rounds, but neither could break 70 on day four, and both fell away from the challenge. The KFT moves to Tennessee for the next fortnight, beginning in south Nashville, then moving east to Knoxville.

PGA Tour Champions: Insperity Invitational is Weir’s first win in 14 years

Harder to type that figure or read it? Hard to believe it had been 14 years since Mike Weir sipped champagne at the Fry’s Electronic Open. The irresistible search for distance led to injury, and Weir slipped forever into the one-major-seven-other-wins category. Last May, Weir turned 50 and embraced the PGA Tour Champions as an opportunity to contend once again. This week, he and his fellow competitors waited out a Friday rainout and played 36 holes on the weekend to decide a champion at the Insperity Invitational near Houston.

Running neck and neck all week with the pride of Canada was old nemesis John Daly. Seemingly reborn with his son’s rise in the junior ranks, Daly drained a curling putt for eagle at the 13th, to assume a two-shot lead. Moments later, Weir nearly dunked his approach for albatross at the same hole, and converted his three-feet putt for a matching eagle. Daly arrived at 18 first, found the fairway off the tee, and caught a gust of wind on his approach into the green. Helpless, he watched his ball drop shy of the putting surface, into the fronting water. His double-bogey six created the final, two-shot margin of victory for Weir, who reached the green in regulation and took two putts for the win.

 

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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.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Bucky Lasek

    May 3, 2021 at 11:10 am

    Hosed by the usga over the anchor ban? Guy needs to be “hosed” again with another version of the anchor ban

    • Hunter

      May 3, 2021 at 12:49 pm

      Exactly. The original anchor ban didn’t go far enough.

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Bubba Watson shows off an unreleased pair of Air Jordan 4 Retro “Red Thunder” shoes

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Bubba Watson had fans envious with a recent social media flex of a hyped pair of Retro Jordans in a classic “Red Thunder” colorway, which debuted in 2006.

It’s cool to see a pair of non-golf Jordans given to the accomplished lefty, signifying a milestone in his relationship with the Jordan brand — and perhaps MJ himself.

Watson has been wearing Air Jordans more often than not on the golf course throughout most of the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

A photo we snapped of Bubba wearing a pair of the Air Jordan 5 Retro Low Golf “Grape” on tour this year.

Bubba Watson is an official ambassador for the Air Jordan brand, adding to the company of a select few golfers working with MJ like Pat Perez.

We first saw Bubba having an exclusive relationship with the Jordan brand in November 2020, where he flexed off his early access to a pair of the Air Jordan 5 Retro Golf “Lucky and Good”.

Bubba Watson dancing on TikTok with the Air Jordan 5 Golf “Lucky and Good.”

The Florida native has been seen wearing Jordans on the green that “aren’t for sale to the public” — like this yet-to-be-released model seen in July 2021.

“I know MJ pretty well and we wear the same size so I get a lot of his old shoes,” Bubba told a local Detroit news station when asked about the pair above, which he wore during the Rocket Mortgage Classic in July.

This recent tease of the Air Jordan 4 Retro “Red Thunder” is part of the Jordan brand’s highly anticipated holiday season collection and is set to be released sometime in December 2021 at a retail price of $190.

 

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Pat Perez and his lavish obsession with Air Jordans

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If you follow Pat Perez at all on his social media, his love for the Air Jordan brand will become apparent pretty quickly.

This love affair, which has evolved into the Phoenix native having a dedicated Jordan shoe room full of over 1,000 pairs, had humble beginnings: the first Jordans Pat got his hands on were a beat-up pair out of a trash can in high school.

“To go from pulling a pair of cement gray Jordan IVs out the trash when in junior high—unable to afford such a luxury—to MJ telling me last summer in Monte Carlo that he would make that for me in a golf shoe…never in my wildest dreams.”

Double P is now living his wildest dreams as he has become an unofficial bridge (but official brand ambassador) for Air Jordans in the golf world: He gets early access to unreleased Jordan golf shoes, most recently the Air Jordan 4 Bred in a golf version back in July of 2021.

Based on the comments on his IG post, these will likely sell out and trade at a premium on the multi-billion dollar sneaker reselling market.

Pay more attention to Pat’s feet on tour, and you’ll see he wears Jordans more often than not.

Here are some pictures we snapped on the PGA Tour this year. Perez is wearing Air Jordan 5’s in black metallic and wolf grey.

Pat’s collection off the golf course will inspire insane levels of envy in any serious sneaker collector. Living in his vast collection are several pairs of rare shoes worth five to six figures apiece.

He recently flexed a Friends & Family only release of the Board of Governors Jordan 1’s.

At only 88 pairs with none currently on the market at the moment, these are estimated to have a resale value of $20,000-$40,000 based on a Friends & Family release of the same model in a similar colorway.

StockX listing of the Jordan 1 Retro Fragment Friends and Family at $34,000+.

Pat’s favorite shoe is the Jordan IV, specifically the Wahlburg IV, which recently sold at Sotheby’s for nearly $33,000.

The 45-year-old is all about sharing his passion: he recently gave away part of his collection to his Instagram audience.

We don’t blame you if you’re starting to consider an upgrade of standard spikes to Jordan golf shoes after hearing about the level at which Double P loves and flaunts the iconic brand.

Additionally, you can even make money owning and trading Jordan golf shoes. For example, the Jordan 11 “Concord” golf shoe retailed at $220 in 2019 and now trades consistently between $350-$700 per pair on StockX.

And we wouldn’t be surprised if Pat Perez comes out with a shoe that will appreciate in value in a similar fashion.

You can learn more about this market at Six Figure Sneakerhead, a top educational resource for sneaker resellers worldwide.

Featured image: Double P holding a pair of 1999 Air Jordan 4 White Cement in front of his massive Air Jordan collection

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Morning 9: Hero field set | Remembering TW’s ZOZO win | Bubba’s book

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By Ben Alberstadt
For comments—or if you’re looking for a fourth—email me at [email protected].
October 19, 2021
Good Tuesday morning, golf fans.
1. Hero field set (no, it doesn’t include Tiger, but we had this picture on file and it is his event, so…)
PGATour staff report…”The field for the 2021 Hero World Challenge has been announced, as the limited-field PGA TOUR event hosted by Tiger Woods is set to return to Albany, Bahamas, Nov. 29 – Dec. 5.”
  • “This year’s event will include two additional players after the field was permanently expanded from 18 to 20. Fifteen of the players set to compete rank inside the top 20 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Collin Morikawa, winner of the 2020 PGA Championship and 2021 Open Championship, will make his tournament debut and be joined by 2020 U.S. Open winner Bryson DeChambeau, 2021 Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama and defending Hero World Challenge winner Henrik Stenson. Starting this year, the winner of THE PLAYERS Championship also received an invitation to the Hero World Challenge, with Justin Thomas set to compete again at Albany. Xander Schauffele returns to Albany following his gold medal performance at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.”
2. Remembering Tiger’s Zozo win
PGATour.com’s Ben Everill…“After his opening three bogeys, Woods rebounded with four birdies to close his first nine holes. Then he took things up a notch with five more in his last seven holes for a 6-under 64. Nine birdies were his most in a round since 2013 and he had three more birdies than any other player. He birdied four of the five par-3s and sat tied for the lead with Gary Woodland.”
  • “Playing partner Tommy Fleetwood: “It was a cool atmosphere. I loved being there. … His start, … it was interesting. You never know what a round of golf is going to unfold and he hit it in the water off the first, hooked a tee shot off the next, and then he bogeyed the next and he was 3 over.”
  • “But from that point on… it probably is the best round of golf I’ve ever watched. Like just the way he conducted it. The way he played, the control he had of his golf ball. I shook his hand and I was like, ‘Tiger that was really good today’. And he just looks at me and he went, ‘How about that, huh?’ with that big grin of his. And at that point I was like, man, even he knows it was so good. So yeah, it was very, very impressive.”
3. Schauffele’s pursuits
PGATour.com’s Ben Everill…”The four-time PGA TOUR winner might be small in stature but he’s massive in heart. And he’s a straight shooter. Despite having a career resume some players spend a lifetime failing to achieve, this 28-year-old evaluates his 2021 as barely acceptable.”
  • “For the second consecutive season he went winless on the TOUR but did pick up the gold medal and was impressive in the Ryder Cup going 3-0 in the team section before losing to Rory McIlroy in Singles.”
  • “I feel not that I failed on the PGA TOUR season, but I didn’t really accomplish what I wanted to. And I did get worse in certain categories throughout the year,” Schauffele says. “But I was able to step up to the plate in tournaments that don’t count for the PGA TOUR… it’s an interesting feeling.”
The Morning 9 Recommends: Bulletproof Coffee
This powerhouse cup of coffee is complementary to several ways of eating, including the paleo, low-carb and ketogenic diets, as well as intermittent fasting and OMAD (One Meal a Day). Bulletproof Coffee helps you feel satisfied, alert and focused, thank to its signature combination of coffee and quality fats. That means steady energy levels—without the crash. (Seriously!)
GolfWRX may earn a commission of “Recommends” products.
4 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals has been finalized
Golf Channel staff…”Eighty junior boys and girls, ages 7-15 from 30 different U.S. states, will compete at Augusta National Golf Club on April 3, the Sunday before the Masters Tournament.”
  • “That number includes six returners from this past April’s national finals: Lisa Copeland (2017 national finalist), of Naperville, Ill.; Brayden Dock (2021 national finalist), of Queensbury, N.Y.; Michael Jorski (2018 national finalist), of Clarendon Hills, Ill.; Athena Singh (2021 national finalist), of Morehead, Ky.; Asterisk Talley (2018 national finalist), of Chowchilla, Calif.; Champa Visetsin (2021 national finalist), of Sudbury, Mass.”
5. First mom to graduate from the Symetra Tour overcomes four-stroke penalty for having daughter’s U.S. Kids club in the bag
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…Earlier this year during the final round of the Copper Rock Championship, Rohanna reached into her bag to pull out a club and discovered that daughter Gemelia’s 23-inch club had slipped to the bottom. She called over a rules official and received a four-stroke penalty for having a U.S. Kids 7-iron as her 15th club.
  • …”Rohanna, 30, couldn’t help but look at the money list to see how much the oversight had cost her. Could that $900 be what keep her from earning back her LPGA card?”
  • “Rohanna, who won the 2017 Symetra Tour Championship when she was six weeks pregnant, is believed to be the first mom to earn LPGA status through the developmental tour. With no daycare available on the Symetra Tour, Rohanna spent about half the season on the road with 3-year-old Gemelia – with help from family – and half the time traveling on her own. She and husband Ethan Virgili own ERV Cattle Co. in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, and lead jam-packed lives.”
6. Bubba’s book
Our Gianni Magliocco…”Bubba Watson took to Instagram over the weekend to unveil his new book ‘Up & Down’, which is billed as “The inspiring Story of an Imperfect Man.”
  • “Per the description on the book’s site, Watson “began to let the constant criticism from fans and commentators haunt his thoughts.”
7. Same hole, consecutive rounds: Hole-in-one
Craig Dolch for the Palm Beach Post…”He was thrilled when he aced the par-3 16th on the Heritage Course at The Club at Ibis on Oct. 2 with an 8-iron from 160 yards even though he wasn’t certain until he found the ball in the hole.”
  • “It was kind of hazy that day,” the 63-year-old Brunelle said. “We saw it bounce toward the hole and disappear, but we weren’t absolutely sure it was in the hole or hidden behind the pin. When we got to the green, we didn’t see and, sure enough, it was in the hole.”
  • “Four days later, Brunelle, who lives in West Palm Beach, returned to the 16th hole at the Heritage, knowing the golf gods are good at extracting their revenge.”
  • “I just didn’t want to embarrass myself,” he said. “I was hoping just to make a par.”
  • “Instead, using a pitching wedge from 128 yards, it was déjà vu all over again as the ball disappeared into the hole. And this time, they could celebrate on the tee.”
8. WITB Time Machine: Tiger Woods 2019 Zozo Championship
Driver: TaylorMade M5 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 60 TX
3-wood: TaylorMade M5 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 70 TX
5-wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 80 TX
Irons: TaylorMade P7TW (3-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: TaylorMade MG 2 “Tiger MT Grind” (56-12, 60-10 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400
Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS
Grip: Ping PP58 Blackout
Golf Ball: Bridgestone Tour B XS
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord
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