Four events capped the first full week of October, as professional tours surged toward either a conclusion or a seasonal break. The European, LPGA, and Tour Champions all have playoffs and capstones in view, while the PGA Tour moves ever closer to its holiday recess for 2021-22. Still, there is something about fall golf that captivates the ardent fan. Visits to parts of the world not normally seen are cherished, and the winners are no less grateful for the laurels that come their way. With those thoughts in mind, as leaves begin to turn color across the northern hemisphere, let’s run down a four-pack of events and celebrate golf, in this week’s Tour Rundown.
PGA Tour: Im claims second title on heels of 63
Korea’s Sung-jae Im added a second tour title to his resume this week. He closed with 63 to edge past Matthew Wolff by four shots. Im began day four in fifth position but lit the scoreboard with four birdies through his first seven holes. He then etched birdie into five consecutive slots on his scorecard, from nine through 13, and surged to a four-shot victory.
Matthew Wolff, also in search of a second tour title, turned in minus 3 to keep pace with Im. Deflating bogeys found the Oklahoma State Cowboy on 10 and 13, and a pair of closing birdies at 15 and 16 served only to separate Wolff from Marc Leishman, Rory Sabbatini, and overnight leader Adam Schenk in the race for second position.
Nearly jars it. ?
4 straight birdies for Sungjae Im to open a 4 shot lead. pic.twitter.com/2uCfhCaQXx
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 10, 2021
LPGA: Founders Title is appropriate for Kruising Ko
An astonishing thing is taking place on the LPGA Tour these days. Jin Young Ko is playing golf at a level not seen in many a month. She is on a run of 14 consecutive rounds in the 60s, which ties her with Annika Sorenstam for best ever. Sorenstam wasn’t one of the LPGA Founders, it just seems that way. She was one of the best ever, and this places Ko in rare company. Ko opened with 63 in the hills of New Jersey this week, closed with 66, and secured a four-shot victory of her own, for her third win of the campaign and 10th of her career.
Feeling just a bit hijacked was Germany’s Caroline Masson. Masson closed with 64, posted three other rounds in the 60s, but was swept away by Ko’s brilliance. It wasn’t a large gap that separated the two stalwarts. It was one stroke per round, it seems, those brief yet vicious chess moves that make a close match seem not quite so. If Masson had any place to look, it would be to the three bogeys on her Saturday card. After two, one-bogey rounds to begin the week, Masson was poised to go low on Saturday. She had five birdies on her card, but without those bogey stumbles, might have positioned herself for a better run at Ko.
Despite the rain, the champion was solid on Sunday. If nearly eight minutes of highlights aren’t too many for you, settle in and have
a ko, err, a go.
Jin Young Ko fired a final round 66 to defend her title at the 2021 Cognizant Founders Cup! ?
Watch her final round highlights! ? pic.twitter.com/JTy5ZnYBma
— LPGA (@LPGA) October 11, 2021
European Tour: Spanish overtime duel caps Spanish Open
Sometime Friday, I glanced at the leader board in Madrid, and saw Jon Rahm at 130 after two rounds. It appeared that the Basque would bring another home-Open title to his country, but I was wrong. It was a Spaniard who won, and he defeated another Spaniard on the first extra hole of the tournament, but neither goes by the surname Rahm. Confused? Not for long.
While Rahm fell away with 141 over his closing 36 holes, into a worn-out tie for 17th, Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Adrián Arnaus surged. RCB hails from the Canary Islands, while Arnaus is a Barcelona boy by way of Texas A & M university. The pair reached 19-under par in different ways: Cabrera-Bello overcame an opening double to record four birdies, while Arnaus had a pair of eagles over his closing 18 holes. Their totals brought them two shots beyond a trio of third-place finishers, and set them on a course for overtime.
It was over quickly, as Cabrera-Bello made a swift birdie that Arnaus could not match. The victory was the fourth European Tour title for the Canarian, while Arnaus still seeks his debut championship on the big tour.
A putt to win your national open…
Incredible scenes in Madrid as @RCabreraBello wins the Acciona Open de España. ?
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) October 10, 2021
PGA Tour Champions: Mickelson gets off the bagel for 2021
Despite winning a minor event on the regular tour, back in May, Phil Mickelson had not followed up his two-win debut campaign on Tour Champions 2020 with a 2021 title. Something about Jacksonville and the Timiquana Country Club fit him like a glove, and Mickelson opened with 66 to take the lead. His Saturday 67 kept him at the front of the field, but Mickelson wasn’t pleased. A super-low round was lurking, and he wanted to be the fellow to grab it.
Miguel Angel Jiménez, the crafty Spaniard, must certainly have given a thought to his homeland’s Open championship, being played concurrently across the Atlantic. Jiménez followed a 70 with 65; perhaps he would be the caballero to post the round of which Mickelson spake. Others lurked as well, including tournament host Jim Furyk, In the end, Steve Flesch would drop one slot down the chart with 71 on Sunday, to claim third. Jiménez would submit a clean card of 68, with four birdies, and nearly tie Mickelson with a bomb at the last. Mickelson would not find his fountain of youth near St. Augustine, but he would find Champions victory number three with a 68 of his own.
— PGA TOUR Champions (@ChampionsTour) October 10, 2021
Interesting Photos, Weekend Edition: 16 more equipment photos from the Shriners Open
The photos and associated stories GolfWRX captured this week at the 2021 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas were terrific — and we had plenty of ingredients to offer a second course of our “interesting photos.”
That Las Vegas is one of the most photogenic cities in the world helped, too.
Below are some of our favorites we didn’t add to our Tuesday “Interesting Photos” article.
- Cameron putters – 2021 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
- Bettinardi putters – 2021 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
- Pat Perez test Sik putter – 2021 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
- Fujikura Speeder NX – 2021 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
- Callaway Apex UW – 2021 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
- New Cameron Las Vegas covers – 2021 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
- New Project X HZRDUS Smoke RDX shafts – 2021 Shriners Hospitals doe Children Open
- New Garson Quad Tour 17 grip – 2021 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
- Rory Sabbatini – WITB (new Mizuno 223 irons)
- Rickie Fowler – WITB
- James Hahn – WITB
- Danny Willett – WITB
- Abraham Ancer – WITB
- Harry Higgs – WITB
- Ian Poulter – WITB
- Corey Conners – WITB
- Harry Higgs – WITB
- Matt NeSmith – WITB
- Doug Ghim – WITB
- Anirban Lahiri – WITB
- K.H. Lee – WITB
- Carlos Ortiz – WITB
- Seung Yul Noh – WITB
- Keith Mitchell – WITB (new Mizuno 221 irons)
- Francesco Molinari – WITB
- 2021 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open – Tuesday #1
- 2021 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open – Tuesday #2
- 2021 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open – Wednesday #1
- 2021 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open – Wednesday #2
- 2021 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open – Wednesday #3
Here are a few of the most interesting shots from the Shriners.
Danny Willett – WITB & Prototype Toulon Daytona putter – won Dunhill Links last week at St Andrews – (see photos here)
Anirban Lahiri – WITB – (see photos here)
James Hahn – WITB & Cameron H-19 CT putter (see more photos)
Garsen – Quad Tour 17 grip – (see photos here)
Bettinardi putters – (see photos here)
Jason Kokrak – PXG Gen 4 Blacked out irons- (see photos here)
Matt Kuchar back to old faithful irons – (see photos here)
Rickie Fowler – WITB – (see photos here)
Pat Perez a testing SIK putter – (see photos here)
Spotted: 2022 Callaway Apex UW- (see photos here)
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Sungjae Im’s winning WITB: 2021 Shriners Open
Driver: Titleist TSi2 (8 degrees) Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7 X (45.25 inches) 3-wood: Titleist TS3 (13.5) (B1...
Rafa Cabrera Bello’s winning WITB: 2021 Spanish Open
Rafa Cabrera Bello what’s in the bag accurate as of the Spanish Open. All photos c/o @sms_on_tour Driver: Titleist TSi3 (10...
Matthew Wolff WITB 2021 (October)
Matthew Wolff what’s in the bag accurate as of the Shriners Open. Driver: TaylorMade SIM (9 degrees @7.5) Shaft: Graphite...
Harry Higgs WITB 2021 (October)
Harry Higgs what’s in the bag accurate as of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Driver: TaylorMade SIM2 (8 degrees...
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