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Tour Rundown: Morikawa wins twice on Sunday | Race to CME goes to JYK

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This is it. Really, this is it. This is really it. The soon-to-be-renamed European Tour is done. The PGA Tour is done. The LPGA is done. I’m done. Happy American Thanksgiving. It’s colder than the Canadian one, but a good cold breeze is bracing. It also reminds us to get inside, so that we don’t get sick, or frostbite, or some other malady. It also reminds us to be thankful for things like … shirts that don’t tear when you shoot 74 in the final round and fall from first place to another level of frustration (hypothetically speaking, of course.)

Anyhoo, anyhow, anyway, join us one last time for a running of the tours, which is much, much safer than a running of the bulls.

European Tour: Morikawa wins twice on Sunday

I remember that summer of 2019, when Collin Morikawa and two other college stars made their debuts on tour. The guy with the powerful, funky swing won right away. The other guy, the Nordic one, seemed destined to win soon enough (he would win in February of the next year.) Even though Morikawa won in 2019, pundits assessed him to be third in line to the throne. Two years have passed, and there is no line. the Iron Throne belongs to Morikawa.

The Californian from Cal-Berkeley owns two major titles, six worldwide wins, and his first Order of Merit. I’ve always liked that title. Way better than Race To The Cup or any other moniker out there. I’m bringing it back. Morikawa had a good hold on the European Tour’s season-long race, thanks to his Open title in July and his WGC last February. He came to Dubai with great focus, answering few to none of the pointed questions aimed his way. In contrast, and to his credit, Matt Fitzpatrick wasn’t giving up.

The Englishman wasn’t defiant, but he was gritty. He insisted that, as we all know, the tournament and the season were not over until the flagstick was replaced. Fitz did his part with a 66 on Sunday, moving all the way up to a tie for second with Alexander Bjôrk. At that point, sadly, Fitz was finished. He needed a win.

Who topped him? Morikawa, of course. His Sunday 66 at the Earth Course included five birdies on the inward half, when he simply decided to say By the way, I’m the best of 2021. Here’s my third win to prove it. Morikawa’s swing has zero moving parts that should not be moving. It is modern, but classic, if that is possible. If he chases zero distance over the next fifteen years, and simply plays well from tee to green, he should win five more majors and a few more Orders of Merit around the world.

LPGA: Race To CME goes to JYK

Remember last week when Nelly Korda became Rolex Rankings number one again, despite not playing? Pretty sure that’s about to change again. Jin Young Ko steamrolled the field at Tiburón in Naples. The Original JYK was nine-under on day four, breaking out of a four-way tie for the lead at dawn’s first light.

Nelly? She had 69 for T5. Celine? 68 for T3. Nasa? She gave Jin everything she could handle. Hataoka signed for 64, and her 6th-hole bogey was her only blemish on the day. She matched Ko birdie for birdie, posting nine of her own on the final day. She made up strokes on three of the final four holes. Trouble was, Young Ko did not wilt. She turned in 30 and added three more chirps on the inward half, putting things away at the 17th with her last of the day.

The title was her fifth of 2021, and her 12th overall. Ko hit 63 consecutive greens this week, and is on a runaway-train path to the LPGA Hall of Fame, and it will be a pleasure to watch her do just that.

PGA Tour:  RSM Classic crowns Gooch by a smooch

Talor Gooch knocked on a number of doors this fall, most recently the Fortinet and the CJ Cup. At both events, he finished top-five, but could not break through for the “V.” At Sea Island, Gooch went into the final round with a one-shot lead over Sebastián Múñoz. Feeling balanced, Gooch went out and bookended his opening 64 with the same closing number. He made a pair of birdies on the front, then turned on the juice and recorded four more coming home. No bogeys found his card this day.

Mackenzie Hughes, the 2016 champion at the RSM, went out in 30 to pick up three strokes on Gooch. Feeling his own brand of juice, Hughes posted four more birdies on the back nine, but also stumbled to a bogey at the par-three twelfth hole. He missed long and left, and failed to get up and down for par. When Gooch made three at the same hole, minutes later, the road to victory got easier.

Two unofficial events (Hero and QBE) will take place in December, and the Tour will return to action on January 6th, for two consecutive weeks in the Hawaiian islands.

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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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“Making progress” – Tiger Woods posts video hitting golf ball

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Confirmed: Tiger Woods is swinging a golf club again.

Late Sunday morning, Woods posted a down-the-line video hitting what appears to be a full iron shot.

Woods captioned the video — which is the first time we’ve seen the 15-time major champion hitting balls since his February 23 car crash — “Making progress.”

In the three-second video, presumably shot at Medalist Golf Club, the 45-year-old is seen wearing a blood flow-enhancing compression sleeve on his surgically repaired lower right leg.

Woods has provided no updates on his recovery from comminuted open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the right tibia and fibula bones since May.

Woods last teed it up in an official PGA Tour event at the 2020 November Masters. He competed in the PGA Challenge in December.

The Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas begins December 2. It is unknown if Woods will attend the event in any capacity.

A still shot from Tiger Woods’ social media post. The divot pattern and bucket fill level would suggest the shot on film was not the only one Woods hit.

 

See what GolfWRXers are saying in the forums. 

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Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2021 RSM Classic

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If we’ve used the “buffet” analogy one too many times in describing our collection of tour photos from this event or that, forgive us, but we have a full-fledged smorgasbord for you from the RSM Classic this week.

We have shots of Justin Rose testing a new driver (Titleist). We have a first look at Odyssey’s resurrection of the vaunted Tri Hot line. We have nine general galleries and — dramatic pause — 20 in-hand WITB galleries.

You didn’t come here to read an introduction — proceed directly to the tour equipment photo extravaganza, below.

General galleries

WITB

Special galleries

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WOTW: Jason Kokrak’s Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 01

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Jason Kokrak added a 3rd PGA Tour victory at the Houston Open. His 2 stroke victory over Kevin Tway was very special after having a rough few weeks struggling with his game. He held the large, chrome trophy in the air while wearing a Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 01 on his wrist.

WOTW Specs:
Name: Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 01
Reference: CAR2A1Z.FT6044
Limited: No
Date: 2015
Case: Stainless Steel Black PVD
Bezel: Stainless Steel Black PVD
Dial: Black Skeleton
Size: 45mm
Movement: Calibre HEUER01, 39 Jewels
Power Reserve: 50 Hours
Glass: Saphire Crystal
Waterproof: 100 Meters
Bracelet: Black Rubber Strap
Price: $5,450 (~$3,200)

Tag Heuer has been around since 1860 when it was founded by Edouard Heuer in Switzerland. Since its beginning, Tag Heuer has been making chronographs and it is a craft they excel in. The Carrera line was introduced in 1963 and has a very strong automotive influence on their design. The Carrera Calibre 01 was brought out in 2015 and is a little different since it contains a skeleton dial. A skeleton dial allows you to see through the dial and view the mechanical movement in action. The dial has 3 subdials at 12, 9, and 6 0’clock that are lined in silver and dark grey. The hour and minute hands, along with the hour markers, are finished in stainless steel and polished. They are then filled with a luminescent material for viewing in low light. Skeleton dials are considered harder to read and the date window in between 3 and 4 o’clock is easy to miss. A sapphire crystal covers the dial and is surrounded by a black PVD coated steel bezel. The bezel has a smooth finish and contains a tachymeter scale for measuring speed. A 45mm case is on the larger side and made from stainless steel with brushed and black PVD finishes. On the right side of the case is the screw-down crown and pushers for working the chronograph.

The back of the case has a display window showing off the mechanical movement and rotor. The caseback is finished in a matching black PVD and held down with 4 screws. Inside the Carrera is a self-winding automatic movement made in-house by Tag Heuer. The Calibre 01 contains 39 jewels and gives the wearer 50 hours of power reserve. A black perforated rubber strap holds the watch on your wrist with a black PVD folding clasp bringing it together. The original retail on this Calibre 01 was $5,450 and they trade for a little over $3,000 now on the used market.

Congrats to Jason on another win, it is always exciting to see the long hitting Canadian hold up a trophy. I don’t know what kind of watch guy Jason is, but I hope to see some more pieces on his wrist in the future.

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