Tour Rundown: Open to Minjee, four other events decided
June walked in with the first USGA Women’s Open with a presenting sponsor, and by all accounts, it was a big and special thing. The tournament was contested at Pine Needles for the fourth time, but the first since 2007. Pine Needles, located in Southern Pines, North Carolina, has become the iconic site for this championship. The winner it welcomed this year simply added to that lore. In addition to this national championship for women, four events took place around the globe for the men. Ohio, central North Carolina, Germany and Iowa celebrated tournaments with fine fields and enviable finishes. Let’s have a rundown of all five events in this week’s Tour Rundown.
USGA Women’s Open is second major for Minjee
There were two story threads that followed the 77th playing of the Women’s Open in North Carolina’s sandhills. Could She? became Mina Harigae’s tag line, after the 32-year old pro opened with 64. Harigae had been in contention before in a major, but had not found the context to contend to the end. Will she? was asked about Australia’s Minjee Lee, the 2021 Evian champion and a seven-time winner on the LPGA Tour. Lee had won on the LPGA as recently as May, while Harigae had yet to break into the the winner’s circle on the big tour.
The first-round lead weight heavy on the shoulders of all professional golfers. Few have welcomed the spotlight and questions for four consecutive days, while maintaining an advantage over the field. Harigae’s one shot advantage (64-65) over Swedish amateur Ingrid Lindblad vanished overnight, as Lee followed her opening 67 with 66, to reach 133 at the halway point. Harigae did well to post 69, and preserve a share of the lead. Golfers began to enter and depart the leader board, but in the end, this week was always a story about two golfers: Lee and Harigae.
In round three, Minjee stretched an advantage to three shots, with another 67. Harigae was under par for the third day, as well, but her 70 was eclipsed by Lee’s mastery. On pace to set a tournament scoring record, attention turned away from the first-round leader from California, and toward the leader from Perth. On Sunday, Minjee Lee fell from the 60s for the first time all week, but not by much. Her 71 was the third-lowest round on the day, bettered only by 69 from Jeongeun Lee6 and 70 from Hyejin Choi. Minjee gained one more stroke on Harigae, and set a 72-hole record for lowest number of strokes (271) in tournament history. Her score relative to par (-13) was bettered only by Juli Inkster’s -16 in 1999. Harigae held on to solo second by two shots, over the fast-closing Choi.
She opened with a pair of birdies and never looked back!@minjeegolf's record-setting #USWomensOpen is our @Lexus Top Performance of the Day. #LexusGolf pic.twitter.com/JdkZgOADDJ
— U.S. Women's Open (USGA) (@uswomensopen) June 6, 2022
PGA Tour: Horschel laps field at Memorial
Billy Horschel is a complicated figure in professional golf. His intensity is unmatched, as are his attention to detail and his pursuit of perfection. Horschel’s swing is as tight as a well-tuned drum, which leaves the only chance for error to the space between the ears. It’s not an uncommon theme, as many golfers on the world’s tours exhibit most of those characteristics. Horschel has struggled with family illness, yet is able to give back to golf as a tournament host for junior tournaments. On this weekend in June, his game was on full display.
Horschel lapped the field at Jack’s tournament, the Memorial. He posted 13-under par through three rounds, and held a five-shot advantage heading into Sunday. Day four was a blustery affair in central Ohio, as 69 was the lowest score that any of the 70 remaining golfers could summon. Scores went as high as 84 on Sunday, as Muirfield Village showed a lot of teeth. Through it all, Horschel preserved his calm. Despite scoring seven shots higher than Saturday’s 65, the lead was never fewer than two shots. It was Horschel’s tournament to win, and he did so with an impressive eagle at the 15th, to return to the five-shot separation. He would make bogey at 17 to only win by four, over runner-up Aaron Wise.
First eagle @MemorialGolf in 573 holes played. pic.twitter.com/A8UYfMbqtN
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 5, 2022
DP World Tour: Samooja secures European Open
Kalle Samooja made the charge of the weekend in Germany. He posted 64 on Sunday to zip past a host of competitors, including last week’s winner, Victor Perez of France. Samooja, a native of Finland, notched eight birdies on the day, including three of his final four holes. None of the others in contention could match his brilliance, and Samooja finished two shots clear of Wil Besseling of the Netherlands.
Not that the others didn’t try. Besseling closed with double-birdie-bogey-birdie, to arrive at the solo runner-up position. Richard Mansell recovered from a first-hole bogey on Sunday with three birdies, and in third position, one more shot back. It was Perez who was most unfortunate on Sunday. His shots went away slowly, with four bogeys against two birdies.
The victory was the first for Samooja, after playoff losses in 2019 and 2020. The win moved the 34-year old inside the top 25 on the year-long rankings.
The winning moment ?@KalleSamooja with soft hands at the last secured a birdie finish to win the #PEO2022. pic.twitter.com/z7POAL3kPW
— DP World Tour (@DPWorldTour) June 5, 2022
Korn Ferry Tour: Rex Hospital nail-biter goes to Thompson
With the exception of Paul Haley II, golfers held position or moved up on Sunday at Wakefield Plantation. Haley fell from contention with 71, but managed a sixth-place finish for the week. The tournament drama was reserved for a trio of contenders, and they did their best to make the event’s finish a special one.
Davis Thompson held a one-shot advantage after 54 holes, with Haley, Andrew Yun, and Vincent Norman on his trail. The leader went out in minus-three, to open up an advantage on his pursuers. He would need it coming home. Thompson played the inward half in plus-one, but secured a critical birdie at the 15th. Yun and Norman charge home in minus-three and minus-one, respectively, but they would come up one shot shy of the winner. The victory was the first for Thompson on the KFT, and came on his 23rd birthday.
Final group is off ? @VincentNorrman @DavisT17 pic.twitter.com/h0yWz6GQcd
— Korn Ferry Tour (@KornFerryTour) June 5, 2022
PGA Tour Champions: Principal Charity to Kelly over Kirk in playoff
Jerry Kelly had five birdies in regulation on Sunday at Des Moines, Iowa. That performance earned him a curtain call with Kirk Triplett. For fun, Kelly added a sixth birdie on the first extra hole. That maneuver garnered him a 9th PGA Tour Champions title, and elevated him eight spots in the year-long, Schwab Cup challenge.
Brett Quigley, Triplett, and 2022 poster child Steven Alker held the 36-hole lead on Saturday evening. Each fell away a bit on Sunday. Quigley posted 70 to finish in fifth position. Alker’s 69 dropped him into a third-place tie with Bernhard Langer. Triplett loaded up on birdies on Sunday, with seven on his card. It was the two, front-nine bogeys that kept him from winning the tournament outright. Sometimes, it’s your week, but not your week alone.
What a shot ?@jerrykelly13pga with a beauty off the tee on 17 for a share of the lead into the final hole @PCCTourney. pic.twitter.com/nClTdvvAUB
— PGA TOUR Champions (@ChampionsTour) June 5, 2022
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Tour Photo Galleries
Photos from the 2023 Valero Texas Open
Ah, the Valero Texas Open — a tournament as rich in history as it is in Texan charm. The event has been around since 1922, making it one of the oldest on the PGA Tour calendar.
Over the years, it’s been held at a variety of courses across the Lone Star State, but it’s found its home at TPC San Antonio in recent years. Some of the biggest names in golf have taken home the title here, including Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan, Lee Trevino, and Ben Crenshaw. But the real star of the show? That would have to be the legendary Texan wind, which can turn a benign par-4 into a 500-yard monster faster than you can say “y’all.”
Per usual, GolfWRX was on site to check out what the pros are playing with the Masters just a week away.
Check out links to all our galleries, below.
- 2023 Valero Texas Open – Monday #1
- 2023 Valero Texas Open – Monday #2
- 2023 Valero Texas Open – Tuesday #1
- 2023 Valero Texas Open – Wednesday #1
- 2023 Valero Texas Open – Wednesday #2
- Chandler Phillips – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Hayden Buckley – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Brandon Wu – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Rickie Fowler – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Paul Haley II – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Kevin Chappell – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Austin Truslow – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Peter Lansburgh – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Peter Kuest – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Trevor Werbylo – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Doc Redman – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Padraig Harrington – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Ryan Fox – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Ricky Barnes WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Hayden Buckley’s custom Cameron putters – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- S H Kim’s custom Cameron putter – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Beau Hossler’s custom Cameron putter – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- New Garsen grip – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Brent Grant’s custom Cameron putter – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Three – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Luke Donald’s new Odyssey Twelve putter (w/ SuperStroke grip) – 2023 Valero Texas Open
Join the discussion in the GolfWRX forums.
Spotted: Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Three “anti-right” prototype putter
Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K putters have really taken off on tour, and we have seen a handful of models in tour player’s bags. The latest version we spotted out on tour is a very unique design.
Odyssey makes this putter head with a standard flow neck that offers plenty of toe hang for golfers who prefer or need that weighting. This prototype has a long slant neck installed more near the center of the putter head that lets the toe sit slightly up in the air when held horizontally. This is pretty different since most putters sit with the toe hanging down towards the ground or are face balanced (face sits parallel to the ground). A full shaft offset looks to be achieved with the slant neck and the look at address is definitely different.
We spoke to Callaway PGA Tour manager Joe Toulon about the putter and he had the following to say
“On course [we had a player who] had a little push bias that didn’t necessarily show up in practice but it is something that he felt on course. So we wanted to build something that was a little easier to release and maybe not necessarily open the toe as much in the back stroke and not have to work as hard to release it in the through stroke. That was kind of designed to give a little offset and when you rested it on your finger it would rest toe up a little bit. We thought for that player it would help him square the putter face at impact rather than leave it open a little bit.
“It was more of a concept we had and will continue to work on it. When we had it on the truck and we were hitting some putts with it we noticed that you had to work really hard to push this putter. We wanted to make an anti-right putter. Just a fun little concept that we have an idea and work with our tour department to test things out.
“It isn’t something that ended up in a player’s bag but we learned some things in that process and will keep in mind for future builds and projects.”
The finish also looks to be a little different than the standard Tri-Hot 5K putter’s black and silver motif. The face and neck are finished in silver and the rear done in more of a blueish-gray tone. The White Hot insert looks to be standard and the sole still contains two interchangeable weights.
The shaft looks to be painted in the same metallic red as their standard Stroke Lab shaft, but we don’t see a steel tip section. Not sure if this putter has a full graphite shaft or painted steel.
Check out more photos of the Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Three Putter.
More “Spotted” pieces
- Spotted: S.H. Kim’s Custom Scotty Cameron Circle T Newport putter
- Spotted: Brent Grant’s Scotty Cameron Circle T T5W putter
- Spotted: Beau Hossler’s custom Scotty Cameron Circle T TG6 putter
- Spotted: Tom Kim’s 2 new Scotty Cameron Circle T putters
- Spotted: Bettinardi BB41 Flow 25th anniversary putter
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