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Tour Rundown: Buhai in the sky, 27 for the 20-year-old

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Major championship season came to a close with a final winner in 76 holes at Muirfield. The last regular season concluded on the PGA Tour, with a front-nine 27 and a 20-year-old winner. Another playoff featured on the Tour Champions, and two more events brought stirring resolutions on Korn Ferry and DP World Tour. Snap your fingers and it’s August. Three weeks from now, we’ll have a FedEx Cup champion. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and learn a bit about our five champions in this week’s Tour Rundown.

LPGA/Ladies European Tour: Buhai in the sky after playoff win

Ashleigh Buhai has been at the LPGA grind since 2014. Her storied amateur career translated into 15 wins on the South African and European circuits, but when she moved stateside nearly a decade ago, the wins stopped coming. On Saturday evening, on the heels of a Saturday 64 at Muirfield, Buhai found herself in possession of a five-shot advantage, and in the British Open, no less! No finer place to break through for a win, or break a heart.

For most of Sunday, it looked like the later would be Buhai’s plight. She stood one-over par through 14 holes, while In Gee Chun posted three birdies on the front nine, to narrow the gap to one. Chun gave two back at 10 and 12, but then the script fell out when Buhai mad a triple-bogey seven at the 15th to fall into a tie. The pair would par in to the clubhouse, and return to the 18th tee to decide matters.

Pars, then bogeys, then pars again, and Buhai-Chun returned to the demanding par four once more. Faced with a long, greenside bunker recovery, Buhai dug deep into her South African roots, where great bunker play is like skating in Canada. She splashed out to about 14 inches, made the putt for par, and collected her first major title and LPGA victory. Ahh, those East Lothian nights!

PGA Tour: 27 for the 20-year old leads to Kim win

As Nick Faldo took a bow in his final telecast for the PGA Tour, Joohyung Kim made his own waist bend, and collected a first tour title, fresh out of his teens. You’ll no doubt read that Kim began the 2022 Wyndham with a quadruple bogey. We’ll not get into that, because no one needs to disect that sort of cadaver. What Kim did over the subsequent, 71 holes is what deserves attention. 25 birdies, three bogies, and one mighty eagle were enough to push the young Korean to a 61 on Sunday, and a one-shot victory.

For a time, it seemed that Kim’s countryman, Sungjae Im, or American John Huh, might figure in the outcome. Kim put that notion to rest with an impossible 27 on Sunday’s front nine. That’s right: Kim averaged three shots per hole over the first half of the final round. He made four at the first, which might have felt like a birdie after Thursday’s eight on the same hole. He balanced that with a two at the fourth, and made threes the rest of the way.

A solitary bogey, just his third of the week, stalled his progress at the tenth. Pars and birdies the rest of the way ensured a five-shot cushion over Im and Huh. What was I doing at 20? Who knows. What were any of us doing at 20?

DP World Tour: Shinkwin secures second title on big stage

Despite what the caption says for the video below, Callum Shinkwin was not at the peak of his powers on Sunday. He did post a fourth, consecutive round under par; the only man in the field to do so, in fact. That round of 70 was just one shot below par, and was comprised of seven pars, six birdies, and five bogeys. Round four was something of a ratatouille for the Englishman, but he was able to steer the ship through choppy waters, and ultimately come out with a four-shot win over Scotland’s Connor Syme.

Syme had a week of his own, save for a second-day 73. The highlander (well, Fife) needed perfection on Sunday at Celtic Manor, but was unable to find it. The former Ryder Cup venue, site of a European side triumph, played tough as nails all week, but it did offer a bit of respite at moments. The Cazoo win was Shinkwin’s second on the DP World Tour. The tour moves from Wales to Northern Ireland this week, and Shinkwin certainly hopes that Galgorm Castle will be as hospitable as was Celtic Manor.

Korn Ferry Tour: Only low numbers need apply as Kozan kollects korn

Andrew Kozan played his college golf at Auburn University. This week in Utah, he made the Tiger faithful proud with bookend 63s for a first KFT laurel. The only motto this week was Go Low or Don’t Go. 13 golfers posted 18-under or better and, with the victory coming at -21, there were a lot of players in the mix for a long time.

Third-round leader Mark Anderson started off well, with birdies on three of the first seven holes. The wheels came off as he rounded the turn, where three bogies dropped him from the lead. Anderson would recover with two more birdies coming home. On a day when eight and nine-birdie cards were the norm, his work would not carry him home.

Justin Suh, Patrick Fishburn, and Ashton Van Horne tied for second, a shot behind Kozan. Each posted a marvelous, Sunday score (63, 64, 64, respectively) but each also had a bogey on his sheet. Kozan did as well, at the par-four eighth, but when all the ink had dried and the shots were tallied, he was one shot clear of the trio, and on the podium for his first, important professional win.

PGA Tour Champions: Kelly keeps Huston at bay in Calgary

Guys like Hale Irwin and Bernhard Langer brought multiple major titles and sizable PGA Tour win totals to the senior circuit. Guys like Jerry Kelly found a spotlight they hadn’t known on the young-uns circuit. While Kelly won thrice on the early tour, the wins came early and middle, but not after 2009. Kelly arrive on Tour Champions in 2016, seven years after his third and final, regular-group win. He won twice in 2017, and nothing would hold him back.

This week in Calgary, Jerry Kelly won his third event of the 2022 campaign, and second in a playoff. In June, Kelly dispatched Kirk Triplett in a playof in Iowa. Triplett held the overnight lead on Saturday, and rematch was in the offing. Triplett faded on Sunday, and the drama was left to Kelly and one-time Tour Champions winner John Huston to settle matters.

The first playoff hole was the par-five 18th, and Kelly found a way to sneak an approach in to about seven feet. The putt wobbled at first, then straightened out into the hole, and the man from Wisconsin (aka Canada South) had his eleventh win on the seasonsed citizens tour, and third in three months.

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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. Chuck

    Aug 8, 2022 at 9:36 pm

    I wish more than anything that GolfWRX would do its thing with ladies’ tour WITB.

    You guys do an amazing job, covering equipment developments on the mens’ tours. I would love to see the same for the ladies. When I have played Muirfield, I played it at much the same setup we saw with the Womens’ Open. 6600+ yards. I play much more like the ladies than the male tour players. I’ve seen the mens championship tees at Muirfield and they are incomprehensible to me. I take my equipment cues from lady professionals more than male professionals.
    I’d be grateful for GolfWRX’s giving us WITB info from the ladies’ majors.

  2. PJ

    Aug 8, 2022 at 9:34 am

    I watched the LPGA last round versus the PGA tournament filled with a leader board of people I have never heard of. The LPGA TV commentators are horrible but the playoff was awesome.

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Morning 9: PIP winners I Player changes LIV tune I Augusta National changes

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco and Matthew Vincenzi.

For comments: [email protected]. On Twitter: @benalberstadt

November 23, 2022

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans, and a Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Eat, drink, be merry, and please, count a few blessings tomorrow! We’re grateful to put this little roundup together for you weekday mornings and truly appreciate your readership.

1. Your PIP winner is…

PGATour.com staff report…”Tiger Woods was No. 1 in the 2022 PGA TOUR Player Impact Program (PIP) for the second straight year, the 82-time TOUR winner earning the top impact bonus of $15 million.”

  • “Rory McIlroy, who won the FedExCup for an unprecedented third time, returned to world No. 1, and over the weekend captured the DP World Tour’s Race to Dubai, finished second ($12 million).”
  • “…Jordan Spieth ($9 million), Justin Thomas ($7.5 million), Jon Rahm ($6 million), Scottie Scheffler ($5.5 million), Xander Schauffele ($5 million), Matt Fitzpatrick ($5 million), Will Zalatoris ($5 million) and Tony Finau ($5 million) rounded out the top 10.”
Full piece.

2. What do the stats say

Golf Digest’s Joel Beall…”statistically speaking, the case can be made that 2022 was McIlroy at his peak—and we’re not counting his performances behind the podium as the lead defender for the two tours in their ongoing battle with LIV Golf.”

  • “According to DataGolf, McIlroy’s true strokes gained for 2022 was 2.61, with Scheffler a distant second at 2.23. (Even more remarkably, McIlroy’s number does not factor in his win at the CJ Cup in October.) For context, that number is better than McIlroy’s 2014—a season in which he won two majors and a WGC—which was 2.51. It was also a whopping stroke better than his output from last year (1.56). McIlroy also led the PGA Tour in strokes gained with a 2.12 mark; Matt Fitzpatrick was second at 1.79.”
Full piece.

3. Gary Player changes his tune on LIV — again

Via the Golf Channel digital team…”Speaking two days ago to reporter Mahlatse Mphahlele, Player shared some quick thoughts on the ongoing rift between LIV and the PGA Tour, calling for respect and happiness while asserting that he takes no issue with players who have joined Greg Norman’s startup league.”

  • “I have no objection to people going and playing the LIV tour,” Player said. “I think it is wonderful to give people an opportunity to make some money when they can’t play anymore. Most of them are going out there with a new lease of life, and that is fantastic. But what I don’t like is the war that is happening between LIV and the PGA [Tour]. Golf is too good. Golf gave us our dream to start the tour and play. And so, we must have – the word is respect across the board. We’ve all got to have respect for each other and go on with our own lives. But if you have [membership on] the LIV tour, don’t expect to play and have the facilities of the regular [PGA] Tour. Because they are two different tours.”
  • “I just hope everything works out well and everybody is happy.”
Full piece.

4. Changes to ANGC’s 13th

5. A Tiger Sunday Red Masters shirt at auction

E. Michael Johnson for Golf Digest…“In recent years there has been a spike in interest in Tiger Woods auctioned memorabilia. Most of the items have been golf clubs used by the 15-time major champion. A new lot up for bid by Golden Age Auctions presents a different opportunity, allowing bidders to vie for a vintage Sunday red Nike shirt worn by Woods in the final round of the 2010 Masters.”

  • “The auction, which begins on Tuesday, ends on Saturday, Dec. 10 with a starting bid of $5,000, though the final price is expected to far exceed that (Editor’s Note: Golf Digest has a business relationship with Golden Age Auctions).”
Full piece.

6. Vice Captain Colsaerts

“European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald’s team of assistants is beginning to take shape, with Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts named as his third Vice Captain alongside Thomas Bjorn and Edoardo Molinari.”

  • “Colsaerts has a memorable history with the Ryder Cup, having been part of the 2012 European team that beat the USA at Medinah. He played a pivotal role in that victory on the Friday when he partnered with Lee Westwood to beat Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker in the fourball session – a performance that included eight birdies from Colsaerts.”
  • “After being handed the role, Colsaerts drew on memories from that tournament to explain how he would approach next year’s event. He said: “My first reaction when Luke asked me was sheer joy. Every time I hear the words ‘Ryder Cup’, it takes me back to the edition I played in, how proud I was to wear the European colours and be part of such an unbelievable event. Of course, Luke was in that team too, and when we spoke he mentioned how much he has always loved what the Ryder Cup means to me.”
Full piece.

7. Anna Davis picks a college

Cameron Jourdan for Golfweek…“Anna Davis has decided where she wants to play college golf.”

  • “The 16-year-old who won the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in April announced Monday she has committed to the Auburn women’s golf program via her Instagram account. Davis posted a photo with Tigers’ coach Melissa Luellen and assistant Kim Hall.”
  • “Last week, Davis’ twin brother, Billy, committed to play for the Auburn men….However, whether Davis ever makes it to Auburn remains to be seen. She could turn professional before ever teeing it up for the Tigers. The early signing period for her class is next November.”
Full piece.

8. Tiger and Rory to be hit by Musk’s Twitter purge

Jamie Hall for Bunkered.co.uk…”Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will be the most-affected golfers by Elon Musk’s promised Twitter purge.”

  • “Musk, the new owner of the social media giant, has promised to crack down on fake and spam accounts since forking out $44billion to buy the site earlier this year.”
  • “According to an audit of false accounts carried out by gambling.com using SparkToro software, Woods has the highest number of fake followers, with a massive 2.6million of the accounts following him deemed to be false.”
  • “McIlroy is also followed by a high number of spam accounts on 1.1million, around 100,000 ahead of Ian Poulter.”
Full piece.

9. Wedge Stamping Caviar

Pop open a tin of the finest beluga, GolfWRXers… In all seriousness, it’s less jelly-like substance, more richness of intrigue than salt-cured roe at Wedge Stamping Caviar as we present to you some of the finest instances of hammer-and-stamp work on the PGA Tour.

  • In this initial serving, we’re mining photos from October and November at PGA Tour stops, including the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, the Cadence Bank Houston Open, and the RSM Classic.
  • So grab your mother-of-pearl spoon and dig in — with restraint, please.
Full Piece.
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Wedge Stamping Caviar: Have More Fun Edition

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Pop open a tin of the finest beluga, GolfWRXers… In all seriousness, it’s less jelly-like substance, more richness of intrigue than salt-cured roe at Wedge Stamping Caviar as we present to you some of the finest instances of hammer-and-stamp work on the PGA Tour.

In this initial serving, we’re mining photos from October and November at PGA Tour stops, including the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, the Cadence Bank Houston Open, and the RSM Classic.

So grab your mother-of-pearl spoon and dig in — with restraint, please.

The traditional K.I.S.S. stamping on a BV proto: first and last initial, demonstrated here by Andrew Landry. Bonus points for the bounce angle (8) stamp.

When your last name is something imposing/interesting, you’re definitely stamping it on your wedge as Cole Hammer has done here in a “University of Texas” colorway.

Simple, perfect stamping for Xuewen Luo. 

Patrick Cantlay is still rolling with a SM7. Ultimate K.I.S.S. to stick with a previous generation wedge with stamped initials. Bent loft (47 degrees) is a classy touch. 

Excellent #perspective on Kevin Roy’s 54-degree Vokey.

Anytime a custom grind wears off the loft number, it’s caviar. Lovely patina on Woodland’s Wilson, too. 

Another favorite motif: Tiny initials pattern (as demonstrated by Palmer Jackson). 

The Webb Simpson traditional. Maybe the longest-serving stamping on Tour. 

Not a stamping on Akshay Bhatia’s Jaws Raw, but we’ll serve it up anyway for reasons immediately discernible to the seasoned palate. 

 

 

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WOTW: Lydia Ko’s Rolex Yacht-Master 40 in Rose Gold

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Lydia Ko won twice this weekend with her victory at the CME Group Tour Championship that also earned her the 2022 Rolex Player of The Year award. The CME win was her 19th LPGA Tour victory and her third this year. While collecting all of her trophies, Ko was wearing a Rolex Yacht-Master 40 in rose gold.

WOTW Specs
Name: Rolex Yacht-Master 40
Reference: 126655-0002
Limited: No
Date: 2019 – Present
Case: Everose Gold
Bezel: Black Cerachrom Ceramic
Dial: Intense Black
Size: 40mm
Movement: Rolex 3235, 31 Jewels
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Glass: Saphire Crystal Cyclops Lens
Waterproof: 100 Meters
Bracelet: Black Oysterflex Rubber Strap
Price: $28,050 (~$32,000)

The Rolex Yacht-Master was introduced in 1992, and it was the first new model in the Rolex line since the Daytona was launched in 1964. The unconfirmed story of the Yacht-Master was that it was originally intended to be an updated Submariner. Rolex couldn’t make such a large change to the most iconic watch that had ever been produced, so the Yacht-Master was born. Yacht-Masters have always embodied luxury and included a precious metal in the watch. The first Yacht-Masters in 1992 were made from solid yellow gold and a few dial options. The Yacht-Master saw a lot of success, but it really took off in 2012 when the Rolesium, platinum and steel, model with the silver dial was released. Since then the Yacht-Master has been one of the most underrated watches in the Rolex lineup.

Lydia has been wearing this Yacht-Master 40 in Everose gold for a little while now as we saw it on her wrist back in April of 2021. The case is 40mm wide and is made from Rolex’s own 18k Everose gold. Rolex created their own rose gold alloy to ensure that the precious metal could meet their strict quality and durability requirements. Rolex stopped outsourcing and created their own foundry in the early 2000s to make its own gold, rose gold, and platinum for its watches.

The caseback on Ko’s watch is matching Everose gold and screws into the case giving the watch a 100 meter water resistance rating. On the side of the case is a screw down crown that is made from Everose gold and features a Triplock seal waterproof system. On tope of the case is the Yacht-Master’s legendary chunky bidirectional bezel. The bezel itself is made from Everose gold and contains a matte black Cerachrom ceramic insert. The ceramic insert is extremely scratch resistant and won’t fade from long term exposure to saltwater and UV rays.

The raised numerals on the bezel are polished for a contrasting look that is easier to read. A sapphire crystal covers the Intense Black dial and there is a magnifying Cyclops lens covering the date at 3 o’clock. Large Everose gold hour markers surround the dial and are filled with Rolex’s Chromalight luminescent material that glows with more of a blue light. The hour, minute, and second hands are all made from polished Everose gold and filled with the same Chromalight material.

The heart and brain of the Yacht-Master 40 is Rolex’s Calibre 3235 movement that is found in a few other Rolex models. The 3235 is a self-winding movement that uses the blue Parachrom hairspring that keeps accurate time regardless of the temperature and is very shock resistant. Rolex’s designed the Parachrom hairspring in house so they can control the quality and the acceptable tolerance is 0.1 microns, or about 1/1000 of a human hair. The 3235 has up to 70 hours of power reserve and is COSC certified to ensure its accuracy in all conditions.

A black Oysterflex strap holds the watch on the wrist and is far more than just a strip of rubber. Rolex encases flexible titanium and nickel “blades” in a high-performance elastomer. This metal spine adds durability while maintaining the soft comfort you expect from a rubber strap. The underside of the Oysterflex strap has a cushioning system molded into it that can also add stability on the wrist. An Everose gold Oysterlock safety clasp brings the strap together and contains Rolex’s Glidelock extension system to fine tune the fit without the use of any tools.

The Yacht-Master 40 in Everose has become a very popular model and is now hard to find at any Rolex dealer. Many didn’t think that a rose gold watch on a rubber strap would ever be something in high demand but that theory has been proven incorrect. If you can get one of these Yacht-Masters at the $28,050 retail price, then consider yourself lucky. Most will pay around $32,000 on the secondary market to get one on their wrist.

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