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Tour Rundown: Cantlay repeats | US Am | KFT in Boise

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A second, national amateur champion was crowned this weekend. The PGA Tour of the USA reduced its active roster to 30 golfers for next week’s Tour Championship. The LPGA took the week off, while the other major tours traveled to the Czech Republic, lower New York State, and Idaho. Golf fans kept one eye on mock fantasy football drafts and another on the comings and goings of tournaments. If you missed any of the results while selecting a kicker in the third round, well, we can help you with the golf, but that’s just bad fantasy drafting. Kind of like this lag putt from Philip Knowles.

Time for Tour Rundown, friends!

PGA Tour: Cantlay Coruscates at BMW Championship

Patrick Cantlay’s magical run seemed to wane as soon as the nickname Patty Ice was bestowed on him. He had some wins, but not as many, nor the majors, that many anticipated would come his way. This week, the Californian champion returned to the winner’s circle with a defense of his BMW Championship. In 2021, Cantlay won the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs in Maryland; he returned to the middle atlantic to claim a second trophy, this time at Wilmington Country Club in Delaware.

Cantlay grabbed the lead from Adam Scott on Saturday. He posted a six-under 65 to ease one stroke ahead of Olympic champion Xander Schauffele, and three-time tour winner Scott Stallings. Back in April, Schauffele and Cantlay partnered to win the Zurich Classic in New Orleans. On this day, there would be no camaraderie.

On Sunday, the gas tanks of the leaders appeared empty. None could dip deep into the 60s, to ensure a comfortable margin of victory. Only K. H. Lee, winner of the last two Byron Nelson Classics, could go as low as Cantlay’s Saturday score. Lee’s 65 moved him up 21 spots, into a tie for fifth.

Schauffele did not shine on Sunday. An even-par front nine was followed by an even-par back side, and the X Man dropped to a tie for third with Scottie Scheffler. Stallings posted 69 on the final day, and was able to secure a solo second finish. Cantlay found one final birdie, at the penultimate 17th, and that three gave him a one-shot advantage at the last. A gutsy swing from a sidehill, sandy lie was enough to secure win #2 of 2022, and win #9 of his career.

DP World Tour: Czech Masters welcomes Kieffer to the winner’s parking lot

At one juncture in Sunday’s final round, ten of the top fourteen golfers had zero wins on the DP World Tour. The odds were in favor of someone breaking through for a career-changing weekend. Would it be Gavin Green, the third-round leader? How about Tapio Pukkanen, who led at Albatross on 2021’s final hole, only to find water with his approach and fall away? Or, would someone like Thomas Pieters break all their hearts and claim another, DP World Tour title?

The first to fall away was Pieters. The Belgian stood three-under on the day when he ripped driver so far down the 11th fairway that he found a centerline bunker. No problem; just a wedge left. Except, the wedge landed over the green, hard, and bounded out of bounds. Triple bogey. Welcome to eighth place.

Next came the unfortunate Pukkanen. With last year’s watery finish in his mind, the Finland phenom tried to guide a low stinger into the final fairway, instead of swinging freely. Water left, bogey, third place. If it was any consolation, Pukkanen would have needed birdie at the last to reach a playoff.

Green followed. The Malaysian masher found a pond that no one knew existed, on the 14th. Away went his two-shot advantage, thanks to the double bogey that he soon had to scribble on his scorecard. Birdie at any of the final four holes would have brought him into a tie with Max Kiefer, but it was not to be. We simply won’t show you Green’s 180-degree lip-out on the final hole, that would have crafted a playoff. It’s simply inhumane.

The German Kieffer earlier had played the shot of the week into the brawny 17th hole, and converted the wee birdie putt to lick the envelope on his first tour title.

Korn Ferry Tour: Boise Open goes Gordon’s way

If Philip Knowles had been able to secure a par at the 72nd hole, he would have posted four rounds in the 60s. He also would have won the Boise Open outright. This sequence of sentences would not exist had he made that par. Knowles made bogey, and dropped into a three-way tie with MJ Daffue and Will Gordon, coming ever-so-close to leading from start to finish. The trio headed back to the 18th tee, but the hole was no kinder to Knowles for a second time in half an hour.

Knowles and Daffue stumbled up the closing hole with double bogey. Gobsmacked at his good fortune, Gordon simply played the hole as the architect drew the plans. Fairway to green to hole in two putts. With that simple formula, the Vanderbilt alumnus had his first professional victory.

PGA Tour Champions:  Dick’s Sporting Goods Open welcome the Irish touch

Although he never won it (and may never have played it) Padraig Harrington is seasoned enough to recall the old B.C. Open, on the regular PGA Tour. The final playing of the old BCO took place in 2006, and the event converted the following year to a senior event. Golfers have made the pilgrimmage to Endicott, NY, for over 50 years. The small-town atmosphere of the tournament is unique in professional golf, and these sorts of events need to endure.

Enough maudlin reminiscance. Harrington found himself one shot back of Canadian Mike Weir at the 2/3 pole of this year’s DSG Open. Knowing that Weir has not won for the better part of two decades, Harrington had to fancy his chances. Vijay Singh and Jim Furyk lurked, but the greatest challenge would come from the Thailand titan, Thongchai Jaidee.

Harrington played error-free golf along the banks of the Susquehanna river on Sunday, and forced the field to chase him down. Five birdies brought him to 16-under par. Jaidee gave proper chase, including a magnificent chip-in for two at the drivable, par-four 16th. His 65 was enough to elevate him to second place, but not nearly enough to reel Harrington in. The victory was Harrington’s second of the year, after winning the Senior Open in June.

USGA: US Amateur sees 36th seed outlast 34th seed on 36th hole 

Sam Bennett was in everyone’s sites at the beginning of the week. That’s how things are for the third-ranked amateur in the world. In contrast, Ben Carr was not on anyone’s short list at the beginning of US Amateur week in New Jersey. As often happens in match play, Goliath and David worked their ways through the field, and found each other on the first tee in the championship match.

Neither Bennett nor Carr was forced to endure the 11-for-7 playoff, but neither figured in the medalist race, either. As matches closed, it became apparent that this was not a week when the course would determine the winner. Ridgewood, a classic, A.W. Tillinghast layout, gave the field a wonderful playing ground, but did not insert itself into the outcome. It left that maneuvering to the players, which is a rarity these days. Too often we hear complaints of greens-too-quick or fairways-too-narrow. Not this week, not at Ridgewood.

The final match began with a series of jabs. The opponents traded wins on two occasions through the first seven holes. Bennett won the ninth, 14th, and 18th holes in the morning round, and took a three-up lead to lunch. Carr will certainly look back at the 11-hole stretch, from 8 through 18, as the turning point in the match.

In the afternoon, Bennett quickly stretch his lead to five holes, winning the 20th and 21st holes. At that point, Carr and caddy Will Wilcox decided that they would not go quietly away. Carr won the 23rd, 24th, and 28th holes to reduce the deficit to two holes. Bennett would win the short 30th hole with par, and would probably point to that stemming of the tide as the key to his win.

Carr wasn’t done. He won the 32nd and 35th holes to head to the last hole needing one final win to square the match. Both golfers made par at the closing beast, and Bennett had the Havermeyer trophy firmly in his grasp.

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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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1 Comment

  1. Bob

    Aug 23, 2022 at 1:08 am

    RIP Tom Weiskopf.

    Shame on the WGHOF. Couples in, Weiskopf not. On what planet? Best courses of any player turned architect, even Nicklaus. Would have won 12 more majors if not for the Nicklaus era – 6 on merit, 6 more on increased confidence. Misunderstood, outspoken, told the truth even if unpopular.

    RIP my friend.

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News

Morning 9: Rory: I’m not joining LIV | Masters ratings | Nelly: We just need a stage

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco.

For comments: [email protected]

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans, as we gear up to this week’s RBC Heritage.

1. Rory: I’m not going to LIV

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach…McIlroy said neither he nor his agents have ever discussed a potential deal to lure him to the LIV Golf League, which is being financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).

  • “I honestly don’t know how these things get started,” McIlroy told Golf Channel while on the practice range at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina, the site of this week’s RBC Heritage. “I’ve never been offered a number from LIV, and I’ve never contemplated going to LIV. Again, I think I’ve made it clear over the past two years that I don’t think it’s something for me.
  • “It doesn’t mean that I judge people who have went and played over there. I think one of the things that I have realized over the past two years is that people can make their own decisions for whatever they think is best for themselves, and who are we to judge them for that? But personally, for me, my future is here on the PGA Tour, and it’s never been any different.”
Full piece.

2. Masters ratings down

Yahoo’s Jay Busbee…”Ratings for the full Masters week are now out, and 2024’s version ranks as the lowest since the COVID-impacted years of 2020 and 2021. There was a brief moment when four players shared the lead at the 2024 Masters, but Scottie Scheffler took care of business quickly enough and strolled to what qualifies as an “easy” Masters victory — a four-stroke triumph that wasn’t in doubt for most of the second nine.”

  • “Perhaps as a result, Sunday’s final round averaged 9.59 million viewers on CBS, according to Sports Media Watch, a 22.8% decline from last year’s 12.06 million. Scheffler’s win two years ago averaged 10.17 million viewers. Worth noting: Sunday’s final round was down 20 percent against last year’s victory by Jon Rahm, but last year’s final round fell on Easter Sunday, which created a significantly higher out-of-home percentage of viewers — 21 percent in 2023, as opposed to 9 percent this year.”
Full piece.

3. Chevron gets purse boost

Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…“Chevron’s commitment to the LPGA went a step higher on Tuesday with the announcement of a purse increase to $7.9 million in 2024. The move brings the tour’s first major in line with the purses of other championships. The U.S. Women’s Open purse of $12 million paces the tour, with the KPMG Women’s PGA second at $10 million. The AIG Women’s British Open purse checks in at $9 million while Amundi Evian is $6.5 million.”

  • “Chevron, which moved the event away from Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California, to Texas, last year, has increased the purse by $4.8 million since assuming title sponsorship in 2022. The company has committed to title sponsor the event through 2029.”
Full piece.

4. Shipley on “notegate”

Alex Myers for Golf Digest…”So what was up with “notegate”? During his hilarious spot with McAfee, Shipley reiterated there was no note from Woods, and that he was only looking at the moderator because he was so confused where the question was coming from:

  • “I looked over at the moderator like ‘Who the hell is this guy?'” Shipley says in the clip. “Because it just didn’t happen. I was so confused and so shocked in the moment.”
Full piece.

5. Nelly: We just need a stage

Iain Carter for the BBC…”Korda is the first American to win four consecutive tournaments on the LPGA since Lopez won five straight 46 years ago. This astonishing streak made the then rookie front page material for Sports Illustrated.

  • “Korda’s feats have yet to transcend the golfing village, and perhaps that suits her as she “tries to stay in my bubble”. But the American Solheim Cup player does recognise that more could be done to tell the increasingly compelling story of women’s golf.”
  • “I feel like we just need a stage,” she told reporters here at Carlton Woods just north of Houston. “We need to be put on TV.
  • “I feel like when it’s tape delay, or anything like that, that hurts our game. Women’s sports just needs a stage. If we have a stage we can show up and perform and show people what we’re all about.”
Full piece.

6. Photos from the 2024 RBC Heritage

  • Check out all of our galleries from this week’s event!
Full piece.
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Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2024 RBC Heritage

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GolfWRX is on site this week at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island for the RBC Heritage. Plenty of golfers who competed in the Masters last week will be making the quick turnaround in the Lowcountry of South Carolina as the Heritage is again one of the Tour’s Signature Events.

We have general albums for you to check out, as well as plenty of WITBs — including Justin Thomas and Justin Rose.

We’ll continue to update as more photos flow in from SC.

Check out links to all our photos, below.

General Albums

WITB Albums

Pullout Albums

See what GolfWRXers are saying and join the discussion in the forums.

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Morning 9: Aberg: I want to be No. 1 | Rory’s management blasts ‘fake news’ reports

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco.

For comments: [email protected]

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans, as we look back at the Masters while looking ahead to this week’s RBC Heritage.

1. Shane Ryan: Appreciate Scottie’s greatness

Golf Digest’s Shane Ryan…”This is what’s called generational talent, and we haven’t seen it in almost 20 years. Steve Stricker read the tea leaves when he picked Scheffler for the 2021 Ryder Cup—a decision that was richly rewarded—and starting in 2022, he was off to the races. The only hiccup was a few putting woes last year, but even that only served to highlight how remarkable his ball-striking had become—instead of winning, he was finishing third. When he fixed the putting, with help from a new coach and a bit of equipment advice from Rory McIlroy, he soared yet again to the top of the game, but this time he seemed more indomitable, more inevitable, more brilliant.”

  • “The sustained success of the last three years has officially made him the best professional golfer since Tiger Woods, a conclusion supported by analytics, the eye test, and every other metric you could dream up. With fewer majors, he has nevertheless leaped past Spieth, McIlroy, and Koepka in terms of pure ability. He doesn’t have their legacy, yet, but if we’re talking about peak performance, he’s already surpassed them.”
  • “He’s so much better than everyone else, which is a sentiment that is both commonplace—I saw it on Twitter over and over again—and revelatory. It’s the thing you say because there is nothing else to say. You’re left with the wild truth, which words can describe but never capture.”
Full piece.

2. Aberg: I want to be No. 1

The AFP’s Simon Evans…”The 24-year-old finished second, four strokes behind winner Scottie Scheffler, after carding a final round 69 but he certainly won many admirers among the patrons at Augusta National and beyond.”

  • “And his performance has filled Aberg with self-belief.”
  • “Everyone in my position, they are going to want to be major champions. They are going to want to be world number one, and it’s the same for me, that’s nothing different,” he said.
  • “It has been that way ever since I picked up a golf club, and that hasn’t changed. So I think this week solidifies a lot of those things are there, and we just need to keep doing those things and put ourselves in positions to win tournaments, ” he said.
Full piece.

3. Homa’s honest answer on double bogey

Golf Channel staff report…”But Homa’s tee shot at No. 12 bounded off the putting surface and into a bush. After a healthy search, Homa found his ball and had to take an unplayable lie. He made double bogey, effectively ending his bid at a maiden major title.”

  • “Homa tied for third, seven shots back of Scheffler. Asked about what happened on the fateful 9-iron, Homa offered two replies.”
  • “The honest answer is, it didn’t feel fair. I hit a really good golf shot, and it didn’t feel fair. I’ve seen far worse just roll back down the hill,” he said.
  • “The professional answer is, these things happen.”
Full piece.

4. Harbour Town ahead

RBC Heritage field notes, via Adam Stanley of PGATour.com…”Scottie Scheffler is, for now, set to tee it up at the RBC Heritage. He was clear to say that if his wife, Meredith, would go into labor during the Masters, he would head home to be with her, so it’s safe to assume that same rule will stand at Harbour Town. Scheffler has not shot an over-par round all season and has three victories (and one runner-up). He made his debut at Harbour Town last year and finished T11… Matt Fitzpatrick looks to become the first golfer to go back-to-back at the RBC Heritage since Boo Weekley in 2007-08. Fitzpatrick, a playoff victor last year, has two top-10 finishes this season. He has just one missed cut at Harbour Town over the last six years and he finished fourth in 2021 to go along with two more top-15 results in a three-year span (T14 in 2018 and 2020)…”

  • “Jordan Spieth is hoping to continue his run of fine play at Harbour Town after a playoff loss last season and a playoff win the season prior. Spieth has five top-25 finishes at the RBC Heritage in seven starts… Justin Thomas earned a spot in the field after remaining in the top 30 (he’s No. 30) in the Official World Golf Ranking despite a missed cut at the Masters. Thomas, who finished T25 last season at Harbour Town, has two top 10s on the season… Ludvig Åberg, who is tops in the Aon Next 10, will head to Hilton Head for the first time. Åberg has had a fabulous 2024 campaign thus far with four top 10s (including two runner-up results) and is knocking on the door for a victory… Hideki Matsuyama was the only eligible player who did not commit to the RBC Heritage, while Viktor Hovland – after a missed cut at the Masters – withdrew from the field on Saturday.”
Full piece.

5. Reed’s caddie’s needle

Our Matt Vincenzi…”After a particularly bad drive during his third round on Saturday, Reed’s caddie, Kessler Karain, also his brother-in-law, made a snide but factual comment to Patrick.”

  • “Your driving has cost us a lot this week,” Karain remarked.
  • “Reed didn’t disagree and told reporters after the round that there was nothing good about his round…
  • “A reporter then asked: “It’s a good thing he’s a family member, right?”
  • “Yeah, exactly. I’d probably be dragging him up that last hole,” Reed said. “I swear.Just what you want to hear as you’re looking at the ball in the tree, and he goes, ‘You need to drive it better.’ Thanks, Kessler. I appreciate it. Great words of wisdom. Drive it better.”
  • “This may be the last major for Reed for a while, as the 33-year-old has not been invited nor qualified for next month’s PGA Championship.”
Full piece.

6. LIV wants Hovland next?

Ewan Murray for the Guardian…”Rising speculation that Viktor Hovland will be the next high-profile golfer to be coaxed to the LIV tour will increase the need for Ryder Cup Europe to apply a simple qualification process for golfers on the Saudi Arabian-backed circuit.”

  • “LIV is forging ahead with plans for 2025, which include new events and the recruitment of more players from the PGA and DP World Tours. The rate of turnover is likely to be increased by the number of golfers who had three-year contracts when joining LIV, which will expire at the end of 2024.”
  • “Chatter on the range at the LIV event in Miami this month and again at the Masters largely surrounded Hovland, the world No 6 who starred for Europe in the defeat of the United States in Rome last year. Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton, who also played in that team, have subsequently joined LIV. Hovland missed the cut at the Masters and promptly withdrew from the PGA Tour’s $20m stop in Hilton Head this week.”
Full piece.

7. Rory’s management: LIV reports are ‘fake news’

Brian Keogh for the Irish Independent…”A report that Rory McIlroy was on the verge of an $850million move to LIV Golf has been slammed as “fake news” by his management.

“Fake news. Zero truth,” McIlroy’s manager Sean O’Flaherty said in an email.

London financial paper “City AM” reported today that sources have told them that McIlroy “could” join LIV Golf

The paper reported that “two separate sources have told City AM that they believe a deal is close. It is claimed that LIV Golf chiefs have offered world No2 McIlroy an eye-watering $850m to join, plus around two per cent equity in the competition.”

Full piece.
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