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Tour Rundown: Ko takes 2 titles | Rahm & Rory | Svensson

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It’s rare that the PGA Tour gets third billing in a Tour Rundown, but when the LPGA and DP World Tour contest their respective tour championships, it’s fitting. The best of the LPGA gathered in Naples at Tiburon for the CME Group Tour Championship, while the DP World Tour reunited in Dubai for the World Championship. The PGA Tour gathered one last time in 2022, this time in coastal Georgia.

Two overnight leaders preserved their advantage to lay claim to the top prize. In the third event, an unproven commodity broke through for a career-changing win. In other words, just another week among the world’s finest golfers. Sometimes, things are perfect.

LPGA: Lydia Ko claims two titles at Tiburon

There have been three eras of Ko, so bear with us as we elaborate them. During the youthful age, Ko won 14 times from 2012 to 2016. No, that’s not a typo. From 2016 to 2018, Ko undertook swing changes and did not record a victory until April of the later year. From 2018 to 2021, Ko again went winless, although part of that dry spell had to do with a little thing called Covid. Since April of 2021, Ko has won four times, including three in 2022. Her latest title came this weekend, at the CME Group Tour Championship. Ko couldn’t have picked a better time for win number three.

Lydia Ko entered the week ranked first in the season-long Race to the CME Globe. Throwing out all the scenarios that would have ensured the title, Ko focused on winning the tournament at Tiburon, in Naples. Round one brought a 65 and the lead, and Friday’s 66 kept her atop the ladder. Leona Maguire of Ireland posted the week’s low round (63) on Saturday and made up seven shots on the leader, who slumped mildly to a 70. Neither golfer was able to separate from the other on Sunday, but Ko remained cool throughout. No other competitor from the field made the necessary move on day four, and the resolution came down to the final pair.

After posting nine birdies against zero bogeys on Saturday, Maguire was only able to make two birdies on Sunday. Had she made no bogeys, she might have tied Ko, but a pair of lost strokes came her way. Lydia Ko made a pair of bogeys on par-five holes, but amassed four birdies on the day, including two during the closing stretch. Ko reached 17-under par on the week, and claimed a pair of titles on November’s third Sunday of 2022.

DP World Tour: Rahm and Rory carry off the hardware

Three massive names came into round four at Dubai, with an opportunity to etch a statement into the 2022 season on the DP World Tour. US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick, Series leader Rory McIlroy, and 2019 Dubai champion Jon Rahm sought excellence and glory on Sunday, and Rahm delivered. The Basque bull posted a trio of birdies on the opening holes and withstood back-nine challenges from Tyrrell Hatton and Alex Noren to secure a two-shot win. The title was Rahm’s fifth Rolex Series win and third at the Earth course at Dubai.

Looking back, both McIlroy and Fitzpatrick needed to be near perfection to challenge Rahm on Sunday, but each stumbled early to lose his chance. McIlroy had six birdies on the day, but two bogeys on the outward nine were enough to sink his ship. Fitzpatrick made three bogeys and a double from the sixth to the 12th holes, enough to guarantee that his walk home would not be the one he imagined.

The DP World Tour will begin its 2023 season with a pair of late-November events, before going on hiatus. Contested simultaneously will be the Joburg Open in South Africa, and the Australian PGA Championship. Both events will recognize a champion on Sunday the 27th.

PGA Tour: Svensson flies the Maple Leaf in honor of first Tour title

The final day and half at Sea Island was played in challenging conditions. Wind and cold added layers to torsos and heads, and pushed shots sideways. The third-round leaders had a tough go of it on Sunday, tumbling to 10th and 21st positions. With space to snare the title, names like Callum Tarren, Brian Harman, and Sahith Theegala climbed into contention. That trio would ultimately tie for 2nd place at 17-under par.

The heroics of the day were reserved for Canada’s Adam Svensson. After 70 starts on tour, beginning in 2015, Svensson broke through for his first PGA Tour victory. He did so by turning in a clean card, scratching 12 pars and six birdies into the cardboard. Svensson began the week with a 73, but caught fire in round two with 64. He followed that with a 62 on Saturday, and closed with 64 on Sunday. Birdies at 16 and 17 gave him a two-shot cushion on the way to the clubhouse. Fairway-green-two putts followed, and Svensson had his two-year exemption and a silver cup for the shelf.

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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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WOTW: Viktor Hovland’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver in Khaki Green

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Viktor Hovland successfully defended his Hero World Challenge title this weekend. Hovland fired a final round 69, giving him a 2 stroke win over Scottie Scheffler. After the round, Victor received his trophy from Tiger Woods and on his wrist was a green Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver.

WOTW Specs
Name: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver
Reference: 15720ST.OO.A052CA.01
Limited: No
Date: 2021 – Present
Case: Stainless Steel
Bezel: Stainless Steel
Dial: Khaki Green “Méga Tapisserie”
Size: 42mm
Movement: Calibre 4308, 32 Jewels
Power Reserve: 60 Hours
Glass: Saphire Crystal
Waterproof: 300 Meters
Bracelet: Khaki Green Rubber Strap
Price: $29,000 (~$35,000)

Audemars Piguet has been making the Royal Oak Offshore line of watches since 1992 as the larger and more capable version of the iconic Royal Oak. The larger cases, bezels, and straps give the Offshore a stronger look and stand out more on the wrist. The Offshore Diver line was introduced in 2010 and was the first Audemars Piguet watch to be ISO certified.

The case on the Offshore Diver is 42mm and made from a solid block of stainless steel but it does sit tall on the wrist at around 14mm thick. The caseback on the new Offshore Diver features a large display window, made from sapphire crystal, that allows you to view the mechanical movement inside. The caseback is held in place by 8 screws and is sealed to give the Diver a 300 meter water resistance rating. On the right side of the case is the tradition screw-down crown, finished in black ceramic and ping gold, that is used to set the time and day on the watch. The second crown sits at 10 o’clock and it is used to to set the inner rotating bezel. This bezel is around the dial and can be used for timing during dives. On top of the case is the legendary octagon Royal Oak bezel that sits on a large rubber gasket and is held in place by 8 hex screws. Under the sapphire crystal is a Khaki Green dial the the Royal Oak Offshore’s Méga Tapisserie texture. Méga Tapisserie is a sequence of raised squares with a matte finish. The hour markers and hands are made from pink gold and filled with larger amounts of luminescent material for easy reading underwater. A date is located at 3 o’clock and has a magnifying cyclops lens integrated into the glass.

Inside the stainless steel armor is a self-winding mechanical movement that was designed and built in-house by Audemars Piguet in 2021. The Calibre 4308 is an upgraded movement with a date that moves to the next day instantly a new setting mechanism for added durability. The 4308 contains 234 individual parts, offers the wearer 60 hours of power reserve and features an oscillating rotor made from solid 22k pink gold. That rotor is then given a dark grey finish and perfectly hand polished.

Holding this dive watch on Viktor’s wrist is a Khaki Green rubber strap with a stainless steel pin buckle. You are able to quickly change out the strap with quick release buttons on the lugs and pin buckle. Each strap then has steel latches built into them to snap into the lugs and pin buckle. Audemars Piguet makes plenty of $600+ rubber and leather options to dress up, or down, your Offshore Diver.

These Royal Oak Offshore Divers are gaining popularity and at one time pretty easy to get your hands on. This isn’t the case currently and if you can get one at your local Audemars Piguet dealer for the $29,000 retail price, consider yourself lucky. On the secondary market you can expect to add around a $6,000 premium to that retail price.

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Morning 9: Hovland repeats at Hero | Historic Aussie Open | ‘Project Wedge’

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco and Matthew Vincenzi.

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

December 5, 2022

Good Monday morning, golf fans, as Viktor Hovland survived a late wobble to once again win the Hero World Challenge.

1. Hovland repeats at Hero

Cameron Morfit for PGATour.com…”The ending was tense, but the result was the same.”

  • “Viktor Hovland, who carried a five-shot lead into the back nine Sunday, survived a shaky finish and shot a final-round 69 to edge Scottie Scheffler (68) by two at the Hero World Challenge at Albany.”
  • “…Both players bogeyed the 18th hole, Hovland rolling in a 20-foot putt after hitting his second in the hazard from an awkward lie on the lip of a bunker. “When you’re standing there with a two-shot lead, that’s like the last thing you can do,” he said.”
  • “Scheffler couldn’t capitalize. Needing a birdie, he lost his approach into the waste bunker right of the green and also made bogey. After losing the world No. 1 ranking to Rory McIlroy at THE CJ CUP in South Carolina in October, he would have regained it with a win at the Hero, which provides world ranking points but not FedExCup points.”
Full piece.

2. (Simultaneous!) Australian Open winners

Evin Priest for Golf Digest…”The prize money was small, but the stage was massive as the Australian Open pulled off the historic first of running a men’s and women’s national championship simultaneously on the same courses. And the payoff for Adrian Meronk’s victory in men’s tournament will be far more valuable than the $183,000 he bagged for defeating local hero Adam Scott in an exciting finish on Melbourne’s famed Sandbelt.”

  • “Meronk secured his second DP World Tour victory of the year when he overcame a one-shot deficit to former World No.1 Scott—Meronk’s final-group playing partner and “childhood idol”—with a four-under 66 on the final day at Victoria Golf Club. The native of Poland sealed the deal with an eagle from off the green at the par-5 18th, and at 14 under, he won by five over Scott (72).”
  • …”In the group proceeding Scott, Lee and Meronk coming up the 18th hole, reigning Women’s British Open champion Buhai (73, 12 under) defeated two-time Women’s British Open winner Jiyai Shin by one shot (75, 11-under). LPGA Tour star Green (74) was third at 10 under. Buhai joined seven-time major winner Karrie Webb (2002) and Yani Tseng (2010 and 2011) as the only women to complete the British-Australian double in the same year.”
Full piece.

3. “Brainwashed”

The AP’s Doug Ferguson…”Rory McIlroy thought his differences with Greg Norman over a Saudi-funded rival golf league had been patched up. That changed when Norman accused him of being “brainwashed” by golf’s ruling brass.”

  • “I thought, You know what? I’m going to make it my business now to be as much of a pain in his arse as possible,’” McIlroy said in a lengthy interview in the Sunday Independent in Ireland.
  • “…McIlroy and Tiger Woods have said Norman, the CEO and commissioner of LIV Golf, needs to be out of the picture for golf to have any chance of coming together. Norman said that won’t be happening.”
Full piece.

4. Meanwhile, in South Africa

AP report…”Thriston Lawrence held on to win his home South African Open despite a final-round 2-over 74 at the Blair Atholl course on Sunday.”

  • “Lawrence started the day with a 2-shot lead over Clement Sordet of France and despite extending his advantage to 5 strokes early on the back nine, the South African just managed to hold off his playing partner to finish with an overall 16-under 272.”
Full piece.

5. Tiger to Charlie: Copy Rory, not me

Colby Powell for Golf Channel…”Some were saying his swing looked like a hybrid of Tiger and Rory McIlroy’s swings, but the elder Woods wants it to look more like the current world No. 1.”

  • “I told [Charlie], ‘Don’t copy my swing. Copy Rory’s,’” Woods said during the third round of the Hero World Challenge.
  • “The 82-time PGA Tour winner joked that he can’t move like that anymore before lobbing more praise McIlroy’s way.”
  • “Have you ever seen Rory off balance in a shot?” Woods asked Dan Hicks and Paul Azinger. “Not ever. That’s one of the things my dad instilled in me, is that you should be able to balance and hold your finish until the ball rolls and stops. You can swing as hard as you want, but you need to have balance.”
Full piece.

6. “Project Wedge”

Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…”LIV Golf and its disruptive introduction into professional golf began as a concept named “Project Wedge,” according to a motion filed by the PGA Tour Friday in U.S. District Court.”

  • “Project Wedge” was the internal designation at the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for LIV Golf according to the motion, which seeks to have Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the PIF and Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund, deposed and comply with discovery in a lawsuit that was filed against the Tour by a group of players and LIV Golf earlier this summer.”
  • “Although Al-Rumayyan and the PIF are not named in the lawsuit, the fund has invested $2 billion and owns an estimated 85 percent of LIV, although the exact amount has been redacted in the court filings.”
Full piece.

7. Report: PGA Tour doesn’t believe Greg Norman is running day-to-day LIV operations

Alex Miceli for Sports Illustrated…”Greg Norman is CEO and commissioner of LIV Golf in name only, according to newly filed documents by the PGA Tour in federal court Friday.”

  • “In a reply filed in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, in support of its motion to compel the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) and Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan, the managing director of PIF, to comply with documents and deposition subpoenas, the Tour used documents obtained previously in discovery to paint a picture of who it believes really controls LIV Golf and its efforts to establish the league in the golf ecosystem.”
  • “According to the motion, Al-Rumayyan functions as LIV’s chief executive, meeting regularly with Norman, approving LIV’s budget, making key strategic decisions, participating in player recruitment in the U.S. and micromanaging LIV’s day-to-day operations.”
Full piece.

8. Hovland’s surprising record

9. Winning WITB

Driver: Ping G425 LST (9 degrees @8.4)

Shaft: Fujikura Speeder TR 661 TX (45.75 inches)

3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth Plus (15 degrees)

Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X

Utility: Titleist U510 (3)

Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI Hybrid 85 X

Irons: Ping i210 (4-PW)

Shafts: KBS Tour-V 120 X

Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 (50-12SS, 56-06SS), Ping Glide 2.0 (58-12TS)

Shafts: KBS Tour-V 130

Putter: Ping PLD DS 72 Prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride MCC

Full WITB.
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Morning 9: 4-way tie at Hero | Garcia defends Norman | Golfer has nose bitten off

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco and Matthew Vincenzi.

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

December 2, 2022

Good Friday morning, golf fans, as day two of the Hero gets underway at Albany with a four-way tie at the top.

1. Hovland part of historic tie for lead at Hero

Golfweek’s Adam Schupak…“Hero World Challenge defending champion Viktor Hovland picked up where he left off, shooting 3-under 69 on Thursday at Albany Golf Club to share the opening-round lead with a trio of players. The four-way tie for the lead is the most after any round in tournament history.”

  • On a warm, windswept day, Hovland continued his magic at the drivable par-4 14th, registering his fourth eagle of the hole in five attempts – and noted the one time he didn’t make eagle was a bogey.
  • “That green obviously is not the biggest green, but with how soft it is, if you land it on the green, you can keep it on the green whereas if it was really firm, you kind of have to land it up in the slope and stuff,” said Hovland, who nearly aced the hole.
Full piece.

2. Garcia defends Norman

Golfweek’s Riley Hamel…“Add Sergio Garcia as another player coming to Norman’s rescue. During an interview with the Spanish outlet Marca, Garcia had this to say: “They (Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy) say that Greg Norman has to go; and Monahan has to stay or go? It’s very easy to say those on the other side have to go. And those on your side? There are also people who have done things wrong.”

  • “You have to look at everything. Greg Norman is our CEO and we support him. We all wish we could come to an agreement. There are people who could have done wrong in both places, but it seems that there are only bad guys on one side.”
Full piece.

3. Golfer has nose bitten off in altercation

Again, Golfweek’s Riley Hamel…“Have you ever been upset with your playing partner over not giving you a short putt? Probably. …Have you ever bitten someone’s nose off for it? Probably not…If you have, get help.”

  • “Mark Wells, 51, of Biloxi, Mississippi, got into an altercation with his playing mate after a round of golf and went on to bite the other man’s nose off in a casino parking lot later in the day.
  • Wells was charged with felony mayhem but walked out of jail within an hour of booking after paying 10 percent of his $50,000 bond, WXXV-TV reported.”
  • “According to WXXV-TV, the nose was not found at the scene. The victim was taken to the hospital.”
Full piece.

4. No winter thaw in LIV, Tour tensions?

Gary Smits for Florida Times-Union…”The setting of the RSM Classic, the PGA Tour’s final fall event, has a serenity that can almost dissolve all cares.”

  • But a peaceful setting didn’t necessarily lend itself to thoughts of a peaceful resolution to the PGA Tour vs. LIV war.
  • “I’m not optimistic,” said PGA Tour Policy Board member Charley Hoffman when asked if the upcoming break in golf could give both sides a chance to breathe deep and reflect on any possibility for conciliation. “I don’t see how you partner with them at this point in time. They don’t have a sustainable product.”
  • Kevin Kisner, who will end his current term on the Policy Board at the end of the year, was even more blunt.
  • “No … I don’t think that’s the future,” he said.
Full piece.

5. Here’s how much the TikTok star who hit a golf ball into Grand Canyon will pay

KiMi Robinson for the Arizona Republic…“Sigmond received three federal violation notices – which are tickets issued by law enforcement departments for U.S. agencies such as the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service – and was charged with three Class B misdemeanors as detailed under Title 36 in the Code of Federal Regulations.”

  • “The three charges were for tossing items into the Grand Canyon, littering and creating hazardous conditions with disorderly conduct. She was only cited for disorderly conduct and tossing or throwing items into the canyon, which carry a maximum fine of $5,000 and six months in prison, according to a copy of the written record of the collateral forfeiture agreement that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona provided to The Arizona Republic, part of the USA TODAY Network. Baird said prior to Sigmond’s court date for cases for these, jail time is unlikely. “
  • “Sigmond was ordered to pay a $285 fine, which includes $60 in processing fees. A spokesman for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts confirmed to The Republic that the Central Violations Bureau received two payments of $155 and $130 from Katie Sigmond on Nov. 15.”
Full piece.

6. Tom Kim on meeting Tiger

Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…”But all of that might pale in comparison to his brush this week with Hero World Challenge host Tiger Woods.”

  • “Kim, whose youthful exuberance is infectious, was quick to point out following an opening 69 at Albany that left him tied for the lead with Sepp Straka and Collin Morikawa that, “officially,” he’d met Woods before.”
  • “The first time I actually met him was at the 2020 PGA Championship. I got in the field at Harding Park and I took a picture with him. Obviously the COVID year, so there was no fans to witness it, but it was the first I got to kind of meet him and take a picture but never really got to talk to him,” Kim admitted.
  • “But even a selfie with the 15-time major champion as evidence, that interaction at Harding Park was very much impromptu compared to this week’s introduction.”
Full piece.

7. Ready for the grind

Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…”One hundred players will tee it up this week at LPGA Q-Series, an eight-round grind that begins on Dec. 1 and ends Dec. 11. The first week will be contested at the RTJ Trail at Magnolia Grove in Mobile, Alabama, at the Crossings and Falls courses.”

  • “The field will be cut to top 70 and ties after the first week of competition. The second week of competition will take place at Highland Oaks Golf Course in Dothan, Alabama.”
  • “A total of 45 players will receive LPGA status in 2023. This is the first year that players were required to turn professional before entering Q-Series. A total of six players turned pro for this week: Nataliya Guseva, Minji Kang, Ashley Lau, Heather Lin, Valery Plata and Natthakritta Vongtaveelap.”
Full piece.

8. Why Corey Conners switched drivers for the first time in five years

Our Andrew Tursky writing for PGATour.com…”The Ping G400 LST driver – which was first released to the public in July 2017 – was also in the bag for his 2019 Valero Texas Open victory.”

  • “Conners told GolfWRX.com on Tuesday that he’s been through roughly 10 different G400 LST driver heads throughout his five years playing the model, but he finally found something better. Although he said that his former G400 LST gamer is “maybe even a touch faster” than the new Ping G430 LST driver, he found that the new G430 technology significantly increased consistency on off-center strikes.”
  • “Conners already was known as a straight driver. He ranked 20th in Driving Accuracy last season, but he could further increase that advantage thanks to the new driver.”
  • “At this year’s Presidents Cup, Conners revealed his secrets to success off the tee.”
  • “I think just having good rhythm has always been sort of a hallmark of my game and something that I focus on every week. … That allows me to hit the ball solidly, and usually it results in it going where I am looking,” he said. “I … just take some practice swings, try and feel the body moving in sync, (take) a few practice swings … with my right foot kind of behind me a little bit, feeling the body moving, club staying in front of the body, and that helps with my rhythm, as well.”
Full piece.

9. Hero World Challenge photos

  • Check out our photos from Albany.
Full Piece.
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