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Tour Rundown: Si Woo, Hero, FdO too

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Tour Rundown returns to #GolfWRX in 2023, and what a week to end the vacay. After the PGA Tour opened last week Kapalua’s Tournament of Champions, the journey continued on a different island at the Sony Open. In Puerto Rico, the best male amateur’s from Latin America chased a Latin America Amateur Championship and the invitations to the Masters and the Open Championship that traditionally accompany it. Most intriguing of all was a new team event, taking place in the Middle East, but featuring teams of golfers from Europe. It’s safe to say that waiting a week was worth the watch. Thanks for joining us for another year of Tour Rundown. Let’s lace up the kicks and run it all down!

Latin America Amateur Championship: FdO gives Argentina another title

Anyone who knows the southern cone of South America, knows that Chile and Argentina enjoy the greatest of rivalries. From wine to skiing, from fiestas to fútbol, the countries go at it. It must have been nightmarish for the Platenses to see Chile claim three of the first four LACC titles, and the accompanying Masters invitation. In 2020, just before the Pandemic, Argentina earned a title and, in 2023, the Albiceleste tacked a second title on the board, in record fashion.

Mateo Fernández de Oliveira joined compatriot Abel Gallegos as winners from Argentina, and he did so at Puerto Rico’s Grand Reserve Golf Club. FdO outplayed the field, thanks to 135 through 36 holes, followed by a stunning round of 63 on Saturday. His four-shot advantage through 54 holes was not followed by the slightest let-down. don Mateo’s Sunday 67 was second-low round of the day, and secured the same margin of victory over Mexico’s Luís Carrera.

Round one saw a 66 lead the pack, while Carrera jumped to the top after two days, thanks to twin 66s. From that point on, it was all Mateo FdO. The Arkansas Razorback finished as runner-up to Cayman Islands’ Aaron Jarvis in 2022, and knew what it would take to climb the mountain. On a beautiful day, on beautiful island in the Caribbean sea, Argentina’s pride joined the year of Messi and gave the Blue and White another champion. Next Stop: Augusta.

Hero Cup: Continental Europe claims first playing of Islands v. Mainland team event

In yet another move to bolster the European side for the biennial Ryder Cup matches, the Hero Cup made its debut in the United Arab Emirates. Ten-player teams from Great Britain & Ireland and Continental Europe, including playing captains Shane Lowry and Francesco Molinari, did battle over three days and three formats, at the eponymous golf club in Abu Dhabi.

What made this event even more unique, was the requirement that all team members compete in every match. Friday four balls (better ball in USA) were followed by two rounds of Saturday foursomes (alternate shot in USA.) Sunday concluded with ten singles matches, for 25 total points. Friday set the week’s tone, as CE took a 3-2 advantage, on the strength of two wins and two ties. The lone GBI win was earned by the duo of Seamus Power and Robert MacIntyre.

On Saturday morning, each side claimed two wins and settled for one tie, keeping the overall tally close. The afternoon saw the Continent claim three matches outright, against two for the GBI squadron. A two-point advantage meant that GBI would need to win six matches and tie a seventh, in order to claim the cup.

The top half of the order did its job for the islanders. Three matches were won by the English trio of Fleetwood, Hatton, and Wallace. From that point on, it was all Terra Firma. Meronk, Perez, Straka, and Migliozzi bested their GBI counterparts, and the Continental Europe group emerged victorious, 14.5 to 10.5.

PGA Tour: Sentry and Sony in back-to-back weeks in the Hawaiian islands

It’s nigh impossible to do a Tour Rundown with one event that’s close to, but not exactly, a major championship. Far better to wait a week and see what else the winds sweep by. After two weeks of trade wins, let’s have a look back at

Last week, Collin Morikawa gave us a display of golf through 54 holes. On the PGA Tour, at least, tournaments run 72 holes, and the California kid faced 18 more holes to earn a year-opening title. What transpired over the final five hours gave new meaning to the phrase this is why we play the game. On paper, it was game over. On Maui’s volcanic fairways, it was anything but.

Over the course of 18 holes, the two-time major champion watched the tournament escape his grasp. Not in one body blow, but in a series of small wounds that throbbed greater and greater. While Morikawa was struggling to a one-under 72, Jon Rahm was reminding the world of his ability to close a suitcase. Rahm peeled off nine birdies and an eagle, after opening the round with a bogey. The ultimate margin of victory was two shots, decided on holes 14 through 16.

Morikawa was on the ropes after three consecutive bogeys, while Rahm made up six shots with birdie-eagle-par. Professional golfers are blessed with short memories, or they don’t last for very long. Morikawa will need a quick neuralyzer blast from Agent J after this one.

This week, the traveling band of itinerant golfers moved over to O’ahu, and took aim at the Seth Raynor-designed, Waialae Country Club course. A number of holdovers remained from week one, but the majority of featured talent consisted of golfers looking for a breakthrough. Names like Buckley, Lipsky, Taylor, and Eckroat sat atop the board after three rounds, with the occasional Kirk and Kim giving chase.

On Sunday, Si Woo Kim gave chase to Hayden Buckley, the third-round leader. Buckley had played the back nine on Saturday in the oddest fashion: hole out for eagle on 10, bogey on 11, and ridiculous approach to 18 for near tap-in eagle, his second of the nine. Kim was out on Sunday in 32, on the strength of five birdies against two bogies. Buckley made birdie at the first, then reeled off eight consecutive pars to lose ground to his pursuer.

The back nine was nearly a flip. Kim made three birdies, including a chip-in at 17 and a four at the last. Buckley had three birdies against two bogies through 16 holes. One shot behind Kim, Buckley needed birdie at 17 or 18 to force extra holes. He had a run at the saved stroke on both holes, but a missed spike mark on 18 caused his put for four to bounce left, and that was that. The win was Kim’s fourth in ten years on tour, and his first since The American Express two years ago.

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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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Max Homa’s winning WITB: 2023 Farmers Insurance Open

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Driver: Titleist TSR3 (10 degrees, A1 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei 1K Black 65 TX

3-wood: Titleist TSR3 (16.5 degrees, C1 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue TR 8 X

7-wood: Titleist TSR2 (21 degrees, C1 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD XC 9 TX

Irons: Titleist T100S (4), T100 (5), Titleist 620 MB (6-9)
Shafts: KBS Tour $-Taper 130 X

Wedges: Vokey Design SM9 (46-10F, 50-12F, 56-14F, 60-04L)
Shafts: KBS TOUR $-Taper 130 X (46), KBS Hi Rev 2.0 125 S (56-60)

Putter: Scotty Cameron T-5.5 prototype

Ball: 2023 Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

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Morning 9: Ryder in front at Torrey | McIlroy-Reed showdown in Dubai? | Anthony Kim return talk

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco and Matthew Vincenzi.

For comments: [email protected]

January 27, 2023

Good Friday morning, golf fans.

1. Ryder leads Farmers by 3

AP report…”Sam Ryder extended his lead to three shots in the Farmers Insurance Open with a 4-under 68 in challenging wind in the second round Thursday on Torrey Pines’ South Course while Jon Rahm had an eagle and three straight birdies late in his 5-under 67 on the easier North Course to get under the cut line.”

  • “Ryder survived both the Santa Ana wind and the tougher South Course with just one bogey to reach 12-under 132 and take a three-stroke lead over Brendan Steele, who shot a 70 on the South Course. Tano Goya was two more shots back after a 67 on the North Course.”
  • “The Santa Ana wind blowing out of the desert and down the mountains raked the course most of the day, with gusts up to 30 mph. It sent leaves, branches and even a tumbleweed onto greens, and cardboard trash cans tumbling down hillsides.”
Full piece.

2. Rahm rallies for Farmers cut

Ryan Young for Yahoo…”For a long time on Thursday, it looked as if Jon Rahm’s hot streak was over.”

  • “Thankfully for the Spaniard, his quest for a third win in three starts is still alive.”
  • “Rahm snuck past the cut on Thursday at the Farmers Insurance Open, thanks largely to a huge eagle on his back nine after struggling through the first round and a half at Torrey Pines in San Diego.”
  • “He’s at 4-under for the week, eight shots back of the lead, with the projected cut at even par.”
Full piece.

3. In Dubai, potential McIlroy-Reed showdown shaping up?

4. Reed-McIlroy frostiness thawing?

James Corrigan for the Telegraph…”Without McIlroy’s generous advice, Reed would have been at Majlis Course six hours before he needed to be.”

  • “I woke up at 5am and was on my way to get a car to get here for my 7.40am tee-off time,” Reed explained. “I hadn’t seen that play had been suspended while they got all the water off the course after the storms. But when we were on steps of the hotel where we are both staying, Rory came up and said ‘you don’t have to go yet, we aren’t playing for a while’. ‘Ok, thanks,’ I said.”
  • “So, I went back to bed. It’s nice to think that this means that it’s all good again between me and Rory, but I was with my caddie and coach at the time, so he might have been telling them. Yet I’ve taken it as a little victory. It was nice to move on from all that today. I’ve seen they’ve labelled it ‘Teegate’, as if it was an assassination or something. It was built out of all proportion.”
Full piece.

5. Talking an Anthony Kim return in the New York Times

Our Matt Vincenzi…Despite having not played in over a decade, the golf world has an obsession with former PGA Tour star, Anthony Kim.

“Kim shined at the 2008 Ryder Cup, earning 2.5 points in the event which was tied for the second-best performance on the U.S. side. “AK” played with Phil Mickelson in fourball and was the first man out in Sunday singles matches where he defeated Sergio Garcia 5&4. At the time of the Ryder Cup, Kim was the number 10 ranked player in the world as a Tour rookie. He went on to win three times on Tour from 2008-2010.”

  • “After a New York Times piece on the fascinating story of Anthony Kim, he’s found himself back in the headlines.”
  • “According to Kim’s former caddie Eric Larson, the now 37-year-old hasn’t ruled out a return to the game. Larson had a recent phone call with Kim and asked if he’d be open to a deal with LIV Golf.”
  • “Larson told the New York Times, “He goes, ‘I don’t know. I really don’t know.’” Larson said. “I said, ‘Come on, man, get the old clubs out. Go out there and have some fun.’ And he starts laughing at me. He goes, ‘That’s what everybody wants me to do!’”
  • “Also in the piece was a quote from AK’s longtime swing coach Adam Schriber who said Kim still has “the same swing you remember”, after playing with him twice over the past two years.”
Full piece.
7. PGA Show

  • Check out all our photos from Orlando, below.
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Morning 9: Teegate | Rahmpage | JT on Saturday finish | PGA Show

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco and Matthew Vincenzi.

For comments: [email protected]

January 25, 2023

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans. It’s day 1 of the PGA Show in Orlando. Stay tuned to the front page, forums, and our social channels.

1. Teegate

Brian Keogh for the Irish Independent…”Patrick Reed threw a tee at Rory McIlroy in disgust after the world number one appeared to ignore his efforts to say hello at the Emirates Golf Club, according to reports.”

  • “The former Masters champion, who has moved to LIV Golf but continues to play DP World Tour events until an arbitration case being held in the UK in a fortnight decides on the Tour’s ability to suspend the rebels, saluted McIlroy’s caddie Harry Diamond without incident, according to the Spanish golf portal TenGolf.com.”
  • “Reed, whose defamation case against analyst Brandel Chamblee and Golf Channel was dismissed Friday by a federal judge in Florida, then approached McIlroy, who was on his hunkers at the time, looking at the ground.”
  • “Reed stood near McIlroy a few seconds with the intention of saying hello but McIlroy did not even turn his head towards him.”
  • “Reed insisted in saluting McIlroy but after getting no response, he gave up and walked away but not before putting his hand in his pocket and throwing a tee in McIlroy’s direction in disgust.”
Full piece.

2. JT praises Saturday finish

Colby Powell for Golf Channel…”Reviews about a Saturday finish on the PGA Tour are mixed, but Justin Thomas loved the change when it was implemented for the first time at last year’s Farmers Insurance Open.”

  • “It was incredible, I got to watch football on Sunday,” Thomas said. “I was ecstatic about it. Even so much so that I pushed the Tour that we do it during the entire playoffs because I love football and I love watching football.”
  • “While the Tour didn’t suddenly move every early-season tournament to a Saturday finish, the move seems to have stuck at the Farmers, which is played the same week as the NFC and AFC Championship games.”
Full piece.

3. Remembering JD at the Farmers in ’04

Max Schreiber for Golf Channel…”It had been a very bumpy road for Daly since his improbable victory at St. Andrews’ 1995 Open Championship, battling through more divorce and additional alcohol rehab.”

  • “But at the 2004 Buick Invitational, he ended a nine-year winless drought in typical Daly fashion.“
  • “Ranked No. 299 in the world at the beginning of the week, the two-time major champion, despite a final-round 75, found himself in a playoff with Chris Riley and Luke Donald.”
  • “On the first playoff hole, Daly hit a 100-foot bunker shot that landed just feet from the hole and he tapped in for birdie. Riley and Donald then missed both their birdie putts from inside 6 feet and Daly was once again back in the winner’s circle.”
Full piece.

4. Rahm approaching a Woodsian feat

Golfweek’s Adam Woodard…”The 28-year-old has won four of his last six events, including his last two starts on the PGA Tour at last week’s American Express and the season-opening Sentry Tournament of Champions two weeks prior. This week Rahm is in the Farmers Insurance Open field at Torrey Pines in San Diego and is looking for a rare three-peat.”

  • “If Rahm is able to win again, it’ll be the 19th time since 1997 that a player has won three straight Tour starts. But wait, what’s so rare about something that’s already happened 18 times over less than 26 years? According to stats guru Justin Ray, Tiger Woods accounts for 14 of the 18 trifectas.”
Full piece.

5. Enhancements to the PGA Tour’s Betting Integrity Program

PGATour.com staff report…”The PGA TOUR today announced two new agreements that will enhance monitoring capabilities as part of an expanded PGA TOUR Integrity Program. A new partnership with U.S. Integrity, paired with an extension of the TOUR’s existing relationship with Genius Sports, will provide the organization with best-in-class bet monitoring services through 2024.”

  • “U.S. Integrity is proud to partner with the PGA TOUR and assist with maintaining the integrity of its golf competition across the world,” said U.S. Integrity’s CEO and Co-Founder Matthew Holt. “U.S. Integrity’s mission is to provide conflict-free, best-in-class insights and compliance solutions to our clients. We are looking forward to working with the premier golf tour in the world, featuring the biggest names. All our partners are committed to the highest integrity standards, and they are no exception. These types of partnerships help ensure sports betting integrity and strengthen the unique and proprietary anomaly-detection tools we have developed at U.S. Integrity.”
  • “The PGA TOUR Integrity Program, established January 1, 2018, covers all facets of competition and operations on the Tours overseen by the PGA TOUR, including players and their support teams, all tournament staff and volunteers, all PGA TOUR employees and the PGA TOUR Policy Board.”
Full piece.

6. On notice

The AP’s Doug Ferguson…”The 28-year-old Spaniard has won four his last six starts worldwide over the last three months, including his two PGA Tour events this month on courses — Maui mountain, California desert — that couldn’t be more different.”

  • “He won in Spain by six shots and the DP World Tour Championship by two in the fall. He started the new year on the PGA Tour by closing with a 63 to overcome a seven-shot deficit against Collin Morikawa at Kapalua, and then holding off a spirited challenge from Thompson in The American Express.”
  • “Next up is the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, one of his favorite places even before he won the U.S. Open. Rahm won his first PGA Tour event at Torrey in 2017, and twice in the last three years he has missed a playoff by one shot.”
Full piece.

7. PGA Show

Full Piece.
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