This week’s installment of Tour Rundown was, literally, a weeklong affair. The Korn Ferry Tour concluded its Bahamma Breeze with a Sunday-Wednesday event. The PGA Tour went Wedneday to Saturday, to avoid an NFL playoff conflict. And the DP World Tour, owing to some urgent rains in the desert, was pushed to a Monday finish. In all, eight days of competition are featured below. That, friends, is a record for Tour Rundown. Beginning January 22nd and concluding January 30th, we bring you this week’s elongated Tour Rundown. Let’s have some man-bun fun!
Korn Ferry Tour: Silverman finds silver lining and claims Great Abaco Classic
Canada’s Ben Silverman stood atop the 18th tee with a three-shot advantage over closest pursuer Cody Blick. Let’s amend that to the 72nd tee. After a week’s effort, Silverman was a par-five hole away from claiming his first professional win in six year. Fifteen minutes later, Silverman wrote down a seven on his card, while Blick scratched a four on his. In nearly an eye’s blink, the two were tied and headed for a playoff. What chance did Silverman have?
Plenty, it turns out. The pride of the Maple Leaf gathered himself, kept the ball in play, and made par on the first playoff hole. When Blick found penalty trouble on two occasions, he could find no fewer than seven shots, and the tournament’s trophy belonged to Silverman. The winner admitted that he had gotten into his own head before closing the deal, Thinking that the tournament was his, focus went away and strokes slipped. After all was completed, Silverman had become the first sponsor’s exemptee to win on the Korn Ferry Tour in five year, and he was also the recipient of an honorary membership from the Great Abaco club.
PGA Tour: Homa claims sixth win and stakes claim to California Kid for the 2020s
Tiger Woods has been a front-runner throughout his storied career. Max Homa is a capitalizer. Homa has developed an innate sense for when the leaders are on the ropes, and it is then that he makes a move. Homa has won six times on tour, and five of those six wins have seen him follow a day-three in the 70s with a day-four in the 60s. His other win saw twin 65s on the weekend.
At dawn’s light, chatter around Torrey Pines centered on Jon Rahm winning yet again, or Sam Ryder holding on to win a PGA Tour title, to go with his Canadian and Korn Ferry tour tropies. Both Rahm and Ryder collapsed to 74 and 75 respectively, and the barn door was wide open for an unexpected winner. Collin Morikawa, Sahith Theegala, and Sungjae Im played themselves into the top five, but none could make enough birdies to reach the teens-under-par on the week. Making an impressive move was the ageless Keegan Bradley, who reached 11-deep with four birdies on the inward half. His attempt at a fifth fell short at the closing par-five hole, and it was Homa’s birdies at 16 and 18 that moved him two shots clear of Bradley.
DP World Tour: Rory opens calendar year with win for first time at Dubai
Rory McIlroy claimed a third title at Emirates Golf Club, but he did not make it easy on himself. Borrowing a page from Ben Silverman’s book (see above) McIlroy got into trouble off the 72nd tee at the Dubai Desert Classic. Unlike Silverman, McIlroy was able to lay up, pitch to about 25 feet, and drain the birdie putt for 19-under par. In doing so, he held off the charge of the ersatz Patrick Reed, who reached 18-under with birdie at the last.
McIlroy flirted with water at the last, but his errant drive found the last patch of dry rough. He wisely took his medicine and played to the fairway. His wedge was propre distance, but a bit wide left. His putter was spot on, however, and the last turn of the orb took it to the bottom of the hole, and victory. Lucas Herbert also closed fast, with 66 on day four, to assume the third position on the podium.