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Tour Rundown: Surprise USWO winner | Sepp surges

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I know it’s not the tour, and I know it’s a shell of its 1912 US Open self, but a 59 in a legitimate tournament is a thing. The Erie County (NY) Amateur was played at the course where I learned the game, and a collegiate named Ryan Edholm posted 59 on Sunday, to win by eight shots. I was glued to the feed, and jumped up when I saw them finalize the score.

To the tours! The USGA celebrated its Women’s Open championship at storied Pebble Beach Golf Links this week, and the USA was treated to prime-time golf viewing for a second consecutive, national championship. Neither the competitors nor the golf course disappointed, and it is a pleasure to provide an extended look at the tournament. The PGA Tour visited TPC Deere Run in Illinois, while the DP World Tour found a home in Denmark. Let’s have a look at how each event concluded, with this week’s Tour Rundown.

USGA/LPGA: Corpuz arrives from nowhere to claim United States Open title

If you hurry up and check Allisen Corpuz’s wiki page, you’ll see the one professional win on her record is the Hawaii Women’s State Open. Venerable an event as it is, it’s not an LPGA-calibre title, nor even a Symetra Tour win. Even more important, she won that event when she was all of 16 years of age, so she wasn’t even a pro! After schooling at Southern Cal and a stint on the 2021 USA Curtis Cup side, Corpuz turned pro, and earned two top-three finishes in her first two years on tour.

Forgive us for a moment if we talk about that other wain who won her first tour event in her first tour start. Yup, Rose Zhang was at Pebble Beach, but she only finished one-over par and only tied for 9th position. What did Corpuz do? She won the whole thing, lock, stock and barrel. Corpuz began the week 69-70 to not only make the cut, but earn herself a final-pair spot with Bailey Tardy on Saturday. While Tardy struggled to a 75, AC held it together and posted a fine 71. Her reward was a second-consecutive day in the final duo, this time with the on-fire Nasa Hataoka. Hataoka delivered a 66, the only score below 70 on the day. That’s one hot round.

Hataoka had been here before. She finished runner-up in two other major championships, and was eager to shelve the mantel of almost and replace it with certain. Sunday was not her day, however, and she struggled to five bogeys and a birdie, a 76, and a tie for fourth with the aforementioned Bailey Tardy. Tardy came back from her 75 with a 73, earning a top-five major placement.

Back to Corpuz. The lass from Honolulu made six birdies on the day. She began with stroke-savers on holes one and three, then made bogeys at four and nine, along with another birdie at seven. She turned in one-under 35, and began to put distance between herself and the field. Then came Charley Hull, and things began to change.

Hull found the same flint that Hataoka encountered on day three. The English pro made birdie at four of her first five holes, and turned in 32. Three birdies against one bogey on the inward half gave her a 66, the low round of the day. Her reward was a tie for second spot with another Sunday Queen, Jiyai Shin of Korea. Shin signed for 68 and reached the same, 6-under par total as Hull. No one, on this day, would track Allisen down.

Corpuz put the doubters to bed with three birdies over the first seven holes on the vaunted, back nine at Pebble Beach. A meaningless bogey at 17 meant that her margin of victory was reduced to three strokes. After safely walking the final fairway, Corpuz was an LPGA tour winner, a major champion and, in all likelihood, a member of Team USA in Spain’s 2023 Solheim Cup matches.

PGA Tour: Straka survives double bogey at last for second tour title

Josef Straka (no intel on how he earned the nickname “Sepp”) had golf social media ablaze this afternoon. He turned for home in 28 shots, and still had more in the tank. His front-nine eagle and five birdies were followed by four consecutive chirps from 11 to 14. Folks were talking 60, 59, 58. All that the boy from Austria had to do, was dock the boat. Well, he didn’t, finding water on 18 and a double bogey. He finished four days in Silvia at 21-under par, and didn’t think for a moment, that it would hold up.

Until it did. Neither Brendan Todd nor Alex Smalley could close with anything spicey, and Ludvig Aberg started too far back for his 63 to give him a shot. Todd and Smalley tied for second at 19-under par, with the precocious Aberg another stroke back, tied for 4th with Adam Schenk. It was Straka in the end, whose final-round 62 held up. Now, it’s off to Scotland for many, as preparations begin for the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.

DP World Tour: Second Chance for Højgaard in home country

Rasmus Højgaard did nothing right down the stretch of the Made in HimmerLand stop on the DPWT. He finished well ahead of the leaders, and began to applaud his home-country fans for their presence. Then, Nacho Elvira and Richie Ramsey forgot how to finish the tournament, and just like that, Højgaard found himself in a playoff with Elvira for the title. We’ll get to the playoff (all six holes of it) in a moment. How did we get there?

Højgaard had himself a weekend, to the tune of 65-64. For a time, he thought that his 129 over the final two days would earn him a top-three finish, until tires started falling off. Elvira played his final six holes in plus-one, with three bogeys against two birdies. Robert MacIntyre stood three-under on the day, when his tee shot on 14 nearly went OOB. Six shots later, he posted a triple bogey on his card, added another bogey, and missed overtime by two shots. For Richie Ramsay, the knife cut the deepest. He had quietly worked his way to the top spot, only to see all his day’s efforts undone with a watery double at the 72nd hole. He finished solo third.

So it was left to the astonished Højgaard and the Spanish Elvira, to settle matters on the 18th hole … and the 18th hole … and the 18th hole again. Six times they returned to the final teeing ground, and five times, each man made par. On the sixth go-round, Elvira cracked and Rasmus claimed his fourth DPWT title. Three have come in playoffs — Luke Donald, you paying attention?

 

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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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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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