Back 9-Edition 16

May 7, 2017 -
  1. The European Tour unveiled a new format this weekend with the inaugural GolfSixes tournament. The event was played over two days and featured two-man teams representing their 16 respective countries but was nothing like tournament golf as we know it. The players played 6-hole matches and were mic’d up entering each match with blaring music. The competition included pyrotechnics, shot clocks and a long-drive competition. The winners were the Danish duo of Thorbjørn Olesen and Lucas Bjerregaard, who won the finals against the Australian team of Scott Hend and Sam Brazel.
  2. 75 players made the halfway cut at the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship this weekend. They were all within seven shots of second round leader, Francesco Molinari’s two day total of 6 under par but all 75 were capable of making a weekend move. World #1, Dustin Johnson, who has won 3 consecutive events but has been sidelined since having to withdraw before the first round of the Masters when he injured his back, made just such a move. With matching weekend rounds of 5-under par 67’s, Johnson came from just making the cut to leading in the clubhouse late on Sunday at 9-under par. Johnson was joined at 9-under by Pat Perez before unheralded 30-year old American Brian Harman, closed with two birdies to snatch an unlikely win.
  3. Two weeks removed from saying that he was hanging up his clubs, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers decided to start playing again. Rodgers played on a golf date with Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Kelly Rohrbach at Westchester Golf Course in Los Angeles a few days ago. Rodgers, who recently broke up with his longtime girlfriend, actress Olivia Munn, has wasted little time getting back in the swing of things. Rohrbach has some serious golf credentials, having played collegiate golf at Georgetown. No final scores were given.
  4. On Thursday, the PGA Tour announced that the President’s Cup would be returning to Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Victoria, Australia in 2019. This will be the third time that the venerable links courses on the Melbourne sand-belt have hosted the “we are trying to be a Ryder Cup” format since the event began being hosted around the world in 1998. Royal Melbourne was the site of the International side’s lone victory in the biennial US rout.
  5. 51-year old John Daly took a 1-shot lead into the final round of the PGA Tour Champions’ Insperity Invitational at The Woodlands in Texas. It was not a position that Daly is accustomed to (his last win was on the PGA Tour at the 2004 Buick Invitational) saying: ”It’s not a familiar place I’m in. It’s going to be great.” Despite stumbling with bogies on the 16th and 17th holes, Daly rolled in a clutch 5 foot putt for par on the closing hole to hold off Kenny Perry and Tommy Armour III and claim his first Champions Tour victory.
  6. Next week’s Players Championship will feature 147 players from around the world and arguably the best field in Championship golf. 48 of the world’s Top 50 players are entered, with the only two players absent being #25 Thomas Pieters and #27 Brandt Snedeker.
  7. The marquee matchup of the Lorena Ochoa match Play Championship in Mexico was the semi-final between world #3 Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn and US star Michelle Wie. Wie who has fallen to #65 in the world and has been winless since the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open, is slowly rounding back into form. Wie finished 6th in the season’s first Major three weeks ago at the ANA Championship and was tied for 13th at last week’s Volunteers of America Texas Shootout Presented by JTBC. Jutanugarn beat Wie handily 4 & 3 to reach the final but Wie’s improved form this year points to another renaissance for the enigmatic 27-year old one time wunderkind. Jutanugarn was matched against South Korea’s Sei Young Kim, the 2015 LPGA Rookie of the Year, in the final. Kim would prevail in a thrilling final match to win 1-up on the final hole and record her 6th career LPGA victory.    
  8. It has been 22 years since a player was penalized for slow play on the PGA Tour when Glen Day (whose nickname was “All Day” because of how slowly he went about his business) was penalized at the 1995 Honda Classic. At last week’s Zurich Classic, Brian Campbell and Miguel Angel Carballo wrote themselves into the record books for all the wrong reasons. The two-man team of Campbell and Carballo were hit with a one stroke penalty (after getting a second bad time when players are put on the clock) on the 14th hole in Thursday’s opening round.
  9. Playing in her second tournament since the debacle at the ANA Championship last month when a ridiculous 4-stroke penalty denied her a second Major Championship, Lexi Thompson was the runner-up at the World Ladies Championship Salonpas Cup in Japan. Attempting to win her second consecutive Salonpas Cup, Thompson finished 3 strokes behind winner, Ha Neul Kim.

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