Front 9-Edition 17
1. The caddy carnage on the PGA Tour continued this week when Adam Scott showed up at the WGV Bridgestone event without Steve Williams. Scott and Williams have had a unique relationship for the last 3 years where Williams would caddy for the former World #1 in the big events only and David Clark would caddy all the other events. Scott announced at the Bridgestone that Clark would be on the bag for the foreseeable future. This comes on the heels of another former World #1, Rory McIlroy parting ways with his long-time looper, J.P. Fitzgerald after the Open Championship and replacing him with childhood friend Harry Diamond whose maiden event as McIlroy’s full-time caddy was also at the WGC. Both of these high profile splits followed the biggest shocker of them all when Phil Mickelson and Jim “Bones” McKay parted ways a month ago after 25 years together.
2. The Ricoh Women’s British Open turned into a thriller. Five years ago at the Kraft Nabisco Championship (now the ANA), In-Kyung Kim missed a 14 inch putt on the final hole that would have won her the tournament. It stunned both her and the millions of fans watching around the world. With a 3-day total of 17-under par, the now 29 year old Kim took a 6 shot lead into the final round at the Kingsbarns Golf Links in St. Andrews, Scotland. On this day, Kim would prevail and shot a 1-under par 71 to win by two shots over England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff. It was Kim’s third win in the last two months (more than any other player this year) and offers redemption for a player who had been haunted by one tiny putt.
3. NBA superstar Steph Curry played in the Web.com Tour’s Ellie Mae Classic this week and acquitted himself well. The two-time League MVP, shot matching rounds of 4-over par 74 to miss the cut but did finish in front of 4 players. A 2-handicap who has a passion for the game, Curry displayed a wizardly short game extracting himself from some difficult situations around the greens and drew the biggest crowds of the week.
4. The LPGA Tour has done a terrific job of resurrecting itself for the last 7 years after the disastrous reign of former Commissioner, Carolyn Bevins. Many people think that their newly implemented Dress Code are reminiscent of some of the disastrous decisions that were made on Bevins’ watch (and there were a lot). The Tour announced earlier last week that they would no longer allow: “Plunging necklines, skirts, skorts or shorts that do not sufficiently cover a player’s “bottom area”, racerbacks without a mock or regular collar, joggers and leggings, unless they are worn under a skort or shorts”.
5. The WGC-Bridgestone had 49 of the World’s top 50 players in the field at venerable Firestone CC and a winner worthy of such a stellar field. 25 year old Hideki Matsuyama closed with a course record tying 9-under par 61 to win by 5 shots over Zach Johnson. This is Matsuyama’s 3rd win of the season and his 5th career win on the PGA Tour (the most for any Japanese player) and vaults him to the top of the FedEx Cup points.
6. The top 8 automatic qualifiers for the U.S. Solheim Cup were determined after the Ricoh Women’s Open. Those players on the team are Lexi Thompson, Stacy Lewis, Gerina Piller, Cristie Kerr, Jessica Korda, Danielle Kang, Michelle Wie and Brittany Lang. The 9th and 10th players were those with the highest World rankings; Brittany Lincicome and Lizette Salas. The remaining two players selected by U.S. Captain, Julie Inkster were Austin Ernst and rookie Angel Yin.
7. The players not playing (is a select field event) the WGC-Bridgestone, were in Reno, Nevada for the Barracuda Championship, which is a Modified Stableford event (see shoot-out). At the end of regulation there were three players tied with 44 points; Chris Stroud, Greg Owen and rookie Richy Werensk. When 35 year Old American Stroud made a birdie-4 on the second hole of the play-off to best the left-handed Werensk he became a winner for the first time on the Tour.
8. Golf can be a very fickle game. In May Ariya Jutanugarn became the #1 player in the world. In Friday’s second round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open, the defending Champion took six shots to extract herself from the greenside bunker on the par-3 12th hole, en route to a sextuple bogey 9. This is the third straight Major that Jutanugarn has missed the cut as she falls to #3 in the world.
9. Sergio Garcia is really enjoying his Masters Green Jacket. The 37 year-old Spaniard wore it when attending Wimbledon a few weeks ago and then at his wedding last weekend. No, not at the actual wedding ceremony but for his first dance with new wife, Angela Akins. El Nino is all grown up now and it is safe to assume he is in a very good place indeed.