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The Front 9-Edition 2

1.       Despite a disastrous quadruple bogey 7 on the par 3 11th hole in Saturday’s third round of the St. Jude Classic, PGA Tour rookie, Shawn Stefani, birdied 4 of his last 5 holes to shoot a 66 and lead the tournament. Very few players can recover from a setback like that and to do so on a course as difficult as the TPC at Southwind made his bounce back even more remarkable. Stefani faded in Sunday’s final round to finish 7th, but his play on Saturday was a harbinger of things to come.

2.       As if playing 36 holes on the final day at the Wegmans LPGA Championship wasn’t enough, the outcome was decided in a play-off. World #1 Inbee Park had let the tournament slip away in regulation play with a final round 3-over par, 75, while Scotland’s Catriona Matthew had sot a blistering final round of 68 to force a play-off with the Women’s game’s finest player. Park prevailed on the third extra hole in the play-off to capture her third Major Championship.

3.       A heartwarming Bird Golf story. A student of ours was recently driving in heavy traffic in Washington DC when a car pulled up next to him. The driver of the other car was frantically waving and pointing at the hat that he was wearing (the driver). Our student was wearing their Bird Golf hat. Turns out, the driver of the other car was also a Bird Golf alumni. Very cool!

4.       Morgan Pressel, who has been winless since her win at The Kraft Nabisco Championship in 2008, made a welcome return to form at the Wegmans LPGA Championship. Pressel held the lead for most of the first three rounds and began the final round tied with Inbee Park before fading slightly and finishing in a tie for third. 

5.       Second year PGA Tour player, Harrish English, won his first Tour event at Southwind. Big things have been predicted for the 23 year old English whose game has no weakness and who has already recorded several high finishes in a professional career that is only a year and a half old. After playing a sluggish front 9 on Sunday, English distinguished himself by playing the TPC’S difficult back 9 in 5 under par to win the tournament by 2 strokes over Phil Mickelson and Scott Stallings.   

6.       Much has been made of the US Open returning to storied Merion Golf Club later this week. Merion was the scene of Ben Hogan’s 1 iron on the 18th fairway that allowed him to win the 1950 US Open only 16 months after his horrific car crash. It was also where Lee Trevino won his second US Open after an 18-hole playoff with Jack Nicklaus in 1971. What often gets overlooked was the last time that the Open was played at Merion in 1981, when Australia’s David Graham played one of the most flawless rounds in Major Championship history. Beginning the final round 3 shots behind George Burns, Graham hit every green in regulation to tame Merion with a 67 in a virtuoso performance that gave him his second Major Championship.      

7.       Inbee Park has now won 6 of her last 22 starts on the LPGA tour and finished second in five of those other starts. There can be no doubt who is the best player in Women’s golf.

8.       South African David Frost held off Fred Couples for a one-stroke victory at Regions Tradition, the Champions Tour’s second major title of the year. Frost has won all over the world in his career and has long been regarded as one the game’s finest players, but the Traditions is his first Major Championship. 

9.       Michelle Wie continued with her improved play at the LPGA Championship and recorded her second consecutive top ten finish with a tie for ninth. Nothing could be better for the LPGA Tour than a winning Wie.