WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational
While the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational isn’t a major, there was quite a bit on the line at the penultimate tournament of the 2019 season. In addition to the $1.745 million first place prize and 550 FedEx Cup points, players are also competing in two season long competitions, the Wyndham Rewards Top 10 and Aon Risk Reward Challenge.
Brooks Koepka not only won the WGC-FedEx St. Jude, he also locked up the Wyndham Rewards and Aon Risk Reward Challenge, adding a $3 million bonus to his 2019 spoils.
The literal and metaphorical big man dominated the field on Sunday at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee. Playing in the final pairing and trailing Rory McIlroy by one stroke, it was obvious that once Brooks grabbed a piece of the lead, he wasn’t going to give it back.
While Webb Simpson and Marc Lieshman both made runs on Sunday to stay connected to Koepka, when the dust settled, they finished three and four shots behind Brooks, respectively.
Whatever your opinion is about Brooks Koepka and his perspective on what’s important and what isn’t, what he is doing is undeniably working.
These are the clubs Brooks Koepka used to win his 3rd PGA Tour event of the year. (As reported by PGATOUR):
TaylorMade M2 Tour HL 16.5°
Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 80TX
Nike Vapor Fly Pro 3-iron
Fujikura Pro 95 Tour Spec X
Titleist Vokey Design SM4 TVD 60-08M
Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shaft
Scotty Cameron T10 Select Newport 2
The PGA Tour featured an alternate-field event for the second week in a row. Montreux Golf & Country Club in Reno, Nevada, played host to the Barracuda Championship.
One unique thing about the game of golf is that it can be scored using various formats. However, in the end the goal is always the same, get the ball in the hole as few strokes as possible.
The format for the Barracuda Championship is a modified Stableford scoring system. Unlike traditional stroke play where the lowest score wins, the objective in modified Stableford is to get the highest score.
Points range from eight points for an albatross to negative three points for a double bogey. In this format, birdies carry twice the weight of a bogey, and therefore players are incentivized to play aggressively.
Collin Morikawa isn’t wasting anytime announcing his presence on the PGA Tour. After nearly locking down his first career victory a couple weeks ago at the 3M Championship, where fellow rookie phenom Matt Wolff sunk a putt from off the green for eagle on the 72nd hole to win, Morikawa’s wait is over.
In just his sixth start, Collin Morikawa is a PGA Tour winner. Morikawa’s +47 was 3 points better than runner-up Troy Merritt.
If you were at all worried about the state of the game and talent on the PGA Tour, don’t. This season has seen so many first time and rookie winners that the established guard is on notice. There are no easy fields and every player tees it up fearlessly.
Only time will tell how dominate this generation will become.
TaylorMade snapped up this talented young player as quickly as they could. Playing almost an exclusively TaylorMade bag, these are the clubs Collin Morikawa used to win his first PGA Tour event (As reported by PGATOUR):
TaylorMade P-730 5-PW
Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Bettinardi Carbon 3-Step Jam prototype
The Evian Championship
Step aside Brooks Kopeka, Jin Young Ko might have something to say about who is currently the most dominate player in golf majors. Jin has won two of the first four women’s majors in the 2019 season, including last week’s Evian Championship.
A professional since 2013, Ko’s career began on the KLPGA Tour and she’s racked up the wins. She won 10 times on the LPGA of Korea Tour before becoming a member of the LPGA in 2018.
Ko outlasted a strong field at the Evian Championship, where the top 10 included standouts like recent winner, Shanhan Feng and the Jutanugarn sisters.
Jin won’t need to wait long to see if she can win her thrid major of the year. The ladies tee it up this week at Woborn Golf Club for the Women’s British Open.
Senior Open Championship
Bernhard Langer continues to knock down records on the PGA Tour Champions. As he closes in on Hale Irwin’s all-time wins record, he has now won the Senior Open Championship (4) more times than any other golfer.
Played in blustery, cool conditions at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club, Langer was at his best on Sunday. Sticking to his game plan, he found fairways and greens and turned in an impressive 4-under round on the day.
In the middle of the fairway on 18, holding a two-shot lead over the 54-hole leaders, Langer’s caddie told him to “Give me your best shot”, and after a flushed shot, Langer replied, “That’s the best shot I’ve got!”.
His ball came to rest in the center of the green and set him up for a 2-putt par to secure the lead in the clubhouse. As the second putt dropped, Bernhard raised his fists in triumph. He knew Paul Broadhurst would have to play perfect to catch him.
Broadhurst was unable to hole out from the fairway on 18, which meant Langer could officially celebrate. He was the 2019 Senior Open Champion.
This week also saw a legend of the game graciously bow out. Tom Watson declared this as his last Open Championship, PGA or PGA Champions, wryly lamenting that he just couldn’t keep up with these guys anymore.
Watson won an astounding 8 career Open Championships, five on the PGA Tour and three on the PGA Tour Champions. He’s one of the best links players of all time, and gave golf fans many, many fond memories throughout his career.
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