The Honda Classic
Due to the re-alignment of the PGA Tour schedule in 2019, many top professionals decided to omit the Honda from their schedule. This left a left a softer field for the remaining top predators to attack.
In the week leading up to The Honda Classic, the hype surrounded players like defending champion Justin Thomas, local fan favorite Rickie Fowler and a pound-for-pound heavyweight in Brooks Koepka.
Though, once the dust settled, the ultimate storylines of the tournament were dominated by a final pairing of a rookie and an ageless legend, and Keith Mitchell, a first-time winner on the PGA Tour.
The Championship Course at PGA National always treats fans to an exciting risk/reward brand of golf. As players descend into the famed Bear Trap (holes 15, 16 and 17) on Sunday, they have no choice but to gamble small fortunes with each shot.
The final pairing featured 25-year old Wyndham Clark, a rookie on the PGA Tour, and Vijay Singh, a 56-year old player who has been on the PGA Tour for as long as Wyndham has been alive.
Vijay’s quest to become the oldest player on Tour to win fell short, like most of his putts on Sunday and he respectably finished the tournament at 6-under.
Not in contention to begin the day, Ryan Palmer shot 63 to post the lead in the clubhouse at 7-under. Lucas Glover made a clutch putt on 18 to tie Palmer at 7-under, but there were still a lot of players out on the course.
Brooks Koepka is a man that has ice-water in his veins. Birdieing holes 16 and 18, he surged to 8-under for the tournament. Not to be out done, Rickie Fowler birdied 15, 17 and 18 to tie Koepka at 8-under.
Playing in the second to last group, Keith Mitchell got off to a rocky start, bogeying the first two holes. After bouncing back to close out the front nine at even par, Keith bogeyed number 11 before heating up and carding birdies on 12, 13 and 15.
Mitchell headed to the 18th with a share of the lead at 8-under. With the final group staggering to the finish, a par would force a playoff and a birdie would give him his first career PGA Tour victory. Following a layup on the par-5 18th, his third shot found the green, putting Mitchell in position for birdie.
A smooth stroke of the putter later and Mitchell saw his ball track perfectly into the bottom of the cup. Jubilantly, he pumped his fist in triumph. He was a PGA Tour winner.
On a course where precision is paramount, Mizuno had a good week. Brooks Koepka games their JPX 919 Tour irons, Lucas Glover plays the ST190 driver and Mizuno JPX 919 Tour irons, and while Mitchell plays a mixed bag of clubs, the majority of his setup consists of Mizuno clubs.
These are the clubs Keith Mitchell used to win The Honda Classic (As reported by PGATOUR):
Vokey Proto 60° V Grind
Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400
Californian-born Kurt Kitayama has taken the European Tour by storm, winning 2 times in his first 11 events. His second victory came this weekend in the Oman Open played at Al Mouj Golf in Muscat, Oman.
Battling sand storms that caused a halt to play in the second round, the round 1 leader was a shot behind at the conclusion of the second round Saturday morning.
Then, barely 3 holes into his third round, Kurt had carded a quadruple bogey and two bogeys, finding himself 7 shots off the lead as play was halted due to darkness.
However, he made the most of the break in play and attacked the course Sunday morning, playing the final 15 holes of round 3 in 7-under par.
Kurt traded blows with the course in the final round as he navigated the windy conditions with masterful patience. Hovering around the lead all round, he made a few lengthy birdie putts to put him in the lead heading into the 18th.
After making a par on the final hole Kitayama waited to see if anyone could match him. With no one able to match his 4-day total of 7-under 281, Kurt Kitayama won his second event in 11 career starts.
HSBC Women’s World Championship
The ladies traveled from Thailand to Singapore for the HSBC Women’s World Championship. Played at the Sentosa Golf Club on the Tanjong Course, Sung Hyun Park captured the title by two strokes over Minjee Lee.
Joining the LPGA in 2017, this is Sung Hyun’s 6th victory, which includes two major championships. On Sunday, her final round 8-under was the best round by 2 strokes and at least 5 strokes better than any player of consequence.
The 54-hole leader, Ariya Jutanugarn already has numerous prestigious accomplishments in her young LPGA career, but winning on Asian soil is not one of them. Whether the pressure of this feat got to her or she simply didn’t have her best game on Sunday, a 3-over final round ended her hopes of winning the HSBC.
The dormant brown grasses contrasted beautifully with the green fairways of the par 73 Catalina Course at the Omni Tuscon National Golf Club in Tuscon, Arizona.
Playing host to the PGA Champions Cologuard Classic, Mark O’Meara broke through for his first Champions Tour victory since the Senior Players Championship in 2010.
In the first round, O’Meara looked like he was headed for a historic round. After his opening hole par, he proceeded to run-off 8 straight birdies, one off the record streak. He ended the day at 7-under par, one shot behind three players, including Kenny Perry.
Day two brought O’Meara to the lead as windy conditions brought high scores across the entire tournament. The final round also belonged to O’Meara, shooting the round of the day, a 7-under 66.
His three-day total of 17-under gave him a comfortable cushion for his third career PGA Champions victory.
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