Almanac Golf: Golf Capital – Tricky Bryan wins plus a new golf movie
A collection of golf news, notes, and thoughts from the week which saw action across the three big tours of the PGA Tour, LPGA and men’s European Tour. Wesley Bryan, Christie Kerr and Edoardo Molinari triumphed with the latter winning in a playoff.
Bryan’s rise has been rapid since he ditched the trick shot antics and this has included three wins last year on the Web.com (second tier) tour in the USA before his elevation to the top level. Bryan edged home by a stroke from three-time Ryder Cup-winner Luke Donald firing 13 under. Four shots from the lead to start the fourth round a final round of four under (67) was enough to win in South Carolina and claimed the RBC Heritage crown.
Skipping over to Hawaii, Kerr triumphed in the LOTTE Championship convincingly by three strokes signing for an impressive final round of six under (66.) Kerr’s most recent triumph was in the 2015 Tour Championship and the 39 year-old has now recorded 19 career LPGA wins. The LPGA next heads to Irving, Texas later this month.
Two eagles on the back nine at the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco helped get Italian Molinari into a playoff before securing his first victory since 2010. After Molinari parred the first playoff hole it was enough to see off Irishman Paul Dunne, who had birdied 18 himself, to get into extra holes. Molinari, a nine-time winner as a professional, had only two top-three placings since 2011 so it was a form turnaround. From Morocco the European Tour heads to China this week for Shenzhen International won by South Korean Soomin Lee last year.
Player performance notes:
Players I’m interested to see how they go with notes that interest me related to capital investment, if that’s your thing. Staying in the USA it’s Texas Open time with Charley Hoffman the 2016 winner of this event.
20 to 50: Patrick Reed. The world number 15 missed the cut at the Masters and has only one top ten finished in 2017 but he was second here last year.
50 to 100: Bud Cauley. Now sitting at a career-best ranking of 146 after he finished T9 last weekend Cauley is hit and miss with 11 missed cuts in the last 16 months but the Floridian is now back in form.
50 to 100: Ian Poulter. A top-30 finish is required for Poulter to maintain his PGA Tour playing rights and he was T11 at Hilton Head. Last week we spoke of talented players yet to win a major and Poulter, at 41, has played 41 majors and has a best of second in 2008 at The Open. Not Sergio Garcia-level in terms of volume but the four-time Ryder Cup winner is immensely talented with 16 career wins but yet to crack it for a big victory.
50 to 100: Cameron Smith. Australian Adam Scott has won here and Smith could be like Bryan in winning his first PGA tournament. Brisbane’s Smith was second behind Jordan Spieth in the Australia summer and T29 last weekend so has had some reasonable performances to start 2017. His T4 in the 2015 US Open is still a career best result.
50 to 100: Harold Varner III. The Australian PGA Championship winner from December was T9 here last year before aT8 finish in his next tournament (New Orleans) so seems to like the post-Masters period.
100 to 200: Curtis Luck. The Australian played all four rounds at the Masters which is an effort in itself for a player of his experience. In what will be a first tournament as a professional the WA golfer is well placed in a fa easier field than the Masters – where he finished on nine over but included a final round of 72
Greens in regulation:
Following the LPA event at Ko Olina Golf Club in Oahu it emerged Kiwi world number one Lydia Ko, who finished in a tie for second, had fired her caddie Gary Matthews. It seemed an odd move given the result as Ko’s best of 2017 so clearly things were on the up and Matthews, having handled the bag for nine tournaments, was likely only just getting into sync with Ko’s requirements and quirks. A strange move for the almost 20 year-old to make. Multiple management and related changes can’t be good this early in a career.
Caddyshack, Happy Gilmore, and now (perhaps) Tommy’s Honour. Okay this film isn’t a comedy like the first two but golf is back on the big screen. Based on the story of the two Tom Morris’ in the mid/late 1800’s the film charts the story of the father-son duo’s role in the development of the game. Both Open winners the younger Tom becomes a professional in the sport. Adapted from a book by Kevin Cook the film was released in the USA over the weekend. The good news for Kiwi actor Sam Neill (who plays the R and A Golf Club of St Andrews skipper Alexander Boothby) is the film only has to be passable and Neill be significantly elevated in the annals of his participation in sports movies. Neill needs the boost after agreeing, perhaps in a moment of weakness, to take a role in United Passions – the 2015 film about the administocrats who formed Fifa, that bastion of sporting organisations. Hopefully Tommy’s Honour goes better than United Passions which was so poorly attended it took just $9 (aka sold one ticket) at one cinema in Phoenix across it’s opening weekend in the USA.
This golfing wrap first appeared on From the sideline of sport