Almanac Golf – Golf Capital: Brooks is best, Dame Davies salutes



Three-time major winner Brooks Koepka rose to number one with a victory in Korea, Sergio Garcia continued his dominance in Andalucia as American Danielle Kang won in China for her second win on the top tier.


Opening drive


Dustin Johnson’s return to the number one spot was short-lived as countryman Brooks Koepka proved it was quality over quantity to complete his third victory in 2018 with a handy four-stroke victory at the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges on Jeju Island in Korea. Koepka eagled the last after Gary Woodland match him for much of the back nine only to falter with a bogey on 17.


Spain’s Sergio Garcia won a rain-shortened Valderrama Masters which finished on Monday after only 54-holes for the Euopean Tour event. The 2017 Masters champ who know backs the event beat Shane Lowry by four strokes and is the three-time defending champion having won in 2011, 2017 and 2018. Yes you read that right, the event took a five-year hiatus at one stage.


Danielle Kang prevailed in the inaugural Buick LPGA Shanghai tournament with a two-stroke win at 13 under seeing Kang (who celebrated her 26th birthday on Saturday hold off a host of classy players including Lydia Ko and Ariya Jutanugarn.


Kang started the day a shot behind three golfers and birdies at four of the last eight holes after she decided to give her golf bag a whack at the turn. The question is would this be a code violation in tennis? Probably, but in the genteel sport of golf it was deemed okay. Funny game etc, etc…


Player performance notes


This week with the European Tour’s finals around the corner the final WGC event of the season takes place in Shanghai. Cameron Smith got us a T7 at the CJ Cup.


Under 20 Brooks Koepka. The new world number one secured victory in his seventh country last weekend displaying his versatility which many of the other top liners can’t match. He was second herelast year on a day with a bonkers finish which saw Dustin Johnson blow a huge lead.


20 to 50: Francesco Molinari. The Italian was T6 here two years, won this tournament in 2010 and right now he is completing a career-best year having won the Open and gone 5-0 in the Ryder Cup.


20 to 50: Matt Fitzpatrick. The Englishman won last month in Switzerland and in his three starts here has finished T9, T16 and T7.


50 to 100: Julian Suri. The American is having his first go at this tournament and venue but he has won in the Czech Republic and Denmark in the last 18 months. In the mould of Koepka the 27-year-old is a more worldly player compared to some of his homeland and was impressive with his recent T5 at the British Masters.


Greens in regulation


It was an odd day to finish on Wednesday last week but a notable result nonetheless as Dame Laura Davies secured her second senior major title of the year with a comfortable four-stroke triumph in the Senior LPGA Championship in Indiana. Whilst this column doesn’t normally dive into the seniors tours, male or female, this win at the French Lick Resort track came in the first year females on the seniors tour in the USA could play for two majors and Davies, 55, has won them both. The victory added to her triumph in the inaugural US Senior Women’s Open in Illinois in July.


Sport is not all about the top of the pyramid it’s also about pathways and a life in sport. Adding these majors is a logical step for a sport that has long lauded gun amateurs, both male and female. Now to get Davies as a write-in candidate for the LPGA Hall of Fame. How the 20-time LPGA winner and four time major victor is in the World Golf Hall of Fame but not the LPGA’s is odd. Even allowing for the latter’s strict criteria it seems like an administrative error that should be looked at a second time. Common sense should prevail.


Tap in

Aside from the WGC at Sheshan Golf Club there is also a PGA Tour event in Mississippi with the Sanderson Farms Championship won last year by Ohio native Ryan Armour. The LPGA also remains in Asian with the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship taking place in Taoyuan City.


In Perth local Jarryd Felton and Canberra’s Matt Millar are favoured for the WA Open Championship at the Mount Lawley Golf Club for the event won last year by Stephen Leaney.


This golfing wrap first appeared on From the sidelines of sport


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About Hamish Neal

Born in Lower Hutt New Zealand Hamish is forever wedded to all things All Black, All Whites, Tall Blacks and more. Writing more nowadays in his 'spare time' (what is that anyway?) but still with a passion for broadcasting. Has worked in various sports development roles in England, Northern Ireland and Australia.

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