Almanac Golf: Golf Capital – Chun breaks major record, playoff finale time in Atlanta


A collection of my golf thoughts from the week plus some player performance/form notes for the next few days.


Opening drive

South Korea’s In Gee Chun has claimed her second major, and first win this season, after she claimed the Evian Championship by four strokes on the shores of Lake Geneva in France. Finishing at 21 under Chun recorded the best ever major win in relation to par surpassing players like Tiger Woods, Jason Day and Henrik Stenson who’ve all won majors at -20. Chun opened with an eight under 63 and was tied for the lead after the first round controlling the tournament from the outset. Elsewhere on the weekend Francesco Molinari saluted for the second time at his national open winning the Italian Open having prevailed in the 2006 tournament in Monza. Despite it been only his fourth career win the victory was nothing to be sneezed at as Molinari had to hold off Masters champion Danny Willett getting home by one stroke. The duo finished three and four shots clear of the rest of the field.


Back at Evian-les-Bains Chun supporters, who had been comfortable since Thursday afternoon French time, had one moment to ponder possible doom when the 22 year-old had to be gently persuaded by her caddie David Jones to change club to a wedge and lay up before the water hazard on the 18th on Sunday when the LPGA Rookie of the year-elect looked like she was going to trying to drive it hard out of the left-hand rough and try to carry the water before the 18th green. Common sense prevailed and the world number seven was saved from a possible Jean van de Velde moment. Despite a disappointing finish in France Kiwi Lydia Ko secured the Annika Major Award for the most consistent players across the ladies’ majors this season. Points are awarded on a sliding scale from first to tenth in each tournament and Ko’s win in the ANA Inspiration and two other top three finishes were enough to win that award from Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn.


Player performance notes:

Players I’m interested in to see how they go with notes that interest me and/or are related to capital investment, if that’s your thing. The Fed Ex Cup finale for the US PGA Tour is on this weekend in Atlanta with Dustin Johnson leading the elite field after three playoff events. On account of the TOUR Championship field having only 30 players we will only cover a few option this weekend after nominating Chun as one to watch closely last week.


Under 20: Patrick Reed. Recent winners of the event have come into the event finishing second in the standings and with the Ryder Cup on the horizon Reed, who has won in the playoff series already looks a strong hope.


20 to 50: Charl Schwartzel: The South African’s final round of eight under two weeks ago got him into this tournament and it was a quality round under pressure to qualify. The tee times here are set on ranking order and Schwartzel is out first with Jhonattan Vegas but the tee off is 11:40am local time so it may not be too much of an advantage as he isn’t off that early compared to a regular tournament.


20 to 50: Daniel Berger. Touted as a possible final Ryder Cup pick for the USA Berger probably needs a top five finish to impress. So has the required extra motivation and he’ll be hoping he can be named on September 25 after a big effort at here East Lake.


50 to 100: Justin Thomas. He’s not in super form and the tag as ‘next big thing’ can only run for so long until he gets a significant win. However he is in the field of 30, and has won this season, so anything can happen at his best.


Greens in regulation
The Asian Tour resumes with the Asian-Pacific Diamond Cup to be held in the Japanese city of Osaka with another Korean golfer Youghan Song among the contenders. Song won in January in Singapore seeing off Jordan Spieth. As we roll into spring events in this neck of the woods after the recent Northern Territory PGA Championship the PGA of Australasia moves to Noumea for the $140,000 South Pacific Open Championship which will be followed by tournaments in Fiji and Queensland in the coming month. The European Tour heads to Germany for the European Open at Bad Griesbach where Thongchai Jaidee edged Graeme Storm by a stroke. Thomas Pieters and Martin Kaymer, both Ryder Cup captain’s picks feature here before the Cup itself at Hazeltine in a week’s time.


Tap in

In golf innovation news, around about the time we published last week’s edition it was announced that the European Tour would trial elements of a six-hole format at the now-named World Super 6 Perth event. Co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour of Australasia the tournament concept is relatively simple to grasp and could provide an eye into the future of golf. The tournament at Lake Karrinyup Country Club in February starts as per a normal tour event with stroke play for the first three days. There is then a further cut after the third round which will leave the top 24 players to play six-hole knockout match-play on the final day with progressing to a final between two players and leaving us a tournament winner. It will provide an interesting dynamic for the tournament given the varying formats it will present the players. Finally it may provide an option for a big picture idea… if the men’s tour ever adds a fifth official major (perhaps a tournament located in Asia) maybe this could be the format?


This article first appeared on From the sideline of sport



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.


  1. Good stuff as always Hamish. No PGA tournament last week put the attention on Europe. Both the Italian Mens Open and the Evian Ladies Major on Lake Geneva were somewhat spoiled by sodden courses and lots of rain interruptions.
    I enjoy watching the women more than the second string men. Went hunting articles about why Asian women dominate golf, but there men are modest. Most logical arguments I found were that the LPGA courses are set up 1,000 yards shorter which puts the premium on precision over power. The top 10 women golfers are not in the 10 longest hitters. Korea has an extraordinary feeder system for juniors and local women pros. Ultra competitive with lots of exposure to pressure.
    Cream at the top already in the first round of the Fed Ex Cup final. Go J Day. I have strong dislike of DJohnson.
    Hard to see the Europeans being competitive in the Ryder Cup next week, but they seem to find a way. Pity that Paul Casey has not played enough in Europe this year to qualify. Should be State of Origin. Darren Clarke has picked his team from the front bar. Knox should be playing.

  2. Thanks Peter. Both Casey and Know are victims of circumstance. I agree with you they should be on RC team. I did note during Evian coverage that broadcasters mentioned on a few occasions the prestige the Korean players have with wanting to stay playing in Korea and not necessarily head straight to the LPGA when they show a high level of skill/success. interesting

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