Almanac Golf: Golf Capital – DJ wins at Crooked Stick, this time for the major in France



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


Opening drive
Before we get to winners from the weekend the tenth edition of Golf Capital column starts with a clarification, the Evian Championships is on this week in France. Not last week as we noted. I’ll blame fatigue but I can’t, I misread the LPGA calendar. The European LPGA had an event but the LPGA did not. We will get to the major later in the column.


With the PGA Tour’s playoff finale on from September 22 (yes, I’ve double-checked) Dustin Johnson enters in form after winning the BMW Championship from England’s Paul Casey with Houston-born Robert Castro third in the 70-player field on the weekend. Such is the nature of the FedEx Cup playoffs Johnson’s three-stroke victory in Indiana wasn’t the focus with players like JB Holmes sneaking into the 30-player elite field for the event in a week’s time at East Lake. South African Charl Schwartzel also made a charge during the fourth round with his eight-under 64, the best on Sunday, vaulting him into the top 30.


On the European Tour Dutchman Joost Luiten secured the KLM Open for the second time winning at ‘The Dutch’ course after Australian Scott Hend faded again. Hend eventually wound up in a tie for fourth after holding a lead for the second time in a fortnight. Olympian Hend has won three times since October last year but has missed some good chances in recent weeks in Switzerland then Holland for his first win in Europe. The European Tour heads south to Italy for the Italian Open to be held in Milan. The event was won by Swede Rikard Karlberg last year and the title was last held by a local when Francesco Molinari triumphed in 2006


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. We head to the fifth and final ladies major of 2016 in France – the Evian Championship.

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20 and under: Lydia Ko. Everything outlined last week about the Kiwi world number one in this event last year still applies.


20 to 50: Suzann Pettersen. The Norwegian has won tournaments leading into this major and claimed the title in 2013. Good recent form.


20 to 50: In Gee Chun. South Korean Chun currently leads the rookie of the year standings and an early tee time in the first round could allow the world number seven to set the pace.


20 to 50: Sei Young Kim, the South Korean is the highest ranked player (six) to not have a major to their name. Based on the list of first time winners in recent years the 23 year-old is a strong chance.


20 to 50: Haru Nomura. A two-time winner this year, including the Australian Open when she beat home Ko. The Japanese golfer is looking to add to the nation’s good recent history in the tournament after wins for Ai Miyazato in 2009 and 2011.


50 to 100: Charley Hull, The English player was hamstrung by a third round 74 at the Olympics but the other three rounds of 68, 66 and 68 and eventual T7 finish was impressive. The 20 year-old just needs consistency.


100 to 200: Beth Allen. Only the 20th highest-ranked American the world number 89 placed T4 in the Australian Open at the start of the year and T6 in the Ladies European Masters recently so has some good form in, relatively, big tournaments in 2016.


200-500: Gaby Lopez. Sitting second to Chun in the rookie standings the Mexican picked up a T23 in Canada in recent weeks.


Greens in regulation
After the third of four PGA Tour playoff events three of the USA Ryder Cup captain’s picks were announced by Davis Love III. Holmes late charge on Sunday got him one of three selections along with Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar. Love has one more captain’s pick to be revealed for the event at Hazeltine with the world number seven Bubba Watson currently not in the USA team. Whether Watson’s prickly nature (highlighted by one of the ‘which player don’t you like?’ polls) means he eventually gets excluded we won’t know until September 25 for sure but the push seems to be for risings starts like one-time PGA Tour winners Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger ahead of the two-time Masters winner.


Tap in
Finally, a return to golf for Tiger Woods is in the offing with the 14-time major winner signaling his intention to return when the new season commences in October playing the Safeway Open in California. Woods’ is then set to travel to Turkey in November. However the decision to venture to the Turkish capital of Antalya seems odd. If you are returning from injury it would seem sensible to take a sensible path and control recovery as best you can. I realise the 40 year-old doesn’t travel in cattle class on the plane but the choice of venue for the second tournament has to surely be down to sponsors to undertake this schedule. The third event is his own Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in December but the tournament in Turkey seems an odd selection.


This preview 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.

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