Almanac Golf: Golf Capital – Firsts for Bryson and Park, Open time in Southport



A collection of golf news, thoughts and notes from the week which saw a debut major win for Park Sung-Hyun, a first PGA title for Bryson DeChambeau plus a playoff win for Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello. Coming up the week’s action is highlighted by the 146th Open, the third men’s major of 2017.


Opening drive:
Like Danielle Kang a few weeks ago in Chicago, it was a first LPGA win for Park as she also claimed a major winning the US Women’s Open by two strokes from amateur Choi Hye-jin, also from South Korea. Some errors late in the round by her opponents and a calm last two holes (birdie-par) gave the 23-year-old her debut victory in New Jersey.


American’s DeChambeau overhauled third-round leader Patrick Rodgers firing a six-under 65 in Illinois to claim the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run. DeChambeau joins the list of 23/24 year-old recent winners and also booked a trip to the Open with the one-stroke triumph. Despite the major on in England, the PGA Tour does go around in Alabama for the Barbasol Championship this week.


None of the three joint 54-hole leaders in the Scottish Open, including Australian Andrew Dodt, could nab the win with a course record 64 (eight under) enough to get Cabrera-Bello into the playoff. The Spaniard got into extra holes after Callum Shinkwin’s six on the par five 18th and then Cabrera-Bello birdied the same hole to win the playoff. Newcastle-based golfer Dodt did get an Open qualifying spot despite not holding his lead on Sunday.


Player performance notes:
Players I’m interested in to see how they go with notes that interest me related to capital investment if that’s your thing. From New Jersey to Southport it’s another major with the 146th edition of the Open at Royal Birkdale. The ‘duel in the wind’ last year saw Henrik Stenson and eventual runner-up Phil Mickelson race clear of the field with Stenson winning at 20 under and Mickelson three shots further back with third-placed JB Holmes 11 shots behind Mickelson. Padraig Harrington was the winner when this tournament was last played at Royal Birkdale in 2008.


20 to 50: Hideki Matsuyama. I’m staying with the Japanese golfer after thinking the US Open might be his. Matsuyama was T2 in that major and has played once since – a nice T14 at the Irish Open with three rounds of 68 or better.


20 to 50: Alex Noren. The European Tour PGA Championship winner might have missed the cut in Scotland but he’s got a good links record having won an Irish Open and top ranked (within top 25) players generally win Open’s played at this venue.


20 to 50: Adam Scott. Masters winner in 2013 Scott has put together an impressive 2017 without winning. But he was T9 at the Masters and T6 at the Players (the fifth major) showing his targeted schedule has drawn good results in big tournaments and he’s gone close in this tournament before.


100 to 200: Soren Kjeldsen. I thought the Dane would go well in Ireland but he finished T62 and then rebounded with a T9 in Scotland. Playing three weeks of links golf could be challenging though.


200 to 500: Ryan Fox. Now at a career-high 95 in the rankings the Kiwi has consecutive T4 finishes to his credit in the last fortnight after a sixth-placed finish in France. Fox ,30, nailed an interesting ‘hole in one’ which cost him a higher finish on Sunday in Ayrshire.


200 to 500: Steve Stricker. Fourth in last year’s Open Stricker hasn’t taken the ideal trail playing in the States the week prior when the records show playing in the UK in the weeks prior to the Open is the preferred option but he did finish only three shots back from DeChambeau plus consecutive T16 finishes in the two earlier majors this year point to a good effort in the big events.


Greens in regulation:
DeChambeau’s breakthrough pro win, after a stellar college career, could be one of many to come but the victory came to a player that is not a conventional golfer. The Californian was a physics major at college and plays with a set of irons and wedges all cut the same length. Whilst he might not elicit a huge change towards this trend it will be interesting to see if DeChambeau can replicate his results and have a sustained PGA Tour career. But if not, a guy who idolises Albert Einstein and decides to re-write entire textbooks to ensure he comprehends the subject is likely to be successful in whatever he pursues.


Tap in
After the Trump Skybox at the Women’s US Open and the awkwardness of players twirling to get his attention it seemed odd the LPGA decided to announce a new dress code and continue to take the focus off the players. From new rules banning plunging necklines and issuing guidance around lengths of skirts etc it seems the LPGA has moved away from governing body to become more a meddling mother-in-law before a wedding. The rules even extend to off-course events with “appropriate attire” to be worn at pro-am parties. Does the LPGA have that much of an issue with the players’ clothing currently? It seems the players don’t. Have these people seen what John Daly wears on course? Seriously though, The rules come into force for this week’s tournament in Toledo (the Marathon Classic) which isn’t ideal for players who have (sponsored) clothes which don’t meet the regulations but they have financial commitments to wear them. Players will be fined $1,000 in the first instance of an infraction with fines escalating after a second ‘offence’. The rules seem a completely different approach to the governing body who had a sanctioned tournament run a Twitter poll not long ago select a player for a tournament invite which essentially turned into a popularity contest and saw the most credentialed player miss out.


This golfing wrap 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. British Open at Royal Birkdale will be great viewing this weekend. Don’t give the Aussies much hope. Ryan Fox waving the flag for the Kiwis. His best is brilliant but will the loose ones punish him. Links golf is funny. Seve and John Daly both hit it so wide it was in the trampled down rough where spectators walk. Seve said he did it intentionally to be wide of the bunkers and first cut of rough.
    Golf needs a personality transplant not dress restrictions. Saw a special on Lee Trevino the other night – always laughing and talking to spectators. Still won 6 Majors.
    So many current golfers are po-faced clones. Some of the players in the Scottish Open looked like they dressed at Good Sammy’s. They say people watch their play, not their dress. But when there are so many good players and sports competing for attention – you have to remember sport is entertainment as much as excellence.
    Professional golf is fast disappearing up its up arsehole. Country Club elitism. The game is run by lawyers for lawyers at the top level.

  2. Peter, Lee Tevino. What a star! A teenage me followed him in 1996 when the Australian PGA Seniors golf championship was in Canberra at Gold Creek… And he did talk to me as well… Told me if I kept backing off in approaching him for an autograph (which I was doing in lurking around) I’d ‘never get a girlfriend’… I was mortified and utterly embarrassed, but in hindsight it was hilarious and I’m sure the others nearby had a good chuckle.

    Spieth should win the Claret Jug later in Southport. Hideki some show of a strong final round.

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