Almanac Golf – Golf Capital: Korda kicks a fourth family Australian Open, Fox finally in Perth and time runs out in LA



Korda family history was made in Adelaide and came as Kiwi Ryan Fox won in Perth before JB Holmes, eventually, prevailed in Los Angeles.


Opening drive

Nelly Korda eased to victory in the Women’s Australian Open by two strokes but not after a six-stroke lead was chipped away at late in the day following Jin Young Ko’s eight under 64. The defending champion was second to Korda with the winner rolling in an impressive 28 birdies over four rounds at Adelaide’s Grange Golf Club. Korda, 20, joins dad Petr, brother Sebastian and sister Jessica as an Australian Open winner. The former duo in tennis (Sebastian won the junior boys’ singles in 2018) and Jessica won in the Women’s Australian Open on 2012 following a six-player playoff.


Within a few hours at Lake Karrinyup Kiwi Ryan Fox broke through for his first European Tour triumph when he won the co-sanctioned World Super 6 Perth event after seeing off Adrian Otaegui 3 & 2 in the final. This followed three wins earlier in the day in the six-hole match-play format. Fox, son of All Black legend Grant Fox, has now won five professional events and the victory got him into this week’s WGC event in Mexico and made up somewhat for his playoff defeat last year in Ballyliffin in Northern Ireland.


Elsewhere the Genesis Open (LA Open) was won by JB Holmes by one stroke from Justin Thomas who entered the day in a strong position to win before shooting four over 75 as Holmes one under saw him edge home.


Greens in regulation

Last week we were tut-tut-tutting Sergio Garcia’s destructive play at a recent European Tour event and this week in California one recent wrong was finally corrected by Matt Kuchar after much chagrin before the annoying ‘slow-play’ topic raised its head during Holmes’ triumph.


Veteran Kuchar, after a win in Mexico during November, has finally agreed to pay his fill-in caddie for that week the reasonable amount after multiple statements/interviews and pressure. David Giral Ortiz (El Tucan) had initially bucked at a US$5,000 payment following the win. El Tucan thought he might get ‘topped-up’ by Kuchar and many golf pundits and fans, upon hearing the news expected a payment to the Mexican in the order of US$129,000 as what should have been offered following the win – no matter what agreement the duo had made prior to the tournament. El Tucan was only seeking around US$50,000 so it’s actually quite stunning Kuchar and his team (including super-agent Mark Steinberg) thought low-balling El Tucan in the renegotiation process for US$20,000 was a sensible idea.


Kuchar’s payments to El Tucan weren’t the only controversy to fizz at Riviera as winner JB Holmes’ pace of play coping a raft of criticism. Holmes, who won for the first time since April 2015, should be known for his quite remarkable comeback from brain surgery in 2011 to return to the tour the following year but he will become the poster-child for slow-play with several other players unless players are properly monitored. There are multiple rules officials and events like the Shot Clock Masters show that logistics for monitoring time spent before shots can be looked at. Enforced time limits for shots and perhaps even a total round allotted time should be set, perhaps allowing for poor conditions if needed.


Coming off the previous event the AT&T Pro Am which was drawn out until a Monday finish, thanks largely to the celebrity amateurs dragging out proceedings, the last thing the Tour needed was someone dragging out the end. Holmes took an inordinate of time over several putts including short ones and it just isn’t necessary.


Tap in

Before next week’s New Zealand Open Daniel Fox defends his title in the QLD PGA Championship. Whilst further south from Toowoomba on the New South Wales north coast the Australian Ladies Classic takes place at Bonville Golf Club.


On the LPGA Tour, after their Australian swing, the tour heads to the Siam Country Club in Chonburi for the LPGA Thailand.


The men’s WGC Mexico Championship takes places at Chapultepec and hence there is no European Tour event but the PGA Tour will still squeeze the lemon with the Puerto Rico Open


This week


WGC – Mexico

Marc Leishman. Since his CIMB Classic win in October Leishman has an impressive five T4 or better finishes in his last seven starts.


Alex Noren. 14th last year here, the Swede hasn’t set the world on fire in recent weeks but he did conclude 2018 with two top ten finishes, one of which was the ET’s World Tour Championship.


Abraham Ancer. The local was T52 at his event debut last year but since then has won the Australian Open and claimed six top ten finishes which has seen him rise from 246th to 61st in the world.


Puerto Rico Open

Hank Lebioda. With T38 and T29 finishes in vastly superior PGA Tour events in the last month Lebioda, who is in his first full year on the PGA Tour, much can be expected of the Floridian.


2019 record:

Feb 13: Nelly Korda wins and Paul Dunne third.


This golfing wrap first appeared on From the sideline of sport


Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE


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. My professional golfing preferences on Kayo (don’t waste your money on expensive Foxtel) are European Tour; LPGA (or any women’s tournament – Bonville near Coffs Harbour looks brilliant this weekend) and the USPGA tour a long and definite last.
    American men’s golf is entitled, humourless schmucks (hello Matt and DJ) commentated by corporatised humourless schmucks. Playing boring overwatered cookie cutter golf courses. Yawn.
    The Vic Open at Thirteenth Beach near Barwon Heads was everything a golf tournament should be. Inclusive and exciting.

  2. Daryl Schramm says

    Hi Hamish. I seldom miss your contributions. I have restarted playing after a 30 yr hiatis 2 years ago. Have attended the 4 lgpa aus opens on the western sandbelt of adelaide at various stages and now follow the womens game with great interest. They are great to watch.

Leave a Comment