Almanac Golf: Golf Capital – Lewis wins then helps as Thomas takes fourth victory of 2017

 

@hamishneal

 

A collection of golf news, thoughts and notes from the week which saw Justin Thomas claim his fourth win of the year, fellow American Stacy Lewis triumphed in Portland whilst South African Hadyn Porteous won for the first time in Europe and New South Welshman Travis Smyth won in Darwin on the Australasian PGA Tour.


Opening drive

Justin Thomas won the Dell Technologies Championship (the second leg of the FdEx Cup playoffs seeing off his great pal Jordan Spieth after the duo got the better of Australian Marc Leishman who collapsed on the back nine at TPC Boston on Monday. Kentucky native Thomas ended up with a three-stroke triumph after Leishman registered three bogeys running from 10-12 and Texan Spieth also bogeyed three holes on the back nine. Thomas wasn’t flawless down the stretch with a bogey of his own on 11 but his final score of 17 under was impressive given the stature of the event and moves him up to second in the playoff rankings. Spieth has moved into first spot with Dustin Johnson dropping to third.

 

Texan Stacy Lewis has donated her tournament winnings of USD195,000 at the Cambia Portland Classic in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and this was matched by others connected to the sport in a very nice gesture after the devastation. On the course Lewis’ three-under 69 on Sunday was enough to edge home against the challenge of In Gee Chun who signed for an impressive six-under 66 at the Oregon venue. The LPGA sees a new event for the tour with the Indy Women in Tech Championship to be held in, wait for it, Indiana this week.

 

A four-shot turnaround benefitted South Africa’s Hadyn Porteous in the European Tour’s Czech Masters at the Albatross Golf Course after he capitalised on two opening birdies to overhaul England’s Lee Slattery. Porteous opened the door with a slight wobble on the back nine in Prague as Slattery regained the lead with five to play but the Jo’burg-born player got back in front and scored his first triumph outside of Africa at this level.


Player performance notes

Players I’m interested to see how they go with notes that interest me related to capital investment if that’s your thing. With the PGA Tour playoffs on a break this weekend the European Tour’s European Masters, an even co-sanctioned with the Asian Tour, takes placed at Crans Montana in Switzerland. After Justin Thomas saluted last weekend let’s dive in.


Under 10:
Alex Noren. Last start out in Europe Noren was sixth in the Open but has only played twice since. The Swede won here last year in a period of four wins in four months plus he has scored a victory already on the European Tour this year in England when he claimed the BMW PGA Championship.

 

20 to 50: Alexander Levy. T18 here last year, the Frenchman has missed his last two cuts in majors but in between that was second in the European Open in Germany. Levy won the China Open in June and many here haven’t got good course form plus a recent win.


50 to 100:
Scott Hend. From the PGA Championship to Fiji then a second-tier USA event on the web.com tour it’s been a busy month or so for the Australian. But he was second here last year when he came into the event having competed in the Olympics.

 

50 to 100: Renato Paratore. At the Crans-sur-Sierre layout the Italian has finished 7th and 24th in his last two goes so has a familiarity with the layout and won the Nordea Masters in June.

 

50 to 100: Hadyn Porteous. This week’s ET winner had finishes of 6, 17 and 11 in his prior three tournaments before the win so even though he missed the cut here last year he is in career-best form.

 

50 to 100: Danny Willett. The 2015 European Masters champ has finishes of 12 (last year) and 5th (2014.) That’s the good. The bad is the 2016 Masters winner has one top five finish to his credit in a 2017 which has been beset by injury, self-doubt and has included a split from his longtime caddie Jonathan Smart.


Greens in regulation

The FedEx Cup takes a break until the third leg of the four-tournament series which will take place in Chicago next week. On Sunday away, from the tournament leaders, three players vaulted themselves into the top 70 for the BMW Championship. Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello, Emiliano Grillo of Argentina and 2009 Open Champion Stewart Cink moved into the penultimate leg of the FedEx Cup. Of the 18 players eliminated two notables were Adam Scott and fellow Masters champion Bubba Watson (who I tipped for strong things last week.) When I acknowledged the winners I should also highlight when I take an L and Watson is well and truly slumping having started the year ranked 10 and now 50th.

 

Tap in
Wollongong’s Travis Smyth won the Northern Territory PGA Championship by six strokes securing an Australasian PGA card until the end of the 2018 season with a move to the pro ranks a matter of months away.

 

Smyth, 22, was coming off a quarter final finish at the prestigious US Amateur so it was a bit of a different atmosphere at the Palmerston Golf Club. Smyth will next look to the Asia Pacific Amateur title and European Tour Qualifying School. The former is an attempt to qualify for the Masters in which case he would retain his amateur status for the period to the major at Augusta. Shout out to Geelong’s Deyen Lawson who picked up the $22,500 for first place in finishing second to Smyth.

 

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.

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