Almanac Golf – Golf Capital: Noren masterclass at Wentworth, Tiger’s DUI

@hamishneal

 

A collection of golf news, thoughts and notes from the week which saw wins for Kevin Kisner and Shanshan Feng in the states plus a victory for Alex Noren in England – highlighted by his course record on Sunday.

 

Opening drive:
One of last week’s Noren put innoted players the performance of the weekend (if not the month) to claim the European Tours’ PGA Championship at Wentworth when he blitzed the field to shot 10 under (62) in the final round and come from seven strokes behind on Saturday night before prevailing by two strokes from Italy’s Francesco Molinari. His effort was capped by an eagle on the 18th, he then had a nervous wait for the ten groups ahead of him to finish play which was some wait. The Swede has now won five times in a period stretching back to July last year and has now risen to career-high ranking of eight in the world. The European Tour heads to Sweden for the Nordea Masters in Malmo Sweden with Matt Fitzpatrick the 2016 champ. Tournament changes venue this year to Barseback Golf and Country Club. Last hosting the event in 2009 it’s the local course of Henrik Stenson.

 

Kisner nudged home by a stroke in the Dean & Deluca Invitational staged in Forth Worth, Texas. The South Carolina native benefited from the likes of Webb Simpson dropping down the leader-board but it was a close run thing with three players one stroke back including Texas duo Jordan Spieth and Sean O’Hair plus Spain’s Jon Rahm.

 

Michigan staged the weekend’s LPGA event which saw China’s Feng win for the first time since November claiming victory in the Volvik Championship. Australia’s Minjee Lee was tied for second with South Korea’s Sung Hyun Park. It was a good result for Lee after her recent . This week thedisqualification top women are in New Jersey for the Shoprite LPGA Classic (won in 2016 by Anna Nordqvist) at the scenic Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club course in Galloway.

 

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. With the US Open on in Wisconsin starting on June 15 there are two more tournaments on the US PGA Tour before then with the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio this week. William McGirt was a surprise winner here last time out.

 

20 to 50: Matt Kuchar. Since Kuchar started strongly in this tournament last year with a pair of 66s before a T4 finish and since his T4 at the Masters he’s had three top 12 finishes in five starts. The venue at Muirfield, designed by Jack Nicklaus, has nods to Augusta so Kuchar’s result in the major is significant.

 

20 to 50: Adam Scott. The Australia has played a limited schedule of just eight events to date in 2017 and five of those results have been T14 or better. 2014 was his last time here and Scott nearly won before throwing away four shots on the back nine to finish T4.

 

50 to 100: Byeong-Hun An. The South Korean improved in each round here last year 71-70-69-67 to finish four shots from the top. An, 25, has a T5 and T8 in his last two starts in the states and tees off in the second group in Thursday.

 

50 to 100: Danny Lee. The world number 93 has hit form in the last few weeks with a sixth-place in Fort Worth which followed a T5 in the Byron Nelson. This came after two missed cuts so it’s be a significant improvement.

 

100 to 200: Tommy Fleetwood. The Englishman has been jet-setting a lot in 2017 having played in seven countries but his steady form has seen him rise from 56th to 31st. He ranks best for greens in regulations on the European Tour and accuracy will be at a premium here.

 

200 to 500: Zac Blair. If not for a final round 75 Blair would have been well in contention for the crown here in 2016. The Utah native has scattered good results with missed cuts in 2017 so far but his early tee off in a low key group could see him set a platform for the weekend.

 

Greens in regulation:
Last week in this column we noted Dimitrios Papadatos would be featuring in the European qualifying for the US Open at Erin Hills. Papadatos didn’t make it inside the 15 that progressed to the major but another Australian Wade Ormsby did. In Monday’s qualifying Adelaide-born Ormsby did enough over the 36 holes to qualify for his first major at the age of 37. The cut throat nature mean many players better-credentialed that Ormsby missed out but such is the nature of this format. The winner – Aaron Rai – is one to watch. Rai, 22, has already won twice in 2017 on the European Tour’s second tier Challenge Tour.

 

Tap in:
Tiger Woods well after midgetting arrestednight is an easy chance to take pot-shots but what’s the point? Perhaps the most interesting aspect was Woods stated the issue came about due to a mix of medication. Interestingly, Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg offered a similar reason when he was arrested for DUI. The relevant authorities made a poiat the timent of saying it was alcohol-related. Even if Woods is correct and the incident was related to medication. Why hasn’t Woods learnt from Steinberg’s incident? (Even it Steinberg lied.) Playing memories can always be found online and it’s easy to remember elite Tiger but the death-of-career-by-press-release is bad enough. I hope it doesn’t get worse.

 

This golf 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.

Comments

  1. Peter_B says:

    I really enjoyed the British PGA at Wentworth last weekend. I think the sponsor names (Dean and Deluca; Farmers Insurance; CareerBuilders; Waste Management……..?? WTF. Worse than the race names on Derby Day) and the tricked-up US courses put me off American tournaments – as much as the inconvenient time zone.
    Noren is a good player, but an amazingly brilliant streaky putter when he’s hot. The rain over the final 9 holes worked against the later players like the Australian Dodt. A lot of hands slipping off clubs in the constant drizzle. Rub of the green.
    Tiger is a sad case. His warrior ‘take no prisoners’ mentality inculcated by his US Marine father served him well for 35 years, but is destroying him now. He sadly remains a self destructive emotional child with awesome self deluding power. No wonder he gets on well with the Donald.
    I am sure his PR/legal team will pander to his explaining this as a ‘one off’ mistake, but opiates – masquerading as physical pain relief – have a seductive comforting thrall. I hope he sometime learns there are some things you can’t buy or control.

  2. Thanks for reading as ever Peter. Rain and wind has certainly been a factor in the European events recently. A very astute observation about Tiger regarding the Marine mentality. Made me thin of the piece Wright Thompson did on ESPN about Tiger a while back. The slide is not good from a playing point of view. How will the play improve with medical issues? Hmm.

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