Almanac Golf: Golf Capital – Park victorious in Rio on stellar weekend for South Korea

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


Opening drive:

Olympic golf had another high-quality winner Saturday (Rio time) with seven-time major winner Inbee Park claiming gold ahead of world number one Lydia Ko and China’s Shanshan Feng. Park, 28, is already elevated to Hall of Fame status but may not play on much longer. If she does call it a day soon it will be some way to go out with the Olympics return as perhaps her last career win. South Korea’s great weekend continued with Si Woo Kim winning the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship. Seven years Park’s junior Kim was close to a victory when he lost out in a playoff to Aaron Baddeley a few weeks back so a win was not a surprise but the victory margin (five strokes) was. In what was the final event before the FedEx Cup playoffs Kim shot a 59 in the second round to continue a run of recent low scores in the US.


Whilst it wasn’t an American win on the PGA tour it was in Europe with now world number 180 Paul Peterson securing the Czech Masters title. Arizona native Peterson prevailed by one stroke over defending champ Thomas Pieters for his first professional win. Europe’s main tour heads to Denmark for the touristy-named Made in Denmark event which was won last year by Englishman David Horsey whilst the playoffs start in the USA with the Barclays at the imposingly-named Bethpage Black. The LPGA resumes in Calgary this weekend with the world’s top three in action in the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open where Ko is the defending champion.


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 start of the playoff series in the USA this weekend in Farmingdale, New York.


20 and under: Henrik Stenson. The Swede was second in the Olympics and also runner-up last year at this event.


20 to 50: Brandt Snedeker: The American shot no worse than 70 for his four rounds in the 2012 edition here and given the event was won with a score of only -10 shooting lights out in at least one round isn’t needed to prevail. T3 last weekend.


20 to 50: Justin Rose. Bar one terrible round of 79 the Olympic gold medalist would have been well in contention for at least a top five spot previously here.


50 to 100: Jim Furyk. The world number 22 Furyk was T10 on the weekend and has shot a few low rounds recently.


50 to 100: Emiliano Grillo. T8 in the Olympics, the Argentinian has had a solid run of four top 15 finishes from his last five starts. Won late last year on Tour.


200 to 500: Ryan Palmer. The American has an early tee time in round one and is T4 in par five scoring on tour this season on a course which could favour accurate players.


200 to 500: Graham DeLeat. The Canadian has performed well in recent weeks and he was T5 in the 2012 edition here. Experience matters in these events plus he started the Olympics well with an opening round of 66 recently.


200 to 500: Shawn Stefani. The 34 year-old closed with back-to-back rounds of 66 at the Wyndham to get into the FedExCup playoffs, and also jagged a hole-in-one during the week. It has been a good few weeks for those with recent hole-in-ones.


Greens in regulation:

As we bid farewell to Olympic golf until four years’ time for the Tokyo edition at the Kasumigaseki Country Club it’s time for a reflection on the format in the return. The stroke-play worked well but the lack of a cut was odd, however this was due to field capacity issues. Having 240 athletes for golf would be greedy in terms of taking up accommodation. An option could be to mixed teams event were you use the stroke-play event scores to qualify your team but it’s tricky to manage a team event within the schedule. Having ‘lesser’ players was a great experience for them but those players who had no hope of qualifying for to a team event if one was held after the stroke-play events thus feeling left out of end of the event, at least the current format saw everyone play on the final day. The tournament could start early like football and then have the teams event across the last few days but you then have an issue with whichever event goes first having to have those players stay around doing nothing, unless the stroke-play events were played simultaneously but that would probably not be good for TV coverage and would mean running two events at the same time so extra staffing etc. The simple alternative is keep the same format but award the team medal based on best two male/female scores but then the second half of the gold medal winning duo could be long gone from the country. Have I found an answer? No. I think this means let’s keep the same format and tinker if the sport is retained beyond Tokyo. That will be known by next year.


Tap in:

Western Australian player Curtis Luck secured the prestigious US Amateur title on the weekend beating Oklahoma’s Brad Dalke in the final. Luck won the decider at Oakland Hills in Michigan handily (6 and 4) but was forced to work in his semi-final pushed to a 21st hole by local Nick Carlson. Luck becomes the first Australian since Nick Flanagan in 2003 to win the crown and whilst Newcastle-born Flanagan hasn’t had a stellar career (with four second-tier victories in the USA to his credit) other recent winners Ryan Moore (2004), Kiwi Danny Lee (2008) and Brit Matthew Fitzpatrick (2013) have multiple wins at the top level in Europe or the USA. Luck gains entry to three of the four majors in 2017.


This piece first appeared From the sideline of sport

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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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