Almanac Golf: Golf Capital – Rose doubles up, younger guns win in New Zealand



A collection of golf news, thoughts and notes from the week which saw Justin Rose go back-to-back with a victory in Turkey, rising star Patrick Cantlay broke through at the top level on the PGA Tour whilst China’s Shanshan Feng triumphed in impressive fashion in Japan.


Opening drive


A wild finish on the European Tour at the Turkish Airlines Open saw Olympic champion Justin Rose prevail by one stroke in Antayla when any one of several players at the turn could have triumphed before Rose birdied three of his last four holes at Regnum Carya Golf and Spa Resort. Rose is now a chance to claim the ET’s Order of Merit crown for the second time (he first won it in 2007) if Tommy Fleetwood doesn’t retain his lead.


The Las Vegas stop for the PGA Tour ended in a three-man playoff at TPC Summerlin after German Alex Cejka fired a best of the day eight under to finish at nine under. Cejka joined America Patrick Cantlay and South Korean Whee Kim in the playoff at the latter two bogeyed 18. All three stuttered at the first playoff hole bogeying the par four 18th before they went back to the tee before Cantlay found trouble behind a tree, hit out, nailed and up-and-down as Kim and Cejka bogeyed again. Cantlay, 25, has been a column favourite and looms set for more success after winning the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Aside from the trio that made the playoff JJ Spaun was well in contention until he double-bogeyed the last two holes. This week the OHL Classic at Mayakoba takes place in Mexico at El Camaleon Golf Club with Pat Perez the defending champion.


China’s Shanshan Feng won for the second time in 2017 when she saluted by two strokes in the Toto Japan Classic in Ibaraki. This week the LPGA heads to Feng’s home nation for the fourt edition of the Blue Bay LPGA China. Australian Minjee Lee won by one stroke in 2016.


Player performance notes


Players I’m interested to see how they go with notes related to capital investment if that’s your thing. The penultimate leg of the European Tour’s Rolex Series will be held in South Africa for the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City in the north of South Africa


Under 20: Branden Grace. The South African loves this event with two top four finishes in his last two goes here plus he has finished in the top 15 twice in the last few weeks.


20 to 50: Tommy Fleetwood. The winner of the last two ET events Justin Rose is skipping this event to give himself a rest for the final leg in Dubai and current money list leader Fleetwood who was 16th here last year has a good chance to capitalize on his countryman’s absence.


20 to 50: Victor Dubuisson. Three starts back Frenchman Dubuisson grabbed a third place finish in Scotland and, like Grace, he’s finished in the top four both of his last two attempts here.


50 to 100: Dylan Frittelli. The South African finished just behind Rose in Turkey and returns to this venue for the first time in ten years in a tournament but is used to the conditions. He will seek to become the first South African since Trevor Immelman in 2007 to win this *event (often referred to as ‘South Africa’s major’) and is a winner this year in Austria.


50 to 100: Andy Sullivan. The Englishman finished T18 in Spain two weeks ago and when he came T3 in this event last season he was coming off a T25 in Turkey and second-placed finished in Portugal.


50 to 100: Julian Suri. After consecutive T8 finishes I see no reason to think the adaptable American won’t perform well here. Suri, 26, is now inside the top 100 (currently 93) for the first time in his career. An impressive effort for a player ranked outside the top 1,100 places this time last year.


Greens in regulation


The chance for golf’s elite to get attention in Australia in the coming weeks got a boost on Wednesday when it was confirmed Jason Day was returning to play in the Australian Open for the first time in four years. American Jordan Spieth is the defending champion at Royal Sydney and will return for the tournament from November 23-26. Day is yet to win in 2017 and 2012 was the last year the Queenslander failed to get a victory. Fellow Sunshine Stater Cameron Smith is also playing after Spieth beat him and Ashley Hall in a playoff.


Tap in


A few weeks after 37-year-old Jacinda Ardern ascended to become New Zealand’s Prime Minister and a few days before 24-yearold Joseph O’Brien trained Melbourne Cup winner Rekindling another amateur golfing event in New Zealand produced a young win. 14-year-old Aucklander Silvia Brunotti (yes 14) won the NZ Amateur title NZ Amateur title (joining current star Lydia Ko in winning the crown at the same age.) Interestingly Italian-born Brunotti, should she continue her current trajectory, could become the best Italian-born female golfer rather rapidly with Italy currently having only one player ranked in inside the top 300 – Guilia Molinari at 287. By way of comparison nearby Spain, which has approximately 14 million less residents compared to Italy’s 60 million, has four in the top 300. With 14 years-old been the new 20 in amatueur golf according to one of Australia’s leading instructors it would just be hoped the potential for burn-out is managed appropriately and long-term athlete development aspects are considered.


*Known now as the Nedbank Challenge this event has been limited field of 12 for a long time and was only increased to 30 in 2013 and now has 72 competitors.


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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