Almanac Golf: Golf Capital – Short names, big wins for Law and Na

@hamishneal

 

Kevin Na got one up over the ‘bomb-and-gouge brigade’ to claim the Charles Schwab Challenge whilst England’s Bronte Law claimed a maiden victory on the LPGA Tour a week out from the US Women’s Open.

 

Opening drive

Kevin Na’s brilliant eight-under 62 on Friday paved the way for the American’s four-shot triumph at the Colonial Country Club to win his second PGA Tour event in ten months. Na’s 13-under finish saw him clear of Tony Finau with Andrew Putnam and recent winner CT Pan tied for third. This week the PGA Tour heads to Ohio for the Memorial at Muirfield Village.

 

The PGA Tour was in Fort Worth, Texas whilst the LPGA Tour was in Williamsburg, Virginia for the Pure Silk Championship which was won by England’s Bronte Law. Stockport native Law’s first professional triumph comes at the age of 24 after an impressive amateur career and saw her on top since the first round of the event. It was an impressive bounce-back after Law lost in a playoff in the recent event in San Francisco.

 

Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger won the Made in Denmark at the glorious Himmerland track to claim the fifth European Tour title of his career. However it took some doing for Wiesberger; even after finding water on the last hole, his bogey saw him prevail over Robert MacIntyre. Wiesberger’s earlier tally of seven birdies plus an eagle saw him finish at 14 under ahead by one after 72 holes. Scot MacIntyre was ranked 265 in the world three weeks ago and has now nearly halved that to be at 123 following his second-place finish which came after a T2 at the British Masters. From Denmark to Belgium the Belgian Knockout takes place at the Rinkven International Golf Course this week on the ET.

 

Greens in regulation

This week sees the second major of the elite women’s game take place at the US Women’s Open. Last year’s title culminated in a four-hole playoff in Alabama won by Ariya Jutanugarn. Twelve former winners are in Charleston, South Carolina for the tournament to be played at the Country Club of Charleston. Interestingly the venue hasn’t hosted a top-flight event; the last tournament of significance to take place here was the US Women’s Amateur six years ago. So much of the intrigue will be linked to most of the players seeing the course for the first time in tournament play before they contend for the USD5.5 million event but it is also notable that despite the USD1 million going to the winner (which is the biggest of any major in women’s golf) it is well short of what 2018 US Open Brooks Koepka pocketed in the men’s event — USD2.16 million.

 

Tap in

Kevin Na’s third PGA Tour win came with an interesting prize. As well as the USD1.3 million prize money and a tartan jacket, the winner also claimed a 1973 Dodge Challenger car, and immediately gifted it to his caddie Kenny Harms, whom he has known for 11 years. Aside from the grand gesture of the restored vehicle, Na’s win was nice given he ranked 125th in driving distance on tour heading into the event and freely admits he can only contend on “seven or eight” courses during the season due to his lack of power hitting.

 

This week

US Women’s Open – Charleston, South Carolina

 

Brooke Henderson
A recent winner, Henderson missed this event last year due to family matters with one of her grandfathers passing away. Her record in this major isn’t strong, but she is in form after her T2 result in Virginia.

 

Charley Hull
Hull, possibly buoyed by Law’s win, has a solid chance here having finished T13-T4 in her last two outings. This goes with her Ladies European Tour win in January in the UAE; however she is winless on the LPGA since November 2016.

 

Jin Young Ko
A major winner in 2019 at the Ana Inspiration already, Ko also won in March and has been incredibly consistent this year with only two finishes outside of the top 17 and the ‘worst’ of those was a T29 in Thailand.

 

The Memorial – Dublin, Ohio

 

Tiger Woods
The five-time winner here won the Masters last time out and has elected to play this in preparation before the US Open at Pebble Beach.

 

2019 record:
Feb 13: Nelly Korda win and Paul Dunne third.
Feb 20: Lebioda missed the cut and in Mexico Ancer (T39) was the best of the three.
Feb 27: Best two were Brooke Henderson (T15) after taking an eight on one of the par fives in her opening round and Harrison Endycott T17.
March 6: Matt Millar T23 in NZ was the best result in the tough weather on the South Island.
March 13: Justin Thomas T35 was the best of the TPC Sawgrass four.
March 20: Went off a week early with Kisner but in the Valspar Jon Rahm was T6 as the best result.
April 4: Matt Jones’ T30 was the best of the four options last week after Rahm’s T6 finish the week prior.
April 11: Xander Schauffele. T2 at his second Masters appearance is impressive a show for the future.
April 17: Brooke Henderson won in Hawaii with Matt Fitzpatrick the best at the RBC Heritage at T39.
May 15: Brooks Koepka won the PGA with Schauffele aiming for a top-five finish before faltering like so many on Sunday to eventually finish T16 and 11 shots off the winner.
May 22: Matt Wallace was the best of a rough weekend finishing T41 in Denmark after a promising start.

This golfing wrap first appeared on 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.

Comments

  1. Good to see a bit of diversity in golf’s winners last week. Colonial’s shorter tree-lined course gave a shorter hitter like Na a chance after the “bomb and gouge” fest of Bethpage Black (yawn). JTH tells me he is a close follower of KNa with his Uncle Kenny on the bag.
    Bronte Law looks a natural swinger in the mode of the great (Dame) Laura Davies. Law lost a playoff a month ago in a tournament she should have won, and those things can cripple a player with self doubt. I wondered if her putting would stand up to the pressure of big money tournaments. She showed Davies style resilience in winning wire to wire last week.
    This week’s US Women’s Open will be a highlight on the Seth Raynor designed Charleston Country Club course. Just saw the end of the first round – hard running greens and fairways make it more like a British Open setup (which is where Raynor drew his inspiration). Evil green complexes make a test out of flat coastal land. Enjoy.

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