Almanac Golf: Golf Capital – Walker wins in Springfield and Thai history

Walker wins in Springfield and Thai history

 

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

 

Opening drive:

Jimmy Walker claimed his first major title when he holed out a par putt on the 72nd hole to secure the Wanamaker Trophy. Walker and defending champion Jason Day, who finished second, were among a small group of players who played their final 36 holes on the Sunday after flooding on the course following rain on Friday and Saturday. Despite the weekend wet, the scoring was relatively easy in the fourth round with only Open champion Henrik Stenson shooting over par of all the players who finished inside the top 40.

 

In England it was a first for Thailand as Ariya Jutanugarn became the nation’s first major winner, male or female in claiming the Women’s British Open. 20-year-old Jutanugarn lead by five strokes after nine holes on Sunday before her margin was whittled away, but a birdie-par finish was enough for victory at the Woburn Golf Club. Ironically, in Thailand the men lost their stranglehold on the European Tour/Asian Tour co-sanctioned event, the King’s Cup, with a local failing to claim the title for only the second time in it’s history. Chinese Taipei’s Shih-Chang Chan, ranked 737rd in the world, won by two strokes from countryman Wen-Tang Lin. We told you last week the Northern Ireland Open was the better of the two events linked to the European Tour, even though it was the second-tier Challenge Tour, and that was underscored by the fact it was won by Kiwi Ryan Fox who was ranked 196 heading into the event at Galgorm Castle. Fox along with PGA Tour winner Danny Lee will represent New Zealand in the men’s event in Rio.

 

Player performance notes:
Players I’m interested in to see how they go with notes that interest me and/or are related to capital investments, if that’s your thing, in the weekend’s big event. The US PGA Tour heads north-east for the Travelers Championship in Connecticut which is normally played in June.

 

20 or lower: Bubba Watson, a major winner and defending champion. Watson has also finished second and fourth at this event in two of the last four years. Tournament specialist alert!

 

20-50: Paul Casey. Whilst non-USA players don’t have a great tournament win record here the 39 year-old Englishman was in the playoff last year won by Watson.

 

20-50: Zach Johnson. The 2015 Open champion shot a best round of 66 during his second round in the PGA Championship and was only four shots off those who made the playoff here last time around.

 

20-50: Jon Rahm. The Spaniard has had the week off after his second placing in the Canadian Open and three of the past six winners, when this event was placed after the US Open, did not play the major the week prior.

 

50-100: Tyrell Hatton. A column favourite. The Englishman is enjoying a very consistent recent run including T10 at the PGA.

 

50-100: Aaron Baddeley, Having secured his first title in five years recently Baddeley’s fourth here two years ago is worth noting for the Australian. Of the last three non-USA winners two are Australian players you may know of, Marc Leishman and Greg Norman.

 

100-200: Jon Curran. T33 at the PGA and like Johnson was in the mix here last year.

 

200-500: Lee McCoy. Part of a clutch of recent college graduates. McCoy was T6 in the NCAA college title championship and has a fourth to his credit on tour already from the Valspar Championship in March, but missed the $292,800 due to his amateur status. But he’s since missed three cuts.

 

Greens in regulation:

After the historic victory of Jutanugarn the women’s tours take a break to focus on the Olympic tournament. In Europe the second edition of the Paul Lawrie Match Play will take place with Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat the defending champ from the Aberdeen event last year with this year’s tournament at North Berwick’s Archerfield Links Golf Club. Whilst the event doesn’t have a great deal of history the straight knockout format makes it intriguing.

 

Tap-in:
The wet weather at Baltusrol caused plenty of disruptions for the much of the middle two days at the Springfield venue with the first group out in the second round getting a wrong pin-sheet (which tells players about the movements from the previous day) American Colt Knost was part of a group, playing in rainy conditions, who were given the wrong placement for their first hole. It was rectifiedafter the first hole but between the drizzly weather and getting the wrong pin details Knost played to the wrong side of the green on his approach from 190 metres away and ended up with a bogey. The mistake, luckily didn’t cost Knost a spot in the last two rounds as he snuck in by a stroke and ended up in a tie for 70th, with a split of the $18,000 for that placing. It’s not USGA-level stupid compared to the error related to Dustin Johnson at the US Open but poor nonetheless.

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. Hamish, I just love the Golf coverage and, especially in 2015, the US Open and PGA courses.
    How about the Canadian Open final round a fortnight back? Golf throws up some ripper names but Jhonattan Vegas is my fav…and he can play. Comfortably Venezuela’s best?!

  2. I really enjoyed the British Women’s Open at Woburn last week as much as the PGA. The women’s swings and techniques are much more relevant to us weekend hackers than the brute power of the top men. Jutanargan’s smile before addressing the ball is as intriguing as JDay’s closed eyes visualisation.
    Dunno about betting market tips for golf. Looks like a bookie’s benefit to me. Danny Willet and Jimmy Walker must have been 200/1+ in their Majors.
    All the talk of a Top 3 or 4 seems to have abated. Only Day has been consistent. McIlroy seems a bit of a head case, and Spieith looks like a grinder who had a purple patch. DJohnson’s best is dominant, but he implodes on a regular basis.
    Not a Jack, Tom or Tiger in the lot of them. But I loved JDay;s smile on the last even when he knew he was almost certainly beaten. I think he was happen to have given it his best shot and made Walker earn the title. Not enough smiles in elite sport these days.

  3. Yeah Peter, the Ladies swing so easily and the commentary, as usual, was top notch.
    Don’t hurt your brain re betting markets – “fools and their money…”

  4. Ta for the feedback chaps. Crio I think J Vegas is a decent medal hope at Rio and, currently at 82, is easily the nation’s best by an astonishing 765 places to a gentleman called Wolmer Murillo.
    Pete I like your insight on the little quirks each player has. One of my favourites is Patrick Reed ‘gameface or not’ Re the markets it’s just a small idea I had as way to mentioned a host of different players each week. Willett was 80-1 when he won the Masters but playing well in Europe at the time. You make an astute point re the current top 3/4 talk. The last five major winners have all been first timers, Day in 2015 was the third of the majors for the ‘big three that year’ adn you could easily make a case for a first time winner at the Masters in 2017 given five of the last six winners at August were first time major winners (Bubba Watson twice in that period is yet to win another major.)

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