Almanac Golf: Golf Capital’s 2019 Return: Tantrums and troubles (but also fun) at Barwon

From tantrums to dubious tournament venues it’s been a busy few weeks in golf since we last reflected on the goings on with the great game. Here we go to start 2019, albeit rather late.



Opening drive


Scotland’s David Law produced a stupendous eagle on the 18th as Wade Ormsby blew up late in the piece at the Victorian Open to claim the men’s title whilst Celine Boutier secured a first LPGA triumph in her second year on tour with victory at the Barwon Heads venue. Law’s win adds to his home triumph in Scotland last year on the second-tier Challenge Tour. The 27-year old beat Ormsby and Brad Kennedy by one stroke with Boutier a two-stroke winner over another Australian duo, Sarah Kemp and Su Oh. One of the stars of the dual-event tournaments – which allowed people to take their dogs for a walk on course – was American Kim Kaufman with a great slam dunk on the very tricky par three seventh on Saturday.


Phil Mickelson secured another win (number 44) on the PGA Tour and his fifth at Pebble Beach when he came back on Monday to prevail over Paul Casey in the AT&T Pro Am on the Californian coast.



Greens in regulation

Sergio, Sergio, Sergio. We need to talk… At the tournament which shall not be mentioned, one-time major winner Sergio Garica lost the plot and was disqualified by the officials after the third round following his rough treatment of multiple greens. Interestingly, there appears to be no vision of the damage to the greens but there is footage of the 39-year-old overreacting in a bunker like he has just had his sandcastle trampled by his elder brother at the beach. The Spaniard wasn’t DQ’ed for that although I’m sure that was a part of the thinking by the officials. It’s probably ironic in a way that we couldn’t see what Sergio did wrong given the host nation of the tournament has been in the news for things that happen in far away places. Hmm…



Tap in

Since the last golf capital we’ve seen some first time-winners plus top ranked winners across both the men’s and women’s games. On the European Tour American Kurt Kitayama won in Mauritius, Louis Oosthuizen triumphed in the South African Open, and David Lipsky also won in the Republic. Into the Desert swing of the ET Ireland’s Shane Lowry and Bryson DeChambeau, now ranked a career high of five, won in Abu Dhabi and Dubai respectively.


Before last week’s Vic Open the only LPGA event since our break was the Tournament of Champions won by South Korean Eun-Hee Ji in Florida. Whilst the PGA Tour has seen wins to Jon Rahm in the limited field event in Bahamas, Brian Harman joined Patton Kizzire on a team at late notice to claim the QBE Shootout before wins in Hawaii to Xander Schauffele and then Matt Kuchar. Schauffele’s win was another limited field event, but back on the mainland produced the short of the last few months as Adam Long who has toiled away on lower tier tours since 2011 won for the first time in 142 ranking events at the Desert Classic. Long holed a putt on the last at La Quinta as multiple major-winner Mickelson looked on. Long, previously ranked 417th, had won the week prior to England’s world number one Justin Rose’s win in the Farmer’s Insurance Open. Before that Ricky Fowler won in Phoenix, followed by Mickelson’s Pebble Beach win.


On the Australasian men’s PGA Tour Cameron Smith won on the Gold Coast in December (an event co-sanctioned with the European Tour) and that tour resumes regular full field stroke-play events after the World Super 6, also co-sanctioned with the European Tour, this week.



This week

Women’s Australian Open

Nelly Korda. The American has won as recently as October and returned with a third at the TOC in Florida.

Su Oh. After going close in Victoria the Australian could prevail at the Grange venue in South Australia.


World Super 6 Perth

Paul Dunne. A Golf Sixes winner in team’s format the Irishman was 17th last time out in a stronger field.

Dimitrios Papadatos. 11th here last year making the Sunday play the Central Coast golfer has won three times in the last two years and twice on the Aus PGA in that time.



Stay out of the bunker, until next time.




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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