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Turn me back into the old me
Searching for her first win in three years, Lydia Ko was one shot ahead of top-ranked American Nelly Korda going into the final round of the Lotte Championship in Hawaii. Nelly struggled early, but it likely wouldn’t have mattered if she had played well. Ko was on autopilot, shooting 65 to close out a dominant seven-shot victory. Results
Lydia Ko was extraordinary this past week. After opening with a 67, she reeled off three rounds of 65 or better to get her first win since 2018. It’s her 16th career LPGA Tour victory but just her second since turning 20 years old (she’s 23). Back inside the top 10 of the Rolex Rankings, Ko seems poised to reassert herself as one of the LPGA’s premier talents. She has plenty of company in the deep women’s game right now, but when she’s playing well, she just has another gear.
The old man and the sea
It’s really hard to win a PGA Tour event on Friday, but Stewart Cink basically did just that at the RBC Heritage. At 47 years old, Cink opened the Heritage with back-to-back rounds of 63 and was able to coast a bit over the weekend. He wound up four shots clear for his second win of the 2020-21 season. Results
After more than a decade without a victory, Stewart Cink has claimed two trophies in the past eight months. It was 23-and-a-half years ago that Cink picked up his first PGA Tour win at the 1997 Greater Hartford Open (Lydia Ko was three months old!). According to Sean Martin, only six men in the post-World War II era have won after a longer duration from their first victory. You might recognize their names: Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Raymond Floyd, Tom Watson, Davis Love III, and Phil Mickelson.
Cink is now up to No. 44 in the Official World Golf Ranking and No. 3 in the FedEx Cup standings, and his name will undoubtedly pop up in Ryder Cup chatter. With just six spots reserved for automatic qualifiers this year, Cink would probably need a captain’s pick, and he might just get one if he keeps playing this well. Whatever happens, it has been one heck of a run from a player we did not expect to hear about this season. Kudos, Stew!
Davenport Country Club: A Wild Ride by the Mississippi
Davenport CC, the site of our July event The Big Muddy, is an underrated Midwestern classic. Check out our new video on this C.H. Alison design.
Emiliano Grillo and Harold Varner III (T-2) recorded their best finishes of the season behind Stewart Cink at Harbour Town. Maverick McNealy (T-4) notched his second top five of the spring, and Corey Conners (T-4) had another great showing after his T-8 at the Masters last week.
Peter Uihlein hasn’t had an easy time of it over the past couple of years, but a win usually makes things look less bleak. The former Oklahoma State standout won the MGM Resorts Championship for his second career Korn Ferry Tour victory. Now No. 23 in the KFT points list, Uihlein has PGA Tour membership within reach. Results
Former world No. 1 amateur Takumi Kanaya won the Token Homemate Cup on the Japan Golf Tour this weekend, moving him well inside the top 100 of the OWGR. The Japanese phenom has three Japan Tour wins and will most likely be eligible to play in the PGA Championship next month.
Sung Kang has clearly been keeping up with the antics of Billy Horschel. Kang’s temper tantrum from Friday was this week’s must-see clip.
Also a must-see: our friend @sacoomba’s rendering of what various PGA Tour stars would look like with Cameron Smith’s flow.
The Latest from The Fried Egg
No. 13 at Augusta National: A Postmortem – The 13th at Augusta National is regarded as one of the greatest strategic golf holes in the world. During last week’s Masters, Garrett Morrison set out to see how the old design is holding up.
Shotgun Start: Ko drought ends, Romo’s County Am adventure, and the legend of M.T. Johnson
This Monday episode begins with a discussion of some Chicago saloons, such as Lottie’s, the title sponsor of this week’s LPGA event, which Lydia Ko won on Saturday night. Brendan and Andy get into some of the astounding stats of Ko’s recent run, the brilliant pace of play, and what it could mean for a second peak. Then there’s an unplanned diversion into the Will County Amateur, where Tony Romo contended before a second-day fade. For the Heritage, they discuss Stewart Cink’s longevity, his kid caddie, and his past coach changes. Collin Morikawa’s frightening putter is also a topic as is the Si Woo Kim putt that hung on the lip for 40 seconds, leading to a mini-flashback to a similar issue that might have cost Denis Watson the U.S. Open after some tough justice from a rules official with an eye patch. The interminable Euro Tour playoff is covered as are the Peter Uihlein and Steve Stricker victories. News hits on the Town Crier ringing his bell and announcing his opinion on arm lock putting. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.