The PGA Tour finished off a weekend in Las Vegas, but most left without the hangover and sense of regret. Kevin Na collected the biggest payout, Jon Rahm successfully defended his Open de España title, and Cheyenne Knight gutted out her first LPGA victory.
There were three rounds of 62 or better at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open this weekend, and two of them belonged to Kevin Na. The Las Vegas resident went 68-62-61-70 at TPC Summerlin and emerged victorious after a playoff battle with Patrick Cantlay. Leaderboard
Kevin Na’s win was extremely unusual. He had negative strokes gained metrics tee to green this week, but he gained more than 14 shots on the field with his putter. According to Justin Ray, Na is the first player to win with negative SG: Tee-to-Green numbers since the PGA Tour started tracking those stats 15 years ago. That’s astounding. Furthermore, Na set the PGA Tour record for most feet of putts made in an event, making 558 feet and 11 inches worth of putts over his four rounds. While Na got it done in an unusual way, this wasn’t an unusual result. It was Na’s third victory in his last 30 PGA Tour starts.
- Patrick Cantlay, the 2017 Shriners champion, fell just short this year. After shooting a final-nine 34 to extend the tournament, Cantlay birdied the first playoff hole, but Na responded by walking in a 10-footer. Cantlay bogeyed the next hole and had to settle for his fourth career runner-up.
- Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau shot a final-round 63 to finish T-4. The soon-to-be-buff DeChambeau birdied five of his final seven holes to earn his first top-five finish of the season.
- Young studs Matthew Wolff (T-18), Kristoffer Ventura, (T-18), and Collin Morikawa (T-42) had solid weeks in Las Vegas. Morikawa shot a final-round 72 to fall down the leaderboard, but the Cal grad has still made the cut in each of his first 11 PGA Tour starts.
- UNLV stalwart Jack Trent finished T-29 at TPC Summerlin. Trent was playing on a sponsor’s exemption, and had it not been for a double bogey on his 72nd hole, Trent would have finished inside the top 20.
It was a dominant weekend for Jon Rahm as the 24-year-old Spaniard defended his title at the Mutuactivos Open de España. Rahm shot rounds of 66-67-63-66 in Madrid, winning the event by five shots over Rafa Cabrera Bello. The victory moves Rahm to No. 4 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Fellow Spaniards Samuel Del Val and Adri Arnaus joined Rahm and Cabrera Bello in the top five. Other notables include Sergio García (T-7), Justin Harding (T-7), Alexander Levy (T-15), and Ross Fisher (T-17). Leaderboard
Cheyenne Knight won her first LPGA Tour event Sunday at the Volunteers of America Classic. Knight entered the week 120th in the LPGA money list, needing a strong finish to earn her 2020 LPGA Tour card. Leaderboard
Mind Muangkhumsakul walked away from the Symetra Tour Championship with her LPGA Tour card, but the Thai player didn’t hit a single shot. Full Story by Randall Mell
Just the Yolk: “Woke Golf” – In response to a reader question about whether “woke golf culture” is elitist, Andy Johnson lays out the positives and negatives of the online golf community and suggests that we try to move on from our hang-up with “wokeness.”
Shotgun Start: Viva Live Under Par, the Rahm trajectory, and Bryson’s plan to get swole
Brendan and Andy return from the weekend to discuss the playoff finish in Las Vegas. They run through some of the astounding stats from a weekend when it seemed like everyone was posting numbers in the low 60s. If ever there was a week for an adjusted par, this was it. They also wonder if Rory’s FedExCup title should have an asterisk based on the schedule changes and if Brooks potentially got married in Vegas after missing the cut. Then they swing across the pond to praise the dominant Jon Rahm, pondering whether there’s a better under-30 player in golf (not named Brooks). In news, they hit on some strong comments toward the PGA Tour from the Houston Open tournament director about the weak field down in Texas this week. Then they get to the latest chapter from the Bryson zone and attempt to translate his quotes on getting bigger and/or stronger in the coming months as well his monologue on living life on the third standard deviation. This prompts an excellent Andy monologue on the differences between an idiot and a moron. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.
Kevin Na outdid himself as he walked in his birdie putt on the first playoff hole. You can walk wherever you want this fall in our Fried Egg B. Draddy crewneck sweatshirt. Get yours today!