Phew. That’s the kind of weekend that makes you think about taking the first smoke break of your life. There was no shortage of golf action this weekend: the Solheim Cup finished in dramatic fashion, a 20-year-old won on the PGA Tour, and Sergio García made news on the European Tour (in a good way).
Team. Match. Play.
The trash talk leading up to the Solheim Cup promised fireworks, and boy did the event deliver. Entering Sunday at an 8-8 tie, the U.S. and European teams battled to the bitter end on Sunday. The U.S. team won five of the first nine singles matches and needed just a half point to seal at least a share of the Cup.
The anchor match finished first, as Anna Nordqvist disposed of Morgan Pressel 4&3. Nordqvist played a bogey-free round, allowing Pressel to win just one hole all day. The pressure then shifted to Bronte Law, who was one down to American Ally McDonald through 13. But Law birdied the 14th and 16th holes before closing out the match on 17. That left the two teams tied at 13.5, with just Suzann Pettersen and Marina Alex remaining on the course.
Alex had battled back from two down with birdies on 13 and 14, and the pair approached the 18th green with the Solheim Cup in the balance. A veteran captain’s pick by Catriona Matthew, Pettersen buried an eight-foot putt to win the Cup for Europe. Afterwards, in one heck of a mic drop, Pettersen announced that she was retiring from competitive golf.
After a week of negative press about slow play (valid) and the supposed rudeness of certain American players (not valid), it was inspirational to watch these women light up Gleneagles on Sunday. The Solheim Cup has just as much drama and intrigue as the Ryder Cup, and the players take it just as seriously, maybe more so. In this 2019 edition, the Korda sisters were stars, Georgia Hall and Céline Boutier were killers, Bronte Law came up big at the biggest moment, and Suzann Pettersen more than backed up her tongue-in-cheek promise to “step on [the Americans’] necks.”
We’ll remember this Solheim Cup for a long time to come. It was a great day for women’s golf, and for golf in general. Solheim Cup results
Joaq ’n’ roll
Cameron Champ, Matthew Wolff, and Collin Morikawa all won on the PGA Tour in the last 12 months, and each did so before his 23rd birthday. Joaquín Niemann just won before his 21st. Niemann capped off a dominant performance at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier on Sunday, winning the event by a whopping six shots. Leaderboard
The youth movement in golf has perhaps numbed us to how remarkable it is for a 20-year-old to win on the most competitive tour in the world. Just last year, Joaquín Niemann burst onto the national stage after winning the Latin America Amateur, which earned him an invitation to the Masters. Forgoing college, he turned professional after the Masters and within four months locked up his PGA Tour card—with a T-5 the 2018 Greenbrier event, incidentally.
Now he joins Seve Ballesteros and Rory McIlroy as the only non-Americans since the 1940s to win on the PGA Tour before turning 21 (via Justin Ray).
Tom Hoge, Brian Harman, Harris English, Nate Lashley, and Richy Werenski all notched top-five finishes this week. Harman and Hoge both shot 65 on Sunday to vault up the leaderboard.
Scottie Scheffler and Robby Shelton finished T-7 in their debut as PGA Tour members. Both started Saturday tied for the lead but managed only an even-par performance over the weekend.
After three rounds of 68 to start the event, Viktor (Mr. Sunday) Hovland shot a final-round 64 to finish T-10. Hovland, Scheffler, and Shelton all figure to be factors on the PGA Tour for years to come.
Sergio García captured his first win of 2019 at the KLM Open outside of Amsterdam this weekend. Entering Sunday tied for the lead, García made seven birdies en route to his 16th European Tour victory. The moody Spaniard has had a tumultuous season filled with PR problems and poor play. By the end of the summer he had fallen outside of the top 40 in the world rankings. But as he proved this week, he is always a threat to win.
Nicolai Hojgaard, Matt Wallace, James Morrison, and Callum Shinkwin rounded out the top five while Thomas Pieters and Joost Luiten also garnered top-10 finishes. KLM Open Leaderboard
It was a life-changing weekend for Patrick Fishburn on the Mackenzie Tour. Fishburn won the season finale to move up to fifth in the year-long standings, which qualified him for the Korn Ferry Tour in 2020. Canada Life Championship Leaderboard
Lexi Thompson’s reaction to a slightly overzealous (but considerate!) “fore” shout became something of a meme over the weekend. European Tour player Robert MacIntyre, best known as the guy who got in Kyle Stanley’s face at the Open about proper “fore” etiquette, predictably sided with the shouter.
Shotgun Start: A legendary Solheim walk-off and Niemann pays tribute to the military
This Monday episode reacts to a wild Sunday of golf from across the globe, most notably at the Solheim Cup. Brendan and Andy review the weekend at Gleneagles, offering up a few critiques of the mowing patterns, pace of play, and some lineup choices before heaping praise on what was arguably the greatest finish to a team match event we’ve seen. Suzann Pettersen’s play on the 18th, before the clinching putt, is given due praise, and Brendan and Andy contemplate whether this finish boosts the LPGA over the rest of the season. Joaquín Niemann is then hailed as our new overlord atop the courier service rankings, which Andy understands as the best player in the world. Sergio’s win is given a modicum of praise as well as the Champions Tour player now making Ron Burgundy sweat atop the Schwab Cup. The episode finishes with a wonderful Lee Westwood locker room story heard over the weekend. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.
It was raining birdies at the Solheim Cup this weekend. Don’t be held up by rain when you’re on the golf course. Get yourself one of our Fried Egg bucket hats today!