Happy Veterans Day, folks! We hope seasonal affective disorder hasn’t set in just yet. It was a sleepy weekend in golf, but we were graced with a six-man playoff, surprisingly intense drama on the PGA Tour Champions, and the latest episode in the adventures of Eddie Pepperell.
Not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5…
The home stretch of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai kicked off with the Turkish Airlines Open this weekend. Similar to the FedEx Cup Playoffs, the final three events on the Euro schedule are weighted more heavily in the season-long race. Plenty of players were in the mix on Sunday, and a six-man playoff was necessary to determine the winner. On the fourth hole of the playoff, under the floodlights of the Montgomerie Maxx Royal, Tyrrell Hatton emerged victorious. Leaderboard
Things were looking bleak for Hatton on the first playoff hole. A mudball in the fairway sent his approach to the par-5 18th sailing over the green. He proceeded to chip it back off the front edge. Knowing he most likely needed a four to advance, Hatton holed his chip and closed the deal three holes later.
Hatton has had a pretty mediocre 2019 but has recently started to put the pieces together. He has top-20 finishes in each of his last five events and now finds himself sixth in the Race to Dubai standings. He is still a considerable margin behind leader Bernd Wiesberger, but an extra $2 million never hurts.
- Other members of the Turkish Airlines Open playoff included Kurt Kitayama, Matthias Schwab, Ben Hebert, Victor Perez, and Erik van Rooyen. While Schwab advanced the farthest of this pack, all men will earn T-2 finishes for their efforts. Victor Perez now has three top fives in his past five starts, including a win at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
- One of the few Americans on the European Tour full time, Kurt Kitayama has put together a fantastic year. He has three top-four finishes in his past four events, has moved inside the top 70 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
- Eddie Pepperell was disqualified from the Turkish Airlines Open on Saturday after running out of balls. On the 4th hole, he fired five consecutive shots—or maybe four?—into a green-side pond, notified playing partners Martin Kaymer and George Coetzee that he had no more bullets, and walked off the course. Pepperell has not explained his actions, but Kaymer offered a sensible take to Golf Digest’s John Huggan: “It did not look like he wanted to play.” Added Kaymer, “He did not putt with his putter on the third hole; he putted with a wedge. So there was a lot happening.”
“I’ll just beat him now”
We joke about the PGA Tour Champions and the inflated purses they play for, but drama is drama. Sunday’s final round of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship delivered plenty. Birdies were flying left and right, a playoff determined the winner, and the Schwab Cup hung in the balance. Entering the week fifth in the season-long race, Retief Goosen shot a final-round 64 to get himself into a playoff with Jeff Maggert. If he won the playoff, Goosen would have also won the Schwab Cup.
The two parred the first playoff hole, traded birdies on the second, and moved to the par-4 17th for the third playoff hole. Goosen got within 15 feet for birdie, but Maggert holed his wedge shot from 123 yards. The walk-off eagle dropped Goosen into third place in the season-long race. While Maggert won the event, he did not have enough points to top Scott McCarron for the Schwab Cup. Leaderboard
It wasn’t defending champion Nasa Hataoka, but a Japanese player captured the Toto Japan Open on the LPGA Tour this weekend. Ai Suzuki shot rounds of 67-65-67 in Shiga, Japan, cruising to a three-shot victory. Leaderboard
Rickie Fowler withdrew from this weekend’s Mayakoba Golf Classic after contracting an infection on his honeymoon. Not that kind! Sheesh, get your mind out of the gutter. Fowler is rumored to be the first alternate for the Presidents Cup team if Brooks Koepka is unable to compete because of his injury. Full Story from Golf Channel
The man, the myth, the dancer. Ho Sung Choi won Heiwa PGM Championship on the Japan Golf Tour this weekend. Ho Sung shot rounds of 68-67-68-67 to beat Shugo Imahira by two shots on Sunday—and busted some sweet moves along the way. Leaderboard
Shotgun Start: Anchors aweigh at the Chuck Cup, Ho Sung rising, Pepp’s Tin Cup moment
Brendan and Andy return from the weekend ready to discuss some senior circuit golf, notably Jeff Maggert’s hole-out to beat the Goose in Phoenix and also deliver Ron Burgundy the overall Schwab Cup title. Was this an appropriate way to award a season-long title? The crowded European Tour playoff in Turkey is also reviewed as a bit of a pillow fight, despite some clickbaity headlines to the contrary. There is praise for Hosung Choi’s big win in Japan as well as his decision to wear the exact same clothes all weekend. A late-breaking tweet that reveals the World Golf Hall of Fame counts The Players as a major win sends Andy into a spiral of incredulity and rage. In news, they hit on Eddie Pepperell running out of balls, JT’s underwhelming picks on Gameday, and Rickie’s intestinal disease from his honeymoon. They sign off with a great Michael Jordan story from a Jeremy Roenick radio appearance over the weekend. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.