7/29/19

Cal Bearacuda

Brooks stuffs Rory in a locker, Morikawa gets his first, and Jin Young Ko gets her second

by

What a weekend of golf! Brooks Koepka knocked off Rory McIlroy in Memphis, Collin Morikawa won in his sixth start as a pro, Jin Young Ko captured her second major championship of the year, and Bernhard Langer notched his 11th senior major title. 

Talkin’ about practice?

Sunday at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational promised to be a showdown between the two best players in the world. Rory McIlroy started the day with a one-shot lead over Brooks Koepka, but that was no bother to Brooksy. Koepka arrived at TPC Southwind less than an hour before his tee time, shot 65, and won the event by three strokes. WGC FedEx St. Jude Classic Leaderboard

Less than a month ago, Brooks Koepka admitted he does not have the same sense of purpose at non-majors Sunday bucked that notion as he played a flawless final round in Memphis. Brooks made just two bogeys over his final 54 holes and none in his final 18. The win gives him three on the 2019-2020 season, a total that includes his fourth career major championship. He has all but locked up his second consecutive PGA Tour Player of the Year title.

Notes

Ice cold – Rory McIlroy melted on Sunday, shooting 72 to finish T-4 at TPC Southwind. He putted well in his first three rounds, but he seemed unable to hole anything with the title on the line. In the final pairing with Koepka, he made just one birdie.

Playoff movers – As players turn their focus to the playoffs, every spot in the FedEx Cup rankings becomes important. Webb Simpson shot 64 on Sunday to jump to 13th place in the standings, almost assuring himself a spot in the Tour Championship. Bubba Watson and Cam Smith also had strong final rounds and moved themselves inside the top 75. The top 70 earn their way to the BMW Championship at Medinah.

One for the money, two for the show

2019 will be a year to remember for Jin Young Ko. The 24-year-old won her second major championship of the season this weekend, besting the Evian Championship field by two shots. Ko started the day three behind Sung Hyun Park before shooting a final-round 67 to claim the title. Currently second in the Rolex Rankings, Ko has not finished worse than T-29 all season.

The trio of Jennifer Kupcho, Shanshan Feng, and Hyo Joo Kim tied for runner-up in France. Also in the top 10 were the Jutanugarn sisters, world No. 1 Sung Hyun Park, and Inbee Park. Evian Championship Leaderboard

Print of the Week

This is your last chance to snag our most recent print of the week, a shot of the 18th hole at Pasatiempo Golf Club. As a reminder, a percentage of the proceeds go to the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund, an organization that helps give underprivileged kids a chance at a better education. Buy now!

The Cal Kid

Despite the Koepka vs. Rory “showdown,” Collin Morikawa stole the show on the PGA Tour yesterday. The 22-year-old won the Barracuda Championship by three Stableford points over Troy Merritt, earning his first PGA Tour victory. Morikawa started the day four points back but went on to make seven birdies in his final round. It looked like things were slipping away after he failed to birdie the par-5 13th, but four birdies over his final five holes sealed the deal. Barracuda Championship Leaderboard

Collin Morikawa has flown somewhat under the radar this season. Matthew Wolff has stolen much of the spotlight with his unique swing and win at the 3M Open, but Morikawa has been just as good. He has gone from sponsor exemptions to temporary PGA Tour status to full PGA Tour status, and is now a PGA Tour winner with two years of job security. His last three starts have been T-2, T-4, and a win, and he will play in the FedEx Cup playoffs. Not bad for someone who turned pro only two months ago.

Quick Hooks

Bernhard Langer won his fourth Senior Open and 11th overall senior major on Sunday. He shot a final-round 66 to win by two shots over Paul Broadhurst. Leaderboard

Harry Higgs won the Price Cutter Charity Championship by two shots on the Korn Ferry Tour. One of the more colorful players on the Korn Ferry, Higgs will be a welcome addition to the PGA Tour in 2020. Leaderboard

Sergio García had yet another outburst on the course this weekend. The 39-year-old (39!) slammed his driver into a tee box at TPC Southwind. Video

On the Links

As Tom Watson bids Open golf farewell, his unique, primal style will be missed

Michael Bamberger, Golf

Tom Watson’s farewell to major-championship golf comes, fittingly, in a place that helped define his career

John Feinstein, Golfworld

→ When it comes time to reflect on the accomplishments of a legend, you turn to the old hands of golf journalism. Tom Watson retired from major-championship golf on Sunday at the Senior Open. As you would expect, Bamberger and Feinstein had the right words for the occasion.

The edge of glory: Attempting to qualify for the U.S. Open in Alaska

Dylan Dethier, Golf

→ Dethier offers a stirring and precisely observed account of his trip to a U.S. Open qualifier in Palmer, Alaska.

The Latest

Shotgun Start: Brooksy’s big payday, the Wyndham con job, and Evian course conditions

Brendan and Andy return from the weekend to discuss Brooks Koepka bagging the WGC Memphis, Wyndham Rewards, and AON Risk-Reward Challenge in one fell swoop. We get into why Sunday seemed to fall flat, Rory’s no-show, and Brooksy’s motivations to earn elite status at Wyndham hotels. We also holler about why his Sunday arrival time was a non-story. In the interest of equal time, we also present a counter-argument against all the WGC Memphis critiques. Is it a Southwinds problem or just a WGC problem or both? Wyndham’s investment in the season-long rewards chase only to have no one show up for the finale in Greensboro is discussed and adjudged as a five-alarm fire for the Tour. Then we move to Collin Morikawa’s big win in Reno and the raging Rookie of the Year debate now. Andy breaks some news with a leak of the new schedule for next year and how the Tour will work around the Olympics again. Jin Young Ko’s second major win of the year is given praise, and Lexi Thompson’s shot at the course conditioning on her way out is not given praise. Sergio’s continued course destruction and petulant antics are panned. Andy then wraps with a rant on the complexities of the playoff system. Listen on iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher

Pro Shop

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