WEEK 33 Phil Mickelson 25 consecutive years inside the World Top 50

Week 24

WOODLAND CLAIMS HIS FIRST MAJOR TITLE

U.S. Open

Woodland holed a 30-foot birdie putt on Pebble Beach’s iconic par-5 closing hole to punctuate a three-stroke victory over two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka, who was trying to become just the second player to win three consecutive U.S. Opens.

Woodland jumped 13spots from No. 25 to a career best of World No.12.

By carding a 2-under-par 69, Woodland became the fourth player to claim the U.S. Open title with four sub-70 rounds. He’s also the second Open winner at Pebble Beach to post a double-digit under-par score (13-under 271), joining Tiger Woods (12-under 272) who won the 2000 championship by a record 15 strokes.

“I just kept telling myself that records are meant to be broken,” said Woodland. “I’m [actually] more nervous right now than I was playing today.

“I didn't let myself get ahead at all today. Didn't ever let myself think the tournament was over.”

Four players – 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose, Chez Reavie, Jon Rahm and Xander Schauffele – shared third at 7-under 277. Rose started the day one stroke behind Woodland, only to fade over the final 11 holes in carding a 74. Major champions Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen tied for seventh (278).

“I played great,” said Koepka, who was hoping to join Willie Anderson (1903-05) as the only players to win three consecutive Opens. “Nothing I could do. Gary played a great four days. That's what you've got to do if you want to win a U.S. Open, win a major championship and hats off to him. Cool way to go out on 18, to make that bomb. He deserves it, he's worked hard and I'm happy for him.”

In the pantheon of heroic U.S. Open shots at Pebble Beach, there is Tom Kite holing out for a 2 on the par-3 seventh in 1992. There’s Jack Nicklaus’ 1-iron that hit the flagstick and stopped inches away in 1972, and Tom Watson’s miraculous hole-out from greenside rough on the same hole 10 years later.

You can add Woodland’s 265-yard, 3-wood second shot to the par-5 14th hole to that list. On a hole where most players were laying up, and just one eagle was recorded in the final round, Woodland decided it was time to be aggressive. At the time, he held a precarious one-stroke lead on Koepka and Rose was still in the chase.

 

Web.com Tour – Lincoln Land Championship presented by LRS

Xinjun Zhang birdied the third hole of a sudden-death playoff to top Dylan Wu for his second victory of the season at the Lincoln Land Championship presented by LRS. Zhang carded a final-round 6-under 65 on Sunday to reach 15-under for the tournament before eventually closing out the win.

“This confirms that we belong out here and even on the PGA TOUR,” said Zhang, who has already locked up his PGA TOUR card for the 2019-20 season. “Things that I’ve been working on like ball-striking and putting all went well today. It puts me in a great mindset going to the TOUR next year. It’s not very often that you get to be in a playoff going for the win. Being in that environment is a great learning experience, feeling the emotions and the intensity of it.”

With the win, Zhang reclaims the top spot on the season-long Web.com Tour points standings with 1,880 points. Zhang led the Tour in points for three weeks earlier in the season but was surpassed by Robby Shelton over the past four weeks.

This win held special significance for Zhang on Father’s Day as his wife, Chang Hong, is expecting the couple’s second child, a son, this month.

“At the beginning of the week I set a goal that if I finished T3 or better I can take next week off to go home a little early to see my wife and my family,” said Zhang, who turned 32 on Monday. “It just makes it that much sweeter. This win is really for her; she is holding down the fort at home. Obviously going through being pregnant, but also taking care of our daughter Vanessa at the same time.”

Including the three-hole playoff, Zhang went bogey-free over his final 41 holes (with 14 birdies over those holes). He birdied Nos. 12, 15 and 16 coming down the stretch to force a playoff winning on the third playoff hole. Both players made par on the first two playoff holes (contested on No. 18) before moving to the ninth hole where Zhang made birdie.

“I had a lot of confidence going into that ninth hole,” Zhang said. “We birdied it on three of the four days, including during the round today with the same hole location. It was just a great second shot to give us a good look.”

 

Abema TV Tour - LANDIC CHALLENGE 7

Scott Vincent won the Landic Challenge 7 on the Abema TV Tour, the feeder Tour to the Japan Golf Tour.

Earning 7 Ranking points, Scott moves from 185 to World No. 150.

 

Challenge Tour - Hauts de France - Pas de Calais Golf Open

Robin Roussel went the entire weekend without dropping a shot to secure his first European Challenge Tour victory on home soil at the Hauts de France – Pas de Calais Golf Open.

The Frenchman began the day one back of leader Daan Huizing, but immediately took control of the tournament with a birdie on the opening hole, which gave him a lead he would never relinquish.

“It’s a very special feeling, I don’t have the words right now,” he said. “I just enjoyed the moment so much and the crowd so much. They’ve been very, very supportive all week long. It’s such a great feeling.”

“No bogeys all weekend, I didn’t think about it, but I feel like I just played perfectly.”

The tournament, which is played at Aa Saint-Omer Golf Club—one of the most difficult courses on the Challenge Tour International Schedule—quickly became a two-horse race as Roussel, and the third man playing in the final group, Richard Bland, separated themselves from the field and played much of the back nine tied for the lead.

The battle down the stretch was riveting, but the tie was eventually broken when Bland bogeyed the 16th hole. Seizing the moment, Roussel put the tournament away on the 72nd hole when he hit his approach to inside three feet, sending the home crowd into a frenzy.

“It was such a good battle with Richard,” Roussel said. “The crowd helped me a lot on the last few holes.

“At the start I was very focused and hitting only good shots, so it was not too hard to go low, but at the end I could feel my game becoming less accurate and so the crowd was amazing—just perfect—and thanks to them I could win.”

The five under par round of 66 gave him the victory, which also marked his fourth top 10 finish of the season in only six starts. As a result, the Paris native will move up to the fourth position on the Challenge Tour Rankings.

The 25-year-old now has his sights firmly locked on finishing the season in the top 15 and earning a European Tour card.

“I’ve been thinking about my European Tour card since the start of the season,” he said. “I knew my game was getting better and better.

 

All Thailand Golf Tour - Singha all Thailand Championship

Kwanchai Tannin claimed his third ATGT title with a two-stroke win at the Singha All Thailand Championship on Sunday moving from No.598 to a career best of World No. 443.

The 33-year-old Hua Hin native, leading by three shots after three rounds, closed with a second straight 69 to win on 22-under 266 at Suwan Golf and Country Club in Nakhon Pathom.

Itthipat Buranatanyarat (65), who won at the season-opening Boonchu Ruangkit Championship, finished second on 20-under while three-time ATGT winner Phachara Khongwatmai bogeyed the last two holes for a 68 and finished third on 19-under.

“I am a bit under pressure after double-bogeying, which reduces my lead to two. Phachara is also a long hitter,” he said.

Kwanchai started his round with three birdies from 2nd and double-bogeyed at 6th. He then fought back with birdies at 9th,10th and 14th against a bogey at 12th.

“The course is not that long and it suits my game because I can use a short iron.”

“It is the first time for me to win two titles in the same year. I have been confident in my game since winning the tour card (Asian tour) in December.”

“This course  is not that long and I can play a short iron, which suits my game. However, it is not until on the fairway at 18th I feel confident to win.”

Kwanchai, the first multiple winner on the All Thailand Golf tour this year, took home 450,000 baht for his second ATGT win of the year and five world ranking points. His previous wins were Singha Pattaya Open 2013 and Singha Chiang Mai Open 2019.

 

KPGA Korean Tour - KEB Hana Bank Invitational

Korean Yoseop Seo earned 9 Ranking points at the KEB Hana Bank Invitational.

Seo jumps from No. 865 to a career best of World No. 454.

 

PGA Tour Canada - GolfBC Championship

After he birdied his fourth hole in six tries Sunday at the GolfBC Championship, Jake Knapp turned his sights to a nearby leaderboard, expecting to find comfort with his name at the top of it.

Except it wasn’t. It wasn’t anywhere close.

But Knapp held steady, and—despite a record 59 from Greyson Sigg and a 7-under 64 by his best friend Jonathan Garrick—eventually held on to win by one stroke at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf & Country Club with a final-round 63. It was his second victory of the year after he won the season-opening Canada Life Open, the first player to win both events since Dan McCarthy did it in his record-setting four-win campaign of 2016.

“I couldn’t believe when I saw the leaderboard and my name wasn’t on top,” he said. “To shoot 4-under on the front you don’t really think you’re not going to be in first. I saw the score and I was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’”

Knapp finished at 20-under 264, one clear of Garrick, his longtime roommate and teammate at UCLA. But it didn’t come without plenty of drama, as Sigg surged into the lead with a morning 59, the second such score in Mackenzie Tour—PGA TOUR Canada history and first in five years.

Sigg, who began his round nine shots off the lead, started the day with a front-nine 31 but began to realize something incredible was brewing shortly thereafter. He rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt at the par-3 13th, then followed it up with a 30-foot birdie on the par-4 14th. After a par on No. 15, the University of Georgia product birdied each of his last three holes, including a 7-foot up-and-down putt from over a ridge at 18.

“I shot 61 a couple times back home with some buddies, but definitely nowhere close to this in a tournament round,” said Sigg, who eventually finished third. “I came from behind with nothing to lose and got it going. I kept it going, knew I had a chance. I saw the leaderboard on 17 and knew I’d try to birdie 18. Ended up doing it.”

The 59 temporarily gave Sigg the lead at 17-under 267, but Knapp wasted little time in reclaiming the advantage with an eagle at No. 9. But there was still little time to rest, as Garrick poured in four consecutive birdies on Nos. 12 through 15 to pull within a shot.

“My goal for the day was that if I could get a lead going into the back nine and force guys to make birdies that puts them in a tough spot, because I know there’s not a lot of birdie holes out there,” Knapp said. “Jonathan put the pressure on those last four holes and played great. I knew I needed to be keep it going, keep it above 17-under, at least.”

It took until the 17th to finally end it, as Knapp pulled two shots ahead with a 15-foot birdie putt. That proved insurmountable for Garrick, who parred the hole, though a birdie at the last pulled him into solo second at 19-under.

 

Nordic Golf League - PGA Championship hosted by Ingelsta Kalkon

Christian Bæch Christensen, Denmark, Gudmundur Kristjansson from Iceland ended at nine under par at the PGA Championship hosted by Ingelsta Kalkon for a joint victory.

When the players were on the fourth playoff hole, flash, thunder rain came in which meant that play was broken.

After waiting for four hours, the decision was made that the competition could not be completed under safe and sporting conditions andthe greens had received too much rain for continued play.

This meant that this year's PGA Championship hosted by Ingelsta Kalkon ended with Christian and Gudmundur having to share the victory. That this is unique can be ascertained since it has not happened before in the Swedish Golf Tours' 35-year history.

 

PGA Tour Series China - Suzhou Open

France’s Cyril Bouniol drained a pressure-packed 20-foot par putt to secure a one-shot victory at the Suzhou Open, and become the first player from Europe to win on the PGA TOUR Series-China moving from No.2072 to World No. 854, a career best.

It was a dramatic finish as American Trevor Sluman, who was playing two groups in front of Bouniol, birdied holes 16 and 17 to card a 65 and post at 17-under, enough to put the pressure on the Frenchman as he was coming down the stretch. At first t didn’t seem like it would be enough as Bouniol cruised to 5-under through 13 holes, but a bogey on the 14th followed by a three-putt on 17 reduced his lead to just one heading into what he called the “toughest hole” on the course. Bouniol knew he needed to get up and down for par from the fringe to avoid a playoff, but a mis-hit on his chip left him with a difficult putt from 20 feet. He calmly made the putt to the delight of the cheering fans.

“That three-putt on 17 was not good especially since I knew that hole 18 is by far the toughest hole on the golf course,” said Bouniol. “I was aware that I needed to get up and down to win, but my chip on 18 was horrible. I just tried to laugh it off and knew that I still had a chance to make a putt. That definitely wasn’t the easy way to win, but I’m very glad that putt dropped.”

Bouniol played a full season on the European Tour in 2015 and is playing in his first year in China after he earned his Tour card through Q-School. Now halfway through the season, Bouniol admits that this was the boost he needed as the 31-year-old hopes to play on the 2020 Web.com Tour in the U.S., where he currently resides with his wife, Sharlotte.

“I’ve been wanting it bad. I’ve been wanting to win real bad over the past couple years, and it’s tough. I’ve put a lot of hard work in, and whenever you have a chance, you have to seize it,” added Bouniol. “I’m just glad I can get that win off my chest, and it’s perfect timing, halfway through the season. I’m hoping for a strong finish to the season, and I want to win the Order of Merit.”

Ireland’s Niall Turner (69) chipped in for birdie on the final hole to finish third, at 15-under, with Japan’s Kenta Endo (69), one shot ahead of England’s Stephen Lewton (67) and Americans Michael Perras (65) and Matt Gilchrest (72).

 

Alps Tour Golf - Acaya Open Dailies Total 1

In a closely fought final round, Italian Gregory Molteni was at the top of an international podium for the first time in his 16 years career as a pro with a final score of -11 for the three days to take home the €5,800 prize money.

He started the day one stroke ahead at -7 of his playing partner, Austrian Timon Baltl at -6. Both Molteni and Baltl played a steady first 6 holes, each birdying the first and then serial pars until the 7th where Molteni’s one stroke advantage disappeared when Baltl birdied the hole.

Neck and neck coming into the 8th the pressure increased as Molteni made par but Baltl carded another birdie to draw one stroke ahead.

Unfortunately, Baltl’s hooked his tee shot on the par 5 ninth into the high rough on the left of the fairway. The ball was declared lost but Baltl still managed bogey with his second ball. However, Molteni carded a birdie to take back the lead as they started the back nine.

Par on the 10th for both players then Molteni faltered on the 11th with a double bogey for Baltl’s par which saw his lead evaporate and put Baltl in the lead again by one stroke.

Molteni response was immediate with a birdie on the par four 12th to put the players all square again. The Italian sun seemed to be shining on him as he birdied the par three 13th versus Baltl’s bogey. Molteni was back in command with a two-stroke lead heading into the final five holes.

Molteni preserved his two-stroke lead as both players parred the 14th and 15th. With just three holes to go,Timon Baltl had not had his last word as he continued to fight back hard and birdied the 16th whilst Molteni made par. The two-stroke lead was now down to one with just two holes to go.

Both players demonstrated nerves of steel at the 17th with a birdie for each. The final hole was now the decisive one.