WEEK 49 Phil Mickelson 25 consecutive years inside the World Top 50

Week 25


PGA Tour – Travelers Championship

Chez Reavie won the Travelers Championship on Sunday, closing with a 1-under 69 for a four-stroke victory over Keegan Bradley and Zack Sucher breaking into the World Top 30 for the first time at World No.26, a career best.

The 37-year-old Reavie, whose first title came as a rookie at the 2008 RBC Canadian Open, finished at 17-under 263 at TPC River Highlands a week after tying for third in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

"It means everything," he said. "I went through some injuries, had some long years there in the middle. But it was great, because it gave good perseverance and good perspective of what life is and what golf is."

The former Arizona State player took a six-stroke lead over Bradley and Sucher into the round after a shooting a 63 on Saturday. He had an understated celebration, pulling his ball out of the hole at 18 and saluting the crowd with it clenched in his fist.

It was the same calm he showed throughout the day, even as, Bradley, a New England native from nearby Vermont, chipped away to the cheers of the large galleries.

Bradley made back-to-back birdies on 10 and 11 to get within three shots, just missed a 13-foot birdie putt on the 12th, then made a 9-footer on 13 to get within two strokes. His 22 foot-birdie attempt at 14 stopped just at the hole.

He got within a stroke on the par-4 15th when he made a 7 1/2-foot birdie putt after Reavie missed an 11-footer.

"The crowd was just so behind me and so loud and so, it felt like a Ryder Cup to me," Bradley said. "Man, I've dreamt of this ever since I've come here at 10 years old. It lived up to the hype -- it was awesome."

But Reavie put the tournament away on the par-4 17th, making a 14-foot birdie putt, while Bradley three-putted for a double bogey. Bradley and Sucher each shot 67, with Sucher playing the back nine in 5-under 30.


KPGA Korean Tour & Asian Tour - Kolon the 62nd Korean Open

Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand held his nerves to claim victory at the 62nd Kolon Korea Open Golf Championship jumping to a career best of World No.52.

Jazz, who extended his overnight two-shot lead to five after sinking three birdies in his opening seven holes, overcame a wild triple-bogey on the par-four 11th hole and a bogey on 14th to become the first foreign winner of the prestigious event since American Rickie Fowler in 2011.

The 23-year-old Jazz signed for a closing one-over-par 72 to win by one shot over Korea’s Innchoon Hwang with a six-under-par 278 total in the KRW 1,200 million (approximately US$1,067,000) event, joint-sanctioned with the Asian Tour.

Innchoon Hwang and Dongkyu Jang have secured their places in The 148th Open after qualifying at the KOLON Korea Open.  Two places were available to the leading players who finished in the top 8 and ties and who were not already exempt.


European Tour – BMW International Open

Andrea Pavan beat Matthew Fitzpatrick in a play-off to win his second European Tour title at the BMW International Open moving back into the World Top 100 at World No.83.

The Italian had set the pace on day one at Golfclub München Eichenried but entered the final round four shots off the lead before carding a closing 66 to set the clubhouse target at 15 under.

It looked like that may not be enough as Fitzpatrick entered the scoreable closing stretch in a share of the lead but the Englishman bogeyed the 17th before picking the shot back up on the last to set up the play-off.

Heavy rain began to fall as the play-off got under way and that may have helped Fitzpatrick as his second shot when they went back up the last plugged in the rough inches short of the water as he went for the green.

Pavan played the par five as a textbook lay up and a pair of pars sent to duo back to the tee.

Second time around Pavan played a poor second but his third was sublime to set up a birdie from two feet and, when Fitzpatrick failed to get up and down from the sand, Pavan was the champion.


Challenge Tour – Andalucia Costa Del Sol Match Play 9

Eirik Tage Johansen claimed his maiden European Challenge Tour victory 18 years after making his debut by defeating Ugo Coussaud 2&1 in the final of the Andalucía - Costa del Sol Match Play 9. 

The Norwegian hit a stunning approach shot from 227 yards to eight feet on the par five eighth hole at Valle Romano Golf before rolling in the eagle putt to win his first event on the circuit following a closely fought contest against Frenchman Coussaud.

The 37-year-old became a father to twins just two months ago, meaning victory in Estepona has changed his outlook on the rest of the year with his playing privileges for 2020 already assured.

Johansen had first defeated Scotland’s Connor Syme 2&1 in the quarter-finals on Sunday morning before earning a 1UP victory against Robin Sciot-Siegrist on the first extra hole after their semi-final had finished all square.

After also progressing through three rounds of match play on Saturday, the Norwegian emphasised the importance of staying in the nine-hole battles going into the eighth and ninth holes where matches could truly be won and lost with a scoreable par five followed by a difficult par three to finish.

Defeated semi-finalists Sciot-Siegrist and Benjamin Poke contested a third place play-off and it was the left-hander who earned the final place on the podium with a 1UP victory, strengthening the French success on the Challenge Tour this season following Antoine Rozner’s duo of victories and Robin Roussel’s triumph at the Hauts de France – Pas de Calais Golf Open last week.

With victory in Spain, Johansen registers his first points of the season and leaps immediately to eighth on the Challenge Tour Rankings.

“It feels great,” he said. “It’s been a rollercoaster with the matches. It’s been match play all weekend and it feels amazing to be standing where I’m standing right now.  It’s my first time winning on the Challenge Tour and it’s good fun to be winning and winning here. I’ve been practising in this area a lot so it’s fun to come back here and win”.


PGA Tour Series China – Huangshan Championship

China’s Zhengkai “Bobby” Bai fired a final-round, 5-under 67 to secure a two-stroke victory over American David Kocher at the Huangshan Championship, a tournament reduced to 54 holes due to bad weather in the opening two days. It was Bai’s first win as a professional and the first victory by a player from China in 2019.

At Hidden Tiger Golf Club, Bai started the day four shots behind Kocher but managed to turn things around Sunday. After making the turn at even-par, Bai racked up five birdies on the back nine to finish at 12-under. Over his three rounds, Bai was 12-under and bogey-free on the back nine.

“I thought if I played OK on the front nine, then I could have a chance today. I shot 7-under on the back nine in the first two, so I thought I could have another good run on the back nine again,” said Bai. “I just really enjoy the back nine, and I played it great again. I chipped in on hole 14, which was huge for me and really helped give me the boost to win.”

Bai played three years at the University of Central Florida in Orlando but decided to forego his senior year to turn pro, which he did last month ahead of the European Tour’s Volvo China Open.

Bai is weighing whether to return to school to finish his degree in finance or whether to keep playing as a full-time professional.

“It’s awesome to win for my country. It really means a lot,” said Bai, who is hoping to follow the footsteps of current Korn Ferry Tour player Xinjun Zhang. “I actually just talked to Xinjun last night, and he told me to catch up.”

Bai obviously listened. In addition to getting the victory, Bai moved to ninth on the Order of Merit in only his third PGA TOUR Series-China tournament, and he can now legitimately think about the Korn Ferry Tour, that offers 2020 membership to the top-five money-winners at the end of the season and invitations to the Qualifying Tournament to those inside the top 10.

PGA Tour Canada – Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open

Alex Chiarella pieced together rounds of 64-67-65-68, tapping in a par putt on hole No. 18 to pick up his first-career Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada victory by one stroke over Travis Trace.

“When Travis  missed his eagle putt (on No. 18), I knew I had to 2-putt from 10 feet, so I lagged it up there nice and close and tapped it in and was overwhelmed with emotion,” said Chiarella, who now holds the third-place spot on the Order of Merit. “To not made a cut and then for everything to just work out like this, it’s incredible.”

Entering the day with a two-stroke advantage over Trace and Justin Doeden, the Makawao, Hawaii native showed no nerves, making two birdies in his first three holes to give himself a bit of a cushion.

However, as had been the case for much of the week in Lethbridge, the skies opened up when the final group was on hole No. 9. Travis Trace poured in a 12-footer for birdie and, with Chiarella looking over a 5-foot par look, play was suspended for what would last close to two hours.

Following the delay, Chiarella was unable to convert, matching him with Trace.

“It was all about patience, that was my one word to myself this week,” said Chiarella. “I kept telling myself, ‘patience’, on the golf course and during the rain delays, ‘patience.’”

Along with Chiarella and Trace, Justin Doeden, and Lorens Chan also held a share of the lead for a time on the back nine on Sunday, but the defining moment of the tournament came from Chiarella on No. 17, Paradise Canyon Golf Resort’s longest par-3.

ProGolf Tour – Czech Classic

Czech Republic’s Vitek Novák has secured himself the trophy of the Czech Classic 2019 with rounds of 67 and 74 strokes after the tournament in Kaskáda Golf Resort Brno had to be shortened to 36 holes due to heavy thunderstorms and rain. The amateur from Karlovy Vary immediately made his first victory on his first appearance on the Pro Golf Tour; the 23-year-old finally prevailed with 1 under par and was one stroke ahead of his fellow countryman Petr Hrubý, also an amateur, and German professional Allen John.

Nordic Golf League – Gamle Fredrikstad Open

Kristianstads Åke Nilsson took this year's first victory at the Gamle Fredrikstad Open with a final round of 67 at the Norwegian Old Fredrikstad Golf Club.

“Absolutely fantastic, it's always great fun to win. I was a little bit anxious in the beginning and got a bit wrong in the game but quickly found the rhythm that got me back with birdies on holes 6, 7 and 8 and then I was in the game again”, says Åke Nilsson after the victory in Old Fredrikstad Open .

With this victory he takes a jump up on Golfbox Nordic Golf League Ranking to sixth place from the 20th place he had before the Old Fredrikstad Open.


Abema TV Tour – Minamiakita CC Minchinoku Challenge

Junwon Park won the Minamiakita CC Minchinoku Challenge on the Abema TV Tour, the feeder Tour to the Japan Golf Tour.

Earning 4 Ranking points, Junwon moves from 721 to World No. 566.


Alps Tour Golf – Open de la Mirabelle d’Or

Top of the leaderboard over the three days, Lars Van Meijel maintained a steady hand to win the Open de la Mirabelle d’Or by 4 strokes.

Van Meijel admitted to having struggled to find his rhythm going out as the windy conditions today made play more challenging than yesterday. He put the bogey on hole 2 down to this rather than nerves as he had a good drive but missed the approach shot: Van Meijel commented: “I had a short pitching wedge  shot and I got the wind maybe slightly wrong so I went just over and had a tricky lie”. He rapidly mastered the weather conditions as he finished the front nine with 2 birdies and five pars for a -1 (34).

His confidence was reinforced on the back nine as he birdied the first 4 holes followed by 4 straight pars.  The wind again played a role in the only glitch coming in as he finished short of the green on the par 4 hole 18 and saw his first putt just slide past the hole for bogey.

Lars adds this 2019 trophy to the one he won at the Red Sea Little Venice Open in 2017. His win sees him move up 10 places on the Order of Merit to number 5.

In second place, 24-year-old Frenchman Nicolas Platret improved yet again on yesterday’s result with an excellent round of -6 (65) which included 7 birdies that more than compensated for the sole bogey on hole 1. His overall -14 (199) for the tournament gives him his first top ten finish of this, his rookie season.

Completing the podium at joint third were Frenchman Franck Medale and Austrian Timon Baltl at -2 (201) for the 54 holes.

EuroPro Tour – The Diamond X Open

Luke Joy has won The Diamond X Open at Cumberwell Park by three shots after going three under on his final round to see off Conor O’Neil. 

Joy of Remedy Oak/Yas Links Abu Dhabi was leading after day one with a round of 62 and he backed that up with rounds of 66 in the following two days. It was 19 birdies for the week and two eagles for Joy. 

On victory, Joy said: “I absolutely loved it to be honest. It’s quite nice being at home. I’ve played Cumberwell loads as a kid so it’s nice to get a win. I lost in a playoff in my first year as a pro, I think it was. I enjoyed it. It’s good.”

He added: “It’s one of those golf courses where you can go really low at any one point. I didn’t really watch the leaderboard that much, so until 17, I noticed I had a three-shot cushion so that was quite a nice walk up to 18.”