Kuchar – Mayakoba Golf Classic

Kuchar – Mayakoba Golf Classic

Playa Del Carmen, Mexico – It had been a long drought for Matt Kuchar, in fact his last victory came at the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town on April 20th, 2014. Four and a half years of near misses and close calls – none bigger than the 2017 Open Championship where Kuchar was clipped by a vintage Jordan Spieth performance at Royal Birkdale. 2018 was declared a disappointment after Kuchar narrowly missed on qualifying for the Tour Championship and the Ryder Cup in Paris. But after he rattled in his 3 ft putt on the 18th Sunday (for a final round 69) some relief and redemption was felt by the 40 year-old tour veteran at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. “It feels extra sweet having to kind of had to suffer through a year of not playing great in 2018,” Kuchar said. “Being four years removed since my last victory, I realize how difficult it is to win on the PGA Tour.”

Starting the final day at the Mayakoba Golf Classic with a four-shot lead was essential, since closing the deal proved tougher than Kuchar expected. After making bogey on holes 14 & 15 Kuchar made three straight pars to finish at 22 under par, one better than Danny Lee who shot a final round 65 to finish a shot back.

Kuchar opened with rounds of 64-64-65 with local club caddie David “Toucan” Ortiz on the bag (John Wood, Kuchar’s regular tour looper was attending a reunion). For Ortiz, who caddies regularly at El Camaleon Golf Club, it was a dream come true – he was in tears as he was being inundated with congratulations beside the 18th green as Kuchar signed the flag that will commemorate their victorious week together.

The win gets Kuchar back to Kapalua in January for the Sentry Tournament of Champions. The Tour heads east to Kuchar’s neighborhood at Sea Island this week for the RSM McGladdery Classic.

Scores: https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html


Jason  Bruno
GolfLife Tour Coverage

 

DeChambeau Wins Shriners Open

DeChambeau Wins Shriners Open

Las Vegas – Saturday night holding a share of the 54 hole lead at the Shriners for Children Open, Bryson DeChambeau was rooting on the Las Vegas Knights hockey team, cranking up their famous air horn – whipping the crowd into a frenzy. By Sunday evening, it was the same Vegas faithful that cheered on DeChambeau’s victory. The win was his fifth career title and his third in five starts on the PGA Tour (it was his fourth since June when he captured Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial at Muirfield Village).

Dealing with a blister that tore open Saturday night, DeChambeau locked in his focus (after having the training staff tape it up before the final round). His final round 66 included an eagle on the pivotal par 5 sixteenth propelling him to -21, winning by a single stroke over defending champion Patrick Cantlay.

For those still doubting his unorthodox methods, DeChambeau offered this: “Everybody is unique. Everybody does it in a different way. I believe I found a way that works really, really well for me and it allows me to be super consistent week in and week out.”

Sam Ryder finished solo third (-19) after a final round 62. Rickie Fowler finished four shots back after firing a Sunday 63 to finish in a tie for fourth with Abraham Ancer and Robert Streb.

Scores: https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html


Jason  Bruno
GolfLife Tour Coverage

Brooks Wins The CJ Cup

Brooks Wins The CJ Cup

Jeju Island, South Korea – Brooks Koepka closed out the CJ Cup in grand style with a 29 on the inward side to finish off the field at Nine Bridges. His 8 under par 64 final round (21 under par total) capped off his third win of 2018 and put an exclamation to his Player of the Year award (he received just last week from Jack Nicklaus). With the win, Koepka has now taken over the revolving door otherwise known as World’s No.1 ranked player – supplanting fellow Jupiter resident Dustin Johnson.

Early on Sunday, the lead seemed up for grabs with Gary Woodland challenging Koepka. Woodland kept applying the pressure, tying Koepka again after a birdie on the sixteenth, but Koepka put the hammer down and took control. Brooks was making a mess of the sixteenth, but then chipped in for birdie, a huge momentum shift as Woodland missed a par putt on the seventeenth. Game Over. Woodland’s 63 was good enough for solo 2nd and 17 under par finish.

Ryan Palmer and Rafa Cabrera Bello finished tied for 3rd at -15. 

For Brooks Koepka, the win was his fifth PGA Tour victory and twelfth worldwide. It was his third title in his last eleven starts, enough to bring him the World No.1 ranking. “To be No.1 is something I’ve dreamed of as a kid,” Koepka said. “I don’t think this one is going to sink in. I’m so excited right now, you have no idea, I just can’t wait to go play again.”

Next up for Koepka is the HSBC Champions in China.

Scores: https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html


Jason  Bruno
GolfLife Tour Coverage

 

 

Leishman Wins the CIMB Classic

Leishman Wins the CIMB Classic

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – 34 year-old Aussie Marc Leishman notched his fourth career PGA Tour victory at the CIMB Classic, becoming the first non-American to win the event in its eighth edition.

Leishman’s final round 65 was fueled by a quick start, with four straight birdies from holes 2 thru 5. He also birdied holes 9 & 10 before dropping a shot at the thirteenth. Leishman left little doubt eliminating all would be challengers by birdieing holes 16 and 18 to finish at 26 under par for a five stroke victory over Emiliano Grillo, Chesson Hadley and Bronson Burgoon. His 262 total tied the tournament scoring record set by Justin Thomas’ in 2015. Thomas who was vying for a third straight victory in Malaysia, fired a final round 64 to finish in a tie for fifth.

It was a phenomenal performance by Leishman who had just 4 bogeys to go with 28 birdies and an eagle in his rounds of 68-62-67-65. “This is awesome. I knew that even though I got off to a good start today, I still needed to grind because there’s some tough holes out there,” Leishman said. “Managed to hit some good shots and this is the result. It’s great to get back in the winners circle and excited to be back in Malaysia leaving with this.”

Scores:

https://www.pgatour.com/competition/2019/cimb-classic/leaderboard.html

 


Jason  Bruno
GolfLife Tour Coverage

 

Kevin Tway Wins Safeway Open

Kevin Tway Wins Safeway Open

Napa, California – Thirty-year-old Kevin Tway walked out from behind the shadow of his father Sunday at Silverado. Bob Tway watched from home in Oklahoma as his son outlasted Ryan Moore and Brandt Snedeker in overtime, winning after his third straight birdie in a playoff to capture victory for the first time on the PGA Tour.

Being the son of 8 time PGA Tour winner Bob Tway had it’s challenges, but when Kevin finally beat his Dad at age 16, it was a hurdle that had great significance. “I remember it because leading up to that, when we were pretty close, he’d look over and be like “You know I’m going to birdie the last two holes to beat you,” said Kevin. “And he would, every single time. I’d go home pissed, crying, going, ‘Mom, Dad did it again.’ ”

Snedeker looked to be in control, but finished regulation bogey-par to Tway (playing in the same group) who made up the 3 stroke deficit going birdie-birdie to finish tied at 14 under par after a final round 71. Ryan Moore fired a final round 67 to also make the playoff, birdied the first two holes in the playoff, but could not match Tway’s run (which reached five in a row – 17 & 18 in regulation, followed by 3 straight in the playoff). Snedeker shot 74 in regulation and then made par on the first hole of sudden death to be eliminated.

After being in contention thru two rounds Phil Mickelson faded to a tie for 17th after rounds of 74-72 on the weekend to finish at 8 under par.

Scores: https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html


Jason  Bruno
GolfLife Tour Coverage

 

42nd Ryder Cup – Europe Prevails in Paris

42nd Ryder Cup – Europe Prevails in Paris

Guyancourt, France – At the very least, the 42nd Ryder Cup matches were supposed to be a tightly contested team competition filled with high drama. It was billed as Team USA’s best shot at getting a long awaited road win. Instead, it turned out to be much of the same, another rout by Team Europe on home soil, just outside of Paris at Le Golf National.

Team Europe 17 1/2 to Team USA 10 1/2.

Having not won across the pond since 1993, Team USA knew how tall of a task was before them, and it once again proved to be too much. The Europeans continued their home dominance right where it left off in 2014 (at Gleneagles in Scotland). The combination of seasoned Ryder Cup veterans – Garcia, Rose, McIlroy, Poulter and Stenson, mixed with rookies Rahm, Hatton, Olesen, Noren and Fleetwood was stellar. But it was the current “Champion Golfer of the Year” Italian Francesco Molinari who was truly dominant – going 5-0 in France.

Team USA led after Friday’s opening Four-ball session 3-1, but in the anchor match that morning, Fleetwood/Molinari (now known as “Moliwood”) set the tone for what was to come – beating Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed 3&1. That was start of eight straight match wins for Team Europe, and for all intents and purposes the Ryder Cup was over. There would be no Brookline or Medinah miracle in Paris. For Team USA supporters, you might be looking to blame the task force, or Captain Jim Furyk’s pairings, but perhaps the brilliance of the European PGA deserves some credit for the super tight set up at Le Golf National. Not only was the set up perfectly tailored to neutralize Team USA’s bomb and gouge specialty, but the majority of team red white & blue simply didn’t bring their game to Paris. Tiger Woods went 0 for 4. Bryson DeChambeau 0 for 3. Phil Mickelson 0 for 2. Dustin Johnson 1 for 5. Rickie Fowler 1 for 4. Bubba Watson 1 for 3. Patrick Reed 1 for 3.

It’s quite possible that we’ve witnessed the end of an era in American Ryder Cup teams. This edition saw Matt Kuchar and Zach Johnson join the ranks of vice captains, and it’s likely that Bubba, Phil and Tiger are trending in the same direction. In fact, since 1997 the record of the eight teams that Phil and Tiger have played on is 1-7. Ole, Ole, Ole . . .

The Ryder Cup moves stateside to Kohler, Wisconsin at Whistling Straits in 2020.

Match results: https://www.rydercup.com/scoring

Jason  Bruno
GolfLife Tour Coverage

 

 

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