Wyndham Championship: Jim Herman gets play-off spot with win

Herman now 54th in the FedExCup standings; moves into the field for The Northern Trust next week at TPC Boston

Jim Herman booked a last-minute invite to the FedExCup play-offs with an incredible victory at the Wyndham Championship.

Herman started the week 192nd in the FedExCup standings and needing a top-two finish to have a chance of breaking inside the top 125 and securing a place at The Northern Trust, the first of three season-ending play-offs.

The world No 318 birdied three of his last holes on Friday to make the cut and then carded a third-round 61 to get within four strokes of Si Woo Kim, before posting a seven-under 63 at Sedgefield Country Club on Sunday to finish a shot clear of Billy Horschel.

Herman drained a 30-foot birdie at the first and struck a magnificent approach to set up a tap-in at the fourth, before jumping up the leaderboard by holing a 60-foot eagle at the par-five next.

The American cancelled out a bogey at the sixth by rolling in a 15-footer at the eighth to reach the turn in 31, with further birdies at the 13th and 15th putting him into a share of the lead.

Horschel, playing in the group behind, matched the birdies at the 13th and 15th but failed to get up and down from the rough to save par at the 16th, allowing Herman to edge ahead by converting from four feet at the 17th.

Herman made par at the last to set the clubhouse target at 21 under and leave Horschel needing a final-hole birdie to extend the contest, where he missed a putt from nine feet that would’ve forced a play-off.

Overnight leader Kim slipped down the leaderboard after racking up a double-bogey at the sixth and also bogeying the eighth after finding water off the tee, before three birdies in a four-hole stretch around the turn helped him to a level-par 70.

Kim is joined in tied-third with Kevin Kisner, Webb Simpson and Doc Redman, with Simpson moving inside the top 125 in the FedExCup standings after claiming a share of seventh with Harold Varner III.

A tied-23rd finish for Shane Lowry moved him from 131st to 122nd and sealed his appearance at TPC Boston next week, while Rafa Cabrera Bello missed out after bogeying his final three holes to end the week tied 37th.

WITB Jim Herman – What’s in the bag

  • Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5˚, Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7 X)
  • Fairway woods: TaylorMade M6 (15˚, Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8 X), TaylorMade M4 HL (20.5˚, Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8 X)
  • Irons: Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal Pro (4), Mizuno JPX 919 Tour (5-PW, KBS Tour C-Taper 125 S+)
  • Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX (52˚, 56˚), Titleist Vokey Design SM6 (60˚, True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400)
  • Putter: Bettinardi Inovai 5.0 Tour
  • Ball: Titleist Pro V1
  • Shoes: FootJoy Fury

To get fitted for Jim’s products book online at one of our outstanding locations.

Credit: https://www.skysports.com/golf/news/12232/12050791/wyndham-championship-jim-herman-gets-play-off-spot-with-win

Justin Thomas Battles to WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational Victory

Thomas back as number one after closing with five-under 65 to hold off Brooks Koepka at TPC Southwind.

In the final round, Justin Thomas fired a five-under 65 to secure a three-shot win at WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational in Memphis.

The 27-year-old, now back to the number one spot in the world, started the day four strokes off the lead in the fifth position at TPC Southwind, then slipped past a crowded leader board in the closing stages to finish 13-under 267 to claim his third PGA TOUR win of the season and 13th overall PGA Tour victory.

Defending champion Brooks Koepka made a brave defense of his title and held the heat on Thomas before double-bogeying the 18th to fall back into a tie on the 10th.

Tom Lewis finished in a share of second place.

The English duo, Tom Lewis and Matt Fitzpatrick, both battled fiercely for victory on the back nine but faded later on. At the same time, Lewis had the advantage of finishing second along with the American trio Koepka, Daniel Berger, and Phil Mickelson.

Thomas started strongly with birdies at the second and third and added further gains at the seventh and ninth, which lifted him into the lead at 12 under.

What’s in Thomas’s bag for 2020?

JT continues to use the Titleist TS3 driver, which got its first outing at last year’s US Open. He also uses the TS3 3-wood, which replaced his 917 in 2018. But he is still refusing to give up his trusty Titleist 915FD 5-wood, which helped him win his maiden major title at the 2017 PGA Championship.

He uses a Titleist T100 4-iron and has upgraded to the Titleist 620 MB irons from 5-iron to 9-iron.

In his wedge setup, JT is yet to move into the Titleist Vokey SM8 and still uses the SM7 model which are in 46°, 52° and 56° tweaked to 47.5°, 52.5°, and 57° respectively. His 60° lob wedge is a slightly modified SM6 model tweaked to 60.5°.

Thomas putts with a four-year-old Scotty Cameron X5 mallet and plays the Titleist Pro V1x golf ball.

  • Driver: Titleist TS3, (9.5°, B1 setting, Mitsubishi Diamana ZF 60 TX shaft)
  • Fairway woods: Titleist TS3 3-wood (15°, A1 setting, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 80 TX shaft); Titleist 915 FD 5-wood (18°, Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2 Tour Spec X shaft)
  • Irons: Titleist T100 (4); Titleist 620 MB, (5-9, True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts)
  • Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design Raw SM7 (46° set to 47.5°, 52° set to 52.5°, 56° set to 57°); Titleist Vokey Design Raw SM6 (60° set to 60.5°, True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue shafts on 46, True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts on 52-60)
  • Putter: Scotty Cameron X5 Flow Neck
  • Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
  • Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord (woods, irons, and wedges); SuperStroke Pistol GT Tour (putter)

 

To get fitted for JT’s clubs’ book online here at one of our premier destinations:

– SwingFit Hilton Head at Colleton River Club

– SwingFit Miami at The Biltmore Hotel Miami in partnership with the Jim McLean Golf School

3M Open: Michael Thompson Stays Strong Down the Stretch to Land First Win Since 2013

3M Open 2020: Michael Thompson

3M Open 2020 winner Michael Thompson celebrates. Photo credit: PGATour.com

Michael Thompson landed his second PGA TOUR title – over seven years after his first.

Thompson is a PGA TOUR champion for the second time after he held off a number of challengers to clinch victory at the 3M Open in Minneapolis.

In the last three holes at TPC Twin Cities, Thompson displayed remarkable mettle, reclaiming the outright lead with a stunning sand save for a pivotal birdie at 16 before closing with a cast-iron par at 17 and a bonus birdie at the last to seal a first victory in over seven years by two strokes.

Adam Long enjoyed an outstanding weekend when he followed his third-round 63 with a closing 64 that took him outright second place on 17 under, a stroke ahead of a field of eight players that featured a perennial nearly-man Tony Finau, previous Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and European Ryder Cup hero Alex Noren.

Thompson did not get his final round off to the desired start as he followed two opening pars with a three-putt bogey at the third and suddenly found himself chasing, but the resolute 35-year-old clawed the shot back at the fifth and then holed from 20 feet for another birdie at six.

A superb approach from a fairway bunker to 10 feet at the 10th set up another birdie and, after five solid pars, he splashed out to a couple of feet at the driveable par-four 16th which lifted him to 18 under and above clubhouse leader Long.

Michael Thompson’s emotions were running wild after the 35-year-old landed his second PGA TOUR title with a two-shot victory at the 3M Open in Minneapolis.

Thompson safely negotiated the tough par-three 17th in par, and his nerves stood firm on the 72nd hole as he crafted a rock-solid par which completed a four-under 67, securing his first win since making his breakthrough at the Honda Classic in March 2013.

Long had scraped into the weekend with nothing to spare on Friday night, but with a Saturday 63 he took huge strides up the leaderboard, and on Sunday four birdies in five holes on the front nine gave him a great chance to win.

He maintained his charge after the turn as he picked up further shots at 10 and 12 before adding another at 16, but he three-putted from long range on the penultimate green – an error that was to prove decisive in the outcome.

A closing birdie capped a 64 and earned him the clubhouse lead for over an hour, but Thompson’s unflappable composure down the stretch ensured Long would have to settle for the runner-up position on his own, his best result since the Mayakoba Golf Classic in November.

Robby Shelton was first into the scorer’s hut on 16 under when he birdied six of the last eight holes to card a 64, and he soon had company when Charles Howell III signed for a 65 and celebrated a remarkable 96th top-10 finish on the PGA Tour.

Emiliano Grillo (65) and Noren (66) interrupted the American dominance at the top end of the leaderboard as they joined the logjam on 16 under which was extended when Finau birdied the last to complete a 68.

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Jon Rahm wins Memorial to claim Rory McIlroy’s World Number One Spot

Jon Rahm wins Memorial to claim Rory McIlroy’s World Number One Spot

After replacing Rory McIlroy as world number one, Jon Rahm brushed away a tear of joy by winning the PGA TOUR? Memorial TOURnament.

A three-over-par 75 was enough to win on nine under, three ahead of Ryan Palmer (74), with Matt Fitzpatrick (68) third on five under, with fellow Englishman Matt Wallace (72) one back.

Rahm is the second Spaniard since Seve Ballesteros to make it to the world’s top spot. 

“I’ve accomplished a lifelong goal and any time I can join Spanish history with Seve is incredible,” said Rahm.

“But it’s hard to process right now because golf feels secondary. I lost two family members in the [coronavirus] quarantine. There are so many things going through my mind right now that have nothing to do with golf.”

It was the sixth PGA TOUR event since professional golf returned following an extended three-month suspension in the United States and was rumored as the first to allow fans back through the gates.

However, the PGA TOUR last week said that the remaining nine events of this season will take place behind closed doors as coronavirus cases continue to skyrocket in the country.

Rahm overcomes penalty wobble to win

Rahm, 25, entered the final round in Ohio’s Muirfield Village, with a four-shot advantage over Palmer and Tony Finau.

That lead was eight by the eighth hole. “And then it got a little twisted,” said Rahm.

He bogeyed the 10th and then slammed his driver into the ground in anger after hitting his tee shot on the par-five 11th into the water. He would double-bogey the hole and see his lead cut to five.

Palmer birdied the short 12th, and Rahm’s lead was cut to 3 when he bogeyed the 14th.

He also looked in trouble on the par-three 16th after his errant tee shot went into the greenside rough, but he struck a perfectly delicate chip that rolled for a birdie right into the middle of the cup.

“It was an excellent shot,” Rahm said. It was the best short-game shot I’ve ever hit.”

However, in addressing the ball before his chip, television pictures showed that he inadvertently moved his ball a fraction. PGA TOUR rules officials studied the footage while Rahm played his final two holes.

He only learned of his potential infringement when being interviewed immediately after his round and before he had signed his scorecard.

“I did not see or feel anything,” he said. “If it did move I did not see anything. It’s not going to take anything away from that shot.

“For that to go in, that was exactly what I needed.”

He was eventually penalised two shots but that only changed the size of his victory.

 

Nicklaus and wife recover from coronavirus

Record 18-time major winner Nicklaus said during the round that he and his wife Barbara both tested positive for coronavirus back in March.

Nicklaus said his wife had no symptoms, while he dealt with a sore throat and cough for more than a month.

“It didn’t last very long, and we were very, very fortunate, very lucky,” said Nicklaus, who noted that he and his wife, both 80, are at an “at-risk age” for more serious Covid-19 symptoms.

“Our hearts go out to the people who did lose their lives and their families. We were just a couple of the lucky ones,” he added.

Workday Charity Open: Collin Morikawa wins play-off against Justin Thomas

Collin Morikawa beat fellow American Justin Thomas in a tense play-off to win the Workday Charity Open in Ohio.

Morikawa, who led for the first two rounds, came from three strokes down with three holes remaining to force the play-off at the PGA TOUR event at Muirfield Village.

He won on the third play-off hole after third-round leader Thomas’ tee shot landed behind a tree.

Morikawa, 23, finished on 19 under par for his second US PGA TOUR win.

“Justin wasn’t going to give it to me. He was fighting through the entire day,” said Morikawa. “I’m excited right now, I’m so happy.”

Collin Morikawa’s ascent toward stardom is beginning to enter orbit. On Sunday, the 23-year-old phenom became only the second player in PGA TOUR history to record his second professional victory before his second missed cut (the only other player to do it: Tiger Woods).

His powerful drives and buttery fades have earned him a fast reputation as one of the PGA TOUR’s most consistent threats, a hypothesis buttressed by his performance in his first 13 months as a pro (eight top-10 finishes to go along with his pair of wins).

Why Collin Morikawa’s two 19-degree hybrids aren’t going anywhere. [LM1] [LM2] What about a pair of hybrids with identical lofts? It’s an uncommon setup that’s worked well for Collin Morikawa since he started toting around a 19-degree TaylorMade SIM Max hybrid the week of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Morikawa had never used a hybrid prior to Phoenix, preferring to rely on a utility 2-iron near the top of the set. Hoping to find something to attack the par-5s, Morikawa gave the hybrid a shot — and wound up recording four eagles during the final two rounds of the event.

He was hooked. Morikawa still brings the 2-iron out when the situation calls for it, but like Dustin Johnson — who won the Travelers Championship with two SIM Max hybrids — the now-two-time PGA TOUR winner has taken a liking to the hybrid, to the point that he now has identical 19-degree SIM Max hybrids to choose from based on the setup.

Morikawa will select his hybrid based on ball flight. When he needs more launch, Morikawa opts for a 19-degree equipped with Mitsubishi’s Tensei Blue 85 shaft; and when the setup requires something with a more penetrating flight, he has a 19-degree with Mitsubishi’s Tensei White 100 shaft at his disposal.

Ian Poulter was the top British golfer, coming joint fifth on 12 under. The Ohio event was added to the PGA TOUR calendar after the John Deere Classic was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Bryson DeChambeau Overturns a three-shot deficit to claim the first win after a dramatic turnaround at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

The Californian had an eventful week with a cameraman altercation the day before his victory.

Bryson DeChambeau ended a 20-month winless stretch on the PGA TOUR on Sunday by birdieing his last three holes to card a round-of-the-day 65 and finish the week on 23 under.

Overnight leader Matthew Wolff recovered from a disappointing front-nine to birdie four of his last eight holes and salvaged a one-under 71 at Detroit Golf Club, with Kevin Kisner a further two strokes back in third, after a bogey-free 66. Wolff’s runner-up finish is his first top-10 worldwide, since his victory in 2019.

At first, we saw a two-shot swing as DeChambeau rolled in a ten-footer, and Wolff opened with a bogey before DeChambeau birdied the 4th with a tap-in birdie at the par-five.

Wolff got up and down from a greenside bunker to pick up a shot at the fourth as well, then bogeyed his next two holes to fall further behind, only to join DeChambeau – playing in the group ahead – in making a two-putt birdie at the par-five seventh.
A three-putt bogey on the ninth and another drop shot on the next saw Wolff sink to three-over for the day, as DeChambeau drained a 20-footer at the tenth to push him four clear briefly.

Wolff replied with back-to-back birdies from the 12th but missed a six-footer for a third consecutive birdie at the 14th, where DeChambeau hit the rocks out of the rough with his pitch on his way to bogeying the par-five.
DeChambeau capitalized on a kind drop from a sprinkler to salvage a two-putt par from the back of the 15th hole, with a 30-foot birdie on the next, giving him a two-shot lead.

At the 15th, Wolff made a ten-foot birdie but missed at the 16th from a few feet, before watching an eagle try from 15 feet at the next par-five stop a roll short. Holding a two-shot lead up to the last, DeChambeau hit from the fairway, a crisp wedge to set up a close-range birdie and secure a first PGA TOUR victory since the 2018 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

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