Jason Day runs away with THE PLAYERS, and a roundup of the rest of the week’s hottest stories in golf …
All he does is win, win, win
Jason Day (-15) completed a wire-to-wire victory at THE PLAYERS for his first win at TPC Sawgrass; his seventh win in his last 17 starts, third of the season, and 10th of his career. Day struggled at the onset of his 1-under final round (which included three straight flubbed chips), but found a way to scramble at a tournament-best 85-percent clip for week. Kevin Chappell (-11) played bridesmaid once again, finishing again in solo second to Day, as he did back in March at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Other notables for the week? McIlroy T-12 (-7), Fowler (MC), Mickelson (MC), Stenson (MC), and Spieth (MC).
Check out what the TaylorMade and Adidas athlete played this week in Ponte Vedra. Day walked away with a cool $1.89 million in winnings and 600 FedEx Cup points to further secure his place as the world’s No. 1 golfer.
- Driver: TaylorMade M1 460cc 9.5º
- Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon KuroKage S TiNi 70X
- Fairway Wood: TaylorMade M2 HL 16.5º
- Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon KuroKage S TiNi 80X
- Irons: TaylorMade RSi 2i, TaylorMade RSi TP (4i-PW)
- Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X7
- Wedges: TaylorMade Tour Preferred EF (47º Tour Grind, 52º and 60º ATV)
- Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400
- Putter: TaylorMade Ghost Spider Limited Red
- Ball: TaylorMade Tour Preferred X #87
- Shoes: Adidas Tour 360 Boost Boa
- Glove: TaylorMade Tour Preferred
Stats and Highlights from No. 17
TPC Sawgrass is home to one of Pete Dye’s most diabolical and thrilling hole designs, the island green at No. 17. Just 36 golf balls found the water this year at THE PLAYERS, but we were treated to the first hole-in-one since 2002 when Will Wilcox aced No. 17 on Friday.
The 17th wasn’t all fun and games, though, as Russell Knox dropped three in the water Saturday en route to a whopping sextuple-bogey 9.
Russell Knox. ? https://t.co/cx1COrlUU6
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 14, 2016
Moving Day was the most tumultuous of the week at the island green, not to mention the entire course, with 17 tee shots finding the hazard that helped lead to a 3.31 scoring average. The best scoring day came on Thursday, where the par-3 played at 123 yards and yielded 37 birdies, with a 2.86 scoring average.
Finchem unconcerned over Olympic dropouts
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem is apparently unfazed by the number of tour players opting out of golf’s return to the Summer Olympics in Brazil. Many have speculated that if golf doesn’t show well in Rio, the IOC could possibly pull the sport from the 2020 Tokyo games. Notable players who have dropped out to date are Australia’s Adam Scott and Marc Leishman, South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen, and Fiji’s Vijay Singh.
Even the World No. 1 can flub a chip shot … or three
Jason Day collected career win No. 10 at THE PLAYERS, but not without some struggles on the ninth hole Sunday. Next time you chunk a chip shot or two, pull this one up, breathe, and refrain from wrapping your 56 degree around a tree. Even the best in the world chunk shots from time to time.
Jason Day struggles at the 9th with 3 straight poor chips pic.twitter.com/jcOfTZFr8B
— The Cauldron (ICYMI) (@CauldronICYMI) May 15, 2016
Crazy photo of hail divots on a green at Hidden Valley Golf Course in Lincoln. Photo by @schmaleli pic.twitter.com/QFCQS7pyQM
— Ofc. Mike Bossman (@OPDOfcBossman) May 10, 2016
No, those aren’t golf balls.
A hailstorm pelted Nebraska last week, leaving Hidden Valley Golf Club’s greens with massive ball mark craters. Let this serve as a friendly reminder to always fix your ball marks and thank your golf course superintendents and greenskeepers.
Caddy can stick it
Masters champion Danny Willett missed the cut at THE PLAYERS, but his caddie found his own success at TPC Sawgrass. Check out Jonathan Smart stick it during Wednesday’s practice round.
The shot that got the boss @Danny_Willett carrying the bag to the green pic.twitter.com/JjDLwGC7H1
— Jonathan smart (@Smartie13) May 11, 2016
***THIS JUST IN*** Tiger pulls a Russell Knox
Yikes. Tiger Woods was at Congressional on Monday for Media Day at the Quicken Loans National to promote the event, which naturally raised even more speculation as to when he’ll return to the PGA Tour. Any positive speculation quickly turned south as his exhibition didn’t go as planned. Tiger dipped three straight tee shots into the water from 102 yards, joking in between shots that he felt stiff.
Tiger dunks first ceremonial tee shot from the front tee pic.twitter.com/rKLADLG8tv
— Greg Swatek (@greg_swatek) May 16, 2016
- A golf course owner in Missouri excavated an entire cave system when trying to repair a sinkhole in front of the clubhouse.
- Byeong-Hun An found a different way to get into trouble at TPC Sawgrass when he lodged his approach on the par-4 sixth into a tree.
Golf is hard. #QuickHits https://t.co/tmYooNUz2b
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 12, 2016
- And finally, in the latest episode of This Toddler is Better Than You at Golf:
U.S. Open Qualifiers Underway
The U.S. Open will be played at Oakmont Country Club this summer, and local qualifiers are well underway throughout the country. Twenty-six qualifiers will be played on May 16, raising the number of local qualifying tournaments to 85 through the early part of the spring with local tournaments closing play this coming Thursday.
GolfTEC’s own Nick Miller and Phil McCarthy competed in the Colorado Springs local qualifier at The Broadmoor Sunday, playing as two of nearly 10,000 players vying to secure a spot at Oakmont. Any who say the game of golf is struggling — at least speaking from a competitive standpoint — merely need to reference the near-record number of entries to play our national open.
Check out all U.S. Open Qualifying local results HERE.
Be sure to check back here at the GolfTEC Scramble again next Monday for our latest weekly edition of The Links!