No one beats Charles Howell III three hundred and thirty three times in a row. The long time tour pro won his first event in over 10 years on Sunday with a playoff victory over Patrick Rodgers at the RSM Classic. CH3 got off to a very rocky start with a bogey and a double bogey on his first two holes but recovered to make six birdies and eventually knock off Rodgers on the second playoff hole. Leaderboard
3 Island (shoutout @Carr4thecourse)
It is hard to imagine playing 333 events in between PGA Tour victories but that is exactly what Charles Howell III had to do over the last decade. He hit more than 81,000 golf shots on tour during that span. He also lost two playoffs during the drought but would not be denied on Sunday. CH3 missed birdie putts on the 72nd hole and first playoff hole before rolling in the 20-foot clincher. Third time’s the charm. He will make his first Masters start since 2012, an awesome accomplishment for the Augusta native.
Best Stanford Golfer in History?
Patrick Rodgers was definitely not thinking about winning the RSM Classic on Friday evening. The 5th year tour player made the cut on the number and then shot the lowest combined weekend score in PGA Tour history. He needed just 123 shots (61-62) on Saturday and Sunday, vaulting himself into the playoff. Rodgers now has 3 runner-up finishes in his career, but is still in search of his first PGA Tour victory.
Other Leaderboard Notes
Cameron Champ continues to impress this fall as he notched his third top 10 finish of the season. Champ was tied for the lead early on Sunday but eventually fell to 6th place. Needless to say the front runner for rookie of the year is off to a hot start.
Luke List shot a sneaky 63-65 on the weekend to jump up to a tie for 4th. He already has two top 5 finishes this fall and seems ready to break through for his first win. List came close last season but fell to Justin Thomas in a playoff in Florida. Expect big things from him in 2019.
Jason Gore’s dream week hit a wall on Sunday with a final round 72. He had hung up his days of competition to sell insurance but took a Sponsor’s Exemption to the event. Gore had not made a cut on tour in years but found himself in the final group on Sunday. He eventually finished tied for 15th but this will be his biggest check in a long time.
Matt Every is a PGA Tour grinder and got off to a quiet, solid start this fall. He notched two top 25 finishes including a T-15 this week. Every has played THIRTY events each of the past two seasons but lost his card both times. He gained his card back through Web.com Finals both times - let’s hope he can keep it the regular way this season.
Danny Willett made three birdies over his final five holes to capture the DP World Tour Championship on Sunday. The 2016 Masters champion has had a tumultuous two years since his green jacket. Willett missed 25 cuts in the 63 events between his victories and rarely visited the top 25 of leaderboards. He has recently returned to form and put together a great finish to 2018. After falling a long way post-Masters victory, this win puts the cherry on top of his comeback. Leaderboard
Francesco Molinari did not have the week he was hoping for but still captured the Race to Dubai title. Franky had a career year in 2018 that included his first major championship, victories at the BMW PGA and Quicken Loans, and a perfect 5-0 at the Ryder Cup. As the millennials would say, that is v good.
Abraham Ancer put on a dominant performance in Sydney to win the Australian Open by five shots. The rookie had a solid campaign on the PGA Tour throughout 2018, but has really turned it on this fall. He had notched two top 5s before this victory and will be on the short list of up-and-comers to watch in 2019.
The other highlight from down under was the amateurs, most notably, Oklahoma State’s Viktor Hovland who finished T13. Hovland joined fellow ams David Micheluzzi, Keita Nakajima and Takumi Kanaya in the top 17 of the event. A sign there is no slowing down the game’s youth movement. Leaderboard
Lexi Thompson completed a very strong week and won the CME Globe Tour Championship by four over Nelly Korda. Thompson has been very open about the struggles she has experienced this season on and off the golf course. She even fired her caddy before the event this week. This win is a great testament to her competitive nature and helps her salvage a lost season. She had not won since September of 2017.
World #1 Ariya Jutanugarn finished tied for 5th at the CME to win the season long race. She had a phenomenal year that included three victories and three runner-up finishes. Big shout out to Nelly Korda as well. She notched her first career victory two weeks ago and this runner-up finish gets her to 12th in the season long race. CME Globe Leaderboard
Shotgun Start: Honest Abe delivers while CH3 climbs the courier service rankings mountaintop
Andy and Brendan start the short holiday week with a review of all that happened over the weekend, from Australia to Sea Island to the gluttonously named PGA Assistant Professional Championship. Abraham Ancer’s dominance in Australia has Andy almost as giddy as last Monday after Westy’s win. Then we pivot stateside and give Charles Howell III --- that’s NEW FedExCup Standings No. 1 Charles Howell III -- lots of love for his playoff win at the RSM Classic. We also discuss Danny Willett’s drought-ending W in Dubai, where Pat Reed couldn’t keep pace. We end with a review of the best things we saw from the weekend tangentially related to golf. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify
Talking custom irons, Sweetens Cove and golf course architecture with Patrick Boyd
Andy is joined by Patrick Boyd, founder of National Custom Irons and golf course architecture nut. They discuss Patrick’s company, custom irons, his role at Sweetens Cove and much more. Listen to Part I of this podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify or the website.
On the Skillet: The 13th at Medinah #1
The Tom Doak designed Course One often flies under the radar in the Chicagoland golf landscape. Jason Way breaks down the option filled short par-4 13th - check out his post here.
Japan’s Kodai Ichihara won the Dunlop Phoenix by one this weekend. Notables Emiliano Grillo (T8), Brooks Koepka (12th) and Hosung Choi (t17) also had solid finishes. Leaderboard
Garrett Ford put together a great list of architecturally interesting tournaments to watch in 2019. Read his full article HERE