Tiger’s back… back again
Fresh off last month’s false start at the Safeway, Tiger confirmed that he plans to make a return to competitive golf at the Hero World Challenge on December 1st. Since the Hero is hosted by Tiger, and big sponsor dollars ride on him participating in the tournament, I expect Tiger to keep his word and tee it up. With or without his chipping yips.
What happens in Vegas
The PGA Tour heads to the Vegas strip for this year’s playing of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin. This year’s event is headlined by defending champion Smylie Kaufmann and Ryder Cup team members Jimmy Texas Ranger Walker, Ryan Moore, Brooks Koepka and J.B. Holmes.
Mr. Natty Light
Last year, the Shriners saw then-rookie Smylie Kaufman steal the show on Sunday, shooting a 10-under 61 to win the tournament by 1 shot over 6 players who were tied at 15-under. While Kaufman robbed golf fans of an unheard of 6-man playoff, his emergence rewarded them later with his off-the-course antics and fun-loving personality that came to the public spotlight during SB2K16. A trip he likely wouldn’t have been attending had it not been for his maiden victory and assured status on Tour.
The view from the bag in Vegas
We checked in with our pro jock, who is on the job this week in Vegas, to see what he thought about the course and what we should expect from the pros this week.
“This course is meh, nothing inspiring. It doesn’t particularly favor one type of player over another, which I guess is a good thing. Don’t expect to see a ton of drivers because of the heat/elevation. The finish is fun and will create drama with two par 5’s and a drivable par 4 in the last 6.”
Who’s going to shine in Vegas? We got Paulie to weigh in on who he likes and why you should roster them for both Draftkings and one-and-done formats.
Turkey, we have a problem….
It’s been a tough couple of weeks for the head of the European Tour, Keith Pelley. He’s dealing with a Rio-like situation as the Race to Dubai playoffs kick off in Turkey. Due to the political unrest and rocket attacks happening in the Middle-Eastern country, many of the world’s top players are opting to pass on this week’s Turkish Airlines Open citing safety concerns.
As of now, only 3 of the top 10 players in the Race to Dubai standings are set to play. With number 1 (Henrik Stenson) and 3 (Rory McIlroy) in the standings sitting out, Danny Williet (number 2 in the standings) has an excellent opportunity to retake the top spot. Other big names to watch are Andy Sullivan, Lee Westwood and BEEF.
PGA Tour Player Profile: Emiliano Grillo
This 24-year-old Argentine is on the verge of becoming one of the international stars of the game. Grillo put together a stellar rookie season, capturing the Frys.com Championship (now Safeway Open) and earning the Rookie of the Year honors. Learn about his path to the tour here.
A big week for college golf
The finals are set at the East Lake Cup. Tuesday saw Illinois down Texas, and Oregon edge Vanderbilt. This sets up a rematch of the last year’s NCAA semifinal match where Oregon was able to beat Illinois using its home course advantage at Eugene C.C. While as an Illinois alum I could be slightly biased, I expect Illinois to roll to their second consecutive East Lake Cup and get some much-needed redemption on Oregon.
On the women’s side, the defending national champion, Washington, was able to advance by beating UCLA. Duke beat Stanford to set up the finals of Duke and Washington.
Monday, the teams competed in a stroke-play portion of the championship where Vanderbilt and Stanford took the respective men’s and women’s team championships. On the individual side, Texas’ Scottie Scheffler shot a 6-under 66 to win the men’s individual title. In the battle for the women’s championship, Stanford teammates Andrea Lee and Casey Danielson tied at 4-under par and headed to a playoff where Lee outlasted Danielson after 6 holes of sudden death play.
Not a bad consolation prize
Some of the elite men’s college golf programs that weren’t invited to the East Lake Cup instead got an invite to the Cypress Point Cup for a unique match play tournament held at arguably the world’s best course. 8 teams (Stanford, Cal, UCLA, USC, Alabama, Georgia Tech, Georgia and Alabama) squared off in a match play tree, where the first-round format was fourball, followed by a second-round format of foursomes and a finals format of singles. In the end, USC met Georgia Tech in the finals, stomping the Yellow Jackets to earn their first team victory of the season.
The LPGA’s Asian Swing continues in Japan.
The world’s youngest club breaker.
A must listen
Set aside an hour of your day to listen to NLU’s latest podcast with golf’s biggest star, Rory McIlroy. Chris Solomon covers a variety of topics, getting the inside scoop on how Rory felt about this year’s Ryder Cup, how he plans on changing his equipment over the next year, just how famous he is and what part of any player’s game he would want, among other topics. Give it a listen on their website here, on Stitcher, or in the Apple or Android podcast hubs (I don’t know what these are called).
From one star to another...
For all you Phil Mickelson fans, check out NLU’s brilliant Phil Mickelson collection, where you can own an ode to one of his many iconic #TourSauce idiosyncrasies such as his thumbs up, boat wave, or famed 18th hole jump (featured below).
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