Rare heavy rains soaked Northern California over the weekend, causing numerous delays, drenching the Silverado Course, and yielding soft greens and low scores. Second-year pro Patton Kizzire entered Sunday’s final round holding a 1-shot lead and looking to notch his first win on the PGA Tour. Kizzire holed numerous clutch par putts on the back 9 but couldn’t withstand a late charge by Brendan Steele, who birdied his last 3 holes to cap off a 7-under-par 65 and win the season opener by 1-shot. It was the veteran Steele’s 2nd career PGA Tour victory and serves as redemption from last year’s championship, where Steele held the 54-hole lead but shot a final-round 78 to plummet to a tie for 18th.
Starting on the right foot
Outside of Steele and Kizzire, a good mix of young players and veterans got their seasons off to a great start by notching top 10 finishes in the season opener. Cody Gribble was the only rookie to finish in the top 10 after a final-round 68 to finish in a tie for 8th, while 2nd year player Michael Kim finished in a tie for 3rd, a great start to the season after finishing 118th in the 2015-2016 FedEx Cup Standings. A couple veterans stayed hot with Paul Casey finishing in a tie for 3rd (his 4th consecutive top 5 finish) and 46-year-old Phil Mickelson finishing in a tie for 8th to open the season.
Loopin’ for Tiger
While Tiger didn’t make his debut this week, new contributor Kyle Nathan did. Kyle relives a time from his youth when he got the opportunity to loop for the legendary Tiger Woods at the height of his prime in the year 2000. Read about Kyle’s experience here.
So hot right now
Across the pond at the British Masters, Alex Noren made his claim to being the hottest player in golf after winning for the 3rd time in his last 8 starts. Noren held the 54-hole lead and used a final-round 69 to win by two shots over Bernd Wiesberger, while Lee Westwood finished in solo third 3 shots back. With the win, Noren will move into the top 20 of the world rankings, an amazing feat given he was ranked 108th just 3 months ago.
The College Circuit
5 of the top 10 college teams are in action at the annual Tavistock Collegiate Invitational held at the notorious professional golfer hangout, Isleworth Country Club. After Sunday’s first round, Florida and Purdue are out in front at 5 under par, with North Florida and Vanderbilt 3 shots back. Follow rounds 2 & 3 live here.
Ciganda beats Lee in a playoff to win on the LPGA.
Garwood goes deep to top Langer on the Champions Tour.
More reason to love Beef.