Justin Thomas is your final WGC Bridgestone Invitational champion, Georgia Hall won the Women’s British Open for her first major, and Cole Hammer wins the Western Amateur.
Before we get started, I need to rant for a minute.
Sunday’s final round of the WGC Bridgestone was some of the most boring golf I have watched this year. That’s amazing considering we had Justin Thomas, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson all in the mix in some capacity.
There has been plenty of Firestone bashing this week, but Sunday’s display was the perfect depiction of why we dislike it. There is no creativity, imagination or thought that needs to go into a shot selection. Hit it dead straight off the tee, hit it high into the greens, lay up on 16. No need to harp on the topic. Firestone hosted a number of memorable Tiger wins, but it is time to move on. Leaderboard
Nice Shot Big J
Justin Thomas capped off the final WGC Bridgestone at Firestone in dominant fashion. Thomas closed with a 69 to win by four after starting the day with a four-shot lead. JT led the field in strokes gained approach this week and was top 5 putting. That combination wins golf tournaments. Regardless of course set-up, he was the best player this week and is a deserving champion.
This is JT’s 9th career victory and third on the season. It’s his 8th victory in the last two seasons and will move him to #2 in the rankings. In a “what have you done for me lately” world, it would seem that Thomas is a pretty good pick to defend his PGA Championship title next week.
Despite his putting woes inside of 5 feet, Kyle Stanley held firm and finished in solo second this weekend. He finished in the top 15 in SG off the tee, approach, and around the green this week. This week is Stanley’s third top 5 in WGCs this season and ties his highest finish with a T-2 at the Memorial. He hasn’t won this year, but Stanley has easily been one of the most consistent players on tour this season.
A donut without a hole is a Danish
Starting the day tied for 22nd, Thorbjorn Olesen made 6 birdies in his final 12 holes and shot up to a tie for 3rd. The Dane has been playing extremely strong golf recently. He started off his run with a win at the Italian Open and has tallied a runner-up at the BMW International, T-6 at the Irish Open, and T-12 at the Open Championship. Assuming he keeps up the strong play, he will be an interesting option for the European Ryder Cup captains picks. To be continued…
Dustin Johnson shot an opening-nine 29 but cooled off on the back nine to “settle” for 64. Days like today remind us that Dustin possesses a gear that very few players have. He can go out and make birdies in droves, inserting himself into any leaderboard. He won last week, put up a strong showing this week, and it would be anything but surprising if he were to be in contention next week at Bellerive.
Rory has absolutely no idea how to control a wedge right now. It is truly appalling. His driver was off on Sunday which didn’t help, but it is amazing how bad his misses are from inside 100 yards. It will be interesting to see what changes he makes for Bellerive because this can’t continue.
Poulter led or was in 2nd for each of the first three rounds, and yet I completely forgot he was in the tournament after 3 holes on Sunday. End.
Tiger fell flat on the weekend, but it was cool to see him birdie his last hole at Firestone. This tournament has been a big part of his career and he ended on a high note.
Women’s British Open
Englishwoman Georgia Hall captured her first major championship this week with a two-shot victory at the Women’s British Open. Hall shot a final-round 67 to chase down Pornanong Phatlum and win at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. She has played LPGA events over the last five years, but this is her first full season out on tour.
Other notables: So-Yeon Ryu (3rd), Ariya Jutanugarn (T-4), Shanshan Feng (T-7). Leaderboard
Cole Hammer topped one of the best fields in amateur golf this week as he won the Western Amateur outside of Chicago. The 18-year-old beat a slew of top-tier talent including Davis Shore, Brandon Wu, and Davis Riley in match play. His match with Brandon Wu was one of the most entertaining matches I’ve ever seen in person. Both players played their asses off and created incredible theatre down the stretch.
Hammer will be a freshman at Texas in the fall and will make an impact immediately. He has a very heavy ball flight and can move it both directions with ease. I have no doubt that he will be one of the best players in the NCAA over his career in Austin.
The Western Amateur is the most grueling tournament in golf. Hammer and Riley each played 144 holes of competitive golf in five days, oh to be young. A great way to feel young is by staying hydrated. The best way to do so is with Greater Than Sports Drink. It has 2x the electrolytes and ½ the sugars of popular sports drinks thanks to its coconut water recipe. Try out Greater Than and get 20% off your first order, or grab one of their convenient trial packs using this link.
Get started on your PGA Championship preparation with Andy’s article on longshots he likes this week.
Andrew Putnam won the Barracuda Championship in Reno this week. Leaderboard
Sepp Straka collected his first Web.com Tour victory in Kansas City. Leaderboard