Monthly Archives: July 2017

Jhonattan Vegas successfully defends RBC Canadian Open title

OAKVILLE, Ontario — Jhonattan Vegas successfully defended his RBC Canadian Open title Sunday at Glen Abbey, beating Charley Hoffman with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff.

Vegas’ approach from the left bunker in the playoff on the par-5 18th hit the grass just above the sand lip and went through the green. The 32-year-old Venezuelan chipped to a foot — after racing a chip past the hole in regulation from the same area en route to a par — and won when Hoffman’s birdie try from the back bunker slid past the hole.

Vegas closed with a 7-under 65 to match Hoffman at 21-under 267. Hoffman, the third-round leader, birdied the 18th for a 68.

Vegas has three PGA Tour titles, also winning the 2011 Bob Hope Classic.

Ian Poulter was a stroke back after a 64, the best round of the day.

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Jordan Spieth wins Travelers Championship in dramatic playoff

By Pat Eaton-Robb

The Associated Press

CROMWELL, Conn. — Jordan Spieth needed an extra hole, a little bit of luck and an amazing final shot to finish off a wire-to-wire victory in the Travelers Championship.

The two-time major champion holed out from 60 feet for birdie from a greenside bunker on the first hole of a playoff with Daniel Berger on Sunday at TPC River Highlands.

The 23-year-old Texan joined Tiger Woods as the only PGA Tour players with 10 victories in the era since World War II. Woods won 15 times before he turned 24.

“That was one for the ages,” said Spieth, also the winner at Pebble Beach in February.

Spieth held a one-stroke edge after each of the first three rounds. He closed with an even-par 70 to match Berger — who birdied three of the final six holes for a 67 — at 12-under 268.

Berger, the Memphis winner two weeks ago before missing the cut last week at the U.S. Open, just missed a 50-foot putt from off the 18th green left that would have forced a second playoff hole.

“Jordan does Jordan things,” Berger said. “So there’s not really much you can say. I’m obviously disappointed, but happy to be in the position I was in today.”

Berger began the round in third place, three shots back. He tied Spieth for a lead with a 5-foot birdie putt on 15 as Spieth was making bogey on 14 and tied him again with a birdie from 8 feet at 17.

The pair, playing a group apart, both hit their approach shots on 18 into the same greenside bunker. Both chipped out close to the hole and both saved par to force the playoff.

Berger hit his drive on the first playoff hole left and into the crowd behind a fairway bunker. Spieth seemed to clip a tree left landing in the fairway but about 150 yards short of his normal drive and 230 yards from the hole.

Spieth’s approach fell into bunker. Berger’s ran off the green to the left.

Spieth had to back up after hitting his bunker shot to see the hole. When the ball rolled straight in the cup he threw his club and did a flying chest bump into caddie Michael Greller.

“If I was in Berger’s shoes, I be cursing Jordan Spieth right now for the break off the tee and then holing a 30-yard bunker shot, that’s a lot of luck,” Spieth said.

Spieth didn’t waste any time extending his lead to three strokes Sunday. He hit his approach shot to 6 feet on the first hole and made the birdie putt, then made a 5-footer at No. 2. But those would be his final two birdies until a 16-footer on the 15th hole.

He also survived a couple of big scares. The first came when his drive on 13 went right but stuck on the side of a hill to stay out of the water. He missed a 7-foot birdie putt, but saved par.

He then hit his tee shot on the 15th left, just avoiding the water and the hazard line in the rough. He chipped to the middle of the green and made a 16-foot putt for birdie, which he thought he had missed. .

His second shot at 17 also looked as if it might hit the course’s signature lake, but landed just on the edge of the green and he made par.

“That’s a lot of luck,” Spieth said. “But I took advantage of the good breaks and am happy to come out on top.”

He’s the third player to go wire-to-wire alone in the lead at the Connecticut event. Gene Littler did it in 1959 and Tim Morris in 1982. Spieth’s only other wire-to-wire win was the 2015 Masters.

Sunday’s win was also his first win in a tournament debut. The last player to win in Cromwell in his first start was Phil Blackmar in 1985.

Charley Hoffman (66) and Danny Lee (67) tied for third, three strokes back.

Boo Weekley, who began the round a shot back in second place, shot 37 on the back nine to tie for fifth at 9 under, despite the support of a large gallery, which could be heard cheering “Boooo!” and “Boo-S-A!” every time he did something good.

Rory McIlroy tried to find his short game this week and used his third putter Sunday to help him shoot a 64, his lowest round on the tour this season. He tied for 17th at 6 under.

“I must say I felt a little more comfortable on the greens than I did the previous three days,” McIlroy said. “So, this might be one that stays (in the bag) for a few weeks.”

Defending champion Russell Knox had a poor round, with six bogeys on his first 10 holes. He shot a 73 to finish at even par.

Grayson Murray had the tournament’s only hole-in-one, acing the 177 yard eighth hole with an 8-iron. It also was the first on tour for the 23-year-old North Carolinian. He shot a 68 to finish at 5 under.

The Best Golf Courses in Virginia

  1. (1) Kinloch G.C., Manakin-Sabot •
  2. (3) The Olde Farm, Bristol ≈
  3. (2) Robert Trent Jones G.C., Gainesville ≈
  4. (4) The Omni Homestead Resort (Cascades) (pictured above), Hot Springs ≈^
  5. (5) The Highland Cse. at Primland, Meadows of Dan ≈^
  6. (New) Trump National G.C. Washington D.C. (Championship), Potomac Falls
  7. (6) Ballyhack G.C., Roanoke ≈
  8. (9) The Virginian G.C., Bristol
  9. (13) The C.C. of Virginia (James River), Richmond
  10. (19) Kingsmill Resort & G.C. (River), Williamsburg ★
  11. (8) Spring Creek G.C., Gordonsville ^
  12. (10) Golden Horseshoe G.C. (Gold), Williamsburg ^
  13. (11) The Club at Creighton Farms, Aldie
  14. (17) The Foundry G.C., Powhatan
  15. (New) Two Rivers C.C., Williamsburg
  16. (New) Full Cry at Keswick G.C. ★
  17. (18) Mattaponi Springs G.C., Ruther Glen ★
  18. (20) Bay Creek Resort & Club (Nicklaus), Cape Charles ★
  19. (15) Hermitage C.C. (Manakin), Manakin-Sabot m
  20. (New) Pete Dye River Cse. Of Virginia Tech, Radford ★

(2015-’16 ranking in parentheses)
America’s 100 Greatest Course
≈ America’s Second 100 Greatest
^ America’s 100 Greatest Public Course
★ Other public-access course

29 reasons why you didn’t play well today

By Joel Beall

More often than not, your round results in a less-than-desirable score. Which is OK; golf is not a game of perfect. How you rationalize that outcome, however, can be just as enlightening. From the fair to farcical to crestfallen, here are the 29 reasons why you didn’t play well today.

“It was my first time at the course”

We get it. You didn’t know about that creek around the corner, or that long on the 15th is death. Still doesn’t quite explain that 103, though.

“I didn’t get a chance to warm up”

Whether you deprived yourself time at the range or on the practice green, we’ll allow it might lead to a slow start. But by the time you triple-bogeyed the first three holes, it’s fair to say you’ve now gotten in plenty of reps.

“I haven’t had enough time to practice lately”

This is a popular alibi from parents. And frankly, I don’t care that you have to chauffeur little Timmy to piano lessons three times a week; priorities, buddy.

“It’s impossible to score in this weather”

This is grounds for deportation in Scotland.

“It was too long of a wait between shots”

Often delivered in whiny cadence. But given the importance of rhythm and tempo, it’s not wrong, either.

What’s not OK is…

“I felt rushed”

If it takes you that long to prepare for a shot, you’re doing it wrong.

“My mind was elsewhere today”

Allowances for sincere, real-life issues. But if the matter in question is, “My boss doesn’t answer my emails right away, and I think something’s up,” it’s on you.

“Those pins were unfair”

Loses some merit when the player routinely takes five shots to reach the green.

“I just couldn’t score”

It happens, but how else do you compare yourself to other golfers, by height?

“My caddie was giving me bad reads all day”

I’m sure the looper has nothing but fond things to say of you as well.

“The water coolers were empty, felt like I was going to pass out”

Courses that brandish unfilled coolers should be tried at the Hague for crimes against humanity.

“The guys I was playing with struggled, and it brought down my game”

A weak response from weak-minded players.

“I didn’t dress appropriately for this weather”

Sadly, an excuse even the pros use. No matter the forecast, always keep a rain jacket in your bag.

“My shirt was too tight”

Pathetic, right? What kind of bum would resort to such a cop-out?

(lowers voice)

I might have muttered this once or twice.

“The greens weren’t holding”

Which is another way of saying, “My short game has gone to hell.”

“I mentally checked out”

The insinuation being, “Well, I have the capacity to do well, if I tried.” Lame, if not outright delusional.

“I was just worn out”

From a bad night’s sleep to walking a long course to an ill-timed pre-round workout, fatigue is one of those factors that separates the golf you play on a course from the kind you play on your xbox.

“I drank too much”

Let he who hasn’t said this throw the first stone.

A close relative to…

“I ate too much before the round”

As with fatigue, three hot dogs before on the first tee is not helping the “golf is a sport” cause.

“I couldn’t catch a break”

Arguably one of the most revealing lines about someone’s character. Because, like in life, everyone is victim to misfortune. It’s how you respond — or fail to — that makes the difference.

“I was using borrowed equipment”

A fear so real that pros have quit rather than face the prospect of secondary sticks.

“My distances were off all day”

If you mean “I chunked half my iron shots,” then yes.

“My back was killing me”

As a kid, I would mock my dad and elders when they griped about their spines. Now, at 30, I’ve had to quit two rounds this summer due to lower-back spasms. Karma, she is a *****

“I just had a lesson”

Although a logical thought, work out those kinks on the driving range, not the course.

“I had the yips”

A resignation that’s not said lightly, and one beyond solace.

“I was nervous”

That murmur you hear is every poor bastard that’s teed it up with a disapproving father-in-law.

“The greens were just aerated”

I hate, hate, HATE this excuse. You know who else had to putt on punctured dance floors? Everybody else. You weren’t the only one navigating potholes, chief.

“I was just trying to have fun”

Mentioned above, we’re big advocates of not letting your score dictate your enjoyment. In that same cadence, this alibi is usually said after one doubles the first hole, acting as if they weren’t trying in the first place. There’s a bit of ambiguity with this line, but you know it when you see it.

“I suck”

Very often the only thing that needs to be said.