If you don't know Harry Hall's name, just wait a few paragraphs.
Welcome to the Monday Finish, where we appreciate missed field goals — because they make us feel better about our putting. Let’s get to it!
FIRST OFF THE TEE
Where does golf fit in?
Sungjae Im began his back nine in rip-roaring fashion on Sunday, he had a lot to compete with.
The NFL had more than its usual share of nail-biters down the stretch, including a doink-a-thon in Cincinnati, a New England comeback in Houston and late drives by the Eagles and Vikings. Four late-afternoon games loomed.
Patrick Mahomes-Josh Allen promised a delightful dessert in the night game.
Baseball fans tuned into Rays-Red Sox, midway through what would become a 14-inning classic. They geared up for the Astros-White Sox nightcap.
Meanwhile, the Shriners Children’s Open chugged along in the background. The leaderboard was a mix of longtime pros like
Marc Leishman and
Rory Sabbatini, established young studs like Im and
Matthew Wolff and guys trying to break through to the next level like
Adam Schenk and
Hayden Buckley. In other words, it was a typical fall golf field. There were 11 top-25 players, but those were skewed towards 25 rather than to No. 1 — No. 8
Louis Oosthuizen was the top dog in the field.
This is nothing new. The PGA Tour’s fall season has long existed in the background, filling the space between Thursday Night Football and Sunday Night Football, picking its spots where it can. But as more rumors have been swirling about the possible elimination of the fall season, it’s worth considering the peculiarity of a secondary season, and two potential paths forward for the Tour.
PATH 1: Status quo, more or less. The Sanderson stays. Mayakoba stays. Shriners stays. Golf exists as a sport of the gaps, and we get the chance to meet Korn Ferry graduates, see who plays well in vacation destinations and watch ’em battle the Bermuda winds. All good, right?
PATH 2: Blow it up. Give golfers the fall season off. After the Ryder Cup, we could let fans settle into football season, play some leaf-dodging rounds of their own and really get a chance to miss the traveling circus that is televised professional golf. That way, presumably, when it came back, it would all feel more precious.
I lean towards Path 2, mainly because I think scarcity can be a good thing, and the one-week gap between the Tour Championship and the Fortinet is distinctly unsatisfying. What on earth would we think if the next baseball season began in mid-November? The Sony Open would gain some juice. The Farmers would only grow in stature. We’d be jonesing for late-winter golf in warm-weather locales.
At the same time, I like having the Fall Swing so I can take in some action like Im’s ridiculous run of eight birdies in 10 holes yesterday. I’m excited to see our Ryder Cup squads essentially reunite at this week’s CJ Cup, the most stacked field of the silly season. Who am I to deprive golf fans of the regular cadence of a weekend golf tournament?
But I will say this: I am giving you permission to treat the fall golf season in whatever way feels most appropriate to you. Want to ignore it and catch up on all the action through occasional browsing of GOLF.com? Fine by me! Want to have golf on TV No. 2, volume on low while the Buffalo Bills take center stage? That’s your prerogative! And if you want to be the guy at the bar asking if they can switch one of the TVs to catch some third-round RSM Classic action while Arkansas takes on Alabama then hey — more power to you! But this is a season of choice. Fall golf is all yours. Follow your heart.
Who won the week?
Sungjae Im triumphed in Vegas at the Shriners Children’s Open thanks to a red-hot start to his final round. Actually, the entire round was basically red-hot. Im started birdie-par-par and then birdied eight of his next 10 holes to lap the field and claim the trophy. His first win came at the 2020 Honda Classic in his 50th career PGA Tour start. Sunday’s win was his second — in his 100th career start. Here’s guessing he picks up another one before we hit start No. 150.
Im’s most interesting post-round revelation was about his mindset, which is far more fiery and less forgiving than regular TV coverage would suggest.
“Obviously when I’m playing well I feel great, but when I have a bad round I feel down easily. I think I’ve done that the last 10, 12 months that you mentioned,” Im said through an interpreter.
“But it’s a repetition every week and I learn from each week, and from that experience, I’m learning to control my emotions and everything on the course to stay composed, and I think this week it all paid off.”
Im remains younger and better than you think — and more emotional, too.
Jin-Young Ko took home the trophy at the Cognizant Founders Cup at Mountain Ridge in New Jersey, matching Im’s four-stroke margin of victory with a dominant showing of her own. Only Caroline Masson was within seven shots.
Ko took home the $495,000 winner’s check, which is among the highest on the LPGA. She also posted her 14th consecutive round in the 60s, tying the all-time record set by Annika Sorenstam in 2005. It was a sweepstakes weekend for the 26-year-old, who has played fantastic golf since Nelly Korda unseated her as World No. 1 this summer. The two are now miles ahead of No. 3 Inbee Park:
But if you ask Ko about the records and achievements, she’ll downplay it every time.
“I don’t know. I just play. I just focus by myself,” she said. “The rest, like Tiger’s or Annika Sorenstam’s [records] — I just play by myself and with those amazing professional girls. I don’t know what happened to me.
“I don’t know. I just have fun. I’m just trying to have fun on the course with my caddie and the other players.”
Phil Mickelson won the inaugural Constellation Furyk and Friends on the PGA Tour Champions. He was a reluctant graduate to the senior tour at first, but on Sunday he sounded like a man very much at home with his peers.
“I’m having fun playing in these,” he said. “I don’t feel like there are tournaments on the regular tour that are really exciting me to get out and play, so it’s fun for me to get out here and work on a few things that I’m trying to improve on and play with guys that I know. Like, I know all these guys here. With that rain delay, I go into the locker room and everybody in there I know, whereas on the regular tour there’s so many new, young, fresh players, I don’t know who two-thirds of them are.”
Credit to Mickelson who — in case you’ve somehow forgotten — remains a reigning major champion.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello won the Spanish Open in a playoff, marking his fourth European Tour win and his first since 2017. The result was a particularly big deal considering Cabrera-Bello had logged just one top-10 on any tour for 2020 and 2021 combined.
Ten women earned their LPGA Tour cards after the Symetra Tour Championship, led by money-list winner
Lilia Vu at $162,292.
Prima Thammaraks won season finale to move to No. 13 in the rankings. She’ll be among those exempt into Q-Series this fall.
Linn Grant picked up her first professional win on the LET’s Access Series at the Terre Blanche Ladies Open. The 22-year-old’s four-shot win is just the latest in a slow Swedish takeover in the women’s game.
Moral victories all around.
Matthew Wolff could only shake his head when he saw what Im had done ahead of him at the Shriners.
“When I’m in the lead or contention someone just seems to go off the last day on me,” he said post-round.
But the result was huge for Wolff, who logged his best finish since he was runner-up at the same event last season. He said he’d evolved significantly since then.
“I was definitely a really good player back then, came off of a second at Winged Foot at the U.S. Open and then finished second here. So obviously I know I had the game, I think just, maturity-wise and mentally, I’m just a much stronger and more, all around, just a more complete person,” he said. “I’m able to put things in perspective more when stuff isn’t going my way, I’m able to bounce back.
“And like I said, those bad breaks on the back nine definitely cost me a few strokes, but I was able to birdie 15 and 16, even after not hitting the best drives and in the past those were times when I would kind of fall off and not really finish strong and I’m glad I was able to close it out nicely and Sungjae played really well, I was really happy with a second place finish and happy with my game all week so I’m looking forward to the rest of the year.”
Caroline Masson finished runner-up at the Founders Cup and was positively giddy post-round after a closing 7-under 64. The moment came in particular contrast to her recent stretch of golf, which included a half-dozen missed cuts and a WD at the Scottish Open.
“I just wasn’t able to handle the mental fatigue I was facing,” she said at the time.
Sunday, that fatigue was replaced with relief.
“I can’t tell you how big this is,” she said. “It’s been a little bit rough this summer. Honestly, mentally, it was a really, really tough stretch, probably the toughest of my career. So, to come back out and have a good week last week and feel like I’m getting really close — I know I’m pretty far away from winning this week score-wise, but it was pretty close — it’s pretty amazing. I’ve just got to thank everybody on my team for being there for me.”
Miguel Angel Jimenez finished runner-up to Mickelson, and the 57-year-old had typically salient words of wisdom following his round.
“Well, I’m still in good shape, I’m still moving, and I’m doing what I like to do with my life, which is playing golf,” he said. Tough to argue with that.
Adrian Arnaus came up just short in a playoff against his countryman Cabrera-Bello, losing to a birdie on the first extra hole. Noted bomber
Wilco Nienaber posted the low round of the day on Sunday, shooting 64 to finish T6, his best European Tour finish of 2021.
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
Introducing the British Bryson.
When I flipped on the Shriners on Thursday, I did a double-take. That wasn’t
Bryson DeChambeau, was it? Nah. As it turns out, this was
Harry Hall. The hat is the same, but just about everything else is different. He’s British, for one thing. He went to UNLV. He calls Las Vegas home. And even though he didn’t quite have Bryson’s length last season, when he ranked No. 42 on the Korn Ferry Tour in driving distance, he was quite the big bopper this weekend. Hall led the field in driving distance on both Saturday and Sunday and finished second in that category on the week at 335 yards per drive.
I’m laughing just typing that. Look at the dude below. Could golf’s next big-time bomber look…just like its current big-time bomber?
Hall can golf his ball and he doesn’t lack for confidence, two things that contributed to a T8 finish at TPC Summerlin, where he often practices and estimates he has logged more than 100 rounds. The Korn Ferry Tour pro was T2 through two rounds at the Shriners, but if he was overwhelmed by the moment, he did a heck of a job hiding that.
“Pretty cool. That’s where I want to be. T1 would be better, though. But hopefully by Sunday afternoon that will be the case.”
Touche, Harry. He wound up inside the top 10, which means he gets to play the next Tour event too, the Bermuda Championship in two weeks’ time. Perhaps by then we’ll have a proper nickname worked out. The Cornwall Crusher. The Hat 2.0. Or perhaps just British Bryson.
“I’m pretty confident that I’ll be on the PGA Tour, whether it’s through this or through the Korn Ferry next year, and no matter what, I’ll continue to get better and find success in the little things that I do on a day-to-day basis and hopefully I’ll look back in 30 years, and hopefully this will be a little bit insignificant.”
Onward, Sir Hall.
WHAT ELSE WE’RE WATCHING
Tiger is on the move.
Tiger Woods doing something like *standing up* is in the grey area when it comes to “news” but this is still Tiger Woods, and we don’t exactly get daily updates from his team, and the news seems to be good, so sure — let’s get to it!
First here’s beardy Tiger at his son Charlie’s event, chatting with Mike Thomas. Mike wasn’t at the Ryder Cup due to a health scare, so it’s great to see both of these guys up and at ’em.
And here’s a Bigfoot-style “video” of Tiger walking. Why the one-second recording? Tough to say. Anyway, there’s Woods, once again confirmed to be vertical.
WHAT WE’RE HEARING
The fellas were in attendance for the fight.
The Wilder-Fury fight was well-attended by PGA Tour royalty, who arrived in town early for next week’s CJ Cup to take in the action.
Brooks Koepka was there after shooting 72 on Saturday at the Shriners. So was DeChambeau.
Dustin Johnson attended, too.
Ian Poulter was loving it.
And so was
Tony Finau, rocking an objectionable beard but otherwise enjoying himself with his wife Alayna.
Good for these guys getting out on the town a little bit!
NEWS FROM SEATTLE
Monday Finish HQ.
In the summer in Seattle, 7:30 p.m. feels like the very beginning of the night. Hours of daylight are ahead. The city’s alive, celebrating the endless days. But by the time October rolls around, 7:30 p.m. means the night is just about wrapping up. It’s sports-at-home season. It’s TV season. In my apartment that means White Lotus. Let’s do a 10-word review:
Hilarious. Dark. Visual. Sad. Don’t be a monster on vacation.
Three things to watch this week.
1. Ryder Cup: Vegas
The gang is back in action! That’s right: We’ve got most of Team USA and Team Europe back in action at the Summit Club. For the stars and stripes, that means
Harris English, Tony Finau, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele, Scottie Scheffler, Jordan Spieth and
Justin Thomas. For their vanquished opponents that means we’ll see
Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia, Tyrrell Hatton, Viktor Hovland, Shane Lowry, Rory McIlroy, and
Ian Poulter. Getting the band(s) back together!
2. The locals tee it up.
The CJ Cup will also highlight the number of pros with homes in Las Vegas or connections to the town. Morikawa belongs to the Summit Club and holds the course record. Schauffele recently relocated to Vegas.
Kevin Na lives there. So does
Adam Scott and
Charley Hoffman went to college at UNLV. In other words, some folks will feel more at home in the desert than others.
3. Jon Rahm heads home — and stays!
We’re in the midst of the Spanish Swing on the European Tour, and World No. 1
Jon Rahm could be collecting cash and points at the CJ Cup but instead is sticking around his home country for the Andalucia Masters at Valderrama. Credit to him for showing with his actions just how much he cares about golf in his home country.
We’ll see you next week!
Latest In News33 mins ago
Dylan DethierGolf.com Editor
Dylan Dethier is a senior writer for GOLF Magazine/GOLF.com, The Williamstown, Mass. native joined GOLF in 2017 after two years scuffling on the mini-tours. Dethier is a 2014 graduate of Williams College, where he majored in English, and he’s the author of 18 in America, which details the year he spent as an 18-year-old living from his car and playing a round of golf in every state.
Source : https://golf.com/news/monday-finish-british-bryson-tiger-woods-sightings-fall-golf/4233