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Im’s 62 Beats Wolff by 4 in Shriners

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Sungjae Im of South Korea simply went lower than anyone else in the final round of the Shriners Children’s Open.

On a day of low scores, the 23-year-old Im carded a bogey-free, 9-under-par 62 to claim his second PGA Tour victory by four strokes over Matthew Wolff of Agoura Hills at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.

“It was very tough to get my first win, but I felt like the second one was harder and harder,” said Im, whose only other title on the circuit came in the 2020 Honda Classic. “But I kept my patience. I tried to stay composed and I’m glad it came.

“The big difference between yesterday (when Im shot 70) and today was that today there was no wind compared to round three, and that made it easier. But again, tee-to-green, driver, irons, putting game, it worked as I wanted it to and it gave me a good result.

“To be honest with you, I didn’t know I birdied five in a row. I was just focused on every shot and trying to not make mistakes.”

Im, who also won the 2019 Genesis Championship in South Korea and had two victories on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2018, blew away the field with nine birdies on his first 12 holes—the last five in a row—before finishing with five straight pars to record a score of 24-under 260.

Wolff, also seeking his second PGA Tour victory, had three birdies on the front nine but couldn’t keep up with Im and closed with a 68.

“This game is like, when I’m in the lead or contention, someone just seems to go off the last day on me,” said Wolff, whose only PGA Tour victory came in the 2019 3M Open and who lost the 2020 Shriners in a playoff with Martin Laird of Scotland.

“But if I keep on putting myself in these positions I know that eventually it’s going to be in my favor and I’m going to win. … (Im) was taking it really deep.”

Marc Leishman of Australia collected nine birdies and a bogey in a 62 to finish five shots back in a tie for third with Rory Sabbatini, who had five early birdies and holed out from 82 feet for an eagle at No. 9 in a 64, and 54-hole leader Adam Schenk, who wound up at 70.

Lanto Griffin birdied the last two holes to cap a bogey-free 66 to wind up six down in a tie for sixth with Adam Hadwin of Canada, who made four birdies on the back nine in a 67.

Hayden Buckley sank an 11-foot eagle putt on the ninth hole and had six birdies to card a bogey-free 63 to finish seven strokes behind in a tie for eighth with Aaron Wise of Lake Elsinore, who had a bogey-free 66, and Harry Hall of Canada, who came in at 68.

Defending champion Martin Laird of Scotland, who also won the Shriners in 2009, tied for 11th after a 66 that included a 16-foot eagle putt at No. 9, eighth-ranked Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa shot 68 to tie for 14th, and reigning Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama of Japan totaled 70 to wind up in a tie for 67th that included ninth-ranked Brooks Koepka, who made a 14-foot eagle putt at No. 16 to salvage a 73.

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Rory Beats Morikawa by 1 in CJ Cup

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Everyone can stop asking what’s wrong with Rory McIlroy.

The 32-year-old from Northern Ireland closed with a 6-under-par 66 to claim his 20th PGA Tour victory in the CJ Cup at Summit by one stroke over third-ranked Collin Morikawa of La Canada Flintridge and Cal at The Summit Golf Club in Las Vegas.

“It is a big carrot,” said McIlroy, who was disappointed by his play recently in the Ryder Cup, said of reaching 20 wins. “I didn’t know it would be this week. Being me is enough. Being me can let me do things like this. It was huge, it really was.

“There was a lot of reflection in the couple of weeks (since the Ryder Cup). This is what I need to do. I need to play golf, simplify it and just be me. I think for the last few months I was trying to be someone else to try to get better but realized that being me is enough and being me, I can do things like this.”

McIlroy, who also captured the Wells Fargo Championship in May and has 29 wins as a pro, moved into contention by shooting 62 in round three, made four birdies on the front nine and one on the back in the final round, but it was his 34-foot eagle putt at No. 15 that gave him the victory at 25-under 263.

Morikawa, 24, who won the Open Championship at Royal St. George’s in July, collected seven birdies on the front nine and finished with a 62, but his seven-foot eagle putt on the last hole on a course where he is a member left him one stroke short.

“Whenever you shoot 62 you’re always going to be pleased,” said Morikawa, who also won the WGC-Workday Championship in February and has five PGA Tour victories. “But I thought I left a few out there, especially with some putts.

“But overall I’m very pleased the way this last 18 went, especially at a course that I’ve played a lot. I felt very comfortable and it’s a good way to start the season.”

Keith Mitchell, who held the lead after opening with 62-64, birdied three of the last five holes for a 67 and was three shots back in a tie for third with Rickie Fowler of Murrieta, the 54-hole leader who was ahead by three early in the final round but made a double-bogey 7 at No. 6 en route to a 71.

Sam Burns, who won the Sanderson Farms Championship two weeks ago, had a second straight 66 to wind up four down in a tie for fifth with Aaron Wise of Lake Elsinore, who also shot 66, Talor Gooch, who holed out from 94 yards on the last hole to cap a bogey-free 62, and Adam Scott of Australia, who birdied the last two holes for a 69.

Sungjae Im of South Korea, who won the Shriners for Children’s Open last week, birdied five of the last six holes for a 64 and finished five strokes behind in a tie for ninth with Gary Woodland (65), Harry Higgs (67), Cameron Smith of Australia (68) and Robert Streb (70), who led after the first round with a 61.

Fifth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State made five birdies on each nine in a 63 and finished in a tie for 18th that included sixth-ranked Justin Thomas, a two-time CJ Cup winner who eagled the last hole for a 64, while eighth-ranked Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa shot 67 and finished in a tie for 38th that included ninth-ranked Brooks Koepka, who wound up at 68.

Second-ranked Dustin Johnson made two eagles in a 68 and finished in a tie for 45th that included 10th-ranked Tony Finau, who had a bogey-free 65, while defending champion Jason Kokrak tied for 58th after a 68, and Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama of Japan also came in at 68 and tied for 59th.

For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html   



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Hitting Out of Tall Wet Grass

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Playing in damp conditions? LPGA Instructor Meredith Kirk shares two important keys when you have to hit out of tall, wet grass.

The post Hitting Out of Tall Wet Grass appeared first on Women's Golf.



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Fowler Posts 63, 2 Up on Rory in CJ Cup

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Rickie Fowler’s game has been so spotty the last two seasons that he needed a sponsors exemption to get into the CJ Cup at Summit, but he’s making it pay off.

The 32-year-old Fowler, from Murietta in Southern California, posted a bogey-free, 9-under-par 63 to take a two-stroke lead over Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland after 54 holes at The Summit Golf Club in Las Vegas.

“I made a couple of birdies early and got off to even a better start after having solid rounds the first two days,” said Fowler, who claimed the last of his five PGA Tour victories in the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open. “I had a great front nine and put myself right in the mix, where I haven’t been for a while.

“Then I had a nice back nine, too, and was able to put myself in the lead for the first time since I don’t remember. It’s been a long time coming and I’ve put in a lot of work with my team to get back to this point. It’s been a long road and it’s not over yet.

“I’ve done everything I could for the first three days, but it’s far from over. Today’s over and tomorrow is a completely different day. It’s going to be a shootout.”

Fowler, who opened with 66-66, made four straight birdies through the sixth hole, added another at No. 8 and picked up four more on the back nine while recording a 54-hole score of 21-under 133.

McIlroy, who also hasn’t had his best stuff the last few years but claimed his 19th PGA Tour victory in the Wells Fargo Championship earlier this year, collected six birdies on the front nine, added two more on the back and capped his bogey-free 62 by sinking 21-foot eagle putt on the last hole.

“I actually got off to a little bit of a slow start, but then I made a birdie on the third hole and that was the first of five in a row,” said McIlroy, who tied for fourth in the Olympics. “When you get going like that, negative thoughts don’t even enter your mind.

“Almost every hole on this course is a birdie chance, and you just want to hit the fairways and greens to give yourself a putt at it. I’ve been able to do that well for the first three days this week.

“I just had a great day and I just hope I can keep it going and do it again tomorrow.”

Abraham Ancer of Mexico holed a six-foot eagle putt at No. 14 and had eight birdies in a 63 playing alongside McIlroy and is three shots back in a tie for third with first-round leader Robert Streb, who birdied three of the last five holes for a 65, and Adam Scott of Australia, who had six birdies in a 67.

Said Ancer: “Rory and I were talking about how the last time we played together everybody made a bunch of birdies and that happened again today. We were able to feed off each other again today, made a lot of putts and it was awesome. Hope to do it again tomorrow.”  

Tyrrell Hatton of England sank a five-foot eagle putt on the last hole to complete a 67 and is four down in a tie for sixth with Keith Mitchell, who took a five-stroke lead into the third round but had to birdie two of the last four holes to salvage a 73.

Cameron Smith of Australia and Ian Poulter of England both had six birdies and one bogey to post 67s and are five strokes behind in a tie for eighth, while Sam Burns birdied the last hole for a 67 and is six shots back in a tie for 10th with Aaron Wise of Lake Elsinore, who had three straight birdies on the back nine in a 68, Erik van Rooyen of South Africa, who also had a 68, and Harry Higgs, who came in at 70.

Third-ranked Collin Morikawa of La Canada Flintridge and Cal is tied for 14th after a bogey-free 65, ninth-ranked Brooks Koepka birdied the last two holes for a 68 and is tied for 36th, while sixth-ranked Justin Thomas, a two-time CJ Cup champion, shot 70 and is in a tie for 42nd that includes eighth-ranked Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa, who carded a bogey-free 65.

Second-ranked Dustin Johnson carded a 67 and is in a tie for 46th that includes fifth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State, who had a third straight 69, while defending champion Jason Kokrak is tied for 51st after a 65, and 10th-ranked Tony Finau totaled 70 and is tied for 56th.

For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html



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