The big news in a short week came from… well, let’s explain the short week first. Three major tournaments were in action this week, with Linksland Golf in Dundonald, Heathland Golf in St Andrews and good, old Scottish transplant golf in Detroit. The LPGA/Ladies European Tour joined forces at the Scottish Open, while the DP World Tour played at Fairmont over the St. Louis area. Andrews. Finally, the US PGA Tour returns to Detroit Golf Club, designed by Dornoch native Donald Ross.
In expected news (aka, this morning) Luke Donald’s accompanying candor has propelled him to the top of the shortlist to replace the former European Ryder Cup team captain. An official announcement should come as you read this Tournament Summary. As an added bonus, we have a report from the USGA Boys National Junior for several reasons. We’ll detail them at the end of this installment of the Tournament Roundup
PGA Tour: Finau claims back-to-back wins with heliacal performance
If Tony Finau had a better sense of timing, he would have turned in a unique streak over four rounds in Detroit, Rock City. Finau posted a 64-66-65-67 at Motown to clinch a five-stroke victory. Fellow all-rounder Taylor Pendrith of Canada had a fair shot, staying even with Finau after his 64-65-66. Unfortunately for Pendrith, Sunday brought three birdies, three bogies and twelve pars. He fell just short into a tie with Cameron Young and Patrick Cantlay for second place.
When things long obscured become visible, we wonder how we never noticed them before. Such is the case with Finau’s penchant for winning golf tournaments. Despite appearances on the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup teams for Team USA, Finau’s first win came in 2016. It would be half a decade before he won again, in 2021. He has now won in back-to-back weeks and we we wonder if he will run the boards in 2021-2022.
On Sunday, Finau had three birdies in the first ten holes to take Pendrith out of the equation and set his sights on the finish line. A bogey at 11 gave him pause, but he regrouped and added three more strikeouts over the final stretch. Cantlay moved up three places with his 66 and Young moved up from third with his 67. The week and the day, however, belonged to the man from Utah. Time for Dougie.
Time for Dougie? pic.twitter.com/jvGZVZcF1f
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 31, 2022
LPGA/Women’s European Tour: Stunning 62 lifts Furue to title
We are fortunate to witness rounds of greatness on several occasions each calendar season. When they take place on the last day, their magic is more visible and visible than on other days. Japan’s Ayaka Furue had never won on the big stage before this week. After opening with rounds of 69-68-68, she fell four shots behind a confident Celine Boutier, who looked like a winner after her 65-69-67.
Then came Sunday, a day that changed the arc of Furue’s career. The ten birdies were more than eight pars on her card, and she calmly passed all the challengers to reach the leader board. That ataraxia was evident throughout her outing on the course, as Furue reeled off back-to-back birdies on six holes to round the turn. She bogeyed her final four holes to cut Boutier a three-shot lead.
French golfers were left wondering what more he could have done. Her 69 was a solid shot from the lead and left teammate Lydia Ko (71) in the dust. Alas, such are the whims of the golf gods. On to Muirfield, where the venerable links will host the Women’s British Open for the first time.
First LPGA Tour win?
— LPGA (@LPGA) July 31, 2022
DP World Tour: Crocker a hero in the Hero Open
As if the performances of Furue and Finau were not convincing enough, we present the following evidence to the jury. Consider a Californian returned to Zimbabwe named Sean Crocker. After a collegiate career at USC (the Cali version) Crocker began a professional career. He has never played the PGA Tour in the US, preferring to ply his trade overseas. For five seasons, the world liaison learned the ways of the tournament, until one glorious Sunday in July in St. Andrews.
No, not Cameron Smith. He is Australian. Zimbabwe, we said. Crocker took a lead in the final round of the HERO opener in St. Louis. Andrews and showed guts and guile as he posted a 68 on the fourth day. Crocker made five birdies against a solitary bogey in the final round, then held his breath as the bullish Eddie Pepperell, a massive voice of humor and reason, nearly chased him down.
A resurgent Pepperell signed for 65 after his eight birdies. Did bogey on the ninth hole cost him? Mathematically, yes. Logically, no. Pepperell was nowhere near the dawn of day, but he entered the fray and nearly topped it. This story, however, is about Crocker, and it’s about time he earned a victory of his own. With a gutsy, six-foot putt, Crocker made it happen.
Winning your first tour title at St Andrews ???????
— DP World Tour (@DPWorldTour) July 31, 2022
USGA: Ding stops Surratt to claim USGA title for China
How big of an advantage is enough is a question that is often asked of the average golfer. Can you win the tournament with a 15 stroke lead. The answer is always “No,” because average players are average in every capacity. Wenyi Ding is no average golfer. He is quite talented. We know this because he reached the final of the Junior Boys Championship at Bandon Dunes. Ding faces Caleb Surratt, a south Charlotte golfer who had enjoyed a great run of championship golf in 2022. The final promised to be epic, and it was.
Ding was two down after three holes but clawed back to take a three-hole lead midway through lunch in the scheduled 36-hole final. After ten holes of the afternoon session, the opponents would have decided against the match reaching the twelfth ball. Ding added five holes to his lead and stayed at par on eight as the pair reached the 11th tee.
Surratt wasn’t done. He won one-two-three-four-five holes in a row, to cut the legs from under Ding. With so much momentum on his side, the recovery looked believable and achievable. Alas, it was not to be. Neither Surratt nor Ding provided any spark on the day’s 33rd hole, and when they were halved at four points, the week, the day and the match were over. Ding had become the first male player from China to secure a USGA title.
Brilliant in Bandon!
— USGA (@USGA) July 31, 2022