Monday, August 30

Patrick Cantlay on the Putts That Won the BMW Championship: 'I Needed All of Them'


NO, IT WASN'T A MAJOR, but yesterday's duel between Patrick Cantlay and Bryson DeChambeau at the BMW Championship had major-like implications.

Cantlay emerged victorious after a six-hole sudden-death playoff at Caves Valley. It was a master class in pressure putting.

I could sit here for a long time trying to remember someone who putted as well as Cantlay under those circumstances. I give up. He made so many he had to make. It was ridiculous.


With the putter in his hand and ice in his veins, Cantlay delivered one clutch putt after another to survive the final three holes of regulation and six tense holes of a sudden-death playoff, finally winning with a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole.

He closed out his 6-under 66 with an 8-foot par putt on the 16th, an 8-foot bogey putt on the 17th after a tee shot into the water, and a 20-foot birdie on the 18th to force a playoff. Twice on the 18th in the playoff, where DeChambeau had a 30-yard advantage off the tee, Cantlay made par putts from 6 feet and 7 feet.

The most important putt was the last one.

"But they all mattered, I guess, the same," Cantlay said. "I needed all of them."

Getting back to some of those major-like implications:

With the win, Cantlay is the first three-time winner on the PGA Tour this season.

He knocked out Bryson DeChambeau, the Max Baer of the PGA Tour.

He heads to this week's finale, the Tour Championship at East Lake, as the FedEx Cup leader.

He played himself onto the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

Finally, he also earned a new nickname from fans: "Patty Ice."

"That's the first time I heard it," Cantlay said. "But I got it all week."

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Sunday, August 29

The USA Completes Comeback to Win the 41st Curtis Cup Match



By USGA

The USA completed an impressive comeback to win the 41st Curtis Cup Match with a dominant final day singles performance at Conwy Golf Club in Wales.

The USA, captained by Sarah Ingram, recovered from a three-point deficit after the opening day to surge to a convincing 12 ½ - 7 ½ victory over Elaine Ratcliffe's Great Britain and Ireland team. The Americans took a firm grip in today's singles winning six of the eight matches.

In a remarkable twist of sporting fate, the winning point was secured by Rachel Kuehn, whose mother Brenda achieved the same distinction in the 1998 Curtis Cup Match at Minikahda and was on hand to see her daughter follow in her illustrious footsteps.

A day that had initially promised so much for the GB&I team, with the likes of Hannah Darling, Charlotte Heath and Caley McGinty taking early leads, steadily began to slip away. A tide of red began to wash across the leaderboard as Brooke Matthews, Rachel Heck and Allisen Corpuz took control of their matches.

Matthews secured the first point for the Americans with a 3 and 2 win over Heath and Heck soon followed up with a 3 and 1 result against Ireland’s Lauren Walsh.

Darling was never behind in her match with Jensen Castle and was 3 up with four to play but errant drives on the 17th and 18th cost the Scot and Castle secured what had seemed an unlikely half point. Kuehn then saw off the challenge of Scotland's Louise Duncan with a two-hole win to clinch the match.

England's McGinty flew the flag for GB&I with an excellent 4&3 victory over Gina Kim. Her compatriot Annabell Fuller battled all the way in her match with Emilia Migliaccio but lost out by two holes at the last.

Emily Toy also showed great resilience to fight back from three down at the 12th to win the next three holes with birdies and take Rose Zhang down the final hole but the world number one held her nerve to seal a one hole victory.

QUOTABLE

"We all knew we only had to win four to retain but that wasn't our goal. Our goal was to go out and to win eight singles matches. The more we can win, the less pressure is on the girls coming in. Just one more point you can put up for your country, it's a huge deal."
- Rachel Kuehn, USA

"It feels amazing to have come here and to come away winners. We've had a spectacular week, beautiful weather. The people are amazing here, so welcoming and helpful and cheering us on as well as their own players. We're thrilled to have come away the winners."
- Sarah Ingram, USA Team Captain

"I was very comfortable today. Elaine told me in the morning to not try to force things and I thought having that information freed me up to go out and get off to a good start. It's a shame that it was over. All I could do was just do the best I could."
- Caley McGinty, GB&I

"We fought hard, that's what we came here to do and we certainly did that. I'm very proud of all the players and the manner in which they played and in which they do everything. It's been a phenomenal three days. Highs and lows. We could have just done with a couple of more highs today."
- Elaine Ratcliffe, GB&I Team Captain

NOTABLE
  • The USA won the match as the visiting team for the first time since 2008.
  • World No. 1 Rose Zhang did not lose a point all week, going 4-0-1. 
  • All members of the USA Team, including alternates, are exempt into the 2022 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship, provided they remain amateur. The 2022 U.S. Women's Amateur will be held at Chambers Bay Aug. 8-14, 2022.

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Monday, August 23

Sweden's Anna Nordqvist Captures Third Major at Carnoustie

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ANNA NORDQVIST OF SWEDEN WON the AIG Women's Open at Carnoustie. She finished at 12 under par to edge Madelene Sagstrom (Sweden), Lizette Salas (USA) and Georgia Hall (England) by a shot.

It was Nordqvist's third major title. She won the 2009 LPGA Championship and the 2017 Evian Championship.

"I've been waiting for this win for a while," the 34-year-old Swede said. "There have been a lot of downs and hard times so this makes it feel even sweeter." 

She added: "I could only dream of winning the British Open."

Thursday, August 19

How to Watch the 2021 AIG Women's Open: Complete TV Schedule and Streaming Details

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THE 2021 LPGA TOUR MAJOR SEASON ends this week at Carnoustie with the 2021 AIG Women’s Open. A field of 144 players has teed off on the famed links, located at the mouth of the Barry Burn on the coast of the North Sea.

Nelly Korda, Madelene Sagstrom and Sei Young Kim are the first-round leaders at 5-under.

TV SCHEDULE
All times Eastern Time.

Thursday, Aug. 19
6 a.m. to 1 p.m., Golf Channel

Friday, Aug. 20
6 a.m. to 1 p.m., Golf Channel

Saturday, Aug. 21
6 a.m. to 1 p.m., Golf Channel

Sunday, Aug 22
7 a.m. to 12 p.m., Golf Channel
12-2 p.m., NBC

STREAMING
NBC Sports App, golfchannel.com

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Guest Column: Keith McLaren's '5 Matches on the Old Course in 8 Days!'

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(Editor's note: The following rundown of Old Course and other golf outings was first shared about a week ago.)

By Keith McLaren

Keith McLaren is a 59-year-old fanatical golfer living in St Andrews. He writes about golf at The Kilted Caddie.

I AM HAVING THE MOST INTENSE golf fest at the moment.

It goes like this...

On Monday I played the Old Course in a St Andrews Thistle Club match and we finished tied after eighteen. It was getting dark so rather than play on down the nineteenth we decided to make use of Peter's already booked tee-time on the Old on Wednesday and have a re-match.

On Tuesday, Peter and I piled down to Edinburgh to partake in the Seniors Gents Greensomes competition at the dream that is Mortonhall Golf Club.

Thursday, I have the Thistle Autumn Meeting on the Old.

On Friday, a St Andrews Club foursomes match on the Old.

And on Saturday, I head down again to Mortonhall for their Invitation Silloth comp.

Sunday is a day of rest and then next Monday I'm once again back on the Old Course for a St Andrews Club Seniors tie!

Now that's what I call golf value for money.

Yes, we are rather spoilt over here in the Kingdom and in the fortunate position as St Andrews Golf Club members to be able to guarantee Old Course tee-times for certain competitions. And that's pretty cool for a club membership fee of one hundred and fifty quid a year. All pretty perfect.

Unlike my golf game though!

I had a rather Jean Van der Velde moment in the Mortonhall Greensomes. We played steadily all the way round until my final shot to the last green. I had a straightforward 8 iron to set up a par for a net 69 and second place. Of course, to my usual form I knocked it into the bushes right of the green. Peter followed suit and we walked off with a no-return and long faces.

A tough school, golf. Like any sport, of course.

I watched the penalty shoot-out in the final of the Olympic Women's football in Tokyo, where it came down to the veteran Swedish captain having an opportunity with one spot kick to win the gold medal. Yes, one spot kick after a lifetime of kicking balls.

She walked up calmly, stood as the world watched, sent the keeper the wrong way and then ballooned the ball over the bar and the open net!

A career ended and distinguished by one short defining moment. At the pinnacle and eventide of a long and illustrious football life. What a legacy and utter shame for the poor lass. Nerves can play havoc.

I can at least head back to the Senior Greensomes Competition at Mortonhall next year.

Well, I hope I can.

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Tuesday, August 17

AIG Women's Open Preview: World No. 1 Nelly Korda Heads International Field

News Release (and additional content*)

ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND - Major champion, Olympic gold medallist and Rolex Women's Golf World Rankings number one Nelly Korda heads an international field of more than 75 champions at the AIG Women's Open, which gets underway at Carnoustie on Thursday 19 August.


German Sophia Popov is the defending champion.*

[Korda] arrives in Scotland as one of the stand-out performers of the season, chasing a second Major title having won the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club in June, as well as an Olympic gold medal at Tokyo 2020. She leads a talented field comprising of no less than 29 Major champions and worldwide winners of more than 400 titles on the LPGA, JLPGA and Ladies European Tour.

Nelly Korda (The R&A)
Korda is one of 38 Americans teeing it up this week alongside older sister Jessica and Major champions Danielle Kang and Lexi Thompson, and also leads the Solheim Cup qualification standings. which conclude once the champion is crowned on Sunday. As many as 30 players in the field boast Solheim Cup experience, with England's Dame Laura Davies enjoying the most caps with 12 appearances.


Joining Korda as players to have reached the top of the Rolex Women's Golf World Rankings are six former number ones including AIG Women's Open winners Stacy Lewis (2013), Inbee Park (2015) and Ariya Jutanugarn (2016), as well as Korea's Sung Hyun Park and So Yeon Ryu. Fresh from setting a course record of nine-under-par 63 in the final round of the Trust Golf Women's Scottish Open at Dumbarnie Links last week, in-form Lydia Ko completes the list as she seeks to add to her two Major championships.

Home favourite and Team Europe's Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew carries the hopes of a Scottish winner, with the 2009 champion joined at the famous Angus links by compatriots Kylie Henry, Kelsey Macdonald, Women's Amateur champion, Louise Duncan and Gemma Dryburgh who was one of 15 players to enter the field through Final Qualifying.

Of the home nations, England are the most represented with 11 hopefuls including 2018 champion Georgia Hall, Charley Hull and Mel Reid, while Ireland's chances are spearheaded by Leona McGuire and Wales represented by Chloe Williams.

Completing the field of 144 players, which contains as many as 32 nationalities, is Lindsey Weaver who emerged as the leading qualifier in Final Qualifying at Panmure Golf Club yesterday. The American fired a superb round of three-under-par 67 to book her place in the fifth and final Major of the season, along with Dryburgh and 13 other players including Aditi Ashok of India, Nicole Broch Larsen and Australian amateur Kirsten Rudgeley.

Kelsey Macdonald has the honour of striking the opening tee shot on Thursday morning at 6.30am, with the 30-year-old paired with American Sarah Schmelzel and Chloe Williams from Wales.

To view the draw for Round One, please click – Tee Times

The AIG Women's Open will take place from 16-22 August 2021 at Carnoustie, with tickets now on sale via aigwomensopen.com. The Championship will follow government guidance in relation to spectator attendance.  

Friday, August 13

PGA TOUR: Justin Rose to Receive 2021 Payne Stewart Award

In the above video call, Justin Rose gets a big surprise from Tracey and Aaron Stewart, the wife and son of the late Payne Stewart, namesake of the annual PGA TOUR award.


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – In recognition of his character, sportsmanship and commitment to charitable giving, Justin Rose has been named the 2021 recipient of the PGA TOUR's Payne Stewart Award presented by Southern Company. Rose will be honored on Tuesday, August 31, at the Payne Stewart Award Ceremony in conjunction with the TOUR Championship. The ceremony will be televised live on Golf Channel as part of a "Golf Central" special from 7-8 p.m. ET at the Southern Exchange in downtown Atlanta.

"I am truly humbled and honored to be associated with the enduring legacy of Payne Stewart through this award," Rose said. "The Payne Stewart Award has become an annual celebration of Payne's impact on the PGA TOUR and its players. I am forever grateful to be connected to a man who was the consummate professional on and off the golf course and will cherish being a Payne Stewart Award recipient well after my playing days are over."

Tuesday, August 10

Reading the Greens: Author John Coyne Takes a Look at Modern Golf Literature

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By John Coyne

GOLF-INSPIRED WRITINGS HAVE NOT BEEN LIKE one of Tiger Woods' drives: long, high and very deep. The sport sorely misses language that transforms golf from a game to a wellspring of literature.

George Plimpton, who wrote about baseball and golf in his bestselling 1968 book The Bogey Man, said that while baseball has produced some interesting books, golf books were better written, because of the sport's "popularity among the educated classes."

John Coyne
If so, where's golf's The Natural? Who is our Bernard Malamud?

Golf, I will say, has longevity. While its beginnings as a game are lost in Scottish antiquity, we do have a reference to the sport as early as 1457 in a Scottish Acts of Parliament [the authorities wanted to ban golf as it was taking time away from archery practice, a much more needed skill to defend the Highlands].

While golf has produced countless books on rules, manners and how-to play, starting with the 1857 The Golfer's Manual, authored by "A Keen Hand," where was the great Scot writer Sir Walter Scott? In his million words on Scotland there are no words about his national game.

Daniel Wexler, author of The Golfer's Library: A Reader's Guide to Three Centuries of Golf Literature, and one of America's leading golf historians, cites three writers who have raised the bar for writers. They are Bernard Darwin, Charles' grandson, and longtime correspondent for The Times of London; Henry Longhurst, a Sunday Times columnist who wrote about the sport before, during and after the Second World War; and in America the masterful New Yorker magazine writer Herbert Warren Wind. But these three journalists were doing reportage, not writing literature.

Other fine writers have written about the game they love and played.

To name a few: Michael Bamberger, James Dodson, John Feinstein, Geoff Shackelford, John Paul Newport, David Owen, Bud Shrake, Rick Reilly, Bo Links, Don Wade and Curt Sampson, who played on the PGA Tour before becoming a full-time golf writer. And our own Neil Sagebiel, who has written two great golf histories, The Longest Shot and Draw in the Dunes. These player/writers write books about how they play the games, biographies of great golfers, histories of famous championships, and narratives on legendary golf courses.

Other writers, famous in other genres, have also been drawn to golf in search of peace, mystery, humor and self-awareness. These include A.A. Milne, Arthur Conan Doyle, P.G. Wodehouse, Ring Lardner and his son, John Lardner, Ward Just, Ethan Canin, Ian Fleming, Michael Murphy and Dan Jenkins.

That said, what is missing in these long lists of writers, are literary novelists.

While F. Scott Fitzgerald, John O’Hara, John P. Marquand, J. D. Powers, Richard Ford and John Updike all used golf in their novels to comment on their contemporary society, golf was never the core of their plots. O'Hara wrote From the Terrace not From the Thirteenth Green. Michael Murphy's Golf in the Kingdom, ostensible a novel, is really an exercise in self-help, not in golf literature. And Dan Jenkins' very funny books are easily shelved with collection of tall tales told at the 19th hole bars of any club.

Golf Literature Through the Caddie Yard

The truth is that to find the pathos, the great characters, imposing themes and compelling narratives, readers might be wise to look in the caddie yard, not the clubhouse, and seek out Sancho Panza, not Don Quixote.

Anyone who plays the game knows why caddies keep popping up: In real life, as in these novels, they function as coaches, psychologists, cheerleaders and, increasingly, as the protagonist of the novels themselves. This shift of focus and point-of-view is a fairly recent fiction phenomenon, and makes caddies the Nick Carraways of golf fiction.

The first of these "caddie novels" was 1995's hugely successful The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield. While the novel draws on golf history, its real focus is the mysterious African-American caddie who guides a troubled, rich, white war hero through a match against Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen.

In 2002, A Gentleman's Game by Tom Coyne [no relation] pitted a poor caddie against rich members at a club near Philadelphia. The class theme returns in Peter Dexter's Train (2003), where a gifted black caddie/player loops at an exclusive Los Angeles golf course.

And novelist/lawyer J. Michael Veron concluded his popular Bobby Jones trilogy (including The Greatest Player Who Never Lived and The Greatest Course That Never Was) with 2004's The Caddie. Its hero: a caddie named Steward "Jones" who guides a young pro to victory and wisdom.

In my first "caddie" novel, The Caddie Who Knew Ben Hogan, victory and wisdom are acquired by both Hogan and Jack Handley, the caddie/narrator. The young teenager helps Hogan navigate a golf course and is given advice for his life from the masterful golf professional and iconoclastic Hogan.

National Book Award winner Norman Rush says the novel is "a lens through which aspects of Midwestern daily life in the 1940s, of thwarted love, of social class, are revealed with stark and unsettling clarity."

Like Nick Carraway, young Jack has a story to tell. So, the next time you tee up remember the kid carrying your bag may just be writing a novel about you in his head.

John Coyne is the author of three "caddie novels" and has edited three books on golf instruction. He also has written and edited a dozen other fiction and nonfiction books.

New Putting Technique Has Given World No. 1 Nelly Korda a Golden Touch


"LEFT-HAND LOW PUTTING HAS BEEN a game-changer for Nelly Korda," wrote Golf.com.

Joining Xander Schauffele, Korda, 23, won the gold medal in Tokyo to make it an American sweep in the Olympic golf competitions.

It's been a breakthrough year for the youngest Korda sister, who also won the KPMG Women's PGA Championship and is world No. 1 in the women's golf rankings.

The new putting technique has helped transform Korda "into the best player on the planet."

"I always putted more with my left shoulder up," she said, "and I wanted to see how it would be if I would have my shoulder square at setup. The only way to do it is if I gripped it left hand low. My shoulders just rock so much better and I’m just connected more with my chest when I’m putting when I grip it left hand low."

During her hot stretch, Korda has three rounds of 63 or better.

She added: "I feel way more confident over it. I know that my chest and my arms move more together, and I just feel like there's less room for mistakes for me with left hand low."

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Friday, August 6

On Saturday Nelly Korda Will Try to Make It Two Golds in Golf for the USA


WORLD NO. 1 NELLY KORDA will take a three-shot lead into Saturday's final round of the Olympic Women's Golf Competition in Tokyo. The U.S. star's closest challenger is Aditi Ashok of India.

Korda shot a 9-under 62 in Thursday's second round that included a double bogey on the final hole. She opened the competition with a 67 and had a 69 in round three to lead at 15 under for the tournament.

However, the 69 was a grind for the 23-year-old.

"Probably my fight," Korda said about what made her happiest during her third trip around the Olympic course.

"I didn't have a really good back nine. I was kind of spraying it all over the place. I had some testy par putts. But made all pars and I fought really hard to stay in it really, or ahead of it."

Final-round information below.

Tuesday, August 3

Another Point of Pride From Xander Schauffele's Golden Moment in Tokyo



HOORAY FOR USA'S XANDER SCHAUFFELE, gold medal winner in the Olympic Men's Golf Competition. It's the first American gold in golf in more than a century.

Schauffele edged a charging Rory Sabbatini (the silver winner playing for Slovakia) by a stroke. The bronze medalist was Taiwan's C.T. Pan, who reached the podium by winning a seven-man playoff.

If you're like me and my brother, there's another angle to Schauffele's Olympic achievement. That of proud alumni of San Diego State University, where Xander excelled in golf's collegiate ranks.


Former San Diego State University men's golfer Xander Schauffele captured the gold medal in the men's individual stroke play event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Sunday at the par-71, 7,447-yard Kasumigaseki Country Club. Representing the United States, Schauffele carded a 4-under 67 in the final round and finished the four-day event at 18-under 266.

Schauffele, a San Diego native who attended Scripps Ranch High School, was a third-team All-American in 2015 from both Golfweek and GCAA at SDSU, while also finishing as a three-time all-Mountain West selection and seven-time MW Golfer of the Week. He finished his three-year Aztec career with two individual titles, 16 top-five finishes and 21 top-10 showings. Currently the fifth-ranked player in the world, Schauffele has won four times over his career on the PGA Tour.

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