Tour Championship 2018
Late September took us to the Tour Championship finals held at East Lake, Atlanta. The top 30 money winners on the PGA Tour compete for not only the grand purse and title of ‘Tour Champion’ but also the final event of the FedEx cup rankings. The leader of the season long ranking can earn himself the $10 million prize fund.
The standard of golf over the first 3 days was outstanding with many rounds in the mid 60’s. Most notably Tiger Woods who is continuing to build on his game improvement by carding rounds of 65-68-68 found himself at the top of the leaderboard by 3 shots going into the final round. Justin Rose, who was leading the FedEx rankings needed a top 5 finish to claim the FedEx cup. He was only 3 shots behind Tiger Woods at the start of the day.
Justin Rose – Fedex Champion 2018
Tiger birdied the 1st hole and then played steady par golf most of the way. His nearest challengers at the start of the day, including Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose slide back. Rose struggled all day and found himself needing a birdie over the last 2 holes to secure the FedEx trophy and the £10m cheque. Amazingly he did just that with a birdie 4 on the last hole after reaching the green in 2. A thoroughly deserved winner due to his consistency throughout the year. This win also saw him reach the dizzy heights of world No 1.
Tiger wins Tour Championship
So, the stage was set for Tiger to close out his first win in over 5 years. After watching his lead cut to 2 shots from late charges from Dustin Johnson and Billy Horschel, Tiger was on 18 where he ripped his tee shot down the fairway. Going for the green in 2 he came up just short in the bunker. The crowds gathered round, passing by stewards and guards as they followed Tiger down the fairway; it looked like something out of a movie. Tiger played a solid bunker shot and after 2 putts for par won his first event in over 5 years, claiming his 80th tour event in total. After battling with injury and numerous operations, Tiger looked to be swinging the club as good if not better that he did in the early 2000’s.
After a string of great finishes this year, Tiger, at last got the big ‘W’ next to his name. It will be interesting to see what 2019 season has in store for him. Can he win another Major and try surpass Jack Nicklaus? Time will tell. One things for sure, its good to see him back competing again.
Ryder Cup 2018 – Le Golf National
After the highs of the Tour Championship the week prior in Atlanta, the golf headed to Paris for the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National. Going into the event it was apparent that the USA were favourites on paper. USA included 7 of the top 10 players in the world as well as a host of current major winners. Some pundits even thought it could be over before the Sunday singles began but that was never going to happen.
Ryder Cup – Day 1
Friday Morning Fourballs arrived and as expected the team from across the pond dominated winning the morning session 3-1. Europe’s only point came from Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood’s defeat of Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed. European Captain Thomas Bjorn must have given an almighty team talk over lunch as the Europeans battled back with a 4-0 trouncing of USA in the afternoon Foursomes. Concluding the days play at 5-3 in favour of Europe. Again, Molinari and Fleetwood secured another point with a huge 5&4 win over American hot shots Jordan Speith and Justin Thomas.
Ryder Cup – Day 2
Saturday Morning Fourballs came and the momentum was still flowing with Europe as they powered home another 3-1 win in the morning. Yet again another triumph for Molinari and Fleetwood as they convincingly took care of Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed AGAIN! Saturday Afternoon Fourballs couldn’t come quick enough for the USA and a fightback had to come to give them any chance of winning the trophy heading into the Sunday singles. However the afternoon fourballs were tied at 2-2 taking the score to 10-6 going into the Sunday single. Yes, yet again the dream pairing, Molinari and Fleetwood claim yet another point for Europe. The press now classing their partnership as a love affair and nicknaming the couple ‘Moliwood’.
Ryder Cup – Sunday
Sunday Singles began with Europe only needing 4.5 points from 12 to win the trophy back. There was a lot of red on the scoreboard early doors as the Americans started the fightback. At one point it looked as though they could very well retain the trophy. However, European passion shone through and battled back to convincingly win the Ryder Cup 17.5 – 10.5. It was a clean sweep from Francesco Molinari as he defeated Phil Mickelson 4&2. Meaning Molinari secured himself 5pts from 5 at this Ryder Cup; the first player to every do so at a Ryder Cup. The 2017 Masters Champion, Sergio Garcia also set the record for winning the most points in Ryder Cup history!
Dunhill Links 2018
After what was another eventful Ryder Cup, many of the players would not have long to rest as they headed over to Scotland for the Dunhill Links Championship the following week. The spectators at the Old Course, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie were able to get up close and personal to players from both Team Europe and Team USA including Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau. Ryder Cup vice captains, Graeme McDowell, Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington (Europe) and Matt Kuchar (USA) were also in the field of players.
Defending Champion of the last 2 years, Tyrell Hatton looked close to making it a hat-trick. However it was Lucas Bjerregaard that came out on top on Sunday at The Old Course, St Andrews, with Tyrell finishing just 1 shot behind alongside Tommy Fleetwood.
We now look forward to the closing finale of the European Tours Race to Dubai over the coming weeks. One thing is for sure, if the Ryder Cup is anything to go by, Golf Team events are going from strength to strength with huge crowds, great atmosphere and of course excitement like no other. Which is why we can wait already for The Solheim Cup next year at Gleneagles….