WEEK 49 Phil Mickelson 25 consecutive years inside the World Top 50

Week 26

NOREN JUMPS TO WORLD NO.14

European Tour – HNA Open de France

Alex Noren birdied two of his last three holes at Le Golf National to claim his second Rolex Series title on a dramatic final afternoon at the HNA Open de France moving from 16 to World No.14. 

The Swede entered round four seven shots off the lead and still did not look a likely winner when he turned in 35 as the final groups battled it out atop the leaderboard.

He birdied the 12th, 16th and 17th to set the target at seven under but was still behind on-course leader Julian Suri as he signed for his closing 67. 

The American put his second on the 18th in the water to surrender a double-bogey and with England's Chris Wood bogeying the 15th and 17th, Noren was the last man standing in Paris.

Suri and Wood finished a shot off the lead alongside Scot Russell Knox - who had earlier signed for a 65 - with Knox, Suri and Swede Marcus Kinhult earning a spot at the Open Championship later this month.

Kinhult had entered the day with a two-shot lead but he signed for a closing 76 to finish at five under alongside World Number Five Jon Rahm and England's Matthew Southgate.

World Number Two Justin Thomas, Swede Alexander Björk and Spanish duo Jorge Campillo and Sergio Garcia finished three shots off the lead.

Noren's last win came in similar fashion at the 2017 BMW Championship - the inaugural Rolex Series event - when he posted a stunning 62 on Sunday from seven back and was left to wait and see if he had done enough at Wentworth Club.

“When you're out there you really want this win and it felt unbelievable to get it today,” he said. “It's what I was putting and practising for, maybe a play-off, it was unreal how it went and I didn't expect that.”

This week's victory takes his total to ten on the European Tour and extends his run of winning seasons to four - in which time he has won seven times.

 

PGA Tour - Quicken Loans National

Francesco Molinari delivered a record performance to win the final edition of the Quicken Loans National on the PGA Tour moving to World No.16.

Molinari holed a 50-foot eagle putt to start the back nine, and he never stopped until he turned the final round into a runaway Sunday at the TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm. The Italian closed with an 8-under 62 for an eight-shot victory, matching the largest margin this year on the PGA TOUR.

Molinari followed that eagle putt with an approach to 2 feet on No. 11, one of the hardest par 4s on TOUR that had yielded only one other birdie in the final round. He made three more birdies and ended his round by missing a birdie putt from 8 feet.

No matter. He finished at 21-under 259, breaking the tournament record by seven shots.

"It was a lot easier than I thought," Molinari said with a wide grin. "I played great. The start of the back nine was incredible."

Tiger Woods closed with a 66, his lowest final round in more than five years, and he was never close. Woods tied for fourth, his best result since a runner-up finish at the Valspar Championship three months ago, though he was 10 shots behind.

"I was only four back at the time when I made the turn, and so I thought that maybe if I got on the back nine, I shot 30 -- maybe 29 -- that would be enough," Woods said. "Evidently, I would have to shoot 24 on the back nine. What Francesco is doing back there is just awesome."

Ryan Armour closed with a 68 to finish second, earning one of four spots to The Open Championship. The other three spots went to Sung Kang, who finished third after a 64; Abraham Ancer, who tied for fourth after a 72; and Bronson Burgoon, who had a day he won't forget.

 

Challenge Tour - Made in Denmark Challenge presented by Ejner Hessel

Joachim B. Hansen became the first Danish champion of the Made in Denmark Challenge presented by Ejner Hessel as he won by five shots to claim his second European Challenge Tour title of the season moving to a career best of World No. 138.

The 27 year old held his nerve in-front of the home crowd at Himmerland Golf and Spa Resort to card a one under par round of 70 and become a two-time Challenge Tour winner and the new Road to Ras Al Khaimah leader.

The Dane began his final round three shots ahead of Finland’s Kalle Samooja and quickly extended his advantage to five after back-to-back birdies on the fourth and fifth holes, but his lead was cut to three on the sixth after Samooja birdied and he dropped a shot. However, the Fin made two further errors around the turn while Hansen maintained his composure to extend his lead to four shots.

On a tricky back nine last week’s SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts runner-up made back-to-back bogeys on the 13th and 14th to give Samooja hope with four holes to play.

However, Hansen had the experience of winning once already this season and it showed, as the 2018 Turkish Airlines Challenge champion holed two birdies on his closing four holes to race into a five shot lead.

After rolling in a five-foot par putt in-front of a joyous home crowd on the 18th, Hansen was left speechless as he wrote his name in the history books.

“It feels so good. It’s so hard to find the words. I’m so delighted and satisfied about this victory on home soil,” he said. “It’s just what I came here to do this week and to deliver the job feels so good.

“Winning on home soil with your family watching and then holding the Made in Denmark Challenge trophy – it’s what every Danish golfer wants to do.”

Asian Tour - Queen's Cup presented by Bangchak

Young Thai talent Jazz Janewattananond took advantage of a hot streak to close with a four-under-par 67, sealing a solid four-shot victory for his second Asian Tour title and first on home soil at the Queen’s Cup presented by Bangchak on Sunday.

After trading one birdie against two bogeys to turn in 37, Jazz fired five straight birdies from the 10th to pull away from the pack before reeling in four closing pars for a winning total of 19-under-par 265 at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club.

Web.com - Lincoln Land Championship presented by LRS

Anders Albertson birdied seven holes in a row at Panther Creek Country Club on Sunday afternoon en route to his maiden Web.com Tour title at the third annual Lincoln Land Championship presented by LRS. Albertson carded a final-round 63 and posted 25-under-par to beat Adam Long and Kramer Hickok by two strokes.

“It’s been awhile since I’ve won,” said Albertson, who picked up his first victory in his 62nd career start. “God is so good and this week I’ve been really calm and felt his presence.”

Albertson had good friend and fellow Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Michael Hines on the bag this week. The two played college golf together and Hines knows Albertson’s game very well. How well? Hines convinced Albertson to hit an 8-iron from 192 yards into the last. Albertson stuffed the approach to 3 feet and made the birdie to close out the tournament and set a new 72-hole scoring record in the process.

“Mike and I had a great time,” said Albertson, who became the 14th first-time winner this season. “I’ve been lucky enough to have him on the bag this year; he’s a great player and he made a difference out there this week.”

Albertson went on a tear early to jump into the mix. The 25-year-old Houston native made seven consecutive birdies on Nos. 4-10, the longest streak on Tour this season. Albertson was two shy of the record set by Omar Uresti in 1994 at the Shreveport Open, but was still pleased with his effort.

“I think seven is my record at home playing with my buddies,” he said. “I didn’t realize that we were on a streak until the fifth in a row and then we managed to get a couple of more.”

In his third season as a pro, Albertson has seen his year end in the Web.com Tour Finals twice, where he came close to securing his PGA TOUR card in 2017. Last year, Albertson finished the 2017 edition of the Lincoln Land Championship T5, one stroke out of the playoff.

What a difference a year makes. With this victory, Anderson moved him from No. 45 to No. 8 on the money list, securing his PGA TOUR card.

 

KPGA Korean Golf Tour - The 61st KPGA Championship with A-ONE CC

Doyeob Mun won his first KPGA Korean Golf Tour title at the 61st KPGA Championship with A-ONE CC moving from 718 to World No. 416.

 

EuroPro Tour - The Cumberwell Park Championship

Mark Young carded rounds of 65, 65, and 67 to win the Cumberwell Park Championship, his second win on the HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour in two weeks.

Young (Longridge Golf Club) was the overnight leader heading into the final round and battled through a tricky opening nine holes on the final day in Wiltshire.

He faced tough competition from a pack of Cumberwell professionals including Steve Surry and Will Brown, as well as teen amateur James Cooper who finished second, tied fourth, and third respectively.

Reflecting on his win Young said: “I’m over the moon with this win, it has put one foot in the door for the Challenge Tour next season which was the target at the start of this season.”

He added: “I was hitting some pretty good shots on the front nine but wasn’t able to take advantage of those scoring chances; my putter was stone cold. I hung in there as I knew there was going to be some scoring holes on the back nine; I’m delighted with the birdie on 17 which gave me the cushion I needed coming up the final hole.”

Despite a slow start, the good work made in earlier rounds provided enough buffer for Young who never dropped out of the lead, only sharing it with Will Brown and James Cooper on one occasion.

The win cements Young at the top of the Order of Merit after six events and moves him halfway to the coveted £250,000 four-win bonus on offer this season on the EuroPro Tour.

 

ProGolf Tour – Polish Open

The Polish Open 2018 goes down in the history of the Pro Golf Tour and the World of Golf.

 It was not until the tenth extra-hole of the playoff that Frenchman Mathieu Decottignies Lafon came out as the winner of the tournament early Wednesday evening when he won the title with a birdie-finish on hole 18, a 145 meter long par 3 over water, and put the Czech Ondrej Lieser in second place.

Only one Sudden Death play-off in the history of Golf has taken longer: in 1949, Cary Middlecoff and Lloyd Mangrum agreed to share the PGA Tour tournament victory after eleven holes and ties at the Motor City Open in Detroit.

Alps Tour Golf – Open la Pinetina - Memorial Giorgio Bordoni

Guido Migliozzi of Italy won the Memorial Giorgio Bordoni by AON – Open La Pinetina today at the Golf Club La Pinetina in Como with a total score of -14.

It is Migliozzi’s second victory on the Alps Tour. He won the Open Abruzzo in 2017.

James Sharp (ENG) and Tom Shadbolt (ENG) tied for second place at -13 total while a group of 3 players tied for third place at -12 total: Thomas Grava (FRA), Andrea Saracino (ITA) and Lars Keunen (NED).

“The last few holes were hard, because my putting was not as hot as on the first day. I played a solid game, I played safety and won by one shot so anything is possible” Migliozzi said. “It’s my second win in a row on the Alps Tour so I’m feeling very good” he continued. 

Santiago Tarrio (ESP), who finished in 7th place today (-11 total), still leads the Order of Merit, the Alps Tour official season ranking. He is followed by Marcus Mohr (ENG) who did not make the cut in Italy this week, Louis Cohen Boyer (FRA), Alexandre Daydou (FRA) and David Borda (ESP).

Rising golf stars of the Alps Tour will now travel to France for the St Malo Golf Open starting on July 5th.

 

Big Easy Tour – Big Easy Challenge - Killarney

Matt Bright holed a monster putt at the final hole to mark a dramatic return to the winner’s circle in the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour #5 at Killarney Country Club on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old Bright defied the form book as he came from behind with a final round 67 to win by one shot on four-under-par 206.

Bright started the day four shots behind leader Thabang Simon and fired his way into contention with a trio of birdies on the front. He landed the outright lead on three-under with another gain at 15, but when Heinrich Bruiners set the clubhouse target at three-under with a round of 66, Bright knew it was time to take action.

“I needed a birdie finish and I nailed it,” said the Randjiesfontein resident. “I had a 45-footer for birdie and it was a great feeling to watch the ball drop.

“I’m just seriously pleased with a win this early in the season. I missed by card by two at Q-School and to have another chance to get on the Sunshine Tour through the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour is huge. This gets me into the fight for the 10 cards at the end of the tour.”

Bright dropped the second, but rallied with a birdie at the third to stay in the hunt.

“A heavy tee shot and a heavy pitching wedge from a hard lie added up to a bogey at the second, but I was able to get the shot back at the next hole,” Bright said. “I hit my drive at three a bit right, but I had 70 metres flag. I hit a high pitching-wedge in that cleared the bunkers and finished three feet from the hole. Holed the putt to get back on track.”

A brace of birdies at five and six netted Bright a share of the lead.

“I kept pace with leaders with a birdie at 11,” said the Irene golfer. “I hit a really good 3-iron down the fairway and left myself 135 metres flag. The pin was front left and I went with a gap-wedge and hit it a few yards right of where I aimed. I knew the putt would come off the slope and I caught it just right. Watched it catch the line and drop.”