The FedEx Cup series has started with back-to-back wins for Bryson DeChambeau after he followed his opening finals series victory with a two-stroke triumph at TPC Boston. At the other end of the spectrum Marina Alex claimed her first LGPA title and elsewhere Matt Wallace won a four-man playoff in Denmark but it wasn’t enough to get the Englishman into the Ryder Cup.
Bryson DeChambeau continues to dominate the FedEx Cup after his 16 under score saw him finish top clear of Justin Rose with Australian Cameron Smith in third to win the Dell Technologies Championship in Massachusetts. DeChambeau, who turns 25 next week, heads into the third leg of the finals series having gone 34 under in the first two tournaments.
American Marina Alex broke through on the LPGA Tour after 124 starts winning the Cambia Portland Classic. Alex charged early in her round birdieng five of the front nine as the challenges of Australian Minjee Lee (77) and Open winner Georgia Hall (73) buckled under pressure from the New Jersey native.
Alex’s victory had a quirky element to it as Travis Wilson, her caddie, was on the bag for Stacy Lewis when she won the tournament last year. Lewis has recently put her career in hold due to her pregnancy.
Matt Wallace won for the fourth time since May last year following his playoff triumph at Silkeborg Ry Golf Club to win the Made in Denmark crown. Lesser lights Steven Brown and Jonathan Thomson plus Ryder Cup vice-captain Lee Westwood were no match for Wallace after the four of them finished at 19 under and Wallace beat Brown at the second playoff hole.
Despite Westwood’s prolific career, 23 wins alone on the European Tour, perhaps his playoff defeat was likely – his ET playoff record reads 2-6 and he hasn’t won a playoff since 2010 on the US PGA.
Player performance notes
The final 30 for the FedEx Cup climax, the Tour Championship, will be decided at the BMW Championship with the PGA Tour’s best 70 for the season set to take part. Marc Leishman is the defending champion but host venue Aronimink Golf Club is home to it’s first PGA Tour event since 2011.
Under 20: Justin Rose. England’s Justin Rose won the AT&T National here in 2010 and he was second in Boston last weekend. With these week’s announcement of his Ryder Cup teammates Rose might be primed to win again in Pennsylvania.
20 to 50: Tony Finau. Utah native Finau can assure himself of the final Ryder Cup spot for the USA with a strong performance here. With Europe opting for experience in it’s wildcard picks, we will get to that shortly, Finau would be one of the few rookies in the USA squad if selected (there is currently two.) Fourth and second in the first two playoff events.
20 to 50: Cameron Smith. Chasing home DeChambeau in the last fortnight has yielded two third-placed finishes for the Queenslander. Bidding to become another Australian winner in the playoffs.
50 to 100: Billy Horschel. Before the American, one of last week’s picks, withdrew during his first round on account of a sinus infection he’d been in good form after a third to open the playoffs with an 11th the week prior. Hasn’t since the Byron Nelson in May last year though.
Greens in regulation
It has been all Ryder Cup off the course this week as both sides confirmed (most of the) their wildcard picks. USA skipper Jim Furyk added Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and DeChambeau to his team this week with one player still to be added, possibly Toby Finau but other players might elevate their hopes later in the playoff series.
Dane Thomas Bjorn by-passed form for experience seeing Paul Casey, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, and Henrik Stenson get the nod in joining their current squad which includes five rookies. The youngest of the four wildcards is Garcia at 38 proving Bjorn valued experienced to guide his talented squad at Le Golf National in Paris later this month. An interesting quirk of the rankings means the Ryder Cup is really an elite event this year with all the top ten taking part (Australian Jason Day is currently ranked 11.)
This week the LPGA takes a break until the Evian Championship in France – the final major of the year. With the Ryder Cup wildcards confirmed the ET heads to Switzerland for the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club won last year by 2016 Ryder Cupper Matt Fitzpatrick.
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