Australian Marc Leishman won for the third time since March 2017, In Gee Chun snapped a two-year slump with a victory in Korea and England’s Eddie Pepperell grabbed his second triumph of 2018 in claiming the British Masters.
Marc Leishman was a commanding winner of the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur with a five-stroke win in the second PGA Tour event of the season. Leishman started Sunday at 19 under tied for the lead with Gary Woodland and Shubhankar Sharma before his seven under 65 punctuated by a birdie on the last secured the win.
The Warrnambool native moved up to number 16 in the world after the win, four spots behind current highest-paced Australian Jason Day.
Eddie Pepperell, who was close to a Ryder Cup wildcard, navigated the wet conditions at Walton Heath to claim the British Masters with a final score of nine under. Pepperell finished two clear of Alexander Bjork thanks largely to a hole-out eagle on the tenth on the final day and despite some late bogeys. Pepperell had also scored a stunning hole-in-one earlier in the tournament. Australia’s Lucas Herbert put in another impressive effort to finish T3 alongside England’s Jordan Smith.
Two-time major winner In Gee Chun overhauled Charley Hull and Danielle Kang to claim a three-shot win in the Hana Bank Championship in Incheon. Starting the day two back from the leaders the 24-year-old’s round of 66 saw her claim her first win since 2016 as the LPGA continued it’s Asian Swing.
Player Performance Notes
After a top-five finish courtesy of Tom Lewis this week we switch to the PGA Tour and the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges on Jeju Island.
Under 20: Justin Thomas. With only one renewal here to date for this event the defending champion is a logical thought. Last week Thomas raced home to finish T5 in Malaysia.
20 to 50: Tyrell Hatton. The Englishman will still be ruing his finish in Scotland under a fortnight ago when he threw away a chance to win but he played superbly in the Ryder Cup and at a venue others are still unfamiliar with he could shine.
20 to 50: Cameron Smith. For reasons I’ll outline shortly Smith is in a good headspace and his near playoff appearance before finishing third here last year bodes well.
100 to 200: Shubhankar Sharma. The two-time winner on the European Tour won in Malaysia earlier this year and he’s held the lead in better tournaments, including the WGC event in Mexico. Richly talented 22 year-old who went with Leishman until Sunday afternoon last weekend.
Greens in regulation
One interesting post script to Leishman’s fourth PGA Tour triumph was the insight the Victorian provided about his week with fellow Australian Cameron Smith (T22.) Leishman notes he and Queenslander Smith spent each evening of the tournament eating dinner in a bid to tighten their bonds before the World Cup of Golf next month in Melbourne.
It was an interesting note given the inept USA Ryder Cup performance. Some of the unexpected team combinations (just ask Patrick Reed) seemed to indicate some of the players were ill-prepared in that regard. I can’t see Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson catching up on one night during a tournament let alone consecutive nights.
The World Cup of Golf takes place at Metropolitan Golf Club from November 22.
Last weekend Aaron Pike won the Victorian PGA at Cape Schank with the PGA Tour of Australasia heading to Western Australia in a fortnight for the WA Open.
The LPGA and PGA Tours stay in Asia this week with the Buick LPGA Shanghai event, the first LPGA tournament on mainland China in two years. Sergio Garcia’s Foundation hosts the Valderrama Masters this week on the European Tour and Garcia is the defending champion. The tournament has an interesting sub-plot as it’s the final tournament of the regular season with players looking to secure playing privileges for net season.
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