with Bryan Angus

Thanks for joining me today. I look forward to your comments . They are always welcome here on FairwaysPlus. Bryan Angus bryanangus4@gmail.com

Monday, July 25, 2016

Broadhurst wins Senior Open, USA the UL International Crown

Here is a wrap of the other significant golf news this weekend.

European Tour Senior Open Championship final leaderboard http://www.pgatour.com/champions/tournaments/senior-open-championship-pres-by-rolex.html

Under rather benign conditions at Carnoustie the record books will show that English journeyman Paul Broadhurst won the Senior Open Championship for his first senior major title, closing with a -4 68 for a two-stroke victory over Scott McCarron.

It's a "massive deal" as he said,  for a guy who just turned 50, who's son told people in his local supermarket " my Dad used to be a good golfer", and in a nice moment after his round he was hugged by his wife, and that son, to whom he said " I guess I'm a good golfer again !"  I will say that between Broadhurst and Jesper Parnevik they need to get Valium as a sponsor. Man, they are both wound up tighter than a bull's backside in fly season.

Sadly for me the other side of the story was the collapse of Miguel Jimenez who was so in control in round 3, but after he missed a little 4 footer on the 4th green he was not the same guy and he slipped to a 75 to drop into a T3 with Magnus Atlevi (67) at -8. He was vying for his first major win as well.

The 75  was the other side of the coin from Saturday,” Jimenez said. “I was a little bit tense, not loose in the beginning of the round, and then didn’t play as well as yesterday.”
LPGA Tour UL International Crown http://www.lpga.com/tournaments/international-crown/leaderboard
Format for the International Crown http://www.lpga.com/tournaments/international-crown/format
I have included an explanation of the format for this confusing event, now in it's second year. It is sponsored by Rolex, one of the tour's official sponsors so I believe this is to reward them and also give players from Asia who can't play in the Solheim Cup, a team event to compete in.
AP....Cristie Kerr held on for a 3-and-2 victory over Melissa Reid of England to give the United States the UL International Crown.
Kerr and her team mates were shut out in the first session of the LPGA Tour event, but they got progressively better each day. Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller each closed out wins before Reid missed a birdie putt on 16, handing the decisive victory to Kerr.

I think I play better when there is more pressure,” said Kerr, who was the last player to tee off for the U.S.

Lewis and Piller ran to the green for a group hug with Kerr when it was over. Kerr’s caddie, Brady Stockton, grabbed the flag at 16 to save it for his player.

Lexi Thompson lost 2 and 1 to South Korea’s So Yeon Ryu, and then joined the celebration at a muggy Merit Club about 40 miles northwest of Chicago.

The Americans won a silver trophy, and each of the players took home a crown and $100,000 apiece.

Bryan Angus

Vegas the champion, duToit the winner at RBC Canadian Open

PGA Tour RBC Canadian Open leaderboard http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/rbc-canadian-open/leaderboard.html

Monday's are always so anti climatic when you are at a course that has just hosted a championship, I know as I have played on them many times as that is when they hold the volunteer or media rounds.

The stands are empty and being dismantled, there is garbage blowing around, of course the players, and fans are all gone, the storylines have all been told, it's kind of haunting..

In the end the young Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas emerged from the pack with 5 birdies on the front nine and three in a row to finish for a -8 64 -12 total to become this year's champion. He earned US$1,062,000 and a spot in the PGA Championship next week at Baltusrol in New Jersey and also received a two-year tour exemption and a spot in the Masters next year. Jon Rahm 67, Martin Laird 67 and Dustin Johnson 69 all finished T2 at -11.

However this year's winner was the kid, Jarad du Toit who didn't have his A game, battled to a 71 -9 total, good enough to T9, just 3 shots from history.

The weather change didn't help him. It dawned cloudy with a cooler easterly wind which made the Abbey more receptive, more gettable and early 63's by George Coetzee and Brian Harmon told us that all the guys in the pack around du Toit were going to be able to go flag hunting.

Also a note here that the pros don't play the early holes on the front nine in the same order we do. Our #1 is #10 for them. Our #4 is #1 for them and so on.

du Toit caught a bad break when his 3 wood at the first went into the fairway bunker. He saved par with a neat little chip, stiff. Then he caught his second bad break when his bombed drive on the par 5 2nd drew into the semi rough and he was partial blocked by an overhanging tree. He smacked a low draw down the fairway but it ran right up under the lip of a greenside bunker and he had to come out sideways, but again managed to 2 putt to save par when birdie was more likely.

So not the smoothest of starts and so he battled all day, out in 1 over, back in 2 under for his 71. What you might not know is he was suffering from bronchitis, and his coach Coach Derek Ingram had to take him to Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital where he spent much of his Saturday evening getting only five hours of sleep.

He left the Abbey "on cloud nine" as he put it, full of confidence, better for the experience to return to Arizona State to complete his final year, where I'm sure the tournaments he plays in will come much easier after this week in Toronto.

It was awesome,” said du Toit . “I probably could have shot a hundred out here and they would have been behind my back all day. Honestly unbelievable"

The fans who packed the 18th green gave him, all decked out in his Team Canada red and black, a standing ovation when he birdied the last, and as he was given the Gary Cowan medal as the lowest scoring amateur player he got the loudest cheer of the ceremonies.

For the record Adam Hadwin (71) T49th at -1, amateur Garrett Rank (76) was in a group T77th +8 and Corey Conners (78) finished at +12, 80th.

Nobody knew the kid on Thursday, only 15 friends followed him, but that's not the case now, this championship will always be remembered as the one he didn't quite win, but still emerged as the winner !

Bryan Angus

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Nothing to lose, everything to gain for Jared du Toit at RBC Canadian Open

PGA Tour RBC Canadian Open leaderboard http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/rbc-canadian-open/leaderboard.html

Nobody in this country, nor anywhere else expects young Jared du Toit to go out today and win our national championship, the RBC Canadian Open.... but he just might which makes today absolutely intriguing.

If I were advising this 21 year old, the top ranked amateur in Canada, I would tell him he has nothing to lose, everything to gain, so just try and put all the impossibles out of his mind and go out and enjoy another hot sunny day at the Abbey.

If you had forgotten let me remind you a Canadian hasn’t won the national golf championship since 1954, when Pat Fletcher accomplished the feat at Vancouver’s Point Grey Golf Club.

Further, an amateur hasn’t won the Canadian Open since American Doug Sanders at Montreal’s Beaconsfield Golf Club in 1956. The last amateur to win a pro event was Phil Mickelson in 1991.

Not one of his Canadian golfing heroes, Mike Weir, Graham DeLaet, David Hearn, nor legends like George Knudson, Moe Norman, Al Balding have won it before him. Almost all had their chances but couldn't get it done.

He made a curling 40 footer on the 18th hole for eagle and -2 70 -8 total which means he'll be in the final pairing with Brandt Snedeker at 1.35 today. Snedeker made a much shorter version of the same putt to shoot a -6 66 to take the lead at -9. Pretty heady company for the kid, eh!

Then right behind du Toit on the same -8 score lurks Dustin Johnson (71) who started the day as the co-leader with Luke List who slipped to a 77. Then there is American Steve Wheatcroft (64) and Germany’s Alex Cejka (69) T4 at -7

Then there is his roommate from college Jon Rahm, who was T3 with du Toit at the start of Saturday’s third round, and shot 72 to remain at -6 in a group that includes Matt Kuchar, Ricky Barnes, Martin Laird, all world class pros, household names..

It would seem impossible for du Toit, but it is still possible. When asked if he thought he could win he had this to say "I have no idea. I’ve been surprising myself all week,” he said. “If I play good, solid golf, get a good night’s sleep, do all the little things right, yeah, I like my chances"

All of Canada is in his corner, he is already a winner just getting this far, so like I said, nothing to lose, everything to gain... go get 'em kid.

The other Canucks who are cheering du Toit on today are Adam Hadwin (74) T44 E, while amateur Garret Rank (76) T71st at +4 and Corey Conners (76) 78th, at +6

Bryan Angus

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Jared du Toit in unchartered waters at RBC Canadian Open

PGA Tour RBC Canadian Open leaderboard http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/rbc-canadian-open/leaderboard.html

All our lawns in the GTA are baked brown as we endure this summer long heat wave and drought and despite a world class irrigation system, Glen Abbey is getting browner, harder and faster as Saturday dawns under another rain free day of blue skies, record temperatures and blustery winds.

Young Canadian amateur Jared du Toit from BC is as hot as the weather, playing what he describes as "out of his mind" and with rounds of 67 71 he is T3 at -6 just a shot off the lead, along with rising Spanish star and his Arizona State roommate Jon Rahm, and an American called Kelly Kraft.

Going into the weekend he is the low Canadian and low amateur. On Friday he was tied for first with the leaders, Dustin Johnson and 309th ranked Luke List at -7 until he made a triple bogey on the par-5 2nd hole, but to his credit he recovered with 3 straight birdies. He praised his caddy, local golfer Sean Burke.

He kind of, you know, theoretically cracked me in the head and said ‘hey, get your head back in the game and stick to the game plan and keep doing what you’re doing,”’ said du Toit of his caddy’s advice.

Sadly du Toit isn't paired with Rahm today, rather he will play with Ricky Barnes in the 3rd last pairing at 1.15pm.

Only 4 of the 14 Canadians made the cut at +2. Along with du Toit who remember is an amateur, Adam Hadwin recovered with -2 70 T21 at -2. Amateur Garrett Rank (75) is T36 E, while Corey Conners 75 71 +2 just made the cut on the number.

Other Canadian scoresAdam Cornelson (73) +4,  Nick Taylor (74), Graham De Laet (72) and David Hearn (75) are all finished at +5.
Ottawa’s Brad Fritsch (74) +7,  Branson Ferrier (74) +8, Mike Weir (75) +9 while our other amateurs Blair Hamilton (79) was +12 and Hugo Bernard (76) +13. Montreal’s Dave Levesque (75) finished +16.

As for the leaders Luke List birdied the par 5 18th hole to draw even with tournament favourite Dustin Johnson to remain co-leaders as both shot -1 71 -7 total.

As I mentioned yesterday Johnson struggled early in his round playing off the 10th, dropping 4 shots in 3 holes down in the valley including a double bogey on the par 3 12th, before recovering with four birdies in his back nine.

List had this to say after his round. "Two more days of this golf course, it’s a challenge out there, those valley holes, 11 through 13, 14, really play tough"

Jason Day did make the cut at +1 after slipping to 76, and he is on course early this morning. With the weather and course conditions as they are, scoring is at a premium. The lowest score on Friday was 67 and with the lead only at -7 the field is really bunched.

That's why they call Saturday moving day, so it will be fascinating to watch this unfold.

Whatever happens Jared du Toit has had the two days of his golfing life, let's hope he can navigate these unchartered waters again today to stay in contention.

Bryan Angus

Friday, July 22, 2016

Day 2 of RBC Canadian Open underway in the heat at Glen Abbey

PGA Tour RBC Canadian Open leaderboard http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/rbc-canadian-open/leaderboard.html

The RBC Canadian Open used to be played in September and I must admit over all these years I have seen all kinds of weather, often torrential rain and lightning when the thunderstorms would roll through, huge winds that one year knocked out all the power, this year it is in the midst of the longest drought I can remember.

Temperature will reach the high 90's F down in the valley holes today so if you are going, be prepared.

Day 2 is well underway, Dustin Johnson who shared the first round lead has dropped 4 shots down in that valley with a bogey at 11, a double at the par 3 12th then another bogey at the 13th. He has just made a birdie at the easy par 5 16th so is currently at -3.

Luke List continues to lead at -6 and he is in the late wave today.

It was a mixed bag for the Canadian contingent, the lowlight for me was to see Graham DeLaet suffer from another attack of the chipping yips on his way to +5 77.

The highlight for me was the play of amateur Jared du Toit from BC who had an eagle, birdie finish for what he called one of the best 3 rounds of his career, a -5 67 T3 ! and apparently he had never even played the Abbey before this week.

Then how about pro referee and amateur golfer, Garret Rank, his playing partner who got on the edge of the 18th in two, then promptly rolled in an eagle putt for a nice -3 69.

Here are the other 11 Canadian scores:

Adam Hadwin shot E 72,  David Hearn will be disappointed with +2 74. Adam Cornelson, Corey Conners and Nick Taylor all shot +3 75.  Blair Hamilton lives in nearby Burlington shot +5 77 as did Brad Fritsch.  Mike Weir and another lefty,  Branson Ferrier shot +6 78.

Another amateur Hugo Bernard had a tough day, +9 81 and his friend from Quebec, Dave Levesque was far from his best +13 85.

More to follow

Bryan Angus

RBC Canadian Open and Weeksie

Good morning all !

This is the first Canadian Open since 1985 that I am unable to attend so I must admit I am saddened not to be with all my friends and colleagues in the media center at the Abbey.

Grumpy Curtis Strange won it by 2 shots over Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman that year, his first of two Canadian championships, yes those were the calibre of guys who showed up every year when it was considered by many as the 5th major.

I think it was sponsored by du Maurier then, I remember free cigarettes being available for the media, who were allowed to smoke while they worked, heck they even opened the bar at lunch time and after 6pm !!

I would take a week's holiday from work and volunteered as a dispatcher with the transportation committee back then, so got to meet all the players and their wives. The late Dick Grimm was the tournament director in his powder blue blazer and a big beefy guy called Bill Paul was his young assistant, and that started our life long friendship that is still going strong to this day.

It was during those 31 years as a volunteer and broadcaster with the Fan590 and our Fairways golf show I met Bob Weeks, Weeksie to his friends, and we went on to do 18 years of memorable shows together, along with Bob Durant originally then Scott Metcalfe.

In 2006 at Hamilton G&CC where Jim Furyk beat Bart Bryant, the media tent was down at the foot of a hill and when we showed up to do the broadcast at 7am it was raining hard, and a torrent of water was flowing down the hill and right through the tent under all our electrical equipment. Metcalfe mentioned we all may just get electrocuted ! as we did the show while standing up on chairs with a river running below us !

Well congratulations to my pal Weeksie who was officially inducted to the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame at his beloved Weston GC on Wednesday. As I told him he is now amongst all his peers where he belongs. I was always in the studio for our show, while Weeksie was often off on behalf of Scoregolf, then later for TSN to cover the Masters, or the other majors and of course I would wake him at some ridiculous hours of the morning to give us a live report.

In his time at Scoregolf, starting as an assistant editor, I'm sure he had a little moustache back then, and maybe even tugged on the odd smoke, he took that magazine to the very top of Canadian golf publications, and the annual Scoregolf awards were the academy awards of our golf industry.

Bob is a proud Canadian, a quiet, private caring guy, and a great dad to his son Christopher who used to sit on my knee when he was a toddler, with a set of headsets on during our early radio shows. He has had a long friendship with Mike Weir who was with him at Weston on Wednesday, that's typical of the esteem with which Weeksie is held amongst his peers.

I am proud to say he is my friend. Well done pal.

Bryan Angus

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

RBC Canadian Open needs a Canadian..

PGA Tour RBC Canadian Open leaderboard http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/rbc-canadian-open/leaderboard.html

After the stunning finale to the Open, with Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson putting on a display of golf seldom seen, especially by two guys in their forties, it will be a hard act to follow this week, but it would certainly help if one of the Canadian contingent were in contention come Sunday afternoon at the Abbey.

Neither Stenson or Mickelson are here, but the headliners are the world's top two, defending champion Jason Day and Dustin Johnson. Johnson has of course got the best of Canadian connections, his wife Pauline being the daughter of Wayne Gretzky, so that will be a popular storyline should the big fella bring his A game this week.

Stenson along with the likes of Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott, Justin Rose and more world-class players were in attendance at the ‘Sergio and Friends’ event in Switzerland on Monday where they flew from Preswick right after the Open on Sunday night.

(official world golf ranking http://www.owgr.com/

Canada’s Graham DeLaet tied T8th at -14 last week but he closed with a brilliant 63 to climb 28 spots the leaderboard and was at the Abbey to receive his Olympic jacket as he will join the Canadian team which includes Brooke Henderson, David Hearn and Alena Sharp, so he should be full of confidence when he tees it up at 1.35pm on Thursday.

There are 14 Canucks in the field including 4 amateurs, Hugo Bernard and Blair Hamilton, Garrett Rank and Jared du Toit.

Along with DeLaet our other hopefuls are David Hearn (8.20am*) who played so well here last year only to be pipped by Day, and he has a T12, T20 in his last two events, Adam Hadwin (7.30am*) Mike Weir (7.50am*), Branson Ferrier (9.10am*), Nick Taylor (1.05pm*), Brad Fritsch (2.15pm), Corey Connors (2.25pm) and Adam Cornelson (2.25pm*) also Dave Levesque (2.05)

Ferrier is a 22 year old lefty from Barrie playing only his 5th pro event, his first RBC Canadian. He went to Alabama State University.

Fritsch is on the Web.com Tour, where had a win and a T2 there earlier this year before he had to stop playing due to sesamoiditis, a form of tendinitis in the ball of the foot. He has played in 2 events since his return.

Cornelson is on the PGA Tour Canada, where he is 3rd in the order of merit after his win in Victoria earlier this summer

Connors from Listowel is also on the PGA Tour Canada, and he won the final qualifier at Diamondback to get into the field for the fourth straight year.

Hearn came close last year, Mike Weir was at his peak in 2004 when he lost that gut wrenching playoff to Vijay Singh at Glen Abbey so it can be done.

Play gets under way at 7.10am Thursday, there is another strong field for our national championship so it will be a tall task for one of the 13 Canadians to win as it has been since Pat Fletcher in 1954, but it will certainly put the icing on what should be a great week should one of them get into contention come Sunday.

Bryan Angus