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From the fog, a champion emerges
The US Amateur final concluded last night at Bandon Dunes in dramatic fashion, with Tyler Strafaci going the distance — this time, 36 holes — for the fourth match in a row, taking a 1-up win over Ollie Osborne in a tremendous final that had it all.
Strafaci was 5 down through 12, and then he recalled how his semi-final opponent, Aman Gupta, staged a comeback from 4 down after 12 holes to get to the last hole. That gave him the clarity to chase birdie after birdie and get to the lead. The duo made 25 birdies in 36 holes together, which is mighty impressive — especially considering the conditions.
Late in the final nine of the championship match, the marine layer (read: a whole lot of fog) settled in and made the course borderline unplayable. But the players soldiered on, hitting incredible shots regardless of the conditions. Strafaci, though, lost his 2-up leader over Osborne and had to go all the way to the 36th hole, the par-5 finisher on the OG Bandon Dunes. It was then that Strafaci hit an incredible second shot to get home in two, set up a two-putt birdie and hang on for the win when Osborne couldn’t force extra holes with a matching 4.
No one can stop Jim Herman, except Jim Herman
Jim Herman won his first PGA Tour title at 38. He won his third on Sunday at 42, taking the Wyndham Championship by a shot over Billy Horschel. Herman had made just eight of 18 PGA Tour cuts this season, and he didn’t record a finish inside the top 40 in a tournament with more than 40 players in the field. He was a 600-to-1 shot to start the week. Almost no one bet on him.
Then he went and shot 124 (61-63) on the weekend, and he looked like a god out there at Sedgefield Country Club.
Herman’s win is a true testament to how deep the bench is in pro golf. The guy could barely make a cut all year, then he catches the hottest of heaters to shoot 16 under par on the weekend and win against a major winner, a Players champion, a FedEx Cup winner and Sungjae Im.
What I’m reading, watching and listening to
Tiger Woods’ son is a golf beast: As you can imagine, Charlie Woods is getting good at golf thanks to his dad. On the weekend of the PGA, 11-year-old Charlie shot bogey-free 3-under 33 in a nine-hole US Kids Golf event in Florida. He won his division by 5. Impressive stuff.
A patron-less Masters is bad for Augusta: As you might imagine, the Masters means a lot to the Augusta economy. Now, without any patrons for the November edition of the Masters, the community is struggling to come to terms with how best to move forward until fan maybe — MAYBE — return in April 2021. The Augusta Chronicle takes a good look at the issue.
The AIG Women’s Open is this week: If you’re not into the PGA Tour playoffs for some reason, or you’re looking for great golf in the mornings this weekend, the AIG Women’s Open is it. They’re at Royal Troon for the first time, and it should be tremendous viewing. The LPGA has been great in the three-event restart, bringing the drama each week.[/s2If]