Leading lights lacking the Masters and a returning ladies’s nice characteristic on this week’s AFP Sport golf talking points:
– Crocked Brooks –
Already shorn of car-crash sufferer Tiger Woods, the Masters subsequent month seems to be as if it’ll happen with out one other former world primary after Brooks Koepka revealed he has undergone knee surgical procedure.
The 30-year-old four-time main winner posted photos to his Twitter and Instagram accounts Sunday on crutches and with a bandage on his proper knee.
“Only 1 way to go from here,” the caption learn, with an upward-pointing arrow emoji.
Golfweek reported that Koepka had confirmed by way of e-mail that he had knee surgical procedure final Tuesday for a dislocated knee cap and broken ligaments after an accident whereas together with his household a few days earlier.
Koepka have to be rated extremely uncertain for the Masters, which begins in a little bit over two weeks’ time on April 8, and is at risk of lacking his second main within the final three after the US Open at Winged Foot in September (left knee).
Koepka dominated the majors from 2017-19 with back-to-back US Opens (2017-18) and PGA Championships (2018-19).
But accidents started to take a toll. He missed three months after hurting his left knee whereas slipping on moist concrete at South Korea’s CJ Cup in October 2019.
Last month on the WGC-Workday Championship he complained of a stiff neck, however completed in a three-way tie for second.
Koepka gained final month’s Phoenix Open for his first title since July 2019 and had been put in as favorite within the betting for Augusta, however seems to be unlikely this yr to have an opportunity of enhancing on his greatest Masters end.
Koepka was runner-up by a single shot as Woods gained his fifth inexperienced jacket in April 2019. Two years on and each he and Koepka, it appears, might be watching on TV as an alternative.
– Masterful Matt –
One one who might be enjoying within the Masters is Australia’s Matt Jones, who earned his spot with a dominant five-stroke victory on the Honda Classic on Sunday.
The 40-year-old from Sydney began the event with a course record-equalling 61 and cruised to his second PGA Tour title, and first since 2014 on the Houston Open.
But he was hardly “snapping a seven-year win drought” as a few of the experiences from the US golf media proclaimed.
Believe it or not, different golf excursions exist exterior the US, and Jones has a reasonably good pedigree.
He has gained the celebrated Australian Open twice since his earlier PGA Tour win, beating the world’s greatest within the course of.
His 2015 victory noticed him beat then world primary Jordan Spieth by a stroke.
It was no imply feat. Spieth was the defending champion and on the peak of his powers having gained the Masters, US Open, Tour Championship and FedEx Cup that yr.
But Spieth needed to accept tied second behind Jones together with former primary Adam Scott.
Jones’s win additionally prevented a Spieth Aussie Open hat-trick, the American regaining Australia’s flagship title the next yr.
Jones gained it once more in 2019, holding off major-winner Louis Oosthuizen by a single stroke that point.
His earlier Augusta look got here the week after his Houston win in 2014, when he stated he was “knackered” as he went on to overlook the reduce.
“Monday was washed out, then I had the par-three tournament. I can’t really remember the golf course. I can’t remember much about that week. It was all a blur,” he admitted this week.
“I’m looking forward to getting some preparation on the course this year.”
– Mum Michelle –
Michelle Wie West returns to motion on the LPGA Kia Classic this week for the primary time in practically two years, and as a mum.
After scuffling with arthritis in each wrists in 2019, she took break day, received married to Jonnie West, the Golden State Warriors director of basketball operations, and in June 2020 gave beginning to a daughter, Makenna.
Wie West has by no means been removed from the headlines since changing into the youngest participant to qualify for an LPGA occasion in 2002 on the age of 12.
Three weeks in the past she gained plaudits for lashing out at Donald Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who had talked about taking a look at Wie’s underwear as paparazzi took images at a 2014 charity occasion.
“It’s unsettling to hear of this highly inappropriate story shared,” Wie West tweeted.
“What this person should have remembered from that day was the fact that I shot 64 and beat every male golfer in the field.”
Now 31, Wie West is entered within the yr’s first main subsequent week, the ANA Inspiration, and goals to be round for a very long time but with an ambition of Makenna seeing her compete on tour.
“I just want that experience of her, of Makenna watching me play and hopefully watching me come down the stretch and win a golf tournament,” stated Wie after giving beginning final yr.
“That would just mean everything to me because I want her to grow up and be a strong woman and all the things that I value, and hopefully whatever she values.”
– World rankings –
Latest prime 10s, week starting March 22, 2021 (change in place from final week in parentheses):
1. Dustin Johnson (USA) 11.34 pts
2. Justin Thomas (USA) 9.36
2. Jon Rahm (ESP) 8.54
4. Collin Morikawa (USA) 7.70
5. Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 7.33
6. Xander Schauffele (USA) 6.83
7. Patrick Reed (USA) 6.25
8. Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 6.18
9. Webb Simpson (USA) 5.98 (+1)
10. Patrick Cantlay (USA) 5.97 (-1)
1. Ko Jin-young (KOR) 9.18
2. Kim Sei-young (KOR) 7.70
3. Nelly Korda (USA) 7.39
4. Park In-bee (KOR) 6.69
5. Danielle Kang (USA) 6.47
6. Brooke Henderson (CAN) 5.56
7. Nasa Hataoka (JPN) 5.37
8. Kim Hyo-joo (KOR) 5.01 (+1)
9. Lexi Thompson (USA) 4.97 (+1)
10. Minjee Lee (AUS) 4.89 (-2)