The second males’s main of the yr, at Kiawah Island, and some first-time winners on the US PGA and European excursions function in AFP Sport’s golf talking points this week:
– Beware the wounded golfer –
As the world’s finest collect in South Carolina for the US PGA Championship this week it appears unbelievable to suppose that Rory McIlroy, who lifted the trophy at Kiawah Island in 2012, hasn’t received a significant in seven years. Or that Jordan Spieth hasn’t received one of many massive 4 since 2017.
But then once more Hideki Matsuyama hadn’t received for 4 years earlier than his maiden Masters triumph final month. McIlroy and Spieth have each picked up PGA Tour titles within the final six weeks, so it is hardly a shock to search out them among the many favourites.
But two gamers who’ve hardly warranted a point out within the build-up could possibly be those who find yourself with one other main for his or her assortment.
Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka are coming in below the radar after battling latest knee issues, however they’d been in prime type earlier than their accidents.
Johnson received in Saudi Arabia in February, on the identical weekend Koepka took out the Phoenix Open title earlier than ending second on the WGC Workday Championship three weeks later.
They each have main pedigree: Koepka received the PGA Championship back-to-back in 2018 and 2019, and world primary Johnson claimed final yr’s delayed Masters in November.
It can be no shock to see them in competition come Sunday.
– You horny factor –
Lee Kyoung-hoon, aka Okay.H. Lee, secured his place at Kiawah Island by profitable on the Byron Nelson Championship on Sunday, turning into the eighth South Korean to win on the PGA Tour.
The 29-year-old has fulfilled a minimum of one profession ambition, however he’s but to achieve a extra uncommon life objective.
Asked on the 2018 Portland Open about his ambitions, Lee — who has an awesome sense of humour — mentioned: “First is to become the number one golfer in the world. The second is to become the number one sexiest golfer in the world!”
Dare we advise one could also be extra obtainable than the opposite?
– ‘I do not stop’ –
Richard Bland was the toast of golf after profitable his maiden European Tour occasion on the age of 48, 8,358 days since his debut on the 1998 Open championship at Birkdale — a significant remembered most for a 17-year-old Justin Rose tying for fourth place as an beginner.
“Blandy” misplaced his tour card two years in the past, however saved believing and received again his taking part in rights by way of the Challenge Tour.
At the British Masters the final word journeyman lastly broke by means of to change into the oldest first-time winner in European Tour historical past in his 478th match.
“I don’t quit,” he mentioned. “Even if I’m having a bad day, you never throw the towel in because you never know in this game what’s round the corner.”
The fairytale victory earned him plaudits from all over the world.
“Today I saw something that inspired me and reminded me of why golf is the greatest game,” tweeted former world primary Fred Couples.
Fellow Englishman Ian Poulter chipped in: “So happy to see that flame still burns. Hard work pays off and you earned every piece of this victory. Enjoy it.”
Sergio Garcia posted: “That’s what perseverance looks like. Congrats!”
– World rankings –
Latest prime 10s for week starting May 18, 2021:
1. Dustin Johnson (USA) 10.59
2. Justin Thomas (USA) 8.74
3. Jon Rahm (ESP) 8.44
4. Xander Schauffele (USA) 7.19 (+1)
5. Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 7.10 (-1)
6. Collin Morikawa (USA) 6.91
7. Rory McIlroy (NIR) 6.19
8. Patrick Reed (USA) 6.04
9. Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 5.93
10. Webb Simpson (USA) 5.58
1. Ko Jin-young (KOR) 9.69
2. Park In-bee (KOR) 8.86
3. Kim Sei-young (KOR) 8.08
4. Nelly Korda (USA) 7.68
5. Brooke Henderson (CAN) 6.32
6. Danielle Kang (USA) 6.12
7. Kim Hyo-joo (KOR) 5.67
8. Lydia Ko (NZL) 5.43
9. Lexi Thompson (USA) 5.23
10. Patty Tavatanakit (THA) 4.65 (+1)