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Top 10 PGA Tour-LPGA teams we’d like to see compete

Lydia Ko completes the comeback, Stewart Cink continues to roll, Collin Morikawa’s putter goes chilly, the PGA Tour’s group occasion takes middle stage (even when we have got a greater concept …) and extra on this week’s version of the Monday Scramble:

Lydia Ko credits support system in Lotte victory

Jordan Spieth and Hideki Matsuyama weren’t the one gamers to finish vital winless droughts in an enormous means.

Add Lydia Ko to the record, too.

With only one LPGA title since July 2016, Ko has modified something and every part in an try to get again to the highest of the ladies’s recreation – gear, coaches, caddies, trainers, even her physique. But via all of that experimentation, she’s turn into a well-adjusted grownup with a mature outlook and a balanced recreation.

That’s why it seems the longer term LPGA Hall of Famer’s greatest golf would possibly nonetheless be forward of her.

About to flip 24, Ko crushed the field at the Lotte Championship for her sixteenth profession LPGA title, and first since 2018. Coming off a record-breaking 62 within the ultimate spherical of the ANA Inspiration, Ko shot 28 underneath par in Hawaii – a private 72-hole greatest – to win by seven. She is now 38 underneath par (averaging 64.4 per spherical!) over her previous 90 holes.

“If I said I didn’t doubt myself at all, it would be a lie,” she mentioned. “I wondered if I’d ever be back in the winner’s circle, but obviously I’m grateful for all that’s happened in my career so far.”



The Stewart Cink Express continued to roll final week on the RBC Heritage, the place the revitalized 47-year-old and his caddie/son Reagan routed the field by four shots, setting 36- and 54-hole scoring information alongside the way in which, as he notched the second multi-win season of his profession – and first in 17 years.

Cink’s turnaround has been nothing wanting exceptional, following his season-opening victory in Napa and now his third profession title on Hilton Head. It’s been a complete group effort: Cornell Driessen, the coach who has helped the 47-year-old keep younger; Mike Lipnick, the swing coach who has helped Cink add 11 yards of distance; and James Sieckmann, the placing and psychological coach who has given Cink ideas like mouthing “mountaintop of peace” to assist on quick putts.

Of course, arguably the most important think about Cink’s resurgence – the most important motive why he says he’s now enjoying with a way of gratitude – has been his 24-year-old son, Reagan. He’s been on his bag because the season opener, lacking only some occasions and now suspending a job with Delta as a result of he’s having an excessive amount of enjoyable – and an excessive amount of success – looping for his dad. While becoming a member of Bryson DeChambeau as the one gamers with a number of wins this season, Stewart is now third within the FedExCup, properly positioned to make a run on the $15 million prize.

Cink was making his 610th profession Tour begin final week, and but he relied closely on the insights and instincts of his rookie caddie. Stewart identified emphatically that Reagan isn’t a ceremonial caddie. That this isn’t just a few pleasure experience as a household. That Reagan is so good at his job, he might caddie for anybody on Tour.

So what are they doing collectively?

“We’re creating a game plan where the golf holes capture the ball nicely,” Cink mentioned. “We don’t want to be fitting shots into certain little places where there’s a lot of danger around. We grade all the trouble around all the hole locations based on wind direction and slope, and we come up with basically a red-yellow-green light kind of scenario that dictates what we do.”

The course of is working – it’s simply the fifth time since 1960 {that a} participant age 47 or older has gained a number of occasions in a season.



When Collin Morikawa poured in a birdie putt on the opening gap Sunday, reducing the deficit to 4, he appeared to sign: Game on.

Instead, that’s as shut as he acquired.

The reigning PGA champion squandered one other stellar week of iron play with a tough week on the greens, carding a 1-over 72 within the ultimate spherical to fall from the ultimate group right into a share of seventh.

Morikawa ranked second within the subject in strokes gained: tee to inexperienced however 57th on the greens. That continues a disturbing pattern for the world No. 4, who modified placing grips at Riviera, skilled near-immediate success in lapping the sphere on the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship however has as soon as once more failed to discover consistency. In two begins since Concession which have tracked strokes-gained information, Morikawa has ranked 61st and 57th, dropping greater than a half-shot per spherical. At the Masters, he ranked thirty eighth out of the 54 gamers who made the reduce.

With an opportunity to put warmth on Cink on Sunday, Morikawa missed twice inside 5 ft and by no means severely threatened. For the week, he missed 9 putts inside 10 ft. For the season, the disparity is much more hanging: He’s No. 1 on Tour in strokes gained: method however one hundred and eightieth in placing.

“A few positives and a lot to work on,” he mentioned afterward.

Especially on the greens.

Xander Schauffele, Patrick Cantlay

Xander Schauffele, Patrick Cantlay

Seven of the highest 15 gamers on this planet are teeing it up this week on the Zurich Classic, which returns to the schedule after a one-year absence due to the pandemic. Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer are again to defend their title.

Here are the 5 most intriguing teams:

1.) Xander Schauffele-Patrick Cantlay: Surely prepping for a Ryder Cup partnership, this duo performs a ton of apply rounds collectively and went 2-2 in the course of the 2019 Presidents Cup. This is Schauffele’s first begin because the near-miss on the Masters.

2.) Collin Morikawa-Matthew Wolff: Part of the heralded class of 2019, maybe Morikawa’s latest scorching play can reengage Wolff, who has endured a depressing few months on Tour and is coming off a missed reduce on the Masters.

3.) Tony Finau-Cameron Champ: They share a administration firm and, oh yeah, a prodigious urge for food for distance.

4.) Justin Rose-Henrik Stenson: It’s not a assure that these warhorses (and former companions) will probably be donning a European uniform on the Ryder Cup come September. It’s time to present Captain Harrington one thing aside from Rose’s early Masters lead.

5.) Viktor Hovland-Kris Ventura: The former teammates and roommates at Oklahoma State will probably be a sneaky group to contend – Ventura has a ton of recreation and simply hasn’t popped but. Maybe being round Hovland will assist get him there.




American Explorer: John Catlin. One of the perfect gamers on the European Tour of late can be an American: Catlin, a former standout at New Mexico, who gained his third occasion in 13 begins with a playoff victory on the Austrian Open. Catlin is simply the fourth American to win three common European Tour occasions, becoming a member of Mark O’Meara Bob Byman and Tiger Woods. Now inside the highest 80 on this planet, he’s closing in on enjoying a extra home schedule again right here within the States.

Maybe Next Time: Martin Kaymer. Even towards a weak subject in Austria, Kaymer couldn’t convert a share of the 54-hole lead into victory. He made a multitude of the opening 9 after which made 4 late birdies to salvage a third-place end. Remarkably, his final win anyplace stays the 2014 U.S. Open.



Wrong Time for the Putter to Go Cold: Nelly Korda. Locked in a duel via 54 holes, hopes had been excessive for a Ko-Korda showdown on Saturday in Hawaii. Instead, Korda wanted 32 putts within the ultimate spherical and by no means challenged. Still, she has a win, 4 top-3s and 5 top-10s in six begins this 12 months.

Still the Queen: Inbee Park. A final-round 63 within the Lotte gave Park a share of second place, which means that she’s closing in on the world No. 1 rating – once more.

Haunting: Cam Smith’s gnarly hair … EVERYWHERE.

Just a Matter of Time: Dustin Johnson altering putters. The world No. 1 is a infamous tinkerer; after a poor placing spherical final summer season, he opened his trunk and commenced sorting via an array of flatsticks, searching for the right one. But after his torrid run to shut out 2020, he vowed to stick together with his trusty Spider putter, realizing that he might make extra putts with that mannequin than anything. Well … not anymore, as DJ switched to a brand new shaft and head in his putter – a TaylorMade winged TP Bandon 1 prototype – earlier than the ultimate spherical on the Heritage. He made 145 ft price of putts on Sunday and ranked eighth for the week on the greens. Asked concerning the long-anticipated change, he mentioned: “I kept practicing, kept grinding, but it wasn’t really getting any better, so sometimes it’s just time for a change.” The solely shock is that it took so lengthy.

Special Kind of Confidence: Billy Horschel. The Match Play winner joined many in opining that the armlock placing methodology shouldn’t be allowed – however what made Horschel’s remark distinctive was that he mentioned it whereas being paired for the primary two days on Hilton Head with Will Zalatoris … who makes use of the armlock methodology!

Chubb champ Stricker eyes FedEx Cup Playoffs

Almighty Captain: Steve Stricker: With a bogey-free ultimate spherical on the Chubb Classic, Stricker captured his sixth profession PGA Tour Champions title, furthering our perception that he ought to provide a wedging clinic to the remainder of the U.S. group the week of the Ryder Cup.

Not Worth the Wait: Si Woo Kim. The rule could be foolish however it’s additionally fairly clear: A participant can solely wait 10 seconds for a ball to drop. This was greater than a minute, so after all it wasn’t going to rely.

Let’s Not Get Carried Away … Yet: Stewart Cink’s Ryder Cup prospects. Even with the win on the Heritage, Cink jumped up (solely) to No. 24 within the newest U.S. Ryder Cup standings, behind Kevin Na and forward of Matt Kuchar. Cink has TONS of group expertise, enjoying on 9 American rosters, however not since 2010. Not even Cink is anticipating a call-up this time: He was extra desirous about his new top-50 world rating, so he can skip U.S. Open sectional qualifying.


Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth

The PGA Tour’s annual two-man group occasion at sleepy TPC Louisiana is a reminder of simply how badly it might use a refresh. As at the moment constituted, the Zurich is a missed alternative.

That’s why we have now an answer: Join forces with the LPGA to create a blended group competitors, with a best-ball, alternate-shot and scramble format.

Simply reworking the Shark Shootout isn’t going to reduce it. The blended match wants to be performed in the course of the coronary heart of the schedule, not as a part of the foolish season.

So, with that thoughts, listed below are 10 teams that might make for must-see TV:

Jordan Spieth-Lydia Ko: Teen phenoms, now the comeback gamers of 2021

Justin Thomas-Nelly Korda: Two mega-talents with the built-in SoFla friendship

Dustin Johnson-Inbee Park: When they’re each on, collectively, they’re the right golfer

Collin Morikawa-Brooke Henderson: Flushers, each of them

Xander Schauffele-Danielle Kang: California children who’re each No. 5 on this planet

Bryson DeChambeau-Lexi Thompson: Tee it excessive, watch ’em fly

Matthew Wolff-Patty Tavatanakit: Uber-talented children who’ve flashed huge potential

Rory McIlroy-Sei Young Kim: The most explosive gamers on their respective excursions

Brooks Koepka-Jessica Korda: Oft-injured, they’ll share their warfare tales strolling the fairways

Jon Rahm-Jin Young Ko: Combined: Zero weaknesses

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