Brittany Lang Wins U.S Open in Playoff PDF Print E-mail

Brittany Lang hoists the trophy after winning the U.S Open at Cordevalle

San Martin, California - It was another drama filled USGA Championship. This edition was

the Women's U.S Open at Cordevalle in Cental California. American Brittany Lang was holding

the lead down the stretch as she stood over her long putt at the 17th hole (holding a one shot

lead over Anna Nordquist who was already in the clubhouse), when Brad Faxon blurted out

on the Fox telecast, "Julie, She hasn't had a three putt all week" (referring to colleague Julie

Inkster). Wham! Hex delivered - tie ballgame . . .


After a routine par on the 72nd hole, both Lang (71) and Nordquist (67) finished regulation at

6 under par and headed to an aggregate 3 hole playoff. Both players safely hit the green and

two putted for par on the first playoff hole - the short 120 yd par-3 16th.

Then it was back to the brutal par 4 17th. Lang striped her tee shot down the middle, and

Nordquist's ball ran through the shortgrass into the fairway bunker. After subpar iron shots

by both players (Nordquist over the green and Lang way left after hitting her worst shot of

the tournament), each made superb recoveries to save par. Then it got interesting. The

camerman shooting Nordquist in the fairway bunker noticed a small granule of sand that

her club appeared to touch just before taking her backswing (which of course is a two stroke

penalty for grounding your club in a hazard). Play continued without either player being aware

of the infraction - until they were notified in the 18th fairway on the last hole of the 3 hole


Immediately, Lang realizing she had a two shot lead - went into protection mode and hit her

approach safely to the fat part of the green and two putted for victory. As viewers, once we

knew of the infraction, the result was known and the excitement of the finish turned to disbelief

and disappointment for what had been a great week for the sport and ladies golf. Although the rule

was technically broken, and the two stroke penalty correctly dealt, it once again left the USGA

with a championship plagued with some controversy. Should intent be judged for incidents

where it's clear that the player wasn't obviously attempting to gain an advantage? Tough call.


If that wasn't bad enough, at the trophy ceremony USGA President Diana Murphy called the new

U.S Open Champion Brittany Lang "Bethany" twice. As the crowd tried to correct Murphy she

shrugged it off and said "That's O.K" (without any apology for botching the name). The USGA

has some serious work to do to rebuild some credibility, and it won't happen overnight.


36 hole leader Sung Hyun Park struggled on the weekend finishing tied for 3rd at -4. World No.1

Lydia Ko shot 75 on Sunday to also finish at 4 under par.



















DJ Wins WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone PDF Print E-mail


Akron, Ohio - Dustin Johnson is on a roll. After winning at perhaps the toughest course

in America at the U.S Open at Oakmont two weeks ago, he blitzed the field over the

weekend at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone with rounds of 66-66 to

finish at 6 under par.


54 hole leader Jason Day shot 2 over par 72 to finish tied for third along with Jordan

Spieth who closed with a final round 67. Also tied at -3 were Matt Kuchar (66) and Kevin

Chappell (67). Scott Piercy was the runner up after an even par 70 to finish at -5.


During the week at Firestone Johnson prodigious drivng proved to be pivotal on a golf

course that he hadn't previously had success. Johnson led the field in strokes gained

off the tee (+6.05) averaged 341.1 yards per drive (2nd in the field) and was 4th in

driving accuracy hitting. DJ used a TaylorMade M1 driver (11 degree) and M1 3wd

(17 degree) to dominate from the tee. Johnson credits switching to a fade this year

as his go to shot shape for his improved accuracy: "When I first came on Tour, I

couldn't hit a cut to save my life," Johnson said. "I feel like my misses, I can get it

in the fairway. . . with the draw, if I missed it, it had zero chance of it going in the

fairway. Hitting a cutgives me room for error."















Billy Hurley III Wins Quicken Loans at Congressional PDF Print E-mail



Tournament host Tiger Woods looks on as Billy Hurley III celebrates his first PGA TOUR win

Bethesda, Maryland - Entering Sunday's final round with the lead at the Quicken Loans

National at Congressional was Billy Hurley lll - ranked 607th in the Official World Golf

Rankings. Luckily those rankings don't measure talent, heart or perseverance (only past



Hurley, a Navy grad who served for 5 years hadn't finished better than 41st this season

on the PGA Tour, so few expected him to hold up in the final round versus Hall of Fame

veterans Ernie Els and Vijay Singh, as well as rookie sensation Jon Rahm (who led after

round 1).


Hurley birdied the 1st, and 9th and was well on his way until a three putt bogey at the

12th stalled his momentum and would make realizing his dream a bit tougher. A big par

saving 10 footer at the 13th righted the ship, and a 35 yard holed pitch from just short of

the green at the 15th put the mission back on course. In fact Hurley III showed some rare

emotion when the ball dropped and the home crowd leaped to their feet with applause for

their native son (who lives in nearby Annapolis where he also attended the Naval Academy).

Hurley made another highlight just a hole later with a big curling downhill putt for birdie at

the par-5 16th and cruised in from there for a three shot victory over 53 year old Vijay Singh.

Jon Rahm and Bill Haas finished four back at -13, and Ernie Els finished at -12 in fifth place.

"Just being a part of the event on the PGA Tour that does the most to honor our military

here at Quicken Loans National, just couldn't script a better one for me to win my first tour














At Long Last - Dustin Johnson Gets his Major PDF Print E-mail



After a near miss in 2015, Dustin Johnson hoists the U.S Open trophy at Oakmont

Oakmont, Pennsylvania - Okay, so finally the games' most naturally talented athlete and

ballstriker gets off the schneid and wins his first major at the 116th U.S Open at Oakmont.

For Dustin Johnson it's been six years of close calls, controversial rules infractions, poor

decisions, errant shots and 3 putts under the pressure. From Whistling Straits at the 2010 PGA

Championship, to last years putting folly on the 72nd hole at Chambers Bay (and all of those

instances in between), it appeared that this would be different. Finally, DJ could get through

a major where he clearly is the best player that given week (apologies to 54 hole leader Shane

Lowry, but Johnson looked like the one to beat even starting the final round 4 shots back) and

finish it off . . . and thankfully that's how this year's version of the U.S Open ended. Oh but

the gents in the blue blazers almost always find a way to muddle up the story.


On a Father's Day that offered perfect conditions in Western, Pennsylvania it was an innocent

little occurrence on the fifth green that sent the golf world into it's own free fall of outrage.

As if you haven't seen or heard already - Johnson, after running his birdie putt 4 feet by the

hole, took practice strokes next to the ball before attempting his par putt. As he was about to

sole the putter he observed the ball move slightly. He immediately summoned the USGA rules

official who ruled that Johnson had not caused the ball to move, no penalty - DJ made his par

putt and moved on. Case closed . . . or not. Later the USGA looked at the video and deemed it

was likely that Johnson caused the ball to move. Nearly and hour and a half later on the twelfth

hole, they informed Johnson that it appeared he may have been the cause and is likely facing a

1 stroke penalty.


From that point on, Johnson played with the knowledge that his score might be -5 or it might be

-4. How do you proceed with strategy for the remainder of the tournament. What sport has

rules that aren't decided on the field of play live? It was called a farce by those of us in the golf

media and many tour players like Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, and Rickie Fowler. Jack Nicklaus

expressed the same sentiment as this debacle unfolded. Luckily Johnson blocked out the distraction

and played flawless golf coming home, including a magnificent birdie at the last for a final round

69 and a 3 stroke victory over Jim Furyk (66), Scott Piercy (69) and Shane Lowry (76).


Although he vehemently denied causing the ball to move on the fifth green, the stroke penalty

was accessed, which had Dustin Johnson officially at 69 for the round and a total score of 276 (-4).

Afterward, DJ was relieved it was over: "I know this golf course, it's very difficult to close. From

12 to 18, all I was trying to do was just one shot at a time and not to worry about what anybody

else was doing. Just focus on what I was doing. I just kept telling myself, it's just me and the golf

course. You know, I'm just playing the golf course today."


As one of the games' governing bodies, let's hope the USGA learned a little from this incident, and

how to handle such matters going forward. Hail to Dustin Johnson for overcoming and averting what

could have become a long lasting dark cloud on the sport.



In Johnson's U.S. Open Championship Bag:

  • M1 Driver / 10.5* / Fujikura Speeder Evolution 2.0 Tour Spec 661X / 45.75" / D4
  • UDI (#2) / Project X HZRDUS Black 105X
  • Tour Preferred MB ('14) 3-PW / True Temper DG Tour Issue X100

















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