Weekly Tour Recap: KPMG Women’s PGA Championship & FedEx St. Jude Classic

 henderson KPMG

LPGA Tour Recap: Brooke Henderson Captures KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

18-year old Canadian Brooke Henderson outlasted Rolex World Rankings Number 1, Lydia Ko, in a playoff to capture her first ever major at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship on Sunday.  The Championship was held at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Washington (try saying that 5 times fast).  World Number 1, Lydia Ko, held the lead through the first three rounds, but a impressive final-round 65, tied for the lowest round of the week, from Henderson tied her with Ko for the lead after 18 holes on Sunday.  She made an impressive four birdies to go along with an eagle and no bogeys en route to the top of the leaderboard.

One playoff hole proved to be all the up-and-coming super star would need to finish off the current World Number One.  The two headed to the Par-4 18th to face off for the title, and both players found the fairway off of the tee.  Ko played first and landed her approach to about 20 feet for birdie, a putt that she missed and had to settle for a par.  Henderson responded with an amazing approach, sticking her approach to just inside 3 feet, leaving her a tap in for birdie and the win.

This is Henderson’s second victory on the LPGA Tour, her first being a win at the Cambia Portland Classic, before she was a full time member of the LPGA Tour.  This is the first Major Championship for Henderson, who halted Lydia Ko’s quest for a third straight Major Championship.  Henderson has shown a ton of promise on the women’s Tour, so look for her to rise from her current World Number 4 ranking, and continue to put tick marks in the win column.  En route to her first Major, Henderson also won a new car via a hole-in-one on the 13th hole during the first round.  What would any 18 year old do with a new car they won?  She gave it to her older sister, and caddy, Brittany.

AppleMark

Brooke Henderson’s Winning What’s In The Bag

Driver: Ping G Series – 9° (Ping TFC – 419S)

Fairway Woods: Ping G Stretch – 13° (Ping Alta 65-S), G30 – 18° (Ping TFC – 419S)

Hybrid: Ping G30 – 23°  (Fujikura Pro 73 R)

Irons: Ping I-Series – 5 – PW (Ping CFS – Stiff)

Wedges: Ping Glide – 50°, 54°, 58° (Ping CFS – Stiff)

Putter: Ping Vault Oslo

Berger fedex

Berger Outlasts the Veterans, Captures First Ever Tour Title

American Daniel Berger captured his first ever PGA Tour title on Sunday at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, held at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee.  The 23-year old Florida Native played all four rounds in the 60s, finishing at 13-under par and three shots clear of the field.  While Berger entered the final round on Sunday with the lead, Tour veterans Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and Steve Stricker lurked close behind.  The pressure as well as the three hour rain delay didn’t seem to phase last season’s Rookie of the Year, who was heckled by Mickelson (who Berger says he refers to as “Phillip”) for being named the Rookie of the Year without having a single victory on Tour.  A few short hours later, Berger was able to change that.

After holding the Friday lead with an impressive 64, Berger was able to maintain his top position coming into Sunday.  His final round, however, got off to a shaky start.  Berger had a 10 footer left for par at the first when inclement weather caused a three hour delay in play.  Coming off of the break, Berger could not convert for his par, and dropped one stroke closer to the field.  While Berger’s game off of the tee seemed off at times, he was able to maintain consistent play and carded two birdies on the front to finish with a one-under 34.  A bogey at the tenth seemed to potentially leave the door open for a charging Dustin Johnson (who finished with a 63 on Sunday) Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker, and Brooks Koepka.  Although all three players inside the top 50 in the World Golf Ranking that were in the field were only a few strokes back, Berger wasn’t phased.  He bounced back with birdies at twleve, fourteen, and fifteen, and was able to coast to the finish line.  He finished the final three holes at even par to close out the round at 3-under and 13-under for the week, three shots ahead of fellow Americans Koepka, Stricker, and Mickelson who all tied for 2nd at 10-under.

This is the first win on Tour for the 23-year old from Florida State University, although he had two runner-up finishes in his 2015 Rookie of the Year Campaign.  Up next for Berger is the always challenging US Open at Oakmont Country Club next week.  Look for the youngster to continue to his hot streak of good golf, and look for Phil Mickelson to have yet another runner-up finish.

Daniel-Berger-St.-Jude

Daniel Berger’s Winning What’s In The Bag

Driver: TaylorMade M2 – 10.5° (Fujikura Pro Series 53X)

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade M2 HL – 17° (UST Mamiya ELements Chrome 75X)

Irons: TaylorMade RocketbBladez Tour – 3, TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC Forged 2011 – 4 – PW (True Temper Project X 6.5)

Wedges: Taylormade R Series EF Spin – 50° (Tour Grind), 56°, 60° (ATV Grind) (True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400)

Putter: TaylorMade Ghost Corza

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Im-a-LOSER

Tom’s Picks Recap

To answer the question in the final line of last week’s article, yes, my picks were about as bad as the ones for the Masters.  While DJ had a solid showing, finishing in 4th, both Woodland and McDowell missed the cut.  Not really much else to say except for I’m pretty bad at making these picks.

The US Open is up next, but I won’t be releasing my picks just yet.  I will have a brief preview write up along with my picks that should be out on Wednesday.

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Tommy O'Connell

Contributing Tour Editor
Tommy is California-born and currently lives and works in Chicago. When not traveling the United States and beyond for work, Tom can often be found spending too much time at the golf course or surfing the web to stay up to speed on everything golf, hockey, college basketball, and football.

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