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Week #11 2023 Weekend Winners

This weekend was a somewhat weird viewing experience for me with regards to the golf. Being a total golf junkie I was limited to highlights in YouTube and watching the live to get my weekly fix. Here are some of the highlights.

LET – Aramco Team Series

The ladies were in Singapore for the team series and an individual tournament which saw Pauline Bouchard singles winner to follow on from her second place in the team event – won by team Wolf.

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I first came across Pauline on a YouTube video with the Bryan Brothers some time back. She seemed like a bit of a baller back then so it was good to see her close out the competition with a stunning 64 on the par 72 course for a four shot victory ahead of one of my favourites, Danielle Kang with my real favourite Lydia Ko one stroke further back.

SDC Championship

The DP World tour event from South Africa was not covered this weekend by my streaming service. I’ve no idea why but there always seems to be a gap in their scheduling around this time of year.

Matthew Baldwin won his second professional event and first on the DP World tour in his 200th start with a very comfortable 7 shot victory on the St. Francis Links course.

Matthew Baldwin with the SDC trophy

With a solitary bogey on the final day he had an almost flawless weekend and was just too strong for the rest of the field with Adri Arnaus finishing a distant second.

After quite an up and down career this should make his touring life a bit more stable for the next few years. Well done.

Valspar Championship

In the USA, a very tight tournament was played at Innisbrook. Missing some of the bigger names on the tour this was a chance for the “lesser” names to shine and perhaps for Tommy Fleetwood to get his first PGA title.

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While there were “names” in the field and challenging Taylor Moore posted a 4 under par 67 for a 10 under par total score to hold off overnight leader, Adam Schenk, for his first PGA win.

He has made the cut now 29 times in his 46 event career on the PGA and was obviously delighted. Tommy will have to wait for his chance.

LIV Golf Tuscon

I don’t know what this tournament was actually called, but LIV were in the desert this week in what turned out to be the same banal event as previous “competitions”.

I have no doubt there is some top quality in the field that is undoubtedly diluting and fragmenting the elite professional golf game but there is some serious lack of talent too. I am not sure whether it is the field size, the fact they are all payed just to turn up or the over enthusiastic commentary and Twitter bots trying to hype the “competition” but this does not float my boat. As I said at the start of this piece “I am a golf junkie and I needed a fix”.

As is always the case, despite the quality, Friday and Saturday just do not provide much of a thrill. There is no storyline to it. There is no cut to make it into the weekend. The players can just hack away knowing that provided 3 others in their team score well, they can play without a care in the world.

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I don’t hate LIV. I quite like the team format but I have doubts over the competitiveness of the “tour”. Not to diss any of the players as they are all great players, but is the overall quality of the events on the same level as the PGA? The last LIV event winner, Charles Howell III, was in in contention right until the final couple of holes again. His OWGR ranking is 324.

That said, he did not make the 4 man playoff. Neither did I. I gave up and went to bed with Louis Oosthuizen needing a putt from a few meters to join the others. He was the only player towards to the top of the “pylon” that I have any empathy for.

Danny Lee, Carlos Ortiz, and Brendan Steele made up the foursome with the team competition already wrapped up for the fireballs. To be fair Ortiz played some excellent golf on the final day in tough conditions.

How did the playoff go? Danny Lee won. You can read more about it here.

I am sure I’m not alone in my sense of apathy towards LIV. I’m not clear why: perhaps it is the arrogance; the quality level; David Feherty? A Nielsens Rating of .14 doesn’t paint a rosey picture.

What’s your favourite tour to watch? I set a poll below.