Golf: The world’s top golfers go their separate ways after The Players Championship, with the PGA Tour heading to DFW and European Tour players readying for their flagship event.
By Jeff Shain, PSN managing editor
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- MRI results on Rory McIlroy’s back after The Players show no new injury, just soreness in the area where a rib injury cost him seven weeks earlier this year. He’s still entered in next week’s European Tour flagship, the BMW PGA Championship.
- Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee ruffled Ian Poulter’s feathers by saying he didn’t “play to win” with conservative Sunday plays at Nos. 16 and 17 at The Players. Poulter may have been leaving himself in position for a Si Woo Kim mistake, which never happened.
- TaylorMade’s separation from Adidas became official with its sale to KPS Capital Partners. Don’t expect anything drastic, as TaylorMade continues to hold its own in the market against Titleist and Callaway.
- NCAA women’s regional winners: Alabama, Arizona State, Florida, South Carolina, Stanford. Notable early exit: No.2 UCLA.
PGA TOUR: AT&T Byron Nelson
Site: TPC Four Seasons at Las Colinas, Irving, Texas
- Defending champion: Sergio Garcia became the first man to win twice at the TPC Four Seasons, taking advantage of two Brooks Koepka bogeys down the stretch to win on the first hole of a playoff. Victory ended a 3 ½-year PGA Tour drought for Garcia, though he notched five wins worldwide in between.
- Last week: Si Woo Kim became the youngest winner in the history of The Players Championship, as the 21-year-old Korean erased a two-shot deficit early in Sunday’s round and never left an opening for pursuers. Nine pars on the back nine finished off a 3-under-par 69 and a three-shot triumph.
- Tour talk: It’s the 35th and final Byron for the TPC Four Seasons, which gives way in 2018 to the new Trinity Forest GC near downtown Dallas. … World No.1 Dustin Johnson owns four top-10 finishes in his past six visits, but no win. … Dallas native Jordan Spieth makes his seventh start, still trying to improve on a tie for 16th in his debut as a high-school junior. … Kim has withdrawn to rest a sore back. … The top 60 in the world rankings as of Monday get automatic berths into the U.S. Open.
- TV: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 4-7 p.m. ET, Saturday-Sunday 1-2:30 p.m.) and CBS (Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m.).
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS: Regions Tradition
Site: Greystone G&CC, Birmingham, Ala.
- Defending champion: Bernhard Langer captured his sixth senior major crown, firing four rounds in the 60s on the way to a six-stroke victory over Olin Browne, Langer made just four bogeys all week, countered by one eagle and 19 birdies.
- Last week: No tournament.
- Tour talk: John Daly tees it up for the first time since his breakthrough Champions victory at the Insperity Invitational, his first win anywhere since 2004 at Torrey Pines. … Vijay Singh arrives after a tie for 16th at The Players, where he was just three shots back after 36 holes. He’ll have a new caddie, though – Kip Henley quit after just four starts. … Langer has seven top-10s in eight Tradition starts.
- TV: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 12:30-2:30 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 2-4 p.m.).
LPGA TOUR: Kingsmill Championship
Site: Kingsmill Resort (River), Williamsburg, Va.
- Defending champion: Ariya Jutanugarn recorded her second of three consecutive wins, playing her final 16 holes in 5-under par to hold off the challenge of Australia’s Su Oh by a stroke. Jutanugarn also had won in Alabama two weeks earlier, setting aside the misery of a final-day collapse at the ANA Inspiration.
- Last week: No tournament.
- Tour talk: World No.1 Lydia Ko and No.2 So Yeon Ryu stand atop a lineup with eight of the top 10 in the world rankings. … Cristie Kerr, the event’s only three-time champ, arrives off a win and a playoff loss in her past two stroke-play starts. … Kerr’s three Kingsmill wins have been separated by four-year gaps, a trend in play again this week. … This starts a run of 12 straight LPGA weeks with no an open date.
- TV: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 9-11 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 5-7 p.m.).
EUROPEAN TOUR: Rocco Forte Open
Site: Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sciacca, Italy
- Defending champion: Inaugural event.
- Last week: England’s Matt Wallace captured the Portugal Open for his first European Tour victory, using a final-day 69 to finish three shots clear of Julian Suri. Wallace held a five-shot edge after two days, but a Saturday 73 closed the gap and the lead shrunk to just one before restoring some cushion.
- Tour talk: As Europe’s top names head back across the Atlantic after The Players, Italy’s Matteo Manassero and Edoardo Molinari headline a weak lineup. … Former Masters champions Trevor Immelman and Mike Weir will tee it up in Sicily. … Verdura Resort has been part of the European Tour schedule before, hosting the 2012 Sicilian Open that was won by Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen.
- TV: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Sunday, 5-9:30 a.m.).
WEB.COM TOUR: BMW Charity Pro-Am
Site: Thornblade Club, Greer, S.C.
- 2016 champion: Richy Werenski used a 65-65 weekend to claim his first Web.com Tour triumph, a one-shot win over Zach Sucher, Brian Campbell and Brett Drewitt. The former winner of Golf Channel’s “Big Break” series eventually finished No.2 on the Web.com Tour money list, earning a promotion.
- Last week: No tournament.
- Tour talk: Nate Lashley’s victory two weeks ago in the Dominican Republic was his fourth in less than a year, after three wins last fall on PGA Tour Latinoamerica. … Mexico’s Rafa Campos also brings a hot hand to Thornblade Club, with two solid PGA Tour starts preceding a tie for third at Puntacana. … Celebrities in the pro-am field include Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and comedian Larry the Cable Guy.
- TV: Golf Channel (Thursday-Sunday, 7-9 p.m.).