2022 US Open Golf: Matt Fitzpatrick and Will Zalatoris shares the lead after Day 3 with Australian Min Woo-Lee’s sensational turnaround puts him six strokes away from a possible upset in T17

It looks like we’re going to see an amazing finish ahead of the fourth & final round tomorrow in the 2022 US Open Golf at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. There’s another big shift when it comes the front-runners in a race to take home that major championship, with Will Zalatoris and Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick sharing the lead right now in a total of 206 strokes at -4.

Spaniard Jon Rahm isn’t far behind in 3rd at -3 where he’s only one stroke away from overtaking Zalatoris & Fitzpatrick with possible back-to-back US Open majors, despite his sub-par performance today at one over par 71.

Then there’s a mix of elite and outsiders sniffing around this Top 3 in Tied 4th – including Day 1 leader & World No.50 from Canada Adam Hadwin – who bounced back in Tied 4th at two under par 70, as well as World No.47 Keegan Bradley & this year’s Masters winner Scottie Scheffler.

Although Northern Irishman Rory McIIroy began to slip further away from the Top 5 in Tied 7th right now following a poor run today of three over par 73, but he’s still in the mix towards an possibility of going one better following his 2nd place finish from this year’s Masters. He’s currently sits alongside a couple of Americans; World No.9 Sam Burns & World No.130 Joel Dahmen in the same position as McIIroy; Plus, World No.371 Nick Hardy rounds out the Top 10.

And if that isn’t enough, we have our leading Aussie Min Woo-Lee right now in Tied 17th at two over par as he’s only six strokes away from closing in the joint leaders (Zalatoris & Fitzpatrick). He was almost eliminated from the cut at one point in 55th in Round 2 yesterday before Woo-Lee made sensational turnaround today, especially when he scored three birdies on the back nine at one under par 69.

We could see either an outsider or even a first time winner after the final day of the US Open tomorrow, as Australians are right behind Min Woo-Lee – who is on the cusp towards an upset & hopefully emulating his sister Minjee Lee with the men’s major triumph – after she won the women’s edition last weekend.

#USOpen #Golf #WillZalatoris #MattFitzpatrick #JonRahm #MinWooLee #PGATour #TheCountryClub #MinjeeLee #Aussies

Scottie Scheffler holds on to Masters lead to secure his first Major championship

Scottie Scheffler holds on to Masters lead to secure his first Major championship

Scottie Scheffler showed ice cold consistency on the final day of The Masters to win his first green jacket – proving just why he’s world No.1.

The American started the day on 10- under, three shots ahead of Australia’s Cameron Smith. It was the Queenslander who got off to a promising start with a pair of birdies on the first two holes. But after sinking a spectacular chip on the third, Scheffler never really looked back.

There was a hint of a rally when Smith birdied the 11th. But a score of six on the par three 12th effectively ended his chances. In the end he was overtaken by Rory McIlroy, himself chasing a Grand Slam of Major victories. The Northern Irishman hit an astonishing round of 64, his magical bunker shot on the 18th one of the day’s highlights.

The day, though, belonged to Scheffler, whose final round of 71 – including four birdies – was pure class.

Smith finished third on 5- under, tied with Ireland’s Shane Lowry. America’s Colin Morikawa finished fourth on 4- under.

Elsewhere, Australia’s Min Woo Lee ended the weekend 14th; Marc Leishman finished 31; Cameron Davis 46th. Adam Scott, the 2013 Masters champion, tied 48th.

Tiger Woods, who dominated so many of this week’s headlines, finished on 13- over. Not quite the fairytale comeback fans hoped for, but the fact the five-time champion completed 72 holes was remarkable; just 14 months ago he underwent extensive emergency surgery to save his right leg following a car accident.

Golf News, Cameron Smith closing on leader Scottie Scheffler ahead of the final round tomorrow after Day 3 of the 2022 US Masters

Scottie Scheffler is still your leader after Round 3 (-9) when he may have been a bit off the pace today at -1, 71 shots. However, his improved 1st half spell from Thursday & Friday shows that Scheffler’s got it all to stay consistent & pull off in a bid to wear the green jacket tomorrow. His best finish here in Augusta was tied 18th last year, but he did improve in the other majors (8th in 2021 & 4th in 2020 at the PGA Championship, 8th in 2021 at the British Open & 7th at the 2021 US Open) as this could be Scheffler’s first major title.

When it comes to competitors who are also chasing the green jacket for the first time, it’s good to see Australia’s Cameron Smith rebound today like it was from Round 1 on Thursday with five birdies at -4, 68 shots. He’s only three shots behind Scheffler now in 2nd at -6, as all Smith can pray now is for the leader to be inconsistent before he can potentially be the 2nd Aussie after Adam Scott to win The Masters.

The same goes with South Korean Sungjae-Im in 3rd, who isn’t far behind Smith and Scheffler. Now he still needs to work on the first nine holes that would help him bridge the gap between 3rd and the Top 2. However, Im still has that strong edge when it comes to the back nine holes after he finished his Round 3 spell with five birdies at -1, 71 shots.

Ireland’s Shane Lowry is still in a position at tied 4th despite only collecting two birdies during the 1st half. South African Charl Schwartzel also endured the same consistency as Lowry, but we can’t forget his terrific brace with the eagle in the 10th hole. Both players credited Round 2 yesterday with the improved leaderboard positions as their turning point, as they hope to split Smith & Im before it’s a race against time to catch Scheffler.

Will we see another first-time winner tomorrow from either Scheffler or someone else like Smith, Im, or Lowry? Otherwise, can Schwartzel secure a fairytale 11-year reunion with the green jacket?

2022 The Masters Day 1 Review, Aussie Cam Smith not far in 2nd behind leader Sunjae Im of South Korea

It’s good to see an Australian in Cameron Smith doing so well, who is currently in 2nd after the 1st Day of the 2022 Masters in Augusta, GA. He may fired off poorly when Smith shot six in the first hole through Par 4, but he gradually improved as it goes where he racked up three eagles & four birdies at -4 (68 shots).

At the end of the day, the leader you’re looking at is Sunjae Im from South Korea; he was very consistent with plenty of 3s & 4s that earned him a whopping six birdies apart from the three bogeys at -5 (67 shots).

Then there are also a lot of 3rd place runners catching right up to Smith and Im’s radar, with Dustin Johnson, Scottie Scheffler, Danny Willett & Joaquin Niemann all tied at -3 (69 shots).

Johnson fired off well where he sniffed around Smith & Im earlier on for the lead. Although his form may have dipped going into the 2nd half spell that began to slip away from joint 1st with Smith & Im, there’s still room for improvement to catch up tomorrow if he wants to regain the lead & try to snatch that green jacket for the second time. Meanwhile, Willett, Scheffler & Niemann always kept their eye within the Top 3, having never been out of shape throughout the opening day as they look to hold back Johnson & split this front-row battle of Smith & Im on Day 2 tomorrow.

Jason Kokrak & Corey Conners sat comfortably outside the Top 6 throughout the opening day alongside Patrick Cantlay, who improved lately with four birdies in the 2nd half spell. And we also can’t forget the return of Tiger Woods after a freak accident earlier last year; he shot a lot of pars alongside three birdies in joint 10th at -1 (71 shots).

It will be interesting to see which two runner-ups from the 2020 Masters Tournaments will be up in front by the end of Day 2 tomorrow at Augusta National Golf Course.

Masters 2022 Preview

Although the golf season has been in full swing for months, for many fans, the Masters is the official start of the golf season. After all, it is the first major championship in the calendar year and a “tradition like no other.” One cannot think of the Masters without fondly recalling 1986 when Jack Nicklaus stormed from behind on the back nine on the final day to win his 6th Masters at the age of 46. Similarly, people vividly remember Tiger Woods’ first triumph in 1997 and his unexpected win in 2019.

Last year, Justin Rose jumped to the early lead in the Masters with an opening round of 65. However, he failed to break par in any of the next three rounds and finished 7th. A third round of 65 by Hideki Matsuyama put him in great position and despite a final round of 73, walked away with his first major and first Japanese-born player to win the Masters. Will Zalatoris finished a shot back at nine-under par.

Taking a look at this year’s field and there are numerous big names are set to tee it up, including the likes of past champions Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott. There is even a remote chance that Woods himself tees it up.

Oddly enough, Matsuyama is a longshot to defend at 28-to-1 odds and Zalatoris is at 35-to-1, so expect a different top end of the leaderboard this time around.

One of the hottest players on the PGA Tour and one to watch is Cameron Smith, who has two wins this season and is ranked sixth in the world. Despite being arguably the hottest player currently on the PGA Tour, Smith’s odds of winning at 16-1 are behind Jon Rahm (9-1), Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa, and Justin Thomas (12-1), and Rory McIlroy at 14-1. For McIlroy, a win would complete the much-coveted grand slam. However, the Masters has been a very difficult challenge for the 32-year-old, who has finished outside the top 20 in two of his last three starts at Augusta, including a missed cut last year.

Don’t be surprised if 24-year-old Viktor Hovland makes a run at the championship. He has a win and four top-ten finishes on the PGA Tour this season. Ranked 4th in the Official World Golf Ranking, Hovland has been in the top ten in three of his last five starts.

Other players who could seriously contend for the Masters title this year include Brooks Koepka, Scottie Sheffler, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, and Bryson DeChambeau.

The Augusta National course the players will face is different from past years. Changes to the first hole of “amen corner” at number 11 and the 15th will add 35 yards to the course, increasing the distance to a record 7510 yards. The dogleg on the 11th hole is slightly diminished and some trees were removed from the right side of the fairway.

In addition, there are new greens on the 3rd, 13th, and 17th holes. The 11th hole has a wider fairway giving players a nice chance of reaching the green even on balls missed to the right. Despite that fact, the trouble around the green is increased, so an already difficult hole could play even tougher this year. The dogleg left on the 13th hole that gives the big bombers a chance to cut the corner, we expected to change but has remained intact. However, a change to the length of this hole is likely to occur for future Masters tournaments.

In the end, the only real changes this year’s players must be concerned about are those to the three greens mentioned and to the 11th and 15th holes. Augusta National is difficult enough without any major changes.

It’s time to sit back and enjoy perhaps first major championship of the PGA season!

PGA Golf News: Jon Rahm still able to compete in the 2021 US Open having gone into quarantine after positive COVID test

Jon Rahm, the third ranked player in the world, was on cruise control last weekend at the Memorial Tournament, building a six-shot lead at the end of Saturday’s third round. In the blink of the eye, Rahm’s hard work over the first 54 holes went for nothing, as he was forced to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19.

Live television captured Rahm’s obvious disappointment, but noted it is one of those things that happens in life. Rahm was in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and Rahm tested negative every day of the tournament except for Friday’s test. Having to withdraw from the event cost Rahm potentially the $1.67 million winner’s check.

The PGA Tour called the situation “incredibly unfortunate”, but the Memorial Tournament continued with several players in the mix for the championship, including Scottie Scheffler, Collin Morikawa, and Patrick Cantlay.

After a tie at the top at 13-under par between Morikawa and Cantlay, the two headed to the 18th hole for sudden-death playoff. After Morikawa failed to hit the green, Cantlay’s par save earned him his second Memorial victory. Scheffler was two shots back, finishing in sole possession of third.

With the win, Cantlay earned a robust 550 FedEx Cup points and a hefty 68 points in the World Golf Rankings, vaulting him from 15thto 7th. Morikawa moved from 7th to 4th and Scheffler moved from 24th to 17th. Rahm remains in 3rd.

Rahm immediately began his CDC guideline isolation of 10 days, which ends June 15.  Despite the positive COVID-19 test, Rahm should be ready to tee off in the first round of the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, which runs June 17-20.   In addition, the positive test result didn’t change Rahm’s odds to win the title, remaining among the top contenders. 

The 26-year-old Rahm has 12 professional wins, including five on the PGA Tour. His best finish in a major is 3rd at the 2019 U.S. Open. A win at Torrey Pines could vault Rahm to number one in the World Golf Rankings.