An Aussie holiday at the PGA, journeyman's life-changing weekend in Hartford, and an underdog wins the Amateur: What you missed
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Welcome to the Dew Sweeper, your one-stop shop to catch up on the weekend action from the golf world. From the professional tours, trending news, social media headlines and upcoming events, here's every golf-related thing you need to know for the morning of June 24.
Green wins Women's PGA
Hannah Green was traversing the waters of the Symetra Tour just two years ago. She won't be heading back anytime soon.
In just her second year on the LPGA, the 22-year-old Green went wire-to-wire at Hazeltine to win the KPMG Women's PGA Championship.
“I am pretty much speechless," Green said.
While Green never let go of the reins, the issue was very much in doubt toward the finish. A birdie at the seventh conferred a four-shot lead for the Aussie, but she bogeyed three of four holes—and missed a very makable birdie at the 10th—around the turn. Though Green's playing partner Ariya Jutanugarn went south on Sunday with a 77, Sung Hyun Park birdied two of the final four holes at the Minnesota club to make things interesting, especially after Green dumped her approach on the final hole in a greenside bunker.
However, facing the biggest shot of her life, Green made a marvelous pitch from the sand to five feet, converting the putt to earn her breakthrough by one over Park.
"I was really nervous playing the last five holes and I am just really happy that I made a clutch putt because that is what I was struggling through the middle of the round," Green said. "To make the one at the last really is surreal.”
Green came to the United States via a scholarship from Karrie Webb, who made Green dinner Saturday night. Following her win, Green was embraced by the Hall of Famer on the 18th green, along with her boyfriend Jarryd Fenton, a player on the PGA Tour Australasia.:
"I always wanted to win in front of an Aussie crowd," Green said. "That's what it was like today. I'm over the moon."
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Reavie holds on in Hartford
With the 54-hole leader boasting a six-shot advantage, the final round at the Travelers Championship was supposed to be drama free. A look at the box score conveys as much, with Chez Reavie capturing the Connecticut-based event by four shots.
Yet the final hours at TPC River Highlands were not short on spectacle.
Playing with Keegan Bradley in the final pairing, Reavie put together a workman-like even-par 35 on the front, enough to keep the upper hand over the former PGA champ by five. But then Bradley birdied three of the next four while Reavie parred, and another red figure from Bradley—thanks to a nifty up-and-down at the drivable 15th— cut the deficit to one.
"Well, I was just having so much fun," Bradley said afterwards. "The crowds, man, that was so great. Felt like a Ryder Cup for me just because they were so -- you just dream of that as a kid. It was just incredible. I was having the time of my life."
Unfortunately for Bradley, those good times came to an end at the 17th. After his drive found a fairway bunker, Bradley's approach went deep and he made a mess around the green, walking off with a double.
Reavie put the hammer down by sinking a 15-footer for birdie, just his second of the day, bestowing a care-free stroll down the 18th.
"I knew Keegan was going to come out firing today and ready to go," Reavie said. "I just was fortunate enough to stay patient and make that big putt on 17 to give myself a little cushion."
Although the Travelers is just his second career win, and first since 2008, Reavie's victory is not out of left field. The 37-year-old finished T-3 at last week's U.S. Open, and now has five top 10s in 21 starts in 2019. (For context, he entered the season with 10 career top 10s in 257 appearances.) Perhaps a Presidents Cup mix could be the topper of this late bloom, as Reavie is now 13th in the American standings.
For his final-round efforts, Bradley finished in a tie for second with Zack Sucher, who provided some fireworks of his own...
Sucher ends in style
The 32-year-old journeyman—who watched a five-shot lead vanish on Saturday—saw his high standing in jeopardy with a double at the ninth, bringing him to seven over in his last 18 holes.
But Sucher, playing on a medical extension after ankle and knee surgery, answered with vigor down the stretch, playing the final nine in five under, highlighted by a chip-in for par at the 72nd hole. Entering with 26 missed cuts in 36 career starts, Sucher was understandably emotional after the round.
"Oh, man, coming back from medical, we had seven months with no income at all coming in two years ago. During that we had to take out some credit cards, get some interest-free credit cards," Sucher said. "It's amazing. It's life changing, to be honest. It changes the rest of our year. We've got to change up plans and have lots of work to figure out what else we're going to do now."
Sucher, who took home $633,600 for his work in Hartford, has two more starts on his medical extension to rack up 70 or so FedEx Cup points and retain his card. With status locked up next season on the Korn Ferry Tour, Sucher knows the road ahead won't be easy. That he's even this far down is an opportunity not lost on him.
"To be honest, I don't know where it puts me, but it's huge for us," Sucher said. "It's exciting. It's awesome."
Sucher will get the chance to keep rolling at this week's Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit.
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Pavan beats Fitzpatrick, and "bogey hole," at BMW
Andrea Pavan called it his "bogey hole," which technically wasn't true. The 30-year-old made just one bogey in six tries at Golfclub Munchen Eichenried’s par-5 18th during the BMW International Open, although he never reached the 589-yarder in two. Not that it mattered. When he needed it most, Pavan birdied the 18th during a playoff against Matthew Fitzpatrick to win his second career Euro Tour victory.
“I thought I had a chance starting the day," Pavan said. "I was playing very well coming into the week.”
The Italian began his day four shots back of Jordan Smith but managed to get into the mix with a bogey-free six-under 66, his lowest score of the season. Though Smith went sideways with a 72, Fitzpatrick answered Pavan's pace with a 69 to force sudden death.
After trading pars on the 18th, the two went back to the tee. Hitting his drive into the rough, Pavan's second wasn't much better, his ball sailing in the thick stuff on the other side of the fairway. But given a favorable lie, Pavan's third shot with a wedge settled three feet from the pin. Fitzpatrick's third went into a bunker, and his inability to get up-and-down gave Pavan the victory.
Prior to last year's win at the D + D Real Czech Masters, Pavan's career was stuck in neutral. He had to make six trips to Qualifying School, and rarely competed for a title on the Old World circuit. While has hasn't done much of note since last August, the BMW proved Pavan's Czech triumphant was no fluke.
“This is amazing to be honest,” Pavan said. "I’m glad it finished so close. Winning is so hard.”
Outside the top 700 at the start of 2018, Pavan moves to No. 83 in the world with the W, a career-best.
Underdog Irishman wins Amateur Championship
If the Open Championship plays out like the Amateur Championship, a severe Guinness shortage is on the horizon.
Hosting the Amateur for the first time since 1949, one of Ireland's own in James Sugrue captured the R&A crown, defeating Euan Walker 2 Up at Portmarnock.
"It has been a fairytale week. It still is very hard to believe what has happened. I am looking at the trophy and it is starting to sink in," Sugrue said.
He was not considered a contender at the start of the week, ranked 249th in the World Am rankings. That he opened with a 77 in the 36-hole qualifying didn't help. Yet the 22-year-old continued to outlast his opponents, with a handful of matches going to the 18th green. That included his final match with Walker. Five Up at the turn, Sugrue saw his lead slowly dissipate until it was tied after 33 holes. But he won the 35th hole with a par, and Walker conceded the final after a bad tee shot.
“I was very worried when it went back to all square, very worried,” said Sugrue, who was cheered on by the partisan, and merry, crowd. “Euan is just that type of player where he doesn’t really hit bad shots ... I had to create opportunities myself and thankfully it worked.”
Sugrue is the first Irish player to win the Amateur since Alan Dunbar in 2012. The victory gives Sugrue an invite to the 2020 Masters U.S. Open, this year's U.S. Amateur, and next month's Open Championship at Royal Portrush, residing three hours up the Irish coastline from Portmarnock. And if the galleries were boisterous for Sugrue, should Rory McIlroy or Graeme McDowell found themselves in contention, Portrush is going to put Bethpage to shame.
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