Cantlay's Memorial magic, Lee6's breakthrough and Haney double downs on Korean comments: What you missed
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 3.
Cantlay captures Memorial
Fair or not, Patrick Cantlay had the rep as one who couldn't finish. He changed that tune in Columbus, thanks to an assist from the sport's greatest closer.
Starting his round four back of 54-hole leader Martin Kaymer, Cantlay went lights-out at Muirfield Village Sunday, turning in a bogey-free 64 to win the Memorial by two.
“It feels like a win has been coming,” Cantlay said.
No kidding. Cantlay entered Ohio with seven top 10s in 12 starts, including T-3s at the RBC Heritage and PGA Championship. Yet with Kaymer seemingly unable to do wrong—the two-time major champ began his day with three birdies in his first seven holes—it appeared Cantlay's second tour victory would have to wait another week.
But Kaymer stumbled with three bogeys in five holes right as Cantlay went on a birdie binge, and though Adam Scott went on a red-figure run of his own, it proved too late to match Cantlay's eight-under performance.
So what proved the difference? Apparently, words from tournament host Jack Nicklaus.
Cantlay, who won the Nicklaus Award as the top collegiate player in 2011, bumped into the Golden Bear on Wednesday. According to Cantlay, Nicklaus told him, "You’ve got to figure out how to play those last 30 minutes.”
"Hearing it from someone like Jack gives it a little more weight – a lot more weight,” Cantlay said.
If that wasn't enough, Nicklaus dropped some more knowledge later in the week, telling Cantlay he needs to relax more on the course. “I definitely said that to myself down the stretch today," Cantlay said. "It put me a little more at ease.”
Turns out milkshakes aren't the only thing Nicklaus feeds his guests.
Cantlay will move to No. 8 in the world with his win (a career best), and, for what it's worth, 11th in fourth-round scoring. Not bad for someone who can't close the door.
Tiger, Spieth sharp in Pebble tune-ups
With five career wins at the Memorial, anything less can feel like a loss for Tiger Woods. But after a rusty showing at Bethpage Black and so-so play through three days in Dublin, Sunday was exactly the appetizer his fans, and perhaps Tiger himself, needed before next week's U.S. Open.
Eleven back of Kaymer when he teed off, Woods got the early afternoon galleries rocking with seven birdies in his first 12 holes. He was unable to ride the wave home; Woods bogeyed the short 14th, failed to birdie the very gettable par-5 15th and bogeyed the final hole. Conversely, a five-under 67 for a T-9 finish offered hope that the 43-year-old's game is trending upward as he heads to Pebble Beach.
“It could have been a little better, for sure,” Woods said, a nod to missing four of his last six greens after starting 12-for-12. “Going into today, I was never going to win the tournament, but I was hoping I could get something positive going into the Open, and I was able to accomplish that, which is great, and get some nice positive momentum going into a nice practice week.
“But overall it was a great day. I hit the ball really well and made some nice putts.”
Also rolling them was Jordan Spieth. Despite struggles with his second shots (-3.348 sg/approach), Spieth was 6.807 in sg/around-the-green, and his strong putting continued with a 4.035 figure. Although the Texan wasn't firing on all cylinders Sunday, he still finished T-7, his third consecutive top 10.
“Right now I’ve been in a position come Sunday the last three weeks of having a chance to probably do something special and win,” Spieth said. “This is where I like to be. I feel like I didn’t play fantastic golf this week by any means, and I’m in the top 10 and had a chance to win. That’s where I’d like to live week-to-week, and then when it’s on, I’m out in front.”
Woods and Spieth, both past winners at Pebble, are listed among the U.S. Open favorites.
"Six" finishes first in Charleston
Jeongeun Lee6 looks like a typo on a leader board. The player can't believe it's up there, either. "As a rookie player, I thought—I mean, I just wanted—I didn't even expect to win the tournament this fast," she said afterwards.
Conversely, on a day when the Country Club of Charleston was forcing competitors into a slew of mistakes, there was nothing off about Lee6's performance, shooting the only under-par round of the final five groups to win the U.S. Women's Open.
While those other nine players played the course in a combined 30-over, Lee—who has the "six" at the end of her name because she was the sixth player named Jeongeun Lee on the Korean LPGA Tour—was able to keep the big number at bay while making three birdies in a five-hole stretch on the back nine. The highlight came at the par-3 11th, as Lee6's approach caught the left shoulder of the reverse redan green, her ball finishing 10 feet from the hole. She cleaned up what remained for birdie, grabbing a stroke-and-a-half on the field.
Though Lee bogeyed two of the final three holes, only Celine Boutier had a chance to tie. But Boutier's birdie try from a bunker failed to reach the green, giving Lee her maiden LPGA Tour victory.
As our Chris Powers notes, Lee did not have an easy voyage to this point, a tragic accident leaving her father paralyzed when Lee was a child. The hardships that brought gave the $1 million winner's check extra meaning for Lee.
"By looking at my family situation back then, I thought about wanting to play golf because I wanted to support my family no matter what," she said. "And after I became like successful in KLPGA for three years, thinking about that, this makes me want to play more and kind of wanted to play in the tournament enjoyable."
Haney doubles down on Korean comments
Following Lee6's win, it was inevitable.
Last week golf instructor Hank Haney, along with co-host Steve Johnson, made remarks deemed racist and sexist regarding the U.S. Women's Open on Haney's eponymous radio show. Haney mockingly predicted "a Korean" would win this week's event at Country Club of Charleston, adding he couldn't name six players on the LPGA Tour save for those with the last name "Lee." The outcry was swift, with golf personalities and fans criticizing Haney for his insensitivity. The PGA Tour and SiriusXM suspended Haney from his program Thursday, and issued a statement that they were reviewing Haney's status going forward.
For his part, Haney had been quiet following the suspension...that is, until Lee6 pulled away on Sunday. That gave Haney all the ammo he needed to fire back at his critics.
Whatever his intentions, Haney's proclamations received a mixed reception. Though some offered replies of support and agreement, most considered Haney's tweets ignorant and obtuse, with a fair share of responses accusing Haney of unjustifiably taking a victory lap.
Call it an odd flex, or vindication. But we'll leave it to the LPGA to summarize the situation:
Euro rookie wins for second time in seven starts
If "Guido Migliozzi" doesn't ring a bell, you're forgiven. That unfamiliarity won't last much longer.
A recent graduate of European Q-School, the 22-year-old has now won twice in his rookie campaign following a victory at the Belgian Knockout.
The event, which is a hybrid of stroke and match play, saw Migliozzi place 11th in 36-hole qualifying to reach the knockout round of 64. After winning his first three matches, the Italian dispatched of Bernd Wiesberger and Ewen Ferguson before defeating Challenge Tour player Darius Van Driel in the finals by four shots.
“I'm feeling very good,” said Migliozzi. “I managed my game very well this afternoon, all the shots. It's been great playing like this with such great players. I'm playing solid and I will try to continue this quality in the future. He (Van Driel) played very solid. We played together on the Challenge Tour and it's been a great match. He's a good player.”
Outside the top 600 in the OWGR just 14 events ago, the last man standing at the Knockout is expected to jump to No. 95. With his inaugural win coming at the Magical Kenya Open in March, it's clear Migliozzi is comfortable on the Old World circuit. Forget qualifying for the 2020 Olympics with Francesco Molinari; come next summer, don't be surprised Migliozzi's in the running for a Ryder Cup spot.
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