Ko fires another caddie, Bryan's breakthrough and Poulter living on the edge: Dew Sweeper for April 17
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 April 17.
Bryan gets his breakthrough
Two years ago, Wesley Bryan was a YouTube personality and reality-TV contestant. Now the South Carolina product can call himself a tour regular, as Bryan turned in weekend rounds of 67 and 68 to win the 2017 RBC Heritage.
The triumph wasn't totally out of left field for Bryan, who earned a battlefield promotion from the Web.com Tour at the end of 2016. The rookie had a string of top-10 PGA Tour finishes earlier this season, and his accuracy off the tee and short-game prowess made him one of our tournament favorites. Not that Bryan was oblivious to the gravity of the moment when stepping to the 17th tee.
"Honestly, I just threw up a little in my mouth," Bryan said to Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo, "and I was like, Well, shoot, I guess this is what nervous feels like."
Luckily for Bryan, he managed to par the final two holes for a one-shot victory over Luke Donald, securing a two-year tour exemption in the process. Better yet, he won't be known as "trick-shot artist Wesley Bryan" anymore. Now he'll be, "RBC Heritage champion W..."
You're right, he's taking that label to the grave.
Malnati provides another must-see moment
Peter Malnati is a PGA Tour winner, but most golf fans know him as the "All that...FOR THAT?!" guy. Malnati proved he still has the must-see magic, waving his wand on Harbour Town's 17th hole:
True, the previous 16 holes were not as fortuitous -- Malnati's scorecard was marked with five bogeys and a triple. Although one could make the case (fighting urge) that upon surveying such damage (oh no, here it comes), Malnati could say, "All that … for that."
We'll walk ourselves out, thank you very much.
Jared C. Tilton
Poulter misses full-time status by a stroke
Missing the second half of 2016 due to a foot injury, Ian Poulter has been making appearances in 2017 via medical extension. One problem for Poutler: heading into Hilton Head, the European star needed $144,669 in the next two tournaments to keep full-time status. Fail to reach that benchmark and he'd be at the whim of sponsor exemptions.
While he struggled Sunday at Harbour Town, a strong start correlated to a T-11 finish -- and with it, $114,045 -- for the 41-year-old. Though he could have met the tour's requirement by finishing one stroke better, all he needs at the Valero Texas Open is a top-40 standing.
Poulter is a divisive figure among American crowds, a standing fueled by the Englishman's sterling Ryder Cup record and, ahem, "questionable" actions towards fans. Nevertheless, there's no doubting golf's narrative is more interesting with Poulter involved in the plot. For the sake of theater, here's to Poulter finishing the job in San Antonio.
Martin Kaymer, man of the people
We've all seen a playing partner face trouble on the golf course, and instead of taking their medicine, attempt the hero shot. Sure, Phil Mickelson makes it look easy, but for us lowly amateurs, the success rate is nil. Hell, as Martin Kaymer proved on Saturday at Hilton Head, it remains a challenge for the pros, too.
This reminds me of Us Weekly's "Stars: They're Just Like Us!" segment. Of course, unlike us, Kaymer still made par, which is why he's out there and you're reading this.
Ko fires another caddie
Lydia Ko is an unquestionable talent, one of the top three players of her profession. Sadly, she's also gained a reputation for making impulsive -- critics would say imprudent -- decisions. Case in point: Despite finishing second at the LPGA's Lotte Championship this weekend, the 19-year-old fired caddie Gary Matthews. The pair lasted just nine events together.
If that sounds familiar, it should; Ko gave the boot to Justin Hamilton in October after the duo won four times in 2016. In just over three years, Ko has now gone through nine loopers.
The catalyst behind these moves is no secret. After parting ways with Ko in December, renowned instructor David Leadbetter was outspoken in the role Ko's parents play in her life, saying it was time Lydia became captain of her own ship. From afar, it doesn't appear Ko has grabbed the wheel in 2017.
In their defense, her camp has guided Ko to this juncture; conversely, this arena is filled with heart-wrenching stories of guardians overstepping their bounds. Hopefully Ko doesn't become a cautionary tale.