U.S. runs away with Presidents Cup, more rules drama and LPGA star sounds off: What you missed this weekend
JERSEY CITY—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 Oct. 2.
U.S. routs Internationals at Presidents Cup
Following the first day of play, the issue was never in doubt. You could argue it was over before balls were in the air at Liberty National. For the 10th time in the event's 12-match history, the United States walked away with the Presidents Cup, defeating the International squad 19-11.
Entering Sunday's singles format with an 11-point lead, the U.S. needed a single point to secure the cup. Though they won just one of the day's first nine matches, Daniel Berger's W over Si Woo Kim in the day's fourth battle proved to be the decisive blow.
Although calls to fix the Presidents Cup are far from new, the blowout infused a palpable sense of urgency to address the competition's future. In one sense, these sentiments are a bit overblown; the Internationals lost by just one point in 2015, and the American club is one of the most explosive and deep clubs seen in team golf in quite some time. On the other side of the spectrum, the Internationals have just one victory and one tie in the event's history. Moreover, though the Ryder Cup too was once a lopsided affair, it's current combative state makes the Presidents Cup pale in comparison.
These are questions for another day. In the moment, appreciate the Presidents Cup for what it was: a dominant performance by an alarmingly-menacing squad, one only growing in formidability as Le Golf National nears.
More rules drama
It wouldn't be a premier golf tournament if the rules of golf unnecessarily reared their head. On Saturday afternoon, Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed were tied with Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen entering Liberty National's par-4 12th hole. Day, just off the front of the green with his drive, pitched his second to tap-in range, with the Americans conceding the birdie. Oosthuizen, just off the back, attempted his eagle shot, only to watch it hurry past the cup. Spieth, knowing the Internationals were already in the hole with three, picked up Oosthuizen's still-rolling ball, trying to curtail the catcalls from the stands. But instead of Spieth and Reed attempting their birdie tries, the official for the match disqualified the Americans from the hole, as disrupting the path of a moving ball is against the rules.
In the official's estimation, the ball still could have come back to the cup. It should be noted the ball was moving down a hill when Spieth picked it up.
Though not as absurd, Kevin Chappell had a bizarre incident as well, finding himself in a camera tower on the par-3 10th. After contemplating on whether to hit the shot, Chappell decided to take a drop, only to be informed by an official he had grounded his club in the hazard. A ruling that forced Chappell to concede the hole, and one that had Chappell in the official's ear for the next few holes.
Though the officials were technically in the right, a bit of common sense was desperately needed in both situations, as it was against the spirit of the contest. It's time officials take a backseat on golf's bigger stages.
Putting "president" in "Presidents Cup"
President Donald Trump took in the Sunday show at Liberty National, sitting with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan off the 14th (normally 18th) green. Trump participated in the trophy presentation, awarding captain Steve Stricker the cup and interacting with the U.S. team. Trump also dedicated the American victory to all those suffering in Puerto Rico.
It was the first appearance by a sitting president at the event since 2000.
Earlier in the week, three former U.S. presidents—Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama—were at Liberty National, serving as honorees for the tournament's opening ceremony. This is not President Trump's first appearance at a professional golf tournament this season. In July, he was on hand for the 2017 Women's U.S. Open, hosted at Trump's Bedminster club.
Dunne daggers Rory at finish
Last time you heard the name Paul Dunne, the amateur was playing in the final group of the 2015 Open Championship at St. Andrews. Alas, the Irishman fired a final-round 78, falling outside the tournament's top 25, and hasn't done much of global merit since. That is, until Sunday, when the 24-year-old posted an impressive nine-under 61 at Close House G.C. to win the British Masters, his maiden victory on the European Tour.
“There is a sense of relief to prove it to myself that I can get it done,” said Dunne. “I think I've improved a lot mentally over the last year in these kind of situations. On a lot of Sundays last year I found myself feeling like I needed to press forward trying to chase my card. I struggled with that. My Sunday performances weren't that strong. And this year, it's something I've definitely improved on."
Dunne sealed the deal with a chip-in on the 18th, a birdie which was good enough for a three-shot victory over Rory McIlroy.
As for the four-time major winner, McIlroy made a sterling 64-63 weekend charge for one of this best finishes of the season. Unfortunately, with just one tournament left, McIlroy faces the prospect of finishing his campaign winless.
Conversely, given his health woes this year, that McIlroy turned in such a performance is (hopefully) a harbinger of what's to come in 2018.
LPGA stars sound off
From constant travel to stiff competition to the maddening nature of the sport itself, professional golf presents its share of hurdles. But flying signs are usually not part of this obstacle course.
And yet, players at the New Zealand Women's Open found themselves dodging debris, competing in dangerous weather conditions before play was finally called. In one video of the carnage, third-round leader Belen Mozo yells, "This tour, we're like sheeps." A statement Mozo, and her fellow players, backed up on Twitter:
Have to feel for the players, many which already voiced their displeasure at the shortening of the Evian Championship weeks ago. There's clearly a discontent between the league office and its competitors, a relationship that needs to be fixed before spiraling into a damaged rapport.