Hello. Welcome to this week’s Slam – and it was a remarkable week at the Evian Championship and Senior Open, as well as the regular tours. There’s an awful lot to get through – so let’s dive straight in…
Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau made no secret of their excitement to represent Spain and the United States respectively at the Olympic Games. Alas, neither will be in Tokyo after both tested positive for Covid-19.
DeChambeau is replaced by Patrick Reed, who was third alternate behind Brooks Koepka and Patrick Cantlay, who both turned it down.
The Spanish Olympic Committee, meanwhile, decided Rahm will not be replaced: “With no real time to find a replacement and comply with all the medical protocols required at the Olympic Games, Spanish golf will only be represented, in the men’s category, by Adri Arnaus.”
The World No 1, who was forced to pull out of the Memorial Tournament for the same reason despite holding a huge 54-hole lead, reacted in a typically sophiscated manner of which we have become accustomed.
Before this week’s Evian Championship, only one player had carded a round of 61 in a major. Now it’s three.
Jeongeun Lee6 and Leona Maguire each carded a round of 10-under-par at the Evian Resort in the second and fourth rounds respectively.
Maguire, who will play for Ireland in Tokyo, went on to finish in T6.
Lee6, the 2019 US Women’s Open champion, lost in a play-off to Minjee Lee, who picked up her first major championship title.
Lee, now an eight-time LPGA and LET winner and older sister of recent Scottish Open champion Min Woo Lee, will also head to the Olympics to represent Australia.
Lee is also the ninth straight first-time major champion in the women’s game, and the 14th of the of the last 15.
She also came from seven behind to win, tying Patty Sheehan at the 1983 PGA and Karrie Webb at the 2006 ANA Inspiration.
Doddy’s day in the Sun
The Senior Open also took place this week at the splendid Sunningdale – and what a leaderboard we ended with in Surrey.
Miguel Angel Jimenez, Darren Clarke, defending champion Bernhard Langer and Paul Broadhurst all finished in the top five, but it was Welshman Stephen Dodd who topped the lot after a birdie at 18 was enough for a one-shot lead.
Incredibly, Dodd – a three-time European Tour champion – had one played in one event in the 18 months prior to the Senior Open.
Talk about out of nowhere. And it books him a spot in the 150th Open at St Andrews. Dodd has played in the Open before – in 1989, 2005 and 2006 – where he missed the cut on all three occasions.
While Dodd takes the title, it was 2018 champion Jimenez who provided the moment of the week when he holed a slam-dunk albatross on Saturday that needs to be seen to be believed.
Remarkable stuff from the flamboyant Spaniard.
Cameron’s the Champ
Cameron Champ shot a final-round 66 to win his third PGA Tour title at the 3M Open.
Champ fired this remarkable approach to 18 on Sunday to set up a tap in for a two-shot win over Jhonattan Vegas, Charl Schwartzel and – who else? – Louis Oosthuizen.
For Oosthuizen, his Open win in 2010 remains his only PGA Tour title, and he has also extended these rather unwanted records…
Still, sure the millions of dollars in prize money will make up for it.
- RELATED: What’s in Cameron Champ’s bag?
It’s been the year of veteran first-time winners and joining Richard Bland in the European Tour winners’ circle is Nacho Elvira after he lifted the Cazoo Open.
The Spaniard didn’t make life easy for himself at the Celtic Manor. With two putts to win from 18 feet on the 72nd hole, Elvira left himself a three-footer than he never even gave a chance.
The bogey meant he fell into a play-off with clubhouse leader Justin Harding, who had a three putt of his own at the first extra hole and Elvira is a European Tour winner at the 195th attempt.
Right, you’re up to speed.
Enjoy your week, whatever you’re up to.