What's happened in the last week on tour?
Bryson DeChambeau is a PGA Tour winner for a fourth straight season, Thorbjorn Olesen – remember him? – gets an unexpected boost, and Francesco Molinari is on the move. We wrap up the week’s tour news…
DeChambeau gets PGA Tour win No 6
The stats were heavily stacked in his favour and the win was always going to come sooner rather than later.
Bryson DeChambeau got his first victory since upgrading to the 2.0 version of himself thanks to a round-of-the-day 65 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic to flip reverse Matthew Wolff’s three-shot lead at the start of the day.
Just look at these numbers…
- 1st in Driving Distance (350.6 yards)
- 1st in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee (+6.672)
- 1st in Strokes Gained: Putting (+7.831)
DeChambeau is the first player to lead in both SG: Off the Tee and SG: Putting and win since 2004.
He is also the first player to win a PGA Tour event averaging more than 350 yards off the tee.
And despite that, it was actually DeChambeau’s putter that did the damage.
Meanwhile, DeChambeau has played in all four events since the PGA Tour’s restart and is 69-under-par for that stretch, 20 shots better than second-placed Viktor Hovland – who is proving that driving through the night to each event is having little effect on his game.
Danny Willett and Tyrrell Hatton, continuing his fine form, led the European charge, sharing 4th place at 16-under, while Hovland, Matt Wallace and Tom Lewis were tied for 12th two shots back.
European Tour boost for Olesen
The European Tour has decided to allow Thorbjorn Olesen to play again after the Ryder Cup player’s court proceedings were delayed until December 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Olesen was suspended in August of last year after being charged with three offences, including sexual assault and being drunk on an aircraft, while flying home back to London from the US.
The European Tour agreed to lift the suspension “due to this significant and unparalleled delay in the legal process” and Olesen can begin playing again when the action returns in Austria next week ahead of the UK Swing.
Olesen said he is “naturally grateful. He added: “I am incredibly sad about what has happened. I basically haven’t played golf in a year. Since I started playing, I’ve never had anything like that where I haven’t played in such a long time. It’s hard.”
Molinari swapping SWLDN for SoCal
Francesco Molinari was among the European-based players who decided against heading to the States for the PGA Tour’s return.
But that’s all about to change as the Ryder Cup hero has decided to move his family from London to California in order to play more on the PGA Tour.
In a statement released on social media, he revealed he will be looking to return at the PGA Championship, to be held behind closed doors at Harding Park, in August.
Horton award renamed due to murky past
The PGA of America has renamed its Horton Smith Award.
The award, which honours a PGA member for outstanding contributions to professional education, has been changed to the PGA Professional Development Award.
Smith, a two-time Masters champion and PGA president from 1952-54, was a supporter of the PGA’s “Caucasian-only” membership clause, which was part of the their bylaws from 1934-61.
“In renaming the Horton Smith Award, the PGA of America is taking ownership of a failed chapter in our history that resulted in excluding many from achieving their dreams of earning the coveted PGA member badge and advancing the game of golf,” PGA president Suzy Whaley said in a press release.