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Wilco Nienaber

The Slam: Meet the baby-faced bomber who makes Bryson look like a chopper, and the bizarre LPGA DQ

Alex Perry wraps up the week's big talking points on tour
 

Well, it’s the week after the Masters unlike any other and, frankly, I’m yet to come down. How wonderful to see Augusta National in all its glory without all those pesky patrons getting in the way. (By the way, I’m absolutely loving watching golf in America with no fans. It’s a genuine treat. I hope it continues for a long time. Don’t @ me.)

And then came the news that Tiger Woods will tee up before the end of the year. Not only that, he’ll be playing in the PNC Championship alongside his cub Charlie, the 11-year-old who drove social media wild while ripping balls on the range at the start of the year.

I love it whenever there is some news about Woods, because the comments section is almost certainly guaranteed to be inundated with people telling you they “don’t care” or, if they’re feeling particularly witty, the sleeping emoji. Classic.

Spoiler alert: If they’ve gone to the effort to write a comment, they absolutely do care. But don’t tell them. It’s fun. Winking emoji.

Anyway, it’s going to be on Sky Sports, so it should provide a little pre-Christmas golf fix with a strong field and the GOAT.

Right, what else is going on in the tour world this week?

The big-hitting South African Wilco Nienaber was in the thick of the action at either end of the Joburg Open. He started his week by wowing the golf world with a 439-yard drive on the 597-yard par-5 fourth hole during the opening round, and ended it by carding back-to-back bogeys and hand Joachim B Hansen his maiden European Tour title.

Nienaber, who has averaged just shy of 337 yards with the driver this year, was tied with Hansen on the 17th tee at Randpark when his tee shot at the 223-yard par 3 missed the green and somehow stayed out of the water that surrounds the green.

The 20-year-old popped the ball up and look just how close he was to making par…

Nienaber then took an iron off the 18th tee and found a fairway bunker from which he failed to rescue par. Hansen’s winning margin, in the end, was two.

And look what it meant to him…

There was drama on the LPGA Tour too. Not at the top of the leaderboard, where Sei Young Kim cruised to victory at the Pelican Women’s Championship.

Kim, who opened her major account last month at the KPMG – how can you forget the blue wall? – led by five on the 18th tee and could afford a bogey down the last to eventually win by three.

At the other end of the standings, just under the withdrawals of Jasmine Suwannapura and Natalie Gulbis, is the disqualification of Yu Liu.

Well the rules have been relaxed so she must have done something pretty bad to be booted out of the tournament…

Is that it? Maybe just let her come back and sign it? Yeesh.

On the flipside, how do you forget to sign your scorecard? The 25-year-old bogeyed four of the final six holes, so may have had other things on her mind. But that’s like forgetting to put your ball in the hole before picking it up.

Unforgivable. Or, as it is, DQ-worthy.

Up the road in Georgia, everyone was rooting for Camilo Villegas at the RSM Classic after the personal tragedy the Colombian’s family has been through recently.

But how nice to see the four-time PGA Tour winner back challenging.

As it was he finished three back of Robert Streb and Kevin Kisner, who played out a two-hole play-off that was ended by this shot:

It’s Streb’s second PGA Tour win and first since this very same tournament in 2014.

Right, enjoy your week. Here’s hoping for good news regarding golf courses in England reopening soon.

Before you go, don’t forget to…

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Alex Perry

Alex Perry

Alex has been the editor of National Club Golfer since 2017. A Devonian who enjoys wittering on about his south west roots, Alex moved north to join NCG after more than a decade in London, the last five of which were with ESPN. Away from golf, Alex follows Torquay United and spends too much time playing his PlayStation or his guitar and not enough time practising his short game.

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