Welcome back to another week of Hittin’ the Links!
This week was a fun one. Although Justin Thomas left with the hardware, Tiger Woods played his best golf in quite a long time, fishing T12 at PGA National. Thomas, not to be outshined, won the event under fading daylight on the first playoffs hole.
We’ll have plenty of Honda Classic coverage, plus a check-in on the LPGA Tour, a few bits of USGA news, and a little Ryder Cup coverage.
Let’s hit the links.
Hole #1: Justin Thomas Wins Honda Classic
Justin Thomas won the Honda Classic this week at PGA National, beating Luke List on the first playoff hole. It took a spectacular birdie on the 72nd hole for Thomas to tie List in regulation, and a similarly-impressive approach shot in the playoff to seal the victory. The win is Thomas’ second this season and the eighth of his career. [Link]
Hole #2: Tiger Woods Finishes 12th
Though he was never completely in contention, Tiger Woods posted his best full-field finish since a tie for 10th at the Wyndham Championship in 2015. Less than a year removed from spinal fusion surgery, Woods could have contended if it were’t for a cumulative score of +8 on the Bear Trap. [Link]
Hole #3: Thomas Has Heckler Ejected, Apologizes
It sounds like Thomas was right in having the heckler ejected, even if he has since apologized. [Link]
Hole #4: USGA Reduces U.S. Open Playoff Length From 18 to Two Holes
The USGA announced this week that they were reducing the length of U.S. Open playoffs from 18 to two holes. The 18-hole playoff was an outlier among golf tournaments, most of which use playoff formats between one and four holes. There hasn’t been a U.S. Open playoff since the 2008 Torrey Pines battle between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate. [Link]
Hole #5: Tiger’s Masters Odds Skyrocket to 15-1
After a strong showing at the Honda Classic, Tiger Woods’ Vegas Masters odds are now pinned at 15-1. A quick reminder that your faithful author will be at the Masters, hopefully taking in an early-morning Woods practice round. [Link]
Hole #6: Jessica Korda Wins Honda LPGA Thailand
Playing in her first tournament of 2018 after a December surgery that required 27 implanted screws to address a long-standing migraine issue, Jessica Korda went 66-62-68-67 at Siam Country Club for her fifth career win, and her first since 2015. [Link]
Hole #7: Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker Named Ryder Cup Vice Captains
Jim Furyk announced this week that Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker will be his Ryder Cup vice captains this upcoming fall. Never fear, Tiger fans; he’s still open to Tiger being a player-captain if his game is in good enough shape .[Link]
Hole #8: Nicklaus Advocates for Rolled-Back Golf Ball
I can’t say I agree with him, but there was a spate of stories this week about Jack Nicklaus’ advocation for rolled-back golf balls on Tour. [Link]
Hole #9: World Handicap System to Debut in 2020
The USGA and R&A have agreed to debut a world handicap system in 2020. The change will bring most golfing nations of the world under one common handicap system. [Link]