Kevin Kisner saving his millions for a rainy day
Different Strokes: Maguire blown off course; Harrington still practising as hard as ever
Kevin Kisner celebrates with his caddie Duane Bock after defeating Matt Kuchar during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club. Photo: Darren Carroll/Getty Images
Money doesn’t matter? Really? At least there was an element of honesty from Kevin Kisner following his WGC-Dell Technologies Matchplay final win over Matt Kuchar which earned him a career best payday of $1.75 million.
In getting some payback for his chastening final defeat to Bubba Watson a year ago, Kisner – who started life on the mini-tours before moving step-by-step to the big league – recounted the story of how he owed his start as a fledgling professional to a $16,000 loan from his father which enabled to get a foot on the ladder.
Using the funds to play mini-tour before progressing onto the web.com and ultimately the PGA Tour itself, Kisner explained: “I never asked him for another dollar. And I think that’s probably the coolest part of my career is I had to make putts when it mattered starting at a young age . . . . when you’ve got to make a putt to clear money for the week to fill your car up and drive back home it makes you a stronger person. So, money has driven me my whole life!”
Kisner – who jumped from 50th to 25th in the latest world rankings and also into contention for a place on the Tiger Woods’s USA team for the Presidents Cup later this year – has no notions of splashing out on anything too soon: “I hoard that money like crazy, because I don’t know when it’s going to run out and I don’t want it to run out and I don’t know how long I’m going to be able to make 10-footers.”
Men, women and seniors all welcome
The idea of pitching young guns, old hands and elite women golfers together in an actual tournament adds some terrific spice to this week’s Jordan Mixed Open, where players from the Challenge Tour, the Staysure Tour and the Ladies European Tour will battle it out for honours.
The novel concept is another sign of the outside-the-box thinking coming from European Tour HQ with 40 players from each of the three tours included in the field, among them four Irish players: Michael Hoey, Cormac Sharvin and Robin Dawson from the Challenge Tour and Brendan McGovern from the seniors circuit. Unfortunately, there is no Irish representative from the LET.
One of the keener rivalries, you suspect, will be that of Scottish husband and wife Scott and Kylie Henry. Scott plays on the Challenge Tour, his wife on the LET. “I’m sure we’ll have some sort of wage running throughout the tournament. It will probably involve household chores,” quipped Scott.
Maguire misses out on win but climbs rankings
Leona Maguire’s quest for a maiden tour win was blown away in high winds in the final round of the IAO Championship at Morongo in California but, showing great fortitude on the homeward run, the Co Cavan player salvaged a career-best tied-fourth finish.
Importantly, Maguire jumped her from 12th to seventh in the latest Volvik Race for the Card standings, with the top-10 players at the end of the season securing precious LPGA Tour cards.
Maguire held the tournament lead heading into the final round but was a victim of the strong winds on the front nine as he suffered four bogeys and a double-bogey. However, a run of seven straight pars on the homeward run steadied the ship and she managed her sole birdie on the Par 3 17th.
Maguire – who has top-five finishes in each of her two outings on the Symetra Tour this season – remains in California for this week’s top stop, the Windsor Classic.
Word of Mouth
“I was standing on 16 green, I said to myself, ‘You’ve got to do something that’s tournament winning’. The shot to 17 was tournament winning level” – Graeme McDowell on coming up with the effective tournament-winning tee-shot on the Par 3 17th where he hit a six-iron to five feet for a birdie.
By the Numbers
4-4: The sequence of a European winner on the PGA Tour extended to a fourth straight week with Graeme McDowell’s success in the Dominican Republic. The streak started with Francesco Molinari’s win in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, continued with Rory McIlroy’s success in The Players and then Paul Casey’s defence in the Valspar Championship.
In the Bag
Graeme McDowell, Corales Puntcana Championship
Driver - Srixon Z785 (9.5 degrees)
3-wood - TaylorMade M2 2017 (15 degrees)
5-wood - Srixon Z F45 (19 degrees)
Hybrid - Ping G410 (22 degrees)
Irons - (4-9) Srixon Z 745
Pitching Wedge - Cleveland RTX 2.0
Sand Wedge - Cleveland RTX 2.0 Custom (52 degrees)
Lob Wedge - Cleveland 588 RTX MB (58 degrees)
Putter - Odyssey White Hot 7
Ball - Srixon Z-Star XV
“Well played @Graeme_McDowell” - Luke Donald is brief and to the point in getting across his congratulations to G-Mac.
“Starting to get welts back on my hands after my lay off. It’s a pity my speed has not come back with them. Down about 8mph of ball speed (potentially 20 yards) which is quite disheartening as everyone else is getting longer. Hopefully the strength and mobility will come back in time” - Pádraig Harrington hasn’t let up in his practice routine since returning from injury.
“Well what a week that was to win with my son on my bag @jack01 missing my daughters birthday @EllieGallacher 2 to top it off Mother’s Day @gallos1 it means so much big thank you @HIO_2019 @EuropeanTour” - Stephen Gallacher on ending a five-year drought to win the Hero Indian Open.
Know the Rules
Q: In playing an approach shot to a green, Player A’s ball plugs in the face of a bunker. On assessing the situation, determining that he can’t play the shot, he decides to take relief. What are his options?
A: Player A is entitled to take an unplayable ball relief, using four options: 1)for one penalty stroke, the player may return to where he played the original shot and take stroke-and-distance relief; 2) for one penalty stroke, the player may take back-on-the-line relief in the bunker; 3)for one penalty stroke, the player may take lateral relief in the bunker; 4) for a total of two penalty strokes, the player may take back-on-the-line relief outside the bunker based on a reference line going straight back from the hole through the spot of the original ball.