Golf Talk With Greg Holman – #18
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If Jordan Spieth was playing golf just to make money, he would have attained his goal, 3rd, tied for 4th and tied for 15th the last three weeks is not a bad showing. So far this season Spieth has earned $1,019,000. The world #1 Dustin Johnson is this years top money winner with $3,500,000. Again Spieth had trouble putting the ball in the hole from the 5 to 10 foot range on the undulating greens at Riviera Country Club near LA, where the Genesis Invitational Tournament was contested this past weekend. Spieth could’ve been a factor going into round three but a 73 71 finish sealed his fate. By scoring only two birdies in the final day he wasn’t able to apply any pressure on the eventual winner Max Homa.
It looked like nobody was going to be able to catch Sam Burns after he shot opening rounds of 64 and 66 to open up a five shot lead, but he had three bogies in a row on the back 9 of the third round to shoot a 74. Three more bogies in round four gave him a 69, and a third place finish two shots back. A bogie free 66 which should’ve been a 65 set up a playoff between Homa and Tony Finau who cruised to a 64 with a bogie on the 15th hole. After Homa hit an incredible shot to three feet on the closing hole everyone, including Tony Finau, who had posted a 12 under par 272, thought that Homa had the tournament wrapped up. All Homa had to do was knock in a three footer for a 13 under 271. But it wasn’t to be, the putt rimmed out forcing a playoff.
It’s not often you get a second chance to win in golf, with the momentum clearly on Finau’s side, I gave him the edge in the playoff, but Homa didn’t lose his temper and didn’t appear too shaken up after the way he played the 18th hole. He went into the playoff like a man that still had a job to do. Some overtime to put in if you will. He caught another bad break on the first hole of the playoff when his drive appeared to be stymied behind a tree left of the green on the drivable par 4. He sized up the situation and hooked a sand wedge pitch shot within 15 feet and both players recorded a par 4. When Finau missed a 9 foot par putt on the second hole of the playoff, Homa was able to claim victory.
This weekend the PGA Tour moves to Bradenton, Florida for the WGC Work Day Championship. I’m not going to make any predictions this time. The odds makers list Dustin Johnson as the favorite. The event was relocated from Mexico City where Patrick Reed won last year. Most of the pros in the field either have never seen the course before or haven’t seen it since their college days. Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Rory Mcllroy, Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau, Tony Finau, Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger, will all be in the field. Justin Spieth is taking the week off, and the next week off to gear up for the Players Championship March 11th.