1. Andrew Landry’s win at the Valero Texas Open was his first PGA Tour title in his 32nd start, but it’s been a long road for him to reach his goal.
He grew up playing on a nine-hole course, battled through mini-tours, got to the PGA Tour in 2016 where he missed nine cuts in 18 starts and finished 178th on the FedEx Cup points list. Last year, he finished fourth on the Web.com Tour and was promoted. He becomes the seventh first-time winner on the Tour this season and the third in the last five weeks.
Being a Texan, this win is obviously extra special and so is the timing of the win, coming just a month after he and his wife gave birth to their first child, Brooks.
Landry lost in a playoff earlier this year at the CareerBuilder then proceeded to miss four cuts before taking time off to welcome the new baby. He returned just last week at the RBC Heritage where he finished tied for 42nd.
2. In The Bag: The clubs Landry used for his win were a Ping G30 driver, Ping G three- and five-wood, Ping iBlade irons (3-PW), Vokey wedges (52 and 60 degrees), a Ping PLD ZB-S putter and a Titleist ProV1 ball.
3. By the way, the Valero Texas Open may not be one of the marquee events on the PGA Tour, and it may not be not be played on one of the players’ favourite courses on the tour at TPC San Antonio, but it does do a great job in rewarding the winner. Rather than presenting a jacket to the winner as so many tournaments do (and let’s face it, the only jacket that really means anything is the Green Jacket), it offers up a pair of cowboy boots. It’s so very Texan and so very cool.
4. Landry wasn’t the only first-time winner in golf on Sunday. Moriya Jutanugarn also notched her maiden win, taking the HUGEL-JTBC LA Open. Moriya is the older sister of Ariya, a seven-time winner on the LPGA Tour. The victory makes them just the second set of sisters to win on tour. The other pair is Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam.
And since I know you’re asking, there have been 12 sets of brothers to win PGA Tour events. It also includes the Turnesea clan who had four different brothers – Joe, Jim, Mike and Phil – capture titles between 1924 and 1951.
5. Brooke Henderson missed the cut at the HUGEL-JTBC LA Open after struggling to a second-round 79, equaling her highest score as a professional. The Smiths Falls, Ont., product was under the weather in Los Angeles and that led to the poor score. It also points out how often the circumstances of a golfer’s performance are not considered by fans. It’s all about the number beside her name and that’s unfair.
We all have bad days at the office for different reasons. It reminds me of the time when the late Dawn Coe-Jones was travelling on tour with her infant son, Jimmy. She had a lousy day on the course with a poor round and speaking to her after she said: “I bet Arnie and Jack never stayed up most of the night with a sick baby.”
The missed cut for Henderson is her third of the season, which is the most in one year in her brief career. The six-time LPGA Tour winner is back at it this week, playing in the MediHeal Championship in San Francisco.
6. Fresh off his announcing gig at the Masters with TSN, David Hearn recorded his best finish of the year with a tie for 16th at the Valero Texas Open. Hearn picked up 50 FedEx Cup points with that performance, a much-needed gain as he tries to regain full privileges on the PGA Tour.
Last season, the Brantford, Ont., resident ended up 128th on the FedEx Cup list, dropping him into a limbo-like category where he has limited status and needs to scramble to get into tournaments. He started the week in Texas as an alternate before getting into the field.
He is playing again this week in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. There, he’ll partner with Seamus Power in the team event.
7. Longtime friends Corey Conners and Mackenzie Hughes will partner in New Orleans and will pay tribute to those affected by the Humboldt, Sask., tragedy. In a progressive move, the tournament is using walk-up music for the golfers as they come to the first tee and the Canadian duo, who amateur golf against each other around Ontario and went to school together at Kent State, will play “Big League” by Tom Cochrane. A special version of that song was performed by the singer on TSN in the wake of the tragedy.
8. Jaclyn Lee, a member of Canada’s national team, posted a tournament-record-tying score of nine-under 207 to win the Big Ten Championship over the weekend. Lee, who plays for Ohio State, fired rounds of 66-68-73 to earn the title, joining Karin Mundinger as Canadians to win the title. A 20-year-old Calgary resident, Lee received an entry into the Symetra Tour’s Prasco Charity Championship June 29-July 1 for winning.
9. News of the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur was welcomed in most corners as a positive step towards enhancing women’s golf. However as Beth Ann Nichols pointed out in Golfweek, it also creates a dilemma with the tournament being held the same week as one of the LPGA’s majors, the ANA Inspiration. That event has historically rewarded top amateurs with a place in the field. Past amateur participants have included Morgan Pressel, Brooke Henderson and Lucy Li. There’s even an ANA Inspiration Junior event that rewards the winner with a spot in the major championship.
Now the LPGA is rightly worried that the amateur event might overshadow its tournament, taking television eyes away. According to Nichols, Mike Whan, the LPGA commissioner, wasn’t informed about Augusta National’s move until shortly before the public announcement and is now scrambling to try and find a new date or some sort of compromise.