This week the PGA Tour moved onto the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club, and it saw a former Ryder Cup player return to the winners’ circle after a six-year winless drought.
J.B Holmes last tasted victory at the FBR Open in February 2008. Since that win, he has undergone brain surgery, elbow surgery and sustained a broken ankle. However he held his nerve down the closing stretch better known as “The Green Mile” to finish on 14 under-par, one shot clear of Jim Furyk, who shot 65 on Sunday.
With the win, Holmes secured the last available place in the Players’ Championship at TPC Sawgrass, which is being held this week.
Rory McIlroy posted his fifth top-10 of the season on a PGA Tour, tying for eighth on 8 under-par, but his chances of winning were ruined after he shot a second round of 76. Padraig Harrington and Darren Clarke both missed the cut on Friday.
The European Tour moved on to Laguna National Golf and Country Club in Singapore for the Championship at Laguna National.
Chile’s Felipe Aguilar earned his first European Tour victory since February 2008(ironically a week after Holmes’ last win on the PGA Tour) after producing an incredible finish on Sunday.
Aguilar amazingly holed his second shot for an eagle on the 72nd hole to shoot a final-round of 62, finishing on 22 under-par, one shot clear of Denmark’s Anders Hansen and America’s David Lipsky.
Simon Thornton and Peter Lawrie were the best of the Irish on 12 under-par tying for 20th.
The European Tour moves to Portugal this week for the Madeira Islands Open, an event co-sanctioned with the European Challenge Tour. American Peter Uihlein is the defending champion.
On the PGA Tour, the so-called ‘fifth major’ The Players’ Championship takes place this week, at TPC Sawgrass.
The tournament always provides one of the highest quality fields of the year, with this year proving no different. 46 of the World’s Top 50 will be in action. However defending champion and World Number One Tiger Woods is missing as he continues to recover from recent back surgery, which has restricted him to just four appearances all season.
Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke are the Irish representatives in the field this week.
This week serves as the perfect opportunity for players such as Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson and Bubba Watson to close the gap on Woods at the top of the world rankings.
TPC Sawgrass provides one of the most spectacular holes in golf, the par-3 17th which is played to an island green surrounded by water and has been the downfall of a number of players in the past number of years, most notably Sergio Garcia, who made a quadruple bogey seven, when tied for the lead last year.
Without question the Players’ Championship is always one of the most exciting and interesting tournaments on the PGA Tour calendar and this year should be no different.
Evan Greer, Pundit Arena.