LPGA TOUR NOT PERFECT, BUT ANOTHER 10.

April 18 2016


Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls snagged her seventh-straight top 10 finish with a final round 67 at the LOTTE Championship in Hawaii. Henderson had rounds of 69-70-71-67 for a total of 10-under par and tied for 10th place. It's the third straight tournament she's tied for 10th. Henderson earned $32,224 to bring her season total to $375,112 for eighth place on the LPGA money list.



A couple of key stats: Henderson's ball striking has been great. She's fourth in scoring average (69.66) and 13th on Tour in greens in regulation at 75 percent. She ranks third in rounds under par with 27. She ranks second on the Tour in birdies with 139.

An encouraging sign was she started with that 69, just the second time this season she has broken 70 in the first round.

Henderson has been working with her dad, Dave, on hitting the ball farther off the tee and she's been averaging 269.09 yards off the tee, ranking 21st on Tour. Not bad, right?

That's a ways behind Lexi Thompson who's averaging 286 yards off the tee. I was checking into Henderson's stats on the Saturday at the ANA Championship a couple of weeks ago in Palm Springs. It turned out Thompson averaged 309 yards off the tee on the measured holes that day.

But how about this: she hit one 359 yards on Thursday at the LOTTE Championship. It came on the par-5 fifth hole and she had a 9-iron into the green and made eagle from about eight feet.

Coming Up: The LPGA is at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic presented by CTBC in San Francisco this week. Henderson led after 54 holes here last year and finished third after a final round 74. Lydia Ko won for the second year in a row when she beat Morgan Pressel in a playoff.

PGA TOUR
GRACE UNDER PRESSURE, BUT NOT FOR CHARLEY

There was a lot going in the final round of the RBC Heritage at the Harbour Town Golf Links, one of my favourite courses on the TOUR because it stresses every part of a player's game and isn't your typical bomb and gouge layout.

Brendan Grace added to an already great resume with his first win on the PGA TOUR, though the 27-year-old is hardly a stranger to lifting trophies (though I don't know how often he wears plaid jackets).

Grace has won 10 times around the world, finished in the top five in a couple of majors last year and is the 14th ranked player in the world, so this shouldn't have come as a surprise. He had a final round 66 to overcome 54-hole leader Luke Donald, who popped up near the lead on a Sunday for the first time in a while.

Veteran Charley Hoffman got himself in contention going into Sunday, but if you've been following things, you knew the odds were not in his favour of getting to slip on that plaid jacket.

Hoffman had a 75 on Sunday, continuing his final round struggles. Here are his final rounds this season: 80-70-73-75-75-76-74-75.

There are 201 players ranked in the scoring stats. Hoffman is 200th in final round scoring. Justin Hicks is 200th with an average of 77 in his three final rounds this season.

ICYWW: Tops in final round scoring is Danny Willett at 67.50 for four rounds.

The colourful Bryson DeChambeau made his pro debut at the Heritage and finished in a tie for fourth after a final round 68.

It's a great start for the 22-year-old, who finished off his amateur days with a tie for 21st at The Masters last week. Did we mention the 2015 NCAA and U.S. Amateur champ, a physics student who embraces Homer Kelley's Golfing Machine theories, uses irons which are all the same length? He's got some Moe Norman in his swing.

DeChambeau is trying to earn his card in the battlefield, like Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth did before him. His top 10 finish at the Heritage means he won't have to burn another of his seven sponsor exemptions to play in the Valero Texas Open this week.

Players in DeChambeau's situation have to earn as many FedEx Cup points as the player who finished 150th on the list last year to gain unlimited sponsor exemptions for the rest of the season. That was 361 points.

He was projected to earn 123 points at the Heritage.

Coming Up: The Valero Texas Open at the JW Marriott TPC in San Antonio, TX. Last year, Jimmy Walker beat Spieth by four shots. A key to Walker's win last year: he made birdie 75 percent of the time on the par 5s while the rest of the field managed to do it at just a 27.9 percent clip. This track played as one of the toughest on TOUR last year (scoring average for the week was 74.58). One of the highlights of the week was Aaron Baddeley knocking it into the hole from the tee on the 336-yard par-4 17th hole in the first round. Unfortunately, it was for a three because his first tee shot wound up in an unplayable lie in the woods.

Web.com Tour
On the fifth day, he rested

Rideau View member Brad Fritsch had a week to savour his first win on the Web.com Tour. He won on the first hole of a playoff over Ollie Schniederjans in Colombia to win the Servientrega Championship presented by Efecty and $126,000 to jump up to fifth place on the money list. The top 25 earn their PGA TOUR cards for 2017.

Coming Up: The Web.com Tour is in Mexico this week at the El Bosque Mexico Championship presented by INNOVA at the El Bosque Country Club in Leon, Guanajuato.

ARCHIVE

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April 11 2016

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