Planet Golf News for Monday, March 25, 2024

Monday, March 25, 2024

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'Artistic' Korda returns to world No. 1 with victory


Today’s Top Tour Stories from Planet Golf News

Good Morning,

Let's dive into a recap of the whirlwind that happened in the golf world Sunday, shall we? It's like our very own fairway soap opera, complete with emotional victories, dramatic finishes, and a sprinkle of golf rule debates to keep things interesting.

First up, let's talk about Peter Malnati's tear-jerking win at the Valspar Championship. Imagine being a 325-1 underdog and then pulling off an unexpected victory – that's Malnati for you. He hadn't tasted victory since 2015, making this win not just a comeback but a full-blown emotional rollercoaster, complete with tears and a heartfelt shoutout to his family and caddie. Malnati's victory wasn't just a personal win; it was a reminder that in golf, the underdog can have their day, especially when they pocket a cool $1.512 million and a ticket to the Masters.

On the LPGA front, Nelly Korda reminded us why she's a force to be reckoned with, clinching her 10th career win at the FIR HILLS SERI PAK LPGA Tournament after a nail-biting playoff against Ryann O'Toole. Korda's win wasn't just a testament to her skill but also a dramatic return to the world number one spot. It's like watching your favorite drama series, and the lead character finally gets their moment of glory – except this is real, and Korda's bank account $300,000 heavier.

Then we have the PGA Tour Champions, where Padraig Harrington showed us that age is just a number, securing a win at the Hoag Classic with some last-minute birdies that could give any thriller movie a run for its money. Harrington's win is like a fine wine moment in golf – it gets better with time, especially when it sets the stage for his induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Meanwhile, the DP World Tour saw Jesper Svensson snagging his first title at the Porsche Singapore Classic in a heart-stopping playoff against Kiradech Aphibarnrat. It's the rookie dream – winning so early in the season, and Svensson made it look as easy as a Sunday morning round, except with a hefty $425,000 prize to show for it.

And in the world of LIV Golf, the tour is moving its UK Invitational to what's been dubbed the 'Hardest Ever' course at the JCB Golf and Country Club. It's like the plot twist no one saw coming, promising golfers a challenge that could either make or break their game.

But wait, there's more – from Charlie Woods making his AJGA debut to Rory McIlroy's rollercoaster PGA Tour ride and debates about 'dumbing down' golf rules. It's all happening in the golf universe, proving that the game is anything but predictable.

As we gear up for the upcoming LPGA event in Las Vegas, which promises a groundbreaking format that combines stroke and match play, it's clear that golf isn't just a sport; it's a saga filled with highs, lows, and everything in between. [Michael Wolf]

1 Valspar Championship

Recap: Sunday at the Valspar Championship, Peter Malnati emerged victorious, securing his first PGA Tour win since 2015. Malnati, who was a 325-1 underdog at the start of the week, shot a 4-under 67 in the final round at Innisbrook to win the tournament by two strokes over Cameron Young. This win marks Malnati's first victory in nine years, his last being the 2015 Sanderson Farms Championship. The victory was particularly emotional for Malnati, who openly wept during his interview on NBC, reflecting on the improbability of his win and the support of his family and caddie throughout his career.

Cameron Young finished as the runner-up, making it easier for Malnati by taking a bogey on the final hole for a 68. This was Young's seventh runner-up finish without a win. The tournament was characterized by a series of rallies and meltdowns, with Malnati and Young playing a group apart as they navigated the challenging finishing stretch at Innisbrook.

Malnati's win was not only significant for his career but also earned him a $1.512 million prize, his first trip to the Masters, and a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour. He is also assured of getting into the remaining four $20 million signature events without any help. Malnati's victory was part of a trend this season of long-shot winners on the PGA Tour, with his 350-1 odds being the second-longest to win on tour this year.

The Valspar Championship faced challenges beyond the competition itself, including numerous player withdrawals and rounds affected by inclement weather. The tournament, which is the final stop on the PGA Tour's Florida Swing, saw brutal conditions with wind and rain creating tough playing conditions. Despite these challenges, the event concluded with Malnati's remarkable victory.

The overall purse for the Valspar Championship was $8.4 million, with payouts distributed among the players who made the cut. Malnati's win not only provided a significant boost to his earnings but also highlighted the unpredictable nature of golf, where long shots can triumph against the odds.


Recap: Today at the FIR HILLS SERI PAK LPGA Tournament, Nelly Korda emerged victorious after a dramatic playoff, securing her win against fellow American Ryann O'Toole. The tournament, held at Palos Verdes Golf Club in California, concluded with Korda making a bogey on her final two holes, which led to the playoff. However, she quickly atoned for this by defeating O'Toole on the first playoff hole. This victory marks Korda's 10th career LPGA win and her second win of the season in just three starts, propelling her to 28th on the tour's all-time money list with over $9.5 million. The total purse for the tournament was $2 million, with Korda taking home $300,000 for her playoff victory.

3 PGA Tour Champions - Hoag Classic

Recap: Padraig Harrington emerged victorious at the Hoag Classic on Sunday, despite challenging conditions at the Newport Beach Country Club. He rebounded from a double bogey on the 16th hole by securing birdies on the final two holes, which allowed him to clinch the win with a one-stroke lead over Thongchai Jaidee.

The final round was marked by windy conditions, adding to the difficulty for the players. Harrington finished with a 2-under 69, bringing his total to 14-under 199. His win at the Hoag Classic marks his seventh PGA Tour Champions victory.

Thongchai Jaidee also finished the final round with a 69 but had to settle for second place. He parred the 18th after his approach shot fell short and his subsequent pitch went through the green.

Miguel Ángel Jiménez ended up two strokes behind Harrington, finishing third after bogeying the 17th hole. Stephen Ames came in fourth at 11 under, while Jerry Kelly and K.J. Choi were tied for fifth at 10 under. Steve Stricker finished with a 70, placing him further back in the standings.

The victory comes as a significant achievement for Harrington, who is set to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in June. He is a three-time major champion, having won the British Open twice and the PGA Championship once.

4 DP World Tour - Porsche Singapore Classic

Recap: Sunday at the DP World Tour - Porsche Singapore Classic, Jesper Svensson won his first DP World Tour title after a thrilling playoff against Kiradech Aphibarnrat. The victory came at the Porsche Singapore Classic, marking a significant milestone in Svensson's career. The final showdown between Svensson and Aphibarnrat extended to the third playoff hole, where Svensson emerged victorious. This win is particularly notable as it represents Svensson's maiden victory on the DP World Tour.

During the final round, Svensson delivered an exceptional performance, firing a nine-under-par 63, which included a remarkable start of birdie, birdie, eagle. This performance allowed him to equal the course record at Laguna National Golf Resort Club and propelled him into the lead. Aphibarnrat, on the other hand, managed to tie Svensson at 17 under after a dramatic finish to his round, which included a crucial par putt on the 17th and an eagle on the 18th.

The playoff was intense, with both players initially making a birdie on their first trip up the last hole, followed by a pair of pars. The decisive moment came when Aphibarnrat bogeyed after going over the back of the 18th green, leaving Svensson with two putts for a par and the victory.

Svensson's win is described as 'unreal' by the golfer himself, highlighting the significance of this achievement in his rookie season on the DP World Tour. Having come close to winning in previous tournaments, Svensson expressed amazement at securing a victory so early in his career on the tour.

The event also featured notable performances from other golfers, including England's Sam Bairstow who finished alone in third place, and Paul Casey, who, despite a low Official Golf World Ranking, managed to finish in sixth place after a final round of 69.

5 LIV Golf

6 College Golf

7 All Things Rory

8 Rules of Golf

9 All Things Wood

10 Upcoming: LPGA Las Vegas

About: The upcoming LPGA event in Las Vegas is the T-Mobile Match Play presented by MGM Rewards, scheduled to take place from April 3 to April 7, 2024, at Shadow Creek. This event marks a significant evolution in the match-play format, introducing a new sponsor, T-Mobile, and featuring an expanded 96-player field. The tournament purse will see a 30% increase from the previous year, and for the first time, the organizations will cover every player's hotel expenses.

A notable change for this year's event is the introduction of a new format that combines stroke and match play. The competition will start with stroke-play from Wednesday to Friday, with a cut to 65 players (and ties) after 36 holes. Following the third round, the top eight players will advance to the weekend's match play competition, concluding with the championship match on Sunday. This format aims to test all players and promises to elevate the event in a meaningful way.




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