Planet Golf News for Saturday, March 30, 2024

Finau Ties Course Record, Takes Houston Lead, Hannah Green plays a tee shot on the way to an 11-under par 61 in the second round of the LPGA Ford Championship

Saturday, March 30, 2024

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Reigning champ Tony Finau surges ahead for Houston Open lead


Today’s Top Golf News in Two Minutes

Good Morning,

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Golf Enthusiast’s Corner! We’ve got quite the roundup of golf tales from around the globe, mixing triumph, heartache, and sheer magic on the greens. So grab your favorite club, lean back, and let's dive into the world of golf as if we're reminiscing about that perfect shot at the 18th hole.

The Texas Two-Step: Finau and Scheffler Dance at the Houston Open

Down at the Texas Children's Houston Open, Tony Finau turned Memorial Park into his personal dance floor, tying the course record with a blistering 62. It seems like déjà vu from his 2022 victory, with Finau showcasing a masterclass in putting, thanks to a handy tip from his coach. Meanwhile, Scottie Scheffler, golf's recent iron man, hit a snag as his under-par round streak ended dramatically thanks to a double bogie on 18. The gusty winds couldn’t stop Finau from soaring, but they sure made Scheffler and others feel like they were playing in a hurricane.

Hannah Green's Sickeningly Good Performance

Over in the LPGA Ford Championship, Hannah Green played like she misunderstood when told to "go viral." Battling a sore throat and runny nose, Green didn’t just play; she conquered with a career-low 11-under 61. Closing with six straight birdies, she’s now eyeing the trophy with the determination of someone who clearly doesn’t need a full health bar to dominate.

Golf Legends Tied Up at The Galleri Classic

The PGA Champions Tour at The Galleri Classic saw a thrilling three-way tie among Steven Alker, Retief Goosen, and Alex Cejka. With legends like Billy Andrade and Ernie Els lurking just behind, it’s anyone’s game. These seasoned players prove that golf isn’t just a young person's game; it’s a skilled person's game.

Espen Koftsad’s Weather-Defying Comeback

At the Hero Indian Open, Espen Koftsad pulled off a golfing miracle, making a jaw-dropping comeback with a 19-stroke improvement in his second round. This Norwegian golfer’s story is one for the ages, showing that in golf, it ain’t over till it’s over. Meanwhile, the weather gods played their part, suspending play and adding a suspenseful twist to the narrative.

Miscellaneous Golf World Wonders

- The Masters green jacket remains golf’s most coveted wardrobe piece, embodying tradition and triumph with its distinctive hue of Pantone 342.

- Not everyone’s teeing off for the Olympics, with Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott among the notable players opting out, adding a twist to the quest for gold.

- In the courtroom, the fairways meet the legal briefs as TaylorMade and Indi Golf clash over patent infringement claims.

The Verdict on the Roll-Back Golf Ball

Bryson DeChambeau, golf’s mad scientist, isn’t thrilled with the "roll back" golf ball, fearing it'll take the flight out of his drives. The golf world watches, intrigued by how this will shape the future of the game.

Locker Room Buzz: Controversies and Video Game Dreams

Chris DiMarco stirred the pot with comments on the Champions Tour prize money, sparking debate among the senior circuit. Meanwhile, virtual golfers rejoice as Augusta National's Par 3 Course is set to grace EA Sports PGA Tour, offering a pixel-perfect escape for those of us not lucky enough to tee off at the real deal.

And there you have it, folks—another day in the vast, vibrant world of golf. From record-breaking rounds to digital dreams, it's clear the game continues to evolve, inspire, and challenge us in every way. [Michael Wolf]

[ Today’s Top 10 Stories In Depth ]

[1] 2024 Texas Children's Houston Open


- Tony Finau's Performance: Tony Finau tied the course record with a second-round score of 62 at Memorial Park, positioning him at 9 under at the halfway point of the tournament. This performance mirrored his 2022 victory at the same event, where he also scored a 62 in the second round. Finau's exceptional play, particularly on the greens, where he gained nearly four strokes, highlighted his day. His coach, Boyd Summerhays, had suggested a slight setup change that significantly improved Finau's putting.

- Scottie Scheffler's Streak Ends: Scottie Scheffler, who had been on a record-breaking under-par round streak on the PGA Tour, saw his streak come to an end. After a challenging day, including two shots into the water, Scheffler missed a crucial 6-foot par putt on the 18th, finishing the round at even-par 70. This left him at 5 under for the tournament, widening the gap between him and Finau. Scheffler's performance was a departure from his recent form, which included setting a PGA Tour record for consecutive rounds under par.

- Challenging Conditions: The day was marked by gusty winds at Memorial Park Golf Club, which made scoring difficult for many players. Despite these conditions, Finau managed to excel, tying the tournament record for 18-hole scoring that he had previously set in 2022. Other players, like Taylor Moore, faced difficulties, with Moore shooting a 1-over 71 after an opening round of 6-under 64. The wind significantly affected play, impacting the performance of many in the field.

- Leaderboard Dynamics: The leaderboard saw some shifts, with Finau moving to the top thanks to his record-tying round. Other players, such as Thomas Detry, also had notable performances despite the challenging conditions, with Detry shooting a 6-under 64 to move up the leaderboard. The day set the stage for an exciting weekend of golf, with several players, including Finau and Scheffler, in contention for the title.


[2] LPGA Ford Championship presented by KCC


Hannah Green delivered an exceptional performance in the second round of the LPGA Tour's Ford Championship on Friday. Despite feeling under the weather with a sore throat and runny nose, she managed to post a career-low 11-under 61. This impressive score included birdieing the final six holes, which gave her a one-shot lead in the tournament. Her round of 61 is notable for featuring 11 birdies, which is the second-most ever in a single round on the LPGA, only behind Annika Sorenstam's 13 birdies in 2001. Green's stellar performance has positioned her as a strong contender, and if she wins, she would become the first two-time winner on the LPGA tour in 2024.


[3] PGA Champions Tour event The Galleri Classic


Steven Alker, Retief Goosen, and Alex Cejka share the first-round lead at The Galleri Classic presented by Spotlight 29 Casino. Alker seeks his ninth win on PGA TOUR Champions, while Cejka and Goosen aim for their fourth victories. Billy Andrade, Steve Stricker, Ernie Els, and David Toms are among the other notable players in contention.


[4] Hero Indian Open


Today at the Hero Indian Open, the second round of the tournament was suspended due to weather conditions. Despite the interruption, notable performances emerged, including a remarkable turnaround by Norwegian golfer Espen Koftsad. After an opening round of 81, Koftsad managed to shave 19 strokes off his score with a second-round, course-record 62, making nine birdies and an eagle against one bogey. This 19-shot swing propelled him to a 1-under total and inside the projected cutline at DLF Golf and Country Club. Additionally, Japan's rookie Keita Nakajima took a two-shot provisional lead into the closing rounds after shooting a second successive 7 under par 65.


[5] The Masters


[6] The Olympics

[7] The Lawyers

[8] Playtime

[9] Upcoming: 2024 Augusta National Women's Amateur

[10] Balls

Heard in the Locker Room


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