Planet Golf News for Sunday, March 24, 2024

Sunday, March 24, 2024

PlanetGolfNews + Marie Birdie

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Jiyai Shin takes unlikely share of lead in FIR HILLS SERI PAK Championship


Today’s Top Tour Stories from Planet Golf News

Good Morning,

Hey golf enthusiasts and curious readers alike! I've got a mash-up of all the swingin' stories from the greens and fairways to share with you, so grab your favorite club (or just a cup of coffee) and let's dive into what's been happening in the world of golf on Saturday.

First off, let's talk about the 2024 Valspar Championship, where Keith Mitchell turned the tables with an electrifying finish. Picture this: birdie-par-birdie-birdie-eagle. Yes, an eagle from 151 yards on the 18th hole, and the cherry on top? He didn't even see it happen because something was in his eye! Talk about a blind shot to success, propelling him to a -10 lead. Meanwhile, Justin Thomas experienced a rollercoaster, tumbling down the leaderboard after a promising start, showcasing the unpredictable excitement golf always delivers.

Over in the realm of the FIR HILLS SERI PAK LPGA Tournament, it was a day of comebacks, challenges, and windy triumphs. Lizette Salas made a heartfelt return, sharing lessons learned beyond the fairways. Gabi Ruffels, a newcomer making waves, tied her career-low round under gusty conditions. Then there's Jiyai Shin, who calmly claimed a share of the lead, setting up a showdown with defending champion Ruoning Yin. The stage is set for some intense final rounds, folks!

Switching gears to the upcoming Texas Children's Houston Open 2024, we're missing some big names in the lineup. While we've got stars like Scottie Scheffler and Tony Finau, the absence of players like Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth leaves some big shoes to fill and raises questions about what the tournament will unfold without them.

Meanwhile, in Singapore, David Micheluzzi kept his cool and the lead at the Singapore Classic, with Matthieu Pavon almost snagging a Porsche with a near hole-in-one. Talk about high stakes! Shane Lowry shared a "shocking" confession about feeling watched by referees, adding a bit of intrigue off the green.

The Masters is stirring up its own brand of excitement with new collectibles and anticipation over who will shine at Augusta. Bernhard Langer, despite an injury, plans to grace the event with his presence, while Jordan Spieth hopes to find his rhythm amidst recent struggles.

The golf world is still buzzing with LIV Golf conversations. From players voicing their opinions to speculation over mergers and the future of the sport, it's clear golf is at a pivotal moment. And let's not forget the upcoming stars and veterans making headlines, from Charlie Woods, who's navigating the spotlight with the grace of a seasoned pro, to Padraig Harrington showing his mettle at the Hoag Classic.

Let's keep our eyes on the leaderboard today and our spirits ready for whatever comes next on these lush green stages! [Michael Wolf]

1 Valspar Championship

Recap: Saturday at the 2024 Valspar Championship, Keith Mitchell emerged as a standout performer, finishing the third round with a remarkable sequence of birdie-par-birdie-birdie-eagle. This impressive finish, particularly an eagle from 151 yards on the 18th hole—a shot he amusingly didn't see due to having something in his eye—propelled him into the lead with a total score of -10. Mitchell's performance was notable not just for the skill displayed but also for the dramatic fashion in which he took the lead, especially considering he was three shots behind and at even par for the day before this closing stretch. His finish has set the stage for an exciting final round, with 25 players within six shots of his lead, indicating a highly competitive field.

In contrast, Justin Thomas experienced a significant setback, dropping 65 spots down the leaderboard after taking the lead earlier in the day. This drastic change in fortune highlights the unpredictable nature of the tournament, especially under the challenging conditions reported, including wind and rain, that have tested all participants.

Overall, today's events at the Valspar Championship have set the scene for a thrilling conclusion, with Keith Mitchell in a strong position but facing stiff competition from a closely packed leaderboard.


Recap: Saturday at the FIR HILLS SERI PAK Championship in Palos Verdes Estates, California, several notable events unfolded:

- Lizette Salas made a significant return to the LPGA Tour at the FIR HILLS SERI PAK Championship, marking her first start since last July. After recovering from a lingering back injury, Salas expressed gratitude for the journey and the lessons learned during her recovery. She highlighted the importance of her support system and the realization that there is more to life than golf. Salas, a native of Azusa, California, and a graduate of the University of Southern California, chose the FIR HILLS SERI PAK Championship for her comeback due to its personal significance and her connections to the Palos Verdes Golf Club.

- Gabi Ruffels, an Epson Tour graduate, made a remarkable move up the leaderboard on Moving Day, shooting a 6-under 65 despite challenging wind conditions. This performance tied her career-low round on the LPGA Tour. Ruffels, who has strong ties to the Los Angeles area, is competing in just her third start as an LPGA Tour member and is aiming for her first top 10 finish of the year.

- Jiyai Shin achieved an unlikely share of the lead after a windy Saturday afternoon, shooting a bogey-free 8-under 63. Shin, a South Korean star who now primarily plays on the Japanese and Korean tours, received a sponsor exemption for the event. She is tied for the lead with defending champion Ruoning Yin, who faced difficulties on the final hole.

- The tournament has attracted a star-studded field, with the LPGA Tour returning to the US for a 12-week stint. The event features a $2,000,000 purse, with the champion set to receive $300,000. Notable players in the field include Nelly Korda, Brooke Henderson, and Lilia Vu, among others.

3 Upcoming: Texas Children's Houston Open 2024

4 The Singapore Classic

Recap: Saturday at the Singapore Classic Golf Tournament, David Micheluzzi maintained his lead by finishing with a birdie-birdie in an impressive 66, taking a one-shot lead into the final round of the Porsche Singapore Classic. Additionally, Matthieu Pavon narrowly missed winning a $200,000 Porsche Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid car, coming within inches of securing the hole-in-one prize at the par 3 17th hole. The tournament is being played at Laguna National Golf Resort Club in Singapore and is part of the DP World Tour's Asian Swing.

5 The Masters

6 LIV vs. PGA

7 The Next Wood


9 Hoag Classic Tournament

Recap: Saturday at the Hoag Classic tournament, Padraig Harrington took the lead after the second round. He began the day one shot behind the leader and managed to play his last four holes in 4-under, which put him in a favorable position at the Newport Beach event. Harrington, who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2024, showed a strong performance that contrasts with his first day, where he had a bogey-free 63.

Meanwhile, John Daly had a challenging start during the first round of the Hoag Classic, shanking his opening tee shot, which led to a double-bogey on the first hole. Despite his struggles on the front nine, Daly managed to recover somewhat on the back nine, finishing with two straight birdies.

Thongchai Jaidee, who had taken the lead after the first round with a nine-under par 62, was overtaken by Harrington's surge in the second round. The tournament has been experiencing partly cloudy skies, and there is some rain forecasted for the weekend, which could affect play.

The Hoag Classic is being played at Newport Beach Country Club in Southern California, and it is part of the PGA Tour Champions, which features professional golfers aged 50 and above.

10 @The ProShop




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