First Cut: Lee Westwood continues to roll with third Race to Dubai championship on European Tour

Although the PGA Tour is accomplished on an official foundation for the remainder of 2020, there was nonetheless quite a lot of golf to eat over the weekend inside the event you knew the place to look. From Lee Westwood’s massive victory in Dubai to a washed-out U.S. Girls’s Open (that can conclude on Monday) to a QBE Shootout that options a number of Sea Island stalwarts, there’s loads to dig into on this week’s mannequin of the First Reduce.

Sadly, possibly basically essentially the most distinguished occasion of the weekend — that U.S. Girls’s Open at Champions Golf Membership in Houston — knowledgeable a ton of rain and was positioned on maintain ahead of the leaders went off all through the ultimate spherical. It should conclude on Monday (although it might seemingly be in terribly chilly, windy circumstances). And whereas it bought robbed of some good weekend eyeballs, the conclusion should nonetheless be an unbelievable one.

Hinako Shibuno leads at four beneath, nonetheless the leaderboard is completely packed. Amy Olson, Lydia Ko, newbie Kaitlyn Papp, the Jutanugarn sisters and world No. 1 Jin Youthful Ko (and No. 2 Sei Youthful Kim) are all all through the prime 10 because of it stands going into Monday. You in all probability can catch the last word 18 holes on Golf Channel. 

Westy’s two-decade run: One match that did end up on Sunday was the DP World Tour Championship. Matthew Fitzpatrick beat Lee Westwood by a stroke, nonetheless Westwood claimed the Race to Dubai for the third time in his occupation. Remarkably, this stretch of dominance has spanned twenty years as Westwood gained his first Race to Dubai in 2000, took one totally different one in 2009 and now this most up-to-date one in 2020. This one could not have been as spectacular as the choice two given how truncated the European Tour season was because of COVID-19 pandemic, nonetheless Westwood is simply not the 27-year-old star he was, and he defeated gamers of their primes like Patrick Reed, Collin Morikawa, Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood.

“They’ve all been very fully fully totally different,” Westwood acknowledged. “I assume 2000, form of I used to be worthwhile loads, nonetheless I used to be nonetheless like up-and-coming. It was solely my seventh yr on Tour. [In] 2009, I used to be honing in on the fitting participant on the planet spot, and I wanted to win correct proper right here to win The Race to Dubai, and I managed to try this. After which this one, I am form of the extra mature participant on The European Tour now. It wasn’t one issue I obtained proper all the way down to do at first of the yr, nevertheless it reveals the consistency I’ve confirmed.”

That consistency is each staggering and a bit little little bit of a curse. It is allowed Westwood to complete all through the prime 10 in 19 fully fully totally different basic championships, attain No. 1 all through the Official World Golf Rankings and have a occupation whereby he has achieved the yr inside one of the best 50 on the planet on the tip of nearly half the years he is been alive. All of this, the reality is, creates often insurmountable expectations relating to majors and worthwhile, and whereas one totally different Race to Dubai is sweet, it furthermore presents to the truth that Westwood will go down as possibly one of the best gamers (if not the greatest participant) all through the historic earlier of the game to by no means win a giant championship.

English and Kuchar set a mannequin new file: Harris English and Matt Kuchar gained the QBE Shootout over the weekend in Naples, Florida, they typically shot 37 beneath over three days at this workforce occasion to win by 9 (!) over three fully fully totally different groups. English has quietly been one amongst many 10 greatest gamers on the planet this yr, not that we would have most popular a two-man exhibition in December to point it (he is 10th in strokes gained over the earlier 12 months). More than likely possibly basically essentially the most notably humorous difficulty that occurred on the occasion really obtained proper right here on Twitter when the PGA Tour — for some motive — confirmed off Kuchar’s son caddying for him. It served as chum all through the water for people nonetheless hung up on Kuchar’s sketchy caddie cost just a few years before now on the Mayakoba Golf Standard. 

Picks for the 2021 majors: We made our stupidly-early 2021 basic championship picks on the First Reduce Podcast not too manner again, and for some motive I agreed to publicly opine on tournaments which is probably nonetheless eight months away. Listed beneath are my picks for 2021.

  • Masters: Bryson DeChambeau
  • PGA Championship: Matthew Wolff
  • U.S. Open: Jon Rahm
  • Open Championship: Patrick Reed

I am going to write further about these all through the times and weeks to return once more, nonetheless I wished to place mine in writing ahead of Christmas for posterity’s sake.

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