Chuckie Three Sticks
Chuckie GD Three Sticks!!!! Show me a better nickname on the PGA Tour, I’ll wait. Once one of the most talked about collegiate golfers in history, Charles Howell III, the 2001 PGA Tour rookie of the year, 18 years ago it seemed like was going to be the next guy to go toe to toe with Tiger. Fast forward to yesterday and Charles Howell III got only his 3rd win on tour. While he might not be a household name like many thought he would be, with this win CH3 ranks 20th on the all-time career earnings list. Which is incredible given he only has three wins and everyone ahead him on the list is a sure-fire golf Hall of Famer.
Getting back to The RSM Classic, the tournament went to a 2-man playoff after Patrick Rodgers shot 61, 62 on the weekend to tie Howell. Chuckie three sticks had three chances to win the tournament with makeable putts. He left the first two short on the amateur side, but they say the third times a charm and CH3 canned one on the 2nd playoff hole to win the tournament. For his troubles Howell took home $1.15 million dollars and the most generic looking golf trophy I have ever seen. Seriously though, I comment a lot on how stupid some of the trophies are, but I would much rather display one of those over something that looks like it was picked up at: insert random trophy store (Bazaar Novelty).
Patrick Rodgers would have set a record for the largest 36-hole deficit overcome if he won this weekend. He was 12 shots back after round 2 on Friday. Rodgers is still looking for his first win on the PGA Tour and what a story would this of been if he completed this come back. But don’t feel too bad for Patrick he still took home just shy of $700K and will be consoled by his actress fiancé.
Close But Not Quite
The Webb Simpson redemption tour of 2018 kept rolling at the RSM classic. Webb finished in solo 3rd, which was his 10th Top 10 finish during the 2018 calendar year. He was also Top 20 in all 4 majors and had a pretty good showing at the Ryder Cup. This is impressive considering how Webb has been all but forgotten since his US Open win.
I am starting to feel bad for the other rookies on the PGA Tour this year, considering the rookie of the year award is already locked up. Cam Champ had another Top 10 this week. I wonder if there will be a week he plays where he does not make the recap. A mediocre Sunday (starting to be a theme) cost Champ a shot at winning or a spot in the playoff.
Course horse Kevin Kisner showed why he is the all-time scoring leader at Sea Island. Another Top 10 finish for the guy who wishes every tournament was played at the Georgia Resort courses.
Rounding out the Top 10 and once again proving the DTG bump is a real thing is Zach Johnson. ZJ became the latest victim of the DTG boys asking what has he done lately? Being out of the winner’s circle since his British open win in 2015. ZJ was a couple uncharacteristic poor wedge shots on the back nine on Sunday away from being in the playoff as well.
Canadians Fare Well
While there was no standout Canadian this week like Hadwin last week, 4 of the 6 Canadians in the field did make the cut. The veteran of the Canadian contingency on tour, David Hearn, had a very respectable week finishing tied for 15th. Corey Conners keeps proving me right, Mr. Inconsistency had one of his good weeks where the mechanics of the swing aligned, and he finished in a tie for 23rd. Not sure a 6-8 week break before he can play again is what Conners wants right now.
Ben Silverman finished T46. A 2 over first round put him a little behind the 8-ball, but he can still go out and buy a fully loaded Kia Sportage with the cheque he cashed this week. Friend of the Pod Roger Sloan made the cut but never really got it going and I have to ask is if he was drinking coke would his game improve? The two not so fortunate Canadians this week were Adam Svensson and Mackenzie Hughes. Svensson missed the cut by 5 shots and Hughes missed by 13 shots. Nothing else to say here other than watch for Hughes popping up again later in the recap (sigh).
There were quite a few notable finishes and storylines from the RSM Classic. Let’s start with the biggest (literally and figuratively) of the week. Jason Gore showed up Thursday and said he is an insurance salesman, but he is here to play golf today. Gore was 1 shot back of the lead after Saturday and threatened to make it back to back weekends of turning back the clock until his final round 2 over round dropped him to 15th. Not surprising but still disappointing because a Top 10 finish would have got him in a few more tournaments in 2019. But I bet every playing partner he had this week feels better about their life insurance premiums moving forward because you know the big man always be sellin.
Graeme McDowell really screwed the DTG content for later in the week. I was planning on having him in the latest where are they now installment but then he goes and finishes T11. Thanks Graeme. Tie for 15th was a hot spot this week. Not only did Gore and Hearn finish there but King of the Silly Season Patton Kizzire, Mr. DQ Matt Every, Richy with a Y Werenski and most surprising of all the field filler who I am still certain is a fake name and person Anders A. Albertson all finished T15. The PGA tour was almost in a bind Sunday. If Triple A would have climbed any higher on the leaderboard they would have had to cut to Anders and it would just be a blank screen.
Fun Fact: there is no Wikipedia page for Anders Albertson. Just sayin.
Ernie Els was in this tournament?……Why? Dru Love finished tied for 54th which is nothing to write home about but the fact he beat his old man Davis Love III by 2 shots is likely going to make for Thanksgiving banter later in the week. To be fair Davis could drop the hammer on him pretty quick if he wanted to. But I am not sure what type of dad DL3 is.
How bad is Wesley Bryan these days? He withdrew this week after 4 straight miss cuts leading into the RSM Classic. His game is starting to make Smylie Kaufman feel good.
Finally, we get to the thanks for coming out award. I was really hoping a Canadian would avoid ever receiving this award but the second round 80 by Mack Hughes takes the cake. Not one birdie and two 7s on the card that day on route to tying for dead last after 2 rounds. There were two other 80s in round 2 but both those players at least mixed in a birdie.
See You Soon
That wraps up the first half of the silly season as the PGA tour heads into a 6 week break before the Hawaii stretch to start off 2019. For a so-called silly season, it was quite entertaining. Multiple tournaments were decided in playoffs. There were a few first-time winners emerge, a few of the studs won and a couple old dogs turned back the clock to win again on the PGA Tour. If the 2019 season is half as exciting as the first 7 weeks were, buckle up because we are in for a wild season.