Kirks comeback, Vus breakthrough, LIVs season kickoff and more from the golf world

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With the Honda Basic sandwiched between 4 of the PGA Tours largest occasions, it is no surprise its leaderboard was missing in star energy this previous weekend.

Lots of the tours most recognizable names performed in back-to-back occasions on the WM Phoenix Open and the Genesis Invitational, and so theyll do the identical on the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Gamers within the subsequent two weeks.

Even with out Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm and different stars within the subject, the Honda Basic offered golf followers with some drama, as Chris Kirk defeated Eric Cole in a playoff to win for the primary time in practically eight years.

The LIV Golf Leagues season opener in Mexico additionally had an unexpectedly nondescript leaderboard. Charles Howell III, who made some huge cash whereas not often profitable on the PGA Tour, ran away with a 4-shot victory to choose up his first LIV Golf victory. Peter Uihlein was second and Branden Grace was third.

Whereas reigning Open Championship winner Cameron Smith completed sixth, a lot of LIV Golfs largest stars, Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed and Bubba Watson, all completed outdoors the highest 25 within the 48-player subject.

The LPGA Tour was additionally again on the course this previous weekend, a month after its season opener, and Lilia Vu grew to become a first-time winner with a 1-stroke win on the Honda LPGA Thailand.

This is what else occurred in skilled golf this previous week:

What occurred on the PGA Tour

The Honda Basic
Winner: Chris Kirk
How he gained: Holding a 1-stroke lead over PGA Tour rookie Eric Cole on the 72nd gap, Kirk practically blew it when his method shot bounced off a rock wall and into the water. Cole lastly confirmed some nerves when he blasted his chip shot previous the pin, resulting in a par. Kirk was in a position to get well for a bogey, forcing a playoff with each gamers tied at 14 below. After Kirks tee shot on the primary playoff gap bounced behind a tree, he punched out and practically holed out on his third shot. Cole hit his second shot right into a greenside bunker after which his 10-footer for birdie lipped out. Kirk tapped in for his first PGA Tour victory since profitable the 2015 Charles Schwab Problem.

What occurred on the LPGA Tour

Honda LPGA Thailand
Winner: Lilia Vu
How she gained: Trailing Thailands Natthakritta Vongtaveelap by six photographs getting into Sundays closing spherical, Vu carded an 8-under 64 to complete at 22 below, 1 stroke higher than Vongtaveelap. After ending tied for third or higher in three begins final season, Vu claimed her first LPGA victory with a bogey-free spherical. Vu, a former UCLA star, had two birdies in her first three holes after which had 5 straight on holes 8-12. She took the lead with one other birdie on the par-4 fifteenth. Vu hit 11 of 14 fairways, 11 greens and wanted simply 21 putts.

Right now I principally simply blacked out and tried to birdie each single gap, Vu mentioned. If I did not, simply transfer on and check out once more. Obtained into the scoring tent and did not know what I shot.

What occurred within the LIV Golf League

LIV Mayakoba
Winner: Charles Howell III
How he gained: Howell, who gained thrice in 609 begins on the PGA Tour, picked up his first particular person victory in his sixth begin within the LIV Golf League on Sunday. Howell had seven birdies via the primary 10 holes whereas carding a bogey-free, 8-under 63 to complete 16 below and win by 4 strokes over Peter Uihlein. Howell, who gained greater than $42 million whereas taking part in on the PGA Tour, picked up one other $4.75 million on Sunday. He gained $4 million for the person title. His Crushers GC squad, captained by Bryson DeChambeau, gained the workforce competitors and can break up $3 million between the 4 gamers. The Crushers, which additionally consists of Paul Casey and Anirban Lahiri, completed at 26 below, 9 photographs higher than defending workforce champion 4Aces GC. Defending LIV particular person champion Dustin Johnson, the 4Aces captain, completed thirty seventh at 4 over.

Kirks comeback



Chris Kirks beautiful method shot units up his first win in 8 years

Chris Kirks pinpoint shot on the primary playoff gap helps him win the Honda Basic and earn his first PGA Tour victory since 2015.

It was lower than 4 years in the past, in Might 2019, that Kirk took an prolonged depart of absence from the PGA Tour to give attention to his psychological well being. On the time, Kirk mentioned he had been coping with alcoholism, anxiousness and despair for fairly some time. He made the announcement the day earlier than his thirty fourth birthday.

The four-time PGA Tour winner did not return to competitors for greater than six months. Kirk mentioned he has been sober ever since.

I owe every part that Ive in my complete life to my sobriety, Kirk mentioned on Sunday. I would not be doing this for a residing anymore. I most likely would not have the household that Ive presently anymore. I got here actually near dropping every part that I cared about.

For that to have occurred and labored out for me, clearly there [were] some selections that I made, however principally the grace of God and a whole lot of different individuals that actually helped me alongside the best way. However yeah, it is one thing that is continuously on my thoughts, so it is fairly straightforward for me to see that profitable the Honda Basic is sort of a bonus when actually each good factor Ive in my life I owe to that.

It was Kirks first victory in seven years, 9 months and two days. He made 179 begins between his final two wins. Kirk had been taking part in good golf this yr. He completed solo third on the Sony Open in Hawaii and tied for third on the American Categorical.

I could not beat the man in school, mentioned Brian Harman, one in every of Kirks teammates at Georgia. He has had a very underrated profession on the tour. To return again from what he struggled with and to climb the ladder once more is an ideal illustration of his resiliency and grit.

Together with his newest victory, Kirk moved to No. 32 within the Official World Golf Rating. He additionally earned an invite to the Masters in April.

I am not going to mislead you, Kirk mentioned. I got here into this week at forty seventh on the earth golf rating, and that is normally not one thing I care an entire lot about, however Ive not performed the Masters since 2016, I feel, and rising up in Georgia, that sort of means every part to me. So, I have been watching that World Rating intently, attempting to remain within the high 50.

However to handle it this week, that is going to be one thing that is extremely particular. Final time I performed, my two older sons, Sawyer and Foster, had been possibly two, simply turned two, and like 4 months previous. Now to have the ability to return, theyre going to be 11 and 9, after which Wilder, my third son, can be 5. That par-3 contest cannot come quickly sufficient. I am actually wanting ahead to that. The entire week, however simply to have the ability to make these recollections with my spouse and my children can be superior.

Vus breakthrough

Vu was probably the most heralded gamers to ever come out of UCLA. She was a three-time All-American, Pac-12 Participant of the 12 months and gained eight occasions in school, greater than every other participant in class historical past. However after turning professional in 2019, she made only one reduce in 9 LPGA Tour begins and misplaced her card.

I used to be in a extremely detrimental mindset, even my rookie yr out right here, Vu advised reporters in Thailand on Sunday. I did not really feel like I belonged. Felt like each shot was life or demise. Id have a look at the ball and arrange and would not know the place I used to be going to go as a result of I used to be so nervous.

Vu performed on the Symetra Tour (now the Epson Tour) in 2021 and made 15 of 18 cuts. She had 10 top-10 finishes, together with three victories. She completed first in factors and was the tours participant of the yr. She credit her late grandfather for serving to her flip issues round.

I bear in mind we had been in Florida at one of many Florida Symetra occasions and we had been flying house, Vu mentioned. I visited my grandpa earlier than we even flew out and it appeared like he was doing rather well. He was going to get launched from the hospital. It was just like the evening earlier than I left he advised me in Vietnamese, Go play effectively. Do your finest.

Her grandfather handed away a short while later.

It simply actually hit me that I used to be in a foul spot with my golf, and the very last thing he ever mentioned to me was, Play effectively, Vu mentioned. Like out of all of the issues, he is like struggling and he was pondering of me. I feel that is what I take into consideration every single day.

Better of the week

Greatest drive

Johnny Vegas crushed it.

DFZ: Divot Free Zone 💪@JhonattanVegas completely crushed this drive 353 yards!

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 25, 2023

Greatest tee shot

It is gotta be Pat Perezs hair.

Pat Perez NEARLY spun it house for an ace 😮‍💨#LIVGolf @4acesgc_

— LIV Golf (@livgolf_league) February 26, 2023

Greatest method

Similar man. Similar shot. No windshield.


— Callaway Golf (@CallawayGolf) February 27, 2023

Greatest chip

Dr. Chipinsky delivering below stress.

We gotta make this or were going house.

Monday Qualifier Hint Crowe wanted to chip-in on his closing gap to make the reduce on the quantity @TheHondaClassic.

It is the primary reduce Crowe has made on TOUR.

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 25, 2023

Greatest sand shot

Tyler Duncans birdie helped him end third, his first top-10 end on tour since profitable the 2019 RSM Basic.

What a shot from @TDuncGolf!

He is doubtless secured a solo third end after the birdie @TheHondaClassic.

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 26, 2023

Greatest putt

Cole, a PGA Tour rookie, confirmed loads of composure taking part in within the closing group for the primary time on Sunday. He has good genes; hes the son of former PGA Tour professional Bobby Cole and LPGA Rookie of the 12 months Laura Baugh.

70-footer to tie the lead! 🔥

34-year-old rookie Eric Cole joins Chris Kirk on the high of the leaderboard @TheHondaClassic.

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 26, 2023

Greatest celebration

Not less than it is solely water.

#CheersToTheChampion 🍾

Along with her win on the @hondalpgath, @TheLiliaVu punched in her ticket to the 2024/2025 @HiltonGrandVac Event of Champions! #HGVLPGA

— LPGA (@LPGA) February 26, 2023

Greatest social media

No kidding.

Fairly the day for @AkshayBhatia_1 😆

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 25, 2023

That is some dedication.

If at first you do not succeed …

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 25, 2023

Is that this NASCAR or golf? In some way, Bryson DeChambeau failed to say the Vary Goats.

Bryson is pumped for his @crushers_gc teammates 💪💪💪#LIVGolf @b_dechambeau

— LIV Golf (@livgolf_league) February 26, 2023

A varmint wont ever give up — ever. Theyre just like the Viet Cong — Varmint Cong. So you must fall again on superior intelligence and superior firepower. And that is all she wrote.

Divots do not simply come from golf golf equipment 😂#LIVGolf

— LIV Golf (@livgolf_league) February 24, 2023

It is a boy! And a lady!

Teeing off the 2023 season in model 💨#LIVGolf

— LIV Golf (@livgolf_league) February 24, 2023

Welcome to the jungle.

Cam actually went mountain climbing to hit that shot 🧗🏻‍♂️😳#LIVGolf @rippergc_

— LIV Golf (@livgolf_league) February 24, 2023

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