Matt Fitzpatrick is probably the holder of a title no one really wants right now: BPWAPGATW. Of course, that represents the best player without a PGA Tour victory. The world No. 17 has seven wins on the DP World Tour but has yet to complete a deal on this side of the pond. He’s one of the best players on the tour this year — he’s No. 1 in total strokes — and is likely to claim his first major at last month’s PGA Championship, but in the final Zhong has zero control of the ball and makes a circle in Nanshan.
Fitzpatrick was close, and when he birdied the 11th hole at St. George’s for a 10-under run and a 2-shot lead, you got the feeling it was going to be the week. Oh how stupid we were to think golf would be so easy. The 27-year-old Briton made a double-bogey 14 and bogeyed the final three holes to finish with a 6-under 70. He’ll be just one shot behind Wyndham Clark’s lead going into the weekend — but after the round he’s (understandably) not in the best mood.
“Just a bad ending,” he said after the round. Just didn’t hit the putts I needed on the last three putts. Just poor. Yep, just finished the sad end with a putter. “
No one would accuse this person of sweetening anything. Here are three other highlights from Friday’s RBC Canadian Open.
It’s a very cutting-edge field this week, where star power is heavy but depth is light. The reason: Canada’s vaccine rules and other races in London. (more on that later). Rory McIlroy was their brightest star this week, and he gave fans — and Tour Commissioner Jay Monaghan — exactly what they wanted. He had a 66 in the opening round, a very solid 68 in tricky conditions, and he’s in a great position to successfully defend his title since 2019, the last time it’s happened north of the border. And he did so without his normal routine, Harry Diamond, who was back home in Northern Ireland expecting the birth of his second child.
McIlroy is in great shape and heading into next week’s U.S. Open, where he’ll be a fan favorite. This is always the case. After the game, he was asked if he had a fan who yelled and told Rory that he named his child after him.
“I don’t think I thought about it too much,” McIlroy said. “I guess it’s not the first time I’ve heard it. I guess, in a way, it’s a big responsibility. Hopefully they don’t meet me and end up thinking I’m an asshole. But yeah, I want to have it It’s an honor. I named my first dog after Ernie Els.”
The event preceding the last major, the PGA Championship, has a very similar layout to the majors. KH Lee won at 26 under at Craig Ranch seven days before Justin Thomas’ 5-under overall victory at South Hills. Lee’s final-round 63 looked nothing like the type of golf we’ll see over the next week. This week, however, was more about setting the tone for next week’s U.S. Open.
“The rough is up, there’s a lot of slope on these greens, so it’s hard to make birdies because the greens are so steep,” said world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, who is three years behind. Going for a fifth win of the season. “Even if you hit a really good shot, you’re stuck in a position where the putter moves a lot. So it’s definitely a challenging course.”
Sam Burns, who beat Scheffler at the Colony for his third win of the year, also shot 4-under and saw a penalty test ahead of the toughest tournament of the year. value.
“I was a little sore today after how many times I had to hit out of the rough,” Burns said. “But I think it’s a good test. I mean, this week and next week, it’s really important to tee off, get the ball into the fairway, and like I said, I need to do that in the future. better.”
It’s clearly been a pretty busy week in golf, with the first LIV event and more big-name players involved. However, Friday offered some relief — the novelty of the first round of LIV was gone, no major new defectors…and no one talked about the rival circuit. At least not for the media. Golf Digest wasn’t live in Canada this week, but we flipped through the transcripts and didn’t see a single question or answer discussing events in London or what might happen in the future. At least one day, golf is the story. Cherish it because these days will be few and far between in the next few months. More chaos awaits.