Watch out! Jordan is back in the winner’s circle. Spieth returned to his winning ways in San Antonio, Texas to capture the trophy at the Valero Texas Open for his 12th TOUR win at TPC San Antonio, a co-design of Greg Norman and Sergio Garcia. Jordan did the deed using a full bag of Titlist clubs and ball.
At Augusta,17-year old Tsubasa Kajitani from Japan won the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in a one-hole playoff to become the first person from Japan to win at the site of the Masters. Was this a harbinger of things to come?
Another first-time winner, Thailand’s Patty Tavantanakit went wire to wire on the Dinah Shore Course at Mission Hills Country Club to capture the first 2021 LPGA major–the ANA Inspiration. Congrats Patty.
It was a great start to the Masters and to see Lee Elder, the first black man to compete there, join both Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player on the first tee in the ceremonial opening shot. Well done Chairperson Ridley.
The Land of the Rising Sun has a new favorite son-Hideki Matsuyama- the latest winner of the Masters, who played his Srixon Z-Star ball. That’s two for Japan in one year at Augusta National.
A special eSouthernGOLF congratulations to Jon Rahm and wife Kelley on the birth of their son Kepa, a week before the Masters.
It is with a heavy heart, I regret to inform you, our readers, of the passing of Brad Brewer, a great friend and outstanding teacher of the game. Brad was taught by Arnold Palmer and became the head of the Arnold Palmer Golf Academies around the country, the last of which was at Saddlebrook in Pasco County, Florida.
When Shingle Creek Golf Resort was built, Brad opened his own Golf Academy in the back nine area of the golf course and taught many professionals and players for years. He authored three books, the most famous being “Mentored by the King.” He succumbed to cancer April 14th at the age of 60. I wrote numerous stories about Brad and played with him a few times, and at the grand opening of Club Med Sandpiper in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
After a three-year drought, Lydia Ko is back, winning the Lotte Championship in Oahu, Hawaii at Kapolei Golf Club, by seven strokes. Lydia who lives in Central Florida, put on a clinic the last day with approach shots to the pins to capture her 16th title at just 24 years old with a full bag of PXG clubs and a Titlist Pro V1X ball.
Down at the gorgeous Naples Ritz Carlton Golf Resort, our 2021 USA Ryder Cup Captain, Steve Stricker, beat his fellow 50+ year-olds at the Chubb Classic played on the Tiburon Black course designed by Greg Norman and managed by Troon Prive’. It was his 6th win since joining the legends of golf on the Champions Tour with a full bag of Titlist clubs and Pro V1 ball.
Stewart Cink is back in plaid for the 3rd time after winning the RBC Heritage at Harbourtown Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina for his second win this season. It was a true family affair with son Reagan caddying for his 47-year-old father while wife Lisa and son Connor walked the ropes as they won easily with a bag of PING clubs and Titlist Pro V1X ball for his eighth win. Wouldn’t it be cool if he makes the Ryder Cup team and wins the FedEx Cup?
In Las Vegas, Peter Uihlein, a Titlist Brand Ambassador from Massachusetts, won the MGM Resorts Championship at the beautiful Las Vegas Paiute Golf Club on the Korn Ferry Tour. I expect Peter to make his debut soon on the PGA TOUR. Peter’s father is Wally Uihlein, the retired President & CEO of Acushnet, the parent company of Titlist, Footjoy, Scotty Cameron and Vokey golf products.
I must say there is one constant at all four contests-the Titlist Pro V1 ball cannot be denied.
Australians Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith won the Zurich Classic at the Pete Dye-designed TPC Louisiana in New Orleans. The Aussies provided plenty of drama in the team matches trading the lead on the final day with South Africans Charles Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen, finally becoming victorious on the 1st playoff hole.
At Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles 23-year-old Canadian Brooke Henderson captured her 10th LPGA Title- the Hugel Air Premia LA Open after a closing round 67 to match her third-round #, and surpass Jessica Korda by one stroke.
The Boys are back in Florida for the Valspar Championship this last week of April at the challenging Copperhead course at the beautiful Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor. With players like Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas in the field it looks to be a pretty remarkable weekend for those who choose to witness the best of the best challenge the Snake Pit at the course.
We are still not out of the woods when it comes to the covid pandemic, but a great way to social distance and enjoy the fresh spring air is to play some golf, so GO PLAY!
David J. Daubert, GWAA, ING, USGA