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      Monday Finish: Marvelous Matsuyama headlines

    • Hideki Matsuyams claimed his first PGA TOUR after winning the Memorial Tournament in a playoff. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)Hideki Matsuyams claimed his first PGA TOUR after winning the Memorial Tournament in a playoff. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

    Hideki Matsuyama topped Kevin Na in a playoff to win the Memorial Tournament for his first PGA TOUR victory.

    Here were the best headlines our Twitter followers came up with (not surprisingly, many of them had to do with Matsuyama’s misfortune on the 18th tee, when the head of his driver snapped off).


    1) This.

    2) At the end of Sunday’s CBS broadcast, Nick Faldo remarked that in the final round “Precision Golf” defeated “Bubba Golf.” A look at the numbers shows he was exactly right.

    For the week, Matsuyama’s proximity to the hole average was a field-leading 25 feet, 0 inches. Not only did he hit it 7.5 feet closer to the hole than the field average, that number is nearly 5 feet better than any other winner this season.

    3) The 18th hole at Muirfield Village was already tough, but it got even beefier when Jack Nicklaus decided to lengthen it by 40 yards. How did Matsuyama respond? He became the only player in the history of the Memorial Tournament to birdie it all four days.

    That includes this gem on Sunday, which he needed to force a playoff with Na.

    4) Speaking of twentysomethings, wrap your head around this one: Sunday marked the ninth time since the start of 2013 that Jordan Spieth’s entered the final round of a PGA TOUR event in the top five. In that strangely specific stat, he’s tied with Tiger Woods for the most on TOUR.

    The downside is that he’s now 0-for-9 on turning those chances into victories. When he won the John Deere Classic last year, he started the final round in a tie for ninth.

    5) Phil Mickelson’s second biggest distraction this week was the par-3 16th. Mickelson has been upfront about how uncomfortable he is on the hole, calling it “the shortest par 4 on TOUR.”

    This week he played the hole in 5 over par, including a double on Sunday. In his 47 rounds at the Memorial, Lefty is 14 over par on the hole.


    1. Kudos to CBS’s Peter Kostis, who provided one of the most interesting TV moments of the week with this side-by-side look at the surprisingly similar swing positions of Bubba Watson and a hypothetically left-handed Jack Nicklaus.

    The Golden Bear’s response to seeing the video made it even better.

    “Well, I guess I would have played alright left handed,” he said.

    Bubba Watson’s tee shot is examined at the Memorial
    • Swing Vision

      Bubba Watson’s tee shot is examined at the Memorial

    2. Scott Langley gave us a real-life Caddyshack moment Sunday at the Memorial with this birdie putt at No. 16, which hung on the lip for 23 seconds before finally dropping. (Under Rule 16-2, Players get 10 seconds from the time they arrive at the hole for the ball to drop.)

    Scott Langley’s cliffhanger finally drops in on No. 16 at the Memorial
    • Highlights

      Scott Langley’s cliffhanger finally drops in on No. 16 at the Memorial

    3. We confirmed this week that Jason Dufner reacts exactly how you’d think he would to holing a 103-yard shot from the fairway.

    Don’t ever change, Duf.


    That loose Bubba Watson tee shot at No. 15 looks even worse when you see it like this.

    What made Watson’s double bogey at the 15th so unexpected was how well he had been driving the ball all week. He wasn’t just finding fairways, he was finding the dead centers of them. This is probably little consolation now, but he was second in the field in total driving (behind Adam Scott), ranking fourth in distance and 24th in accuracy.

    “I was trying to be a hero,” Watson said. “It's not a comfortable tee shot for me because I like to cut it, but I was trying to go over the tree with a cut and I just pulled it.”

    Does a 181-yard approach shot to the leg leave dimple marks? Yes it does.

    This spectator was on the receiving end of Matsuyama’s second shot during Sunday’s playoff and she took it better than any fan I’ve ever seen. In fact, she couldn’t stop laughing. Here’s the video.

    But here’s what you didn’t see on TV. After the win, Matsuyama came over to the fan to offer his condolences along with a few photos and autographs.

    After an opening 63 at Muirfield Village, people were starting to talk about how many shots Rory McIlroy would win by. When he woke up the next morning, he looked cursed, making three double bogeys in a row and firing a second-round 78.

    From the too-weird-to-be-made-up files, the photo below is what former fiancée Caroline Wozniacki had changed her Twitter avatar to. The two very publicly called off their engagement last week (just before McIlroy won the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour.

    As a gift this year, I received a dozen golf balls with my Twitter handle printed on them. It wasn’t until this weekend that I realized what my errant shots would inevitably lead to.

    Fore left.


    The Champions Tour is playing their inaugural Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf presented by Bass Pro Shops this week at Top of the Rock in Ridgedale, Missouri. If the golf course looks anything like the range, we’re in for a good week.

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