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Martin Laird won in Las Vegas for the second time. (Getty Images) 

Teeing Off

LAIRD COMES UP ACES AT SHRINERS HOSPITALS

It had been 2,744 days. That’s when Martin Laird last won on the PGA TOUR. On Sunday in Las Vegas, he reset the timer back to zero. Laird withstood a three-man playoff and won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open for his fourth TOUR win. But it was his first victory since 2013 at the Valero Texas Open. “It’s been awhile,” said Laird, who received a sponsor exemption this week. “I’ve been working hard. Seven years since my last one. I’ve been playing well the last few weeks and didn't have the results. But I love it here.” Yes, he does. Laird won the event in 2009 and lost in a playoff in 2010 (after Jonathan Byrd made an ace!), so Laird felt something special might happen at TPC Summerlin this week. And there were two moments on Sunday that defined his day. First, he holed out for eagle on No. 9 after having a brutal lie in a greenside bunker. Then he made a stellar up-and-down on the par-3 17th to maintain his one-shot lead in regulation. With the win, Laird moves to No. 4 in the FedExCup standings after pocketing 500 FedExCup points.

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WHAT HAPPENS HERE, STAYS HERE

For the second week in a row, the PGA TOUR will stage an event in Las Vegas for the THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK. Typically played on South Korea’s Jeju Island, THE CJ CUP makes a one-year move to Shadow Creek Golf Course before returning to Asia in 2021. The Tom Fazio-designed desert oasis will feature a 78-player field highlighted by reigning FedExCup champion Dustin Johnson and fellow FedExCup winners Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy. Thomas has won two of the three CJ CUPs in South Korea and is hoping that success transfers to U.S. soil. Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa and Brooks Koepka (first start in two months due to injury) will tee it up alongside 18-year-old Joo-Hyung Kim who already has four professional wins on his resume (yes, seriously). The winner will be leaving Las Vegas with 500 FedExCup points.

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MICKELSON MAKES SECOND PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS START

Phil Mickelson won his first start on the PGA TOUR Champions last month at the Charles Schwab Cup Series at Ozarks National. So, hey, let’s give it another go. Mickelson announced he will tee it up at this week’s Dominion Energy Charity Classic in Richmond, Virginia. The World Golf Hall of Fame member, who turned 50 on June 16, posted a Tour-record-tying 191 total at Ozarks National and became the 20th player to win his first PGA TOUR Champions start. But the field in Richmond will do its best to stop Lefty from going 2 for 2. Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, Mike Weir and K.J. Choi are in the field, and those are just the rookies. The three-day event will be broadcast on Golf Channel starting Friday. Click here for broadcast info.
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Video Of The Week

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The Turn

MIC CHECK

“It’s emotional. I can’t wait to get (home) and see my wife and my kids and celebrate with them.” - Martin Laird after winning at TPC Summerlin

“I watched ‘Happy Gilmore’ a little while ago and it just reinspired me to try and hit it as far as possible.” - Bryson DeChambeau


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BY THE NUMBERS


2 – Wins for rookie Ernie Els on PGA TOUR Champions after claiming the SAS Championship on Sunday.

3 –  Eagles for Matthew Wolff in five holes on the back nine during the third round. Since 1983, only five players have made three eagles on either the front nine or back nine in a round on TOUR. Wolff became the first to do so since 2006.

448Collegiate players representing 178 Division I Men’s Golf programs in the full PGA TOUR University Ranking that was released last week.