What you missed: More Kuchar controversy, surgery for DJ, a new driver testing policy on the PGA Tour, Paul Casey’s bizarre near-ruling and a 57 on the Alps Tour
Paul Casey ended a wait of five years to win his 14th European Tour title at the Porsche European Open on Sunday by a single shot, but not before a strange almost-ruling involving a bug on the putting green during his third round.
And while Matt Kuchar wasn’t in contention in Europe he was certainly involved in the conversation about sportsmanship (or a lack thereof) after taking advantage of a new rule about loose impediments in the sand.
Elsewhere, the USA’s Walker Cup team triumphed after a dominant Sunday singles as they won on GB&I soil for the first time in 12 years, Ireland’s David Carey fired a 57 in Italy on the Alps Tour, Dustin Johnson became the latest player to have knee surgery, and the PGA Tour is set to introduce a new driver testing policy for the upcoming season.
Below, find out what you missed.
Paul Casey earned his first European Tour title in five years at the Porsche European Open on Sunday as two players broke the course record
Paul Casey posted a final round 66 to claim a one stroke victory during a dramatic final round at the Porsche European Open on Sunday that saw both Bernd Wiesberger and Romain Wattel break the course record with eight-under 64s.
Casey, who began the day one behind Robert MacIntyre and Bernd Ritthammer, found himself in a four-way tie at the top with just three holes left at Green Eagle Golf Course but birdied two of his last three holes – which included rolling in 35 foot birdie at the 16th – to top the congested leaderboard on 14-under-par.
“I get emotional at every victory but this year has been so fantastic,” said Casey.
“This is an incredibly prestigious trophy that has a lot of history to it on the European Tour so I’m over the moon.
“I’m happy to be the Porsche European Open champion.”
It was the 42-year-old’s first victory since the KLM Open in 2014, and he dedicated his 14th European Tour title to the late Gordon Brand Jnr – a former champion here – whose funeral is on Monday.
“Some legends have won this trophy, one of which I’d like to highlight. It’s his funeral tomorrow, so rest in peace Gordon Brand Jnr, we love you.”
Paul Casey avoids strange ruling after hitting a bug on the green
Paul Casey almost suffered a penalty as a result of one of the weirder golf rules during the third round of the Porsche European Open.
A replay of some video footage showed that Casey’s ball had rolled on top of a bug on the putting surface when he holed an eight-foot putt. According to Rule 11.2.b, if he knowingly hit the bug, he would have had to replay the stroke.
Rule: “When Ball Played from Putting Green Accidentally Hits Any Person, Animal or Movable Obstruction (Including Another Ball in Motion) on Putting Green: The stroke does not count and the original ball or another ball must be replaced on its original spot (which if not known must be estimated)”
Casey, who had not realised, did not replay the shot, and wasn’t told until he was in the scorers area and the video was shown to him – meaning he could have been assessed a penalty. However, because he didn’t hit the bug on purpose, the rule didn’t apply, thus ending what could have been one of the strangest rulings on Tour.
“Almost a Rules infraction, and I had no clue,” Casey says in the European Tour video posted above. “Ants and bugs and beetles, you know, we’ve got to protect them.”
Matt Kuchar called out on twitter for etiquette after taking advantage of bunker rule
Matt Kuchar hasn’t done himself any favours for his popularity over the past year: First there was the El Tucan issue, then whole ‘gimmie’ incident with Sergio Garcia, followed by the old fairway pitch mark ruling request at Memorial, and now more questionable sportsmanship conduct at the Porsche European Open.
Kuchar, much to the dismay of the commentators, was judged to have successfully demonstated to the officials that coarse waste bunker sand is a loose impediment – which are allowed to be removed under the new rules.
Because of this, Kuchar didn’t technically do anything outwith the ruling to remove these loose impediments around his ball (see video below), but it looked like he significantly improved his lie, and there understandable questions about whether he went too far in taking advantage of the new rules.
The United States retained the Walker Cup with a 15.5 – 10.5 victory at Hoylake over Great Britain and Ireland
The U.S Walker Cup team came from behind with a dominant display in the singles at Royal Liverpool as the won for the first time in 12 years on foreign soil.
The United States, who trailed by two after Saturday’s four fourball and eight singles matches, won two of Sunday’s fourball matches and eight of the 10 singles matches to beat the GB&I side by 15.5 points to 10.5 – earning them the most decisive winning margin for a visiting USA team since a 16 ½ – 7 ½ victory in 1987 at Sunningdale.
Cole Hammer produced the most best result of the day as he beat Ireland’s Connor Purcell 6&5, and just a couple of groups later John Augenstein clinched the crucial point with a 4&3 victory over Thomas Plumb.
“I honestly thought that these guys would let their talent come to the surface,” said U.S. captain Nathaniel Crosby.
“I liked the idea that the wind was laying down a little bit this afternoon, but these guys have been over here for seven or eight days. The singles were amazing. The guys played great.”
The U.S. improved to 37-9-1 overall in the Walker Cup.
David Carey shoots 11-under 57 on Alps Tour, goes on to win
Irish golfer David Carey made history during the first round of the Cervino Open in Northern Italy on Thursday, and went on to win the 54-hole tournament in a play-off againt Edoardo Lipparelli.
“I did a 57, I won the play-off, things couldn’t be better,” said Carey, who had three other top 10s on the Alps Tour this year. “Everything together is just perfect”
The Alps Tour player made 11 birdies during his bogey-free first round on the par-68, and he followed up his four shot lead with two rounds of 67.
The World No. 1964 started his round on the back-nine with back-to-back birdies, before adding a trio of gains from the 13th-15th and two more on the 17th and 18th holes for an opening nine of 27.
He added four more birdies on his inward nine (the 1st, 3rd, 6th and 7th holes), closing out his record breaking round with pars on his final two holes.
Fact: The Guinness World Record for the lowest 18-hole score is held by Australian golfer Rhein Gibson, who fired a 16-under 55 during a round at River Oaks Golf Club in Oklahoma in 2012.
Dustin Johnson underwent arthroscopic surgery on Thursday to repair cartilage damage in his left knee.
A statement released by his management team said that Dustin Johnson is expected to make a full recovery after the “routine” surgery on Thursday, and will return to competition later this Autumn.
The PGA Tour said that the procedure is similar to the one Johnson had on his right knee in December 2011 to repair cartilage damage.
This is the first indication of any health issues suffered by the former World No.1 this season, who has struggled with his form over the past few months. Johnson won both the Saudi International and WGC Mexico earlier in the year before runner-up finishes in both the Masters and PGA Championship, but hasn’t cracked the top 10 since then and finished last in the Tour Championship at East Lake.
The news came just over a week after it was revealed Tiger Woods had the same type of surgery to repair minor cartilage damage in his left knee.
Johnson later posted a picture of himself post-surgery, helping to collect and distribute items of aid to the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian.
The PGA Tour have revealed that they are introducing a new policy to test out players’ drivers during the 2019-2020 season
Starting this week at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier, the PGA Tour will introduce a new driver testing policy for the 2019-20 season.
Driver testing has been something done on the PGA Tour since 2014 throughout the season on new clubs, but after Xander Schauffele made headlines for his driver failing the random testing at Royal Portrush, there is set to be a change in the policy.
In a memo issued to players and manufacturers, the PGA Tour stated that there will be two informational weeks (see below), followed by random testing throughout the season at PGA Tour events. Those tests, which will continue to measure the CT limit, will last 15 minutes, and the results will only be made known to the player and an appointed manufacturer representative.
There will a traffic light category system in place in regard to the results of the testing. Green means the club is conforming; Yellow means the club is conforming and can be used but is within the USGA Published tolerance and will likely fail in subsequent testing; Red means the club is damaged in to a non-conforming state, and the club will be returned to the manufacturer instead of the player.