Top Links:

Get A Golf Handicap

UK Golf Guide

Golfshake Top 100s

Find Golf Travel Deals

Golf Competitions


Community Forum


Tee Times | Search | Reviews


Gear | Tour | Industry Insider


Video Library | Tuition Sections


Join | Log In | Help | Useful Links


Fitzpatrick Secures Ryder Cup Place with Donald Seeking a Wildcard

By: Golfshake Editor | Mon 22 Aug 2016

Post by Sports Writer Derek Clements

WITH a full week of August left, the regular PGA Tour season came to an end at the Wyndham Championship, with 21-year-old Si Woo Kim, of South Korea, recording his first victory and booking his place in the FedEx Cup playoffs.

This is a great time of the year to be in good form, with the FedEx winner finishing off his campaign by pocketing a cheque for $10m, and Kim can now start dreaming.

But golf can be a cruel game and anybody who finished the Wyndham outside the top 125 knows that they now face a season on Web.Com Tour, having lost their full playing privileges. It meant that a handful of players who began the week on or around the bubble walked away suffering a whole range of emotions. For Kyle Stanley, winner of the Phoenix Open way back in 2012, there was joy. He started the week in 127th place, knowing that his entire future rested on his ability to do something he hasn't been able to achieve all season - a good week on tour.

The American finished on 12 under par. It gave him a share of 15th place and saw him move up to 116th place. Job done. On the other side of the coin, Scott Stallings and Nick Taylor, who started the week in 126th and 128th respectively, both missed the cut.

Kim began the day with a four-shot lead and birdied the first, fifth, eighth and ninth to reach the turn in 31 and move to 22 under par. He was running away with the tournament at that point, but then he began to realise what he was about to achieve and bogeyed the 10th, 13th and 14th to fall back to 19 under.


Fortunately for Kim, none of his nearest challengers were able to take advantage and when Kim birdied the 15th to go 20 under, he was still four ahead. And the man in second place was Luke Donald, finally finding his best form again. The Englishman birdied the 15th and then hit a majestic shot to the par three 16th, but he couldn't hole the putt and had to settle for a par.

Rafa Cabrera Bello, having the year of his life, chose to play here after taking part in the Olympic golf tournament last week rather than flying back to Europe for the Czech Masters. And, once again, the Spaniard had another week to remember. He was struggling until he came to the 13th hole,but he birdied it and did the same again at the 14th and then holed a bunker shot for an eagle at the 15th to join Donald on 16 under. But, wouldn't you know it, Cabrera Bello gave one shot straight back at the next.

So, with two holes to play, Kim led Donald by four. And just at that moment, the hooter sounded to stop play with the imminent threat of thunderstorms looming at Sedgefield Country Club at Greensboro, North Carolina. But it simply delayed the inevitable and when they returned to the course Kim finished in style with a birdie at the last for a 72-hole total of 259, 21 under par, with Donald in second place, five shots behind.

Hideki Matsuyama finished with a 67 for a 15 under par total, tied with Brandt Snedeker.

Czech Masters

THOMAS PIETERS blew his chance of securing an automatic place on Europe's Ryder Cup team when he narrowly failed to make a successful defence of his Czech Masters title in Prague. The big-hitting Belgian went into the final round leading by two and knew that if he could finish the job off and add the Made in Denmark title next week then he would climb into one of the automatic nine places on Darren Clarke's team.

Instead, he finished second, one behind 28-year-old American left-hander Paul Peterson, who secured his maiden European Tour title by following his course record 64 on Saturday with a 67. It took him to 15 under par, good enough to beat Pieters by a single shot.

There were contrasting emotions at the end of the day as Peterson became the 11th first-time winner of the season and only the seventh left-hander to win a tournament in European Tour history. This was just his 11th start of the season - he had missed four cuts, earned barely £20,000 and had a best finish of tied 25th at the True Thailand Classic, so this victory really did come  from nowhere.

"This is the best feeling in the world," he said. "My team and I have put in so much hard work and long hours by everybody and I'm just so happy. We had this as a goal this year and to be able to accomplish it means so much.

"It was fantastic, the crowds have been great all week. My sports psychologist was on the bag this week and my coach and my girlfriend came all the way from Phoenix. It's just so great to have all the team here."

Pieters was competing in the Olympic golf tournament seven days ago and had to endure a 6,000-mile flight from Rio to get to Prague. A supremely fit athlete, he quickly shook off the effects of both his marathon journey and jet lag. He should be proud of his efforts in the Czech Republic but admitted afterwards that he was bitterly disappointed as the Ryder Cup had been his target for 2016.

“It was too many missed putts," Pieters said. "I did not make any today. I played good and I stayed patient and I just couldn’t get the ball in the hole. It just wasn’t my day. “Second is not fun but I gave it my all." 

In complete contrast to Pieters, Matthew Fitzpatrick will head to Denmark in good spirits after surely securing his seat on the plane to Hazeltine by finishing with a 69 for a fifth-place finish. Fellow Englishmen David Howell and Ryan Evans finished one shot ahead of him after rounds of 68.

Pieters and Peterson each had a birdie and a bogey in their first two holes but a Peterson birdie at the third to reduce Pieters' lead to one, and when he playing a glorious approach to the fifth to set up another birdie he was tied for the lead. The American then birdied the par five ninth  to move to 13 under and take a one-shot lead at the turn.

A dropped shot  on the 11th dropped Peterson back into a share of the lead and both men birdied the par-five 12th. Pieters lipped out from five feet on the 14th and left a birdie effort short on the next, and he was made to regret those misses when Peterson put his tee-shot at the par-three 16th hole two feet from the hole to go one shot ahead with two holes to play.

The Belgian wasn't finished yet though, and hit his approach at the 18th to three feet. Peterson was 18 feet away in two but holed his put under massive pressure, rendering Pieters' birdie putt meaningless.

“I didn't watch Thomas hit a shot today, to be honest," added Peterson. "I know he's a long hitter and I play a little bit more precision golf. I was just trying to frustrate him because I knew I would be hitting in first a lot so I stuck to my process all day and was able to hit some fantastic shots under the pump.”

Howell had four birdies and two bogeys before an eagle on the 12th saw him leap up the leaderboard. Fitzpatrick birdied the first, fourth, ninth and 12th holes and was only a stroke behind the leaders, but his chances of victory ended when he three-putted the 15th.

"It's very exciting now," Fitzpatrick said. "We can look forward to the Ryder Cup now and get my game in shape. I've probably been in the team for the longest period of time. It started a few weeks before I won at the British Masters and jumped into the team and I've managed to stay there since then. It's been absolutely phenomenal and I'm just delighted to be in the team.

"It's just happened so fast it's difficult for it to sink in. At the start of this year I had a dip but I've just got to keep working hard and see what happens. To be part of it is going to be special."

Be part of the action with a selection of unique golf tournament experiences, from playing in a pro-am with the stars to watching the action at golf’s most illustrious events. Whether it’s the Masters or The Open, The Ryder Cup or WM Phoenix Open, build your own bespoke package with the experts at Golfbreaks.com.

What do you think? post your thoughts and feedback on the Golfshake Forum: https://forum.golfshake.com/

Tags: ryder cup PGA Tour european tour

Scroll to top