May 31, 2015; Irving, TX, USA; Peggy Nelson, widow of golf legend Byron Nelson, with Steven Bowditch after he won the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship at TPC Four Seasons Resort – Las Colinas. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
As I take on the weekend golf wrap-up, I realize nothing turned out today quite as I had anticipated it would last Wednesday. I know golf’s unpredictable and I know the weather is way beyond anybody’s control, but who would have predicted that Rory would miss the cut, that a carp would be swimming in a flooded bunker at TPC Four Seasons, or that Michelle Wie and Brittany Lincicome would both miss the cut at the ShopRite?
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In Northern Ireland, 40-year old Søren Kjeldsen ended his six year, 2,254 day-wait for a European Tour title after he won a three way playoff at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation.
The Dane birdied the first playoff hole to deny Bernd Wiesberger and Eddie Pepperell, the latter earning the considerable consolation of a place at St Andrews for the Open Championship in July.
Tournament host Rory McIlroy, who missed the cut, watched the final round in the company of his new girlfriend, Erica Stoll, who is manager of Championship Volunteer Operations at the PGA of America, before he presented the trophy to Kjeldsen.
Watch for Tom Kennedy’s wrap-up of the Irish Open early in the week.
While the Irish Open field battled the winds that howled across Royal County Down, the LPGA Tour battled the ocean breezes blowing onto the Jersey shore.
The ShopRite LPGA Classic initially seemed to belong to Morgan Pressel who set the pace with her first round low of 66 and held on during the second round. But Pressel came up on hard times on Sunday, fell back and just couldn’t make up the shots she lost during her first nine Sunday morning.
Anna Nordqvist, who’s been playing steadily and getting regular peeks at the top of the board all season, was ready to seize the advantage when opportunity came her way. She battled back a charge by Crystal Boeljon and took the win, her first this year, her 5th on the Tour. Nordqvist is looking very good for a Team Europe Solheim Cup spot at this point.
Honorable mention at the ShopRite goes to rookie Kelly Shon, who played in the final group today for the first time and who finished T3rd alongside Morgan Pressel. Shon is probably much happier with her finishing position than Pressel is with hers, although I think it’s only a matter of time before Morgan Pressel plays her way back into the Tour’s circle of champions.
The weather figured in all the major golf events this weekend and nowhere moreso that at the AT&T Byron Nelson in Dallas, where tournament officials managed a course with washed out fairways and flooded bunkers and still delivered a 72-hole event worthy of its history.
Steven Bowditch took the win — get the wrap-up from ProGolfNow’s Danny Norris — and Jordan Spieth vowed to fight on.
This week the LPGA Tour travels to Cambridge, Ontario for the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, the last event before the Tour’s new major, the KMPG Women’s PGA Championship. Watch for my preview early in the week.
Tiger Woods will be making an appearance at the Memorial, as will Jordan Spieth and Ricky Fowler, so Muirfield Village will be abuzz with excitement. Danny Norris will have his power rankings and fantasy picks ready early in the week.
The European Tour’s Nordea Masters will be contested this week in Malmo Sweden and ProGolfNow will provide updates on the event. The Ladies European Tour is not playing this week.