Golf Links: Sunday, June 11 news and updates

Jun 10, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Rafa Cabrera Bello reacts after missing a putt on the 16th hole during the third round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic golf tournament at TPC Southwind. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 10, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Rafa Cabrera Bello reacts after missing a putt on the 16th hole during the third round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic golf tournament at TPC Southwind. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

Golf Links connects you to Sunday morning’s major golf news: this morning a new par 3 at the RBC Canadian Open, the Erin Hills rough, early practice rounds, and Kevin Kisner’s caddie top the headlines.

The ProGolfNow Golf Links column provides a quick way to get your Sunday morning golf news and stay on top of the game, wherever it’s being played.

We’re coming down the home stretch on this week’s PGA TOUR, LPGA, and European Tour events. By this evening the week’s champions will be in place and we’ll all turn our attention to central Wisconsin and the 117th U.S. Open. But first we need to finish up this week’s events.

Sunday in Memphis, Cambridge, Ontario, and Vienna, Austria

Sunday looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun in Memphis, with Rafa Cabrera Bello, Stewart Cink, and Ben Crane going into the final round at the FedEx St. Jude Classic sharing a 9-under par, one stroke lead. It’s not much of an edge. The trio will be fighting off a chasing pack of 18 players who are within five shots of the lead, as well as each other.

There was some very fine golf played Saturday at the St. Jude – Cabrara Bello’s flop shot is just a sample.

Let’s see what the PGA TOUR golf wizards have in store for us today.  PGA TOUR LIVE begins streaming the St. Jude at 2:30pm ET and CBS begins the televised broadcast of the final round at 3pm ET.

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At the Manulife LPGA Classic Lexi Thompson edged ahead of Lindy Duncan with a birdie at the last on Saturday. Thompson is going into Sunday with a one stroke lead. Look for her to work hard to put some distance between herself and the chasing pack.

Jackie Stoling’s 8-under par 64 was the low round of the day on Saturday and Duncan’s meteoric rise up the leaderboard still has the commentators speechless. Ariya Jutanugarn is lurking and threatening. She came from a share of 20th to a share of 4th (with Alena Sharp) on moving day and Lexi Thompson better watch her back because I have a feeling Ariya Jutanugarn is going to turn it on today.

Defending champion Caroline Masson is down in the middle of the field going into Sunday, but she got a nice consolation prize Saturday with an ace on the par-3 17th.

The intrepid Allie White, the Symetra Tour Monday qualifier who caught my eye and got the 4th spot on my Ladies Dream Golf fantasy team, is doing a good job for me. Go, Allie! Make your final round your best one!

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The Manulife LPGA Classic final round begins at 7am ET. Lexi Thompson and Lindy Duncan, playing in the final group, tee off at 12:50pm. You can follow the action live on the LPGA electronic leaderboard until Golf Channel begin its broadcast at 3pm ET.

It’s beginning to look like Filipe Aguilar will come out on top at the Lyoness Open. He opened up a two shot lead on Saturday, so he has a bit of comfort going into the final round. A win at the Diamond Course today would be a huge boon for the Chilean whose best 2017 finish so far was a T41 at the Qatar Masters. But Aguilar seems to have found his groove on the Diamond Course – he’s put more circles on his scorecards this week than any other player in the Lyoness Open field. You can’t go wrong with a hot flatstick – just ask Lexi Thompson.

Start your day with the final round of the Lyoness Open. Golf Channel begins broadcast at 6am.

Golf with a Twist

The RBC Canadian Open is going to have a special fan treat next month – a Glen Abbey Golf Club par-3 hole set up inside hockey boards, complete with bleachers and a Zamboni. It even has a name: The Rink! What’s this about?

Tournament director Brent McLaughlin explained the thinking behind the creation of The Rink:

"We wanted to create an experience that oozed Canadian. We know Canadians love hockey, and of course they love golf too. Combining rinks and links was a no-brainer."

Well, it is the Canadian Open so I suppose it does make sense to integrate Canadian themes into the fan experience. Do you think The Rink has the same potential to excite the fans as the par-3 16th at the Waste Management?

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The Erin Hills Rough

We’ve been reading about the Erin Hills rough for two or three weeks now and as the 117th U.S. Open first round tee time approaches, that nasty fescue rough is still growing. But there’s more to that mess of fescue than meets the eye.

Golf World reports that Erin Hills course superintendent Zach Reineking cut a deal with a neighboring Amish community. The fescue gets harvested, baled, and delivered to the Amish. It makes fine winter fodder for horses and cattle. And what does Erin Hills get in return? Furniture for the golf course. It’s a win-win exchange of resources. Kudos to Erin Hills!

U.S. Open Field: Reacting to Erin Hills

With players coming to Erin Hills in waves, the practice rounds are the current focus of everybody’s attention. Olympic gold medalist and 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose enjoyed his first encounter with the golf course.

Jim Furyk, who played a practice round with DJ and Billy Ho was less loquacious.

We already knew Erin Hills is a long, tough course, Jim. Can’t you give us a little more to work with?  Maybe some commentary to accompany these visuals of the course from Ned Michaels:

A Little Love for the Caddie

Kevin Kisner’s caddie, Duane Bock, has been faithfully looping for Kisner for the last eight years.  Kisner took a piece of his $1.8 million Dean and Deluca check and bought Bock a new ride, a Ford F-150 King Ranch, something that’s big enough to accommodate Bock’s calves, which get a considerable amount of attention independent of Bock or Kisner’s playing performance.

Next: U.S. Open: Five bold predictions

Golf Links is the ProGolfNow daily weekend column that keeps you up-to-date on events in progress and breaking news in the world of golf. Watch for the next issue of Golf Links on Friday, June 16 – it’s a great way to start your day!