A budding star finally breaks through and 3 other stories you might’ve missed
Bryson DeChambeau once again dominated the headlines in the world of golf, but there was plenty else happening that you might’ve missed last week. Here’s a refresher.
PGA Tour announces new fall series
The coronavirus pandemic threw a wrench into the PGA Tour schedule, but there were reverberations felt on other tours as well. While the PGA Tour (and its top development circuit, the Korn Ferry Tour) was able to pivot plans and alter logistics to safely return to play, other development tours — PGA Tour Series-China, Mackenzie Tour and PGA Tour Latinoamérica — were not so fortunate.
To compensate for these coronavirus-induced lack of playing opportunities, the PGA Tour is planning an eight-event fall series for players from those tours. According to an email sent to players, the series is scheduled to take place from August through October across the southeast United States. There will be various Covid-19 protocols and “the events will be operated under Tour oversight to provide competitive integrity and player payment assurance.”
The series is slated to feature 54-hole, stroke-play events with 36-hole cuts of the low 55 players and ties. The events will have 144-player fields with approximate purses of $100,000, with $16,000 to each tournament’s winner. Entry fees will be $675.
Erik Barnes continues strong play
Erik Barnes was covered in last week’s column for his stellar play coming back from golf’s hiatus, but he deserves another shout out this week, too.
After month’s spent waking in the wee hours of the morning to stock groceries in order to make ends meet, Barnes has returned to golf with some beautiful play. He followed his T13 performance with a T3 finish this past week at the TPC Colorado Championship, his best in over two years. Impressive perseverance from the journeyman.
Will Zalatoris breaks through in Colorado
For Will Zalatoris, it was always about when, not if, he’d notch his first professional victory. At least, that’s what he kept telling himself.
“I’ve won at every level. I know that eventually win I’ll here,” Zalatoris said last summer at the TPC Colorado Championship. “It’s just a matter of time.”
One year later, his prediction came true at the same venue where he made the claim.
After knocking on the door since golf’s return (T6, T3, 4), Zalatoris finally broke through for his first Korn Ferry Tour victory at TPC Colorado, a final-round 69 sealing his fate. He now sits atop the Korn Ferry Tour standings and is in excellent shape to graduate to the PGA Tour.
“Now we’re one step closer to getting our card,” Zalatoris said.
Another bonus? He’s solidified a spot in the U.S. Open with his spot atop the Korn Ferry Tour standings. Pretty sweet week for the 23 year old.
Danny Willett has best finish since 2016
Every golf fan is familiar with Danny Willett. As the beneficiary of an epic Jordan Spieth Masters collapse, it’s hard not to know the name. But after his 2016 Masters win, the Englishman fell into a rut.
As recently as 2018, Willett had fallen to No. 462 in the World Ranking — a far cry from the summit he’d climbed two years prior. Since that valley though, he’s steadily climbed his way back — even carding a win at the BMW PGA last fall — ascending back into the top 50, where he sits currently at 36th.
The Rocket Mortgage Classic represented another important fence post for Willett as he finished T4, his best on the PGA Tour since that fateful Masters win. Although he splits his playing time on both sides of the pond, it’s good to see him back in form stateside.