Golf News

PGA Tour tightens tests, Rory McIlroy addresses Saudi rally

Scottie Scheffler, his wife Meredith and their son Bennett from number 18 in Muirfield Village.


Welcome back to Monday Finish, where we twice mow our front yard. US Open week! Let’s get into the news.

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And now, up to 14.


Do we get great tests of heroism… every week?

As Xander Schauffele speaking to the media last Tuesday before the Memorial Tournament, he admitted that he was preparing to get tired. Partly he was still exhausted from winning (and celebrating) his first major championship. But this is also the part of the schedule where the Tour (and its hosts) bring the heat. And growing up rough.

Think back to Quail Hollow, where Schauffele came from Rory McIlroy on a challenging course that features tight, firm greens and gusty winds. Hardly hard. At the end of the week there were just three scores better than six under par.

Then came PGA week, usually the toughest on the schedule. But the soft conditions and little tension meant that Valhalla actually produced one of the easiest scoring tests of the year.

A few more “regular” tour events followed but those were tough, too, including the pros on the new greens at Colonial Country Club, where there was only one winner. Davis Riley two digits are broken under the section. It’s really hard.

Then came the cream of the crop in Dublin, Ohio for the Memorial Tournament, where Schauffele gave a brief evaluation of the test: “The course is in great shape. It’s really hard. The worst is like the most crowded I’ve ever seen, so there’s a lot of work to be done.” It’s difficult. But it’s good. Welcome to the Journey.

Muirfield Village greens started the week soft but things quickly got tougher as the week progressed; on Sunday they were strong, the target sizes in the landing spots had dwindled to almost nothing and the average score reached about 75. The harder the greens, the harder the greens.

But there’s a reason we like the hard stuff – it often points to a worthy champion! Unsurprisingly it was the best player who survived the toughest test; Scottie Scheffler came out the winner with 8 under the category. Only 11 golfers finished the week in the red.

“What we want as players is to be rewarded for good shots and punished for bad ones. Today was one of those days where I felt that the rewards for good shots were well deserved, and the punishments for bad shots were severe enough. It was a good test,” said Scheffler.

That’s what we want as fans. I guess I have to speak for myself: that’s what I want as a fan, to see players challenged and tested and rewarded and punished and separated. It’s made for satisfying viewing over the past few weeks and it’s no surprise that winners like Scheffler and McIlroy have emerged. But it was nice to see PGA Championship style testing the week before the PGA Championship, and now we have US Open style testing the week before the US Open. Maybe we’ll get another next week, too.

“I feel like the situation is over in Connecticut as well, so I feel like it’s going to be an interesting time,” Schauffele said of the Travelers Championship site, which will host the Signature Event next week. “Actually, the US Open may have a small amount of difficulty in all the places we play in the next three weeks, which feels wrong.”

Time will tell if this is too big at the same time, if the players are knocked down when they get to Hartford and if it reduces the Signature Events to have them on big shoulders. But for now? Enjoy the view. Pinehurst will look, feel and play differently than anything we’ve seen on Tour. And what we’re seeing on the Tour, of late, has exceeded expectations. Top experts being tested all the time? Pressure-cooker wins golf tournaments? Those are the things about golf that I love.


Who won the week?

Scottie Scheffler won the Memorial, ending a two-game losing streak. The title was his first as a father and – unrelated – his first victory since full release.

Lynn Grant won the Scandinavian Mixed – a combined event between the DP World Tour and the Ladies European Tour – in impressive fashion. He bogeyed the No. 18 to finish with a final round of 65. As he awaits the next round, his Swedish counterpart. Sebastian Soderberg hit a double leg on No. 18 to post a 77, giving him an eight-shot lead and giving Grant the title.

With her first Scandinavian Mixed win in 2022, Grant became the first woman to win on the DP World Tour. With Sunday’s victory, she is the first woman to win twice.

One from Sweden, Linnea Strom, came back strong from T52 with a final round of 60 to win the ShopRite LPGA Classic. He was quiet at 8:20 a.m., needing only 20 putts and watched the rest of the afternoon as one after the other scores rolled in behind him. No one finished better.

Carlos Ortiz won LIV’s Houston event for his first victory on the circuit, and the Cleeks took home their first team title.

Again Ernie Els won for the second week in a row on the PGA Tour Champions, defeating Steve Stricker in a qualifier for the American Family Championship.


But not losers, either.

Collin Morikawa you are back. Although he didn’t finish chasing Scottie Scheffler on Sunday, he shot a final-round 71 to cut a four-shot deficit to one.

Morikawa reunited with his lifelong skating coach Rick Sessinghaus just before the Masters and although correlation and causation are difficult to prove, he has been crying ever since. T3 at the Masters. Ninth at RBC Heritage. A respectable T16 at Wells Fargo. T4 from Sunday’s final pairing at the PGA. Fourth at Charles Schwab. And now he is the last one in the Memorial. Morikawa said it was great to be in the final two after such a long time. But he also sounded like someone with an apron on his shoulder.

“I mean, I feel like I’m always under the radar, so I just show up and do my thing,” she said. “Look, I’m not any way. The game of golf isn’t about long drives or crazy putting or anything. But I just find a way to do it and that’s kind of what I’ve always been true to. “

We recommend that he stick to it.


Saudi things you should know, in a nutshell.

-The PGA Tour sub-committee held its first in-person meeting with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, sponsors of LIV Golf.

Tiger Woods he was one of those who attended the Tour in person in New York City, while the governor of the PIF Yasir Al-Rumayyan he was there, too.

Rory McIlroy called it on the phone from Ohio and described it as “very productive, very constructive, very collaborative”.

– The parties have met remotely to discuss a potential investment in the PGA Tour, McIlroy said. But this three-hour session focused more on the future of professional golf.

-One McIlroy takeaway may seem obvious but has been a point of contention throughout the LIV/PGA Tour saga: the PIF is interested in the return of funds.

“That’s what they want. They don’t seem to be getting that right now within golf,” he says, pointing to LIV’s current sheet. “And this – hopefully if things continue and we get to a point, hopefully they’ll see a future where that’s possible, they can start getting some return on their money.”

-The PGA Tour confirmed in a statement that the parties are united, that “more progress has been made” and referred to “a shared vision for the future of professional golf.”


This made me laugh:


From Collin Morikawa.

“I just got into this little habit … because I wasn’t feeling right, I was playing numbers in my head trying to do this math instead of being an artist and playing shots.”


What can we expect from Tiger Woods?

Because the typical US Open setup is so taxing on the body, analysts reasoned Tiger Woods and his national championship won’t be a good game in his entire career – except this week at Pinehurst, where he will be able to play a short game, trick and craft.

But Woods’ short game was part of what brought him down at Valhalla, where he admitted after the miss that he needed more reps to improve his game but wasn’t sure his body could handle it. I’m always optimistic about Woods, so I’m saying he’s successful this week – but he hasn’t shown he’s ready to handle four rounds of championship golf. Let’s hope this is the week that changes.


The Wyndham Exchange.

How did last year’s US Open champion go from No. 300 in the world to No. 3? By making these three amazing changes:


Monday Finish HQ.

We completed (survived?) our first cross-country flight with our four-month-old baby this week. I have about a billion takeaways, but one of them is this: anytime a flight attendant disturbs a sleeping child with a powerful credit card promo they should be arrested. Or at least the kid’s parents get a free drink.

I can’t wait to watch the US Open with you all. I’ll meet you back here next Monday — or in your inbox with special green images. But only if you register below!


See you next week.

Dylan Dethier

Dylan Dethier Editor

Dylan Dethier is a senior writer for GOLF Magazine/ The young man originally from Williamstown, Mass. joined GOLF in 2017 after two years struggling on the small tour. Dethier is a graduate of Williams College, where he majored in English, and is the author of 18 in Americadescribing the year he spent at age 18 living in his car and golfing in every state.

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