After Rory Sabbatini (playing for Slovakia) went nuts with a final round 61 to catch him, Xander got up and down from a bunker on the drivable 17th for birdie to regain the lead, then got up and down from 95 yards on 18 for the winning par.
Xander’s mom grew up in Japan and he still has family there.
There’s a 7-way tie for the bronze medal and they’ll have to play it off. Collin Morikawa of the US is one of the seven.
Had to laugh as Bones was describing the shot from the tree line that Xander should play, the safe play to a strength rather than risk filled shot for the green. All i coukd think of was former boss Lefty would have taken the riskier shot and lost the gold medal.
He has come close in several majors…maybe this will help him get over the top and win a major championship or two. He is a great guy with a lot of game.
Limited field with no cut is the Xander special
It’s not as though the limited fields he beat were slouches, such as those you’d see in an event opposite a major.
Tour Championship (2017) was the top 30 points earners that year. WGC (2018) is an event designed to get the top golfers in the world in events other than majors. Sentry (2019) field is any that won a PGA tour event in 2018.
Xander is one of the best players in the world. He has been for the last 2-3 years.
The golf press is trying to build up Olympic golf, but the PGA tour players just don’t really put the Olympics up there with the majors or the top tournaments. Golf is over exposed and overplayed on the PGA tour…12 months a year, every week there is an important tournament.
That is one reason the tour player doesn’t really covet a golf metal. Now, if you gave the winning player $5,000,000 then the PGA players would come runnin’.
I stayed up until Xander holed winning putt. Enjoyed all of it. Sometimes a birdie fest is fun.
Field in Olympic golf is definitely limited. There is a limit of 4 players from each country, That means only 4 Americans can compete. Just lookup the golf rankings and see what I mean.
By the way, that playoff got down to Morikawa and a guy from Taiwan. The Taiwanese guy won. Morikawa finished fourth which is the worst place you can finish in the Olympics.
CT Pan. Won in Hilton Head a few years ago
December is an off time for the Tour. There is one event early in December but that’s it. Top Players can usually take one month off. Some take longer.
A lot of golfers turned down the chance to play in the Olympics. It was nice seeing the final holes play out!
Riveting. I watched all but playoff of final round. My lab sleeps on couch. She leaves our bed about 10:30 every night. She was not happy when she came to the den and I was on the couch until wee hours of the morning.
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