Welcome to the October Pro Golf Wrap-Up – everything you need to know in the world of golf expertly curated by your friends at Global Golf Management.
Fall golf never has been more compelling than in this year of COVID-19 scheduling adjustments – which isn’t something to celebrate but to simply take note of. That continued to be true in the month of October with the crowning of another major champion.
Sei Young Kim of Korea fired a final-round 63 at Aronimink Golf Club on October 11 and captured the KMPG Women’s PGA Championship to defeat Inbee Park by five strokes in Newtown Square, Pa.
It was the first major title for Kim, 27, who now owns 11 LPGA titles, finished with a championship record 14-under 266 total. Her closing 63 tied another record.
“I’m actually really hiding my tears at the moment,” the former LPGA Rookie of the Year said after finally breaking through after a couple of near misses in major championships, including a second-place finish in this same event in 2015.
Park, a three-time winner of the Women’s PGA Championship, had a 65 on Sunday for 271.
Other LPGA winners in October were Mel Reid in the ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer and Ally McDonald in the LPGA Drive On Championship – Reynolds Lake Oconee.
On the PGA TOUR, Sergio Garcia, Martin Laird, Jason Kokrak and Patrick Cantlay emerged with victories.
In Galloway, N.J., Reid, a stalwart on the Ladies European Tour, broke through for her first LPGA title. The native of England closed with a 4-under 67 at Seaview Hotel and Golf Club to beat Jennifer Kupcho by two strokes. Reid ended up at 19-under 265 to set the tournament record.
Celebrating her 28th birthday, McDonald also won for the first time on the LPGA, taking the LPGA Drive On Championship-Lake Reynolds in Greensboro, Ga. The Mississippi native shot a final round 3-under 69 on the Great Waters Course to defeat Danielle Kang by a stroke with a 16-under 272 total.
Sergio Garcia won his 11th PGA TOUR title, but his first since the 2017 Masters, by making a short birdie putt on the 72nd hole to beat Peter Malnati by one stroke. Garcia won a pro title for the 10th straight year and now has won 31 times worldwide.
The Spaniard closed with a 5-under 67 at Jackson Country Club in Jackson, Miss., to finish at 19-under 269.
In Las Vegas the following week, another veteran from abroad also broke through after a drought. Martin Laird won the Shriners Hospital for Children Open to end a seven-year winless streak. The veteran from Scotland sank a 23-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a sudden death playoff to beat Matthew Wolff and Austin Cook.
All three men completed 72 holes at TPC Summerlin in 23-under 261. Laird, who won for the fourth time and the second time in this event, had a 68 while Cook and Wolff closed with 66 apiece.
During the second week in Vegas, Jason Kokrak, an Ohio product, enjoyed a bit of a home-field advantage in winning the CJ Cup. Kokrak beat Xander Schauffele by two shots at Shadow Creek, a course he had played a few dozen times as an ambassador for MGM, which owns the layout.
Kokrak closed with a bogey-free eight-under 64 for a 20-under 268 total.
Cantlay closed out the month with his third career title, rallying past Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas to capture the Zozo Championship, which like the CJ Cup was brought to the United States from an overseas venue for one year due to the pandemic.
A 7-under 65 at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., was good for a one-stroke win for the California native who completed 72 holes in 23-under 265.
Stay tuned here and on Global Golf Management Twitter for next month’s Pro Golf Wrap-Up.