And there were examples last week in the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour.
On the men’s side, Lee Hodges (Titleist Pro V1), ranked 110
It came at an appropriate time, too. He began the tournament 74
JT Poston (Titleist Pro V1x) tied for second at 17-under par with Martin Laird (Srixon Z-Star XV) and Kevin Streelman (Titleist Pro V1x). Poston began the tournament as one of the favorites at 6½-1. Streelman was 80-1 and Laird a whopping 750-1.
Hodges began the tournament 110-1 odds. Heading into the final round he was less than odds-on to win.
“This has been a dream week,” he said after tournament. “I’ve got the best everybody and they work so hard. I couldn’t have done it without them. Man, I’m just happy everybody’s here.”
He collected $1.4 million for the win. Prior to the tournament, he had earned $2.05 million on the season. So how does Hodges, who has a career record of making only 39 of 65 cuts, including 16 of 30 this season, break through so dominantly? Here’s a theory. Many of the elite players on the PGA Tour skipped the event following the Open Championship. While these headline stars have committed to playing in at least 20 tournaments this year as part of the agreement last year to boost purses following LIV Golf’s first season, they have basically hit the minimum limit. Many will skip this week’s Wyndham Championship, the final event of the 2022-2023 season, since they have already qualified for the FedEx Cup playoffs. There’s no reason to push themselves to play more.
One of the few who will be hoping to qualify for the start of the playoffs is Justin Thomas (Titleist Pro V1x), who sits at 79
HEY LADIES: France’s Celine Boutier (Titleist Pro V1x) of France won her career major in the Amundi Evian Championship. It was even sweeter because it happened in her home country. In fact, she became the first French woman to win the tournament.
“It’s honestly been my biggest dream since I started watching golf,” said Boutier after the victory. “This tournament has always been very special to me, just even watching as a teenager. Just to be able to hold this trophy is pretty unbelievable.”
She is the top-winning career winner from France on the LPGA Tour.
The victory was worth $1 million.
Canadian Brooke Henderson (TaylorMade TP5x), a two-time major winner and one of the best in the world, placed second.
Perry Lefko is an award-winning writer who has published nine books, three of them bestsellers. He has been involved in sports writing for more than 35 years and has interviewed many superstar athletes. He lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and enjoys watching golf and playing it.