Monday Rewind: What you may have missed in golf this weekend

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Monday Rewind: What you may have missed in golf this weekend

Euro Tour

Monday Rewind: What you may have missed in golf this weekend

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The return of the Houston Open in a new slot as part of the PGA Tour’s Fall schedule after an 18-month hiatus attracted just two of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

The inordinate number of top players choosing to take a breather basically turned the Houston Open into a glorified Korn Ferry Tour stop, albeit one offering a purse of $7.5 million and a berth in the 2020 Masters.

So was it any real surprise that a first-timer won the event?

Lanto Griffin did just that, after making par on the 18th hole with a five-foot putt.

Lanto Griffin reacts after making a par putt on the 18th hole to win the 2019 Houston Open in Humble, Texas. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Others gave chase on Sunday, including 38-year-old Tour rookie Scott Harrington, who took a year away from the game to care for his wife,  Jenn, who is fighting Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Her cancer is now in remission. Harrington finished tied for second with Mark Hubbard.

Maverick McNealy made birdies on a career-high five consecutive holes (Nos. 12-16). Advice from his LPGA girlfriend Danielle Kang after his third round certainly helped.

Rich Beem finished T-55 with his son on the bag. Beem had written tournament organizers several weeks ago, asking for an exemption. He mailed the letter and left for the U.K., where he covered the BMW PGA Championship and Dunhill Links as part of his main gig with Sky Sports. Michael, a high school golfer, caddied for his father in Houston. He’s a big part of why Beem wanted to play.

“I want to teach him how good rounds happen, how to save marginal rounds and how to make the most out of a bad situation,” Beem said. “He’s at that age where he gives up mentally. It’s easy to teach them when things are going well. But when things are going sideways, as they did today (Beem shot a third-round 76 on Saturday), how do you save this thing?”

Wiesberger wins again, eyes Ryder Cup spot

Pencil Bernd Wiesberger’s name into the 2020 European Ryder Cup team. Don’t be surprised if he makes Padraig Harrington’s team as 2019 European No. 1.

The Austrian moved to the top of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai with a one-shot win over Matthew Fitzpatrick in the $7 million Italian Open. It’s Wiesberger’s third win of 2019 following the Made in Denmark and the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open.

Wiesberger, who picked up $1.67 million for his latest victory, was 389th in world last year and should move to 22nd with this win. He might not be done.

Kelly wins SAS, cuts into McCarron’s Schwab lead

Locked in a tight race at the SAS Championship, Jerry Kelly ran off five straight birdies to close out the front nine and then made an insurance birdie late that carried him to a 7-under 65 and a one-shot victory in the final regular-season event on the PGA Tour Champions.

“When the guys are so close and you’re bunched up, it’s make the next birdie,” Kelly said. “And then somebody else makes a birdie and it’s like, ‘OK, I have to make another birdie. I have to make another birdie.’ It kind of shocked me to see I was three, four shots clear.”

Kelly, who finished at 16-under 200, won for the third time this year on the PGA Tour Champions and takes plenty of momentum into the postseason. He went over $2 million in earnings for the year and remains No. 2 in the Charles Schwab Cup standings, though he cut into Scott McCarron’s once big lead.

Kelly now is $221,430 behind McCarron, and points are double in the three Schwab Cup playoff events that start in two weeks.

“I’m very happy to be healthy, very happy to be playing well at this time,” Kelly said.

Next week is the Dominion Energy Charity Classic at The Country Club of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia.

LPGA

The LPGA was off this week as the tour heads overseas. Action resumes Oct. 17-20 at the Buick LPGA Shanghai in China.

The LPGA then goes to Korea, Taiwan and Japan before returning to Florida Nov. 21-24 for the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship in Naples.

Golfweek’s Adam Schupak and Alistair Tait contributed to this article.

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