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PGA Tour fall swing winners and losers: Rory McIlroy shines, Rickie Fowler misses opportunities

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While there will be several off-the-record events in December, including another edition of The Match, the fall PGA Tour ended on Sunday with Adam Svensson’s victory at The RSM Classic.

This win was huge for the 28-year-old Canadian, who effectively lost his Tour card after the 2019 season. He has a career-first tour win to his credit, as well as a trip to The Masters among other big events of the season.

“It’s been my dream since I was 10, 8 years old,” Svensson said. “I don’t think money really does anything. It’s the feeling of going ahead and winning and all that, you just can’t beat it.”

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He is far from the only big winner of the autumn swing. Let’s take a look at who shone and who struggled in the opening events of the 2022-23 season.

Winner: Rory McIlroy

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While Rory McIlroy’s biggest achievement this fall was the DP world tour, his place on this list is pretty easy.

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The reigning FedExCup winner is playing perhaps the best golf of his career.

McIlroy, who won a historic third FedEx Cup at the end of last season, scored the 23rd Tour victory of his career at the CJ Cup in South Carolina in October. Although it marked his first and only stop on the Tour this season, McIlroy returned to the top spot in the Official World Golf Rankings for the ninth time in his career.

Then on Sunday, McIlroy finished fourth at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, officially giving him his fourth European Tour win of the season. He played only 10 tournaments at this track and finished no worse than 12th.

John Ram won in Dubai on Sunday, beating McIlroy by four strokes.

“I was a model of consistency throughout the year,” McIlroy said. “Lots of great results. I think my worst European Tour finish I’ve played this year was 12th at the start of the year in Abu Dhabi. Really solid season with good performances… You know, I’m very proud of my year and looking forward to 2023.”

There is only one potential problem for McIlroy ahead of the year-end break: he must stop playing.

McIlroy has been on the hunt for a big championship win for years. His last win was at the 2014 PGA Championship. If anyone was right around the corner, McIlroy would have been the clear favorite.

But the Masters is still almost five months away. During this time, many things can happen, good or bad.

Only time will tell if McIlroy’s streak continues into the summer.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy won his fourth DP World Tour season championship on Sunday afternoon. (Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Lost: Ricky Fowler

Ricky Fowler needed to win the Tour, it seems forever.

His most recent win came at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in 2019 and he has seemed to have struggled ever since. The 33-year-old fan favorite dropped to 106th in OWGR and hasn’t been in the top 50 since 2020.

Fowler’s tour status also expires at the end of the 2022/23 season, so he needs a win.

That’s why this fall must be so disappointing for him.

Fowler had two seemingly perfect opportunities to pick up his sixth career win this season. He finished sixth at the Fortinet Championship in September, five shots behind winner Max Homa, and was in it all the time.

A month later, he nearly won the Zozo Championship in Japan, thanks in no small part to a 63 without a bogey on Friday. He was even one shot ahead of everyone before the final round, but eventually lost to Keegan Bradley.

While Fowler is playing good golf again, he has missed two great opportunities to win – something he can’t carry over into the new year.

Winner: Tom Kim

This fall, Tom Kim supported his breakout season on the Tour very well.

The 20-year-old South Korean picked up his second career three-stroke win in September at the Shriners Children’s Open, making him the first player since Tiger Woods to win twice before he turned 21. or.

Kim, now ranked 15th in the OWGR, took his first Tour win just three starts after making it there as a special temporary entrant, earning him a final runner-up in the FedExCup playoffs where he ultimately ended up taking 1st place. 35. His performance also earned him a place in the Presidents’ Cup.

Despite playing in only three events this season, Kim has finished in the top 25 every time – most recently with a T11 finish at the CJ Cup. His first season as a full member of the Tour is already off to a great start.

Loser: Mark Hubbard

The fall has started off promisingly for Mark Hubbard, who, like Fowler, needs a win before his Tour card expires at the end of the season.

But things went downhill, and quickly.

Hubbard finished a T5 finish at the Sanderson Farms championship in early October, a great way to shore up a T21 finish in his rookie season. However, his last four outings have been tough.

Hubbard finished 66th at the Zozo Championship and then failed to finish in his last three matches. He failed to qualify for either the Bermuda Championship or the World Tech Championship and was then effectively disqualified from the Houston Open for having too many clubs. He had +9 at the time, so he would have missed there anyway.

The 33-year-old has yet to win at the Tour, although last season was his best. He finished in the top 5 twice weeks late and qualified for the FedEx Cup playoffs, although he was eliminated in the first week. He held the lead after 54 holes at the Sanderson Farms Championship this season but just couldn’t hold on.

But the way he ended the fall segment of the season was brutal. Hope it doesn’t carry over to January.

Tony Finau
Tony Finau took his fifth career win earlier this month at the Houston Open. (Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Winner: Tony Finau

Tony Finau has only played twice this season. He, too, missed the cut in his rookie season.

But his performance at the Houston Open was fantastic.

Earlier this month, Finau picked up the fifth win of his career in Houston, also the third win in about four months. Last fall, he won several weeks in a row and quickly made his way to the Tour Championship.

He won not only in Houston. Finau went just 1 short in his last round and still beat Tyson Alexander by four shots. At one point, he had a massive eight-shot lead.

“I always hoped that I would be able to run special races and I think we are starting to see that now,” Finau said after his win. “I’m starting to put together a complete game that I’m really excited about. All you can do is work hard, and I’ve been working really hard on the parts of the game that I know I have to do, and I think that’s starting to show.”

What is it.



Source: sports.yahoo.com

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