We recap an historic week across the professional golf tours, where McIlory made it four wins, Ko took a step closer to legend status and Dunlap burst onto the PGA Tour scene
Here's a look back on what happened on tour last week. We'll be sharing the winners, shots and moments of the week.
Winner's circle - week ending 21st January
Here's who won:
LPGA Tour - Lydia Ko made it LPGA win number 20, when she won the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions by two shots. With her win, the 26-year-old moves to just one point away from being inducted into the LPGA Hall of Fame. Read the full round-up here.
PGA Tour - What were you doing during your second year at University? Probably not winning on a top professional tour. But that's exactly what reigning US Amateur champion Nick Dunlap did. The 20-year-old became the first amateur since Phil Mickelson in 1991 to win on the PGA Tour.
Dunlap won The American Express tournament by one shot over South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout to become the youngest amateur winner in 114 years. His amateur status means he does not collect the $1.5 million first prize. What does the future hold? The University of Alabama student is going to have to make some big decisions over the coming days and months.
DP World Tour - Rory McIlroy made history by becoming the first four-time winner of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic. The 34-year-old defended his title and went one step better after finishing runner-up at the Dubai Invitational last week.
McIlroy was 10 shots behind the leader after the first two rounds but a sensational 63 on Saturday brought him back into contention. He maintained his momentum into Sunday, catching and overtaking over night leader Cameron Young. McIlroy finished at 14-under-par, one shot ahead of Poland's Adrian Meronk, with American Young a further shot behind.
WPGA Tour of Australasia - It was another New Zealand victory as Kazuma Kobori completed a two shot victory at the Webex Players Series Murray River at Cobram Barooga Golf Club.
He held off a spirited charge from Singapore’s Shannon Tan, in her maiden event as a professional with older sister Momoka Kobori tied for third with Australian pair Aaron Wilkin and Andrew Martin.
Shot of the week
There were quite a few contenders this week, from Ryan Fox's sublime play around Emirates Golf Club that included a near ace. Justin Thomas also lipped out for a hole-in-one. Talking of hole-in-ones Team Europe's Ryder Cup Captian Luke Donald had his nineteenth hole-in-one at the Dubai Desert Classic. You are reading it right, 19!
Here's his thoughts on it:
"The 4th hole, 183 yards, a little down off the right. I just hit a cut 8-iron and over this little hill. My eye sight is not that good thighs days. I couldn't see it but I saw some people behind the green jumping up-and-down. A shame it wasn't on camera but nice to get one of those.
"I've had three in tournaments, and I think that was number 19 total. So I've been pretty fortunate with the hole-in-ones. Sorry for anyone out there who has never had one. I've obviously taken them."
Ally Ewing also had a great run of form on the final round of the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions, where she went birdie, eagle, sinking a long range putt on the 15th hole.
Coming in a close second is Nicolai Hojgaard, who slam dunked the ball for eagle on the par 4 17th at Emirates Golf Club during his second round.
We promise that not every shot of the week will be a hole-in-one but this was a very special one. Jess Whitting won a $93,000 BMW i4 eDrive35 grand coupe with a hole-in-one at the par-3 third in Round 3 of the Webex Players Series Murray River at Cobram Barooga Golf Club. It was also the day after her 26th birthday!
With an option to cash in rather than drive off into the sunset, Whitting could use money to chase her dream of playing full-time in the US.
"It really does set up the rest of the year for me,” said a “gobsmacked” Whitting.
Moment of the week
You would think that winning your 20th LPGA Tour event or making history as the first four-time winner of an event would equally count as the moment of the week. But the moment and the headlines belong to Nick Dunlap, who became the youngest amateur to win on the PGA Tour since 1910...
We're only three weeks into 2024 and there is already a lot of talk about on tour. Check back next week to find out who will come out on top, shots and moment of the week across professional golf tours around the world.
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