Wed, Dec 11, 2019

It was supposed to be the quietest golf weekend in a long time (maybe all year). There was no PGA Tour event. Most of the top players in the world were either taking vacation or making picks on College Gameday (more on this in a minute). But there were plenty of surprise endings on Sunday in the golf world, which is both difficult and easy to believe.

Difficult because of how little golf was being played and easy because this sport never ceases to deliver. On a lazy Saturday and Sunday, we got two of the more bizarre finishes of the entire calendar year from two tours on opposite sides of the globe. 

Here’s a look at what you may have missed over the weekend in the world of golf.

Full moon: A literal full moon emerged at the six-man playoff at the Turkish Airlines Open. It ended under the floodlights as Tyrrell Hatton outlasted Matthias Schwab in four playoff holes. It looked as crazy as it sounds. Hatton, as he has a tendency to do, said it well after the ending.

“Obviously the playoff was mental, and I’m just so happy to win again.”

The craziest (?) part is that Hatton had to chip in on the first playoff hole for birdie just to not get eliminated. It was an invaluable birdie. He went on to win $2 million, the biggest first prize in European Tour history.

Tide Rolled: The No. 4 player in the Official World Golf Rankings — Justin Thomas — was the guest picker on College Gameday. He, of course, picked his beloved Alabama Crimson Tide, which turned out to be a tough choice. Still, it was cool to see one of the best young stars (the best young star?) get a little shine on such a big sports stage. Harsh week for him and Gary Woodland though. Woodland took Thomas to the Kansas-Kentucky basketball game early in the week, and Thomas took Woodland to Bama-LSU. Everybody took Ls in every direction.

Weekend of walk-offs: Not to be outdone by Hatton’s insane playoff win in the dark, Jeff Maggert won the Charles Schwab Cup Championship with this hole out from the fairway. His golf celebration is about as golf celebration as it gets, but an eagle from 123 yards to end the PGA Tour Champions season is on point for the three-time PGA Tour winner. 

Stat of the week: Hatton’s competitors — Kurt Kitayama, Victor Perez, Matthias Schwab, Erik Van Rooyen and Benjamin Hebert — all lost out on an extra $1.6 million for winning. A reminder: The European Tour finished this thing under floodlights with a total of $4 million on the line!

Response of the week: After dumping all the golf balls he had into the water, Eddie Pepperrell was disqualified from the Turkish Airlines Open after he walked off the course. Then as Hatton closed out his win, he got in one final good jab at himself.

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