Hong Kong (AFP)
A former great and a major golf record holder of AFP Sport taking points this week:
– Matador spirit –
The world of golf will mark 10 years since losing the most charismatic of talent, Seve Ballesteros, to a brain tumor in 2011 at the cruelly young age of 54.
The winner of 90 tournaments in the world, including a record 50 European Tour titles and five majors, the Spaniard’s fearless style, grace and shooting are missed to this day.
The 22-year-old matador’s Open Championship victory in 1979 was his first major, and a year later Ballesteros donned the first of his two green jackets at Augusta National, with his second Masters coming just three years later.
World number three Jon Rahm now wears the flag in Spanish golf and knocked on the door of his first major with six top-10s over the past three years and was tied for fifth place at last month’s Masters.
Rahm warms up for this month’s US PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in North Carolina this week, having already followed in his hero’s footsteps two years ago, becoming the first Spaniard since Ballesteros in 1991 to win the Order of the merit of the European Tour.
“My idol has always been Seve,” said Rahm. “I always try to emulate what he inspired on the golf course. “
He surely can’t be much longer until he joins Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia as the great Spanish champion.
– Kim swings low for Tokyo –
Kim Hyo-joo is no stranger to low scoring, as she proved it again with an eight-under-par closing round to jump a phalanx of major winners and win the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore, putting end to a five-year drought on the LPGA Tour. .
Kim’s incredible 61 in the 2014 Evian Championship remains the lowest in major history, men or women.
On Sunday, she signed a 64 without a bogey that saw her pass third-round leader Lin Xiyu, who started five strokes ahead, and compatriot South Korea and seven-time major winner Park In-bee, who has started a rear of the Chinese.
This propelled her past to recently crowning ANA Inspiration winner Patty Tavatanakit and two-time Major Laureates Lydia Ko, Ryu So-yeon and Chun In-gee.
Kim had stayed at home during the 2020 season disrupted by the coronavirus, playing on the KLPGA Tour in South Korea where she won twice.
The victory propels her two places to seventh in the world rankings, meaning she is almost certain to be one of four South Korean representatives at the Tokyo Olympics.
“I played… as the Korean representative for the Junior Cups, so that means a lot to me,” she said. “I think this will have a huge impact not only on my golfing life, but also on my life in general. “
– Burmester is out of Africa –
Speaking of low final rounds, Dean Burmester’s superb 62nd final, with nine birdies and nine pars to win the Tenerife Open this weekend, marked only his second victory on the European Tour, his first coming four years ago at the Tshwane Open in his native South Africa.
The 31-year-old made a name for himself in his National Sunshine Tour, where he scored seven wins before acquiring his European circuit card.
His victory on the Spanish island was therefore a first victory outside the African continent, but fair.
Tenerife sits in the Atlantic Ocean some 300 kilometers west of Morocco, much closer to Africa than mainland Europe – which is about 1,000 kilometers away.
“It’s been four years of struggle and hard work,” said Burmester. “I knew someone was going to be depressed. It was just me. “
Burmester’s award is a move to 18th in the Race to Dubai and 107th in the world from 182nd.
– World rankings –
Latest top 10 men and women, week starting May 3, 2021
1. Dustin Johnson (United States) 10.48
2. Justin Thomas (United States) 8.78
3. Jon Rahm (ESP) 8,71
4. Xander Sc Chaudele (United States) 7.16
5. Bryson DeChambeau (United States) 7.11
6. Collin Morikawa (United States) 7.09
7. Patrick Reed (United States) 6.05
8. Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 5,88
9. Webb Simpson (United States) 5.67
10. Brooks Koepka (United States) 5.36
1. Ko Jin-young (KOR) 9.58
2. Park In-bee (KOR) 8.63
3. Kim Sei-young (KOR) 8.15
4. Nelly Korda (United States of America) 7.89
5. Brooke Henderson (CAN) 6,40
6. Danielle Kang (United States) 6.13
7. Kim Hyo-joo (KOR) 5.80 (+2)
8. Lydia Ko (NZL) 5.54 (-1)
9. Lexi Thompson (United States) 5.15 (-1)
10. Minjee Lee (AUS) 4.80
© 2021 AFP