Each Thursday, the Boston Globe hands out its weekly golf award, goes inside the numbers, and looks at the week ahead on the tours:
Player of the week: Lydia Ko. In a season that’s seen plenty of accomplishments from young golfers – 14-year-old Andy Zhang was the youngest to ever play in a US Open, 10-year-old Latanna Stone the youngest to ever qualify for the US Women’s Amateur – what Ko did might be the most impressive. Born in South Korea but raised in New Zealand, Ko became the youngest winner in LPGA Tour history when she captured the CN Canadian Women’s Open at age 15. A model of consistency (68-68-72-67), Ko won by three shots, and added another historic victory to the US Women’s Amateur title she won earlier this month in Cleveland. She broke the record of Lexi Thompson, who won an LPGA Tour event at 16.
A rare achievement: Conjuring up images and comparisons to Isao Aoki and Robert Gamez, Eugene Wong joined the exclusive club of winning professional golf tournaments by holing out for eagle on the final hole. Wong was playing in the Canadian Tour Championship, and trailed Joe Panzeri by one stroke when he reached his ball in the fairway of the par-4 18th hole, 133 yards away. “My caddie and I were walking up the fairway, and he said, ‘It would be nice to hole it right now, wouldn’t it?’ I said, ‘Yeah, it would.’” His 9-iron to an uphill target landed close, bounced, then rolled in, giving the former All-American at Oregon a win in just his third professional start. Video cameras recorded the dramatic finish, so if you’d like to see Wong’s shot, check it out on YouTube.
Back on Tour: Casey Martin has parlayed his unexpected run to this year’s US Open into at least two more tournament starts. Martin, who missed the cut by one shot at the Olympic Club in his first stab at professional golf since 2006, has accepted a sponsor’s exemption into the PGA Tour’s Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open, set for Oct. 4-7 in Las Vegas. He’ll prep for that by playing in the Web.com Tour’s Albertsons Boise Open, Sept. 13-16 in Idaho, also via a sponsor’s exemption. The starts won’t interfere with the fall schedule for the University of Oregon men’s golf team, coached for the last six seasons by Martin.
Tweet of the week: “Thank you to everyone in Vermont for a great day! #woodchucks” – Keegan Bradley (@Keegan_Bradley), who held a fund-raiser at Woodstock Inn & Resort Golf Club on Monday for the area impacted by Hurricane Irene one year ago. The charity event was expected to raise close to $100,000.
This week’s tour schedules:
PGA Tour: Deutsche Bank Championship, Norton, Mass. Purse: $8 million (winner’s share $1.44 million). Defending champion: Webb Simpson. Number of top-10 players in field: Ten (Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood, Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Steve Stricker). TV: Friday/Saturday 3-6 p.m. (Golf Channel), Sunday 1-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. (NBC), Monday 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2-6 p.m. (NBC).
European Tour: Omega European Masters, Crans Montana, Switzerland. Purse: 2.1 million euros. Defending champion: Thomas Bjorn. TV: Thursday/Friday 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Saturday/Sunday 8 a.m.-noon. (all on Golf Channel).
Web.com Tour: Mylan Classic, Canonsburg, Pa. Purse: $600,000 (winner’s share $108,000). Defending champion: Gary Christian. TV: Thursday 3-6 p.m., Friday/Saturday 6:30-8:30 p.m., Sunday 7-9 p.m. (all on Golf Channel).