Monday End: 87-yard drives, a caddie shock and a laser beam 3-wood –

The Hawaiian swing wrapped up in type at Waialae.
Getty Pictures
Welcome again to the Monday End, the place scenic broadcast pictures have us taking a look at timeshares in Hawaii — and browsing classes, too. However first, to the golf:
A walk-off.
The best golf shot of 2022 up to now is definitely Hideki Matsuyama‘s playoff 3-wood, and it’s going to be rattling arduous to unseat from that place.
Do you keep in mind just a few years in the past when Brandel Chamblee tried making the case that Dustin Johnson‘s 400-yard tee shot that just about rolled within the gap was the best golf shot of all time? (He was clearly improper, however) Matsuyama’s was significantly better. From 277 yards, he despatched a laserbeam 3-wood into the stratosphere, 131 ft excessive, and if we imagine the printed, he hit 177 mph ball velocity off the deck with 3-wood, too. That will really exceed his season-long common with driver (172.7 mph). Full ship.

Hideki delivers a magnificence from 277 yards out on the primary playoff gap!
Regardless of the ball velocity, Matsuyama’s Srixon landed like a marble in jello and plopped to a cease lower than three ft from the outlet, guaranteeing that he wouldn’t simply win the sudden-death playoff however that he would achieve this with an eagle 3, half the strokes required by his opponent Russell Henley, who ultimately made 6.
A part of the attraction of beginner golfers watching skilled golfer is that the fellows at residence can hit loads of the pictures they see on TV — simply not fairly as regularly. However then there are occasional pictures so heroic you wouldn’t dream of matching them, like a 277-yard fairway wooden that you just deliberate to fly about 272 after which yank it to a useless halt.
A fast apart: Take heed to the Drop Zone!
Who gained the week?
As a result of most of what we hear from Hideki Matsuyama comes by a translator, it’s robust to know for certain. However it undoubtedly appears as if Matsuyama, inscrutable for years, is loosening up a bit behind the mic. And whereas I used to be curious what Japanese phrase he uttered on Friday became translator Bob Turner saying “that’s a tricky row to hoe once you’re that far again,” I used to be much more tickled by with the grin he elicited when requested about serving IHOP at his Masters Champion’s Dinner. And better of all got here the ultimate line of his presser:
“I’ll have my share of sake tonight and we’ll see you all in San Diego at Torrey Pines.”
Properly stated. And well-earned. Matsuyama has a inexperienced jacket now. He has gained the Zozo, a PGA Tour occasion in his residence nation. He has gained eight Tour occasions, climbed again into the highest 10 on the planet. He acknowledged his life has modified.
“It [is] as a result of the strain of not profitable a serious has been gone,” he stated. That appears to be feeling.
If you happen to have been watching the 72nd gap of competitors you seemingly noticed Matsuyama tee his ball up in an attention-grabbing spot on 18 after which rip a excessive draw over the nook of the dogleg.
This teeing place provides me nervousness.
Why ship my coworker Sean and hundreds of viewers into momentary nervousness? As a result of the bushes left of 18 are uniquely suited to creating Tour professionals appear to be morons. Yearly gamers look to chop the nook, and yearly just a few of ’em hit the bushes as a substitute, doinking off to someplace embarrassing from which they’ll hit their second shot. Final yr’s crop included a ricochet shot from MJ Daffue that went simply 63 yards from the tee. This yr, six tee pictures didn’t journey 200 yards, together with the next:
Stephen Jaeger: 174 yards, second spherical, par
Tom Hoge, 160 yards, second spherical, bogey
Kyle Stanley, 157 yards, ultimate spherical, par
Garrett Okamura, 142 yards, second spherical, bogey
Jimmy Walker, 103 yards, ultimate spherical, bogey
Harry Higgs, 87 yards, second spherical, par
You may see ’em indicated by the arrows under:
The bushes left of the 18th tee can wreak havoc.
Certain, the yellow dots (eagles) are spectacular, and the pink dots (birdies) aren’t so dangerous both. However I’m far more fascinated by that blue dot nearest the tee is Higgs’ 87-yarder. It’s price noting that each Jaeger and Hoge hit the green. And it’s price noting that in golf, the irrelevant little particulars are sometimes the funniest.
They get ethical victories, although. And cash.
It’s really robust to be a lot nearer to profitable with out really profitable than Russell Henley was on Sunday. His bid for a profitable birdie at No. 18 was hit with correct tempo and was monitoring on line earlier than it wiggled to the best, caught an fringe of the cup and simply spun out on the far facet, leaving a tap-in par and a playoff. That’s the place he would discover himself on the receiving finish of Matsuyama’s 73rd-hole eagle.
Henley’s birdie putt to win on 18 simply skims the surface edge.
“I’m actually nonetheless scratching my head on how I missed that. It was actually near moving into,” Henley stated afterwards. “I used to be near getting a win. So, robust to swallow, however Hideki performed nice all day and I’m blissful for him.”
Henley earned $817,500 for his heartbreak and moved to a career-best No. 40 on the planet, although. Stable comfort prizes.
High-ranked am Keita Nakajima obtained an exemption into the occasion and made it clear he has the sport to compete when he opened 67-64 to sit down on the primary web page of the leaderboard. He light with a Saturday 72 however shot 67 on Sunday and completed an exceedingly respectable forty first. After which he acquired to benefit from the ultimate holes of his {golfing} hero, Matsuyama, chasing down the lead. His plans post-round:
“I’ll apply then watch Hideki Matsuyama,” he stated. That’s a pleasant Sunday. Subsequent up: Masters prep. Nakajima is already in at Augusta.
Tim Tucker — of Bryson DeChambeau fame — was on the bag for Canadian up-and-comer Adam Svensson this week. It went fairly properly; Svensson logged a career-best Tour end of T7. Tucker is reportedly on a two-week trial; time will inform if it is a non permanent factor or if he has determined the full-time looper life is looking after just a few months away. To date, so good.
The final time Haotong Li made a reduce on the PGA Tour he held a two-shot lead on the 2020 PGA Championship and went viral when he stayed greater than 5 hours after his spherical, hitting balls. Then he fell off the map, lacking greater than a dozen cuts in a row and sliding from No. 32 on the planet to the sting of the highest 500.
However this week he appeared each bit the participant who certified sixth for the Worldwide Presidents Cup group in 2019; he was close to the lead for 36 holes and hung in there on the weekend. Needing birdie at No. 18 for any probability at a high 10, he flagged a short-iron to kick-in vary to publish 15 beneath. Whereas that wasn’t fairly adequate to earn one other begin subsequent week — he completed T12 — it’s an enormous step in the best route.
Not this week.
I like persistence, so I’m impressed with Grayson Murray‘s relentless skill to maintain logging onto Twitter and stepping on rakes. And this weekend’s opening salvo with Kevin Na was largely in good enjoyable — Murray hopping on the Na-plays-slow prepare, Na coming again excessive with a big-time ouchie:
robust scene!
All good, proper? However with golf beefs we will by no means appear to depart properly sufficient alone, and so Murray got here again with some tough-guy stuff:
he wouldn’t although 😂
And stored the jabs coming, whereas Na took a victory lap on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, the place he crowed that even infamous Twitter dunker Brooks Koepka hit him up with reward.
Kevin Na dunked on Grayson Murray after Murray chirped at him on Twitter final week. He instructed Colt and Drew that his tweet impressed fellow professionals like celebrity and Twitter grasp Brooks Koepka.@kevinna915 | @BKoepka | @ColtKnost | @thesleezyman |
Rule No. 1 of creating Twitter jokes: Don’t brag about your Twitter jokes. Right here’s what Na stated:
“It was superb what number of gamers and caddies got here as much as me and complimented me, not on my spherical, about my tweet. I’ve had some large boys telling me how good it was. Even Brooks messaged me — Brooks Koepka messaged me saying how good of a tweet that was.
“Any individual talked about oh, is that this [like] the duel you had with Bryson and Brooks? Initially, [Murray’s] not even on Tour. It’s a must to be any individual to make this worthwhile or make cash out of this match. I imply, I can barely create a buzz — barely. I’m not a major-winner. I’m only a possibly above-average participant on Tour. And who’s this man? No one cares. That’s the unhappy half.”
I get it. Na logged a web based W. He was excited and we respect his good humor and his honesty. However the up to date energy rankings of this beef are as follows:
3. Murray
2. Na
1. Neither
No additional updates obligatory. We hope.
Monday End HQ.
One factor I’ve seen about Seattle is that everybody appears to have the very same winter threshold for what is taken into account “good climate.” Sure, there’s a hearty baseline of dog-walkers and decided runners who will take to the streets in chilly and rain and sleet and no matter else. However when the solar seems, even when it’s solely 42 levels, your complete metropolis appears to declare it emergency exercise time and heads open air. Meaning golf programs get mobbed. However it means contagious good vibes, too. We’ve acquired just a few sunny days within the forecast forward. I’m fired up!
Three issues to look at this week.
After a rollercoaster yr, Wolff completed 2021 on a sizzling streak with 4 consecutive top-20s (together with a runner-up). He’s been placing in some wild work with coach George Gankas. Extra good occasions forward?
A publish shared by George Gankas (@georgegankasgolf)
Collin Morikawa and Rory McIlroy headline the sector in Abu Dhabi this week for the HSBC Championship, a compelling occasion that additionally contains Viktor Hovland, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and … Bearded Adam Scott.
Simply in: Adam Scott has entered his Dustin Johnson period
It’s the Hilton Grand Holidays Match of Champions, and oh what a trip! The LPGA season is kicking off in Orlando with most of its greatest names in attendance together with Nelly Korda, Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, Danielle Kang and Michelle Wie West.
We broke down the upcoming season (plus the within scoop on Netflix’s PGA Tour present) on the Drop Zone under. Have a pay attention and we’ll see you subsequent week!

Dylan Dethier is a senior author for GOLF Journal/ The Williamstown, Mass. native joined GOLF in 2017 after two years scuffling on the mini-tours. Dethier is a 2014 graduate of Williams Faculty, the place he majored in English, and he’s the writer of 18 in America, which particulars the yr he spent as an 18-year-old residing from his automobile and taking part in a spherical of golf in each state. and GOLF Journal are printed by EB GOLF MEDIA LLC, a division of 8AM GOLF