10 Notes to Know: January 20, 2020

January 20, 2020
Justin Ray
  1. Lee Westwood won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, his 25th career European Tour victory. Westwood is now in 8th place on the Tour’s all-time wins list, and just five behind Sir Nick Faldo for most European Tour victories by an Englishman.
  1. Westwood led the field in Abu Dhabi in driving accuracy and ranked third in strokes gained putting, stark contrasts from what he turned in in 2019. Last season, he was 101st on the European Tour in fairways hit and 161st in putting.
  1. Lee is now the third player since the European Tour formed in 1972 to win in four different decades (the 1990s, 2000s, 2010s and 2020s). Both Des Smyth and Mark McNulty did it in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.
  1. Matthew Fitzpatrick was among a trio of players in second place, marking his sixth runner-up finish worldwide in the last 14 months. Tommy Fleetwood was also among that group; his last three worldwide results have been a win and two runner-up finishes.
  1. Andrew Landry won on the PGA Tour for the second time, taking The American Express by two shots. Landry’s winning score to par of -26 was the lowest on the PGA Tour since last July’s Barbasol Championship.
  1. Landry was nearly tracked down by Arbaham Ancer, who shot 63 to tie his lowest career final round on the PGA Tour. Ancer, who has never won on Tour, was trying to become the first player from Mexico to win since Victor Regalado in 1978.
  1. Matt Kuchar won the Singapore Open, becoming the first American to win the event since Shaun Micheel in 1998. Kuchar was buoyed by a third-round 62 that gave him a three-shot cushion entering Sunday. This was Kuchar’s third official win as a pro outside the United States – he won in Fiji in 2015 and Mexico in 2018.
  1. Justin Rose finished runner-up to Kuchar in his first official event of 2020. Rose will defend his Farmers Insurance Open title next week in San Diego, where he will try to become the first to win the event in consecutive years since Tiger Woods won four straight from 2005-2008.
  1. Speaking of Tiger, he will also be in the field at Torrey Pines, where he has won eight PGA Tour titles. This will be the tenth time Woods has made his first start of the year in this event – in four of those instances, he won.
  1. Rory McIlroy is making his first start of 2020 next week in California, as well. Amazingly, McIlroy has never won in his first official start of a calendar year – but he has finished runner-up five times.