On January 26 – Australia Day, the country’s national holiday – Aussies won on the PGA and European Tours on the same day for the first time since August of 2002. Marc Leishman won the Farmers Insurance Open, while Lucas Herbert took the Dubai Desert Classic.
Leishman dominated on the greens, leading all players in strokes gained putting on the South Course this week. Leishman made more than 150 feet of putts Sunday, second-most of anyone in the field, and his most in any PGA Tour round in more than two years. His 4.78 strokes gained putting on Sunday are the most in the final round by a Farmers Insurance Open winner since tracking of the statistic began in 2004.
Leishman is just the 13th Australian player in PGA Tour history credited with five or more victories. Marc trailed by four shots entering the final round, marking the third time in his career he’s come back from three or more on Sunday to win on the PGA Tour.
Jon Rahm entered the day with a one-shot lead but couldn’t overcome a rough start to his final round. Rahm, age 25, was trying to become the youngest player to win two PGA Tour titles at Torrey Pines. He finished his round with three consecutive birdies but finished one shot behind Leishman.
Rory McIlroy finished tied for third in his 2020 debut, continuing one of the more unexplainable trends in golf. Rory has never won his first start of a given year yet has finished in the top-5 now 11 out of 13 times. Rory rebounded from a tough start, too, shooting 69 despite three bogeys in his first four holes.
Tiger Woods finished tied for ninth, his best finish to begin a calendar year since 2012. That year, he finished tied for third in Abu Dhabi. Woods ranked eighth in the field on the South Course in strokes gained approach and was third in the field overall in scrambling.
Madelene Sagstrom won the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio, her first career victory on the circuit. Sagstrom hit all 14 fairways Sunday en route to victory – the second time she did that this week. Last season, she ranked 127th on the LPGA in driving accuracy.
The previously mentioned Lucas Herbert claimed his first European Tour win in Dubai, becoming the first Australian player to win the event in 23 years. Herbert was the only player under par in all four rounds of the tournament.
Bryson DeChambeau entered the final round just two off the lead in Dubai but shot a final round 76 to finish tied for eighth. It was Bryson’s worst final round score worldwide since July of 2018. DeChambeau was trying to become the second player to win this event in back-to-back years (Stephen Gallacher).
Next week, the PGA Tour shifts to Arizona, for the rowdy Waste Management Phoenix Open. Defending champion Rickie Fowler is a combined 61-under-par in the event the previous five years, best of any player during that span.