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Redeeming Qualities

by Mike Cullity

They staged a women’s major in France last week, but the weather exerted unwelcome influence that in some opinions diminished the Evian Championship.

After officials called play on a storm-tossed Thursday, they decided to erase the scores of the early starters, restart the tournament on Friday and shorten the event to 54 holes. Sacrilege, the critics wailed, that a major be truncated to three rounds – and that the scores posted Thursday be wiped from existence.

In the end, Anna Nordqvist won in a playoff appropriately accompanied by a violent squall. The 30-year-old Swede best remembered for the playoff penalty that cost her a chance to win last year’s US Women’s Open made a bogey in the deluge to defeat American upstart Brittany Altomare and achieve a measure of redemption.

Speaking of redemption, Marc Leishman won the PGA Tour’s third FedEx Cup playoff event, the BMW Championship outside Chicago, two weeks after kicking away a golden chance to win the second playoff event outside Boston.

The 33-year-old Australian went wire to wire after shooting an opening 62 at Conway Farms Golf Club. The victory was his second on the PGA Tour this season – he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March – and moved him to fourth in the FedEx Cup standings. Leishman heads to Atlanta as one of five players who can clinch the FedEx Cup by winning this week’s Tour Championship. The others: Americans Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson, and Spaniard Jon Rahm.

And in the Netherlands, Romain Wattel won his first European Tour title, the KLM Open, a surprisingly welcome development for a 26-year-old Frenchman who had cracked the top 25 just once previously this season.

 

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