Golf Bucks County

By Bob Oliver

Middletown Country Club

Middletown is a compact 80 acres of challenging golf, with rolling hills and large specimen trees that have watched many golfers travel its fairways over time. It has retained its old time feel with tees and greens in close proximity, allowing golfers to walk the course if they choose.

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29 Nov
2017

Benvenuto at LPGA Qualifying

Written by Bob Oliver

 

This story describes Langhorne's Brittany Benvenuto and her quest for an LPGA Tour card playing in the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament.

Nobody ever said five consecutive rounds of golf would be a vacation, and certainly not if it was under tournament conditions at the grueling LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament in Daytona Beach.

Langhorne's Brittany Benvenuto, after missing nearly the entire 2017 season with injury, looked to retain LPGA playing privileges in the 90-hole event. 

It wasn't to be.

Benvenuto carded a final round 74 to finish the event at 365, seven shots out of the top-20 which secured playing privileges. 

Earlier... 

DAY FOUR - The fourth day of LPGA Tour qualifying finals was good and bad for Langhorne's Brittany Benvenuto. She scored a 1-over-par 73, with four birdies against five bogeys. Bad was the bogey on the 18th hole. 

Benvenuto made the 72-hole cut, but she will have to go low in the final round. Predictions are a 68 will be needed to advance into the top 20 ladies who will earn their LPGA Tour playing privileges. 

She's played consistent golf, with one par round and three one over par rounds. But to qualify she will need to get on the birdie train in round five.  

DAYS TWO-THREE: Brittany Benvenuto Continued the quest for LPGA Tour playing privileges in Daytona Beach, Fla., playing strong enough to stay in contention for a top-20 finish which would generate a tour card.

Benvenuto opened with an even par 72 then backed that up with a one-over-par 73 on day two. Day three saw her post another 72.

The second round saw her continue to best the par-5 holes with two birdies. Unfortunately a double bogey on the par-4 fourth hole took those strokes away. Still, a consistent effort from the Langhorne native.

On day three of the five round marathon saw Benvenuto birdied the final hole and carded an even-par 72 to stand at 1-over-par 217 and in 33rd place. She's three shots away from a top-20 finish. 

Georgia Hall, the European Tour stalwart who was a star in the Solheim Cup, rebounded from an opening round 77 to rounds of 69 and 66 to vault into the top 10.  Multiple LPGA Tour winner Vicki Hurst continued her strong play as well. 

DAY ONE____Langhorne's Brittany Benvenuto opened the first round of the 2018 LPGA Qualifying Tournament with an even par 72 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Benvenuto birdied three of the four par-5 holes, but bogeyed three par-4s. She's among 50 players at even-par or better. 

Final qualifying is over 90 holes. There will be a cut after 72 holes to the low 70 players and ties.  The top-20 players in the field earn LPGA privileges next season. Benvenuto will have some status on tour given her injured status for most of 2017. 

 

26 Nov
2017

Woods returns at Hero World Challenge

Written by Bob Oliver

It is not one of golf's major championships. 

It's not even a regular season event. 

But the Hero World Challenge is clearly not some contrived made for TV golf event full of jokes as well as golf. It has a bonafide compact stellar field and is played on a fine course in the Bahamas. 

Justin Thomas is on hand, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Justin Rose too. Jordan Spieth as well. In fact even the sponsor's exemptions into the 18-man field - Daniel Berger and some guy named Tiger Woods - are clearly not too shabby.

Okay, El Tigre was the guy picking the sponsor's exemption to his own tournament, but it is a winner just having His Excellency in the event. Tiger, off back surgery (again) hasn't played competitively since January. After surgery he's taken it slowly, nearly eight months in fact, but his game is coming back.

Of course, everyone wonders if Tiger can be, well, Tiger. Who knows. Time will tell. But in the meantime just having him tee it up under pro conditions against a stellar field is a great first move toward his rebirth. 

"We grew up watching Tiger dominate," admits Thomas, the reigning FedEx Cup Champion. "It's great he's coming back, and I know we all want him to come back and do well."

Given he does not have a competitive edge at this point, and undoubtedly will make mistakes, this event on a course he likes in a limited field allows him to take a deep breath and compete. Heck, while he probably wants to tear the course up, he more likely would loe to merely finish a couple strokes under par and without any unwanted twinges or hiccups. 

Here's hoping for a safe and productive week for the host.

CHIP SHOTS: Rickie Fowler, Matt Kutchar, Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Reed, Hendrik Stenson and European Tour stars Alex Noren and Tommy Fleetwood are other World Ranking stars in the field...Tiger has been hindered by injuries since 2014, having played in only 17 PGA Tour events over three years, and only one last season.