Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On the impact of Hideki Matsuyama's win in China ...
A week after the PGA Tour announced it was expanding its footprint in Asia with the addition of the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in South Korea to next year’s schedule, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama became the first Asian player to win a World Golf Championships title at the HSBC Champions.
Although the two events are mutually exclusive, it is a sign of the times at the game’s highest level. Matsuyama, who lapped an elite field at Sheshan International by six strokes for his third Tour victory, is 10th in the World Ranking and the vanguard of a new wave of Asian players that is making the expansion of the circuit’s Asian swing more than just an economic experiment. – Rex Hoggard
On the LPGA season winding down ...
The LPGA’s Race to the CME Globe is beginning to look like the end of a marathon.
The women’s game has never been so stuffed full of big summer events, with four major championships and the Olympics squeezed into a four-month run that included the International Crown and the major-like Canadian Pacific Women’s Open. The KEB HanaBank Championship in South Korea is like an Asian major in the fall.
Lydia Ko, Ariya Jutanugarn and Brooke Henderson are all showing some effects of the long run, with fatigue appearing to show in their games as they hit the home stretch to the $1 million CME Globe jackpot awaiting at the season-ending Tour Championship in just three weeks. They’re 1-2-3, respectively, in the CME Globe standings. For Ko and Jutanugarn, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, Vare Trophy for low scoring average and money title also hang in the balance.
It might be all about who has the most emotional fuel left in their gas tank when they arrive in Naples, Fla., for the year’s finale. – Randall Mell
On Cody Gribble's good fortune ...
Cody Gribble is a rare example of a hurricane making a positive impact on someone's life.
Gribble was one of the beneficiaries when Hurricane Matthew wiped out the Web.com Tour Championship earlier this month, a result that left him 19th on the Finals money list with the top 25 earning PGA Tour cards. Now three weeks later, the former Texas standout is the newest rookie winner after capturing the Sanderson Farms Championship.
Gribble gets an extra perk from the placement of this week's event on the calendar. Since it falls in the early portion of the new season, Gribble is exempt through the 2018-19 season and will play out of the winners' category for nearly the next three years.
Gribble's quick ascent is a testament to how some players are able to capitalize on breaks that go their way - even when there's a hurricane involved. – Will Gray