Lucas Bjerregaard (BEER’-gard) and playing partner Lucas Glover did the old 1-2 on No. 17 at Bethpage Black in the final round of the PGA Championship.
Bjerregaard, a 27-year-old Dane, made the first hole-in-one in the tournament on Sunday, one-bouncing a 6-iron into the cup on the par-3 206-yard hole.
Bjerregaard high-fived his caddie, waved to the crowd and then walked to the green. He pulled his ball out of the hole and tossed it into the crowd. He had played the hole at 2 over in the first three rounds.
It was the 42nd hole-in-one in the PGA Championship since 1970 and the only one this year.
Glover wasn’t about to let Bjerregaard grab all the attention. He holed out from the bunker from 50 feet for a birdie, climbing out of the bunker with a wide smile on his face.
Rory McIlroy needed to birdie four of his final six holes in the second round to make the 144 cut. He finished at 143, tied for 57th.
Over the final 36 holes, McIlroy shot two rounds of 1-under 69. His plus-1 total gave him a 281 score and a tie for eighth place.
“Yeah, stuck at it the whole way,” the two-time PGA winner said. “Seventy-two-hole golf tournament and you’ve got to try till the very end, and I did that this week. You know, it wasn’t good enough to be up there in contention but I made improvements each and every day, which is a good thing.”
Being outside the top 100 players in the world ranking, South African Erik Van Rooyen needed a special invitation to get into the tournament. He made the most of it by finishing tied for eighth with a 1-over-par total. His Top 15 finish earns him a spot in next year’s event in San Francisco.
Van Rooyen hardly was the only one to take advantage in his first PGA Championship.
Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand also came up big. The 23-year-old saved par on the final hole by chipping from 60 feet for a tap-in par. It gave him a final round 77 and a plus-2 total, good for a tie for 14th place.
Getting a spot in next year’s PGA Championship in San Francisco was news to Janewattananond, who wants to spend a few more years playing in Japan, Asia and on the European Tour before trying to make the PGA Tour.
“It was a good experience, a good learning curve,” he said. “I need to go through that. You can’t just come up first time in a major and finish top five, top three. I surprised myself early, but this is for the better. If I get things too easy, I might think everything is easy. Nothing is easy.”
LOW CLUB PRO
Rob Labritz of GlenArbor Golf Club in the New York City suburb of Bedford Hills was the low club pro in the PGA Championship.
Labritz shot a final round 2-over-par 72 and finished with a total of 10 over.
The top 20 finishers in the annual PGA Professional Championship qualify for the tournament. Three made the cut. Ryan Vermeer of Omaha, Nebraska, finished at 15 over, and Marty Jertson of Phoenix was 19 over.
“Can we play any more rounds?” said the 47-year-old Labritz, who won New York State Opens in 2008, 2011 and 2016 on this course.
Labritz has plans to try to make next year’s championship in San Francisco, but those were put on hold almost immediately after his round. He had to go back to his course to give a lesson.
Rich Beem is giving up tournament golf again, at least until the 2020 PGA Championship.
The 48-year-old Beem, the 2002 PGA champ, capped his annual tournament appearance Sunday, shooting a final-round 69 to finish at 15-over par. It was his second 69, but he also had rounds of 75 and 82.
“I play once a year,” Beem said. “It’s tough but it’s fun. If I play bad I have an excuse, and if I play well then everybody is surprised.”
Beem has had an interesting week. He played his first two rounds in a group with John Daly, who was allowed to use a cart because of a bad knee.
“Anything John does isn’t completely surprising,” Beem said. “It’s always fun to play alongside him, and making the cut this week has been a blast. It kind of came out of nowhere, but I am glad it did.”
Beem needs to wait two more years to be old enough for the PGA Tour Champions circuit.
DIVOTS: How tough were four rounds at Bethpage Black? Paul Casey had the answer after a 69. “We just walked in, you laughed at me because there’s a dog near the scoring area with a little jacket on it, says emotional support dog, which is what I feel like I need after playing that golf course.” … Jordan Spieth shot a final round 71 and finished at 2 under and tied for third with Patrick Cantlay and Matt Wallace of England. It was his first top 20 finish this year.