The Pga Tour makes a stop in South Carolina where, from 10 to 13 June, the Palmetto Championship at Congaree is staged, an event that precedes the US Open (17-20 June in La Jolla, California). In Ridgeland, Jasper County, Dustin Johnson returns to the race. The American, world number 1 with 24 titles (including 2 Majors) on the top US circuit, is chasing his first career success in his home state. The king of the men’s green was in fact born in Columbia (South Carolina). Fun fact: the last time Johnson competed on the PGA Tour a week before a Major was in November 2020 when, after a second place finish at the Vivint Houston Open, he won The Masters and also set the scoring record in Augusta.
Palmetto Championship, preview
The Palmetto Championship replaced the RBC Canadian Open on the calendar, canceled due to Covid. On the field, on the course of the Congaree Golf Club, in addition to Johnson among the big names, there is also Brooks Koepka (world number 8 and looking for the second exploit of 2021 after that of February in the Waste Management Phoenix Open). The British Tyrrell Hatton (11th in the world ranking) is also back in the race who, after having tested positive at Covid before the Valspar Championship, played only one tournament: the PGA Championship. Among the British the spotlight is also on Tommy Fleetwood, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Ian Poulter.
The South African Garrick Higgo who, in 2021, has already won two tournaments on the European Tour in the Canary Islands will try to show off on the PGA Tour. His compatriot Wilco Nienaber will also be on the field (who scored in May 2021 in the Dimension Data Pro-Am, a combined event between Sunshine and Challenge Tour).
Alena Sharp is a 16-year LPGA Tour veteran and Olympic athlete from Canada. He wrote an article for the LPGA web site.
“I’ve been married to my wife Sarah Bowman, who is also my caddie, since November of 2020 and our union is more accepted now than at any point in history. People view us now as married people. We’re the couple, just like any other. That’s a big jump from just a few years ago and lightyears from where society was when I was a kid. I’m 40 now and have been on the LPGA Tour for 16 years. When I was a rookie, my friends and family knew that I was gay. But it wasn’t something that I publicized. I didn’t want to alienate any potential sponsors and didn’t want to put any of my existing sponsors in an awkward spot. I wasn’t closeted. I just lived my life quietly, keeping my orientation out of the public eye. Even that was better than the way society viewed us when I was young. I noticed when I was 15 years old that I was finding women more attractive than men. I tried not to think about it, but it was always there. My last year of junior golf, when I was 17, I realized it more. It’s hard because you’re a kid and having feelings that you don’t understand. But who can you tell? I was raised Catholic where the teachings were clear: is a sin. My grandparents and parents went to Mass and followed the precepts of their faith, so I couldn’t talk to them. I already knew what the priests would say. And this isn’t exactly a conversation that you have with teenaged friends. Then when I went to college. I was really confused because I was dating men and afraid to date a woman. I knew I wanted to; I knew by then that I was strongly attracted to women, but at that time there was an inherent fear. A fear of rejection; a fear of discrimination; a fear of being shut out and closed off from the relationships that mattered most to me at the time. And there was, at times, a palpable fear of physical harm. There were still parts of the United States and Canada where you could be assaulted because of your orientation. So, in addition to all the other things a college freshman goes through, I battled all those questions, feeling, and fears”.