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FedEx Cup Round One: The Barclays

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Amidst all of the controversy and confusion surrounding the initiation of the playoffs, the world number one opting out of the first event of the playoffs, the FedEx Cup is starting this week.

The first tournament site is Westchester Country Club in Rye, New York, and they will play host to The Barclays.  At 6,839 yards and par 71, Westchester is one of the shortest courses on the 2007 PGA tour.  Despite its lack of length, Westchester is a fantastic challenge and one of the favorite stops on the tour.

Tiger Woods recently withdrew from the first of four events in the FedEx Cup citing exhaustion, "My body is spent and I need a short break, major championships are grueling experiences and usually necessitate recovery time."  This is a major blow to the inaugural event designed to spice up the end of the golf season for the PGA Tour, but Tiger Woods is still dedicated to the FedEx Cup and the remainder of the playoffs. "This is in no way a knock on Barclays, their new event or the new FedExCup series, which I fully support”, said Woods. “I just hope this extra week of rest will rejuvenate me for the final three Playoff events and The Presidents Cup.”  Ty Votaw, the PGA Tour’s executive vice president for Communications and International Affairs said in support of Woods, "We’re disappointed that Tiger will not be playing The Barclays next week, it’s clear from Tiger’s statement he remains focused on winning the FedEx Cup. Whether he can do it will be one of the many exciting things our fans will be following over the next four weeks."  This is just another twist and turn that will continue to unfold in this interesting and compelling year end event.

With Woods withdrawal from this event, the top prize is now up for grabs.  Many of the top players will now have a great chance to capture this inaugural event.  Look for players like Ernie Els, and Vijay Singh to step up and possibly take a lead in the playoffs.  Vijay could potentially have the best chance entering in as the number two seed, defending champion at The Barclay’s, and winning on three of the four host sites.  Adam Scott who is in 10th place entering the playoffs has won at two of the four sites.   Also keep a look out for the latest winner on the tour Brandt Snedeker, who has called the four week playoff a “four-week lottery ticket”. There have been many computer models generated and most say that you need to be in the top 30 or top 15 to have a chance to win the playoffs, but only time will confirm if that turns out to be the case. 

That may be the most intriguing element of the playoffs, the uncertainty.  The PGA Tour has never done something like this and it will be interesting for the fans, as well as interesting and frustrating for the players.  "I think it’s a great thing," said Vijay Singh, "You know, it’s warming up to a big finale and that’s what Tim Finchem wanted, that’s what the Tour wants, that’s what the sponsors want, obviously. I think once you start off with the last four events, it’s going to heat up I think to a great finale."  It is not often you get to witness something that is new, fresh, and exciting, but over the next four weeks, starting this week at The Barclay’s, you now have that opportunity. 

This week’s field will be 144 players, who have qualified through a year long point’s race.  At the conclusion of this week’s event, 50,000 points will be distributed and the number of players will be shortened to 120 for the Deutsche Bank Championship, then distributing another 50,000 points and cutting to 70 for the BMW Championship, and then distributing another 50,000 points and setting the field at 30 for the Tour Championship, where there will be a total of $35 million dollars in bonus money up for grabs.  This week’s purse is $7 million dollars, with the winner receiving $1.26 million.

 

Television Times

 

Thursday         8/23     3-6 PM            Golf Channel

Friday              8/24     3-6 PM            Golf Channel

Saturday          8/25     3-6 PM            CBS

Sunday            8/26     3-6 PM            CBS

 

Tournament Website

 

www.pgatour.com/playoffs/tournaments

 

 

 

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Morning 9: Morikawa! | Kang wins another as Ko crumbles | Sullivan | Lynch: Brooks’ verbal sparring is a good thing

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1. PGA Championship: Morikawa breaks through
Bursting forth from a pack of golfers thicker than the marine layer enveloping TPC Harding Park, Collin Morikawa vaulted to victory with an incredible drive onto the par-4 16th’s green to set up a tournament-clenching eagle putt.
  • AP report…”Collin Morikawa delivered a shot that will go down as one of the best in a major that hardly anyone witnessed, setting up an eagle on the 16th hole Sunday that carried him to the most quiet PGA Championship ever.”
  • “In the first major without spectators, Morikawa finished with a bang.”
  • “He was among seven players tied for the lead on the back nine at Harding Park, as wild as any Sunday in a major. Morikawa chipped in from 40 feet on the 14th hole to take the lead, and then he ended it with one swing. On the 294-yard 16th hole, Morikawa hit driver that hopped onto the green and settled 7 feet below the cup.”
  • “He made it for eagle and was on his way. Morikawa closed with a 6-under 64, the lowest final round by a PGA champion in 25 years, and took his place among the young stars taking over golf.”
Our Ron Montesano with more of the story in numbered form
  • “1. Collin Morikawa drove the 16th green and…left himself an eight-foot putt for eagle. And he made it! You’ve seen it, and you’ll see it again and again. Kind of like Christian Laettner’s half-court shot against Duke, or Jack’s putt on 17 at Augusta. Morikawa set up for a baby cut on the antepenultimate hole and executed it to perfection. The ball bounced once in the fairway, once on the green, then rolled up the putting surface to three yards below the hole. His stroke was pure and the putt for the deuce never looked like anything but stellar. The eagle gave him a two-shot lead over Paul Casey with two holes left.”
  • 2. Collin Morikawa put on a short-game clinic on Sunday…You don’t shoot a six-under 64 without holing a bit of this and a bit of that. Morikawa made a few longish putts for par in the early going, keeping himself in the thick of the contest. On the 14th hole, Morikawa hit a weekend-golfer sort of approach …WITH A WEDGE! Unphased by leaving it 10 yards short of the green, Morikawa pitched his third on the par-4 hole to the green, where it rolled into the hole for birdie to reach 11 under par. The pitch-in set the stage for the fireworks yet to come.”
2. Ko falls apart, Kang triumphs
Insane stuff at the Marathon Classic as Lydia Ko carded a final-hole double-bogey 7 to lose by a stroke to Danielle Kang. Alternatively, impressive final-round 68 from DK for her second straight victory….AP report…”Five shots behind with six holes to play, Danielle Kang won her second straight LPGA Tour event on Sunday when Lydia Ko took double bogey on the final hole in the Marathon Classic.”
  • “Kang began her rally with consecutive birdies on the 13th and 14th holes at Highland Meadows, and then all she needed were pars the rest of the way for a 3-under 68, all because of Ko’s shocking collapse.”
  • “…on the closing par 5, Ko fell apart. She hit her chip through the green. With a slightly uphill lie in patchy rough, Ko muffed the chip and watched it roll into a bunker. She blasted that out to 10 feet and missed the putt that would have forced a playoff. She wound up with a 73.”
3. Andy Sullivan!
Gotta be delighted to see Sully hoisting a trophy again! AP report…”An emotional Andy Sullivan ended a near five-year wait for his fourth European Tour title as he recorded a seven-shot victory at the English Championship in Ware on Sunday.”
  • “Heading into the final round at Hanbury Manor with a five-shot advantage, Sullivan saw his lead cut to just two by Spain’s Adrian Otaegui (66).”
  • “But while his challenger faltered over the closing stages, Sullivan recorded four birdies on the back nine to shoot a 6-under 65 for a 27-under 257 total.”
4. Never a factor, Tiger at least finished strong (and made putts)
Golfweek’s Steve DiMeglio…”Starting his final 18 at TPC Harding Park under a thick marine layer that clouded objects 200 yards away, Woods was shrouded in somewhat of a stupor from humdrum play in the second and third rounds. But there was pop in his step from the first tee onward and the 15-time major winner turned in an upbeat performance with a 3-under-par 67 and finished with rounds of 68-72-72-67 to end at 1 under for the tournament, just his second in six months.”
  • “Woods was much sharper with all aspects of his game, especially with his putting, which had been dull throughout the week as he struggled with the speed of the greens. Woods needed just 25 putts in the final round – six fewer than the 31 he took in both the second and third rounds.”
  • “I drove it kind of like I did on Friday, and my irons were a little bit more crisp and I hit better putts,” Woods said. “I made a few early on, and just kind of kept the momentum going. It’s something I hadn’t done the last two days, and it was an under-par tournament score, which yesterday I was saying that’s kind of what I wanted to do. I made it happen today.”
5. Koepka: “Wasn’t meant to be”
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…“Brooks Koepka finally ran out of major momentum.”
  • “Seeking to become the first player in more than 60 years to win the same major three years in a row, and the first to do it at the PGA Championship since the 1920s, Koepka began the final round just two shots off the lead. But while low scores were abundant and several players rolled in birdies while jockeying for position, the two-time defending champ came up empty.”
  • …”Hey, wasn’t meant to be,” Koepka said. “Three in a row, you’re not really supposed to do two in a row looking at history. But that’s all right. Got two more (majors) the rest of the season and we’ll figure it out from there.”
6. Speaking of Koepka…Eamon Lynch says his “verbal jousting…is good for golf”
A morsel from a piece well forth consuming in full…“Koepka has long been an enthusiastic practitioner of the dark art of psych ops, and generous in his targeting. While Tiger Woods treated opponents with an icy aloofness, barely acknowledging their existence at times, Koepka pokes around in search of a frailty, preferably one that manifests itself in an agitated mind under pressure on a Sunday afternoon. His instruments of choice are press conferences and social media posts, but these are not throwaway comments or tweets. Nothing that exits Koepka’s mouth – not one syllable – isn’t premeditated.”
  • “Mind games are as much a weapon in Koepka’s arsenal as his driver, and that isn’t necessarily as popular among his peers as it is among golf fans who crave a little conflict, and reporters thirsty for a good quote.”
7. U.S. Women’s Am. 
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…“The second longest final in U.S. Women’s Amateur history came down to just 3 feet.”
  • “Rose Zhang, a 17-year-old from Irvine, Calif., fully expected to be heading to a 38th hole in Sunday’s championship bout with USC senior and reigning champion Gabriela Ruffels at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland. Instead, Ruffels’ bid to become the championship’s first repeat winner since Danielle Kang in 2011 came to a shocking and sudden end.”
  • “Her 3-foot par save to extend the match was halfway in the hole before it lipped out harshly, leaving a dejected Ruffels to scoop up her ball in defeat.”
8. Travel restrictions separate the Clarkes for 5 months
Marla Ridenour, Akron Beacon Journal, with a fairly wild story…”When his wife Alison left Newport Beach, California, on March 8, Darren Clarke could not have imagined they would spend the next five months apart.”
  • “After he completed the final round of the PGA Tour Champions’ Hoag Classic, she flew to their home in Portrush, Northern Ireland, just before international travel was halted by the coronavirus pandemic. Clarke found himself alone at their place at The Abaco Club on Winding Bay in the Bahamas from March 14 until five weeks ago, when their eldest son Tyrone managed to join him.”
  • “The Clarkes were an ocean away on their eighth wedding anniversary on April 11.”
  • “So Clarke’s excitement to return to Firestone Country Club for the first time in nine years for this week’s Bridgestone Senior Players Championship might be superseded by the fact that Alison will join him in Akron on Saturday night.”
9. Morikawa’s winning WITB
Driver: TaylorMade SIM (8 degrees @ 8.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX
3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Titanium (15 degrees @ 13.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 80 TX
Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White Hybrid 100 TX
Irons: TaylorMade P750 (4, 5), TaylorMade P730 (6-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (52-09SB), Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (56-14F), TaylorMade MG2 Hi-Toe (60)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400
Putter: TaylorMade TP Soto Prototype
Ball: TaylorMade TP5
Grips: Golf Pride Z-Grip Cord

 

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The DailyWRX (8/10/2020): Phil in the booth | “So much beer” | More

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The PGA Championship…..now that was a golf tournament. That Morikawa kid has brass Tp5’s.

Could be the big winner of the whole week…

CBS, not Phil….He just took their coverage from serviceable to awesome in 45 minutes.

The girl is wise…

Not a bad lineup…

Stew Hagestad for the win though…

Secret of the pros…

Hot take…

I wonder who these two podcasters are…I have a couple in mind.

DM @johnny_wunder

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Collin Morikawa wins first major title at 2020 PGA Championship

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We’ve had a decade or so of driveable par-4 holes in major championships, thanks to a newfound appreciation for traditional course setups and, let’s be honest, fun. The PGA of America decided to make the 16th hole one of those holes on Sunday, and what a fine decision that turned out to be. We’ll get to that tidbit in a bit.

As happens at most major championships, golfers fade away far more frequently than they rise up. We’ll also get to those unfortunate souls. Regular tour events are one thing, but the return of major championship golf is quite another. Let’s talk about who did what, when, and where, on championship Sunday at TPC Harding Park.

1. Collin Morikawa drove the 16th green and …

…left himself an eight-foot putt for eagle. And he made it! You’ve seen it, and you’ll see it again and again. Kind of like Christian Laettner’s half-court shot for Duke, or Jack’s putt on 17 at Augusta. Morikawa set up for a baby cut on the antepenultimate hole and executed it to perfection. The ball bounced once in the fairway, once on the green, then rolled up the putting surface to three yards below the hole. His stroke was pure and the putt for the deuce never looked like anything but stellar. The eagle gave him a two-shot lead over Paul Casey with two holes left.

2. Collin Morikawa put on a short-game clinic on Sunday

You don’t shoot a six-under 64 without holing a bit of this and a bit of that. Morikawa made a few longish putts for par in the early going, keeping himself in the thick of the contest. On the 14th hole, Morikawa hit a weekend-golfer sort of approach …WITH A WEDGE! Unphased by leaving it 10 yards short of the green, Morikawa pitched his third on the par-4 hole to the green, where it rolled into the hole for birdie to reach 11 under par. The pitch-in set the stage for the fireworks yet to come.

3. Collin Morikawa broke the Wannamaker trophy

For those who don’t know, the winner’s trophy for the U.S. PGA championship is really heavy. It’s kind of hilarious that the lid is not affixed to the chalice part. Morikawa found that out the hard way, as he lifted it above his shoulders, albeit slightly akimbo. That was all it took for the lid to go sailing off toward Lake Merced. The nice thing about Morikawa is, he smiles a lot, and seems able to laugh at himself.

4. Paul Casey came up just shy of his first major

Casey was one of the first to congratulate Morikawa on his victory. The classy Englishman played superior golf on Sunday, posting 66 for his best round of the week. He posted five birdies against one bogey and reached 72 holes at 11 under par before anyone else. No one can deny that Casey did everything required to win an elusive major title. Unfortunately for him, he fell victim to two miraculous shots, late in the round, from the same golfer. Should Casey be considered a favorite next month at Winged Foot, at the U.S. Open? Absolutely.

5. Dustin Johnson came up just shy of his second major

DJ is moving into a club that most golfers would love to join, and one that he desperately wants to leave. He has one major title to his name, despite more than 20 tour victories and a winning streak of nearly fifteen years. Like Casey before him, Johnson played a solid final round. He had two bogeys on the day, which was two more than Morikawa had. Johnson made a birdie at the last, which is what champions do. Somehow, it wasn’t enough. Somehow, Johnson had earned yet another runner-up finish at a major, another top-ten, another big check. He deserves more, not pon de replay.

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