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Henrik Stenson Leaves Players Field Way Back

Henrik Stenson’s final round 66 left the rest of the best field in golf adrift in a wake so turbulent no one could get within four shots of him. Beginning the day 5 shots back of leader Alex Cjeka, along with a host of other probables, maybes, could possibly be’s, and one Tiger Woods, Mr. Stenson missed a single fairway and made no bogeys all day. Good enough by any standards on a day when lots of folks were given a chance by the collapse of third round leader Mr. Cjeka. Before the day even began I would have bet my own money that the 54 hole leader’s 5 shot lead would be gone by the turn. I was wrong! Mr. Cjeka’s lead was done after six holes. He and playing partner Mr. Woods didn’t see much of each other on the first three holes, Mr. Woods hitting shots right while Mr. Cjeka hit his shots left.

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Henrik Stenson’s final round 66 left the rest of the best field in golf adrift in a wake so turbulent no one could get within four shots of him.  Beginning the day 5 shots back of leader Alex Cjeka, along with a host of other probables, maybes, could possibly be’s, and one Tiger Woods, Mr. Stenson missed a single fairway and made no bogeys all day.  Good enough by any standards on a day when lots of folks were given a chance by the collapse of third round leader Mr. Cjeka.  Before the day even began I would have bet my own money that the 54 hole leader’s 5 shot lead would be gone by the turn.  I was wrong!  Mr. Cjeka’s lead was done after six holes.  He and playing partner Mr. Woods didn’t see much of each other on the first three holes, Mr. Woods hitting shots right while Mr. Cjeka hit his shots left. 

Ben Crane had the lead for a while, as did Retief Goosen and Ian Poulter when Mr. Stenson rolled in a birdie but from the fringe of the seventh green.  By the time he walked off the ninth green, after a two putt birdie, Mr. Stenson had the lead to himself.  At least nine other players had a shot at winning on the back nine,  none however could match the play of the eventual winner.  John Mallenger and Kevin Na tied for third, both shooting final round 70, behind second place Mr. Poulter.  Jim Furyk had a chance, but ran out of holes in the end.  Brian Davis had an eagle on the 9th hole to join the mix, but couldn’t keep pace.

Mr. Stenson kept hitting all the shots and making all the putts.  “Pretty incredible,” Woods said. “He played great. We all know he’s got all the talent in the world to do this. It was just a matter of time before he put it together. To do it on this stage was pretty impressive.”  The course was hard and fast, almost like a US Open without the ankle eating rough.  On a couple of holes on the back nine Mr. Stenson hit 3 wood off the tee, without using a tee.  He just bumped up a knob of turf, put the ball atop it, and whacked it forever down the fairway.  Very impressive.  An exhibition of quality golf on a very difficult course under a heap of big time pressure.  It seemed at times like he was playing a completely different game from the rest of the contenders just because he was so in control of his game.  No overt signs of stress,  nothing hurried, just hit the ball, chase it, and hit it again.

 

“It just seems to bring the best out of me when I have to, playing the best players,” said Stenson, whose other U.S. victory came at the Accenture Match Play Championship two years ago. He also won in Dubai, finishing two shots ahead of Woods. “Obviously, now I feel like I’m up there where I belong when I’m playing good.”  After winning $1.7 million and moving to number 5 in the world rankings, it’s not hard to feel that way.  Probably because the reality is the truth of that statement, he does belong right where he is now.

 

Johnny Miller, early in the broadcast,  asked if maybe Tiger Wood’s biceps were too big.  The implication being that might be the reason he kept hitting the ball to the right.  Strange thought even coming from Mr. Miller, whose thoughts are released vocally without passing through a filtration system.  At first I thought there was some meaning behind the statement, then it occurred to me it was just Mr. Miller at his best.  I don’t think any other announcer would make that remark.  For that matter I don’t think any other announcer would have that thought.  Good on you Johnny Miller,  for thinking is noticeably absent in the commentators booths all too often these days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2020 Ryder Cup officially postponed

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On Wednesday, it was officially announced that the 2020 Ryder Cup had been postponed and rescheduled for September 21-26, 2021.

Subsequently, the next Presidents Cup which was initially scheduled for September 30-October 3, 2021 will now be played in September 2022.

Per the announcement on the Ryder Cup website, the decision to postpone “was based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Speaking on the postponement, PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh stated

“Unlike other major sporting events that are played in existing stadiums, we had to make a decision now about building facilities to host the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. It became clear that as of today, our medical experts and the public authorities in Wisconsin could not give us certainty that conducting an event responsibly with thousands of spectators in September would be possible. Given that uncertainty, we knew rescheduling was the right call. We are grateful to PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan and our partners at the TOUR for their flexibility and generosity in the complex task of shifting the global golf calendar.

As disappointing as this is, our mandate to do all we can to safeguard public health is what matters most. The spectators who support both the U.S. and European sides are what make the Ryder Cup such a unique and compelling event and playing without them was not a realistic option. We stand united with our partners from Ryder Cup Europe, the NBC Sports Group, Sky and our other broadcast partners around the world. We look forward to delivering the Ryder Cup’s renowned pageantry, emotion and competitive drama to a global audience in 2021.”

Going forward, all future Ryder Cups will now switch to odd years, while future Presidents Cup events will be played in even years.

Per today’s announcement, both the United States and European teams will revisit their respective selection processes for the 2021 Ryder Cup with a decision expected in the near future.

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The DailyWRX (7/8/2020): Find me Ed Fiori

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If anyone knows where I can find Ed Fiori…

Anyway, let’s see what’s happening on social media.

He can…

He can do that…

JDub looking good…

Hot Take. Could be his week.

More than 1 less than 10…

The new USGA math is a real brain buster…

Oh please God no…

Please God no Tiger comparisons…

Ed Fiori….Find him and DM @johnny_wunder

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Bryson DeChambeau storms back to claim 7th professional title at Rocket Mortgage

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Golf writers rub their hands when Bryson DeChambeau enters tournament contention. #TheBigBangTheory moves the dip needle like no other of his generation. Ponder this for a moment: when Dustin Johnson joins the fray, the main topic is his repose. The man just might fall asleep while walking. Not much to write about there. When Brooks Koepka emerges, others fight for his spotlight, while he flat-out punishes the course. Bryson DeChambeau is different, in so many ways. His mind races so far ahead of his mouth, that when words do come out, they are scintillating. How else to explain his encounter with a camera operator, mid-round on Saturday, to discuss the impact of videography on a golfer’s brand? What other way to define a golfer who apologizes to a long-dead golf course architect, for dismantling the bunkering scheme of the layout? Bryson’s span of attention and interests is horizontally vast; he also does a pretty good vertical.

Make no mistake: BBT must continue to win, for his opinions to matter. Who isn’t looking ahead to a Bryson-Brooks collision? It’s like something out of the Marvel universe, with all of humanity at stake. Problem is, there’s no bad guy in the mix. Both are champion golfers, striving to make a mark on the game by collecting important titles and changing the way the game is played. With luck, we’ll see them do battle at three major championships this year. On to the week just ended.

Matthew Wolff entered round four with a three-shot advantage over DeChambeau and Ryan Armour. Philosophers, expound on whether it was good or bad for Wolff to not be paired with #Bang in round four; in the end, it will all be conjecture. What we know is, Bryson got off to the hot start (three-under through four, four-deep through seven) that Wolff wanted. DeChambeau seized control on the back nine, and finished with authority, making birdie on each of the final three holes. He would need them.

Wolff on this day was Rocky, and we mean neither the boxer nor the squirrel. He began each nine with a bogey, and if that isn’t a buzz-kill, momentum stopper for a professional, tell me what it is. If he is anything, though, Wolff is a fighter. Knowing that he owned the back nine all week, his eyes were set on victory, even after the 10th-hole bogey. After a great up-and-down for par at 11, Wolff made consecutive birdies, and reached the par-five 14th in regulation. Then, he missed a six-feet putt for birdie, a shot he could not afford to lose. Birdies at 15 and 17 brought him to 20-under par, but a second short birdie effort (eight feet at the 16th) missed the mark, as did a 10-feet putt for three at the last.

Wolff might not have expected to make birdie from hole 12 through hole 18, but he had the opportunity. On this day, when DeChambeau was in complete control of all his skills, Wolff needed to do so. The young man from Oklahoma State is not yet comfortable with the spotlight. He played meh golf in the Seminole exhibition in April, and played erratically on Sunday’s front nine (four bogies and two birdies.) He might have been forgiven, at plus-three on the day, staring at plus-four at the 11th, for walking it in and accepting a 10th-place-tomorrow-is-another-day condolence. That he fought back is testament to what lies within.

Back to Bryson. Physics guy, remember? There was a funny number thing with him and Wolff, all week. Bryson was three shots better than Wolff on Thursday. Wolff was three shots better than Bryson on both Friday and Saturday, and each shot the same number both days (64-64 and 67-67, respectively.) On Sunday, Bryson was six shots better than Wolff, and won by three shots. Something about the number three this week…oh, and it was Bryson’s sixth PGA Tour victory.

Does the PGA Tour still average a pair of drives each day, to establish the driving distance number? If so, that needs to change. If you’re telling me that Bryson averaged 360 yards on all driving holes, that’s offensive to my sense of distance. For the week, by the way, he was at 350. That put him 20 yards beyond Wolff on Sunday, and 25 yards ahead on the week. Thanks to technology, both can keep the ball on the course. What made the difference for the champion on Sunday, was the flat stick.

#Theory took one putt on each of the first five greens. The first putt that he missed came at the sixth, an 11-feet effort for his fourth birdie of the round. BD has 13 putts on the outward nine, his best work of the week. Coming home, he took 14 putts on the green, for 27 on the day. His most-visible struggle came at the par-five 14th, where he had posted eagle-birdie-birdie the first three days. Sunday was different. A drive to the upside-down forced a penalty stroke, a few slashes, and a cringeworthy bogey. Just for a moment, he gave Wolff hope. In another moment, he took stole that hope back.

Is DeChambeau’s faith in his game different from all the other great champions? It appears different, on the surface. His confidence is grounded in the science of his equipment, his swing, and his physique. He and his caddie still make the occasional poor strategic move, but those are infrequent. In the end, what will define his place in golf’s history book is his grit, his tenacity. Down the stretch, every great champion wins major titles not because of preparation and knowledge, but because she and he handled the moment. We’re rubbing our hands for those moments.

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