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Gay Wins St. Jude in Another Walk

What kind of juice is Brian Gay quaffing? Okay, he got hot at Harbor Towne and won his second career tournament in a route after an eagle on the second hole of the fourth round. For the second time in his last five events he hoisted the trophy and got himself into a major championship. This time he only birdied three of the first six holes leaving Bryce Molder to flounder around the course in his dust. He’s been a pro since 1994, almost quit the game four years ago, and has made a cool $2,076,000 in his last 5 events. One of those, the Players Championship he withdrew after a first round 80 and another, the Nelson he missed the cut. At Colonial two weeks ago he tied for 27th and made $42K. Come on now, what’s up with this guy?

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What kind of juice is Brian Gay quaffing?  Okay, he got hot at Harbor Towne and won his second career tournament in a route after an eagle on the second hole of the fourth round.  For the second time in his last five events he hoisted the trophy and got himself into a major championship.  This time he only birdied three of the first six holes leaving Bryce Molder to flounder around the course in his dust.  He’s been a pro since 1994, almost quit the game four years ago, and has made a cool $2,076,000 in his last 5 events.  One of those, the Players Championship he withdrew after a first round 80 and another, the Nelson he missed the cut.  At Colonial two weeks ago he tied for 27th and made $42K.  Come on now, what’s up with this guy? 

 

Just like at the Heritage, he hit fairways and greens all day, knocked in a few putts, gave no glimmer of nerves, no sign of strain, just a simple butt whipping from the start of the fourth round thru the end.  In fact, after he hit his approach shot on the 18th hole, before the ball landed on the green a mere 7 feet from the hole, his caddie asked "why’d you hit it there?" since they’d agreed on middle of the green.  Oops, was that another dagger I just stuck in their hearts.  Sorry man, my bad. 

 

Bryce Molder and David Toms tied for second, a distant five shots behind.  “It was a pretty good golf tournament except for one guy stealing the show,” said Toms, the tournament winner in 2003 and 2004.  Another way of saying, no one else had a chance.  “I didn’t even get close to catching him,” said Molder, who had his best finish on tour.  Not a surprise because I don’t think this guy can do anything except run away from the pack and hide during the final round. 

 

Mr. Gay’s win at the Heritage got him a Tartan jacket and an invitation to the 2010 Masters.  This win got him a gray jacket and an invitation to this weeks US Open.  So he’s gone from having a week off to scrambling.  “Right now I don’t know if we’re going home first or what we’re going to do, whether we spend tomorrow traveling, going home and repacking,” Gay said. “Get to work on Tuesday I guess.”  Not a bad situation to be in at all.  Bethpage is a place Mr. Gay missed the cut the last time the US Open was played there, he’s not what you’d call any kind of long off the tee.  In fact he finished last at 265 yds for the week in Memphis.  He’s straight, which is always good at the US Open, and he can surely putt, another US Open plus.  But will his juice survice the travel to New York?  Time alone will tell. Congratulations on a second win.  I figured the first was a fluke, but this victory kicks sand in the face of that idea.  This is the real deal,  but someone please tell me where he found the light switch, eh.

Nice recovery by the folks at St. Judes’s who recovered nicely from the legal issues surrounding the past sponser of this event, Stanford Financial who’s namesake is under investigation for fraud by the federal government.  FexEx and Cellular South stepped in to save the event this year, but as for the future, that is like so many other things this last year, up in the air.  Way up in the air.  This is one of the great charity causes the PGA Tour raises money for during the year and it would be a shame to see it vanish in a haze of Grand Jury investigations, and SEC charges.  I shall hope for the best and maybe we’ll be back here next year.

Quick Aside:  did anyone else laugh themselves silly when David Faherty apologized for using the word squirrel as a verb?  I’m still chuckling over that. 

 

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  1. John Stevens

    Jun 22, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Great read. Brian surely does have a way of crushing the field when he’s tasting victory. Stylish dresser too!

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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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