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Lucas Glover Emerges from Monsoon with US Open Victory

After days upon days of rain involving more pictures of grounds crew working squeegees across flooded greens than I ever cared to witness, the 109th playing of the US Open golf tournament ended in something like familiar fashion. A guy most folks never would have selected as the winner of this event on Wednesday played better than anyone else on the back nine during the final round of the tournament and gets to take home a nifty trophy atop a wheelbarrow full of money. It took until Monday for the golf to overcome the weather as the story of the week. Phil Mickelson finished in second place for a record fifth time, doomed by his putter and a week full of feast or famine shots. Missing two par putts on the last four holes sent Mr.Mickelson home to more important matters with another almost but not quite finish in our national championship

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After days upon days of rain involving more pictures of grounds crew working squeegees across flooded greens than I ever cared to witness, the 109th playing of the US Open golf tournament ended in something like familiar fashion.  A guy most folks never would have selected as the winner of this event on Wednesday played better than anyone else on the back nine during the final round of the tournament and gets to take home a nifty trophy atop a wheelbarrow full of money. 

It took until Monday for the golf to overcome the weather as the story of the week.  Phil Mickelson finished in second place for a record fifth time, doomed by his putter and a week full of feast or famine shots.  Missing two par putts on the last four holes sent Mr.Mickelson home to more important matters with another almost but not quite finish in our national championship.  

 The fourth round began Sunday night with Rickey Barnes at 8 under par one shot ahead of Mr. Glover and five ahead of everyone else.  Even though Mr. Barnes had held the 36 hole lead in record fashion, and still led after 54 holes, I don’t think I was the only one watching who figured 3 or 4 under would be enough.  I mean really, when Mr. Barnes got to 11 under par and the talking heads were dragging out Gil Morgan and his sprint to 12 under at Pebble Beach followed by his drop thru all seven layers of hell, did anyone really believe he was going to continue to walk on water all the way to the trophy?  No.  He shot 40 on the front nine in the final round,  not surprising considering the circumstances.  Admirably he hung tough around the back nine to finish tied for second with Mr. Mickelson and a name from another decade, David Duval. 

That’s correct, David Duval, looking like he was enjoying himself for a change and playing like he used to play, hitting the ball straight, long, accurate, and making putts from all over.  He began the day on the 238 yd par 3 third hole at 3 under par.  One triple bogey later he was even par and I figured he was finished.  Granted he caught a terrible break, pulling his iron shot from the tee just a bit left and into one of those gargantuan seeming sand traps where the ball just happened to bury under the lip.  A no shot dead lie if I’ve ever seen one, which turned out to be the case.  My mistake was thinking Mr. Duval would fold up his I’m the 882nd best golfer but I used to be number one on the planet tent and vanish into the land of the many over par.  He didn’t fold at all.  He did what no one has seen him do in a long long time.  Continue to play quality golf shots, make some putts and crawl back into the lead.   Only to watch a 5 foot par putt do a 180* back at you on the 17th green.  This while Mr. Glover made his lone birdie of the day on the par 4 16th hole, acquiring a two shot lead as he marched onto the 17th tee.  I really hope that Mr. Duval is back as a player.  What a comeback script that would make.  From number one in the world to number 882 and back to say the top five in only 10 years.  A tale of one man’s inability to quit on himself when the rest of golfdom buried him long long ago.  Very cool. Although probably a psychologically questionable personality flaw, it’s a flaw I have to admire. 

Tiger Woods had numerous chances to get himself into the mix the final two days, but his putter refused to comprehend the lack of speed on the greens.  A US Open can not be won without cooperation from the flatstick.  Won’t happen.  And yet he still finished tied for 6th only four shots out of first.  If you kept score, he was four over on the 15th hole for the week.  Whatever your opinion on him, the guy is just absolutely amazing at playing this game. 

And so there was drama on the final nine, even though it was Monday morning rather than Sunday afternoon.  Lots of players with a chance to win and or lose the tournament.  Make no mistake, Mr. Glover won the trophy by playing better golf than anyone else.  He is a worthy winner as deserving as every other of the names etched on the trophy he now holds.  Congratulations.

 

As a small aside, I never hope the talking heads have so much time to fill ever again.  When weatherman Al Roker is the star talking head something is amiss.  Normally I can tune out the voices, but they reached the level of the ridiculous so quickly today, and then went way beyond that in short order, I was throwing things at my television and yelling at them to shut the heck up.  The inanity reached such a level that I neglected to realize I could hit the mute button, but like rubberneckers at a six car- semitruck accident I had to keep an ear out for every gory sentence.  It may take some time before I can forget statements like Dan Hicks made about Mr. Barnes after a chip shot finished tap in distance from the hole.  Something to the effect that "once again he’s responded to the pressure"  this after Mr. Barnes had yanked three successive tee shots into the deep do do and even hit a second shot further left.  The guy is melting in front of my eyes and just about to come out of skin, but he’s responding to the pressure in a good way.  HAH!  I just threw a pair of socks at the computer.  Time to say goodbye. 

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  1. Tyler

    Jun 24, 2009 at 12:46 am

    Eric,

    Congrats on the Sportscenter mention. I found the video of it if you missed it.

    -Tyler

    Post #16
    http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=273077&hl=

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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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