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HP Byron Nelson Championship preview

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By Pete Pappas

GolfWRX Staff Writer

The PGA Tour gallops back into the “Longhorn State” for the 2012 Byron Nelson Championship and third leg of the Tour’s Texas Swing.

Keegan Bradley returns to defend his title in a Lone Star field featuring 10 past champions, 12 of the top-30 players in the FedExCup standings, and 10 major winners.

Bradley’s 278 (three-under) last year was the highest winning score at “The Nelson” since 1981 and the fourth-highest since the tournament was first played in 1944.

His come from behind playoff victory over Ryan Palmer kicked off a sensational rookie campaign which included (another playoff) victory in his first major, the PGA Championship, and 2011 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year honors.

“I went from being an unknown rookie trying to keep his card to winning a PGA Tour event and locking up my future a bit,” Bradley said.  “This tournament will be special to me.”

Bradley tries to become the first back-to-back winner of the Dallas event since Tom Watson did it three consecutive times over three decades ago (1978 to 1980).

Seven players inside the Official World Golf Rankings top-25 and six winners in 2012 will also tee it up at TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas (where more than a quarter-million people are expected to attend over the weekend).

World No. 5 (and always smiling) Matt Kuchar comes off his fourth career and most prestigious victory at The Players last week.  A win in Dallas would make him only the second player this season to win multiple times (Hunter Mahan).

“I love the challenge that the game provides,” Kuchar said.  “I’m trying to find a way to get better and win [more] golf tournaments.”

The 33 year-old Kuchar finished tied for sixth last year at Four Seasons.

Meanwhile Phil Mickelson (World No. 10) is the favorite to win this week despite a five year hiatus from the Byron Nelson.

“Phil the Thrill” has finished in the top-10 four times in his last eight events and hopes to cap off a magnificent World Golf Hall of Fame induction last week with his second win of the season and 41st of his illustrious career.

Hot Tamales Or Soul Grapes?

Tiger Woods has not played the Byron Nelson Championship since 2005 when his PGA Tour record 142 consecutive tournaments without missing a cut came to an end.

The previous Tour consecutive cut streak record was held by none other than tournament host “Lord Byron” (113 events without a missed cut).

Historic Moments

In 1946 Ben Hogan defeats Herman Keiser and dubiously enters the record books with the highest winning score in tournament history (284, four-over). 

In 1980 Tom Watson wins for the third consecutive time becoming the only four-time multiple winner in tournament history.

In 1981 Watson is nearly victorious for the fourth consecutive year but is turned away in a playoff by Bruce Lietzke. 

In 2008 Australian Adam Scott rolls in a 49-foot birdie putt to defeat runner-up Ryan Moore on the third playoff hole.

In 2010 on sponsor’s exemption 16 year-old Jordan Spieth becomes the youngest player in tournament history to play in the event and goes on to finish 16th overall.

A Course Worth Playing For I Have Decreed It!

TPC Four Seasons got the David Feherty “?#@*%! up” stamp of approval in his 2010 Sports Illustrated article about PGA Tour greenskeepers.  “A course worth playing for I have decreed it,” quipped the quick-witted GolfChannel host.

Small lakes, rolling fairways, and indigenous oak and mesquite trees make TPC Four Seasons is an attractive course.  And its extensive bunkers (68) and formidable length (7,166 yards) also make it a challenging one.

But the story at TPC Four Seasons is the greens (and the main reason the course ranked fifth in difficulty in 2011) and more precisely approach shots into them. 

Players must absolutely target specific areas on the greens rather than aim for the flags because of abrupt and extreme green undulations.  Good shots will use the slopes to funnel the ball towards the hole for manageable birdie attempts.  Poor shots will hit the greens but roll off.

And with a stimpmeter of 11 feet (Augusta National generally runs 12 feet), as Feherty says, TPC Four Seasons has managed to “ensure the almost impossible balance between keeping [the greens] alive yet firm enough to putt.”

The Greek Syndicate

It’s a cherished pastime of ancient Greeks to gamble.  In fact some accounts say Greeks are the forerunners of gambling. 

Whatever the case may be, it’s in my blood and it was only a matter of time before I rolled the dice on the PGA Tour.

I’m putting my money where my mouth is this week.  A good week and I’ll be packing my bags for San Francisco and the U.S. Open a little early.

A bad one and I’m barricading myself inside, not answering the door, telephone, or emails until my flute nymph says it’s safe to see daylight.

Histories, streaks, and stats, I’ve passed the point of no return. 

Top-25

Mickelson (11/1)

Phil’s the favorite to win this week and owns a lower scoring average (67.5) in this tournament than anyone in the field for the past five years.

The problem is Lefty has only played one time here in that time period.

“The Nelson” will be Mickelson’s third consecutive event played (T-26 at the Wells Fargo Championship two weeks ago and T-25 at The PLAYERS last week).

And the last time Lefty put three in a row together he finished T-4 at the Shell Houston Open (after a T-43 at the WGC-Cadillac Championship and T-24 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational).

However “Fairway Phil” is ranked 129th on Tour in driving accuracy (57.44) and that’s going to make it extremely difficult for him to hit his spots on approach to the slippery Four Seasons greens.

Despite Mickelson’s much improved putting (ranked 28th on Tour in putting average) which has been key to his success this season, Phil won’t contend this week.

Johnson Wagner (45/1)

Wagner’s victory at the Sony Open and four top-10s are impressive.  But most of those came very early in the season.

His past four events have resulted in two missed cuts and finishes of T-65 at Wells Fargo and T-35 at The Players.

I’ve got Wagner sneaking in the top-25 this week based purely on his (68.89 percent) greens-in-regulation (good for 18th on Tour) and T-12 finish here in 2010.

Top-10

Kuchar (12/1)

No one’s hotter than Kuchar coming in.  And he ranks fourth in bogey avoidance, eighth in scrambling, and 24th in driving accuracy, all of which will be important this week in Dallas.

Kuchar finished T-6 here last year after three finishes outside the top-35 the previous three years.

There’s no reason to not pick Kuchar to win. 

Except that it’s been nearly impossible to win multiple times so far this season and putting back-to-back victories together seems even more improbable.

Ernie Els (30/1)

Like Mickelson Els hasn’t played here in five years.  However he’s finished inside the top-15 the last four times he’s played here.

Els has three top-5 finishes in his past six events this season.  But two missed cuts in his past three.

It all depends on which Els shows up.  The one who went 68-67 the final two days at the Zurich Classic to finish in second place? Or the one who shot 74-74 to miss the cut at The Players?

I’m betting on Els 69.5 scoring average over the past five weeks (which is tops in the Four Seasons field).

Top-5

Oosthuizen (22/1)

A missed cut at The Players was very disappointing. 

But Oosthuizen was impressive finishing second at The Masters and third at the Shell Houston in his prior Tour events.  He also picked up a victory at the Malaysian Open on the European Tour

Oosthuizen’s fifth in total driving, seventh in ball striking, 14th in birdie or better conversion, and 15th in GIR.  A recipe for contention at TPC Four Seasons.

D.A. Points (60/1)

Points has the third best scoring average here of all the players in the field for the past five Nelson events (68.75).  And he finished T-7 here in 2010 and 3rd in 2009.

Points also has the third best scoring average on Tour over the past five weeks of the 2012 season (70.17).

The only thing that might keep Points outside the top-5 is his putting.  T-111 in putting average (1.78) will be a concern if he doesn’t stick his approach shots close.

Outside Top-25

Bradley (18/1)

Bradley is slumping hard.  No top-25s in his past four events.

Carl Pettersson (30/1)

Pettersson is coming off an impressive T-10 finish at The Players with seven one-putts in the final round.  He finished T-4 here in 2008.

Pettersson’s third in putting average, 12th in strokes gained putting and 22nd in bogey avoidance on Tour.

But I sense a letdown for the Swede this week.

Missed Cut

Adam Scott (14/1)

Scott won here in 2008 but has only played in 5 events this season.  Fifth in GIR will help his cause but he simply hasn’t played enough to not be rusty. 

Ryan Palmer (45/1)

Palmer has missed the cut four of the last five times he’s played here.

Winner

Jason Day (22/1)

Two of the last three events have been tough going for Day with a WD at The Masters and a missed cut last week at The Players.

“It fuels the hunger,” Day said of his performance last week.

He won here in 2010 and finished in fifth place in 2011.  He clearly likes the course and can go low here (evidenced by his second round 65 in 2010 and final round 67 in 2011). 

Day picks up his second career Tour win this week.

Gripping Groups 

Johnson Wagner, Y.E. Yang, Charles Howell III

Danny Lee, Edward Loar, Patrick Reed

Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Ernie Els

Jason Dufner, Jhonattan Vegas, Louis Ooshuizen       

Matt Kuchar, Vijay Singh, Padraig Harrington

Keegan Bradley, Rory Sabbatini, Jason Day

Derek Lamley, John Rollins, Justin Leonard

Harrison Frazar. D.A. Points, Ryan Palmer

Lord Byron

If ever there was a player worthy of having a tournament named after him it’s the gentlemanly Byron Nelson (passed away in 2006).  And the Byron Nelson Championship was the first PGA Tour event to be named after a professional golfer.

“This tournament is the best thing that’s ever happened to me in golf,” Byron once said.  “Better than winning the Masters or the U.S. Open or eleven in a row; because it helps people.”

The tournament has raised over $121M in total charitable giving since its inception.

“Lord Byron” is sixth all time in total wins on the PGA Tour (52) including five majors.  And his 1945 season remains arguably the best single season in the history of the PGA Tour.  18 wins, with 11 coming consecutively (and margins of victory were routinely in the double figures).

Only three others players have consecutive win streaks of four or more: Ben Hogan (six consecutive), Jackie Burke (four consecutive) and Tiger Woods (seven consecutive).

Byron was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1974 (the highest honor given to U.S. citizen) and his kindness, dedication, and awe-inspiring accomplishments (both on and off the course) will forever remain one of the greatest legacies the game has ever known.

Notes

Prior to last years Byron Nelson Championship a severe Tuesday evening hail storm wrecked havoc on TPC Four Seasons pummeling the greens with more than 4,000 divots (some the size of baseballs) forcing Four Seasons employees to evacuate.

“The Other Rory” Sabbatini set the tournament scoring record (261) with his win here in 2009.

To the victor go the spoils.  The winner picks up a cool $1.17M (of the $6.5M purse) and 500 FedExCup points. 

Television Coverage

Thursday and Friday: Golf Channel 3 – 6 p.m. EST

Saturday and Sunday: NBC 3 – 6 p.m. EST

Radio Coverage

Thursday through Sunday: SiriusXM Satellite Radio 12 – 6 p.m. EST

Odds

Odds provided by Las Vegas PGA Tour Golf Betting Odds 

Follow Pete on twitter @TheGreekGrind

Click here for more discussion in the “Tour Talk” forum.

 

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Pete is a journalist, commentator, and interviewer covering the PGA Tour, new equipment releases, and the latest golf fashions. Pete's also a radio and television personality who's appeared multiple times on ESPN radio, and Fox Sports All Bets Are Off. And when he's not running down a story, he's at the range working on his game. Above all else, Pete's the proud son of a courageous mom who battled pancreatic cancer much longer than anyone expected. You can follow Pete on twitter @PGAPappas

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Chippster

    May 18, 2012 at 9:59 am

    It’s easy to forget what a great golfer Byron Nelson was. Byron is remembered as a kindly old gentleman because he was one for such a long time; he lived to a ripe old age. But, he was a fierce competitor, tiger-esque in his capabilities. For example, he would hit flagsticks with his approach shots regularly, up to six and on multiple occasions. Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus have made similar statements about Byron’s ball striking ability. Also, look up his record against Ben Hogan. It might surprise you about who dominated who.

    You often read about who is the greatest golfer of all time, Jack or Tiger. But when you take an encompassing look at all the qualities that make up a champion, I’ll take Byron every time.

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Morning 9: Whan emphasizes tour pay gap | Plenty of support for Fowler | WAGR revamp

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By Ben Alberstadt
Email me at ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com and find me at @benalberstadt on Instagram and golfwrxEIC on Twitter.

November 21, 2019

Good Thursday morning, golf fans. Today is somehow my brother’s 31st birthday (and he’s soon to be a father). Tempus fugit! 
 
**Just a reminder we’re looking for advertisers for 2020. Drop me a line if you’d like to talk about getting your message in front of the M9 readership.** 

 

1. Plenty of support for Rickie
There was, however, plenty of support for Fowler as the late addition to the team.
  • “Rickie loves the stage. A lot like a Phil Mickelson or now hanging around Kevin Kisner some, there’s some guys that like to walk out on the final green and make that putt, they want the ball with no time on the clock and Rickie’s that guy,” Davis Love III said. “It’s unfortunate for Brooks, but I think they picked up an all-around team guy both playing and in the team room, so I’m excited for him.”
2. Whan emphasizes pay gap in letter
Fresh off a contract extension, LPGA commissioner Mike Whan penned a letter to tour members and sponsors.
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell…”He put special emphasis on the LPGA’s opportunity to advance larger causes, including closing the gender pay gap.”
  • “Mike Whan doesn’t intend to leave the LPGA anytime soon. With his contract set to expire late next year, Whan confirmed with GolfChannel.com Tuesday that he has signed a contract extension.”
  • “If a company’s stated values are to provide equal opportunities for women to advance and succeed, why wouldn’t their marketing/sponsorship dollars reflect that?” Whan wrote. “How is it that nearly every company claims equal opportunity is a cornerstone of their business, but 95% of all corporate sports sponsorship dollars are spent on male sports? There is no doubt we’re at a tipping point and more executives, shareholders and investors are questioning whether their corporate values are reflected in every aspect of their company, including marketing and sponsorship decisions. Increased corporate support translates into more opportunities for women in golf and more opportunities for female athletes to be seen as role models of confidence, ability and accomplishment.”

Full piece.

3. Revamp for World Amateur Golf Ranking 
Golfweek’s Alistair Tait…”The World Amateur Golf Ranking is to receive a major revamp for the 2020 season. The R&A and USGA is instituting a new system called the “Power Method” to try to improve the way amateurs are ranked.”
  • “The governing bodies believe the new system will “better reflect the current performance of golfers by placing greater emphasis on current form and results by improving the algorithms used to determine the WAGR.”
  • “In the new structure, every event in the world will earn a power number based on the strength of its starting field, which will then determine the total number of ranking points on offer to the field. This will extend to a maximum of 1000 for amateur events, with players also able to gain ranking points from playing in professional tournaments.”

Full piece.

4. The hardest thing about the LPGA Tour? 
Golf Digest’s Keely Levins with this interesting tidbit…”Jeongeun Lee6 made the transition from the Korean LPGA Tour to the LPGA Tour in 2019, and her rookie year has been an undeniable success. She won the U.S. Women’s Open in May and had nine other top-10 finishes…”
  • “Through a translator, Lee6 noted that on the KLPGA, you can take a cart during the pro-ams. “But in LPGA,” she said, “you have to walk no matter what, even during the pro-am, and so that was like the most hardest thing I ever experienced.”
  • “Really? Harder than the grind of traveling across country? Harder than playing against elite competition every week? Harder than winning the U.S. Women’s Open?”
5. Wide open
The first of two pieces by Greg Hardwig at the Naples Daily News, syndicated in Golfweek…
  • “No more promotional photos for the top 5 or top 9 players with their hands on the $1 million box of cash this week.”
  • “Instead, there will be 60…Whoever wins Sunday will take home $1.5 million – to be clear, they automatically win the $1 million Race to the CME Globe and $500,000 for finishing first in the tournament. It’s the biggest winning check in women’s golf.”
  • “Previously, the winner of the Race to the CME Globe, which went through the entire LPGA Tour season, won $1 million, with the tournament champion winning $500,000.”
  • “The tournament purse also has been doubled, from $2.5 million to $5 million.”

Full piece.

6. Ramifications 
“NBC Sports Group today announced it has acquired EZLinks Golf, a PGA Tour-affiliated company, including Teeoff.com, its online tee-time marketplace for golfers, and its technology platforms, business solutions and customer service for golf course partners.”
  • “The move cements GolfNow as the 800-pound gorilla in the online tee-time category, but it won’t be welcomed by course owners and operators, The Forecaddie hears. An independent TeeOff.com, backed by the Tour’s marketing clout, was perceived as critical to a healthy, competitive marketplace. The combination of the two largest players in the category means that, more than ever, partnering with GolfNow becomes almost a cost of doing business.”
  • “Rumors of this move had been circulating for a few months. As one insider tells The Forecaddie, the industry should have felt “the tremors.” This puts into the hands of one entity upwards of 85 percent of the online tee-time inventory in the United States, according to sources.”

Full piece.

7. A golfer, a brain infection & one heckuva story
Golf Digest’s Joel Beall relays the story of Brett White…
  • “By the time he returned to the physician’s office, White was in terrible shape. He had a fever, was sweating uncontrollably and in a state that was as uncomfortable as it was unfamiliar. A lab nurse recognized White’s situation and called the doctor, who told White’s dad to get him to the emergency room, and fast.”
  • “When White was admitted to Spectrum Hospital, the medical staff believed he was suffering vertigo. Treatments for it, however, were ineffective, so they focused on White’s recent visits to South America, testing for malaria, Zika and Lyme disease. Those results were negative, leading to further examination, which included more blood samples, an MRI and a spinal tap.”
  • “After 10 days of analysis, White received an ultra-rare diagnosis of viral encephalitis secondary to Epstein Barr Virus (mononucleosis) infection with complications of ataxia. His brain was under attack by a virus and was swelling at an alarming rate.”
  • “I didn’t know, or wasn’t told, at the time,” White says, “but at that point my life was in serious jeopardy.”

Full piece.

8. Does the LPGA need American golfers to be good? 
That’s the question, in part, Greg Hardwig of the Naples Daily News, explores…
  • “The year-to-year, ongoing saga of where Americans stand on the LPGA Tour against the rest of the world appears to be in another downturn.”
  • “Does it really matter?…Maybe not to the tour itself, which has successfully marketed itself as a global tour and tapped into the Asian market, which continues to grow rapidly. Maybe not to the players that much. Golf’s an individual sport anyway, and many tour players are happy to have friends on the tour from other countries.”
  • “It matters to the tour in the aspect of people watching and your sponsors,” said former world No. 1 Stacy Lewis. “Your American players that are the ones that sell a little easier. On our side, for the players, we don’t care. I don’t see those other players as being Koreans or Japanese. They’re just people I want to beat.”

Full piece.

9. Rahm’s break
Golfweek’s Alistair Tait…”What prompted the break? Two reasons: next year is going to be a busier season than normal with the Olympics Games in Tokyo, and he decided to get a little practice as a family man.”
  • “It was more like a future thing. Knowing that with me getting married in Christmas, and the year we’re going to have, I needed a break at some point. I feel like that was the only time I could get a break to recharge a little bit and make sure, you know, I’m going to be fresh for next year.”
  • “Rahm and girlfriend Kelley got engaged last year, and the Spaniard has given himself quite a few brownie points ahead of the wedding.”
  • “I’m not going to lie. At first it was hard to step away from it a little bit. Honestly, I did nothing special. Just being a 25-year-old, enjoying time with my friends, enjoying time with Kelley. We spend so much of our life making decisions just for me and for my golf game, that it was nice just to, you know, tell her for a month straight, ‘What do you want to do?’ right, instead of what do I need to do. It was very nice to be able to do that. I wish I could do it every day of the year, but golf, it’s somewhat of a selfish sport in that sense.”

 

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Brooks Koepka withdraws from Presidents Cup with knee injury; replaced by Rickie Fowler

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Brooks Koepka has officially announced his withdrawal from the U.S. side for next month’s Presidents Cup, having been unable to fully recover from a knee injury which he re-injured at last month’s CJ Cup.

In a statement released on Koepka’s social media, the world number one stated

“Today, I am announcing my withdrawal from the USA Presidents Cup team because of my knee injury. I notified Captain Tiger Woods that despite constant medical care and rehab, I am not able to play golf at this time. I consider it to be a high honor to be part of the 2019 team and I regret not being able to compete.

Since my injury in Korea, I have been in constant contact with Tiger and assured him that I was making every effort to be 100% in time for the Presidents Cup in Australia. However, I need more time to heal.

I’m sorry I won’t be able to represent the Red, White, and Blue this time around and I wish my teammates nothing but the best as they work to retain the Presidents Cup for the USA.”

View this post on Instagram

Today, I am announcing my withdrawal from the USA Presidents Cup team because of my knee injury. I notified Captain Tiger Woods that despite constant medical care and rehab, I am not able to play golf at this time. I consider it to be a high honor to be part of the 2019 team and I regret not being able to compete. ? Since my injury in Korea, I have been in constant contact with Tiger and assured him that I was making every effort to be 100% in time for the Presidents Cup in Australia. However, I need more time to heal. ? I’m sorry I won’t be able to represent the Red, White, and Blue this time around and I wish my teammates nothing but the best as they work to retain the Presidents Cup for the USA.

A post shared by Brooks Koepka (@bkoepka) on

Koepka has now been replaced in the U.S. team by Rickie Fowler who will be making his third appearance at the Presidents Cup.

The 2019 Presidents Cup takes place at Royal Melbourne from December 12-15.

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Morning 9: Long-term extension for Whan | Rory bemoans major calendar again | Captain Tiger’s Koepka backup plan

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1. If BK can’t play…
Golf Digest’s Daniel Rapaport considers the decision facing captain Tiger Woods should Brooks Koepka be unable to play in Australia.
  • “Brooks Koepka appears to be a question mark after withdrawing from last month’s CJ Cup with a knee injury, an extra concerning development because it was to the same knee that required a stem-cell injection after the Tour Championship in August. Tiger Woods said prior to the Zozo Championship that he was confident Dustin Johnson’s knee would be good to go by Dec. 12, but didn’t know whether Koepka would be able to play. With each passing day that Koepka doesn’t announce his intentions to make the trip to Australia, the uncertainty of him playing in the event grows.”
  • Rapaport’s short list includes…Brendon Todd…Rickie Fowler…Kevin Kisner…Kevin Na…more…

Full piece.

2. “Long-term extension”
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell…“Mike Whan doesn’t intend to leave the LPGA anytime soon…With his contract set to expire late next year, Whan confirmed with GolfChannel.com Tuesday that he has signed a contract extension.”
  • “It’s a long-term contract,” Whan said. “I don’t even know how long it is. I really don’t.”..LPGA president Vicki Goetze-Ackerman confirmed there’s a new deal in place.”
  • “It’s a long-term contract,” Goetze-Ackerman said. “That’s all you’re going to get anyone to tell you. He has a vision for the future, and he wants to stay. He’s been fantastic, taking us from a dismal place in 2010 to where we are now, with a vision of an even stronger future.”

Full piece.

3. Ko playing hurt
Golf Digest’s Keely Levins…”Jin Young Ko has had a dominant season on the LPGA, winning four times in 2019, including two major championships. She is the No. 1 player in the world, and she broke Tiger Woods’ record of consecutive tournament holes without a bogey, 114 to Woods’ 110. Moreover, she already has won Player of the Year honors. Yet Ko has arrived at the last event on the LPGA’s calendar, the CME Group Tour Championship facing her biggest challenge this season.”
  • “The 22-year-old from South Korea, citing an ankle injury, considered not playing this week…She said it happened in Taiwan, while playing in the Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA, three weeks before the Tour Championship. On the 18th tee during her practice round at Miramar Golf Country Club in New Taipei City, she took a practice swing and immediately felt pain in her ankle, around the ankle bone both at the instep and outside of the foot. She said she stepped away from the tee, asking her playing partner to hit before her. After waiting a minute, she hit her tee ball, but still felt pain. Post-round, she got a massage and had a trainer tape the ankle.”

Full piece.

4. BBC loses Masters TV rights
Guardian staff report…”The BBC will not show any live golf next year for the first time since 1955 after the broadcaster lost the rights to live coverage of the Masters. Sky Sports will be the sole broadcasters of the tournament from Augusta.”
  • “The BBC lost the rights to the Open in 2016, ending a 60-year run with Britain’s flagship tournament, while their live Masters coverage was pared back to two days in 2011. From next year terrestrial viewers will be able to watch only highlights.”
5. Major calendar worries Rory for casual fans
Golfweek’s Alistair Tait…”Rory McIlroy has reiterated fears that casual golf fans may be turned off the game because the major championships are crammed too tightly together.”
  • “…Major Championship golf now ends in July at the conclusion of the Open Championship. The majors previously wound up in August, but that changed this year with the PGA Championship from its traditional August date to May to avoid a clash with the FedEx Cup.”
  • “I’d love to see the major schedule just spread out a little bit just so, you know, casual fans of the game are a little more interested in golf, not just for five or six months of the year but maybe nine or ten months of the year,” McIlroy said. “Especially with the way the game is going in terms of how important majors are and how much emphasis everyone puts on them.”

Full piece.

6. Lexi’s perspective 
“Remember, she was 12 when she qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open in 2007. She was 15 when she finished runner-up at the Evian Championship. She was 19 when she won her first major at the Kraft Nabisco.”
  • “There was always the urge to feel like she’s playing for others…”I’ve gotten to that point at some parts of my career, just a lot of expectations and feeling like I have to perform for others,” she said. “But now I know I’m putting in the hard work. I’m going out and trying to win. But it’s not going to happen every time. I’m not a robot. I’m human. This is my life, and I’ve put in a lot of work, and that’s what people need to realize.”
  • “The challenge in golf is not one’s age or experience, but rather how young everyone else is getting.”

Full piece.

7. Kupcho
AP report…”After turning pro in May, the Colorado native disappeared from the leaderboard for several months. She had only one significant check, a fifth in the Marathon Classic worth $52,798.”
  • “Everything changed a few weeks later in France at her fourth major in eight starts, the Evian Championship. She shot a final-round 66, finishing two shots behind Jin Young Ko, in a three-way tie for runner-up and most importantly, a check for $290,778.”
  • “The LPGA rookie princess is loaded with confidence, and comfortable with her status that includes a 47th place in the Race to the CME Globe rankings.”

Full piece.

8. Leaning on the Patricks?
PGATour.com’s Sean Martin on the origin of the Patrick Reed-Patrick Cantlay friendship, which could prove significant for the American side in Australia…”He decided to phone a friend from his amateur days. Cantlay was a high-schooler when he played a practice round with Patrick Reed at one of the country’s top amateur events, the Western Amateur. Now Cantlay wanted to team with him at TPC Louisiana.”
  • “Reed accepted, and the partnership has lasted through all three team editions of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Cantlay and Reed are even the rare team that coordinates outfits.”
  • “The partnership could make its way to Australia next month. With Jordan Spieth not on this year’s roster and all 11 players clamoring to team with Tiger Woods, it could make sense for the Patricks to pair at the Presidents Cup.”
  • “Cantlay and Reed, two iconoclasts who are known to keep to themselves, are kindred spirits. Reed stays firmly ensconced in the tight circle known as Team Reed, while the quiet Cantlay is an old soul who can speak more easily about classic rock than college football.”

Full piece.

9. A rooftop bar overlooking St. Andrews?
Our Gianni Magliocco…”On Tuesday, U.S.-based investment firm, AJ Capital Partners, announced plans to renovate the Macdonald Rusacks Hotel beside the Old Course at St. Andrews, which is set to feature a new rooftop bar overlooking the Old Course’s iconic 18th hole.”
  • “The new bar is set to be 3,000-square feet in size and is expected to be completed by July 2021 for the 150th Open Championship.”
  • “Speaking on the new project, AJ Capital CEO Ben Weprin stated in a release…”St Andrews is one of the most iconic destinations in the world, and our team is honored to embark upon bringing our unique approach to hospitality to this incredibly historic and inspiring community.”
  • “As well as the rooftop “19th hole”, the hotels current 70 rooms and restaurant facilities will be upgraded, while an additional 44 rooms will be added – all of which will pay tribute to St. Andrews and the Old Course’s designer, Old Tom Morris.”
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19th Hole

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