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Olympic Conquest — Simpson takes his first major



AP Golf Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP)Webb Simpson won the U.S. Open and put two more names into the graveyard of champions.
Overlooked for so much of the week, Simpson emerged on a fog-filled Sunday at The Olympic Club with four birdies around the turn and a tough chip out of a hole to the right of the 18th green that he converted into par for a 2-under 68.

Click here to read the full article on Golf Digest

He finished at 1-over 281, and it was enough to outlast former U.S. Open champions Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell.

Furyk bogeyed two of his last three holes. McDowell had a 25-foot birdie on the 18th to force a playoff, but it never had a chance.
“Oh, wow,” Simpson said, watching from the locker room.

Olympic is known as the “graveyard of champions” because proven major winners who were poised to win the U.S. Open have always lost to the underdog. One of those was Arnold Palmer in 1966, when he lost a seven-shot lead on the back nine.

Perhaps it was only fitting that the 25-year-old Simpson went to Wake Forest on an Arnold Palmer scholarship.

“Arnold has been so good to me,” Simpson said. “Just the other day, I read that story and thought about it. He’s meant so much to me and Wake Forest. Hopefully, I can get a little back for him and make him smile.”

No one was beaming like Simpson, who followed a breakthrough year on the PGA Tour with his first major.

No one was more disgusted than Furyk, in control for so much of the final round until he snap-hooked his tee shot on the par-5 16th hole to fall out of the lead for the first time all day, and was unable to get it back. Needing a birdie on the final hole, he hit into the bunker. He crouched and clamped his teeth onto the shaft of his wedge. Furyk made bogey on the final hole and closed with a 74, a final round without a single birdie.

McDowell, who made four bogeys on the front nine, at least gave himself a chance with a 20-foot birdie putt on the 17th and a shot into the 18th that had him sprinting up the hill to see what kind of chance he had. The putt stayed left of the hole the entire way, and he had to settle for a 73.

McDowell shared second place with Michael Thompson, who closed with a 67 and waited two hours to see if it would be good enough.
Tiger Woods, starting five shots behind, played the first six holes in 6-over par and was never a factor. He shot 73 and finished six strokes back.

Furyk was fuming, mostly at himself, for blowing a chance at his second U.S. Open title. He also was surprised that the USGA moved the tee up 100 yards on the 16th hole to play 569 yards. It was reachable in two shots for some players, though the shape of the hole featured a sharp turn to the left.

“There’s no way when we play our practice rounds you’re going to hit a shot from a tee 100 yards up unless someone tells you,” Furyk said. “But the rest of the field had that same shot to hit today, and I’m pretty sure no one hit as (bad) a shot as I did. I have no one to blame but myself.”

“I was tied for the lead, sitting on the 16th tee,” he said. “I’ve got wedges in my hand, or reachable par 5s, on the way in and one birdie wins the golf tournament. I’m definitely frustrated.”

But he gave Simpson his due.

Of the last 18 players to tee off in the final round, Simpson was the only one to break par. That didn’t seem likely when Simpson was six shots behind as he headed to the sixth hole, the toughest at Olympic. That’s where he started his big run.

His 7-iron landed in the rough and rolled 5 feet away for birdie. He made birdie on the next two holes, including a 15-footer on the par-3 eighth. And his wedge into the 10th settled 3 feet away, putting him in the mix for the rest of the day.

“It was a cool day,” Simpson said. “I had a peace all day. I knew it was a tough golf course. I probably prayed more the last three holes than I ever did in my life.”

Simpson’s shot from the rough on the 18th hole went just right of the green and disappeared into a hole, a circle of dirt about the size of a sprinkler cap. With a clump of grass behind the ball, he had a bold stroke for such a nervy shot and it came out perfectly, rolling 3 feet by the hole for his much-needed par.

Then, it was time to wait.

It was the third time in the last seven years that no one broke par in the U.S. Open. On all three occasions, the winner was in the locker room when it the tournament ended.

While Furyk will be haunted by his finish, McDowell can look back at his start – four bogeys on the front nine – and his inability to find fairways. Even on the last hole, his tee shot tumbled into the first cut of rough and kept him from being able to spin the ball closer.

“There’s a mixture of emotions inside me right now – disappointment, deflation, pride,” he said. “But mostly just frustration, just because I hit three fairways today. That’s the U.S. Open. You’re not supposed to do that. You’re supposed to hit it in some fairways. And that was the key today for me.”

Click here to read the full article on Golf Digest

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Bob Parsons explains why PXG Gen2 irons cost $400, but are “probably worth $1000”



As part of the launch of its new 0311 Gen2 irons, Parsons Xtreme Golf (PXG) offered me time to interview the man himself, Bob Parsons, who’s the founder and CEO of PXG. Parsons founded in 1997, among other companies throughout his professional career, and depending on how much you trust Forbes’ Net Worth estimates, he’s worth $3 billion.

So why did he start a golf equipment company, and what makes PXG so different? In my interview with Parsons (who’s quite the character, as you’ll find out), we discuss those questions and much more.

I encourage you to watch the entire interview (obviously), but for your viewing convenience, here are the topics we covered and the timestamps from the 12-minute interview above. Enjoy!

  • Scottsdale National Golf Club upgrades and new Gen2 irons (0:37)
  • What made you start a golf company? (1:25)
  • Spending $350,000 a year on golf clubs (2:24)
  • Recruiting Mike Nicolette and breaking the mold of product releases (2:48)
  • Were you nervous it took three years to upgrade the irons? (3:45)
  • New COR2 technology and its benefits (4:33)
  • Did you set out to disrupt the industry? (5:30)
  • PXG’s growth in size and Tour presence (5:55)
  • What’s your favorite country to play golf in? (6:41)
  • What’s your relationship with the military? (6:55)
  • What’s in your bag? (8:55)
  • What’s your relationship with GolfWRX? (9:45)
  • Why are these irons $50 more expensive? (10:09)
  • When can we expect new metalwoods and Gen3 irons? (11:18)
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Kelly Tilghman leaving Golf Channel after 22 years



Kelly Tilghman is stepping away from Golf Channel after a 22-year run at the network. The Myrtle Beach native has been a less visible presence on air in recent years.

The first woman to serve as play-by-play announcer for a PGA Tour event, Tilghman announced Wednesday that this will be her last week at Golf Channel.

Tilghman began working at the network in 1996 in the tape library, starting just a year after Golf Channel’s inception. Her departure leaves Mike Ritz and Rich Lerner as the only remaining on-air talents from the channel’s early years.

Golf Channel released this statement.

Tilghman told Golfweek’s Forecaddie she’s not done with television just yet.

“This process was very peaceful for me…I can’t imagine a scenario where I would never be on television again.”

In a farewell letter published on Golf Channel’s website, Tilghman wrote about the decision to step away at Bay Hill.

“It’s the perfect spot for so many obvious reasons. Arnold’s family will be there. My Golf Channel and NBC family will be there. I know you will too, like you always have. I’ll forever cherish the memories we’ve built together.”

You can read her full letter here, which includes the Arnold Palmer anecdote below.

“Enter Arnold Palmer. I’ll never forget that day in the early years when he paid our tiny newsroom a surprise visit. It was an honor to be in his presence. One could only imagine how I felt when he put his hand on my shoulder and whispered, “I hope you believe in this place as much as I do.”

“Yes, Arnold, I did.”

See what GolfWRX members are saying about Tilghman’s departure in the forums.


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Wednesday’s Photos from the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational



GolfWRX is live from Bay Hill Club & Lodge (par 72; 7,419 yards) in Orlando, Florida for the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational. The tournament, in the namesake of the late Arnold Palmer, has been played at Bay Hill aka “Arnie’s Place” since 1979. Tiger Woods, who’s in the field this week, has won eight of those events — the last time Woods played in the event was in 2013, where he picked up his eighth victory at Bay Hill.


Joining Woods in the field this week are notables Justin Rose, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, honorary co-host Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, and Hideki Matsuyama, who’s back from being sidelined with wrist problems.

Last year, Marc Leishman shot a final-round 69 to beat out Kevin Kisner and Charley Hoffman by one stroke to capture the tournament title.

Check out our photos from this week at Bay Hill below!

Wednesday’s Photos

Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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19th Hole