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A Little Extra Effort – Kims Wins In Houston

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You could criticize Anthony Kim for several things at this year’s 2010 Shell Houston Open – for his inability to finish off the tournament in regulation time or for the fact that he hit his tee ball just about everywhere except where he aimed, but in the end he did what mattered most; win.

Winning PGA Tour players learn early that if they are to hoist trophies in their career that their games need not be textbook – they just need to take fewer strokes then their fellow competitors.  That is exactly what Kim did today as he prevailed in a one hole playoff with Vaughn Taylor at the Redstone Golf Club in Humble, Texas.

Taylor pushed his way into the playoff with an uncommon birdie on the 72nd hole of the tournament, and closed the scoring gap when Kim failed to par his last hole of regulation. Momentum seemed to be on the side of Taylor as the playoff began on the 488-yard 18th hole. Not only was he coming off a birdie but the motivation for a win was heightened by the fact it would earn him a spot at The Masters, played annually in his hometown. Kim is already qualified.

Despite driving accuracy over the week that hovered just over 41 percent of fairways hit (including only 21 percent in round 3) Kim seemed in control of his game and emotions as he hit two impressive shots on the extra playoff hole on his way to making a solid par. Taylor scrambled and when his par effort pulled up woefully short of the hole Kim had his third PGA victory.

Even as drive after drive visited various parts of the county Kim was confident in his play – a great sign heading into The Masters. The 24-year old Los Angeles native has not won on the PGA Tour since 2008 when he roped in 2 titles but he is prepped and ready for the 1st major of the season. He says he may not be hitting the ball the way he wants but points to his ability this week to get up and down from all sorts of places as a beacon of confidence. “It was a problem with everything but the lob wedge and the putter. I just tried to give myself good opportunities around the green. Even if it was 40, 50 yards away, I felt like I could get the ball up and down,” he said after round three and carried that through the final stanza.

“Even when people doubt you; you have to be confident in yourself,” said Kim who has never been known for a lack of self-belief. It helped him earn a Shell Houston Open title this week but even he knows he will need more than that is he wants to contend next week and win his first major title. Whether struck by a confident golfer or not, the Augusta National Golf Club does not entertain marginal golf shots. He’ll need every bit of his new found “good-attitude” (as he calls it) and some better ball striking if he expects to be presented a new addition to his wardrobe by Angel Cabrera next Sunday. 

No matter your opinion of young Mr. Kim he has to be considered as a valid contender for The Masters title, especially if he can maintain his short game confidence and bring his driver back to at least what he would consider his normal standards.

The only remaining, of course, is what type of blinged-out belt buckle matches up with a Green Jacket?

Notes:

With no disrespect to Vaughn Taylor, arguably the only other player more impressive than Kim this week was Canadian Graham DeLaet. The PGA Tour rookie and Saskatchewan native was steadfast in his tackling of the Redstone layout (1 bogey in his last 63 holes). His birdie from under a tree on the 17th and a follow up scrambling par on the 18th proved why he is a great prospect for the PGA Tour. If this is how he can handle himself in just his 11th PGA Tour start on this stern of a layout he surely has a great career ahead of him.

This report provided to GolfWRX.com by Flagstick Golf Magazine (www.flagstick.com)

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An instructor’s perspective on the Chamblee/Dufner Twitter controversy

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If you have not had a chance to read the latest exchange on Twitter between Brandel Chamblee and Jason Dufner — and his teacher Chuck Cook — you have missed a wonderful controversy brewing. As you may know, Brandel is never one to hide his feelings on his views of the golf swing (he’s against The Golfing Machine teachings). And when people disagree with him (Jason Dufner), he’s not hesitant to tackle his opposition head on.

I’d like to take the time to weigh-in on what I feel should be focused on from an instruction standpoint, instead of what has been said on Twitter in this controversy.

Brandel’s side

First of all, I consider Brandel to be a friend of mine and he has been nothing but gracious to me during my professional career; though we have differing viewpoints on certain things. I have often called or emailed him, asking his opinion on one thing or another, and he has never failed to answer me. In fact, I love hearing what he has to say, even if it’s the opposite of what I feel personally and professionally — he hardly speaks without research to back it up. When you have the kind of stage he has, you must be armed with facts.

As we all know, Brandel is not a fan of the new breed of instruction. He prefers the old school methods, and clearly from his initial Tweet that sparked the entire controversy, he prefers an upright backswing. He is not a fan of most technologies used on the lesson tee, and he is very vocal regarding the Golfing Machine book and the Trackman launch monitor. While I hold both these things dear to me personally, I do understand how he could not be as convinced as I am of their successes within the game.

People must understand his opinion is a matter of perspective, and though he has this perspective as a player, and as a player-turned-teacher, he does not have the thousands and thousands of hours on the lesson tee. This does not make him right or wrong, it just gives him a different viewpoint.

Dufner’s side

As a teacher myself, I admire Dufner’s rise to fame and to the top ranks as a player, and I applaud him for doing so in spite of the odds and the drama that has gone on within his personal life over the last few years. I am proud to see him step up on a public forum and defend Chuck Cook (his long time teacher) on this Twitter thread. It is refreshing to see! Though I don’t know Jason, I’d like to shake his hand for doing so. My biggest gripe with Tour Professionals, in general, is their failure to stand by their instructors when things are not going well.

The last time I saw a player defending his teacher this adamantly was in a text string I had with Kevin Kisner (who is a great guy and friend) and John Tillery (his teacher and also a friend), who was not picked as one of the Top-100 Teachers on the latest list by Golf Magazine. As I told Kevin and John, it is a matter of time before he is recognized by Golf Magazine. The lists are subjective and many things go into the selection process; they make good choices and other times they make mistakes. John is a heck of a teacher and will always be Top 100 in my book! So kudos to Jason and Kevin for standing up for their guys…they both deserve it 100 percent.

Chuck Cook’s side

How Chuck was dragged into the middle of this whole controversy is beyond me, because he is one of the nicest and most soft-spoken guys. I also consider him the top-1 percent of teachers within our business. Chuck was in Vail for many years while I was also teaching there, and we have been on many outings together. He has been nothing but professional to all of us and anyone he comes into contact with personally. When someone questions him or his ability to teach at the highest levels, I can only say look at the two U.S. Open Champs he has taught, as well as what he’s done with countless other people within the game of golf. He is a smart and stand-up guy and deserves nothing but respect from all of us.

Chuck, I wish I could be HALF the teacher and person you are and have always been! That is a fact.

The Golfing Machine

Now, we could write an entire article series on the book I call my bible within the golfing world. However, 99 percent of the people in the world call it a “method,” or too complex, although every top teacher uses its methodologies within their instruction. It is ONLY an encyclopedia of motion — that’s it. It tells you what will and will not work together during the swing. What the book lacks has been the proper messenger to get the word across and that blame is only on timing. That’s not a knock on the past teachers who have used it or the players on Tour who have employed it.

Homer’s great book was born in 1969, and sadly the world would not be ready to hear these type of ideas in this type of format until now. And, like anything, it has been grossly misunderstood. The book and teachings have been chastised and will continue to be until a few more generations realize the greatness of what is contained within its pages. Only time will help our cause.

The Conclusion

Its all good… it’s not a big deal people! Please understand we ALL come from different places within the game and have our own opinions based on our perspective. Remember that these are all subject to change and can at any time. Every one of the people in that string of Tweets have their own agenda to promote and have the basis to call themselves great in what they do for a living. As long as we all have a drink and a laugh together at the end of the day, I see no harm in a gentleman’s disagreement between friends as long as nothing was done out of malice.

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Friday’s Photos from the 2017 QBE Shootout

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2017 QBE Shootout at Tiburon G.C. in Naples, Florida. Formerly known as the Franklin Templeton Shootout, or the Shark Shootout, the unofficial event plays host to 24 of some of the world’s best golfers, competing in a two-person team competition. The format calls for 54 holes; first-round scramble, second-round modified alternate shot, and third-round fourball (or better ball).

Related

Here is a list of the teams:

  • Daniel Berger-Gary Woodland
  • Keegan Bradley-Brendan Steele
  • Kevin Chappell-Kevin Kisner
  • Jason Dufner-Billy Horschel
  • Harris English-Matt Kuchar
  • Tony Finau-Lexi Thompson
  • Brian Harman-Pat Perez
  • Russell Henley-Kyle Stanley
  • Charley-Hoffman-Zach Johnson
  • Shane Lowry-Graeme McDowell
  • Brandt Snedeker-Bubba Watson
  • Sean O’Hair-Steve Stricker

Last year, Harris English and Matt Kuchar took down the crown, finishing at 28-under par for the event. Of course, they’ll be playing together again this year as the defending champs.

Check out our photos from the 2017 QBE Shootout below!

Friday’s Galleries

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

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Thursday’s Photos from the 2017 QBE Shootout

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2017 QBE Shootout at Tiburon G.C. in Naples, Florida. Formerly known as the Franklin Templeton Shootout, or the Shark Shootout, the unofficial event plays host to 24 of some of the world’s best golfers, competing in a two-person team competition. The format calls for 54 holes; first-round scramble, second-round modified alternate shot, and third-round fourball (or better ball).

Related: Wednesday’s Photos

Here is a list of the teams:

  • Daniel Berger-Gary Woodland
  • Keegan Bradley-Brendan Steele
  • Kevin Chappell-Kevin Kisner
  • Jason Dufner-Billy Horschel
  • Harris English-Matt Kuchar
  • Tony Finau-Lexi Thompson
  • Brian Harman-Pat Perez
  • Russell Henley-Kyle Stanley
  • Charley-Hoffman-Zach Johnson
  • Shane Lowry-Graeme McDowell
  • Brandt Snedeker-Bubba Watson
  • Sean O’Hair-Steve Stricker

Last year, Harris English and Matt Kuchar took down the crown, finishing at 28-under par for the event. Of course, they’ll be playing together again this year as the defending champs.

Check out our photos from the 2017 QBE Shootout below!

Thursday’s Galleries

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

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