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Duel In Dublin

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After a lengthy run through Texas the PGA Tour emerges in Ohio this week with a riveting field set to face off at The Memorial Tournament.

Phil Mickelson made a great charge in the last few weeks, closing the gap on the lead of Tiger Woods in the Official World Golf Rankings, and accordingly, much attention will fall on the pair this week in Dublin.

This time last year Phil was dealing with family matters and in his absence Tiger shook down the Jack Nicklaus/Desmond Muirhead collaboration for a final round 65 and his 4th tournament title. That included what appeared to be an unprecedented performance by Woods that saw him hit 14 of 14 fairways on the tree-lined layout. (He had actually last hit the stat in 2003 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational) It was the first win in the tournament for him since his three year consecutive winning streak from 1999 through 2001.

Whether he can transform his driving from the poor display he had at Quail Hollow back to 2009 Memorial-like numbers is hard to fathom but the man who still holds World’s #1 ranking said in a press conference Wednesday prior to the Memorial Skins Game that he is ready to go.

“Life is moving forward. The last 6 months were pretty tough,” admitted Woods who looked relaxed, mixing in several self-effacing jokes with the media corps. “I’m now starting to get into a routine of playing.”

That included 54 holes in a single day over the weekend at Isleworth alongside Arjun Atwal.  “We played in carts..and fast.”

As for two of Tiger’s latest issues – his coaching separation and his neck injury Tiger revealed little on Wednesday other than that he has no plan of a replacement coach right now and he will continue to work with videotape to re-establish his swing. He is obviously still recovering form the neck injury, challenging one media member that he did not have to tell him how good or bad the neck currently is but asserted, “I’m good enough to play.”

With the U.S. Open on the horizon Tiger has his eyes on his 15th major win and the conditions at Muirfield Village, announced Wednesday as the host for the 2013 Presidents Cup, will provide great preparation. “It will be nice to get four rounds, get in contention and win this thing. I would like to see where my game is at going into the Open.”

And so will the rest of the field, many will be tangling with Woods at Pebble Beach later this month.

That includes a number of players that should garner close attention this week. Among them will be Rory McIlroy definite contender considering his win on a similar layout at the Quail Hollow Championship. It will be his first start at The Memorial so that might be the mark against him earning his 2nd PGA Tour win this week.

Only 2nd to Tiger in wins at The Memorial is Kenny Perry who returns for his 22nd appearance. In those showing he has 3 wins and 6 top-tens among his tally. He has made the cut in his last 16 trips to Muirfield Village.

The winner this week will have to be out on a favorites list for the U.S. Open in a few weeks. They will also have the luxury of earning just over $1,000,000 for the win – just enough to get them a nice room at The Lodge when they head to the Monterey Peninsula.

With many of the top players and the 2010 winners in the field this week, it should be a nice run to Sunday to see who can add a Gray Jacket to their wardrobe and a much-cherished tour title to their resume.

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

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Thursday’s Photos from the 2017 PNC Father/Son Challenge

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2017 PNC Father/Son Challenge at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida.

The 20-team field includes some of the game’s legendary major champions, and their sons. Notable teams include John Daly/Little John Daly, Nick Faldo/Matthew Faldo, Tom Kite/David Kite, Bernhard Langer/Jason Langer, Greg Norman/Greg Norman Jr., Jack Nicklaus/Gary Nicklaus Jr., and Lee Trevino/Daniel Trevino.  The teams will compete in a scramble format over 36 holes to decide the winners of the Willie Park Trophy.

Last year, David Duval and his step-son Nick Karavites took home the trophy, and they are back in the field this year to defend.

Check out our photos below from this year’s event!

Thursday’s Photos

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos

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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).

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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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