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Rose Wilts – Bubba Prospers

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With Justin Rose dominating The Travelers Championship in the early goings it looked like the 2010 edition of the event would be a runaway. In the end it turned out to be a more compelling story than anyone could have imagined. 

Deep into the fourth round Sunday Justin Rose began a downward spiral from which he would not recover, eventually shooting a 75 to share 9th place. Joining him on the descent was Ben Curtis, his fellow frontrunner on the day – at least for the front nine.

By the time Justin’s golf ball found a watery grave on the 14th three other characters in the script were coming to the forefront, ultimately setting the stage for an encore performance beyond regulation.

It was an unlikely trio – 50 year-old Corey Pavin, 20+ year Tour veteran Scott Verplank, and the much-beloved but non-winner on Tour, Bubba Watson all earning a spot in a playoff after each posting 14 under par.

In seemed implausible that Bubba would even be in the playoff. Starting the day six strokes back, his final round was a mix of play. A double bogey on the 17th hole looked to keep him out of reach of his 1st PGA Tour win but an incredible birdie on the 18th, where a cart path helped him to a near 400 yard drive, paved the way for his spot in the ultimate showdown. He recorded five birdies on his back nine Sunday and added another from just inches on the 1st playoff hole.

Verplank matched Bubba to force a 2nd extra hole while Pavin was dispatched to sit on the sidelines and consider a couple more options for his Ryder Cup Team this Fall. 

Ultimately Watson would need just a par, completed with a three-foot putt, to win the playoff and once he did the emotions of his first PGA victory came to the surface as he embraced his wife Angie on the side of the green in a tearful celebration.

 It is a popular victory among many circles and one a lot of people expected much sooner. The self-taught Watson, now 31, is not only known for his prodigious length but an ability to play just about every type of shot.

Largely self-taught, Watson adheres to no swing philosophy and credits his father with starting him in the game. It was his father he dedicated his win to today, mentioning his struggle with Cancer on the post-round interview with CBS. “Without my parents I wouldn’t be anything,” said Bubba who is deeply religious and has never been afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve. 

As his 16,000+ followers on Twitter know – he is an open book and that endears him to anybody he is in contact with. In fact he actually sent out a Tweet just before the playoff began. Who else on the PGA Tour has started their own online campaign to get themselves on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and succeeded? Bubba Watson is no cookie cutter pro and a lot of people like that flavor. 

With his win the lanky Watson now jumps past the $1 million in earning mark for the 5th straight year, each year he has been on the PGA Tour, but more importantly he gets that elusive first win.

Now that he has cracked that egg, who knows how many more wins he can achieve. 

And the possibility of making the Ryder Cup Team this fall? You know Corey Pavin has to be drooling at the possibility of having a man of Watson’s length and creativity available in match play format.  

It’s safe to say Bubba Watson winning The Travelers Championship made a lot of people smile today.

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

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Tiger Woods fires second-round 76, will miss Genesis Open cut

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Tiger Woods’ trip to Los Angeles is over sooner than he’d hoped. Woods fired a 5-over 76 during the second round of the Genesis Open to miss the presumed cut at Riviera by four strokes (the second round won’t be completed until Saturday morning due to darkness).

Hopes were high Woods would continue to build on a T-23 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, as the driving woes that plagued him at Torrey Pines followed him to the Riv, despite changing shafts in his TaylorMade M3.

RELATED: Tiger Woods WITB

Wayward off the tee, Woods made eight bogeys Friday, unable to grind out a decent score as he did with his opening-round 1-over 72. He was unable to rely on his putter the way did in this first round, three-putting back-to-back holes (No. 11 and 12). A stretch of three straight bogeys sunk Woods’ hopes of hanging around for the weekend.

(c/o PGATour.com)

We won’t have to wait long to see the Big Cat back in action, however, as Woods committed to next week’s Honda Classic at PGA National in Florida. Woods most recently put a peg in the ground at the course in 2014, where he ultimately withdrew due to back spasms.

The 79-time PGA Tour winner hasn’t teed it in back-to-back weeks since 2015, so while fans may not be encouraged by his play, at least he continues to be free from any issues with his surgically repaired back.

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Tiger Woods shoots an opening-round 72 (1-over) at the 2018 Genesis Open

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After hitting just 17 fairways all week at the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open, where he finished T23, Tiger Woods switched driver shafts and added 0.75 degrees of loft in his TaylorMade M3 driver ahead of the 2018 Genesis Open this week. He went from using a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 70TX shaft, to a Matrix TP6HDe shaft — he used a TP7HDe shaft back in 2015.

So how did the switch work out for him at Riviera CC on Thursday?

Well, he hit driver 9 times during his round of 72 strokes; four went right — one of which got lost in a tree and he had to re-tee — one went left, and four found the fairway. He hit 8-of-14 fairways in total; no Fred Funk, but an improvement. Woods’ bigger issue on Thursday, actually, was that he hit only 7 greens in regulation, leaving himself a few tricky up-and-downs. Despite hitting only 38 percent of greens, Woods managed to make 5 birdies, and he continues displaying prowess on the greens (1.784 Strokes Gained Putting, and 82 feet worth of putts made).

He also showed some flashes of old Tiger with Arnie-esque follow through.

Of course, that means he missed the fairway way right, and he did go onto bogey the hole, but the shot made for some excitement on golf twitter, at least.

According to @RandallMellGC, Tiger described his round in a post-round interview: “I fought hard. I made a few simple, silly mistakes, bad shots here and there, missed on the wrong side, made a few birdies as well. 1-over’s not bad.”

Yea, that’s about right.

Tiger currently sits at T66, and six shots off the leader. Lots of golf to play, but he’ll likely be contending with the cutline come Friday afternoon. How do you think Tiger will finish this week at the 2018 Genesis Open?

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Custom Camerons, wedge stampings, a 6-hybrid, and Tiger wearing Tennis shoes?

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Yesterday, we brought you shots of Thomas Pieters’ iron stamping, Adam Scott’s new (shorter) wand, and more.

Today, we’ve got some more choice shots from the range at Riviera from Tuesday’s practice. Strap in for a sampling from a cornucopia of WITB shots and a helping of Tiger Woods (who we feature in two galleries). We also discussed his new driver shaft yesterday, so if you missed that piece, check it out.

On to the pictures.

First up, Wesley Bryan looks to be gaming an some Anthony Taranto artistry with his 54-degree Mack Daddy 4 wedge. Do work, indeed!

Ted Potter, Jr. won more than a million dollars at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last week. But as the check hasn’t come yet, he hasn’t been able to buy Goo Gone to take the tape residue off the bottom of his putter.

A custom Cam for Rafa Cabrera Bello.

…and William McGirt.

#GrindGoals (Luke Donald’s 60-degree Mizuno T7)

Vijay Singh looks to have gotten his foot stuck in a bear trap, and yet he’s still practicing!

The most famous putter in golf, and Nike Vapor Advantage tennis shoes for Tiger?

Apparently, all the weight modification available on PXG 0311 irons was insufficient for Charl Schwartzel.

When your name scripting matches your sponsor’s script…

This is not the WITB of a 20-handicapper, rather Camilo Villegas may be the only Tour pro gaming a 6-hybrid.

So much is going on with Camilo Villegas’ irons…

You’ve seen custom stampings, but how about Bubba Watson’s custom shaft and custom shaft graphic?

When you’re the only PGA Tour professional to own a candy store, your wedge imagery reflects that fact.

The Big Cat browsing GolfWRX on mobile, no doubt…

If you’d like to dig deeper, we have two galleries of range photos from the Riv, plus 13 (!) WITB threads. Dig in!

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