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Repeat, With Distinction

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Prior to the start of this year’s John Deere Classic Steve Stricker made the obligatory visits to the media room to talk about defending the championship he won in 2009. As always, the Stricker was his humble self, deferring any thought that a repeat win would be anywhere close to automatic.

“Yeah, it’s always exciting to come back to a place where you’ve had some success, and just driving in the gates and remembering some of the shots that happened down the stretch and the way the whole week played out last year is always fun to look back at and reflect on a little bit,” he said on Wednesday. But truly Stricker did not take much time for reflection; instead he got on with the business at hand right out of the gates.

The Wisconsin native might be modest when describing his skills, but those abilities take on a life of their own when he hits the first tee. It showed again this week as he dramatically took down the 2010 John Deere Classic in spectacular fashion.

Already having a very creditable year with a win at the Northern Trust Open and not having missed the cut in 11th 2010 PGA Tour appearances before this week, time off for a shoulder injury reduced Stricker to being a sleeper pick this week and he delivered in a less than slumbering style.

On Thursday, while he shot 60, he had to step aside as the attention fell on Paul Goydos, and his score of 59. As proud as Goydos was of his accomplishment he had the right perspective when asked what he thought of 12 under par score on day one. “I shoot 59 and I woke up and I was three back,” he said after his follow up round of 68 on Thursday.

At 15 under after two rounds very often a player would be in the driver’s seat at a PGA Tour event but that was not the case in Silvis, Illinois – in fact, it put Goydos one back of Stricker who fashioned a 2nd round 66.

At the time Goydos was happy to provide his observations on the soaring Stricker. “Well, he’s playing better than anybody this week, I think no question. His game is — he’s moved his game to that different plateau where when he plays mediocre he’s finishing in the Top 10, and when he plays well he’s got a chance to win…”

And win he did on Sunday as he added a third round 62 and closing 70 to complete a 258 week and an annihilation of the TPC at Deer Run. “It was a great week,” said Stricker after the trophy presentation. “There’s a lot of cool things that happened this week, and feel fortunate enough to be sitting right here, I’ll tell you that. It was a tough day today, and glad it worked out.”

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

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Wednesday’s Photos from the 2018 Honda Classic

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 Honda Classic at PGA National’s Champion course (par 70: 7,110 yards) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Related

The field this week is stacked at the top, and it includes defending-champion Rickie Fowler, 2017 FedEx Champion Justin Thomas, four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, and reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia, who’s making his first PGA Tour start of 2018. Also in the field is Tiger Woods, who committed to play in the event just last week. Woods is coming off a disappointing missed cut at the 2018 Genesis Open.

Last year, Fowler won by four shots over Morgan Hoffmann and Gary Woodland, despite playing his final round in 1-over par.

Check out our photos from the 2018 Honda Classic below!

Wednesday’s Photos

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

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USGA, R&A to roll out new World Handicap System in 2020

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A new handicap system is here, or rather, it will be once the USGA and R&A begin to fully implement the World Handicap System in 2020.

The new system focuses on achieving three main objectives: 1) encouraging as many golfers as possible to maintain a handicap, 2) enabling golfers of different abilities, genders, and nationalities to compete fairly, and 3) determining the score a golfer is reasonably capable of shooting at any particular course anywhere in the world.

Currently there are six handicapping systems worldwide, owing to the existence of six handicapping authorities: Golf Australia, the Council of National Golf Unions (CONGU) in Great Britain and Ireland, the European Golf Association (EGA), the South African Golf Association (SAGA), the Argentine Golf Association (AAG) and the USGA.

The six handicapping authorities represent approximately 15 million golfers in 80 countries who currently maintain a golf handicap.

Under the new program, the USGA and R&A will oversee the World Handicap System and the governing bodies will be in charge of local administration.

The USGA presents the WHS as a better system that simplifies the existing structures. Not surprisingly, the organization believes the WHS will compel more golfers to maintain a handicap.

“For some time, we’ve heard golfers say, ‘I’m not good enough to have a handicap,’ or ‘I don’t play enough to have a handicap,’” USGA executive director Mike Davis said. “We want to make the right decisions now to encourage a more welcoming and social game.”

Davis sees the new system marching arm-in-arm with the revisions to (and simplification of) the Rules of Golf.

“We’re excited to be taking another important step – along with modernizing golf’s rules – to provide a pathway into the sport, making golf easier to understand and more approachable and enjoyable for everyone to play.”

Key features of the WHS include:

  • Flexibility in formats of play, allowing both competitive and recreational rounds to count for handicap purposes and ensuring that a golfer’s handicap is more reflective of potential ability.
  • A minimal number of scores needed to obtain a new handicap; a recommendation that the number of scores needed to obtain a new handicap be 54 holes from any combination of 18-hole and 9-hole rounds, but with “some discretion available for handicapping authorities or national associations to set a different minimum within their own jurisdiction.”
  • A consistent handicap that “is portable” from course to course and country to country through worldwide use of the USGA course and slope rating system, already used in more than 80 countries.
  • An average-based calculation of a handicap, taken from the best eight out of the last 20 scores and “factoring in memory of previous demonstrated ability for better responsiveness and control.”
  • A calculation that considers the impact that abnormal course and weather conditions might have on a player’s performance each day.
  • Daily handicap revisions, taking account of the course and weather conditions calculation.
  • A limit of net double bogey on the maximum hole score (for handicapping purposes only).
  • A maximum handicap limit of 54.0, regardless of gender, to encourage more golfers to measure and track their performance to increase their enjoyment of the game.

The USGA and R&A conducted quantitative research in 15 countries around the world. 76 percent of the 52,000 respondents voiced their support for a World Handicap System, 22 percent were willing to consider its benefits, and only 2 percent were opposed.

The research also helped model the tenets of the WHS, but, as mentioned, don’t tear up your GHIN cards just yet: We’ve only just begun the two-year transition period prior to the implementation.

To provide feedback to the USGA on the new World Handicap System, golfers can email the USGA at whsfeedback@usga.org, or see usga.org/whs for more info.

Additionally, the USGA created this FAQ.

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Tuesday’s Photos from the 2018 Honda Classic

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 Honda Classic at PGA National’s Champion course (par 70: 7,110 yards) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Related

The field this week is stacked at the top, and it includes defending-champion Rickie Fowler, 2017 FedEx Champion Justin Thomas, four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, and reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia, who’s making his first PGA Tour start of 2018. Also in the field is Tiger Woods, who committed to play in the event just last week. Woods is coming off a disappointing missed cut at the 2018 Genesis Open.

Last year, Fowler won by four shots over Morgan Hoffmann and Gary Woodland, despite playing his final round in 1-over par.

Check out our photos from the 2018 Honda Classic below!

Tuesday’s Photos

Special Galleries

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

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