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On Tour This Week – Westwood’s Bid For #1

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The FedEx Cup and the Ryder Cup may be over in the calendar might indicate that it is October but that doesn’t mean there is not a lot of premium golf on tap this week.

European Tour: Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

The top pros return to Fife for the playing of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Phil Mickelson had plenty of chances to oust Tiger Woods from the number one position in the official world golf rankings of the last few months but this week it is Lee Westwood’s turn to attempt a climb to the top. Even with his long injury break he will need just a top two finish in Scotland to become the world’s top-ranked player. 

Nine members of the victorious European side at the Ryder Cup will tee it up in the championship. Euro Captain Colin Montgomerie and two of his Vice-Captains, Darren Clarke, and Paul McGinley will turn in their walkie-talkies in exchange for their clubs and head out onto the links themselves. The use of Kingsbarns, Carnoustie, and the Old Course should prove a fine test for all competitors.

Unfortunately due to an ankle injury 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen will have to let somebody else placed a trophy on the 18th green at the Old Course on Sunday.

Even with such a strong field all eyes will be on Westwood, even those of his European counterparts, as it has been a long time since one of their continental colleagues held the #1 position.

PGA Tour: McGladrey Classic

Its week two of the PGA Tour’s Fall Series, which finds the American tour in Georgia for the McGladrey Classic. This new event should become a favorite on tour with the beloved Seaside Course at Sea Island as the host.

Top-tier players had to deal with the FedEx Cup pressures but genuine drama is playing out at Sea Island with just this event and three others left for players to assert their position on the money list and ensure they’re playing privileges for 2011.

Even though he is coming off a loss at the Ryder Cup, Sea Island resident and former Masters champion Zach Johnson is the start of the show this week. Johnson has a win under his belt this year at Colonial and his straightforward style of play is perfect for the exquisite Seaside Course where a premium is put on accuracy.

Also keep eyes on Bill Haas coming off his Viking Classic win and looking to join Jim Furyk is the only three-time winners on the PGA Tour in 2010. 

Another Sea Island resident, Matt Kuchar, will also be on hand with a Ryder Cup hangover and be looking to further cement his top spot on the PGA Tour’s money list.

LPGA Tour: Navistar LPGA Classic

The ladies of the LPGA tour are in Prattville Alabama this week for the fourth playing of the Navistar LPGA classic. There will be a new champion crowned this week as 2008 and 2009 winner Lorena Ochoa retired earlier this year. 

Just fractions of a point separate the top five players in the Rolex Rankings and current #1 player Ai Miyazato and #3 ranked Cristie Kerr are starring in this week’s field. 

This is a 72 hole event being played on the Robert Trent Jones Trail Capitol Hill, Senator Course. 

With four round coverage on Golf Channel expect their cameras to be trained much of the week on Miyazato and Kerr with 15 year-old sponsor’s exemption Alexi Thompson also a part of the cast.

Nationwide Tour: Chattanooga Classic

Aussie Steven Bowditch looks to come off his win in California and add another in Tennessee.   Top finishers from last week’s Soboba Classic, Daniel Summerhays and Keegan Bradley, as also in the field at the 26th Nationwide Tour event of the season.

Each of those three players is virtually certain to finish in the top 25 and earn a PGA Tour card for 2011 so the real interest in this event is those still fighting to get into a similar position.

A couple of Canadian boys who have tasted time on the PGA Tour before, David Hearn and Jon Mills, sit in 26th and 27th position, respectively, along with # 25 man Scott Gutchewski, are all sitting out this week, so expect some real movement on the money list. 

After Chattanooga there are just two full-field events left to play before the Tour Championship. 

Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship

Jay Haas defends this week but at a different venue. The TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm is the host site for 2010 and most of tour’s best talent is on hand for the tour’s 5th and final major of the season.

Bernhard Langer will be trying to capture his 6th win of the year on the Champions Tour while Fred Couples will be seeking #4.

Michael Allen, coming of a 2nd place finish with the younger crowd at the Viking Classic, will try and add a 2nd Champions Tour major to his resume. 

You can view a digital version of the Championship’s program here.

 

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

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Tour News

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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