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DJ and Tiger In The Spotlight – But Oceans Apart

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by Scott MacLeod, via www.flagstick.com (Flagstick Golf Magazine)

It will be a reoccurring theme this week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. The name Dustin Johnson will be in just about every sentence uttered by the television announcers until another player can emerge from his shadow and in to a winning position.

It’s justified, of course, as the two-time defending champion Johnson deserves praise for his feat that put him in the company of Sam Snead, Cary Middlecoff, Tom Watson, Mark O’Meara, and Jack Nicklaus. Despite a final round of 74 last year he made a key birdie on the final hole to surge ahead of David Duval and J.B. Holmes for what was then his 3rd career PGA Tour title.

What will also not be overlooked was Johnson’s monumental collapse the last time he traversed the Pebble Beach Golf Links, during the 2010 United States Open Championship last June where he torpedoed his chance at a major victory with a final round score of 82. But will not likely deter the very confident 26 year-old this week on a track where he feels very comfortable and is always a threat. Early sports book lines still have him as a slight favorite over Phil Mickelson.

Other notable players in the field include 2-time winner in 2011, Mark Wilson, 2010 FedEx Cup Champion and PGA Tour Player of the Year Jim Furyk, and three-time major champion Padraig Harrington.

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

Dates: February 10-13, 2011

Where: Pebble Beach Golf Links (Host) Par/Yards: 36-36—72/6,816

Spyglass Hill Golf Course Par/Yards: 36-36—72/6,953

Monterey Peninsula CC, Shore Course Par/Yards: 35-35—70/6,838

Field: 156

Defending Champion: Dustin Johnson

Purse: $6,300,000; Winner’s Share: $1,134,000: Format: 72-hole stroke play

Meanwhile…

While the majority of the PGA Tour is spending time mingling with celebrities another heroic golf battle will be taking place on the other side of the world. The three top-ranked players on the planet, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, and Tiger Woods will be paired together at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. It is the first time since 1994 that the top three in the world have played in the same European Tour event other than the Major Championships and World Golf Championships.  

Kaymer has a chance to overtake Westwood for the number one spot and will be playing with Tiger Woods for the very first time. Kaymer says he likes his chances more this week to get to the top spot, pointing out that he is much more comfortable on this course than the one that hosted the Qatar Masters last week.

“I’ve never played with Tiger Woods before,” said Kaymer in a press conference earlier this week. “Of course I've met him but I don't know how it is to play with him, so it will be nice.  It will be great for the tournament, having the top three playing on Thursday and Friday.  So I look forward to it."

Tiger, who is coming off a lackluster performance at the Farmers Insurance Open, is hoping to regain the form that has saw him win in Dubai twice before. Whether he can rise to the occasion and put a challenge to Kaymer and Westwood (coming off a couple weak performances himself) should draw record ratings for this European Tour event. Woods last played this event in 2008 but missed the 2009 edition due to injury and in the wake of a personal scandal, did not make the trip last year.

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

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Pro golfer Hosung Choi has the most ridiculous golf swing you’ll ever see

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Professional golfer Hosung Choi, playing in the third round of the Kolon Korea Open at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club, has set the golf Internet on fire with his wildly entertaining golf swing. And while it may look ridiculous, he’s currently sitting at 8-under for the event through three rounds, only two shots back of the leader. It’s worth noting that the top two finishers in the Korea Open will earn a spot in the 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie next month.

Enjoy the videos of his golf swing below!

Top-100 swing instructor and GolfWRX’s resident swing expert Tom Stickney has this to say about Choi’s golf swing: “The club goes up and away with a nice rerouting motion from the top into a perfect delivery and impact position. It’s obvious that this guy can play from those two positions, however, I’m not sure about the dismount. Nor can I even guess why he does it…I’m betting he was self-taught and made that move from day one. Great lesson to all the “golf swing” centric people playing today, why change it if it brings you to the dance?!?!”

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Marty Jertson, Ping’s Director of Product Development, qualified for the PGA Championship

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The top 20 professionals from the PGA Professional Championship–contested last weekend at Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Courses in Seaside, California–are heading to the PGA Championship later this year.

Perhaps you saw Ryan Vermeer, at 5 under, was the medalist. What you may not have seen however, is something particularly cool for golf equipment geeks: Ping’s Director of Product Development, Marty Jertson, qualified–and he did so in spectacular fashion: the 37-year-old birdied the last three holes to finish T9.

Not bad for an engineer!

Also noteworthy: Ping confirmed Jertson played the company’s yet-to-be announced i500 irons in his 3, 4, and 5-irons, which will reportedly be available mid-summer. Yes, they confirmed that the rumors are true; Ping’s new iron will be called i500.

Related: We did a podcast with Jertson at the PGA Show, we also interviewed him back in 2017.

 

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Reddit AMA alert: Anthony Taranto, Callaway’s wedge art maestro, on his favorite designs, WITB

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If you’ve been around GolfWRX for any period of time, you’ve seen Anthony Taranto’s work. The Callaway wedge specialist is tasked with designing some of the coolest wedge decorations in the game.

Taranto did a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) yesterday, and The Wedge Art Wizard (as he introduced himself) didn’t disappoint.

Here are a few highlights (edited for spelling)

Remoolg asked: How did you start working at Callaway and get into this specific position?

AT: Back in 1999 Callaway had a job fair for their new golf ball plant Mr. Callaway was opening. I made it though many layoffs and reorganization. I was good at building clubs and I was placed in the pro tour department about 12 years ago. About 4 1/2 years ago I discovered this technique for sandblasting art onto wedges and now here we are.

Loudshorts asked: What’s the most odd art request you’ve put on a wedge and what’s the most common?

AT: Most odd: Probably Michelle Wie’s Harry Potter-themed wedges

I didn’t know anything about Harry Potter at the time so I had to do some research. Accio birdies!
Most common would just be old fashioned stamping of players initials.

Bunny said: Billy Idol, never pictured him as a golfer. What kind of design did he want on his clubs?

AT: He asked for his logo, which is this cool crown with a lightning bolt:

Iamrobert_paulson asked: What wedges are in your bag? Can we see pics?

AT: I’m gaming MD4’s: 45° (46 bent to 45), 50°, 55° (54 bent to 55), and 60°. Design wise: Skull & Crossbones and lots of stars.

Dr. Troutman asked: What is your favorite custom set you’ve ever done?

AT: Putting me on the spot! It might be these that I just recently made. Figured out how to evolve the sand blasting technique and start doing layers. Really happy with how these came out:

You can check out the full AMA here.

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