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19th Hole

Sounds like Justin Thomas has the formula for continued success

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Considering, you know, he was just named the PGA Tour’s 2016-2017 Player of the Year and all, Justin Thomas is coming off a pretty decent season. He won five times, including the PGA Championship. He was third in season scoring average at 69.35. He shot 59 at the Sony Open and 63 at the U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

So, yeah, it was a good year, and Thomas had some interesting things to say after collecting his POY trophy.

You can’t let up one bit

Thomas learned the imperative of pouring in birdies in college.

“I love going low. I love making birdies. It’s something I honestly, as crazy as it is, I really think it speaks a lot to the courses that we played in college at Alabama. They weren’t exactly the hardest golf courses, but they were pretty good courses, but you could really score on them, and that’s something that Coach [Jay] Seawell would preach to us.”

“When you go out and play professional golf, you need to know how to make birdies, and you need to know what you’re doing when you’re six-under through nine or have a chance at 59, because you can’t let up one bit.”

Improved course management has been key

Of course, you can’t fire at every pin. Thomas explained caddie Jimmy Johnson has helped him keep the pedal down when he’s cruising and play more conservatively when he’s slightly off.

“I felt like I’ve always had the firepower to do so, but it was just about keeping the pedal down and keeping that aggressive mind frame when you’re playing that well,” he added. “That was something I was able to do, and Jimmy [Johnson, his caddie] did a great job, as well, helping me not change my mind frame and our game plan when we’re playing really well and just continue to attack, and yeah, I posted a lot of low numbers over the last couple years, but especially this year.”

“You could look at me now versus me probably in my rookie year, and I’d say that’s the difference – it’s just experience. You have to pick your spots.”

The combination of stellar birdie making and shrewd bogey avoidance; powerful stuff.

Goals for 2017-2018

Much was made of Thomas’ ambitious goals for 2016-2017, nearly all of which he completed. Looking ahead to the upcoming campaign, JT shed a little light on his goal-setting formula.

“I don’t know who I heard it from back in college or whenever it was, but you just have to break it up. You have to have two to four goals that are very achievable, two to four goals that are in grasp but will be tough, and two to four goals that are maybe a little bit out of the realm and are going to be very difficult to do, but are somewhat achievable if you have a great year like I did this year.”

Seeking advice from the right sources

When asked what he’d to ensure an equally good or better performance in 2017-2018, Thomas offered a wise reply: talk to the handful of guys who have been able to sustain high performance.

“I’ll probably spend some time talking to Mr. Nicklaus about or Tiger because those are guys — those are the only people — or even Jordan, those are the only people I know that have had such success in one season multiple times, and they’ve had to deal with resetting their goals and reevaluating.”

We talk a lot about Thomas’ prodigious birdie making, the raw power he generates with his 155-pound frame, his “Ambassador of Tour Sauce” status. But it sounds like Thomas has learned the critical lessons of course management and standing on the shoulders of giants. Which is to say, he could easily be the 2017-2018 Player of the Year as well.

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  1. mlecuni

    Oct 6, 2017 at 4:21 am

    Seems like a good guy, i really hope he will keep his head on his shoulders

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19th Hole

Jeff Golden issues statement on Florida Mid-Am incident

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Jeff Golden is sharing more details about the events of May 16 at the Florida Mid-Amateur Championship.

If you recall, police were summoned to Coral Creek Club during a rain delay in the Golden-Marc Dull final. Golden alleged Dull’s caddie, Brandon Hibbs, punched him in the face during a parking lot altercation. Dull and Hibbs both deny the incident occurred.

Rather than paraphrase or pull quotes, it seems appropriate to post the majority of Golden’s statement as is, since it’s his attempt to speak for himself and set the record straight.

“When my name was announced on the first tee, my opponent’s caddie immediately asked an off color question. I laughed off the timing of that question, along with many other examples of bad etiquette to come. Alcohol appeared to be influencing his behavior. I’ve never seen an opposing caddie engage in so much conversation with a competitor. On the eighth hole I had become extremely frustrated because I was forced to back off my shot two different times when my opponent and caddie were talking and moving. I expressed my disappointment with their etiquette to the match referee following our group.”

“The ruling that came from the caddie’s comments on the ninth hole started because of a simple question that I posed: “Was that advice?” I thought this was the only way to slow down the caddie, clean up the etiquette and play a gentlemanly match. I felt justified in my decision, especially since my opponent then asked his caddie, “Why did you say that?” The caddie recused himself from the match, but he didn’t leave the property.”

“…I didn’t even get my bag out of my car when the caddie reappeared and said he’d like to apologize. I most likely had a smile on my face, because I was ready to put the past behind us, and he punched me in the face. I was knocked to the ground, and by the time I looked up, he was walking away, to my surprise, toward the clubhouse. The pro shop is a separate building, so that’s where I immediately went for help. The inside of my mouth was bleeding and my face was throbbing. I realized my hand was also hurting –that’s what broke my fall instead of my head.

“The pro shop employee called the police and was extremely helpful, getting me ice and offering any help I needed. The police arrived, and the deputy concluded that there wasn’t enough evidence to justify pressing charges. I gave a recorded sworn statement to the deputy recapping the events.”

“The FSGA has one job, and that’s to follow the Rules of Golf. Unfortunately, there’s no rule for an inebriated “ex-caddie” punching a player in a match-play rain delay with no witnesses.”

“The FSGA gave me one option when the rain stopped. I had to play. My opponent had the option to concede the match and take responsibility for his caddie, but he told me he had nothing to do with what occurred.”

Golden further indicated that he conceded the match because of “physical and emotional distress, pulsing pain in my face, dizziness and cuts on my right hand.” He indicated he was surprised the FSGA didn’t suspend the match.

With respect to that point, it’s probably worth pointing out that FSGA executive director Jim Demick said that Golden “didn’t want to play anymore.”

“Regrettably, the golf course was very playable and Jeff understood that he needed to resume the match. I think he was just ready to go,” adding police “found absolutely no evidence of an assault.”

The FSGA hasn’t provided additional comment or modified that statement.

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19th Hole

Must be the Arby’s: Beef Johnston deadlifts 485 lbs

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Update: Thanks to WRX member Sam who pointed out: “The correct term for that lift would be a rack pull (weight does not start on the ground).”

An Instagram video posted by the European Tour’s Performance Institute shows Beef Johnston readying for a deadlift attempt.

Fueled by Beef ‘n Cheddars and curly fries, Johnston steps in for an attempt at hoisting 220kg (485 lbs).

To the uninitiated (me), the feat certainly looked impressive. But just how impressive? I fired up Google to find out…

Per PhysicalLiving.com

“Dan John, suggests in his book, Intervention: Course Corrections For The Athlete And Trainer, that the average weightlifter should be able to deadlift between 1 and 1.5 times their body weight. I think that’s a good general recommendation for most people who are interested in health, fitness, longevity, and quality of life. However, Coach Dan John also considers a deadlift using double your bodyweight to be a game-changer. So, there are certainly benefits to be had from doing more than the minimum.”

Johnston reportedly weighs 212 pounds. Thus, Beef lifted nearly 2.3 times his body weight.

Impressive stuff (don’t tell Brandel Chamblee).

WRXers who lift heavy things, what do you think?

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19th Hole

How could a child hitting a golf ball off his father’s face go wrong?

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We’re bringing you this video in case you haven’t seen it elsewhere: Young Sam Blewett attempts to hit a golf ball off his father’s face, and…

Now, most people are assuming that this three-year-old lad had no idea what he was doing. His father orchestrated the video, told the son, who had never held a golf club nor had any concept of the game to hit the ball, and wood-chopping at the ball followed.

Hot take: I don’t think that’s true. The Instagram account is the three-year-old kid’s (managed by his mother), and he certainly knows how to hit a golf ball properly. See?

So, I’m positing that the kid saw an opportunity to whack his dad in the dome with a golf club and couldn’t pass it up. Yes, young Sam knew exactly what he was doing.

And more power to him. Cunning AND capable with a golf club.

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19th Hole

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