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Tour Rundown: Webb Simpson doesn’t blow it, wins The Players

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Even thought the majors of male professional golf are limited to four tournaments each year, there is no denying the regard in which The Players is held by golfers, fans and the media. TPC-Sawgrass might never have been more beautiful in its final year of May play; the tournament returns to March in 2019. This year’s winner drew on the experience he earned down the stretch at the 2012 U.S. Open, the site of his major title. For more, let’s skip the pomp and get right to the Rundown.

PGA Tour: Simpson wins The Players

Webb Simpson’s swing is not a thing of beauty. Equal parts lurch, hip check and MMA lash, it can be incredibly efficient when combined with stellar putting. Such was the case this week, as Simpson turned wonders into believers with each passing round. He found a way to add strokes to his lead, and did not hit one stinker until his approach to the 72nd hole. By that point, the Wake Forest alum had a six-shot lead and the opera lady was three bars in to her aria.

How Simpson outmatched the entire field

He had zero bad rounds. He kept going 2-3 shots lower than anyone in the mix. Simpson was on tracks to shoot 62 or 61 on Friday, until he banked his tee shot on 17 off the railroad ties, not once, but twice, and made double. On Sunday, his approach at the last was a bit strong and bit left, and ran through the green, into Pete’s Pond. Simpson made nearly every putt he looked at, be it for eagle, birdie or par. He made them from off the green, far away on the green, and from 8 feet for saves when it mattered most. This week, it was his world and the rest were merely guests.

Webb Simpson’s Winning WITB

What we heard from the rest of the field

Since second-place money was 1 million greenbacks, the tournament-within-The Players saw a 3-way tie for the runner-up spot. Charl Schwartzel, Jimmy Walker and Xander Schauffele each posted 67 on day four, to finish 4 back of the champion. Tiger Woods was 6-under on the day through Sunday’s 13th, but played the last five holes in 3-over, when 3-under would have thrown a scare into the eventual winner. You can’t help but think that the cat is certainly back, and that a win is not far off. Oh, and the best shot of the week came from Brooks Koepka, who one-bounced an iron into the 16th hole for albatross on day four, on his way to 63.

European Tour: Sicilian Open sails off in the hands of Lagergren

Ask someone to play with the lead, other than Johnny Miller, and she or he will tell you how challenging it can be. Neither Joakim Laegergren nor Mike Lorenzo-Vera is particularly versed in the cadence of front-runner, although Vera was coming off a successful week of Golf Sixes, where he partnered with Romain Wattel to advance France to the finals. Lagergren emerged from the pack with 4 birdies on his outward half, then stalled, coming home in 1-over to reach 16-under. Lorenzo-Vera, the 3rd round pole-sitter, was unable to produce magic for a 3rd consecutive round, after 64-63 had boosted him to the top spot. His mundane Sunday went like this: bogey-birdie-lots of pars, bogey-birdie-lots of pars, one more birdie to tie for top spot. At day’s end, a single, extra hole was required, as the Swede dispatched the Frenchman with birdie from 10 feet.

As for those who were left wanting…

Andy Sullivan of England and Lucas Herbert of Australia posted the day’s best rounds of 65 and 63, respectively. Herbert was particularly sensational, making birdie on half of his holes on the day. Sullivan had a marvelous eagle at the 9th, on his way to a T3 finish with the Aussie. On a day when the pair started so far back, that only perfection would do, each had one bogey to arrive on shot shy of the playoff family photograph.

Web.Com Tour: Jaeger denies Im a second win in in 2018 at Knoxville Open

While Sungjae Im runs away with the prize for the breakout star of 2018 Web, equally as impressive a question is, why Stephan Jaeger needs the Web.Com tour. The German seems to win a pair of events each year, yet has failed to find success at the next level. No matter, he’ll certainly have another chance as the 2017-18 season continues next week.

Jaeger returns to comfortable surroundings

After 2 Web wins in 2018, including next week’s BMW, Jaeger has struggled at level one. No matter. His week in Tennessee certainly reminded him of the scores he is capable of shooting. 128 strokes on the weekend tends to do that.

Jaeger is the meister once more

Also known as A tale of two Jaegers. After 3 doubles and 2 bogeys over his first 36 holes, Jaeger went into orbit, with 13 birds, 1 eagle and a solitary bogey over his final two days. Nothing more to say than, as with Simpson above, when a golfer finds that mojo, there’s neither explanation nor a halt. With Im in the clubhouse at 13-under, Jaeger birdied his final two holes to jump from a 1 to a 3-stroke margin of victory.

Im on the cusp of something bigger?

Sungjae Im became one of a handful of golfers to win in his first Web.Com tour start. Since then, he has garnered a pair of runner-up finishes, but has yet to repeat his triumph in the gradually-aging season. No doubt a massive success, the next step toward second-tier stardom and a shot at the big leagues, is another victory. Wyndham Clark, another young stalwart with heavy shoulders and an eye on the Bigs, closed with 65 to nab solo 3rd money.

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Ronald Montesano writes for GolfWRX.com from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Dave r

    May 14, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    Come on guys . Try not to get to personal . the story is about him .

  2. Scott

    May 14, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Good for him, but another garbage winner of the Players. Si Woo Kim, Stephen Ames, KJ Choi, Craig Perks, Fred Funk, Tim Clark, Jodie Mudd, etc.

    • BRODIE

      May 16, 2018 at 8:46 am

      I think this is due to how ridiculous the course is set up. It’s more often than not lucky/unlucky bounces that decide winners at TPC.

  3. WAGs all day

    May 14, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    even if he did blow it…. did you see that smoke show wife…. good for him!

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Equipment

Tiger Woods opts for lead tape on his Newport 2 rather than a heavier putter: Here’s why it makes sense

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After days of speculation about which putter Tiger Woods might end up with an attempt to tame the greens at Royal Portrush, we now officially know he settled on his old faithful GSS Scotty Cameron but with a twist—some added lead tape.

The whole reason the speculation was in high gear early in the week was because of Tiger was spotted with a new custom Scotty that had the Studio Select weights in the sole to increase head weight to help with slow greens, something Tiger has talked about in the past—especially when it comes to the greens at The Open Championship.

We can even look back a few years ago when Tiger finally put a Nike putter in play, the original Method (those were nice putters) and talked about both the increased head weight and the grooves on the face to help get the ball rolling on slower greens.

The decision to stick with the old faithful with added lead tape goes beyond just a comfort level, even if the two putters look the same at address, it’s about feel and MOI around the axis.

Let me explain. Sure the putter heads weight the same, but depending on where the mass is located it will change the MOI. The putter with the Select weights vs. lead tape in the middle will have a higher MOI because there is more weight on the perimeter of the head—it’s like a blade vs. cavity back iron. Sure, two 7-irons can weigh the same but the performance will vary significantly.

For a player with such deft feel like Tiger Woods, any change like that can could cause doubt. Tweaking an already great putting stroke and on the eve of the last major of the year is not really something you want to do, which is why it isn’t surprising he stuck with his legendary Newport 2.

Lead tape in the middle allows Tiger to increase the head weight with very little change to the natural rate of rotation for hit putter and hopefully manage the slower Portrush greens better.

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Equipment

Tour Van Intel @ The Open: P790 UDI seeding, possible new putter for Tiger, Bryson with PXG wedges, Spieth in T100 irons

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Whispers from the tour vans at The Open Championship, via our Johnny Wunder’s crack reporting. JW has his finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the world of reps, techs, new builds, and new product. Here are his notes on equipment switches of note from Royal Portrush.

1. Tony Finau had a Ping Blueprint 2-iron built up. The strategy here is self-explanatory: knee-high fastballs.

2. Tiger Woods was seen testing a heavier headed Scotty Cameron proto that is a replica of his famous wand that he’s used to win 14/15 majors. In addition, he also added lead tape to the back of his famous Scotty. The strategy here is to create a heavier head feel which is helpful on slower greens.

3. Do we see Bryson Dechambeau with PXG wedges in his bag?! The rumor is after messing around with a friend’s wedges during a practice round, he liked, he wanted, and he now has. Where this will go from here is anybody’s guess.

4. TaylorMade has distributed several Proto P790 UDI 2-irons this week. Tiger, Rory, Fleetwood, DJ, Rahm, all testing amongst others.

5. Jason Day is testing a new TaylorMade Spider X Chalk which would be the first switch he’s made from his Red Spider Tour in a long time. DJ is as per usual testing new putters he was seen with a Spider Copper Mini. What he will land on for the Open is anyone’s guess.

6. Jordan Spieth is now into a set of Titleist T100 irons: 5-9, Project X 6.5 shafts.

Per Titleist…

“While Spieth waited to put the T100’s in the bag until the season’s final major, he is not unfamiliar with the iron. In fact, according to lead Titleist Tour Representative, J.J. VanWezenbeeck, Jordan was clearly the most influential player in the development process.”

“It was over two years ago that Jordan and [Titleist Director of Iron Development] Marni Ines had already started discussing what Jordan was looking for in a next generation iron,” said VanWezenbeeck. “The keys for Jordan were sole, offset, and overall look. As we created early prototypes and discussed specifics with Jordan and other players, we found an opportunity to take everything we learned with the AP2 line and build an entirely new iron. There was an obvious challenge to surpass the most played tour iron in the world.”

“The final T100 prototype was revealed to Jordan and other select players during a Titleist photo shoot at Scioto CC during the week of the Memorial.”

“Jordan immediately commented that the offset and top line was everything he wanted,” said VanWezenbeeck. “As we moved to the tee, Jordan kept commenting to Marni about how the club set up and the look was just what he was looking for. Knowing we succeeded in those categories, now the question became, ‘are you getting the performance of the AP2 line and more, despite being in a sleeker chassis?’ His performance and responses at the hitting session confirmed we succeeded at what we set out to do.”

7. Webb Simpson is also into a set of Titleist 620 MB irons: 5-9, True Temper Dynamic Gold TI X100 shafts.

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Tour Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from Tuesday & Wednesday at the U.S. Open

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links!

We have plenty of general galleries packed with a bundle of great photos in our forums, as well as specialized and WITB galleries for you to enjoy. Here are ten interesting photos from Tuesday and Wednesday to get you fired up ahead of today’s opening round!

Bernd Wiesberger testing the new Aldila Rip X proto shaft.

Checking out Paul Casey’s custom Mizuno irons.

New Mitsubishi iron shaft.

Tiger Woods’ famed and trusty Scotty.

Justin Rose rocking Nike’s Roshe G Tour shoes from their “No Denim Allowed” pack at Pebble this week.

Amateur Matt Parziale gaming the “old school” ProForce V2 shaft in his 3W.

Up-close and personal with Kodai Ichihara’s wedges.

Rickie Fowler showing off the Cobra x CRU’s Headcover from Puma’s U.S. Open Patriot Pack.

Brett Drewitt getting into the spirit of things this week with appropriate wedge stampings at Pebble Beach.

Austin Eckroat’s Ping Redwood flat-stick has been impressing our members in our forums.

Check out all of Tuesday’s photos in our forums.

Check out all of Wednesday’s photos in our forums.

 

 

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