Connect with us

Opinion & Analysis

13 Revealing Photos from the 2018 Memorial Tournament (behind-the-scenes access)

Published

on

Revealing Photos are back! (At least for this week.)

It was a special week for me at the 2018 Memorial Tournament since it was my first time covering a Tour event with media credentials — those are typically reserved for our Tour photographer Greg Moore, but since he was covering the U.S. Women’s Open, I got the call up to the big leagues.

So with my camera hung around my neck, media credentials pinned to my belt buckle and a pen/pad in my hand, I took off for Muirfield Village aka Jack’s Place. Here’s a look behind the scenes at The Memorial for Tuesday and pro-am Wednesday at the Memorial.

1) Inside the media center

Proper credentials? Got those.

A huge leaderboard, computers at every desk and extremely mediocre WiFi… and, of course, Jalen Rose offering his insight on the TV. No worries, the TVs were on mute.

Here’s where it all goes down. This was certainly the calm before the storm, since when Tiger came through it was a MAD house. I wanted to ask a question about his new TaylorMade wedges, but I could barely even get into the room. Oh well.

On the wall was some before-and-after shots of Muirfield Village. Amazing transformation.

Free pads AND pens? Don’t mind if I do.

My own work station? Nice. Albeit still within the domain of mediocre WiFi. They spelled my name right though, which is awesome.

2) Media Center food

I’m not one to ever complain about free food, but… this media center food was actually delicious. Great spread. Or maybe I was just ravenous after following Tiger and Peyton around the course for hours.

3) Autographs seekers

Tiger Woods is in this photo. Can you spot him?

The autograph scene is getting ridiculous. For more of my thoughts, check out our Two Guys Talkin’ Golf podcast here.

4) Dufner is the king of hats

He knows it, too.

Look at him admiring his “Save the Crew” hat selection…

5) Satoshi Kodaira has more fun in practice rounds than anyone else

Satoshi and his posse were out on the course Tuesday with a video camera, laughing the entire way up the fairways.

His caddie was looking for one of Kodaira’s practice balls to the right of the creek, but the problem was Kodaira needed a wedge so he could fish out one of his other practice balls from in the creek (yes, he hit a few balls way right).  So why not just throw the wedge 30 yards down the hill?

If I had all day to follow one group during a practice round, these would be the guys.

Also, can we start calling Satoshi Kodaira “The Admiral,” please?

6) Gorgeous par threes

The 12th hole gets most of the glory.

As it should.

But look at this 8th hole. Simple yet incredibly difficult. Great hole.

And then there’s No. 16.

Where do you even hit it? I’ll tell you where I would… in that front right bunker every single time.

If ever given the chance, get yourself some “Club 1976” passes to get this view of the 12th green. What an awesome place to watch all the players come through.

7) Air Swingin’

Even with golf clubs while on a golf course, golfers just can’t help working on their move while air swinging.

8) Memorial Park

If you ever get the opportunity, spend an hour or so strolling around Memorial Park Bar at Muirfield. What a treat for a golf fan or historian.

There’s plaques for some of the greatest golfers throughout history, with incredible write-ups for each of them.

And it’s just a beautiful park with places to sit in the shade.

9) Justin Thomas with the jokes!

From what I saw, Jack Nicklaus and his wife Barbara stood on the first tee and greeted all of the groups coming through. Class acts. Jack has himself a great tournament at a great venue. It’s almost like he designed the place!

10) The 17th green, lol

Is that green on a 45-degree angle? To say that TV doesn’t do the undulations on this course any justice would be an understatement. It’s not Augusta with the elevation change, but there’s huge slopes and terrains throughout the course, and there’s a lot more blind tee shots than I expected.

11) The 18th Hole is way too difficult

Speaking of blind tee shots, I took this photo about 100 yards ahead of the tee boxes they play. Their tee shot is completely blind, and they’re hitting to a fairway that slopes down into super thick rough and/or a creek on the left. And the right bunkers are dead. Good luck.

Beautiful hole, though.

12) Paws for a cause

Don’t forget that the Memorial Tournament is presented by Nationwide. These “Pandel” bears sell for $10 each and they benefit the Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Great cause, and head over to bearsforchildren.com to purchase yours and help the kids.

13) The Memorial Service

Thank you to all the people who risk their lives for our country.

And to the Ohio State University (Jack’s alma mater) band for the soundtrack.

And to the pilot for the flyover.

And the GOAT for allowing all of this to happen at his place.

For more photos from The Memorial this week, click here. And to see my 18 takeaways from Tiger/Peyton’s practice round together, click here.

Your Reaction?
  • 104
  • LEGIT5
  • WOW1
  • LOL0
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP2
  • OB1
  • SHANK2

He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. craig

    Jun 3, 2018 at 1:23 am

    …. on hallowed ground… !

  2. Connor

    Jun 1, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    Awesome article, Andrew! Love “inside the ropes” looks at the tour like this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Opinion & Analysis

Chat with a Champion: Keegan Bradley

Published

on

Since bursting on the scene in 2011 as Rookie of the Year and joining a very short list of first-time winners in their major championship debut, Keegan Bradley has been part of the PGA Tour landscape for almost a decade now. It hasn’t always been an easy road for the New Englander, with some down years in 2016 and 2017. He jumped back into the winners circle in 2018 with his victory at the BMW Championship, which also propelled him to an 8th place finish in the 2018 FedEx Cup standings.

I had a chance to catch up with Keegan recently. From his early days to his love of the Ryder an Presidents Cups, we covered a bunch of topics related to his golf journey to this point.

What was your earliest memory of the game? Being your dad is a PGA Professional, I’m sure that he was an early influencer…

KB: I’ve been holding a golf club as long as I can remember. I am guessing I started swinging it around 2 years of age… I used to love going to the golf course with my dad.

When did you realize that golf was “Your Sport” over skiing? As you think back, was there something that sticks out as the biggest influence on your decision?

KB: I was probably a better skier than golfer, growing up in the Northeast. I remember one day, challenging for a title while I was in high school, standing on the top of the mountain, in the freezing cold thinking, ya, I am probably done now, golf it is. I was 16 at the time.

How much did your Aunt (Pat Bradley) play a role in your development as a player?

KB: Aunt Pat has been an unbelievable mentor for me over the years. She has had such a great influence on me and I like to think that we are both very similar. She has taught me the importance of focus and intensity. Not only in competition, but in practice.

Growing up in the Northeast (as I did) golf is very seasonal. What did you do to practice in the winter? Or did you just kind of shut it down for a few months?

KB: I didn’t play and I rarely even practiced in the winter months in the Northeast. I think it prevented me from burning out as a kid. People tell me that it was a disadvantage, I thought it was a huge help! I was on skis all winter and then couldn’t wait to get my clubs out in the spring!

What lead to your decision to attend St. Johns? How important was your College experience in your development?

KB: Honestly, at the time, I just had to go somewhere that offered me a full scholarship. Coach Darby showed belief in me and that meant a lot. Once I started having success, I got offers from bigger golf schools to transfer, but I stayed loyal to Coach, as he did to me. To this day, my best friends are the guys I played golf with during my college career. We all still hang out together today.

Obviously, a rookie year like yours must have been a dream. How did it feel to not only be Rookie of the Year in 2011 but to also join the likes of Willie Park, Sr. and Francis Ouimet as one of only 4 players in the history of the game to win in their debut in a Major?

KB: It was a complete whirlwind, I started out trying to figure out how to keep my PGA Tour card and trying to plan a schedule, to all of a sudden, becoming a PGA Tour winner and a Major Champion. Winning the PGA was beyond a dream, and to be one of only four players to win a Major at their first attempt is something I am very proud of.

I was in attendance for your win at the PGA, I’m curious what you felt was your biggest takeaway from that experience?

KB: It validated that I could play under the most intense pressure and gave me the launchpad for my career.

I was also in attendance at the Ryder Cup in Chicago. Considering the much different outcome of that experience over the win at the Atlanta Athletic Club, what were your take away from that Ryder Cup?

KB: I love team golf and it kills me when I am not on a team now, representing the USA and I can’t wait to get back there. I played some of the best golf of my life, at Medinah and the memories will last a lifetime. Playing alongside Phil, who has become a friend, as well as a mentor was inspirational.

How much do you love the team events?

KB: I love team events. The fact that we play an individual sport, but we can come together and be such a tightknit group, under a crazy amount of pressure is awesome and it is so much fun. I am going to be working very hard to play on the next USA Team!

You have become close with Michael Jordan over the years. What influence has he had on your career?

KB: MJ may be the greatest athlete of all time. I feel very privileged to call him a friend. He has been around during both the peaks and the valleys of my career and he always knows the right thing to say. He is a very inspirational and motivational person and just great to be around.

How big was your win last year for your confidence going into this season?

KB: My win last year was huge for me. It was a validation of all the work I had been doing with my instructor Darren May. It is no secret that I had struggled for a couple of seasons, even though technically, but I was improving and felt good. The way I won and the field I beat to win, gave me an incredible amount of satisfaction and has set me up to keep moving forward.

I asked Jack Nicklaus in his interview (which will post in a few weeks) about the work-life balance for a world ranked PGA Tour Professional. Obviously, it was a different time in his era but how do you manage this as a husband and fairly new father?

KB: I am always learning, and I try to keep as balanced as possible. I love spending time with my wife, Jillian, and my son, Logan, but like any husband/father there is a need to work in order to provide. I think I have just got better at structuring my practice, so that I am more efficient with my time.

What are your feelings on the overall health of the game? From both a professional and recreational standpoint?

KB: I think the game is in a GREAT place right now. Tiger is back and that is huge for our sport, add to that the great young players contending each week and the personalities we have on the PGA Tour and internationally, I think we are in a great position to grow the game.

What is your advice for a young golfer looking to pursue a career in golf? Either as a player or club Professional?

KB: I will always advise all children to play as many sports as possible, have fun, don’t take it too seriously too early or you will burn out. You have to make the game fun. Once you have made the decision to pursue golf, work hard. You need to make sure that when you are done for the day, that no one else you are competing with, could have out worked you. It is a mindset more than anything. Golf is a very competitive industry, but there are many ways to get into it. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again!

Lastly, what in your opinion is one way we as an industry can bring more people to our game?

KB: Make it fun and make it more affordable for the masses. Encourage 9-hole competitions; time is one of the biggest barriers to entry for golf, as a sport.

Your Reaction?
  • 7
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW1
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Podcasts

The Gear Dive: Sacks Parente Golf

Published

on

In this episode of The Gear Dive brought to you by Titleist Golf, Johnny chats with longtime club designers Steve Sacks and Rich Parente on the old days with Callaway, Goldwin Golf, Carbite and the new endeavor Sacks Parente.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

Your Reaction?
  • 1
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

Opinion & Analysis

There’s a major omission in Brandel Chamblee’s list of the 10 best seasons in men’s golf

Published

on

Brandel’s list is great, but he’s missing a BIG one…maybe the BEST one. Earlier this week Brandel Chamblee, whom I respect and enjoy, tweeted a list of the top 10 years in men’s golf.

It’s a great list and one that was very well thought out. However, there is one season that is missing, and in my opinion, it could go down as one of the top 5 of all time, if not the best: Tiger Woods’ 2008 season.

Yes, the year he played only the first half of the season

Before the trolls start to engage, let’s look at all the facts…

Tournaments worldwide: 7
Wins: 5 (Dubai, Torrey, Bay Hill, Match Play, U.S. Open)
Top 5s: 7
Majors: 1
Scoring average: 67.65
*also won the Tavistock Cup

So, let’s put this in perspective, the guy teed it up eight times total (including the Tavistock). He won six times. His worst finish was fifth. He came from behind to win in Dubai, Bay Hill, and the U.S. Open. The only tournament that he didn’t really have a chance to win was the Masters, and frankly, if he makes any putts at all he wins that too.

He dealt with serious left leg and knee injuries all season; having arthroscopic knee surgery two days after the Masters, hurrying his comeback, and suffering stress fractures in his tibia and continued ACL issues. AND TW also revealed in 2010 that he injured and re-injured his right Achilles tendon multiple times throughout 2008.

In regards to the competition: Phil, Ernie, Padraig, Sergio, Westwood, Adam Scott, and many others were in their primes and gunning for him harder than ever before. Keep in mind that from 2005-2007, Tiger won 21 times in 52 starts on the PGA Tour. What would he have done if he was healthy?

Let’s also discuss the moments in this season. The nuclear putt on the 18th at Dubai, the utter dominance at Torrey, the hat throw on 18 at Bay Hill, The absolute smackdown of Stewart Cink in the Match Play final, Tiger’s back 9 on Friday at U.S. Open, Tiger’s back 9 on Saturday at U.S. Open, Tiger’s final round at U.S. Open, Tiger’s playoff vs. Rocco. So, in perspective, he had maybe 20 moments that year that probably land in his top 100 highlight reel.

While you are all taking this in, go to YouTube and watch videos from that year, and I guarantee you will get lost in the countless moments of absolute greatness. What he did in 2000, 2006, 2007, etc was unbelievable BUT what he did in ’08 is truly unworldly.

And, oh yeah, one other thing: Tiger played six times on the PGA Tour, finished second on the money list just $1 million behind Vijay who played 23 times. He was No. 1 in Fed Ex Cup points going into the playoffs….in 6 events.

Your Reaction?
  • 97
  • LEGIT19
  • WOW14
  • LOL1
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP2
  • OB0
  • SHANK26

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending