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GolfWRX Morning 9: Tiger talks | USGA: We’re not rollback zealots | Backstopping

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Good morning, GolfWRX members. As most of you are signed up for our newsletters, you likely already know that I’ve been sending this little Morning 9 roundup of nine items of note to start your day.

In case you’ve missed it, or you prefer to read on site rather than in your email, we’re including it here. Check out today’s Morning 9 below. Feedback is always welcome–send everything from news tips to complaints (hopefully more tips than complaints)!

If you’re not signed up for our newsletters, you can subscribe here.

By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com)

June 13, 2018

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans.
1. Tiger talks
The 14-time major champion had his pre-U.S. Open press conference yesterday. Here are a few interesting morsels as Woods prepares for his first USO appearance since 2015.
  • “I had no expectation or thought that I actually could be here again,” he said, reflecting on his health 12 months ago. “I had just been given the OK to start walking again. What was this June? I hadn’t been cleared to start lifting (weights). It was about my standard of life, forget golf.  … To go from there to where I am now, I had no expectation.”
  • “Last June, it was about my standard of life. Forget golf. Can I actually participate in my kids’ lives again? A lot of this is pure bonus because of where I was.”
  • “I’ve heard a few guys saying it takes two-and-a-half to three hours from the hotel, so there’s a good chance someone might miss their time….You get a little traffic or a little fender bender [crash] and it’s conceivable.”
Bonus take on Sag Harbor, where Woods’ yacht is docked: “Sag Harbor is a cute little town. I’ve only been there for a few days now…I haven’t really got a chance to walk about a little bit, but certainly will this week.”
2. Davis:  Roll back your rollback talk!
“The notion that we’re going to be rolling the ball back next year is simply not the case,” USGA CEO, Mike Davis stated yesterday.
Per Mike Stachura, the USGA is going to sit back and let the data flow in from its Distance Insights project. However, it doesn’t sound like the idea of bifurcation is gaining any traction in Far Hills.
  • “…it seems Davis is more than a little curious as to what effect distance has had on the game in its entirety and over its centuries-old history and where the current trendline is pointing. He expressed a vision for golf’s future that involves what he calls a desire “to give the game more choices,” but at the same time he also stressed, “one set of rules is very important to the game long term.”
  • “If you all of a sudden allow a bunch of different bodies to allow their own rules, it would become chaotic,” he said. “There has to be some structure.”
3. Dustin Johnson doesn’t hit the ball too far (says Dustin Johnson)
Not sure where this fits in the distance debate exactly, but I’ll present this real thing Dustin Johnson actually said yesterday without comment.
  • Per Golfweek: “I would tell them to go out and watch a golf tournament,” Johnson said of the dial-it-back crowd. “I don’t think I hit it too far. Yeah, there’s occasions where you get downwind, downhill on firm ground and the ball goes a long way. Walk around here. When you’ve got a ball straight into the wind, the golf ball ain’t going that far. I definitely don’t hit it too far and the game is not easy, that’s for sure. I don’t know what to say to them except maybe go watch some golf shots.”
4. Backstopping debate not stopping
Fueled by Jimmy Walker’s statement-of-the-obvious tweets the other day, the backstopping debate continues.
A couple of gems from Michael Bamberger’s piece for Golf.com…
  • “It’s wink-wink,” Shackelford said on Tuesday, explaining why he pays attention to it, and why he dislikes it so. The concept of backstopping is foreign to old-school get-in-your-face players – he cited Curtis Strange, Hale Irwin and others – who view playing partners as the opponents they actually are.”
  • “Johnson and Day show both an understanding of the rules and understanding of the spirit of stroke-play competition in their remarks. Rule 22 of the Rules of Golf states, “In stroke play, if the committee determines that competitors have agreed not to lift a ball that might assist any competitor, they are disqualified.”

Full piece.

5. What (quasi-)science tells us about the best majors
Luke-Kerr Dineen returns to Golf Digest with his Venn diagrams handy to break down the ingredients of the best majors in recent memory.
Here’s an explanation of his “best majors” chart, pictured above.
  • “I’ve divided all the majors into three categories: “Tiger Woods,” which I’ve defined as Tiger playing a central role in the event; “Good timing,” which either means the event was broadcast in prime-time or had some other outside factor that helped boost ratings; and “compelling backstory.”
  • “I was a little hesitant to devote an entire circle to Tiger, but there’s just no way around it. He doesn’t necessarily need to win- Mark O’Meara and Rich Beem’s majors got a bump from Tiger being in contention, as did Phil Mickelson’s 2010 win when Tiger returned from his scandal. If Tiger’s in the mix, the ratings are going to be good. It’s pretty much that simple.”
6. The subtle ingredients in the recipes for the best golf clubs
Obviously, Shinnecock is a great American golf club–arguably the finest U.S. Open venue.
Guy Yocom discusses the phenomenon of the best old-line clubs in the country, offering a few tell-tale similarities between the finest.
  • “Walking is mandatory or at least strongly encouraged. Shinnecock permits carts, but the inertia of the place will push you toward walking. Cypress Point, Seminole, Erin Hills, Ballyneal and Bethpage Black (not old-line, but first-rate), insist on walking. They can afford the loss of cart revenue, but they don’t feel they can afford to let riding detract from the experience.”
  • “The caddies are a cut above. They will be in uniform, bibbed at least. They will be on the pricey end-Shinnecock’s caddies get $120 a bag, plus tip, and the caddies at nearby Sebonack get more than that. You will get what you pay for. They will move in concert with one another, rarely losing a ball. They will know every dip and swale of the course, greens included, but will advise only when asked.”
7. Fried Egg and Shinny
Andy Johnson of the Fried Egg breaks down Shinnecock as only he can.
  • “No single hole at Shinnecock is overwhelmingly hard, but no hole is easy. Great play is rewarded with scoring opportunities, while average play yields difficult pars. Shinnecock is a sum of all of its parts, the uneven lies, wind and vexing green complexes wear on players over 18 holes.
  • “Playing Shinnecock is like stepping into the ring against Floyd Mayweather. The course doesn’t rely on singular holes to deliver knockout punches but rather lies in wait for tactical mistakes ready to punish them.”
8. Houston Open stays open
The PGA Tour and Astros owner & chairman, Jim Crane, officially announced a five-year partnership.
Per the PGA Tour:
  • “The Astros Foundation will operate the event and serve as the host organization.
  • “The commitment to the Houston Open from the Astros Foundation, with the support of a consortium of local sponsors, is in place through 2023. The 2019 tournament will be conducted at the Golf Club of Houston during the fall portion of the PGA TOUR’s 2019-20 FedExCup Season with a $7.5 million purse and 500 FedExCup points awarded to the winner.”
9. Shinnecock and a pioneer of the game
Adam Crawford looks at the life of John Shippen, Jr., the first black man to compete in the U.S. Open.
  • “Shippen Jr. progressed, his golf game became superb. When the 1896 U.S. Open rolled around, several club members at Shinnecock offered to pay Shippen’s entry fee. At that time, golf was still an “exclusive” game in the U.S. and Shippen was allowed to enter the tournament only if he registered as a Native American along with another Native American caddie, Oliver Dunn.
  • ” As one would expect in 1896, Shippen and Dunn’s registration sparked a minor racial controversy. When the other professionals found out Shippen and Dunn had entered the event and that they were not Caucasian, they threatened to boycott the event. When the USGA President at the time, Theodore Havemeyer, learned of the impending boycott, he informed the players that the tournament would continue even if it were only contested between Shippen and Dunn. The professionals backed down and play began.
  • “Shippen Jr. made a name for himself that week as he finished fifth in the tournament and contested as a professional. He became the first African-American to tee it up in a U.S. Open, he also became the first American-born professional golfer.”
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  1. Greg V

    Jun 13, 2018 at 8:22 am

    I think that it was Oscar Bunn, not Oliver Dunn, who along with John Shippen played in the US Open of 1896.

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19th Hole

Looks like Little John Daly is a “Long John” as well

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John Daly’s 15-year-old son is again the talk of the PNC Father/Son Challenge. JD and LJD first teed it up in the event together in 2016, and Long John the Younger, with Loudmouth Golf attire that matches his father’s, has been a minor sensation ever since.

Oh, and he can absolutely rip it. Check out Skratch TV’s video from the range at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club in Orlando.

“Thank God I’ve got him on my team this week,” you can hear Daly the Elder say after his son’s missile.

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Proud papa.

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And if you doubt the kid has game and think this is mere puffery, consider he won the IJGA Invitational at Harbour Town last year, triumphing in a five-man playoff.

Or, you can check out this video of Daly talking about his son’s golfing prowess. (However, if you’re offended by a liberal use of the f-word, you may not want to do so)

The pair tee off with Retief and Leo Goosen at 9:36 a.m. tomorrow in the two-day, 36-hole competition. Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera, Jr. won the tournament last year.

 

 

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Adam “Pacman” Jones talks handicap, lowest score, shows off new clubs

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The trick-shot artist, golfing dynamo, and general internet phenomenon that is Matty sat down for a quick nine questions with veteran NFL cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones, who plays to a 14 handicap.

Check out their conversation below.

Matty also took a peek at the fresh set of clubs in Jones’ bag. It looks like Matty, who is affiliated with Bridgestone Golf, has made sure the veteran cornerback has the company’s latest wares, including custom Tour B X-CB irons and custom KBS Tour shafts.

Hopefully, Matty will follow up with an Adam Jones WOTW (What’s on the Wrist). Holy Rolly, Pacman!

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Tweets of the Week: Best golf posts from Twitter over the last week

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Louis Oosthuizen cried tears of joy after winning the South African Open, while Patton Kizzire and Brian Harman triumphed at the QBE shootout. But those weren’t the only talking points over the last week in the golfing world. Here’s a look at some things you may have missed, and some of the quirkier moments from the world of golf dished out in the Twittersphere.

Uncanny Bubba Impression

He’s nailed impressions of Dustin Johnson and Keegan Bradley in the past, and now Jack Bartlett turned his talents to the mercurial Bubba Watson. The result is both hysterical and scarily impressive.

“Mud Ball!!”

Because the original “mud ball” moment is just as hilarious.

The Turf Chopper

A look into the future of golf on the fairways?

DeChambeau’s New Bag

Bryson showed off his slick new golf bag while in action last week. What do we think GolfWRXers?

Please Replace Divots

A squirrel at the QBE Shootout this week showing more etiquette on the course than some golfers do.

Open Championship Mania

An 11-year old’s mother showed just how much her boy enjoyed his experience at this year’s Open Championship…

…leading to The R&A and Open Championship combining to provide the kid with an experience that he will never forget.

 

 

 

 

 

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