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GolfWRX GolfWRX Morning 9: Compassgate | Better ball, better Bubba? | Golf’s most entertaining swing

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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.

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.

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

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

 

June 25, 2018

Good Monday morning, golf fans.
1. Compassgate brewing   
Bryson DeChambeau plotted his course to a T9 finish at the Travelers Championship using a compass…literally. Well, he didn’t literally plot a course with the compass (geometry kind, not Boy Scout kind), but he did literally use one.
  • Unfortunately (perhaps) for DeChambeau, the PGA Tour spotted the former physics major utilizing the device. While it’s highly irregular/quite expected from DeChambeau, the powers that be aren’t certain of the legality of compass use.
  • Why did the Golf Scientist do this? “Figuring out true pin locations. The pin locations are a little bit off every once in a while, so I’m making sure they’re in the exact right spot.”
Obviously.

 

2. The swing that’s sweeping the golf world

 

If somehow you haven’t seen Hosung Choi’s action from the Korea Open, you’re missing out. And really it’s not just the swing, it’s Choi’s whole joie de vivre on course.

 

Josh Berhow on Choimania:
  • “The 44-year-old pro blew up social media on Saturday and Sunday while competing in the Korea Open. The golf world fell in love with his one-footed follow through and colorful behavior. Pros tweeted about him, the Golf Channel ran a segment on him, Brandel Chamblee broke down his swing and even Web.com Tour players tried to imitate his swing on the range.
  • “Unfortunately for the golf world, Choi didn’t receive one of the two invitations to this year’s British Open at Carnoustie (he finished T5), but there’s already a petition in the works trying to get him there.’

 

3. Better health + better ball = Better Bubba

 

Travelers winner Bubba Watson lost 25 pounds during the course of the 2016-2017 season for publicly unknown reasons. He also played a Volvik S4 golf ball: something no other elite PGA Tour professional does.
  • Watson, who returned to a Titleist Pro V1x for 2018, doesn’t blame the ball. “I don’t think it has had any (role) in my success,” Watson said (per Golf Channel’s WIll Gray). “My clubs weren’t going the distance that I used to. I couldn’t shape it the way I want to. Luckily for me, I know the problem, and the problem was with health and not all these other things.”
  • Or, maybe it’s the #RVlifestyle
  • Watson: “The RV lifestyle now, it’s been so much fun, it’s been a blessing to have all the kids there, have the bunk beds, they enjoy it, spending time with other guys with RVs. It’s been a blast, this year’s been like a new year, a rookie season for me.”
4. Rory rising?

 

Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Rory McIlroy believes he has work to do on his swing, even if the stats don’t back it up. McIlroy shot a 3-under 67 in the final round of the Travelers Championship, completing a week in which he shot 11 under and led the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green but was last among the 74 players who made the cut in strokes gained: putting.”
  • “While the Ulsterman lamented a number of misses from close range – 17 from inside 10 feet over the course of the week, to be exact – he contended that the strokes gained data may have been “flattering” his performance with the other 13 clubs.”
  • “I don’t feel like I hit it that well tee-to-green,” McIlroy said. “It says that I’m probably No. 1 tee-to-green, but it didn’t feel like it. Yeah, obviously I would have loved to have putted better. But I felt like all parts of my game just needed to be a little bit sharper.”
We’ll next see Rory in action at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

 

5. Nasa!

 

Ron Sirak on Nasa Hataoka‘s impressive LPGA Tour W:
  • “Houston, we have liftoff. Nasa Hataoka is a 19-year old from Japan with a very American name, her mother using the initials of the U.S. space program to inspire her daughter to shoot for the stars. It could be that Hiromi Hataoka set the bar too low. Right now, the sky seems to be the limit for Nasa. Hataoka picked up her first LPGA win with a sizzling 63 on Sunday for a six-stroke victory at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, the largest margin of victory on the LPGA this season.”
  • “Hataoka has now finished in the top-10 in five of her last six starts and rolls into next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the third major of the year, as someone who has to be considered a top contender. Nasa nearly snared her first victory at the Kingsmill Championship in May, losing a playoff to Ariya Jutanugarn, who birdied both extra holes.”
6. Proud Ping

 

Cheers to Ping for the major tour double with Bubba winning on the PGA Tour and Matt Wallace capturing the European Tour’s BMW International Open.

 

Watson’s WITB
  • Driver: Ping G400 LST (8.5 degrees, at 7.6 degrees) Shaft: Grafalloy Bi-Matrix Pink X-Flex
  • Fairway Wood: Ping G (14.5 degrees, at 13.2 degrees) Shaft: Fujikura Tour Spec 8.2X
  • Irons: Pin iBlade (2 iron), Ping S55 (4-PW) Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
  • Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (52-12 SS, 56-12 SS, 60-06 TS) Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
  • Putter: Ping PLD Anser (Blast Finish)
Wallace’s setup…
  • Driver: PING G400 (8.5 deg; LS Aldila Rogue Silver 70TX tip ¾” 45.5″, MultiComp Black/Black 60 R +2,D4)
  • Fairway: PING G400 (14.5 deg; (Small Minus) PX HRXDRS YELLOW  76g 6.5 Tip 1.25″, 43″, D3)
  • Irons: PING i200 (2 iron); PING Prototype irons (3-5); PING iBlade (6-9 KBS C-Taper 130X Black Ltd Edition +1/4″, 1.5 D3)
  • Wedges PING Glide 2.0 Stealth 46; Prototype Wedge 52,58
  • Putter: PING Sigma G Darby 32.75″, 2 Deg Loft, 3.5 Upright Two Thumb Classic Grip
7. (An ultimately un)important golf question returns

 

Is Paul Casey a choker? Casey, who started the final round of the Travelers Championship ahead by four, is now one of four in finishing off 54-hole leads. His 2 over Sundy effort was hardly the stuff of champions, and needing just one birdie down the stretch, he got two bogeys instead.
  • The counterpoint is Casey merely had a bad day and regressed to the mean following a Saturday 62.
  • Casey, for his part, mentioned a tight neck, saying he “Didn’t have a comfortable swing to go out there and do something with.”
  • He also said this, which, well, is apparently a statement about golf:  “This is merely kind of posturing for what could be a very good climax.”

 

8. Brooks’ bacheloring X2
 
Brooks Koepka, who honored his commitment to the Travelers Championship following his U.S. Open win and respectably tied for 19th, is off to Boston for a bachelor party coming week.
  • He’ll begin his prep for Carnoustie the next week with…another bachelor party, apparently. “I was really hoping to get some rest…But I don’t know how much that will happen,” BK said after his finish.
9. PSA: Tiger this week

 

As the earth revolves around the sun, so too does planet golf revolve orbit Tiger Woods (as we all know). So here’s your reminder that he’s in the field this week for the Quicken Loans National.
  • However, it’s been interesting to see expectations for Woods temper over the course of his comeback, isn’t it? At first, we held our breath with every swing, every tight-gripped hack out of the rough, then, a TW win looked imminent. Heck, he was among the favorites heading into the Masters.
  • Lately, however, even though he’s turned in decent results, there seems to be a sense that Woods is further from winning after the second major of the year than he was heading into the first. Even though he’s hitting the ball better from tee to green, there’s a feeling that something is fundamentally broken with his putting stroke. It’s odd, isn’t it?
  • A good week of putting at the National, however, and narratives of a Woodsian coronation at Carnoustie will be everywhere. Further struggles, and Woods at 25-1 to win The Open will seem sensible indeed…even though it perhaps should not.
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2 Comments

  1. Dan W

    Jun 26, 2018 at 8:36 am

    It’s about finding where the highest lowest points of the surrounding area is or where there is big water. Play northern Michigan and everything wants to got to Lake Michigan. Near a mountain or large elevation the ball goes away. I’ve seen putts on 45 degree angles that went up instead of down, etc.

  2. youraway

    Jun 25, 2018 at 7:30 am

    Bryson is another pushing the Sprit of the game and using any device or devices that can provide feedback that would enable him to play a shot more accurately. Many players do this and have done so for years.

    One must think, the USGA lost control of the game and the Rules governing it long ago. They proven their incompetence many times. The PGA Tour follows the Rules of the game, and good on them for evaluating this possible breach of devices being used during play. Maybe they should also consider enforcing the Rules as written in other areas as well.

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Q2Q: Johnny gets a hand from Claude Harmon III

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In this episode of the Q2Q brought to you bu GolfWRX and Cobra Golf, Johnny and performance coach Nick Starchuk travel to West Palm Beach to see Claude Harmon III at his performance center. It’s a Golf IQ reality smackdown with CHIII breaking down the truth that the Arccos system has shown Johnny.
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Morning 9: Lowry leads | MJ on TW | The Tour’s secret cut-making machines

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

April 19, 2019

Good Friday morning on this Good Friday, golf fans.
1. Lowry leads
AP report…”The Irishman admittedly had started the year off on a strong note with a win in Abu Dhabi in the season-opener on the European Tour. But he simply hadn’t been able to build on that momentum – on either side of the Atlantic — in the weeks following his third career win”.
  • “In fact, Lowry hadn’t broken 70 in four stroke-play events on the PGA TOUR since he missed the cut at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am back in February. He was a combined 24 over par in those tournaments and had only made the weekend once.”
  • “On a blustery morning at Harbour Town Golf Links, though, Lowry was back in control — firing a bogey-free 65 that earned him a one-stroke advantage.”
  • “Pretty much my whole game felt good,” Lowry said. “… I haven’t had that feeling in a while. So, it’s kind of nice.”
2. Augusta’d!
The Golf Channel Digital Team…”Beginning on the 10th hole Thursday, Spieth played his opening nine holes in 2 over par, with one double – after hitting his tee shot short, into the water at No. 14 – and eight pars. He recovered on the front side with three birdies compared to one bogey.”
  • “For the day, he hit 15 of 18 greens in regulation but needed 33 putts.”
  • “”I really got Augusta’d out here. What I mean is, I was still putting to the speed of Augusta. I haven’t fully made the transition away from that,” Spieth said after his even-par 71. “And as we are expecting high winds I’m sure the greens will slow down even more to make it fair. I’m really going to need to dial in my speed on the greens. Just tough out there coming off last week to this week, to get yourself to pop it harder than you really want to.””
3. Berger resurgent
Golfweek’s Roxanna Scott…
  • “After taking significant time off late in the year, Daniel Berger has to like what he sees in his game after an opening-round 5-under-par 66 in the RBC Heritage.”
  • “A finger injury forced Berger to take more than four months off after withdrawing from the BMW Championship in September. The 26-year-old Floridian was among a group of five tied for second Thursday, one shot behind leader Shane Lowry. Dustin Johnson, No. 1 in the world rankings, shot 3-under 68 in the afternoon.”
  • “”It’s just been kind of touch and go here,” Berger told reporters after the round at Harbour Town Golf Links. “And finally got a full week of practice where I actually got to play golf every day. That’s just the biggest difference. When you’re going to a golf tournament and you’ve played one round of golf in two weeks, you don’t feel very good. To be able to put the work in and be rewarded it makes me feel like I’m ready to go when I get out here.”
4. Meanwhile, in Hawaii…
AP Report…”Eun-Hee Ji rebounded from a bogey on the par-4 18th with a pitch-in eagle on the par-5 first and shot a 7-under 65 to take a two-stroke lead over Nelly Korda on Thursday in the Lotte Championship.”
“Ji had a 15-under 129 total to break the tournament 36-hole record by five strokes.”
5. MJ on TW
Golf Channel’s Will Gray rounds up a few MJ quotes from The Athletic and expands…
  • “I took two years off to play baseball, but nothing like that,” Jordan told The Athletic. “I’m pretty sure he questioned himself, whether he could get it back, and he had to put a lot of work in. But he took it head-on. He had to change his game; he had to change his perspective a little bit. To me, it was the greatest comeback I’ve ever seen.”
  • “I never thought he’d get back physically,” Jordan said. “He didn’t think he’d get back physically. But he did it. No one expected him to be back the way he is now. He’s probably the only person who believed he could get back. To me, that’s a major accomplishment. To me, it’s unbelievable. Mentally, you always think you can. But you can’t answer to what your body has to deal with.”
6. USWO entries
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell…”Rolex world No. 1 Jin Young Ko and defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn topped the list of players qualified for this year’s U.S. Women’s Open at Wednesday’s close of entries.”
  • “Forty-seven of the top 50 players in this week’s world rankings are qualified for the event, scheduled May 30-June 2 at the Country Club of Charleston (S.C.). (Click here for the full exempt field)”
  • “Sectional qualifying begins later this month.”
7. Secret cut-making wizards
Shane Ryan, in the course of Tiger’s Masters triumph, got to thinking about the tour’s cut-making maestros, reaching out to Mark Broadie for data…
“Broadie disappeared into his secret temple of statistics (I imagine it looks like the House of the Undying in Game of Thrones), and came out bearing a bounty of figures. For the last two seasons, beginning in the fall of 2017, Thomas and Johnson were indeed the leaders, with Thomas in front by percentage points. But there were a couple surprises in the top ten”
Justin Thomas – 19/20 – 5.0% missed cut rate
Dustin Johnson – 17/18 – 5.6%
Tommy Fleetwood – 16/17 – 5.9%
Bryson DeChambeau – 24/26 – 7.7%
Hideki Matsuyama – 18/20 – 10.0%
Tiger Woods – 17/19 – 10.5%
Emiliano Grillo – 25/28 – 10.7%
T-8. Justin Rose 16/18 – 11.1%
T-8. Rafa Cabrera-Bello 16/18 – 11.1%
Rickie Fowler – 21/24 – 12.5%
“Grillo is the one of that group you might not expect, and there’s a couple more in the next 10, from An to Keegan Bradley to Charles Howell III. The inspiration for this post, Tony Finau, clocked in at 12th.”
8. Talking to a D, C & P finalist
Our Brendon Elliott spoke to Briel Royce, a finalist in the Drive, Chip and Putt.
So how cool was it driving Down Magnolia Lane?
  • Briel: “Driving down Magnolia Lane was awesome.  Usually, you do not get to experience the scenic ride unless you are a tour player or a member. Everyone got extremely quiet upon entry. There were tons of security along our slow ride. Seeing the beautiful trees and the Masters Flag at Founder’s Circle in the distance was surreal. Having earned the right and opportunity to drive down this prestigious lane was breathtaking. I would love to do it again someday.”
  • What was the coolest part of your time at Drive, Chip and Putt at Augusta National?
  • Briel: “Everything was cool about the DCP. Not too often do you see people taking walks in the morning with green jackets on. We were not treated like kids. We were treated like tour players, like we were members at Augusta. The icing on the cake was when they took us to the practice green and we were putting alongside Zach Johnson and Charl Schwartzel. Everyone was confused when we first got there because we weren’t certain we should be putting on the same green around the pros. Again, we were treated like we were tour players. Where else would I be able to do this? Nowhere other than DCP at Augusta. One of my favorite reflections is having Bubba Watson watch us chip and congratulating each of us for our efforts. He did not need to do that. He took time out of practicing for a very important week in his career to support the DCP players. I think his actions show what the game of golf is about: the sportsmanship, the camaraderie, and support.”
9. Trophy gallery
Here’s something interesting and easily digestible: a look at all the trophies handed out on the PGA Tour this season. Some are…interesting…
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Michael Jordan describes Tiger Woods’ comeback as the greatest he’s ever seen

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Former NBA star Michael Jordan is no stranger to legendary comebacks, but according to the six-time NBA champion, there has been no greater comeback in the history of sport than that of Tiger Woods.

Jordan, who was speaking to The Athletic, talked about the monumental journey which Woods, who Jordan is a close friend of, traveled to reach this point, of which perseverance and self-belief played a significant role.

“I took two years off to play baseball, but nothing like that. I’m pretty sure he questioned himself, whether he could get it back, and he had to put a lot of work in. But he took it head-on. He had to change his game; he had to change his perspective a little bit. To me, it was the greatest comeback I’ve ever seen.”

Three years ago, Jordan told ESPN that he thought Woods’ best days were behind him,  with the golfer’s ailing back contributing to much of that belief. Mentally, Jordan never doubted the 81-time PGA Tour winner, but the basketball legend admitted his surprise at his friend overcoming his chronic back issues.

“I never thought he’d get back physically. He didn’t think he’d get back physically. But he did it. No one expected him to be back the way he is now. He’s probably the only person who believed he could get back. To me, that’s a major accomplishment. To me, it’s unbelievable. Mentally, you always think you can. But you can’t answer to what your body has to deal with.”

As for what’s next for Woods, Jordan believes the sky is the limit, firing this warning to the 43-year-old’s rivals.

“They got problems. His confidence is only going to build from here. The unknown is the biggest thing. He’s won a Tour event, he’s won the Masters, he’s won a major.”

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