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GolfWRX Morning 9: John Daly vs. USGA in cart battle | Mickelson speaks | Bryson’s compass saga continues

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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 26, 2018

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans. Plenty of fairway to traverse today.
1.From #compassgate to #cartgate

 

John Daly petitioned the USGA to use a golf cart during the U.S. Senior Open (pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities) act.
  • Here’s Daly’s tweet…“Unfortunately- I had to WD from the US SENIOR OPEN. The deteriorating osteoarthritis isn’t helping my rt knee. I fall under the@ADANational but@USGA turned down a cart for me this week. Just going to give the knee a rest. Don’t know what’s ahead for me.”
  • Per Golf Channel…“Daly said that he is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires players or caddies to submit medical documentation proving “substantial impairment” and that the use of a golf cart is necessary. The USGA can deny the use of a cart if providing it to a player “fundamentally alter(s) the fairness of the competition.”
  • “A USGA spokesperson confirmed Monday that Daly requested the use of a cart but declined to comment on Daly’s condition or the specific reasons why his request was denied, “as it is considered private, personal information.”
  • “The USGA posted an additional statement through its Twitter account, saying that Daly’s request “did not support a waiver of the walking condition. We offered Mr. Daly the opportunity to provide additional information to support his request for a cart. He informed us this morning that he decided to withdraw.”‘
  • Daly then added (via Twitter): “I’m not going to mislead the media or my fans. No “additional information” was ever requested, or it would have been provided. I “WD” bc@USGA had already made their decision after our exhaustive medical submission. Any claim to the contrary is pure fiction.”
2. Mickelson speaks!

 

Mickelson was at Soldier Field in Chicago on Monday to help promote this week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Mickelson took part in a skills challenge for kids and spent time afterwards signing autographs and taking pictures.
  • And not just via text message this time!...(via Golfweek)…”It wasn’t the right decision,” Mickelson said while speaking on Golf Channel’s Golf Central. “It wasn’t the smart decision. The Rules of Golf actually address that for next year, so I don’t think anybody will be looking at it as a smart play. But at the time I really didn’t care about the stroke difference.”
  • “It took a little while for my anger and frustration to subside enough to where I could see clearly that I made not my best move,” Mickelson said. “It wasn’t my best moment. And so I apologized. Now, moving forward, the best thing I can do is to start promoting the game again in a positive way.”
  • “I have pretty thick skin and I’m aware that I’ll probably hear about this for some time,” Mickelson said. ‘Fortunately, I can take it, and I hope at some point we’ll all be able to laugh about it.”
3. Further investigation into Bryson’s compass

 

The PGA Tour has been looking into Bryson DeChambeau and his compass, as we know. It released a statement Monday night.
  • “Bryson DeChambeau’s use of a compass to make notations on exact hole location in his greens book came to light during Saturday’s round at the Travelers Championship, and PGA TOUR Rules Officials met with Bryson after the round. After consulting with the USGA, there is no clear precedent on the use of a compass in this manner and it is not currently prohibited under the Rules of Golf. The USGA is reviewing the matter, with our feedback, and is expected to make a ruling on its conformity with the Rules soon.”
4. Tour’s tax exempt status under siege…again

 

Also on the Tour front, In an emerging congressional tradition unlike any other, challenging the PGA Tour’s (and NFL, NHL) tax exempt status.
  • We’ll let Rex Hoggard take it from here….According to an ESPN report…”U.S.-based tournaments in 2011 (the most recent year available) gave an average of 16 percent of their income to charity, compared to the industry norm of 65 percent.”
  • ‘”The lion’s share of the money is going to big prizes, cash prizes for athletes and all the promotion around it, so it’s really pathetic, actually,” Charity Navigator president Ken Berger told ESPN. “Every single taxpayer in this country ultimately is bearing the burden of having to pay the taxes for this wildly inefficient organization that’s giving so little to charity.”‘
  • “But Tour officials claim the circuit’s charitable contributions far exceed any tax breaks it gains from its nonprofit status, which are estimated to be up to $200 million over the past 10 to 20 years. The Tour donated $130 million to charity in 2012, bringing its overall total to $1.9 billion.”
  • “It’s as if no good deed goes left unpunished,” Ty Votaw, the Tour’s executive vice president of communication and international affairs, wrote in an e-mail. “This isn’t a bake sale where there is no overhead and everything is contributed.”
A bake sale! More.
5. Chatting with Bridgestone Golf’s new CEO

 

I had a chance to speak with Dan Murphy, new President and CEO of Bridgestone Golf, on his first day in the office.

 

He had plenty of interesting things to say and hinted at some major product innovations, and the company appears to be doubling down on ball fitting.
  • “Yeah. Well, there’s no doubt it’s a business of momentum, and you have to find ways to build momentum and create a brand…obviously the Tour is a great way to do that. But then…sometimes the Tour is, well, the Tour. It’s difficult to predict and control…but I do think within the control of a marketer is shaping the message in a way that really compels folks…to engage the brand, to find enough interest in the brand…to spend time researching the brand. Ball fitting or us is a great engagement tool we think we can utilize again to create that momentum.”

 

6. Cruising with Kiradech

 

In arguably his finest work, Alan Shipnuck spent time with the irrepressible Kiradech Aphibarnrat in Thailand, riding shotgun in the flamboyant golfer’s Lamborghini.
  • A taste…”Aphibarnrat’s appetites are like his tee shots: prodigious. He has more fancy watches than he can count, including a jewel-encrusted Richard Mille valued at $1.5 million…But seemingly every pro golfer has a handful of luxe timepieces; more revealing is Aphibarnrat’s obsession with Yeezys, the limited edition Adidas sneakers designed by rap god Kanye West.”

 

7. From “can’t miss” to “will it be missed?”

 

Writing for Golf Digest, John Feinstein bursts out of the gates with this lead: “It started out in 2007 as a slam dunk for the PGA Tour and for Tiger Woods. It will end this coming Sunday as an embarrassment for both.”
  • The veteran scribe breaks down the difficulties that befell the National, hitting both Tiger Woods and the jumping between courses hard.
  • “One might have thought his apparent return to health could inspire a sponsor to jump in and take a chance on Washington, but Woods didn’t seem to really care very much if that happened. His foundation is now the beneficiary of the annual PGA Tour event played at Riviera Country Club outside Los Angeles.”
  • “The L.A. event has the kind of stability never established in Washington. It has been played at Riviera for 44 of the last 46 years, as opposed to the D.C. event which will have been held at four golf courses in 13 years, none for more than three consecutive years.”

 

 

8. Bubba’s big donation

 

Bubba Watson grossed $1.26 million for winning the Travelers. Per the tournament’s Twitter account, Watson donated $200,000 to the tourney’s charities. The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, for children with physical and mental disabilities, is the primary beneficiary. Hopefully, he’s able to make the donation with pre-tax dollars…
  • And in another notable act of charity: A 90-year-old man, RJ Smith, is donating proceeds from the sale of his collection of 70,000 golf balls to charity.
  • “Smith said he was recently diagnosed with cancer, and isn’t sure how far the disease has spread. He feels it’s time to part with his prized trophies, tellingKARE 11 his collection is for sale. Better yet, he plans on donating every penny to charity. “God has given me everything I’ve ever wanted in life and I’ve never had to ask,” he said.” (Joel Beall, Golf Digest) .
9. Farewell Freddie?

 

Fred Couples, bedeviled by a bad back for much of his career, tells John Strege that his playing days are nearly over.
  • “I’m 58, and I’ve said I’ll play as long as I can…And I think my time’s running out.”
  • “To be honest with you, the last couple years my back has been not so good. In Hawaii, it was mostly putting. Every time I putted the ball and I straightened up [he felt pain]. I told myself I would never do that ever again unless it was at Augusta. And at Augusta, it kind of flared up a few times.”
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  1. gif

    Jun 26, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    As for Daly’s request for a golf cart, I say no. He could use a motorized wheelchair… and his caddy should carry the clubs and occasionally help push the wheelchair up steep inclines so that Chuck doesn’t lose control and total himself.

  2. Caroline

    Jun 26, 2018 at 11:28 am

    Daly once made the comment he would not exercise until he could not walk 18 holes….get to the gym John, loose 30 lbs you may be able to walk again and maybe get all the way through with your swing.

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Morning 9: More on the dollars and sense of TW’s win | Don’t forget Mr. Hogan | Masters ticket scheme

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

April 23, 2019

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans.
1. More perspective on the financial impact of Tiger’s win
ESPN’s Tom VanHaaren collected some interesting (and wide-ranging) data points related to the financial impact of Tiger Woods’ Masters win
  • “Brian Kim is the general manager at GumGum Sports, a company that works with brands and companies to quantify that exact value through use of computer vision technology. The company is able to measure ad equivalency by determining how long brands are showing up in footage clips across television and a large ecosystem on social media and equating that number to actual dollars.”
  • “Attention isn’t just on Tiger in the wake of his Masters’ win. The impact is on everything, including what’s in his bag. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
  • “Although GumGum hasn’t yet analyzed this year’s Masters numbers for its brands, Kim said the early numbers are staggering. He estimates the effect of Tiger winning to be north of $550 million at the bare minimum, a $100 million increase over last year’s victory by Patrick Reed, which was tracked by GumGum in 2018.”
  • “And this from Bridgestone prez Dan Murphy…”We’re seeing, across the board, interest in stocking up on Tiger Woods’ golf ball…So we’re pretty excited to see the order bank starting to increase. I’d say for the specific models that [Woods] plays, we’re looking at 20 to 30 percent we can bump up the sales on that product.”
Wisely, Bridgestone is launching a commemorative edition of the Tour B XS with Woods’ image on the box cover and “thank you for letting us be part of your 15th major” printed on the bottom. A source at the company told me that ALL Bridgestone Tour B XS balls are currently sold old.
2. A refresher on Ben Hogan’s comeback
Geoff Shackelford, rightly, quotes Tiger Woods at the 2018 Masters and reminds us that when we call Woods’ comeback the greatest ever in golf, we do a disservice to the legacy of one William Ben Hogan.
  • Woods: “I think that one of the greatest comebacks in all of sport is the gentleman who won here, Mr Ben Hogan. I  mean, he got hit by a bus and came back and won major championships,” he said.
  • “The pain he had to endure, the things he had to do just to play and  just how hard it was for him to walk, and he ended up walking 36 holes  (in one day) and winning a US Open.”
  • “There are few similarities between the two comebacks and yet they are equally impressive given that Hogan was near death and Tiger had appeared to lose all confidence in his game for longer period than any all-time great. Only maybe Seabiscuit appeared to lose it all before regaining elite form.”
  • “Still, Hogan has to get the nod for having played no role in his need to stage a comeback in the first place. Tiger, by his own admission, inflicted some of his pain.”
3. Masters ticket scheme
Digest’s Stephen Hennessey with the story…
  • “Charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and aggravated identity theft were brought onto Stephen Michael Freeman, of Katy, Texas. His parents, Steven Lee Freeman and Diane Freeman, in addition to sister, Christine Oliverson, were charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.”
  • “Names from a bulk mailing list were used by the defendants to create fake accounts within the Masters ticket lottery, according to court documents. The defendants created fake email addresses for these individuals, and had they won badges for the Masters-one of the most prized tickets in all of sports-they would’ve used false identities and contacted ticket officials to send the tickets to a different address.”
4. Bullish or bearish on Zurich Classic format?
A pair of Golf Digest staffers discuss the merits of the Zurich Classic’s team format.
  • Cut It, says Christopher Powers…”Without match play being brought into the equation, the Zurich Classic team format loses much of its appeal. The fun of the Ryder Cup (and yes, even the Presidents Cup) is the idea of pitting two two-man teams against one another, with every match mattering and both teams in full-attack mode. Take that away and I’m not so sure watching Anders Alberston and Seth Reeves play alternate shot together in the second round is all that exciting.”
  • Joel Beall says, “Keep It, But…Even in this new condensed version of the tour schedule, it’s one that remains static, and at times, stale. With a 46-tournament calendar, there are going to be certain rhythms in the year, and in the shadow of post-Masters glow and PGA Championship lead-up, this is a period mostly of indifference to the casual fan. We should be thankful that the Zurich Classic, if only in spirit, attempts to break this ennui.”
5. More Williams on Woods
Per ESPN’s Bob Harig, who spoke with Tiger’s former bag man, Steve Williams…
  • “You look at it from a broader perspective,” Williams said. “Here in New Zealand, golf is somewhat struggling. The number of rounds is down, junior numbers are slipping. Now that Tiger has come right back there again, winning a major championship, possibly putting Jack’s (Nicklaus) record in play again … it just re-energizes the game.
  • “It’s absolutely awesome. He’s the only guy who can energize the game like that. All those kids who were watching had to think it was fantastic. And so what he’s done is a remarkable achievement. It’s so positive.”
6. Gainers and losers
Strokes gained. Probably the easiest way to see what ailed those who suffered and why those who prospered did so. I’d like to call attention to our Gianni Magliocco’s weekly roundup of the gainers/losers, this week from the RBC Heritage.
  • “C.T. Pan rode a hot putter to victory over the weekend at the RBC Heritage. Despite struggling slightly on the greens on day one of the event, Pan hit blistering form over the next three days with the flatstick and finished the tournament having gained over six strokes over the field for his work on the greens. It isn’t the first time that the Taiwanese player has done so either, with this being just his third best weekly performance with the flat-stick of his career. Pan also gained almost four strokes around the green, in what was a week-long display of short game excellence.”
  • “Dustin Johnson’s collapse on Sunday at Harbour Town was a shock to many. The 34-year-old fired a 77 to plummet down the leaderboard in the final round, and Johnson’s irons were the issue behind him not getting the job done. The American lost strokes to the field for his approach play three out of the four days and finished 63rd in this department for the week. Johnson lost a total of 3.2 strokes to the field for his approach play, which is the worst total in this area of his career.”
7. More on the “Nantz 2.5”
Golf Digest’s Alex Myers (quoting a Sports Business Journal report)
  • “After that putt dropped on 18, there wasn’t a chance in the world that I was going to say anything,” Nantz said. “Lance Barrow’s a great producer and we work together exceptionally well. He’s in the truck half a mile away. I’m in Butler Cabin already. And Nick [Faldo] is 300 yards away from me in the tower on the 18th green.”
  • Nantz said on a recent episode of the Golf Digest Podcast that former CBS boss Frank Chirkinian taught him early in his career to “use silence as a weapon.” He certainly wielded it in this case for the majority of an incredible four minutes of TV.
  • “As soon as the ball dropped, I said to Lance on the talk-back switch, ‘I’m not saying anything for a long time.’ Lance and I wanted to make sure since that none of us were together, the next time somebody spoke it was going to be me,” Nantz told Sports Business Journal. “We were going ride this thing out and sit back and enjoy it. I never would have jumped on a moment that was that big. It was just so big. There was nothing you could do to add to it. You could only ruin it.”
8. Showman Jimenez
Peter Wallace at Golf Australia talked to the Most Interesting Golfer in the World…
  • “I love this game of golf!” the 54-year-old declares. “I still love the competition and that feeling I get when I walk on to the 1st tee in a tournament. And of course, it’s important to enjoy yourself too; for me, a nice glass of wine and a cigar will always be a part of my life and who I am.”
  • “Such is the attitude that has endeared Jiménez to fans around the world in spite of the occasionally up and down manner of his career statistically. That’s not to say, of course, that his 21 wins on the European Tour and four PGA Tour Champions titles are to be sniffed at, but Jiménez has often had trouble sticking the landing after strong starts, and even a couple of his victories have been snatched from the jaws of a potential defeat first initiated by his own hand when in a commanding lead.”
9. 15,000!
Stephen Hennessey on Doug Coupe’s cracking collection of golf balls.
  • “Visitors to Belfair Golf Club, the 36-hole golf community in Bluffton, S.C., which hosts next week’s PGA Professional Championship, can attest to Doug Coupe’s collection of 15,000 assorted golf balls as being one of golf’s most impressive displays.”
  • “Meticulously alphabetized, sorted by color and separated by category, Coupe’s collection includes prized autographs from players like Arnold Palmer and Gary Player, and logoed entries from golf clubs around the world.”
  • “Anybody who sees it can’t believe there’s this mad man who has spent the last 20-plus years collecting these nuggets of golf artifacts. But that’s me,” says the 75-year-old Coupe.
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Tour Rundown: Pan finds Neverland, Henderson hammers the field, and more

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There was strange golf to be played, the week after Augusta 2019. Vijay dunked three consecutive wedge shots on Saturday. DJ gave seven shots away in a five-hole span on Sunday’s second nine. All of Brooke Henderson’s third-round chasers played like five-handicaps on day four. Scott McCarron tried to give the MEC away on PGA Tour Champions, but no one would take it. Perhaps April Fools came late, or maybe the golf world needed a bit of macabre humor before returning to the major-championship season. No matter the rationale, we found some unique ways to win on this day, and are happy to offer another week of Tour Runover Rundown.

Pan finds Neverland on Hilton Head Island, wins RBC Heritage

CT Pan had no business winning the 2019 RBC Heritage Classis at Harbour Town. Matt Kuchar had won the tournament before, posted four rounds in the 60s, and improved each day. Dustin Johnson looked for all the world as the guy most likely to finally find his birdie wand and run away with his home-state event. Patrick Cantlay and Shane Lowry had each won on the PGA Tour, poised to add a second title to their shelves. And then came Pan, not yet putting on the par-5 16th after four shots, with the temerity to stand alone after 72 holes at 12 under, one shot clear of Kuchar.

Day four was a space oddity of Bowie-esque proportions. Johnson, the top-ranked golfer in the world, turned for home at 10-under par, where he began his day. Beginning at the 11th, Johnson made three consecutive bogeys, followed by twin double bogeys, to tumble out of the top 10, outside the top 20 to a tie for 28th. That is what tree-lined golf courses, unlike any other on tour, can do to today’s longest hitters. Kuchar won’t ever be mistaken for a long hitter, but he did do one thing Sunday that Pan did not: make two bogeys. One behind the former UWashington golfer at day’s open, Kuchar bogeyed the short 17th to fall two behind. Even a final-hole birdie was not enough to catch the young titleist. Few golfers were able to survive the back nine without a blemish. If they did, as in the case of J.T. Poston, Seamus Power and Kevin Streelman, they shot into the top 10.

Remember Pan’s struggles on the 15th? He survived with bogey, then bounced back with birdie at the next. He closed with two strong pars to finish an even dozen below par, where a tartan jacket and trophy awaited, emblematic of the tournament victor.

Henderson hammers field for second-consecutive Lotte Championship

Brooke Henderson, like so many snowbirds before her, is developing quite an affinity for warm-weather locales. Learning to flight her ball through trade winds, and roll her ball across tropical grasses, is now second nature to the Ontario native. Henderson and fellow wunderkind Nelly Korda were matched at 14 under through three rounds. While Korda encountered all sorts of messes, en route to a closing 77 and an 8th-place finish, Henderson rebounded from an opening bogey six with three birdies. Her blase 70 was more than enough to distance her from the field. When the final flag stick was replaced, Henderson stood four shots clear of Eun-Hee Ji, with her 8th career trophy in her embrace.

The toughest task of the week was Korda’s. She bolted to a two-shot lead with 63 on Wednesday, thanks to a 50-50 split of nine birdies and nine pars. Korda maintained a two-shot lead over Henderson through 36 holes, despite a pair of Thursday bogeys. On Friday, Korda posted three bogeys on her card, yet still preserved a tie at the top spot, thanks to four birdies on the card. On Sunday, the young Floridian continued trending downward, lowlighted by a double-bogey six at the ninth hole, and wet, quadruple-bogey eight at the finisher. The nearest threat came from Ariya Jutanugarn, who stood at 14-under par with four holes remaining. At precisely the time when she needed a big finish, the former No. 1 closed with a bogey and a double over the final four holes. She tied for third, one stroke behind Ji.

Lanto Calrissian claims 2nd career Web.Com in Alabama

He’s no spice runner, but Lanto Griffin might be mistaken for the suave, Baron Administrator of Cloud City. Why, you ask? Well, the Californian-turned-Virginian held off Alabama son Robby Shelton in a dramatic, four-hole playoff, to claim his second career, Web.Com Tour event. In the first year of the RTJ Golf Trail Championship, Griffin birdied 4 holes in his outward nine to seize the lead, then bogeyed the 12th to lose it. Playing Cat and Mouse with him was Shelton, who interrupted a run of birdies with a pair of bogeys, then birdied the 16th to take over the top spot. With everything on the line, Griffin made 3 at the par-four finishing hole to join Shelton atop the leader board. The pair played the 18th hole twice in extra time, matching the other’s pars. They moved to the ninth, also a par 4, before returning to the 18th once more. There, Griffin ended matters with an exquisite birdie from 14 inches, his 2nd of the day at the closing hole. The victory moved the winner from 93rd to 9th in the chase for a PGA Tour card. Shelton moved from 46th to 12th with his runner-up finish.

McCarron wins first title of 2019 at Mitsubushi Electric Classic

Scott McCarron won three times on the regular PGA Tour, with two of those wins coming at TPC Sugarloaf, near Atlanta. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that he won this week’s PGA Tour Champions event at the same course, but that it took him four attempts to do so. With wet weather wreaking havoc on golfers’ psyches, McCarron needed all of his concentrative abilities to stay the course. On Saturday, within one stroke of the lead, Vijay Singh dumped three wedges into the pond fronting the final green. His 10 dropped him from contention, leading to a T14 finish overall. McCarron made a clutch birdie at the same hole to expand his overnight lead to three shots. He would need all of them.

Jerry Kelly mounted an early Sunday charge, with birdies at his first three holes and fourth on the sixth. He added a lone bogey on the 13th, then closed with shot-savers at the final two holes. McCarron, meanwhile, played topsy-turvy over his opening four holes. Birdies at two and four did not compensate for bogey at No. 1 and double bogey at three. In little more than an hour, his lead was nearly gone. Kirk Triplett, Kent Jones, and Joe Durant also joined the fray. Each would match Kelly, coming up short of the winner’s effort.

As noted, Kelly cooled off after his hot start, while McCarron found stability. His final 14 holes consisted of 12 pars and two birdies, enough to force a desperate field to give chase, something it failed to do. McCarron won four times on tour in 2017, but tapered off to 2 victories and a handful of missed chances in 2018. Will 2019 be the year that he becomes THE elite winner? Atlanta was a good start.

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Morning 9: Pantastic! | Henderson greatest in history of Canadian women’s golf? | Rough Sunday for DJ

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

April 21, 2019

Good Monday morning, golf fans.
1. Pantastic!
Not the Dustin Johnson triumph we expected, true. Nevertheless, C.T. Pan’s W was compelling and steely down the stretch.
AP Report…
  • “Pan shot a 4-under 67 to finish at 12-under 272, a stroke ahead of Matt Kuchar and two in front of Patrick Cantlay, Scott Piercy and Shane Lowry. Kuchar had a 67, Cantlay and Piercy had 69s and Lowry a 70.”
  • “…Pan won twice on the PGA Tour Canada in 2015 when he turned professional. He’s finished second twice in PGA Tour events, once at the Farmers Insurance Open in 2017 and last year at the Wyndham Championship.”
  • “This interesting tidbit…“Pan’s wife was key to his playing here this week. He had planned to attend a junior event in Houston he helped organize. But Yingchun Lin told him to get back to work and let her handle things down there….”Just listen to your wife,” Pan said. “And you will have a good life. She’s right, always.”
2. The (co-) winningest Canadian woman ever
Golf.com’s Pat Ralph…”Brooke Henderson captured her second straight Lotte Championship in Hawaii on Saturday to tie the Canadian record for LPGA Tour wins with eight thus far in her career. The 21-year-old Henderson now shares the record with former pro golfer Sandra Post.”
  • “Currently ranked No. 12 in the world, Henderson’s two-under 70 final round performance at Ko Olina Golf Club in Kapolei, Hawaii was good enough to break away from the pack and earn herself the victory by four strokes. Despite a bogey on the opening hole, Henderson’s final round consisted of three birdies.”
  • “The 2016 Women’s PGA Championship winner finished the tournament at 16-under 272, with her best round coming this past Wednesday when she shot a seven-under 65 to open up the event. Her first round consisted of an eagle and six birdies, four of which came on the front nine.”
3. Rough Sunday for DJ…and viewers?
John Strege writes…”Johnson, 6-foot-4 and as athletic and talented as anyone in golf, shot a 77 (41 on the back nine) and tied for 28th. The tournament was won by C.T. Pan, a 5-foot-6 package of professional mediocrity prior to posting his first PGA Tour victory. In nine previous starts in the calendar year, he had not finished better than a tie for 42nd.”
  • “Good for him, of course. But players ranked 113th in the world don’t generally outplay the No. 1 by 10 shots in the final round of a tournament the latter is leading.”
  • “Johnson hit half the 14 fairways and half the 18 greens in regulation. His score equaled the second worst of the day, only better than the 82 from Satoshi Kodaira.”
  • In support of this thesis…”For golf not to devolve again into a tour of the haves and the have-nots, the latter tournaments with fields sans Tiger, it needs the best players in the world to do their part to ward off apathy when Woods is not there to do it for them.”
4. Lanto!
Forgive the length of the excerpt, but Josh Vitale’s (of the Montgomery Advertiser, excerpted in Golfweek) use of Maya Brown, Lanto Griffin’s girlfriend, in his game story is superb.
  • “Maya Brown was there when he birdied the 18th hole on the Senator Course at Capitol Hill to finish a 4-under final round and force a playoff with Robby Shelton, the University of Alabama alum and home-state favorite who entered the day with a one-stroke lead. She was there when he parred the first three playoff holes, stuck a 123-yard approach shot to within two feet of the flag on the fourth, and made the short putt to secure his first victory since the 2017 Nashville Golf Open.”
  • “She was just in hiding – in the clubhouse, in between the golf carts parked beside the 9th green or behind the Michelob Ultra bar set up beside the 18th, wherever he couldn’t see her, relying on updates from tournament staff all the while.”
  • “See, Griffin didn’t know that his girlfriend of nearly two years was coming Sunday. She actually wasn’t going to – on Saturday night, she was in Winston, North Carolina, eating dinner with her parents. But Brown had a weird feeling all week that Griffin was going to win, so with him only one stroke back of Shelton after Saturday’s third round, she booked a flight from Charlotte to Montgomery and arrived at the Prattville golf course just before 1 p.m.”
5. …and Bhatia made the cut
Joel Beall writes…”Bhatia, the 17-year-old who made his PGA Tour debut last month at the Valspar Championship, was able to Monday qualify into the Web.com Tour’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Championship, and has made the most of his opportunity by making the cut at the rain-delayed event.”
A first-round 73 left Bhatia outside the top 100, but the homeschooler from North Carolina bounced back in Round 2 with a two-under 70, moving into a tie for 40th and good enough to advance to Saturday play.
Bhatia finished tied for 42nd.
6. McCarron gets it done
AP Report…”Scott McCarron completed a wire-to-wire victory in the Mitsubishi Electric Classic on Sunday for his third victory at TPC Sugarloaf on the PGA Tour Champions circuit.”
  • “The winner of the PGA Tour defunct BellSouth Classic at the course in 1997 and 2001, McCarron closed with a 1-under 72 for a two-stroke victory over Jerry Kelly, Joe Durant, Kirk Triplett and Kent Jones in the PGA Tour Champions event.”
  • “The 53-year-old McCarron finished at 7-under 209 for his ninth victory on the 50-and-over tour. He won three times on the PGA Tour.”
7. President Trump tees off with Lexi Thompson, Rush Limbaugh
Rachel Frazin of the Hill…
  • “The White House on Saturday released pictures from President Trump’s golf outing with conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and golfer Lexi Thompson the previous day.”
  • “In all three photos, Trump is shown wearing a polo, dark pants and a white campaign hat while smiling alongside Limbaugh. The men appear with Thompson in a third photo.”
8. Every shot technology…almost
Golfweek’s Forecaddie on the Masters attempt to have every shot available to view online…
  • “This year’s Masters marked the first attempt to record every shot of every player in the field. Adding around two dozen more cameras and a huge group of editors – the algorithms haven’t taken over yet – a Masters.com team attempted to provide fans the chance to watch video of every shot played via the leaderboard.”
  • “The new technology came out roaring for about a few hours Thursday, then suffered a mid-day first-round halt, but eventually caught up with most shots. Some intriguing omissions likely were tied to what appeared to be struggles on certain holes – 5, 11 and 13 – so things were missed, such as Henrik Stenson making an 8 followed by trimming the azaleas with his wedge.”
  • “Once the weekend rolled around, this breakthrough technology was doing almost what the chairman ordered, though it was taking longer to get video posted than predicted.”
9. Recapping the Ventus Experience
A handful of GolfWRXers visited Fujikura HQ for a look at the company’s newest wares, fittings, and more. Check out their experiences (along with plenty of photos) in this forum thread.

 

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