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GolfWRX Morning 9: Rocco rages about U.S. Open backlash | Tiger switches putters | Spieth’s struggles mental?



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 (


June 29, 2018

Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1. After all that…


Tiger Woods made the switch to the TaylorMade Ardmore 3…and was 93rd in strokes gained: putting for his first round. For reference, he was 89th on Tour this season with the Cam. He opened the Quicken Loans National with an even par 70.
  • Golfweek’s Dan Kilbridge…”He’s doing everything he can to get out of a nasty putting slump and placed a new TaylorMade Ardmore 3 mallet-style in the bag for Round 1. The speed was good and it looked like he was rolling it alright out there, but makeable birdie putts continued to slide past the hole.”
  • “Woods shot Even-par 70 in the opening round of the Quicken Loans National, good for a T-48 slot before Friday’s 8:20 a.m. Eastern tee time with Bill Haas and Marc Leishman. He finally settled on the new putter Wednesday afternoon after a 90-minute practice session on the greens, and it sounds like he’s sticking with it for the foreseeable future.”
  • “‘I put my (Scotty Cameron) putter down and I hit a few putts with it. It just didn’t feel right, wasn’t looking right,” Woods said. “So, time for it to sit on the bench a little bit. I’m sure it will come back eventually, just one of those things.'”
2. Hello no!


J.J. Spaun tied the tournament record Andrew Landry set earlier in the day with a 7 under par opening round yesterday at the Quicken Loans National.
  • Playing in the group behind Tiger Woods, reporters asked if any fans peeled off to follow the guy with the hot hand.
  • “No, hell no. They don’t even know who I am. They played so fast, actually like they were a solid hole ahead of us.”
3.  Korda, young guns positioned at Women’s PGA


Beth Ann Nichols writes...”Jessica Korda admitted earlier this season to putting too much pressure on herself at the majors. It’s easy to believe considering the shocking run of missed cuts she’d had at big events in recent years.”
  • “But here she is at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship on top of the board early at Kemper Lakes Golf Club after a 5-under 67, and there’s reason to believe that she has turned a corner. Everyone remembers the ANA’s Sunday playoff under the lights (followed by marathon Monday), but Korda’s rip-roaring 66 had fans spellbound before that. It was a gutsy closing performance, and the share of fourth marked her career-best major finish.”
  • “Korda, a five-time winner on the LPGA, is one of a handful of major-less heavyweights off to a hot start in suburban Chicago. Charley Hull, the entertaining Brit who tied for seventh at the ANA as an 18-year-old, carded a 68 while Minjee Lee, a top-10 player with four LPGA titles, bogeyed her final hole to open with a 69.”
4. Rocco goes off!


The 2008 U.S. Open runner up isn’t holding back. Representing the old-school, hardline set: Rocco Mediate. Here’s what he had to say about player reactions to the U.S. Open setup at Shinnecock Hills.
  • “Truthfully, it’s all been a bunch of bull(expletive), what I’ve heard, complete horse(expletive). I’ll say it again if you want me to.”
  • “Here’s the deal – here’s the deal, two weeks ago: If you don’t like how it was set up, A, hit better shots; B, don’t come. Don’t come. Someone will take your place. It’s real, real simple. Now you’re getting me mad.”
  • “They’re talking about, well, you just shot 10 feet right of the pin, rolled into the bunker. Hit it left of the pin, then, OK? Because everybody’s got to play the golf course.”
  • “Let me ask you this question, too. Remember the one about the golf course changed from the morning – have you ever played one that didn’t? Of course it’s going to change. That’s what it’s supposed to do.”
  • “Sometimes it can get softer in the afternoon. Sometimes it gets firmer…What I heard that week made me want to throw up, basically. Just shut up, play. Because I guarantee you that trophy, that beautiful trophy they give away, this week and two weeks ago, is way worth the crap you have to go through to win it. It is. I haven’t done that yet, but it is. I had this much on it. It was worth the try.”
5. Is the root of Spieth’s poor play mental?


Gianni Magliocco makes the case.
  • A taste…”His demeanor on the golf course has given truth to these admissions all year. An already very animated and talkative player on the golf course, Spieth has been more fractious than ever with both caddy, Michael Greller, and spectators alike. Nothing portrayed how the game had gotten well and truly under Spieth’s skin than when the camera panned to him by the side of the 18th green on Friday evening at Shinnecock Hills. Spieth stood with his shoulders slumped against the backdrop of the amber evening sun, shaking his head with a look of both bewilderment and anger knowing full well that he had just thrown away the opportunity of playing the weekend of the U.S. Open.”


6. More terrible news for Jarrod Lyle


Awful stuff for Jarrod Lyle as he continues his recovery from cancer for the third time.’s Ben Everill writes
  • “Lyle underwent a haploidentical transplant and stem cell therapy back in his native Australia in December to deal with a third acute myeloid leukemia diagnosis and was recovering well until recently.
  • “In the last week the two-time Tour winner’s vision has deteriorated into a complete blur and doctors are baffled as to why….It is a condition that may be irreversible.
  • “Lyle said: “I’m having every test known to mankind to try to figure out what’s going on with it…One of the head neurologists said it’s a very, very rare thing he’s only seen once or twice so they are not sure whether it is going to reversible or not, it depends on how much damage has been done up until now.”
7. French interest in Ryder Cup is…
French people don’t really care about golf, says French pro golfer Michael Lorenzo-Vera. The 33-year-old is one of 19 entrants in the Open de France this week.
  • Reportedly, only 10 percent of French people follow golf, and according to the European Golf Course Owners Association, only 400,000 of the country’s 66 million citizens play golf.
  • Lorenzo-Vera spoke with the New York Times, and he doesn’t think hosting the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National is going to do much to boost the game’s popularity in the country.
  • “People don’t care about the Ryder Cup. Honestly, nobody knows there’s going to be a Ryder Cup in France. Only the golfers know. That’s it. There won’t be many French there. There will be so many more from England or Spain.”
  • Asked about the perception of golf in France, he had this to say…”Golf is a very private thing for people in France. Private courses for only rich families or rich people – that’s it….Golf is not a good thing here. It’s for rich people and spoiled kids. That’s the image we have.”
8. Smoltz struggles


Former MLB pitcher and current analyst, John Smoltz qualified for the U.S. Senior Open. How’d his first round go? Not great.


The former Cy Young Award winner opened with four bogeys en route to a 15-over-par 85.
  • “I can sum it up. I made a lot of easy bogeys. A lot of par putts turned into easy bogeys. I did not hit the ball in the fairway enough. I thought I hit a lot of, a lot of good shots that just didn’t get good results.”
9. For your viewing pleasure


A departure from your regularly scheduled reading: GolfWRX visited upstart shirt maker Criquet in Austin to get a look at the company’s wares and very unique headquarters.


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1 Comment

  1. ogo

    Jun 30, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    I don’t give a flying fig what kind of putter Tiqqer is using… it’s irrelevant !!!

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Charles Howell III’s winning WITB: 2018 RSM Classic



Driver: Titleist TS3 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 65

Fairway woods: Titleist TS2 (15, 21 degrees)
Shafts: Fujikura ATMOS Tour Spec Black 8X, Fujikura ATMOS Tour Spec Black 9X

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB 4-iron, Titleist 718 AP2 (5-7), Titleist 718 CB (8-PW)
Shafts: Project X LZ 6.5 (hard stepped)

Wedges: Vokey SM7 (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: Titleist Pro V1 (proto)

SEA ISLAND, GA – NOVEMBER 17: Charles Howell lll tees off on the eighth hole tee box during the third round of The RSM Classic at the Sea Island Resort Seaside Course on November 17, 2018 in Sea Island, Georgia. (Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR)

RELATED: See what members are saying about CH III’s equipment in the forums.

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Danny Willett’s Winning WITB: DP World Tour Championship



Driver: Callaway Rogue (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana W 60x

3-wood: Callaway Rogue Fairway Wood (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana W 70X

Irons: Callaway X Forged Utility Irons (18, 21, 24 degrees), Callaway X Forged 18 Irons (5-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Superlite

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy Forged PW (48 degrees), Callaway Mack Daddy 4 Wedges (54, 58 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold

Putter: Odyssey Prototype (Stroke Lab)

Ball: Chrome Soft X

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Danny Willett spotted with new Odyssey prototype putter, putter shaft



You may have seen Danny Willett’s name near the top of the leaderboard at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. At 10 under, the Englishman sits one stroke behind fellow countryman Matt Wallace.

You may not have seen, however, that the 2016 Masters champ has a new Odyssey prototype putter in the bag.

(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

(Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

All the company would say

“Willett first put in his new gamer last week at the Nedbank Challenge. Willett’s prototype putter also features a new prototype Odyssey shaft to help improve the consistency of the putting stroke.”

Willet has historically favored his blade-style Odyssey O-Works #1 W. More recently, at the Turkish Airlines Open, we spotted him with an Odyssey Versa Jailbird Black. However, the prototype in question is clearly a heel-shafted mallet with a different insert than the 1 W or the Jailbird. The insert looks to be the White Hot Microhinge. Obviously, the two-tone, potentially multi-material, shaft, and the technology therein, is notable as well. Also apparently two-tone, the putter head, which looks similar in shape to a Tank Cruiser and similarly has a pair of sole weights.

Do we need the TG2 to break down the few photos we have like the Zapruder film? We’ll continue digging, in the meantime, let us know what you think, GolfWRX Members!


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19th Hole