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GolfWRX Morning 9: Cheating plot thickens | The greatest Monday qualifier ever | Air France stymies GMac



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 (

July 3, 2018

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans.
1. Kang cheating plot thickens
Joel Dahmen (pictured above) is getting support in his claim that Sung Kang’s ball never crossed the hazard (and thus that he took an illegal drop) from the ShotLink volunteer who was working the hole.  
  • Kang’s second shot was very far left and at no point ever came close to being inbounds from the initial point of entry 225 yards or so back,” Michael Klock told Golfweek Monday.
  • Klock also tweeted: “He (Kang) sure did cheat. I was running SHOTLink on the green. That ball never came close to entering up where he dropped… Should’ve been 200 yards back. Told your caddie who told the rules official but Kang threw a fit and got his way.”
  • Both Kang and the PGA Tour released statements saying they were satisfied with the ruling and will not be making any further comment.
2. The greatest Monday qualifier of them all?
T.J. Vogel has done it again. Vogel fired a 6-under 65 to qualify for the Greenbrier. It’s his seventh Monday qualification of the year.
For context, nobody Monday Qd more than three times last year. Also, look at these scores.
64 to qualify for the RSM Classic
64 to qualify for the Honda Classic
63 to qualify for the Valspar Championship
65 to qualify for the Wells Fargo Championship
66 to qualify for the AT&T Byron Nelson
66 to qualify for the FedEx St. Jude Classic
65 to qualify for A Military Salute at Greenbrier
Incredible stuff.
3. Air France loses GMac’s golf bag
Graeme McDowell is slated for the Open Championship qualifier today. Trouble is, he has no golf clubs. Air France lost his sticks, and predictably has no idea where they are. Sans clubs, McDowell is withdrawing.   
  • He tweeted: “I cannot give 100% without my own equipment which has been mishandled by Air France and must turn my attention to the Irish Open this weekend….”Lots of you wanting to know why I don’t grab a set off the rack and give it my best shot to get in The Open. Of course I could do this, but wouldn’t be firing on all cylinders.”
  • McDowell could still make it to the Open via qualifying spots at the Irish Open or Scottish Open.
4. Coach: Ko’s parents aren’t meddlers

David Leadbetter, Lydia Ko’s former coach, blasted the golfer’s parents after the teacher-coach duo split up earlier this year. 

  • “We honestly felt that if the decision was left entirely up to her, that she would still be with us,” Leadbetter wrote on his website at the time.
  • The man who took over for Leadbetter, Ted Oh, told New Zealand’s Radio Sport he hasn’t seen  the meddling.
  • “I’m not trying to start a controversy but what I’ve experienced is so good so far,” he said. “I’ll be on the range in 35 degrees heat and her mum will call me over and say ‘why don’t you go back to the clubhouse, it is too hot out here’. They are so supportive. I never experienced that (interference) really don’t understand what he (Leadbetter) was talking about.”
5. Why Tiger couldn’t save his tournament
ESPN’s Bob Harig with a brilliant deep dive into the disintegration of the National.  
  • Setting the stage…”What began in 2007 as the AT&T National was to be Woods’ tournament in the way of Jack Nicklaus‘ Memorial and Arnold Palmer‘s Bay Hill. It would have a limited field of 120 invited players, just like Jack and Arnie. In Woods’ case, it would benefit his foundation, which went all in on the nation’s capital, building three Learning Centers in the surrounding area and using the tournament platform to raise funds and honor the military around the Fourth of July.”
  • “The biggest issue is sponsorship. Based on television ratings, web traffic, social media posts and attendance, Woods is the game’s biggest attraction by a landslide. So why the difficulty? Quicken Loans wanted to be in its home of Detroit, and when someone is willing to write a check, the PGA Tour will oblige. Minneapolis has also come on board with a new tournament and title sponsor for next year. Woods, with all the time and resources invested in the nation’s capital, wanted to stay here.”
6. PGAI tour
Oh boy. The PGA Tour is doubling down on artificial intelligence.  
Press release…”Following successful technology launches over the last three years in augmented reality and virtual reality, the PGA TOUR has unveiled Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms to enhance broadcast and digital storytelling. Among the TOUR’s primary areas of focus in AI are a Microsoft-developed Content Relevancy Engine (CRE), a smart video clipping tool and an automated story creator that all utilize data captured by ShotLink powered by CDW.”  
  • An example of the CRE at work (appropriately featuring Bryson DeChambeau)…”To illustrate CRE, we will use a recent example of a situation in which it was utilized. At the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide in June, Bryson DeChambeau was clinging to the lead in the final round when he missed the green on the par-5, 15th hole, leaving himself 57 feet from the hole. At this point, he was 15 of 19 in Scrambling to lead the field. DeChambeau pitched to within 5 feet of the hole, a distance from which he converted 46 of 50 times for the week. Sure enough, he made the putt to maintain the lead and went on to win his second PGA TOUR title in a playoff.”
7. The PGA Tour & the Rules of Golf
Geoff Shackelford puts the Dahmen/Kang dispute in (a disturbing) context.  
“The incident lands as the PGA Tour and several players have begun to chip away at the Rules of Golf. Consider
  • “The PGA Tour has never issued a statement about the backstopping practice even after Jimmy Walker wrote on Twitter that he leaves a ball down for those he likes or feels sorry for. Any player who might mark their ball in a desire to protect the field, is now seen as not “one of the boys.”
  • “The PGA Tour openly defied the USGA and R&A’s views on distance and seems poised to fight any effort to protect the role of skill in golf in order to market the athleticism of today’s players.”
  • “Phil Mickelson stopped his ball from rolling down a slope at the U.S. Open and has not been –condemned or fined (to our knowledge) for conduct unbecoming. Two young superstars found his behavior funny.”
  • “The PGA Tour has resisted empowering officials to hand out slow play penalties for years, with former Commish Tim Finchem even declaring that he didn’t see such rules enforcement as necessary.”

More of Shack’s hot take

8. Links Golf Showcase(!)
  • From the GC Press release…Beginning Thursday, July 5, NBC Sports Group will kick off its month-long stretch devoted to links golf from some of the game’s most historic venues. The stretch will feature more than 100 live tournament hours dedicated to links golf, which complements the additional 182 hours of programming dedicated solely to The 147TH Open, taking place July 19-22 at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland
  • NBC SPORTS’ “LINKS GOLF” SWING THROUGHOUT JULY: The European Tour’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open gets underway on Thursday from Ballyliffin Golf Club, and the following week the Tour will stage the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open (July12-15) from Gullane Golf Club. Both European Tour events are part of The Open Qualifying Series, with three spots available at each event for finishers inside the top-10 who have yet to qualify. Following The Open at Carnoustie (July 19-22), The Senior Open will be staged at the home of golf from the Old Course at St Andrews (July 26-29). The Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open (July 26-29) also will be staged at Gullane Golf Club. The month-long stretch will culminate with the Ricoh Women’s British Open (August 2-5) from Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Links in England.
9. On the subject of links golf…
Here’s a look at current Open Championship odds (via Bovada) so you can mull over your bets during 4th of July BBQs.
  • Dustin Johnson +1100
  • Jordan Spieth +1200
  • Rory McIlroy +1200
  • Rickie Fowler +1600
  • Justin Rose +1600
  • Tommy Fleetwood +1800
  • Brooks Koepka +1800
  • Tiger Woods +2000
  • Justin Thomas +2000
  • Jason Day +2500
  • Henrik Stenson +2500
  • Jon Rahm +2500
  • Sergio Garcia +2500
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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