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With changes aplenty, the 2018-2019 PGA Tour schedule is here

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Calendar lovers, scheduling enthusiasts, and golf fans too: the long awaited day is here. The PGA Tour today presented its 2018-2019 schedule.

“A cadence of events highlighted by significant championships every month,” the Tour called the 46-tournament schedule, which now concludes before the NFL season starts.

A few quick notes

  • The FedEx Cup is now three events instead of four.
  • Two new tournaments: the Rocket Mortgage Classic June 24-30 in Detroit and the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities in Minneapolis.
  • The RBC Canadian Open moves from late July to June 3-9.
  • The Players Championship moves from May to March (11-17) and the PGA Championship moves from August to May (13-19).
  • The final World Golf Championships event of the season will now be held at TPC Southwind in Memphis as the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
  • The Houston Open and A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier move to the fall.

Here’s the whole darn thing, as posted to PGATour.com

DATE TOURNAMENT COURSE LOCATION
10/1 – 10/7 Safeway Open Silverado Resort and Spa (North Course) Napa, California
10/8 – 10/14 CIMB Classic TPC Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
10/15 – 10/21 THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES Nine Bridges Jeju Island, Korea
10/22 – 10/28 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions Sheshan International Golf Club Shanghai, China
10/22 – 10/28 Sanderson Farms Championship Country Club of Jackson Jackson, Mississippi
10/29 – 11/4 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open TPC Summerlin Las Vegas, Nevada
11/5 – 11/11 Mayakoba Golf Classic El Camaleon Golf Club at the Mayakoba Resort Playa del Carmen, Mexico
11/12 – 11/18 The RSM Classic Sea Island Resort (*Seaside Course, Plantation Course) St. Simons Island, Georgia
BREAK
12/31 – 1/6 Sentry Tournament of Champions Kapalua Resort (The Plantation Course) Kapalua, Hawaii
1/7 – 1/13 Sony Open in Hawaii Waialae Country Club Honolulu, Hawaii
1/14 – 1/20 CareerBuilder Challenge PGA WEST (*Stadium Course, Nicklaus Tournament Course); La Quinta Country Club La Quinta, California
1/21 – 1/27 Farmers Insurance Open Torrey Pines Golf Course (*South Course, North Course) San Diego, California
1/28 – 2/3 Waste Management Phoenix Open  TPC Scottsdale (Stadium Course) Scottsdale, Arizona
2/4 – 2/10 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am *Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, Monterey Peninsula Country Club (Shore Course) Pebble Beach, California
2/11 – 2/17 Genesis Open The Riviera Country Club Pacific Palisades, California
2/18 – 2/24 World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship Club de Golf Chapultepec Mexico City, Mexico
2/18 – 2/24 Puerto Rico Open Coco Beach Golf & Country Club Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
2/25 – 3/3 The Honda Classic PGA National Resort & Spa (The Champion Course) Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
3/4- 3/10 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard Bay Hill Club and Lodge Orlando, Florida
3/11- 3/17 THE PLAYERS Championship TPC Sawgrass (THE PLAYERS Stadium Course) Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
3/18 – 3/24 Valspar Championship Innisbrook, a Salamander Golf and Spa Resort (Copperhead Course) Palm Harbor, Florida
3/25 – 3/31 World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play Austin Country Club Austin, Texas
3/25 – 3/31 Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship Puntacana Resort & Club (Corales Golf Course) Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
4/1 – 4/7 Valero Texas Open TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks Course) San Antonio, Texas
4/8 – 4/14 Masters Tournament # Augusta National Golf Club Augusta, Georgia
4/15 – 4/21 RBC Heritage Harbour Town Golf Links Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
4/22 – 4/28 Zurich Classic of New Orleans TPC Louisiana New Orleans, Louisiana
4/29 – 5/5 Wells Fargo Championship Quail Hollow Club Charlotte, North Carolina
5/6 – 5/12 AT&T Byron Nelson Trinity Forest Golf Club Dallas, Texas
5/13 – 5/19 PGA Championship # Bethpage State Park (Black Course) Bethpage, New York
5/20 – 5/26 Charles Schwab Challenge Colonial Country Club Fort Worth, Texas
5/27 – 6/2 the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Muirfield Village Golf Club Dublin, Ohio
6/3 – 6/9 RBC Canadian Open Hamilton Golf & Country Club Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
6/10 – 6/16 U.S. Open # Pebble Beach Golf Links Pebble Beach, California
6/17 – 6/23 Travelers Championship TPC River Highlands Cromwell, Connecticut
6/24 – 6/30 Rocket Mortgage Classic Detroit Golf Club Detroit, Michigan
7/1 – 7/7 3M Open TPC Twin Cities Blaine, Minnesota
7/8 – 7/14 John Deere Classic TPC Deere Run Silvis, Illinois
7/15 – 7/21 The Open Championship # Royal Portrush Golf Club Portrush, Northern Ireland
7/15 – 7/21 Barbasol Championship Keene Trace Golf Club (Champions Trace) Nicholasville, Kentucky
7/22 – 7/28 World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational TPC Southwind Memphis, Tennessee
7/22 – 7/28 Reno-Tahoe Tournament Montreaux Golf and Country Club Reno, Nevada
7/29 – 8/4 Wyndham Championship Sedgefield Country Club Greensboro, North Carolina
8/5 – 8/11 THE NORTHERN TRUST Liberty National Golf Club Jersey City, New Jersey
8/12 – 8/18 BMW Championship Medinah Country Club (Course No. 3) Medinah, Illinois
8/19 – 8/25 TOUR Championship East Lake Golf Club Atlanta, Georgia

With respect to the early opinions, here are a few.

Writing for PGATour.com, Jim McCabe riffed on discussions with Olin Browne and Joe Durant.

“What caught Browne’s attention was the climactic finish to next season – three consecutive weeks of the FedExCup Playoffs culminating with the TOUR Championship Aug. 22-25. Reducing the FedExCup Playoffs by one and concluding the season before Labor Day and the onrush of football are definitive exclamation points, in Browne’s view, and two former PGA TOUR competitors who helped give shape to the FedExCup Playoffs agree.

“It’s more dynamic, instead of the season petering out like it used to,” said Joe Durant, who was a member of the Policy Board when the FedExCup debuted in 2007. Another Policy Board member was Brad Faxon, who recalls that “we always had the thought to eliminate competing against the NFL when the FedExCup started. This new schedule is good. I think it’s better to have only three playoff events.”

Writing for GolfChannel.com, Rex Hoggard offered praise and approval but cautioned that there will be an adjustment period to the condensed schedule.

“Essentially, the Tour had to shed four weeks off the season to move out of football’s shadow. Losing the Boston playoff event and the post-season “bye” week was half the bill. The Houston Open was relocated to the fall portion of the schedule, and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational was replaced by an existing event in Memphis.

“If that all sounds clean and easy, consider that the run up to the post-season will now feature a major (The Open), a World Golf Championship (Memphis) and the Wyndham Championship. Including the three playoff stops, that’s five must-play events in a six-week window.
How this congestion impacts events like Bay Hill or the AT&T Byron Nelson, which will now be played the week before the PGA Championship, remains to be seen, but there will be tough choices made.

“Consider the RBC Canadian Open, which has been mired in a post-Open Championship vortex, will now be played the week before the U.S. Open. Depending on where the American championship is played, the move could give the field in Canada a boost, but it’s hard to imagine how it’s going to lead to long-term improvements.”

ESPN’s Bob Harig praised moving the PGA Championship to May, however, he worries that given the host venues and time of year for that tournament, weather and conditioning could be problems. He praised wrapping the Playoffs before the NFL season begins, and also said, “golf-mad markets in Minneapolis and Detroit are rewarded with PGA Tour events, the Canadian Open moves off a tough date after The Open, the WGC event in Akron loses a sponsor in Bridgestone but picks up a big one in FedEx.”

Those are a few thoughts from long-serving scribes. What do you think about the new schedule, GolfWRX members?

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  1. Bryan from Boston

    Jul 10, 2018 at 11:04 am

    RIP TPC Boston. I’ll certainly spend some extra time to enjoy it this year. Cutting that tournament out of the schedule makes me sad because I love going to it, and love watching the other rounds that weekend. The Monday finish was always great too.

    • 3PuttPar

      Jul 10, 2018 at 4:03 pm

      Agreed…I had a chance to play TPC Boston about a month ago and loved it. I’ve been to the tournament twice and once I found out it was most likely going to get the boot on the new schedule I made sure I got tickets this year. I’ll miss that tournament. Looks like we’ll be making the drive to CT for the Traveler’s.

      • Konklifer

        Jul 11, 2018 at 9:32 am

        As of now, TPC Boston and Liberty National will be alternating. Northern Trust will sponsor at TPC Boston in 2020.

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5 things we learned Thursday at the 2018 Open Championship

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The dirt during the run-up to Carnoustie and the 2018 Open Championship wasn’t exactly dirt, but it wasn’t far off. The brown fairways, the nearly-as-fast-as-the-greens stimpmeter readings, and the lunar bounces and run-outs signaled something not far from the US Open at Shinnecock Hills last month.

Names like Molinari, Fleetwood, Koepka and Reed were mentioned as challengers for the Claret jug. When Thursday arrived, the winds did not blow and the rains failed to fall. Carnoustie offered hope across the front nine, then exacted her revenge over her closing stretch.

We learned a few things about how this year’s curse, and tournament, will play out over the weekend. It’s your turn to find out what we discovered.

1. No layup is safe, no bunker or burn is out of reach

We watched in disbelief as Tiger Woods hit 6-iron 277 yards into a drive-zone bunker. We sat aghast as Sergio Garcia drove 400 yards into the Barry Burn, then played out of the brine. Those fairways at the mouth of the river Tay were a hacker’s dream and a tournament professional’s nightmare. Yardage books and round strategies might go out the window after round one. Carnoustie’s lumps and lows carom balls across the pasture with reckless, unpredictable abandon. Conclusion: three more days of viewing enjoyment.

2. The greens beguile, no matter the speed, no matter the golfer

The commentators were inconsistent with their explanations on how the putting surfaces changed as the day wore on. As soon as one said that the greens firmed up as the day went on, another suggested that they slowed down. The winds did pick up a bit, explaining the drying of the putting surfaces throughout the day. The biggest victim was Tiger Woods, who could not dial in his lag speed, and left putt after putt some five feet shy of the hole. Some he made, some he missed. Know this: the big cat awakened with a stiff neck, requiring the application of medical tape. The oddest bit of apparel since Martin Kaymer’s 2011 scarf had wags and fans wondering how badly hurt he was.  All things considered, even-par 71 was a triumph for Tiger Woods.

3. It isn’t smart to bet against Brooks Koepka

The tougher the challenge, the higher he rises. The course brought the two-time US Open champion to his literal knees, with two doubles and two singles over a five-hole stretch on the front nine. By day’s end, he stood a bit taller at one over, 72. For those who think he’s out of it, he was six back of the first round leader at Shinnecock in June, and today, he sits 6 shots behind Kevin Kisner after day one of The Open.

4. Tony Finau wants us to believe in him

A month after he played in Sunday’s final pairing at the US Open, Finau is again in the mix in a major championship. Finau etched 8 birdies on his card, signed for four under, 67, and sat in a three-person tie for 2nd after day one. Easily ranking as one of the most relaxed, restrained players of championship golf, today Finau was electric, but four bogeys per round won’t do over the next three days.

5. And your leader is…

Kevin Kisner. The South Carolina native began with four fours then made his only bogey of the round at the fifth . Unfazed, he eagled the sixth and uncovered four birdies over the closing 12 holes, for 66. The two-time PGA Tour winner wasn’t flawless from tee to green. He depended greatly on the flat stick to salvage his round. Par putts over the closing holes all dropped in, from six to 26 feet, and Kisner was atop the board after 18 holes. Odds are he won’t stay there, as no one makes all his putts. Kisner will need to find his approach play tomorrow to remain in the mix.

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Tiger arrives at Carnoustie with KT Tape on neck

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Two black strips of tape are peeking out above Tiger Woods collar and the golf world is losing its mind. Woods arrived for his first round at Carnoustie with what appears to be KT Tape on his neck.

The tape, popularly worn by Michelle Wie in any number of configurations, is designed to “reduce tissue pressure.”

Further, KT Tape’s website explains more of the thinking behind the tape

“When an area of the body is injured through impact or over-use, the lymphatic fluid builds up causing inflammation and swelling. This accumulation of lymphatic fluids may cause increased pressure on muscles and tissue which can cause significant discomfort or pain…It is believed that when applied correctly, KT Tape lifts the skin, decompressing the layers of fascia, allowing for greater movement of lymphatic fluid which transports white blood cells throughout the body and removes waste products, cellular debris, and bacteria.”

So, there you have it.

But what’s going on with Woods specifically. Well, we don’t know. Is Woods having issues with his quadriply surgically repaired back? Did he wake up with a stiff neck after a rough night of sleep in a hotel bad (as has happened before)?

We don’t know yet. Of course, that hasn’t stemmed the tide of panic. News of he tape was not well received in the Twitterverse.

We’ll update this story when we know more, however, Woods’ camp says it’s “no big deal” and that Woods merely woke up with a stiff neck, according to Steve DiMeglio of USA Today.

 

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GolfWRX Morning 9: Rory wants to be this guy again | 2 incredible stories | Tiger the reimagined

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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)

July 19, 2018

Good Thursday morning, golf fans. As Rob Miller aptly tweeted, I have no idea who is leading The Open. [looks at leaderboard] I have no idea who is leading The Open. Erik Van Rooyen, a South African currently playing on the European Tour, leads ’em all at the time of this writing.
1. Carefree Rory?
That is, Rory wants to be carefree, on the golf course, at least.More like the guy pictured above, if you will.
  • Ryan Lavner of Golf Channel writes...”I just think, as you get older, you get a little more cautious in life,” said McIlroy, 29. “I think it’s only natural. There’s something nice about being young and being oblivious to some stuff. The more I can get into that mindset, the better I’ll play golf.”
  • “And so on the eve of this Open, as he approaches the four-year anniversary of his last major title, McIlroy finds himself searching for a way to channel that happy-go-lucky 18-year-old who was about to take the world by storm, to tap into the easygoing excellence that once defined his dominance.”
  • “…McIlroy has at times looked unsettled between the ropes. It’s difficult to compute, how someone with seemingly so much – a résumé with four majors, a robust bank account, a beautiful wife – can also appear disinterested and unmotivated.”
  • “I think sometimes I need to get back to that attitude where I play carefree and just happy to be here,” he said. “A golf tournament is where I feel the most comfortable. It’s where I feel like I can 100 percent be myself and express myself. Sometimes the pressure that’s put on the top guys to perform at such a level every week, it starts to weigh on you a little bit. The more I can be like that kid, the better.”
2. Ash Turner’s incredible story
Ged Scott chronicles Turner’s “journey from cerebral palsy to his first golf major.”
  • A taste…”A freakish accident at the age of one, when he fell into a fish tank and fractured his skull, left him with a rare form of cerebral palsy. There were fears he may never be able to walk properly again….Incredibly, the 22-year-old from Lincolnshire is now preparing to play in the 147th Open Championship – his first major tournament.”
  • “The condition he suffered from until the age of six, called ataxia, affected muscle control in his arms and legs. His parents, Simon and Angie, turned to golf as a way of improving his co-ordination and balance.”
  • “I don’t remember much,” he said. “Only what my parents have told me, but the main problem was that I couldn’t put my heel on the floor properly and would only walk on my toes. When I fell over, I wouldn’t put my hands out, so for the first three years at school I had to wear a crash helmet.”
  • “My dad had played a lot of golf when he was younger. And so my parents bought me some plastic clubs to see if it would help. And it did…I was soon smashing the ball out of our back garden, which was when they bought my first proper set of clubs.”
3. Tiger Woods, recalibrated
Excellent stuff from Christine Brennan discussing the shift in Tiger Woods’ rhetoric about his golf game in the course of this comeback effort.
  • “He still says he wants to win (who doesn’t?), but because he hasn’t won a major in more than 10 years, his expectations understandably have been lowered. The drive and impatience that made Tiger who he was for at least a dozen years have been replaced by age and perspective. Personal scandal, injuries, surgeries and the march of time have changed the golfer who for so many years looked untouchable.”
  • “He fought this development for several years, exuding a confidence that his play simply could not match. Now, he appears to have accepted it. And with acceptance comes the freedom to dream again, but in a different way.”
  • “Each tournament I keep coming back to, I keep feeling a little bit better because I’m starting to play some golf again,” Woods said Tuesday when asked about his confidence level going into this major compared with the first two of the year. “I feel like I have a better understanding of my game and my body and my swing, much more so than I did at Augusta (for the Masters in April).
  • “That’s just going to come with a little bit more experience, and I think that I’ve made a few adjustments. I’ve changed putters. I’ve tweaked my swing a little bit since the West Coast swing. And everything’s gotten just a little bit better. I’ve put myself up there in contention a couple times. Just need to play some cleaner golf, and who knows?”
4. What’s the big deal?
Karen Crouse frames Brittany Lincicome’s start at the Barbasol as a “what’s the big deal?” moment since Brittany has played with the boys her whole life. While that may take something away from the magnitude of said moment, it’s an interesting take.
  • “Lincicome, a Florida native, played from the back tees through high school, where she held the No. 1 spot on the boys’ team, and she does the same these days in practice rounds with her husband, Dewald Gouws, a former long-drive champion.
  • Now 32, Lincicome will not be trying to make a statement by competing against men this week at a PGA Tour event. She regards her appearance here at the Barbasol Championship, an event taking place opposite the third men’s major, the British Open, not as a glimpse of the future but as a return to her roots.
  • “I have played with a lot of guys growing up,” Lincicome said, “and I just feel like they push me to want to be better and play better.”
  • Regardless, it’s an interesting contrast to the furor that surrounded Annika Sorenstam’s inclusion in the Colonial field.
5. Whither the weather?
Because it’s The Open, weather will be a major storyline this week…even if it ultimately turns out to be an absence of weather and scoring is low, weather will remain an focal point.
Thus, we ought to take a look at the forecast, no?
  • Thursday: High of 68 degrees and sunny with just a few clouds early with skies becoming partly cloudy later in the day. Wind 5 mph or less until late morning when breeze moves up near 10 mph with gusts near 15. Wind moves up close to 15 mph later in afternoon with gusts around 20 mph.
  • Friday: High in upper 60s once again, with 80-90 percent chance of rain in the morning with winds around 10 mph and gusts just short of 15 mph. Cloudy in afternoon with some rain showers and winds fading slightly.
  • Saturday: High of 64 degrees. Skies mostly cloudy early and then partly cloudy later in day. Just 20 percent chance of rain. Winds 5-10 mph all day with gusts up to 15 mph.
  • Sunday: Temperature to reach into lower 70s. Similar to Saturday with cloudy skies early before partly cloud in afternoon. Once again, just 20 percent chance of rain. Wind at its strongest, around 10 mph with 15-20 mph gusts in the morning. Will get up to 15 mph with gusts almost to 25 mph later in afternoon.
Of course, all of that could change in an instant…
6. Think winning at Carnoustie is hard?

…Try winning at the host of The Open with one arm. Dan Shepherd caught up with Mike Benning, winner of the 1994 Society of One-Armed Golfers world championship at Carnoustie.

  • He writes…”When things get challenging during the 147th Open this week on the Championship Course at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland, the players would do well to think of Mike Benning-specifically the fortitude he channeled into success at the venerable venue.”
  • “Benning grew up with golf at Congressional while his father, Bob, was head professional at the iconic country club in Bethesda, Md. Due to a rare form of cancer, Benning, who was already a top junior in the Washington, D.C. area, lost his left arm below the elbow to amputation at age 14.”
  • “Rather than let that stop him from playing, he learned to adapt. So much so that he won back-to-back Society of One-Armed Golfers world championships in 1993-94. The first win came at Seaford Golf Course in Sussex, England, in 1993. Benning defended his title at Carnoustie in 1994, the 56th and 57th renditions of the annual event, which began in the 1930s.
  • “Benning was low medalist in stroke play at Seaford, shooting 80-81-161. With the top 16 finishers advancing to match play, Benning won four matches in two days to become champion. He went to Carnoustie the next year full of confidence but couldn’t find the form initially that carried him at Seaford, qualifying 10th in medal play.”
7. Up and down
Based on your handicap, how often should you actually get up and down? It’s a good question. Most of us hope to save par every time we miss the green, but do you know how often the pros do that…a 25 handicapper?
  • According to Peter Sanders, the pros get up and down roughly 64 percent of the time. A 10 handicapper does so 32 percent of the time, and a 25 handicapper does 15 percent of the time.
8. The purest form of golf

Zach Johnson, maker of 11 Open cuts in a row, winner in 2015…

  • “I just think it’s the purest form of golf that we have,” Johnson said. “Whatever Mother Nature has is what you get. More than that I’ve gotten accustomed to bumps and rolls, hitting it low, hitting it high, getting accustomed to the speed of the greens. I think the main key there is I’ve just embraced it, you know what I mean?”
  • “I love it,” Johnson said. “My game feels good. It’s one of those things, I don’t know what to hit on each tee box and even if you think you know, you might get a bad bounce right where you want it and it may not work. It’s a matter of patience.”
9. For your listening pleasure
As we inch toward the weekend, a couple of audible items for your listening pleasure.
First, Johnny chatted with Bob Lamkin of Lamkin grips (Bob’s always a great interview). They discussed–among a number of other subjects–Jack Nicklaus’ grip preferences.
Second, Michael WIlliams talked with famed architect David McLay-Kidd and commentator Mark Rolfing about the challenges of Carnoustie, among other subjects.
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