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GolfWRX Morning 9: Non-conforming wedge at U.S. Senior Women’s Open | Compassgate | ANGC lengthening the 5th?

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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 12, 2018

Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. A non-conforming wedge…at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open

 

One the hand hand, this makes sense: The competitors at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open are largely amateurs or pros who are no longer playing. Thus, it was always going to be likely that some of the women were, say, playing with wedges that no longer conform, etc.
  • Still, it’s a shocking headline along the lines of “senior citizen gets arrested”
  • Per Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…”JoAnne Carner got the shock of her life when she got to player registration at the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open. At the end of the table was a gentleman from the USGA who manages equipment conformance who asked Carner a few questions. It wasn’t long before Carner realized that her trusty Wilson R-90 wedge wouldn’t make it to the first tee.”
  • Carner estimates she’s had the club in her bag for three decades, roughly the same amount of time she has waited for a Senior Women’s Open. “Oh, it was awful,” said Carner of parting with a club that’s been critical to her game around the greens and from 75 yards out for so many years. It felt like parting with an old friend.
  • Full story…and note the featured image is a Wilson R-90 not Carner’s actual R-90
2. Latest in Compassgate 

 

  • “Look, I’ll say one thing on that,” he told reporters. “I will say it’s unfortunate. That was never my intention, to skirt the rules or anything like that. It was just a device I thought had been used for a long time in different fields. It shouldn’t be an issue. It’s not a distance-measuring device. It’s just a referencing tool.”
  • “I’m not trying to push the game in any direction; I’m trying to utilize every tool in my brain to be able to reference information and get information in a way that I can utilize to the best of my ability,” he said Wednesday. “We want to see what’s allowable, and what information we can gather, and how much resolution can we have under that type of information.”

 

3. ANGC lengthening the fifth?

 

While the venerable club is surely pleading the fifth, sources say the home of the Masters is in the process of adding 30 yards to the fifth hole.
  • Per Golf Chanel…“The hole currently plays upwards of 455 yards and was the fifth-most difficult par 4 at this year’s Masters Tournament.”

 

  • “The new hole will play upwards of 485 yards in an attempt to restore the shot value that has been taken away by the distances achieved by the modern game,” Rosaforte said. “Instead of 3-woods and 7-irons, the new fifth should require a driver and a 5-iron, at the very least, depending upon the conditions.”
  • “It was first reported in February that the fifth hole would likely be lengthened. The change is expected to alleviate congestion between the tee and the nearby fourth green and includes plans to curve the road – which has been closed to public traffic since 2015 – around the new fifth tee…This is the first club-enacted course change since six holes were altered in 2006.”

 

4. 2 big problems with club fitting 

 

Writing for GolfWRX, the eminent Bobby Clampett says…

 

  • “The first culprit is clubs that are designed to correct a slice. I’ve had several first-time students take lessons with me this season who had been recently fit for clubs from a wide range of club fitters. Some of these students had significant out-to-in swing paths through impact and all were chronic faders/slicers of the golf ball. The clubs recommended to them were “anti-slice” clubs. All the grips were small (standard size), and the woods (especially the drivers) were upright with the sliding weights put in the heel. The irons were “jacked-upright” as much as 8 degrees.”
  • “The second problem that seems to be growing in the industry is the focus on increased distance with the irons. I don’t mean to be too blunt here, but who cares how far you hit an 8-iron! Today’s pitching wedge is yesterday’s 9-iron. My pitching wedge is set at 49 degrees, and my 9-iron is 44 degrees (about the standard loft for today’s pitching wedge). The only two clubs in the bag that should be designed for distance are your driver and your 3-wood. All the other clubs should be set for proper gapping and designed to improve consistency and proximity to the hole.”

 

5. Reed: Tiger & Phil should put up their own money in match
 
It’s a sentiment that has been voiced elsewhere, but to hear Patrick Reed say it is interesting: Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson should each wager $5 million of their own money in their potential $10 million duel.
  • “I would pay a little bit more to watch it if it was for their own money, for sure,” Reed said. “It’s going to be entertaining. I think it would be more entertaining if it was for their own money because I think the guys would grind even harder. 
  • “I’ll be curious to see it because I feel like one match, 18 holes, not your own money, it’s just kind of an exhibition.”
  • Captain America also offered this suggestion: “I think it would be pretty cool if it was at night, like a three-round knockout,” Reed said. “Have old school (equipment), persimmon woods and balata balls, and then put them in their normal stuff and play a round at night. Have fun with it.”
6. On that note: Tiger vs. Phil prop bets

 

While the match between the two golfing heavyweights is yet to be confirmed, and a date is yet to be set-heck, Tiger Woods hasn’t even said anything about the possibility since The Players-that hasn’t stopped the oddsmakers from SportsBettingDime.com from setting lines and configuring prop bets.

 

  • Odds to Win the $10 Million Tiger-Phil Match…Tiger Woods 2/3…Phil Mickelson 3/2
  • Odds of being selected to play in the “Undercard” of Tiger-PhilPGA Tour Pros-Rory McIlroy: 4/1-Patrick Reed: 4/1-Dustin Johnson: 7/1-Rickie Fowler: 9/1-Jordan Spieth: 12/1-Sergio Garcia: 15/1-Brooks Koepka: 15/1
7. “It’s awesome”


Phil Mickelson took a spin
around upcoming Ryder Cup venue, Le Golf National.

  • “”It’s awesome,” Mickelson told Golf Channel’s Tim Rosafortelate Tuesday. “Not many drivers if any at all…long irons and poa greens. I love it.”

     

  • Mickelson played the course Monday ahead of his traditional appearance at the Scottish Open.
8. Place your bets!

 

Odds to win the John Deere Classic (via Bovada)
  • Francesco Molinari 10-1
  • Bryson DeChambeau 11-1
  • Zach Johnson 12-1
  • Joaquin Niemann 18-1
  • Ryan Moore 18-1
  • Steve Stricker 22-1
  • Chesson Hadley 22-1
  • Kyle Stanley 25-1
  • Austin Cook 33-1
  • Wesley Bryan 33-1
9. Nearly $20K to charity, thanks to TW’s bag

 

The camouflage bag Tiger Woods used over the weekend in his previous start at the Quicken Loans National has raised a nice sum of money for his foundation.

 

  • Woods autographed and signed a personal message to the highest bidder on the bag. Auctioned off, it raised $19,000 for his TGR Foundation, according to Golf Channel
  • Why don’t we do more of this: one-off bags for tour pros…auctioned off for charity? Add some spice to the redundant staff bag/billboard space!

 

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Mickelson and Woods place $200,000 side bet, Phil explains why the event is PPV

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The $9 million jackpot that is on the line for Woods and Mickelson this Friday for their showdown at Shadow Creek isn’t going to hold either man back in placing extravagant wagers against each other, as we saw on Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference that involved both men, Mickelson began the kidology by laying down an early challenge against Woods, stating how “I’m willing to risk $100,000 that says I birdie the first hole. So that’s how good I feel heading into this match.” Lefty then stressed that Woods didn’t have to take the bet if it made him uncomfortable to do so before the 14-time major champion calmly responded: “Double it.”

Just like that, we have a $200,000 wager on the very first hole.

Mickelson then teased the idea of a seven-figure side bet, before revealing the psychological effect that the enormous sums of cash that are on the line will have on their match on Friday and the reason why it was necessary for the occasion to be a PPV event.

“This event is designed to be a unique experience for the golf viewer and to have an insight into what goes on with the players to create a production from drone coverage to on-screen gambling, to live mics and interaction. It’s an insight into the game which you’re normally not able to see.

It’s why it’s on pay-per-view, because we had to eliminate the commercials to have that insight in-between the shots. We don’t have the history of a Masters or a major championship, which is why the (prize figure) had to be so high because that creates an uncomfortable environment for us and creates pressure.”

The move to charge $19.99 to watch the match between the two golfing superstars has been criticized by some. However, the addition of exuberant side-bets, all of which will be coming out of the two players pockets, has generated a buzz that is unique for golf.

Nobody knows just how deep Mickelson or Woods will dig into their pockets for a side-bet during Friday’s winner-take-all battle in Las Vegas. But after Tuesday’s scene, a seven-figure sized wager between the two may well be on the cards.

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GolfWRX Morning 9: Pre-Match festivities | Making the case for equal PGA/LPGA Tour pay | TW & trash talk

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

November 21, 2018

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans.
1. Match preliminaries
Dave Shedloski on some of the action from the pre-Match festivities and associated ribbing.
  • “Very little news emerged from the affair, which was shown live on WarnerMedia’s B/R Live, though the two guaranteed that the opening hole should not be missed. When the subject of their side bets was broached – in which they risk their own money for charity – Mickelson layed out $100,000 that he could make birdie on the par-4 first hole. Woods responded by telling the left-hander to double the bet. What ensued was easily the most entertaining moment of the 45-minute chat.”
  • “Did you see how I baited him like that,” Mickelson crowed. “So, $200,000 I make birdie on the first hole.”
2. Mell makes the case for equal pay
The Golf Channel columnist argues against the pay gap between the PGA and LPGA Tours.
  • “Yes, women don’t draw the gate, TV audiences and media interest the men do, but they’re still climbing out of the ancient hole they started in, still battling thinking that limits views of what is possible.”
  • “There have been spectacular breakthroughs for females in sport, where the attention paid to women surpassed the men. The U.S. Open women’s tennis final drew more TV viewers in the United States than the men’s final did five times in this decade. The excitement the U.S. women’s soccer team has created at the World Cup stands as another example of what’s possible. So do Korean women in golf, whose popularity helps the women’s majors draw larger TV ratings than all the other men’s majors televised in South Korea, including the Masters.”
  • “More and more, women in golf are talking about the gender pay gap in their sport, not just in the prize money offered, but in endorsement opportunities. The tone ranges from frustration to anger to resignation.”
3. CH III talks with WRX
Our Johnny Wunder talked with Charles Howell III about his equipment switch and 11-year victory drought.
A few morsels...JW: Let’s talk about the golf ball. You go from a 2017 Pro V1x and you transition into the new Pro V1 proto…
“CH III: I loved everything about the Pro V1x ball off the driver and the 3-wood. Now, when the [2019 Pro V1] came out, what I found out was that I gave up no ball speed whatsoever, but I picked up a little bit of a softer feel and a little more spin around the greens. So for me, right away that was a home run. Now, I say that knowing that touch and feel around the green is highly player dependent. For me, I prefer a bit of a softer feel…I could find you 10 guys who prefer a firmer Pro V1x feel around the greens…but the cool thing was that I didn’t give up any ball speed with the driver whatsoever.”
“JW: Let’s talk a little bit about the last 11 years. We talked a little bit on the podcast with you about expectations and what you went through to get back to the winner’s circle. Just kind of man to man, how difficult was it at times. – knowing how good you are and being such an amazing player and then going on a drought like that – how difficult was that?”
“CH III: You know, there were a lot of times where I questioned everything I did from how I practiced, to how I prepared, to who I worked with…just everything. And eventually, I got to a point where I sat down with Grant Waite and Dana Dahlquist who I work with, and John Graham on short game, and I said, “OK, guys, do we really think that I’m doing this the right way?” And through some discussions…the answer was, “yes.” And [I said] let’s just stay the course. Let’s just keep doing this.”
“Golf’s a funny game. In Mexico, I missed the cut there, and I thought I played close to every bit as good as I did at Sea Island. I just didn’t quite score as well. That shows you how razor thin-edged this game is. You miss a cut, then you win a golf tournament. I think the most challenging part of the game is staying the course with stuff that you truly believe in and giving it time to work out, because it’s such a results driven game, and you want results yesterday. Between social media and the way golf is covered now, it’s “results, results, results.” I think the challenge is to stay patient amongst all that.”
4. TW likes trash talk
More pre-Match chatter…
  • Golfweek’s Dan Kilbridge…”Woods was asked if he’s more comfortable with this scene than people realize….'”When it comes to competing and talking a little bit, yeah. I do this quite a bit, it’s just that at tournaments you may not see it,” Woods said. “I’ve enjoyed playing practice rounds and do it a lot at home. A lot of guys on Tour either when I lived in Orlando or now in Jupiter, we go out and play and there’s always some denominations involved, always needling involved. … There’s non-stop banter and always trying to one-up another and chide one another. And I’ve always enjoyed it.”‘
  • “Mickelson, who spent a good part of the afternoon talking about Woods’ unique brand of trash talk, piped up….”It’s an important part of competition,” Mickelson said. “You have to learn how to compete and play your best under pressure and that’s the best way to do it, to have money matches against other good players.”‘
5. Singh v. Tour settled
Not a lot of details at this point, but the deer antler spray saga has come to an end.
  • AP Report...”Vijay Singh has settled his lawsuit against the PGA Tour over how it investigated his use of deer antler spray, ending more than five years of litigation less than a week before the case was to go to trial in New York.”
  • “Terms of the settlement announced Tuesday were not disclosed….”I’m very happy for Vijay that the matter has been resolved,” said Jeffrey Rosenblum, one of his attorneys.”
  • “Rosenblum declined further comment because of a confidentiality agreement. The PGA Tour said in a statement that the settlement reflects a mutual commitment to move forward “as we put this matter behind us.”
6. The most important measure of Tiger-Phil
AP column (presumably Doug Ferguson)
  • “There is no downside to Woods and Mickelson squaring off in a pay-per-view event on a beautiful golf course at Shadow Creek that everyone seems to know but hardly anyone has seen. But when the biggest upside is that there’s no downside, selling it becomes an uphill battle.:
  • “There will be plenty of talking, and Mickelson is rarely without words. There will be side action. That’s part of what makes this different from the “Showdown at Sherwood,” a Monday night exhibition between Woods and David Duval in 1999 when they were in their prime and battling for No. 1 in the world.”
  • “The question is whether it has a future.”
7. Gratitude
The folks at Golf Digest have put together a list of 20 things in golf to be grateful for ahead of tomorrow’s holiday.
Here are a few.
  • Right-edge putts
  • Marshals that let you sneak off the back
  • Gimme putts
  • Slow players who wave you through
  • Anytime Bryson goes full Bill Nye
  • Buddies’ trips
  • The friend who has the in at every local club
8. The European Team’s 15th Club
An interesting piece from Sean Ingle at the The Guardian on victorious Ryder Cup captain, Thomas Bjorn’s reliance on golf consultants 15th Club.
  • “Times have changed – a bit – since Michael Lewis wrote Moneyball but many in sport still prefer to trust their gut over any algorithm. Which is why a tweet last week from Thomas Bjørn, Europe’s 2018 Ryder Cup captain, was so unusual. After linking to apiece titled “How analytics helped reclaim the Ryder Cup”, written by Blake Wooster of the golf consultancy 15th Club, an enthusiastic Bjørn wrote “Stick to the plan!!! These guys played a vital role. Thanks for your hard work.”
  • “Bjørn, it turned out, had embraced data and analytics as “a useful addition to his toolbox” shortly after being named captain in December 2016, when he asked 15th Club whether he should pick two, three or four wildcards. The answer? Four. Because the data showed wildcards tend to perform better than those who qualify in the last couple of automatic spots. And so began a relationship that culminated in Europe’s thumping17½ – 10½ victory over USA in September.”
9. Meanwhile, at Metro…
The World Cup of Golf is having a little trouble getting off the ground this year.
  • AP Report…”Organizers of the 28-team event at Metropolitan Golf Club have moved up tee times by an hour for Thursday’s first round of the 72-hole stroke-play tournament that features fourballs (best ball) and foursomes (alternate shot) over two rounds each.”
  • “Heavy rain is in the forecast beginning in the early afternoon Thursday….Wednesday was mostly sunny after a big storm hit the course on Tuesday evening, bringing with it hail, high winds and plenty of rain.”
Here’s hoping things dry out at the revered sandbelt track.

 

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Vijay Singh and PGA Tour settle anti-doping lawsuit

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In what has been one of the longest legal disputes the game of golf has seen, Vijay Singh and the PGA Tour have reached a settlement over Singh’s anti-doping suspension.

It was five years ago that the PGA Tour suspended Singh after the Fijian opened up to Sports Illustrated magazine about his use of deer antler spray, which contained a substance banned under the PGA Tour Anti-Doping Policy. The initial three-month suspension was overturned, but the 55-year old then opened legal proceedings against the PGA Tour, claiming his reputation had been damaged.

After five years of litigation, and less than a week before the case was set to go to trial in New York, Singh and the PGA Tour released a joint statement on Tuesday which declared that the matter had now been settled.

“The PGA Tour and Vijay Singh are pleased to announce that we have resolved our prior dispute. The settlement reflects our mutual commitment to look to the future as we put this matter behind us. The PGA Tour fully supports Vijay as he continues to be a true champion on the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions.

“The PGA Tour recognizes that Vijay is one of the hardest working golfers ever to play the game, and does not believe that he intended to gain an unfair advantage over his fellow competitors in this matter. Vijay fully supports the PGA Tour’s Anti-Doping Program and all efforts to protect the integrity of the game that he loves so much.”

Both parties have stated that the terms of the settlement will not be made public.

 

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