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GolfWRX Morning 9: Tom Watson on the distance debate | Why don’t Canadians win the Canadian Open?

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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.

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

 

July 27, 2018

Good Friday morning, golf fans. .
1. Watson: make the ball bigger
Tom Watson, British Open maestro that he is, had some interesting things to say ahead of the Senior Open this week.
  • Via John Huggan at Golf Digest…”The biggest change in the [professional] game has been the golf ball. You can say players swing faster because they work out and they are stronger. Yeah, that’s an element. But when they changed the golf ball in 2001 it was 29 yards different. Let’s say you hit drives on 14 holes, that’s over 400 extra yards. Add the extra distance you get with the irons and that’s maybe another 100 yards. So the course is 500 yards shorter.”
  • “And the solution? It is actually one that has been used before. Thirty-five years or so after the world of golf outside the United States switched from the 1.62 inch diameter ball to one 0.06 inches bigger-and so lost maybe 20 yards from drives as a result-Watson and Feherty approve of a repeat.”
  • “You could have one ball for the pros and let the amateurs play with anything they want,” Watson said. “Or you could play one ball in major amateur championships, as well as the professional tours. Yeah, we could do that. But I like Feherty’s response to it. I was talking to David at the Masters. He said: ‘Just make the ball bigger. That will make up the difference in distance.'”
2. Robert on the rocks

AP Report..“Robert Garrigus made a birdie after a rock saved his ball from water and had a one-stroke lead at 9-under 63 on Thursday when play in the RBC Canadian Open was suspended because of dangerous weather.”

  • “Hit it right in the middle of the water, and it hit a rock and bounced over the thing,” Garrigus said about the break on the par-5 13th…The American wasn’t as fortunate on Nos. 10 and 17 at rain-softened Glen Abbey.”
  • “Could have been 59 there if a couple putts didn’t lip out,” Garrigus said.
  • He made five straight birdies on Nos. 2-6, and birdied four of the last six holes — three of them par 5s.”
3. Why hasn’t a Canadian won the Canadian Open since ’54? Who knows.

Cameron Morfit says the answer to the question is unclear.

  • “As for Canada, though, it’s complicated. Patrick Oswald Fletcher was the last Canadian to win the Canadian Open in 1954, making him the first from the Great White North to win the tournament since 1914 and, ahem, not exactly opening the floodgates. Yes, Oswald acted alone. (Sorry.) Mike Weir nearly won in ’04, but Canada wept as Singh drained an eight-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole, then beat Weir in a playoff.”
  • “It’s going to end at some point,” Weir said of the streak when it reached its 60-year anniversary in 2014. “… It would be nice to get the streak over so we don’t have to talk about it.”
  • “On the plus side, there are 21 Canadians in the field this week. They are led by favorite son Weir and Adam Hadwin, who won the Valspar Championship last year and comes to Glen Abbey at a respectable 61st in the FedExCup. All four Monday qualifiers this week were Canadian.”
4. Reed vs. the camera crew
“I’m not going [hitting the ball] until y’all get the heck out of here,” Patrick Reed told a camera crew during the first round of the European Tour’s Porsche European Open in Germany.
  • Standing over his ball at Green Eagle’s 10th hole, the Golf Channel’s Instagram post shows Reed’s caddie, Kessler Karain motioning to someone and gesturing.
  • “You’re rattling change in your pocket. That’s why I’m pointing at you for,” Kerrain says forcefully.
  • Reed eventually says, “He lost privileges by going like that [rattling it in his pocket] with change],” before sending the crew further away.

See the video here.

5. Tiger in for the Bridgestone


Not like he was ever
going to say no if he qualified…

  • Via Golf Digest…”a computing error was discovered, which bumped the 14-time major winner to No. 50 in the world rankings, thus earning an invite to Firestone.”
  • “On Thursday, Woods and his team officially committed to the tournament’s final stop in Northeast Ohio, which begins next week.”
  • “The Firestone confines have been friendly to Woods throughout his career. The 42-year-old has eight wins at the tournament, along with a runner-up finish and a total of 12 top-10 finishes in 15 starts. Alas, next week marks Tiger’s last chance to add to the trophy case from the Akron event, as the championship is moving to Memphis in 2019.”
6. How to totally lose your golf game
Funny stuff from Tony at Hooked on Golf
  • “No matter how bad you play golf, it can always get worse. You can quote me on that.  Here is the special Hooked on Golf Blog top 10 list to help you ruin what little golf game you have left”
  1. Play in a corporate or charity scramble. Please NEVER invite me to these.
  2. Take a lesson.
  3. Practice on mats. You can’t miss a shot. Seriously!
  4. Listen to the advice you got from the hack on the driving range wearing no shirt
  5. Buy the same golf clubs as the latest PGA Tour winner. WITB – What’s in the bag?
  6. Buy golf training aids on ebay. I recommend a $5 golf club stand a.k.a. tomato stand.
  7. Play in a group of bad golfers.
  8. Over-activate your glutes.
  9. Spend all your time practicing golf trick shots and posting them on your social networks, instead of practicing how to play golf.
  10. Play by the rules, if you actually know them.
7. JD: 69
Via Golf Channel…”It was looking a lot like 1995 on Thursday at the Old Course – at least for a few hours.”
  • “John Daly, who won the ’95 Open Championship at St. Andrews, got off to a brilliant start in Round 1 of The Senior Open. After a bogey at the second, he made birdie at the par-4 third and then made eagle-3 at the par-5 fifth. He continued that run with birdies on Nos. 6 and 7, and then added another at the par-3 11th.”
  • “Daly was at 5 under par and challenging for the lead. But the inward nine proved more difficult as players turned into a stiff wind. Daly bogeyed the 12th and 15th holes and parred in for a 3-under 69. He finished the day four shots off the lead, held by Kirk Triplett.”
8. Joh yeah
The eternally entertaining Tiffany Joh took a four-shot lead after a stunning opening-round 62 at the Ladies Scottish Open.
  • She made nine birdies. “I pretty much kept it in play and putted amazing,” Joh told the Ladies European Tour website. “I didn’t feel like I hit it particularly well, but I left it in the right places and had a hot putter.”
9. Club Pro Guy on tour?

Stephen Hennesey at Golf Digest with the news…”One-handed rakes, punch-out club twirls and Mexican drug cartel run-ins appear like they’re coming to the Web.com Tour’s Kansas City event in a few weeks. The tour announced on Wednesday that they have extended a special exemption into next week’s KC Golf Classic’s Monday qualifier to the Club Pro Guy, one of the best follows in golf social media.”

  • “Any golfer on social media likely follows the Club Pro Guy, a hilarious parody account run anonymously but has accumulated 60,000 followers for his dead-on humor about all things golf. The former Mexican mini-tour star has appeared on the Golf Channel a handful of times, in the pages of Golf Digest and on podcasts like No Laying Up and the Tour Junkies.”

“But every time, he’s managed to keep his identity unknown-with the Golf Channel blurring out his face. If Club Pro Guy does, in fact, take up the Web.com Tour on this offer, he’ll be showing his face in public. And we’re sure folks will share it on social media, knowing the fascination there is among CPG’s fan base.”

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  1. Donald

    Jul 27, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Canadians don’t have golf ball brains… they got hockey puck brains… and only the puny and old play golf in Canada. Curiously, Canada has many more golf courses per capita than the USA… go figure.

  2. Omm

    Jul 27, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    It doesn’t have its own league of anything. Why do Canadian teams play in the US? NHL, MLS, NBA, NFL, MLB. Why doesn’t Canada separate itself from the US, and then may be its national pride and nationality will be stronger to spur on proper Canadian nationals to represent its “ country.” Of course you also should quit being a part of the Commonwealth if you want to be taken seriously as an independent nation.

    • Omm

      Jul 27, 2018 at 6:21 pm

      And lets not forget that the Canadian Open is a PGA of America event. lol

    • Donald

      Jul 27, 2018 at 9:52 pm

      Canada is a parasite country that depends on the USA for it’s existence. Annex the place and end their confusion and misery.

  3. Omm

    Jul 27, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    It can’t make up its mind on whether to speak English or French

    • Donald

      Jul 27, 2018 at 9:48 pm

      Oh, mostly speak English but are governed by the Fremch from Quebec. They are not a melting pot country like the USA… they are multi-cultural and have ethnic ghettoes splitting up the cities and country. Canada is a real basket case country that leaches off the USA… no more.

  4. Omm

    Jul 27, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    Canada is not a country is why.

    • Donald

      Jul 27, 2018 at 9:50 pm

      It’s like a slime coating on top of the USA. Annex them and put them out of their Fremch misery.

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Former TaylorMade CEO Mark King “is taking over” at Honma

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Mark King is coming back to the golf equipment business. The former TaylorMade CEO, who was with the company in various capacities for 30 years, told Golf Digest he’ll be working with Honma Golf as a consultant.

The title doesn’t capture the scope of King’s role, however, as he’ll reportedly be at the helm of company strategy and direct and expansion into North America.

“He’s in charge,” a former Honma employee told Golf Digest anonymously. “It’s been in the works for awhile. Mark’s taking over everything.”

King announced he was stepping down from his role as president of Adidas North America in April, telling Digest he didn’t intend to return to the equipment business, but he was so impressed with Honma’s operation, he was eager to be involved.

“Listen, I was ready to retire, I wasn’t really looking to do anything,” King said. “But as this was presented to me by Chairman Liu, I could see he has big plans and a big vision. I really found it exciting because it is not TaylorMade or Callaway or Cobra or Titleist or Ping. This is a much different brand with very different price points and a fascinating story when it comes to technology and craftsmanship. This is a totally different experience.”

High-end Honma has a minimal footprint in North America, but it seems King and company intend to change that. King, who oversaw impressive growth, experimentation, innovation, ever-shrinking product cycles, and glittering launches at TaylorMade says Honma is planning a major launch for January and plans to have a strong tour presence.

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GolfWRX Morning 9: 59! | Tiger’s caddie pays a bribe | High schooler the next Scotty Cameron?

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

August 17, 2018

Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1. 59
Brandt Snedeker, as you’ve surely heard by now, fired an opening-round 59 at the Wyndham Championship. It’s the 10th sub-60 round in Tour history.
  • AP Report…”He made a 20-foot putt on his final hole to become the 10th player in TOUR history to break 60. Jim Furyk set the record with a 58 in the final round of the Travelers Championship in 2016…”I better be smiling,” Snedeker said. “I don’t do this every day.”
  • “This is the third consecutive year the PGA TOUR has had a sub-60 round. Snedeker is the first to shoot 59 since Adam Hadwin in the third round of the 2017 Careerbuilder Challenge.”
  • “It gave him a four-stroke lead after one round. Ryan Moore and John Oda shot 63s, and Martin Flores, D.A. Points, Brett Stegmaier, David Hearn, Abraham Ancer, Ollie Schniederjans and Jonathan Byrd had 64s.”
  • “Snedeker – who said a day earlier that the tournament would turn into a “birdie-fest” – began the round at par-70 Sedgefield Country Club with a bogey at No. 10, and took off from there. He played the front nine in 27, including an eagle 2 on the par-4 sixth hole when he holed out from 176 yards.”
2. U.S. Am
A few notable match reports, advancements from AmateurGolf.com
  • “Cole Hammer (Houston, TX), who made history on Tuesday by becoming just the fifth player to medal in the Western Am and U.S. Am in the same year, survived a game challenge by Joshua McCarthy (Danville, CA) with a 1 up win. McCarthy won holes 12-14 to take a 1 up lead in the match, but bogeyed the next two holes to allow Hammer to retake the lead and close it out at the 18th.”
  • “The other stroke play medalist wasn’t as fortunate. Daniel Hillier (New Zealand) ran into a hot Davis Riley (Hattiesburg, MS) and fell 5&4.”
  • “Riley will next face Mason Overstreet (Kingfisher, OK), who ended an impressive run by high school sophomore Jackson Van Paris (Pinehurst, NC) with a 3&2 win. Van Paris made some history of his own yesterday, when he became the second-youngest player ever to win a match at the U.S. Amateur (the youngest being none other than Bobby Jones).”
3. LaCava pays a bribe

Joe LaCava called into ESPN’s “Golic and Wingo” and told a tale of paying of a heckler at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

LaCava said the man heckled Woods throughout his final round at the Bridgestone, and on the 14th hole, LaCava interceded, telling the man to check out action elsewhere on the course. Interestingly/absurdly, the man said he would be happy to, provided LaCava reimburse him for his ticket.

Transcript c/o ESPN.

Mike Golic: “Did you have any issues with the people at Bellerive?”

Joe LaCava: “Not at all, and you hit it right on the head, 99 percent of the guys and women are behind Tiger, pushing for Tiger. They want to see good golf in general they’re not anti-the-other-guys, but they’re certainly rooting for Tiger more so than the other guys. But, funny you guys ask that question. The week before in Akron, I had a little incident with a guy who was harassing my guy on the 14th hole at Akron the last day outside the ropes, roughening him up pretty good. And I said, hey listen bud, why do you gotta go there? Everyone’s having a good time, everyone’s pulling for Tiger. You don’t like the guy that’s one thing, but you don’t to be yelling at my guy, screaming negative stuff like that. And I said at the end of the day, if you affect him, his performance, it effects my bottomline. So he calls me a couple names and I go back and forth with the guy, and I say why don’t you just leave. And he says well if you give me $25 for the ticket that I bought today I’ll leave. And I said here you go, here’s $25.” 

Mike: “Did he leave?” 

Joe: “So I whip out $25 and he starts to go down the 14th fairway toward the green. I say look pal $25 is $25 you gotta head the other way. So he starts to head the other way, he goes 20 yards down the line, then he calls me a certain other, a swear word. So I run 20 yards back the other way and I’m going face to face with this guy. And all the sudden Tiger’s looking for a yardage, and I’m in it with this guy 20 yards down the line. So some cop has to come in, push this guy outta the way, and take him outta the tournament.

4. Jarrod Lyle tribute
A nice touch by the PGA Tour and the Wyndham Championship.
PGATour.com’s Helen Ross writes...”Sitting there on the first tee at Sedgefield Country Club were Jarrod Lyle’s golf bag, clubs and signature yellow bucket cap, a tribute to the popular Australian golfer who died last week after battling acute myeloid leukemia for 20 years.”
  • “That was awesome,” Percy said. “I was about to hit off and I was like who’s bag is that? And then I saw it and I said to Shane (Joel), who’s an Australian caddy in my group, that was pretty cool, wasn’t it, and he said, yeah, that was pretty cool. It was a nice touch.”
  • “The last PGA TOUR event Lyle played was the 2016 Wyndham Championship, and tournament officials wanted to honor his memory this week. There are also two bags in the locker room for players to sign that will be auctioned off later with the total proceeds going to Lyle’s wife Briony and their two children.”
  • “Donations to the GoFundMe page, that has already exceeded its $200,000 goal may also be made on-site at The First Tee of the Triad’s tent on Expo Row at Sedgefield. The tournament is working with all of its constituents to raise $25,000 for the cause.”
  • “”These are sad days for the PGA TOUR family,” tournament director Mark Brazil said.  “I knew Jarrod to be one of the kindest human beings on TOUR, and I know all the guys, especially the Australians, will really miss him.”
5. Lexi’s return
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell...”Lexi Thompson looked at ease, smiling and laughing in a solid start in her return to the tour Thursday at the Indy Women in Tech Championship, where she felt the benefit of her month-long break.”
  • “It was very relaxing out there,” Thompson said. “I felt very comfortable where my game was at. I just tried to go out and let my game show and not put too much pressure on myself.”
  • “Thompson, 23, the defending champ, opened with a 4-under-par 68, four shots behind Angel Yin, the early leader. Thompson skipped the Ricoh Women’s British Open two weeks ago to take a “mental break” and address emotional struggles that built up through last year’s highs and lows.”
  • Lizette Salas fired a course-record 62 to lead.
6. Renee Powell Hall
Max Adler with a superb piece of perspective.
  • He begins…”Somebody named a building after somebody. Local news, right? Not if it’s in St. Andrews. The cobblestones of those ancient Scottish streets echo the footsteps of every golfer who ever mattered, and have been worn by multitudes who mattered less but loved the game as much. When stone goes up or down in the Auld Gray Toon, eternity shakes.”
  • “The opening ceremony for Renee Powell Hall, which will have beds for the dreamy, restless, weary, intoxicated, idealistic and ambitious heads of 205 University of St. Andrews students, is set for Sept. 19. It’s over by the athletic fields, or a brisk 15-minute walk from the 17th green of the Old Course.”
  • “What legacy will become of a building named for an African-American female golfer? The toniest dorm at the university is the gothic St. Salvators, named for the savior, Jesus Christ. The fact Prince William and Kate Middleton resided there as students is merely one footnote in “Sallies” history. And the turreted red sandstone dorm you’ve seen in a million photographs and paintings, next to the gray Royal & Ancient clubhouse behind the 18th green, is Hamilton. Named for a Duke, it recently was purchased away from the university and has returned to its roots as luxury accommodation.”
7. Mark King comes to Honma
Also from the Digest folk…”Mark King, the former president and CEO of TaylorMade who transformed the golf industry’s innovation cycle and restored the company to a dominant leadership position throughout his three decades with the brand, is getting back in the golf business.”
  • “King told Golf Digest that he is serving as a consultant to Honma Golf’s chairman Liu Jianguo and will be guiding the company’s strategy as it looks to expand its presence in North America….”Honestly, I had no intention of doing anything like this,” said King, who announced he was stepping down as president of Adidas North America in April. “But when I met Chairman Liu I was so impressed with his thinking and his dreams for the company.”
8. Talking T-Squared
Our Ron Montesano talked with a high schooler whose hobby isn’t Fortnite, but rather running a putter company.
  • “I’ve coached high school golf for over 15 years, and I thought that I had run out of “firsts.” Then, Anthony Tuber, one of our varsity six, told me that he builds putters. “Sure,” I thought. You purchase the components and assemble putters. Nice hobby to have. “No, coach, I build them from scrath. We have milling machines.” If that doesn’t catch your attention, not much will.”
  • “As a coach, you encourage your golfers from a base of experience, but I don’t have any club-making experience! The last time I played around with metal was in middle-school metal shop. In this particular case, the student is the coach, and the golfer is the teacher. I’m now the proud owner of a T Squared putter, and continue to be the proud coach of Anthony Tuber. He might be the next Bob Vokey, or Scotty Cameron, but for now, he is a varsity golfer and high school student. Oh, and he happens to make putters. Rather than write a review that might be perceived as biased, I decided to do a straightforward interview with T Squared Putters. If you want to learn more, visit the company website, or follow them on Twitter and on Instagram.”
  • “Question 1: What type of research and field testing did you do, prior to building your first putter?…Prior to making our first putter we bought a bunch of putters to see what we liked and disliked about them. Then we took those putters and tested them to figure out which roll we liked the best. The roll is determined by the weight of the putter the length and the groove pattern. After we completed the testing we drew up a design and shortly after that we had our first prototypes. We then tested those prototypes and they rolled exactly how we wanted. Time went by while we used these first putters but then we really wanted to see the competition. We went to the PGA Merchandise Show and that’s where we found out that we had a superior putter.”
9. What are you doing on your lunch break?
Redditor k_boloney writes: “Me and a coworker have spent 2 lunch breaks(2 hours) walking through the woods next to a nearby golf course. These are the results of our time well spent: 52 pro v1/pro v1x, 82 course worthy balls, and 20 yard balls.”
The evidence below.
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Brandt Snedeker shoots 59 after bogeying his first hole at the 2018 Wyndham Championship

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Brandt Snedker started his first round of the 2018 Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club on the 10th hole with a drive way left off the tee, leading to a bogey. He didn’t make his first birdie until his fourth hole, actually, but from there, the flood gates were open. Snedeker birdied four holes in a row — hole nos. 13, 14, 15 and 16 — to go out in 32 (3 under).

He then SCORCHED his back nine, shooting an 8-under 27 including 6 birdies and an eagle. Certainly knowing it was for 59, Snedeker rolled in a 20-footer on his 18th hole (the course’s 9th hole). Watch the putt below.

It was by far the longest birdie putt he made on the back nine, probably because he was sticking everything to within 5 feet.

Notice the “0 feet” putt above? Yea, because he didn’t have to putt after dunking his second shot.

Where does Snedeker’s 59 stand in terms of the history books? He’s the 9th player ever to shoot 59 on the PGA Tour, and the FIRST to do so starting the round with a bogey.

Remember, even if you start with a bogey you can shoot your best round ever. Maybe not a 59 like Snedeker on Thursday of the Wyndham Championship, but don’t let that first-hole bogey get you down; there’s 17 more opportunities to make birdie — and Snedeker nearly did just that.

If you’re curious to hear what Snedker has to say about his 59, check out the Tweet embed below, or click here.

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