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GolfWRX Morning 9: The handshake snub heard ’round the world | DJ the honorary Canadian

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In case you 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 30, 2018

Good Monday morning, golf fans. Trying a little different formatting this morning…no bolding or bulleting. Let me know if it’s better the other way/worse/doesn’t really make a difference.
1. DeChambeau’s brief handshake
Bryson DeChambeau looked well on his way to capturing the Porsche European Open, Sunday. Instead, he went 5 over for his final four holes and final-round 6-over 78.
DeChambeau’s fall allowed journeyman Richard McEvoy to hoist his first trophy. However, the feel-good story of a long-time pro winning for the first time was unfortunately trumped by something else: an apparent snub from DeChambeau as he exited the 18th green.
DeChambeau later offered this apology via Instagram: I apologize to Richard McEvoy and the fans for my brevity on 18. He is a class act, worthy champion and I enjoyed playing with him the past two days.”
2. Canadian Open
PGATour.com report…
“Johnson birdied all four of the par fives at Glen Abbey Golf Club en route to a 6-under-par 66, and captured his third event of the season by three shots over Whee Kim and Byeong Hun An.
He retained his spot on top of the FedExCup standings with the victory. It was his 19th-career TOUR win, all since 2008. He topped Tiger Woods’ record of 18 in the last decade, and the significance of his accomplishment wasn’t lost on Johnson.”
“Obviously I’m doing something very well,” he said. “To even be mentioned in the same sentence as Tiger means a lot. What he’s done for the game, the things he’s done in the game. No one is ever really going to get to that level.”
“Johnson, who was buoyed by Canadian crowd support all week long – a chant of “Let’s Go DJ” broke out as he was walking to the 18th green – and said he felt like an “honorary Canadian.” The fans even sang a rendition of “O Canada,” the country’s national anthem, at Johnson – who grew up in South Carolina and lives in Florida.”
3. Ariya gets a (big) links win
Keely Levins writes…”It’s created an odd dynamic where anyone on tour could win at any time, while at the same time with so many different winners, it feels nearly impossible to stand out.”
“If there is one player, though, who might rise above the sea of talent and begin to take control, it’s Ariya Jutanugarn. With her one-shot win over Minjee Lee on Sunday at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open, the 22-year-old from Thailand notched her third victory of the year, and the 10th of her career.”
“Jutanugarn closed with a five-under 66 at Gullane Golf Club in East Lothian, Scotland, making just one bogey to six birdies. The win was unexpected for Jutanugarn, as she doesn’t see links golf as a strength.”
“It means a lot to me to win the tournament. I told the caddie this week, you know, what I really want to win on a links course, even one time in my life will be good. So right now my dream come true,” Jutanugarn said. (She won the 2016 Women’s British Open, but it was at Woburn Golf Club, a parkland course.)
4. Most likely to use the claret jug for its intended purpose
AP Report on Jimenez’s Senior British Triumph…”Miguel Angel Jimenez won the Senior British Open on Sunday, edging defending champion Bernhard Langer by one shot.”
“Jimenez dropped only one stroke en route to a final round 3-under 69 and ended on 12-under 276 at the historic Old Course.”
“The Spaniard played the sort of round every professional golfer dreams of on the final day at St. Andrews, and often in unpleasant – occasionally vicious – weather conditions.”
5. How the Italian Golf Federation helped Francesco Molinari
Alistair Tait with a fascinating piece
“Where the Italian system differs from the British and Irish systems is that support carries on into the professional game. Elite amateurs in the British Isles are basically cast out on their own once they jump into the money game. There also isn’t much association between elite amateurs and established professionals.”
“The Italian Golf Federation paid every expense I had when I was an amateur,” Molinari said. “When I turned professional they helped me for the first two years. When they knew I was doing well they stopped the funding to help other players.”
“Molinari benefitted from having former and current tour players to call on for advice. The Italian Federation organizes camps where tour pros and amateurs mix, with the professionals mentoring the youngsters. Indeed, when I sat down with Molinari he’d recently taken part in one such Italian Golf Federation camp where he’d mentored young amateurs.”
“Golf in Italy is quite a small environment,” Molinari said. “If you play decently then you get to know the best professionals when you’re an amateur. You know everybody. It was a really good thing for us to spend time with tour players like Alberto Binaghi and Silvio Grappasonni, because they could tell us how to think on the golf course and how to handle ourselves.”
“What the federation is doing with the amateurs and professionals gives us an advantage over other countries who don’t mix the two. The great thing about Italy is that it is one big happy family where we mix well and support each other.”
6. Tiger’s Firestonian dominance
Tiger Woods has played some decent golf at Firestone Country Club, hasn’t he? David Dusek looks at the numbers ahead of Woods/everyone’s final appearance at Firestone (the tournament is moving to Memphis next year).
“Woods has won eight times and collected three other top-5 finishes. He plays there this week for the first time since 2014.”
“Woods’ first three victories at Firestone – in 1999, 2000 and 2001 – pre-date ShotLink, the PGA Tour’s shot-tracking system, so there are no strokes gained statistics for them. It is known, however, that in those events Woods averaged 302, 320 and 311 yards per tee shot. Also known is that in the 1999 tournament, he hit 74 percent of the greens in regulation, and in 2000 and 2001 he hit 72 percent.”
“Strokes gained tee-to-green compares a player’s performance against the field average in every shot hit from off the putting green. In Woods’ five ShotLink-era wins (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2013), his rank in strokes gained tee-to-green has been third, third, first, second and third. Not too shabby.”
7. Golfers go to sea?
Here’s an interesting one…
“Gene Meehan’s latest venture is Blue World Voyages, a nascent cruise line that plans to carve out a niche serving people with active lifestyles. Blue World plans to place a big emphasis on golf. The company recently signed Hank Haney Golf to create onboard programs and help oversee tournaments at various ports.”
“In November, Blue World Voyages will begin retrofitting a nine-deck, 900-passenger vessel to accommodate 350 passengers. An entire deck will be devoted to sports. That will include two golf simulators, a putting green and pro shop, and a teaching pro from Haney’s staff. The deck also will be outfitted with batting cages, soccer simulators, studios for yoga, spinning and TRX, and other facilities.”
“Despite the onboard amenities, Meehan said Blue Voyage plans to dock for longer periods than is normal in the industry, allowing guests to spend more time on land playing golf, hiking, biking and exploring various destinations.”
Meehan said Blue World would like to have 20 to 30 golfers weekly, with the goal of playing three courses during a seven-day itinerary. Meehan envisions scheduling tournaments in various ports, then inviting the club members back to the ship for a meal.”

8. Trump courses

AP Report…”U.S. President Donald Trump’s family business partially destroyed legally protected sand dunes in Scotland when it built a golf course north of Aberdeen, according to government reports released in response to a freedom of information request.”
“Scottish Natural Heritage, which monitors the country’s sensitive and scientifically important sites, found that construction of Trump International Golf Links Scotland “led to the direct loss” of up to 68 hectares (168 acres) of the 205-hectare Foveran Links site.”
“The damaged and destroyed drifts, one of the best examples of moving sand dunes in Britain, developed over 4,000 years, according to the agency.”
9. DJ the mountie
For your viewing pleasure (no disrespect to my Canadian Morning 9ers).
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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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