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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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Tour Rundown: Pepperell wins the British masters, Leishman wins in Malaysia, Langer wins again

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October, and the trees are stripped bare, of all they wear. U2

Perhaps it’s due to its status as my birth month, or something larger and deeper. October is a raw month, as April was cruel for Eliot. It is raw in its golf, too. Of the four events played this week, only one took place in the USA. Touring professionals left the summer of majors behind, to journey globally, in search of answers and questions. They went to Malaysia, England and Korea (and let’s not forget, North Carolina.) Names both familiar and emerging claimed trophies, and the game marched on. Here’s a Sunday rundown of all things tour, mid-October.

CIMB in Malaysia in Leishman’s hands

Marc Leishman’s brilliance with golf cudgels is know well to his touring brethren. To the golfing public, which measures fame in little more than major victories, he is an enigma. And here was Leishman, on Sunday at Kuala Lumpur, schooling playing partner Gary Woodland and the rest of the field with a brilliant 65. There were lower scores, but just barely (a pair of 64s.) Leishman had 62 earlier in the week, but was a wee bit overlooked, as Woodland had 61 the same day. On Sunday, there was no mistaking the two. Leishman rushed from the gate with birdies on hole 2 through 5, scarcely glancing rearward at the trailers. He summited 26 strokes beneath par, equalling the tournament record and placing him five clear of the runners-up. Woodland tried to keep pace, but fell off the rails midway through the inward half. 3 bogeys in 5 holes did him in, dropping him back to a tie for 5th at -20. 2nd spot on the podium belonged to the american trio of Emiliano Grillo (Argentina), Chesson Hadley and Bronson Burgoon (both USA). The victory compelled Leishman to 2nd spot on the young FedEx Cup list for 2018-19.

Hana Bank belongs to Dumbo

If In Gee Chun had her way, the golfer nicknamed Dumbo would scamper off by gobs of strokes with each tournament. Owner of an unfortunate 0-3 record in LPGA Tour playoffs, the Korean golfer wants no part of extra holes. While 3rd-round leader Charley Hull of England struggled with birdie-bogey runs, Chun birdied 4 of her first 6 holes and separated herself by 3 strokes from the field. Out in 31, she resisted the lure of a 10th-hole bogey and added 2 more birdies to reach 16-under par. Hull and company could not close the gap, and the Englishwoman settled for 2nd at -13. Chun began the week with matching 70s, to place herself inside the top 20, but not yet a threat. Her weekend was nearly flawless, as she matched 66s on Saturday and Sunday, to emerge from the multitude. The win was her first, non-major victory on the LPGA Tour, coming after triumphs at the 2015 US Open and the 2016 Evian Championship.

Ace, Ace, Baby propels Pepperell to British Masters title

It was a rugged, mucky affair on Sunday at Walton Heath, born of the talented hand of architect Herbert Fowler. Eddie Pepperell, who spends a fair amount of time mucking around on Twitter, was the man for the job. He began the day at -9, and ended the day at that figure. Most times, even par gets you nowhere on tour; on this particular Sunday, it got you to the top of the podium. Pepperell had four eagles on the week, including an ace on Thursday and the hole-out below for a deuce on Sunday. The winner made a massive putt for par on 14, which probably saved his round. He bogeyed 15 and 16 to let Alexander Bjork into the tournament. The Swede was unable to capitalize, bogeying 18 to offer Pepperell a 2-stroke advantage at the home hole. The Englishman finished in proper form, getting up and down for par from a greenside bunker to win by a pair.

By the way, if you want a crack at Fowler in North America, visit Eastward Ho! on Cape Cod (which he built) or Pebble Beach, whose 18th hole he extended to its current glory.

SAS Championship almost never in doubt for Bernhard Langer

Bernhard Langer made a single bogey in 54 holes this week. The inconceivable occurrence happened precisely at the midway point of the tournament, on the 27th hole of SAS Championship. Astronomers at the Arecibo observatory in Puerto Rico acknowledged a slight orbital shift at that very moment, while CERN scientists reported … oh, never mind. Langer had made 8 birdies in 9, back-nine holes on Friday for 29 on the par-37 side. It was ultimately his week, although Gene Sauers kept pace for a while. The duo matched 62-67 through 36 holes, but Sunday was all Germany. Langer had 7 birdies on the day for 65, leaving him 6 strokes clear of 2nd-place Scott Parel. Sauers struggled in round three, tumbling all the way to a tie for 5th spot, after a +3 75.

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How a broken 6-iron changed Eddie Pepperell’s 2018

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When Eddie Pepperell was scrambling around local golf shop Auchterlonies in Scotland on the week of The Open Championship looking for an emergency replacement shaft for his 6-iron, he probably didn’t believe that moment would change the trajectory of his 2018. That incident, however, played a considerable role in Pepperell’s wire-to-wire victory at last week’s British Masters.

In Scotland, Pepperell had his 6-iron fitted with the KBS C-Taper shaft, and according to Mizuno’s Matt McIsaac, at The Open that week, he hit his 6-iron better than any other club over the four days on his way to a T6 finish.

Fast-forward to last week’s British Masters, and on the Monday of the event, the Englishman was to have a filming session with Mizuno where the company would demonstrate to him its shaft optimizer.  Pepperell was then taken through Mizuno’s 3-swing diagnostic process, where lo and behold they recommended the KBS C-Taper shaft to him.

Described as “very much a feel player” by McIsaac, Pepperell equipped himself that day with a new set of JPX 919 Tour irons, with KBS C Taper shafts, and then went on to win the British Masters just a few days later.

What should we glean from this story? Well according to Matt McIsaac, it’s that there is a best fit shaft out there for everyone.

“There’s a ‘best fit’ shaft for everyone – for Eddie; it was the KBS C Taper – for someone else it will be the S Taper.  Wait for the moment when you’re open to improvement, throw away your preconceptions and try the Optimizer.  It doesn’t know if you’re male, female a tour winner or a 24 hcp – just measures your move and finds the best shaft for it.”

With last week’s victory, Pepperell, who sat 133rd in the Official World Golf Rankings at the beginning of the year, is now ranked 33rd in the world and looks assured of a place at Augusta National next year for the Masters.

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GolfWRX Morning 9: UnLeished: Malaysia edition | New theories on BK vs. DJ | King-Collins’ time?

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1. UnLeished in Malaysia
Somehow, Marc Leishman remains unheralded. Thrice a winner in the past two seasons, the big Australian, No. 16 in the world, is eminently deserving of his due
  • AP Report…”Leishman shot a 7-under 65 in the final round to win the CIMB Classic Sunday by five strokes and equal the tournament course record.”
  • “The Australian was in fine form as he strolled to his fourth PGA Tour title and matched Justin Thomas’ tournament record of 26-under 262 in 2015 on the PGA Kuala Lumpur West course.
  • “Leishman started strongly with four birdies in the first five holes, before turning in another long birdie putt on the ninth for 31.”
  • ‘Two more birdies on the 10th and 16th followed and sandwiched his lone bogey at the 13th, before he birdied the final hole and celebrated with a fist pump.”
2. Pepperell resurgent
Golfweek’s Alistair Tait with the context…”Hard to believe Eddie Pepperell had to return to the European Tour Qualifying School at the end of 2016, and was outside the top 500 in the world in May last year. Now he’s a two-time European Tour winner and a world top 40 player.”
  • “The 27-year-old is looking forward to his Masters debut after victory in the $4 million Sky Sport British Masters at Walton Heath, his second European Tour victory, and second of the season following the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in February. Pepperell led wire to wire, returning a level-par 72 in the final round for a 9-under 279 to grind out a one-shot victory over Sweden’s Alexander Bjork.”
  • “The first-place check of $658,000 takes Pepperell to seventh on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, and into the top 40 of the Official World Golf Ranking.”
3. Chun’s 14th
In the midst of its Asian Swing like the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour saw In Gee Chun hoist the trophy at the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship at SKY72 Golf & Resort, Ocean Course for her first victory of the year and her first W since the 2016 Evian Championship.
  • LPGA.com report...”The 24-year-old South Korean native carded seven birdies, along with a lone bogey, to finish three strokes clear of 54-hole leaders Charley Hull, who placed second, and Danielle Kang, who was four shots adrift.”
  • “Before this week, I won 13 times as a professional,” said Chun, who clinched the third LPGA win of her career. “I am glad that I am done with the No. 13. I really hate that number.
4. Reminder: Bernhard Langer is still the king of senior golf
In case you’d forgotten…
John Strege writes…”It was only an illusion, the appearance that Bernhard Langer, at 61, had begun his initial descent to age-induced mediocrity. His six-shot victory in the SAS Championship on Sunday put that notion to rest.”
  •  “It was his second victory of the season (he has finished second five times), second in the SAS Championship (he won in 2012) and his 38th on the PGA Tour Champions, second only to Hale Irwin’s 45.”
  • “Langer shot a seven-under par 65 at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary, N.C., equaling the lowest round of the day. He played 54 holes in a tournament record 22-under par 194. Scott Parel finished second by also shooting a 65, while Langer’s 36-hole co-leader Gene Sauers shot a three-over 75 and tied for fifth.”
5. Golf’s most improved
David Dusek calculated the calculations, analyzed the algorithms, and dissected the digits to determine the Tour’s most improved players.
  • Harris English, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Nicholas Lindhelm, and Patton Kizzire top the list in imroved SG:T2G play.
6. More about DJ vs. BK
The Forecaddie digs into one of the lingering mysteries from Le Golf National…
  • “The Forecaddie has asked around and thanks to two eyewitnesses, can confirm Koepka’s assertion that there are no issues between his gym buddy and good friend Johnson. Turns out, Koepka may be up for Nobel Peace Prize consideration down the road since TMOF hears he was preventing his pal getting into a more serious brouhaha with someone at the party.”
  • “While Koepka might have been the subject of DJ ire for a few seconds after intervening, the light tussling between them understandably led to multiple eyewitnesses confirming the Telegraph report of a fight between them to Golf Digest. But The Forecaddie’s ears, and even Furyk in a Golf Channel interview last week, confirmed Koepka was acting as a friend in getting Johnson to cool off. Koepka, the U.S. Open and PGA Champion and probably the only person capable of corralling Johnson, ushered him off to a cab for a late-night fresh air spin around Versailles and away from the Ryder Cup team hotel bedlam.”
A new mystery is born! Who was DJ so mad at? TMOF has heard whispers but isn’t saying…
7. A breakthrough for King-Collins?
I interviewed Rob Collins in 2015 and have been a fan of the man and his work ever since
At the time of the interview, Sweetens Cove’s architect thought business was about to pick up for the firm.
Golfweek’s Martin Kaufmann suggests there could soon be fire where there has been much smoke…”Even in the current environment, in which few new courses are being built and architects are more focused on renovations and restorations, one would have thought King and Collins already would have parlayed Sweetens Cove into additional assignments. Collins insists he and King are close to a breakthrough.”
“We have got a bunch of irons in the fire,” Collins said recently while driving to Mississippi to watch his nephew’s high school football game. “We’ve got more inquiries right now than we’ve ever had.”
“The design team – Collins is the architect, while King oversees construction – is working with PGA Tour player Zac Blair on plans for The Buck Club, Blair’s dream club in Utah, though a timeframe for that project has not been announced. Collins is hopeful that he and King will start a nine-hole renovation project in New York soon, and he said the pair has had nibbles on proposed jobs in South Carolina and Michigan. Collins also mentioned tentative talks regarding a 100-acre site near Knoxville, where he dreams of building something like El Boquerón, the mythical Alister MacKenzie design with two greens per hole.”
8. Tree tattle tale
Scanning the latest arboreal happenings in Maryland, and, oh boy…
Golf Digest’s Joel Beall writes…”According to the Washington Post, Congressional, past home to U.S. Opens and future site of the PGA Championship and Ryder Cup, has been cited by inspectors in Maryland’s Montgomery County for failing to obtain a permit for tree removal. The Post reports that officials discovered “over 20,000 sq. ft. of tree canopy” had been trimmed from the property.”
  • “Inspectors technically received notice from Helen Wood, a board member of the environmental nonprofit organization Conservation Montgomery. “We all have a stake, really, in their trees,” Wood told the Post.
  • “However, Wood was tipped off on the club’s dealings by someone on the inside. Specifically, a Congressional member who was fed up with the new look…”I am [upset] because they’re ruining my club,” the member told the Post, speaking on anonymity because, let’s be honest, this person is losing his/her membership once their identity’s revealed. “I think they don’t want members to fuss. I think it [was] also quietly done so it didn’t draw attention from the county.”
9. All credit to mum
Sounds like Eddie Pepperell’s mother played a vital role in his British Masters win. Cheers, Mrs. Pepperell. .
  • Phil Casey of the Belfast Telegraph writes…”Pepperell’s three-shot overnight lead was down to a single stroke when he three-putted the ninth – where he enjoyed a hole-in-one on Thursday – and Bjork covered the front nine in 34.”
  • “However, Pepperell then promptly holed his second shot to the 10th from 122 yards for an eagle to move three clear and, although bogeys on the 15th and 16th set up a nervous finish, the 27-year-old from Oxfordshire saved par from a bunker on the last to seal a deserved win.”
  • “The credit for the eagle goes to my mum Marian because she gave me some mittens as I was walking off the 10th tee,” Pepperell joked. “I didn’t swing it well and it was a grind.”

 

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