Connect with us

News

GolfWRX Morning 9: Rules ridiculousness comes to the U.S. Am | Round of 64 update | Lexi needs “to have a life”

Published

on

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

August 16, 2018

Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. Round of 64 notes
There were upsets aplenty in the U.S. Amateur’s Round of 64.
  • Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner notes…”The top three players in the world had a tough afternoon Wednesday at Pebble Beach…Braden Thornberry, Justin Suh and Collin Morikawa – Nos. 1-3, respectively, in the World Amateur Golf Ranking – all lost their Round of 64 matches at the U.S. Amateur.”
  • “Thornberry lost, 2 and 1, to Jesus Montenegro of Argentina. As the No. 1 amateur in the world, the Ole Miss senior was in line to receive the McCormack Medal, which would exempt him into both summer Opens in 2019, provided he remains amateur. But now he’ll need to wait and see how the rankings shake out.”
Brentley Romine on John Augenstein taking down the world No. 3: “John Augenstein lives for the big moments.”
  • “Two seasons ago, when Augenstein was a freshman, he sank the winning putt to send Vanderbilt to the final of the SEC Championship. A few weeks after that, he drained a birdie putt on the 19th hole of his NCAA Championship semifinal match. Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh always says there’s no player he’d rather have when the light are brightest.”
  • “He’s just fiery, man,” said Vanderbilt assistant coach Gator Todd. “He just does things under pressure that you’re not supposed to be able to do. He just has a knack for that.”…The legend of Johnny Clutch continued Wednesday at Pebble Beach, as the 20-year-old from Owensboro, Ky., took down the world’s third-ranked amateur, Collin Morikawa, in 19 holes during the Round of 64 at the U.S. Amateur.”
Also: Geoff Shackelford notes Stewart Hagestad ended an inglorious streak…:”Eight different times, Stewart Hagestad has played a U.S. Amateur and eight times he’s failed to make match play. So don’t blame the 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion from taking extra pleasure in his Round of 64 win over England’s Harry Hall.”
  • “The 1-up victory ended two dubious U.S. Amateur streaks for the former Walker Cup player from Newport Beach, California, and sets him up for a Round of 32 showdown with David Chatfield, a 6 and 4 winner over Ryan Smith…”It was a big personal accomplishment that had kind of been lifted,” Hagestad said of finally making match play. “I feel like I slept pretty well last night.”
2. Rules ridiculousness comes to the U.S. Am
Oh dear. The rules are the Rules, yes, but with all due respect, can’t we push an override button and inject some common sense?
Ryan Lavner (again) reports on the penalty that befell Akshay Bhatia at Pebble.
  • “Bhatia was all square against Tilley as they played Pebble Beach’s par-5 14th hole. After knocking his second shot onto the green, Bhatia and his caddie, Chris Darnell, stopped to use the restroom. Bhatia walked up to the green afterward, but Darnell asked what he thought was a USGA official for a ride up to the green.”
  • “The gentleman was wearing a USGA pullover,” Darnell explained afterward. “I asked if I could get a ride to the green to keep up pace, and he said yes. So I hopped on the back, got up to the green, hopped off and thought nothing of it.”
  • ‘Conditions of the competition prohibit players and caddies from riding on any form of transportation during a stipulated round unless authorized.”
  • “It turns out that the cart that Darnell rode on was not driven by a USGA official. Rather, it was just a volunteer wearing USGA apparel. A rules official who was in the area spotted the infraction and assessed Bhatia an adjustment penalty, so instead of winning the hole with a birdie-4 to move 1 up, the match remained all square.”
3. Lexi Thompson returns with candor aplenty
Lexi Thompson has been a high-level, highly visible professional golfer since she was 15, and her life has been centered around the game since she was five. After a grueling stretch, Thompson was understandably worn down, and took a month-long break from the game and, really, the demands of her celebrity.
  • The 23-year-old skipped last month’s Ricoh Women’s British Open. and she’ll return to competition at this week’s Indy Women in Tech Championship.
  • “I’m not just a robot out here,” she told reporters ahead of the tournament. “I need to have a life.”
  • In the past 18 months, the Coral Springs, Florida, native has dealt with her mother’s cancer, the death of her grandmother, and of course, the ANA Inspiration debacle.
  • “You can only stay strong for so long and hide it,” Thompson said.
4. Taming the driver
From his position on the Mount Rushmore of current golf scribes, Jaime Diaz penned an excellent write up concerning a fact we all know: Tiger Woods needs to sort out his driving.
  • Diaz points out, rightly, that entering the PGA Championship, “Many began to wonder whether what Nick Faldo calls the 15th club – nerve – had left Woods forever. But on Sunday at Bellerive, he proved that his mastery under pressure is still accessible.”
  • He writes that an uncooperative driver was all that stood between Woods and the Wanamaker:: “Revived, but reprised. For all of the brilliance Woods exhibited down the stretch, he made two crucial errors. On the par-4 14th, a pushed iron off the tee and an indifferent chip led to a bogey. And, most fatally, the pushed drive into the hazard on the reachable par-5 17th, when he had to have birdie to answer a resurgent Koepka.”
5. Distance researchers set to research
Golf Digest’s Mike Stachura reports… “The USGA and R&A’s investigation into the distance topic, the so-named “Distance Insights” project, will now employ an outside market research firm to ask golfers and non-golfers alike around the world what they think about distance.”
  • “That outside research firm, Sports Marketing Surveys, is an international group with experience working with golf organizations and even a string of golf equipment companies to provide consumer and market research. What is their mission with golf’s ruling bodies? On one hand, it’s doing the heavy lifting of understanding the global picture of distance in golf, or, according to Monday’s announcement, “how distance in golf has impacted them over their full golf experience, if at all, and its projected impact into the future.'”

  • “Of course on the other, using an outside research firm also will at the very least ensure that whatever decision might be made by the ruling bodies is not going to have the appearance of being a foregone conclusion concocted in the halls of Golf House in New Jersey and the R&A clubhouse in St. Andrews.”
6. What if…
Ryder Cup points, as we know, are accumulated over a two-year period. But what if we were just looking at the past year?
  • The undead Twitter ratings guru, Nosferatu, posted a list of what the U.S. roster would look like if only 2018 points counted.
  • As Alex Myers of Golf Digest notes, “a couple things jump out. First, current outside-the-bubble boys Bryson Dechambeau and Tiger Woods, who finished 9th and 11th, respectively, would be on the roster already.”
  • Further, neither Jordan Spieth nor Rickie Fowler would be on the roster, finishing 13th and 10th in points respectively.
7. Odds on Tiger winning a major in 2019?
Golf Digest’s Joel Beall...”SportsBettingDime.com has Woods listed at 5/1 to win either the Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open or Open Championship in 2019.”
  • “In non-Tiger centric news, Dustin Johnson has the best odds to win a major at 11/4, with Jordan Spieth trailing at 3/1. Brooks Koepka, winner of three of the past seven majors, comes in at 4/1, as does Rory McIlroy, who hasn’t won a major since the 2014 PGA Championship. Reigning. Player of the Year Justin Thomas isn’t far behind at 9/2.”
  • Also on the Woodsian front: Tiger has reportedly committed to the BMW Championship (third Playoff event) September 6-9
8. Fowler injury update
We learned Rickie Fowler was dealing with an oblique injury at the PGA Championship. Now, he’s shutting it down for the first playoff event, next week’s Northern Trust Open.
  • In an Instagram post, Fowler announced the news Wednesday, saying that an MRI revealed a partial tear in his right oblique.
  • He says he’ll be back to competition soon and “more than healthy” for the Ryder Cup.
9. 1 day, 36-hole competition, 3 holes-in-one
Ali Gibb, 51-year-old amateur golfer, for winning her club championship at Croham Hurst Golf Club in England, Monday. Oh, and she made three holes-in-one on the day.
  • That’s right, during the 36-hole final, Gibb aced the fifth hole twice and only needed one shot at the 11th hole during her second 18.
  • “Today was just a weird day. It was just very, very strange,” she said,per a BBC report. “On my card I had a nine, two eights, sixes, fives, fours, threes, twos and three ones.
  • “I have had a hole-in-one before – three actually. One was here on the seventh, one at Surrey National Golf Club, and one at the Atlantic Beach Golf Estate in South Africa,” Gibb added.
  • “It’s just absolutely extraordinary. I think I will wake up tomorrow asking if I’ve just been dreaming about it and if it is club championship day today instead!”
Your Reaction?
  • 8
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB1
  • SHANK0

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. SV

    Aug 26, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    Speaking of Ryder Cup teams, why aren’t each team chosen on the basis of the world ranking? It seems simple, 12 best for each side go at it. No captain’s picks, no controversy over who did or didn’t make the team.

  2. Bert Gwaltney

    Aug 16, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    The Conditions of Competition included a clear understanding of the Rule, BUT, a volunteer made a decision it was OK by allowing and providing transportation to the tee, to speed up play. Look’s as if the USGA is remiss again for not instructing volunteers to not provide transportation. Correct penalty but, should a player or caddie be mislead by a volunteer. Id it their responsibility to identify who is and who is not an authorized USGA representative? I think we’re not seeing the entire picture, maybe missing some information here.I know as a Committee Member I have made a decision many times to take players back or forward to improve the pace-of-play, especially when a ball is lost causing excessive delay.

    I’d also question players anchoring their stroke when putting; looks to me that it’s bing overlooked again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

News

Tiger Woods fires third-round 65, takes a three-shot lead into final round

Published

on

Tiger Woods walked to the first tee at East Lake today like a gladiator entering an amphitheatre. Beginning the third round of the Tour Championship with a share of the lead, a sea of supporters were there to hoot and holler as he strode purposefully towards the opening tee. Expectancy was in the air, as after all Tiger Woods has converted a 36 hole share or solo lead into a win a remarkable 77 percent of the time throughout his career.

Both at Valspar and the Open Championship, Woods was unable to find that extra gear when he found himself atop the leaderboard. Today, however, was a different story, and Woods delivered the performance that came so natural to him when he was in his pomp.

Woods began his round with a piped drive down the first fairway, and after his approach shot landed just outside 20 feet on the first green, it appeared that the 14-time major champion was on his way to a steady start. However, when he rolled that birdie putt into the center of the cup, the galleries of East Lake responded with a cacophony of noise. Tiger Woods was on the march.

After a two-putt par at the second hole, Woods began a charge that turned into the performance he had been searching for all year when he’s found himself in contention. Woods birdied the third hole after stuffing a wedge to eight feet and burying the putt, and when he then birdied the par-4 fourth hole measuring 479 yards after nailing another putt from outside 20 feet, the crowd and Woods began to believe that today could be special.

To say Woods fed off that sublime birdie and the energy of the crowd would be an understatement. The 79-time PGA Tour champion put on a clinic over his next couple of holes, draining consecutive birdie putts from inside 10 feet, The great man then produced a scintillating approach shot from the fairway bunker on seven which just crept over the greenside trap and settled five feet away from the hole for an opportunity for Woods’ fifth straight birdie. Woods slammed the putt right in the middle to take him to six-under par for the day and 13-under par for the event.

Woods’ one blemish on the opening nine came on the tricky par-3 ninth hole, double-crossing his tee shot and failing to get up and down from off the green. Despite the error, Woods’ opening nine scorecard made for an imposing sight. 30 strokes that included six birdies and gave him a four-shot lead.

A clutch seven-foot par save on 11 kept the momentum rolling and it didn’t take long for the American to capitalise on that impetus, cutting his iron approach into the par-4 12th to seven feet. He then walked that birdie putt in to take him back to 13-under par.

Woods then parred his way to the 16th hole, a hole which he took a six on in round two, and it looked set to be another big number on the cards for Woods after he missed the green with his approach and then saw his ambitious flop shot run back to his feet. But Woods executed a nerveless bump into the hill with his next shot that took all the sting out of the ball and trickled out to tap in range for a superb bogey save.

On Woods’ penultimate hole, he barely missed his birdie putt, and after popping in his par putt, he approached the 18th tee with a three-shot lead. Woods striped his driver down the middle of the fairway, but a pulled approach into the back greenside bunker and a disappointing splash out meant Woods had to settle for a par to finish a thrilling round of 65, giving him a three-shot lead entering tomorrows final round.

Ask any Woods supporter, and they’ll tell you the one element missing from the great man returning to the winner’s circle in 2018 has been his inconsistent driving. Well, the decision to change recently from the Mitsubishi Tensei Orange shaft that he had been using for most of the year, to the Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Whiteboard shaft may well be the final piece of the complicated Tiger Woods puzzle. Woods looked as good as ever off the tee with the chief in hand on Saturday afternoon, finding 10 of 14 fairways on day three.

A victory tomorrow would be Woods’ first since 2013. His first win since four back surgeries that threatened to end his career. His first win since the majority of golf’s talking heads declared he had the chipping yips. His first victory since he suffered public derision after he received a DUI which turned out to be the cause of a toxic mix of prescription drugs. There is no way to downplay it, a win for Woods tomorrow would be one of the most memorable of his career. He has pulled himself off the canvas to within touching distance of his third Tour Championship victory. Should he claim that victory tomorrow, it may well be Woods’ finest hour outside of his 14-major championship wins.

Your Reaction?
  • 7
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW4
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK2

Continue Reading

News

GolfWRX Morning 9: Driver now a weapon, Tiger leads | What makes Bryson so good | Paulinagram

Published

on

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

September 21, 2018

Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1. Tiger in front again
Another FedEx Cup playoff event, another Tiger Woods first-round lead.
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…”Woods finished his day at the finale with a closing nine of 31 after a slow start and was tied with Fowler atop the season-ending leaderboard at 5 under par. He’s been in this position before from Tampa to St. Louis and was equally impressive two weeks ago at the BMW Championship when he opened with a first-round 62 for a share of the lead….But Thursday at East Lake felt different. It felt better.”
  • “This was by far better than the 62 at [the BMW Championship],” said Woods, who is playing at East Lake for the first time since 2013. “Conditions were soft there. It’s hard to get the ball close here. There’s so much chase in it. If you drive the ball in the rough, you know you can’t get the ball close.”
  • “On Thursday he had the look of a complete golfer, a five-tool player whose only limitation was running out of holes. Statistically he finished inside the top 10 in strokes gained: off the tee (eighth), tee to green (third), fairways hit (fourth), driving distance (eighth), greens in regulation (fifth), proximity to the hole (sixth), scrambling (first) and strokes gained: putting (eighth).
  • “I felt in control today,” Woods said without even trying to hide the knowing smile that inched across his face. “I had a lot of control over my shots.”
Golf Digest’s Joel Beall noted Woods’ warmup didn’t suggest a low number was forthcoming…”It was not an auspicious start. The warm-up wasn’t smooth, a fair share of drivers sailing over the left-field fence that separates the East Lake range from the 16th hole. The irons were a little thin, and he wasn’t dropping many putts on the practice green. There were a few grabs towards his back, the infamous part of his frame that kept him sidelined for so long. That someone forgot to tell the golf gods to turn on the A/C-a couple degrees from an Atlanta record high, apparently-wasn’t helping matters, the print of his shirt already unrecognizable from sweat when he arrived to the tee.”
“So when Tiger Woods three-jacked from 30 feet on the first hole, it felt like the opening salvo to a song-and-dance we’ve seen too many times before.But not on the only face that mattered.”
2. Also, Rickie
A PGA Tour.com report notes that Fowler (who co-leads the Tour Championship with El Tigre) is feeling good”Now he’s tied for the lead in the season-ending TOUR Championship at East Lake, his 5-under 65 holding up for the best score of day one with Tiger Woods.”
  • “I haven’t been on any type of painkillers,” Fowler said of his strained right oblique, which kept him out of the first two Playoffs events, THE NORTHERN TRUST and Dell Technologies Championship. “Like just standard Advil. And the big thing and reason why, I didn’t want to mask anything, just because if something did come up, I wanted to get the real response from my body.”
  • “Fowler’s body responded most especially on the greens, where he made nearly 92 feet of putts and ranked second in the field in Strokes Gained: Putting.”
3. The big stick delivereth
Golf Channel’s Mercer Baggs…”Ever since making adjustments to his driver – which included adding loft and changing the shaft – at The Northern Trust, Woods’ long game has become one of his greatest assets.”
  • “Woods hit 10 of 14 fairways in the first round at East Lake Golf Club, which led to hitting 14 of 18 greens in regulation.”
  • “It’s not as though Woods has completely traded distance for accuracy. He hit his drive on the par-5 18th 320 yards and hat helped produce an eagle.”
  • “It’s more like he now has the ability to control his driver. Those wayward tee shots we had become accustomed to seeing aren’t so offline. That means sometimes he’ll send one 296 yards – like he did on the first hole – and sometimes he’ll gear up and knock one 328 yards – like he did at the fifth.”
  • Woods had this to say…“[I]f I hit it normal, I hit it just as far. And so that’s to me like 300 yards in the air,” he said. “But … the neat thing about this one is that if I miss it and spin it a little bit, those spinners stay in play instead of chasing off on me, and I can turn this ball.
  • “And so, yeah, if I hit controlled shots, they’re in play and they’re shorter. But if I go ahead and step up and launch one, I’m just as far. The neat thing is I don’t have to swing it as hard to hit the ball as far. And so it puts a little less toll on my body. I don’t have to have my speed up there at 120, 121, 122 miles an hour to carry it 305, 310 like I did before.”
4. Paisley
Meanwhile, on the Web.com Tour…AP Report…”Chris Paisley birdied four of the last five holes for a 10-under 61 and the first-round lead Thursday in the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship.”
  • “The South African Open winner in January for his first European Tour title, Paisley played the back nine first at Atlantic Beach Country Club, holing a bunker shot for an eagle on the par-5 18th. On the front nine, he birdied the par-3 fifth and finished with three straight birdies.”
  • “I think just all around was really good,” Paisley said. “I hit it well off the tee, which gave me a lot of kind of short irons into the greens and opportunities. I hit a lot of really good iron shots close, and then a few other bonus kind of things happened where I holed the bunker shot on 18 and holed a long putt on No. 8.”
5. What makes Bryson so good?
Our Peter Sanders takes a headfirst dive into the data.
A few morsels…
  • “He averaged over 300 yards, 15 yards longer than the field, and hit more fairways than the 2017 winners.  Further, Bryson (Blue arrows below) had 35% fewer driving errors than those made by the 2017 winners.”
  • “Bryson did hit more greens-in-regulation (blue arrows below). BUT remember he hit more fairways and made fewer errors. Finally, Bryson’s proximity when he hits the greens* is closer to the 2017 Tour average than it is to the 2017 winners”.
6. Rory PACIlroy?
A Golf Channel report indicates Mr. McIlroy may have a seat at the Player Advisory Council table…”I’m not on the PAC. I’m probably going to join the PAC next year. Nice to sort of know what’s going on and give your input and whatever.”
  • Input and whatever! McIlroy also said he likes the new Tour Championship format, sort of.
  • “I like it for the FedExCup. I don’t necessarily think it should be an official Tour win. I don’t know how the World Ranking points are going to work,” said McIlroy, who is tied for fifth after a first-round 67 at East Lake. “There’s a lot of stuff that still needs to be figured out. But in terms of deciding the FedExCup, I think it’s good.”
7. New Web.com schedule
Golfweek’s Brentley Romine with the details...”The 2019 Web.com Tour season will now end on Labor Day, the PGA Tour announced on Thursday.”
  • “The new schedule features 27 events, including three new events and a three-event Finals (down from four). The three new events are the Suncoast Classic Feb. 14-17 in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., Evans Scholars Invitational May 23-26 in Chicago and TPC Colorado Championship July 11-14 in Berthoud, Colo. The Finals will consist of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship (Aug. 15-18), Albertsons Boise Open Aug. 22-25) and Web.com Tour Championship (Aug. 30-Sept. 2).”
  • “The Web.com Tour has enjoyed tremendous momentum in recent years and has created a platform from which graduates are enjoying immediate success on the PGA Tour,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan. “The revamped schedule will allow for a more natural cadence to the season for our fans, while providing an earlier finish that enhances the visibility of the Web.com Tour Finals.”
8. JT pain free
Golf Channel report...”After injuring his right wrist during the final round of the BMW Championship he spent last week in south Florida getting therapy after being diagnosed with a case of tendinitis and little else.”
  • “Thomas explained that he tested the wrist earlier this week to be sure he was pain-free and conceded he considered not playing the Tour Championship in order to be as healthy as possible for next week’s Ryder Cup.”
  • “If it would have hurt at all, I wouldn’t have played,” said Thomas, who will be a rookie on this year’s U.S. team. “No. 1 most important part is my future and my career. I don’t want to do anything that’s going to put me out for a while. But to me, second most important is Ryder Cup. I would rather not play this week and play the Ryder Cup and be fresh and make sure I’m going to get as many points for the team as possible.”
9. Interpreting Paulinagram
Charles Curtis of For The Win on an Instagram story Paulina Gretzky posted that features the Great One’s daughter listening to a song.
  • “As some people have noted, these are the lyrics to the Dustin Lynch song attached to that photo:..I’d be jealous too, if she was with you…I’d be out of my mind, watching her move…If I was just a guy with across the room view….I’d be jealous too, if she was with you, with you.”
What does it mean? Who knows? Who cares? Some combination of the two?

 

Your Reaction?
  • 5
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB1
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Tour News

Tiger Woods catches fire after a slow start, shoots 5-under 65 at Tour Championship to tie lead

Published

on

Tiger Woods, who came to the Tour Championship 20th on the FedExCup points list, is making early moves at the Tour Championship at East Lake. After an opening-hole 3-putt from 25 feet for a bogey, and then three straight pars, Tiger played the rest of his round 6-under par (birdies at 5, 6, 12 and 14), capping it with a 27-foot eagle putt at the 18th hole. In the end, it was a 5-under 65 for Tiger, who currently sits tied for the lead with Rickie Fowler.

Here’s his approach to the par-5 18th hole, which measures 590 yards in total:

And here’s the eagle putt, to which he reacted with a few casual fist pumps and a putter raise.

As we’ve reported, Tiger recently switched back to his Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS putter with which he’s one 13-of-14 majors throughout his career. He may have found the spark of old on the greens.

The only problem is, even if Tiger wins this week’s Tour Championship, he’s going to need some help winning the FedExCup and $10 million payout. Here are the scenarios he needs to happen:

But hey…

Here’s where the top-5 players on the FedExCup points list sit currently on Day 1:

  1. Bryson DeCheambeau (+3 thru 15, T27)
  2. Justin Rose (-2 thru 15, T6)
  3. Tony Finau (-2 thru 16, T6)
  4. Dustin Johnson (+2 thru 16, T23)
  5. Justin Thomas (-3 thru 16, T4)

Who do you think is going to win the Tour Championship and the FedExCup?

Your Reaction?
  • 10
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP1
  • OB1
  • SHANK2

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending