Connect with us

News

5 takeaways from Saturday’s Ryder Cup four-ball play

Published

on

Here are 5 quick takeaways from the Saturday morning four-ball action from Le Golf National.

1) Europe surge clear

Europe took three of the four matches in the four-ball action this morning, increasing their lead to 8-4 over the U.S. side. The European team dominated on Saturday morning, taking the session 3-1 over their U.S. counterparts, whose one crumb of comfort was provided by the pairing of Spieth/Thomas. The result of the four-ball session means that Europe is guaranteed at the very least to have a share of the lead going into Sunday’s singles, and with the foursomes to come this afternoon, they will have designs on building a mammoth lead heading into the final day.

2) Garcia/Mcilroy’s excellence

This dynamic duo stole the show on Saturday morning in Paris. Pouring in birdies and lighting up Le Golf National with their energy and enthusiasm, Garcia and Mcilroy combined to make five birdies through eight holes to build a 4up advantage. Their opponents, Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau, looked like they were about to stage a monumental comeback, clawing themselves back to just one down with two holes to play, until Garcia delivered the dagger on the 17th green. With Koepka inside of him on the penultimate green and looking likely to have an opportunity to tie the match up, the Spaniard rolled a lengthy birdie attempt down the hill and into the back of the cup to spark joyous celebrations from the Europeans. Koepka couldn’t convert his birdie attempt, and the first point of the day was on the board for Team Europe.

3) Reed/Woods provide no energy

While Garcia and Mcilroy bounced around Le Golf National with gusto, Reed and Woods were the total opposite. The low energy provided by this pairing was startling, even after they won a hole, which wasn’t very often. Woods may not have been at his best, but he might as well have been out there on his own, as his partner Patrick Reed toiled around Le Golf National. Reed failed to find a fairway until the ninth hole, finding the water twice with tee balls and knocking another out of bounds. The duo were defeated 4&3 for the second day running by the European pairing of Fleetwood/Molinari.

4) Le Golf National is getting the better of Team USA

The host course this week has offered up superb drama already, and the stern challenge that Le Golf National provides has no doubt suited the European side more. Unlike many courses on the PGA Tour where often finding the rough is usually not a big issue, Le Golf National demands thought and accuracy. Team USA struggled mightily in Saturday’s morning session, with their inability to keep the ball in-play proving to be very expensive. Butch Harmon, speaking on Sky Sports, stated that it’s necessary to begin building and maintaining courses in the U.S. that offer the same challenges that Le Golf National provides in order for the U.S. players to get accustomed to Ryder Cup conditions in Europe. It’s hard to disagree.

5) Spieth/Thomas keep the U.S. alive

While many of the U.S. players involved in the third session of the event struggled mightily, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas were the exceptions. Spieth made five birdies early on in his round, and he was the driving force behind the U.S. side getting in front against the European pairing of Poulter/Rahm. When Spieth began to struggle towards the end, his good friend and teammate, Thomas, stepped up. Thomas first holed his birdie putt on 16 for a half and then drained another on 17 to clinch victory (2&1) and with it the USA’s only point of the session. Captain Furyk will be hoping the duo can repeat their exploits in this afternoons foursomes.

Here’s a full recap of all the Saturday morning matches

Your Reaction?
  • 5
  • LEGIT2
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giancarlomag

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Tom

    Sep 29, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    Will Mickelson blame Furyk for Phil’s lousy play this year like he did Tom Watson? He ain’t a team player. (loved Phil’s “lay up” with a iron into the drink Friday…lol!)

  2. brett

    Sep 29, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Men play golf….. women hate men….

    • jeff

      Sep 29, 2018 at 3:15 pm

      Men play golf… women play politics… women rule…

  3. Tartan Golf Travel

    Sep 29, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Like I mentioned Thursday Furyk has made huge mistakes. Tiger has played with zero emotion. He is not a leader. Now it’s time to front load for Sunday. I’d go Thomas, Spieth, Koepka, Simpson, Finau and DJ…. after that it doesn’t matter unless those guys win.

  4. Michael

    Sep 29, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Butch is right but if that were to happen all you’d get would be a bunch of moanin and groanin from not only the players but the TV networks as well. Birdie fests is all they want.

  5. Scheiss

    Sep 29, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Which idiot picked Furyk to be captain

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.

Popular Photo Galleries

Wednesday’s photos from the 2019 Terra Cotta Invitational

Published

on

GolfWRX is live from the 2019 Terra Cotta Invitational at Naples National Golf Club, which will be contested April 26-28. Past winners of the amateur event include Justin Thomas and Emiliano Grillo.

Denny Glass, chairman of the Terra Cotta Invitational, was kind enough to give us a little more information about the tournament.

For GolfWRX members who aren’t familiar, tell me a little bit about the tournament and its history

Glass: The Terra Cotta Invitational began in 1996 and was originally a combination stroke play/match play event. 20 players were invited and they played 36 holes of stroke play then the top four finishers went on to match play with the others playing an 18 hole consolation match.

I changed it to a 54-hole stroke play event with 50 players in 2006 when I took over as Tournament Chair. This was done to be eligible for Titleist/Golfweek Amateur Ranking Points. The field increased over the years and now has 75-81 players. The tournament is now ranked as a “B” level event in the WAGR (World Amateur Golf Rankings) run by the USGA and R&A. This ranking is one level below the top-ranked events in the world. The WAGR rankings are based on the strength of the field so we are proud to be ranked so highly.

As it’s an invitational tournament, can you tell me a bit about who gets invited in general and who’s in the field this year, specifically? Tournament format?

Glass: It is an invitational so we invite as many of the top-ranked amateur players as are available. The field consists of many juniors (up to age 18), mid-amateurs (19-25) and some seniors (50+), along with collegiate players. While it is an invitational, we still receive more than 150 applications to play.

Can you talk about the host course and the relationship with Naples National?

The tournament is played at Naples National Golf Club. The tournament was started by the membership back in 1996. The club opened in 1993. The club hosted the World Championship of Golf, which was an LPGA event in its second year.

I know the charitable impact is important. Can you tell us about that?

The net proceeds are donated to Naples based children’s focused charities. The tournament has donated over $517,000 since it began.

Wednesday’s photos

Your Reaction?
  • 0
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

News

Winner of the 2019 Charles Schwab Challenge to receive a 1973 Dodge Challenger Restomod

Published

on

Under new sponsorship, the 2019 Charles Schwab Challenge which takes place at Colonial Country Club in Ft. Worth, will have a special prize on offer for its champion – a fully restored and customized 1973 Dodge Challenger.

The vehicle pays homage to the year which Schwab Corporation was founded and is equipped with tartan fabric seats and custom glacier blue paint. The car will serve as a complement to the Leonard Trophy and tartan jacket awarded each year at the tournament.

Charles Schwab worked in collaboration with Steve Strope of Pure Vision on the restoration process, and the car will be on display at Colonial throughout the tournament until it is presented to the winner on May 26.

The tournament runs from May 23-26. In 2018, Justin Rose won the event by three strokes.

Your Reaction?
  • 5
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW4
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK4

Continue Reading

News

Honma EVP John Kawaja on marketing, tour strategy, working with Justin Rose, and putting a rumor to bed

Published

on

John Kawaja, executive vice president at Honma golf, spoke with our Johnny Wunder in the latest edition of the Gear Dive.

The industry veteran touched on a number of topics under the marketing and tour strategy umbrellas, including plenty about staffer Justin Rose. And while the entire podcast is well worth your time, we understand that some WRXers are more textually inclined.

So, as we often do, here are a few highlights from the ‘cast.

On working with Justin Rose

Kawaja: Mark [King] and I have worked with Justin for many, many years…he’s a consummate professional. He is by far and away the best brand ambassador one could have when it comes to playing great golf, being a great spokesman for your brand and really knowing equipment, which is helpful for a company [that is]…trying to get better every day…”

What was a bit surprising, to be honest, is how quickly we were able to switch out the No. 1 player in the world to Honma equipment…we’ve got 11 clubs in his bag, including a driver that has a Honma shaft…that’s probably the biggest surprise…People were saying, “he’ll probably never play their driver.” And I’m not sure there are many people on the planet that would have bet he was going to play a Honma driver with a Honma shaft.

With Justin, everything is always in the pursuit of getting better. We’ve got a 47-degree wedge and a 52-degree wedge. We a 56-degree wedge in his bag for most of the year, but the 60-degree wedge, we’re working on. He has a certain feel and a sensation…all these guys have fantastic feel, but I think Justin is the most extraordinary I’ve worked with…so, we’re working on the wedges We’re working on CGs and bounce and grind and grooves and groove spacing…but until we can make something that’s better than what he’s got in his bag, we don’t expect him to change what he’s playing.

He’s really happy with the irons. He’s delighted with his long iron…that is a prototype of a set that we’re introducing in June called the Tour World X iron…fairway woods, we actually haven’t even started…we’ve just been focused on other parts of his bag. We don’t want to force him to feel like he needs to have 13 clubs in his bag…and we’re never going to touch a putter. But we’ve just started to work on fairway woods. Next time I see him, we’ve got some product for him to hit.

On the company’s approach to professional tours and what’s next

Kawaja: We wanted to start with Justin and…establish ourselves with the No. 1 player in the world…he’ll be the face on tour of our brand for the foreseeable future. Anybody that Justin has played with this year, we’ve heard from, because they’ve noticed what Justin has seen. We’ve worked with tour players–some of the non-contracted guys, some of the guys that are curious…We’re not in any rush.

We’re never going to have the tour presence that a Callaway, or a Titleist, or a TaylorMade have…but we do intend to grow our presence…we do want to have a few more players…we’re going to look for players that have global reach, and we’re going to look for younger players. Younger players are always riskier, but we’re looking at kids that are making the transition from collegiate golf to professional golf…we think that we’ll grow our tour presence next year…but one or two.

On the importance of a tour presence

Kawaja: I think it’s extremely important. It always has been. You could always correlate No. 1 on tour with No. 1 in the marketplace in literally every single category. That, I think, says enough. Golfers are, we may all be different, but I think there’s one thing in the psychology of a guy that calls himself a golfer…there’s a gene we all share, and that’s the aspiration to hit one like a tour player.

They’re the best influencers. It doesn’t matter social media followings or whatever…if you’re watching golf and following golf, they have an influence on the bags, on the apparel, on the look of most golfers.

On dealing with rumors in general and the suggestion Honma’s TW 747 driver is too hot in particular

Kawaja: Well, [the rumor] is simply not true. …Our core message is about the beauty of our products and not performance, so it’s kind of ironic people are worried our drivers are illegal. We’ve been making the highest-quality golf equipment for 60 years. We know what we’re doing. We’re not a startup.

I think I understand where it comes from. We’ve been working with several PGA Tour players. Universally, they’re seeing faster ball speeds with Honma. Not incremental gains, but two, three, four miles per hour…One of the big four equipment companies…they’ve seen these results…and unfortunately, that rumor started. And I don’t know how it started, but it’s hard to believe. It’s not true. And frankly, it’s bush league.

On the competitiveness of the tour environment

Kawaja: It is a competitive environment. I remember when we were over at the other place, we talked every day about what our competitors were doing, and we tried to beat the crap out of them every day…We’re kind of new out there. I think the people that are out there every week, there’s a kinship among the tour reps who are working with players and working the range every week…we show up, we’ve got the No. 1 player, we start to work with guys, guys are curious…it’s competitive…

I’m a competitive guy by nature from a business perspective and from a previous life [Kawaja is a two-time curling world-champion for Canada]…and we welcome the opportunity to work with more tour players and show them what we’ve got.

Your Reaction?
  • 35
  • LEGIT6
  • WOW4
  • LOL2
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP1
  • OB2
  • SHANK8

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending