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2018 Ryder Cup: A full recap of Saturday’s matches, Sunday singles predictions

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It’s probably too late for the Ryder Cup to go back to basics, but such an approach would certainly assist Team USA. Forget the guaranteed guys like Phil and Tiger, forget making a killing off the event (half a killing will do), and just get back to guys who bleed and sweat and cry and growl for their side. As for Europe, well done in making your captain’s selections.

Anyway, onto what happened at the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in France, where the rough is thick and the fairways tight.

Morning Fourballs

Remember the success that Team USA had on Friday morning? It went away. To the tune of 1-3 on Saturday morning. Only Spieth and Thomas saved a second consecutive washout with a 2 & 1 win over Ian Poulter and Jon Rahm. This one is interesting, psychologically, so we’ll look at it first. Is Jon Rahm the first Spaniard to struggle in Ryder Cup environs? Think about Seve, Sergio, and Jose Marie; tremendous trio. Ian Poulter inspires everyone who partners him, but he couldn’t carry Rahm to victory. Rahm just might be better suited for the USA team: hits it long, gouges wedges, but dare I say, not so clutch.

I suspect that the last USA captain to truly say “these are the pairings and this is how it is going to be” was Tom Watson, and you know how that worked out. But for the “task force” to pair Tiger and Reed against the European juggernaut of Molinari and Fleetwood was foolish, and the Euros kept cruising, to the tune of 4 and 3. Tiger has been inspirational in team settings, so he is valued at little more than Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson. That’s a lot of baggage to carry into a team match that you are supposed to contest and dominate. Knowing that Tiger and Bryson had a connection all season, why the USA side went so long with Tiger-Reed is inconceivable. Reed is more similar to Mickelson in passion, so THAT should have been the Friday morning pairing. Back to Saturday.

Finau and Koepka were 5 holes down through 8 holes. Johnson and Fowler were 3 down through 11. Woods and Reed were even through 10? So what happened? Simply, Team USA cannot mount a comeback and Team Europe seems capable of mounting a charge at will. How else to explain the inability of the first two sides to battle back, compared with the indomitable will of the later to win 4 of 5 holes on the inward half, to stun Woods and Reed? Europe averaged 6 victorious holes in its three morning triumphs, and had just 3 in its loss. As for the USA, just 13 holes went red in the AM, and five of those came in the lone victory. That, dear readers, is putting.

The French Open was played at Le Golf Nationale in late June this year. With apologies to the Quicken Loans National (played the same week) Justin Thomas jumped a plane and went to play. He was the only USA team member or contender to do so. He had 4 days of competition, plus practice rounds, over the golf course. Might that play just a bit into his comfort and success this week? The brain trust of Ryder Cup USA might have done a bit more to encourage American golfers to head to Gaul a few months back.

Afternoon Foursomes

This result qualifies as a session win for Team USA. Not losing any ground to the opponents was the cup-holders’ only hope for boarding a flight Sunday night with a few more pounds in their luggage. The unlikely pair of Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson mounted what will hopefully be the sternest and most successful comeback since Pelayo began one in the Picos de Europa. The ugliest hole of them all, the one halved in triple-bogey six, ignited the southeastern duo’s games, and they held off Sergio Garcia and Alex Noren by 3 & 2. Sergio played a bit more like mid-season Sergio, instead of Iberian-version-of-Poulter Sergio, and Noren played like the RC rookie that he is. This allowed the American pair to even its record at 1-1. This was a good thing, because the lead pair of Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka played like lame ponies yet again.

I have this gnawing notion: why would Captain Furyk and his lieutenants put Dustin barely breathing Johnson and Brooks half asleep Koepka out in the first pairing, any of these days? Wouldn’t you put Spieth-Thomas out first? You know, the guys who look like they care, who get pumped up, who play like they were kids and nothing else mattered? Johnson may be the only guy who has missed more putts than Tiger this week. I would count Phil, but his putts are usually for bogey or worse, not counting the putter he hit off the tee into the water … it was a putter, wasn’t it? If Stenson and Rose had played just half as well as they normally do in partnership, this match might have ended 10 & 8. Team USA hopes that World Number One and I’ve won two majors this year fare better on their own tomorrow.

Johnny Miller mused that Earl Pops Woods might have conditioned Tiger to play for individual glory alone. Doesn’t matter if his amateur analysis is correct; fact is, Tiger doesn’t win in partner golf. It would be interesting to see the Ryder Cup begin on Thursday with six singles matches, the only caveat being that those six golfers could not play on Friday morning. Talk about a win for the USA; get a point from Tiger on Thursday and sit him on Friday. Tiger and Bryson failed to live up to the anticipated success predicted by nearly everyone. They made a minor run with 2 consecutive hole-wins, to go from 5 to 3 down, but allowed Europe to win the very next one to rebuild a 4-hole advantage. In this lifetime, Tiger might be the individual GOAT, but he also carries the burden of being a mediocre-at-best playing partner, with a 9-19-1 record as a partner. Yikes.

Years ago, Shigeki Maruyama smiled his way to about 4 or 5 wins in a single Presidents Cup match. Molinari grins, while Fleetwood lets his luscious locks do the talking, but they are the unforgettable beasts of this tournament. Four wins to their name and have yet to see the 18th hole; they took care of Woods and partners three times (more brilliant USA thinking?) and Spieth/Thomas on morning number one. No idea what chromosomal material they share, these brothers from another mother have earned 4 of Europe’s 10 points. That’s a massive arrow to have in your quiver, if you are Thomas Bjorn. USA can only hope that they miss each other so much on Sunday (Fleetwood goes off 5th, while Molinari is 9th) that they falter in singles play.

Sunday predictions

Photo via Twitter

Here we go with predictions. Don’t risk any money on these hilarious insinuations.

Match 1
Rory MCILROY vs. Justin THOMAS
Prediction: Thomas continues to play like a stud and defeats out-of-form McIlroy. USA down by 3

Match 2
Paul CASEY vs. Brooks KOEPKA
Prediction: Casey and Koepka cannot find a way to defeat each other, so the match is halved.

Match 3
Justin ROSE vs. Webb SIMPSON
Prediction: Rose plays like the former number one he is (number one for about five hours, right?) and USA goes 4 down again.

Match 4
Jon RAHM vs. Tiger WOODS
Prediction: This one is also quite ugly, but Rahm’s RC debut is forgettable, and Woods finally gets a point. USA down by 3

Match 5
Tommy FLEETWOOD vs. Tony FINAU
Prediction: F vs. F is a dramatic duel, but Fleetwood goes 5-0 and restores 4 match margin. USA down 4.

Match 6
Ian POULTER vs. Dustin JOHNSON
Prediction: Sleepy Johnson awakens, defeats Poulter, Europe only up by 3.

Match 7
Thorbjørn OLESEN vs. Jordan SPIETH
Prediction: Forgot that Olesen was on this team. Doesn’t matter. Spieth wins, Europe by 2.

Match 8
Sergio GARCIA vs. Rickie FOWLER
Prediction: Now it gets interesting. Fowler returns to form and defeats Garcia. Only 1 point separates teams.

Match 9
Francesco MOLINARI vs. Phil MICKELSON
Prediction: Oh, right, the other guy to go 5-0 is Molinari. Mickelson confirmed as 2018’s Lee Westwood. Europe by 2.

Match 10
Tyrrell HATTON vs. Patrick REED
Prediction: Cap’n America returns for a time. Reed leads Hatton late but squanders edge and settles for halve. USA hopes wane.

Match 11
Henrik STENSON vs. Bubba WATSON
Prediction: Stenson defeats Watson and ends all USA hopes of a win. Cup returns to Europe.

Match 12
Alex NOREN vs. Bryson DECHAMBEAU
Prediction: Dechambeaur wins, doesn’t matter. Ouch.

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Ronald Montesano writes for GolfWRX.com from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. brett

    Sep 30, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    Vicious violent hysterical women seeking vengeance … against all men. Play golf.

    • walt

      Sep 30, 2018 at 3:29 pm

      Meanwhile… back in Wash. D.C. Judge Kavanaugh and his family are being pilloried and punished by man-hating man-bashing leftist feminist activist liars.

  2. VIPN

    Sep 30, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    “Forgot that Olesen was on this team” – ouch, this one looks bad now 🙂

  3. Dan

    Sep 30, 2018 at 3:59 am

    Every time Phil swings a club, another 10,000 people decide not to order the silly PPV with Tiger

  4. Scheiss

    Sep 30, 2018 at 3:51 am

    Lets make America lose again

  5. Eric

    Sep 29, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    This abomination of a Ryder Cup needs to be dropped squarely at the feet of Phil Mickelson and the PGA of America. First off, Mickelson for totally hijacking the selection of the captains post 2014. His crybaby presser after the shalacking they took in Scotland laid the groundwork for the whooping they are taking today. The “committee” that He, Tiger, Furyk, Rickie, etc were apart of basically made it that you have to be in Phil’s inner circle to even be considered for a captaincy. Make no mistake Furyk might have captain next to his name, but FIGJAM is the one secretly calling the shots. The captains picks except for Tony Finau have been atrocious. And what everyone forgets is every single one of these guys who have been fixtures on these teams for the last 20 years have losing records!!! In the last 25 years, we have won just 3 times. The event is danger of becoming irrelavant. Maybe Jack needs to step in and the US have players from other countries???!

    Next, is the PGA of America. After 2014, they were so worried that guys like Tiger and Phil would boycott the cup, they gave control of the prison to the inmates. Time for the PGA to grow a pair and tell Phil and his committee to shove off.

    • Scheiss

      Sep 30, 2018 at 3:50 am

      Well yeah, Phil is the next captain, so of course

      • Eric

        Sep 30, 2018 at 8:04 am

        Steve Stricker will be the next captain. It’s in Wisconsin in 2020. Followed by Zach Johnson in 2022 Italy. Phil’s will be 2024 in New York.

  6. Tim Armington

    Sep 29, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    I can see the us winning the first 8 singles mattches and losing the last 4!!

  7. tiger

    Sep 29, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    U.S. just doesnt care. Europe does, its that simple. I hate playing in cold windy weather. But I live in California lol, cant imagine going over there to play in that weather

  8. jon

    Sep 29, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    I feel cheated that Tiger is not playing Molinari on Sunday. He, Tiger, must be superbly pissed that, I’m sorry for lack of better words, a pissant like Molinari in the Tiger universe is stealing his thunder, twilight, as it is of course, but Tiger didn’t let those US Am’s go back in the day nor did he fold under the Bob May PGA onslot nor the young Sergio hop, skip and jump @ Firestone by not having a supreme ego. It would have been fun to see whether he could hold or fold…

    Maybe I’m just too old, but I grew up watching the Big Three, then Nicklaus vs. Trevino & Watson. Then the malaise period hit in the ’80’s until Tiger took center stage. For all his off the course foibles, TW could get it done as cold as a assassin. And that was interesting to watch.

    One more thing, don’t fault those losses in this year’s Ryder simply on Tiger, his partners, to put it bluntly sucked.

    • Tim Armington

      Sep 29, 2018 at 9:34 pm

      Tigers partners were terrible! Reed was in his pocket half the time. Bryson was better, but couldnt make a putt!

    • john andrews

      Sep 29, 2018 at 10:59 pm

      so did tiger

  9. kevin shiel

    Sep 29, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    lol yea interesting pairing from the US for sure. after the first day it is clear tiger is not in his form and should be paired with phil if they have to be outed again. Reed needs to go with bryson who is alot calmer and relieve reed from pressure. DJ brought down richie as well so he should be paired with webb and to dominate the pair. brookes can go with richie and win a game.
    the root problem for the US is the cold weather, windy condition, water hazards and lack of rounds at this venue. they are so tuned to fine calm weather, huge driving then a wedge or 8 iron at most. fun to see a few of them had to hit a 5 iron to cover 163m/180y, where usually their 5 irons covers 200-210y.

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Morning 9: Spiething again? | Daly requests cart for The Open | Ben Hogan doc coming

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

May 24, 2019

Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1. Finau leads, Spieth 1 back at Colonial
AP report…”If Jordan Spieth is going to end a victory drought that’s approaching two years, he picked a good place to give himself a chance.”
  • “Spieth opened with a 5-under 65 at the Charles Schwab Challenge on Thursday in his second Texas homecoming in three weeks — coming off his best finish of the season at the PGA Championship — and trailed Tony Finau by one shot. Roger Sloan joined Spieth in the tie for second.”
  • “Back when he was collecting trophies regularly three years ago, Spieth won on the cozy course made famous by Ben Hogan, and that was between a pair of second-place finishes in Fort Worth. So when it comes to feeling good about his game, Spieth’s in the right place, just a few miles from his hometown of Dallas.”
2. Meanwhile, at Oak Hill
AP report…”Scott Parel took advantage of ideal scoring conditions Thursday morning to shoot a 4-under 66 and take the first-round lead in the weather-delayed Senior PGA Championship.”
  • “The gusting afternoon wind, which buffeted flags and shook hospitality tents across Oak Hill Country Club’s East Course, hadn’t yet fully arrived when Parel closed with birdies on the par-4 17th and 18th. Retief Goosen, Marco Dawson and Ken Tanigawa were a stroke back.”
  • “The round was completed just before 9 p.m., about a half-hour after the sun set, and 14 hours after the first group teed off. The long day was the result of late-morning thunderstorms that caused a delay of 2 hours, 15 minutes.”
3. Bronte!
And another AP report…“Bronte Law chipped in for eagle on the par-5 third hole and shot a 6-under 65 on Thursday for a share of the lead in the Pure Silk Championship with Anna Nordqvist and Jennifer Song.”
  • “Law added a birdie on the par-4 seventh – her 16th hole in a bogey-free round at windy Kingsmill Resort.”
  • ”Started finding myself with a good score. Nothing more to it,” Law said. ”On days like this when it’s windy just got to keep grinding all day, take the chances when they come.”
4. Finau’s grip switch paying dividends…
Tony Finau is in the grips of the claw…
PGATour.com’s Mike McAllister with Finau’s remarks…
  • “It’s something that I’ve kind of been thinking,” said Finau, who entered this week ranked T-100 in Strokes Gained: Putting this season. “It’s an itch I wanted to scratch … To me, it was just perfect time. … If I feel like something is better, I’m not afraid to change, no matter the results.”
  • “In truth, the move to the claw may not be as dramatic as it seemed. Finau said he often has practiced with the claw in order to make sure his left hand is in the proper position.”
  • “I’m left-hand dominant when I roll the stick,” he explained. “I used to putt cross-handed for about five years. Been putting conventionally now for a couple years.
  • “But I just wanted to switch it up. I haven’t been putting great … Standing over the ball, the most important thing is, do you feel like you’re going to make the putt or not? Outside of everything else, do you believe you can make the putt?
5. Strong start for (Edoardo) Molinari…
After 1 in Denmark…
  • “Edoardo Molinari will take a share of the lead into day two of the Made in Denmark presented by FREJA after high winds made scoring tricky in round one at Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort.”
  • “The three time European Tour winner had got to seven under but, as the winds increased, he gave up two late bogeys to sign for a 66 and a share of the lead at five under alongside Spaniard Alejandro Cañizares and English trio Tom Murray, Matthew Southgate and Paul Waring.”
  • “Defending champion Matt Wallace – fresh off finishing third at the US PGA Championship – was in the group at four under, with 46 players within three shots of the lead.”

Full European Tour report.

 

6. Ben Hogan doc
Geoff Shackelford discusses the upcoming Golf Channel documentary about the Hawk…
  • “Producer Israel DeHerrera kindly let me screen parts of Hogan knowing my affinity for all things Ben Hogan and research into the Hawk’s Los Angeles years. All I can say: it’s the film you hoped would be delivered on Hogan’s incredible life and times.”
  • And a bit of the press release…
  • “Hogan (trailer), a two-part biopic on 64-time PGA TOUR winner Ben Hogan chronicles one of the greatest comeback stories in sports history, reflecting on the Texan’s indelible impact on professional golf in spite of a near-fatal automobile accident that put the prime years of his career in serious jeopardy. Coming from humble beginnings, the film examines Hogan’s incredible journey to becoming one of the greatest golfers of all-time, serving as the inspiration for the 1951 motion picture “Follow the Sun”. Being presented with limited commercial interruption by Charles Schwab, Hogan’s two parts – Monday night’s “Perseverance” and Tuesday night’s “Perfection” – will be narrated by Emmy Award-winning actor Kyle Chandler, and be produced for GOLF Films by 13-time Emmy Award winner Israel DeHerrera.”
7. Monahan talks gambling again
Golfweek’s Dan Kilbridge…
  • “Speaking at the Sports Business Awards Wednesday night, Monahan implied the Tour is working on new gambling developments that will be announced by the end of the year.
  • We’ve spent a lot of time over the last two and a half years clearly understanding all of our options and getting ourselves in a position where we can participate,” Monahan said. “Participate with the right partners, and participate in a way that we think resonates with fans. Without getting in front of it, I think you can expect to hear developments from us in the second half of this year.”
  • “The Tour has been testing an upgraded version of its data system called ShotLink Plus, according to Sport Techie, and Monahan has already announced a deal with IMG Arena to distribute data directly to betting operators.”
8. Daly requests cart for Open
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”After driving his way around Bethpage Black last week, John Daly has submitted another request to use a cart when The Open heads to Royal Portrush this summer.”
  • “Daly petitioned the PGA of America under the Americans with Disabilities Act for the use of a cart at last week’s PGA Championship, citing his ailing right knee. While a similar request for the U.S. Senior Open was denied last summer by the USGA, he was approved by the PGA and used a cart en route to rounds of 75-76 and a missed cut on Long Island.”
  • “We have received a request from John Daly to use a buggy at The Open, and it is currently under consideration,” said an R&A spokesperson.
9. Heckuva putting performance
Golf Digest’s Alex Myers points out that…“Starting on Colonial’s back nine, Spieth was four under through eight holes before a double bogey on No. 18. But while big numbers have been derailing the 25-year-old Texan all season, he rallied to make four more birdies (against one bogey) on the back nine, including one on his final hole after knocking an approach shot to six feet on the par-4 ninth.
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Tony Finau goes to the claw grip; fires a 64 to take the early lead at Colonial CC

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Tony Finau tied his lowest round of the year on Thursday at the Charles Schwab Challenge, and the impressive opening was fueled by a move to the claw grip on the greens.

Finau’s 64 has put him on top of the leaderboard after day one at Colonial Country Club, and after his opening round, Finau explained to reporters the reason behind the change-up on the greens this week, stating

“I just wanted to switch it up. I haven’t been putting great I feel like, and standing over the ball the most important thing is do you feel like you’re going to make the putt or not. Outside of everything else, do you believe you can make the putt? So for me, I needed to switch something.”

The switch proved very effective on Thursday, as Finau gained over three strokes on the greens on a day where the American managed to hit just three fairways in total.

Finau previously used the cross-hand technique on the greens earlier in his career for a period of five years, but this is the first time the 29-year-old has made the change to the claw grip in tournament action despite using the technique at times on the practice green.

Sitting T100 for strokes gained: putting this season, Finau told the media on Thursday that the time was right for a change this week at Colonial CC, saying

“But I just wanted to switch it up. I haven’t been putting great. I needed to switch something. Decided to try the claw today and it worked out. If I feel like something is better, I’m not afraid to change no matter the results. I’ve been playing OK. I feel like it was just time. Like I said, I think it was just time to scratch that itch and see how it goes.”

Finau begins his second round of the Charles Schwab Challenge today at 12.44 PM ET alongside Brian Harmon and Patton Kizzire.

 

 

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Morning 9: What clubs would a mid-handicap hit at a major? | NCAA Women’s champs | Marty Jertson speaks

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

May 23, 2019

Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. What clubs would a mid-handicap hit at a major?
Cool stuff from Golf Digest’s E. Michael Johnson…
  • “A USGA study once suggested that average golfers only hit the green from the rough 13 percent of the time. But that was data collected at a resort course, not major championship rough. It’s probably safe to say that the average chopper would never hit the green from the rough at any distance that required a full swing. Indeed, Cobra Connect’s data from Arccos shows that an Average Joe hits the green only a third of the time with only his 8- and 9-iron and his wedges, clubs he’d only be using on Bethpage Black’s two par 5s. Maybe.”
  • “In fact, according to the numbers, he would only hit the green on about one in four chances with his 6- and 7-irons, one in six chances with his 5-iron, one in eight chances with his 4-iron and just one in 10 chances with a 3-hybrid. And about that 3-wood? According to the numbers, the average golfer’s GIR percentage with that club, as they say, has no grade point average.”
  • “All of those missed greens (and the attendant tragic golf despair and perhaps some measure of physical injury) then would be compounded further by plenty of around-the-green misadventures and misplays. Arccos data suggests the average 15-handicap gets up and down less than one in five times. Furthering this ugliness would be all those 3-putts, which Arccos data suggests might happen on at least four holes a round, particularly at major championship speeds.”
An example of the calculations…
1st hole, par 4, 430 yards
Koepka: Driver, half-lob wedge
Average Joe: Driver, 3-wood
2nd hole, par 4, 389 yards
Koepka: 4-iron, gap wedge
Average Joe: Driver, 6-iron
2. NCAA Women’s champs
Golfweek’s Adam Woodard with the report…“For the seventh time in program history, Duke is the 2019 NCAA Div. I Women’s Golf National Champion after defeating Wake Forest 3-2 in an all-ACC final match at Blessings Golf Club.”
  • “I couldn’t feel more proud than I do right now,” said Duke head coach Dan Brooks. “We’ve had a tough team all year long and they were tough this week.”
  • “It was Duke’s anchor, Ana Belac, who put the first point on the board in the national championship match. The Blue Devil junior defeated Wake Forest freshman Vanessa Knecht 5&3 to give Duke the early lead.”
3. A confident Spieth following PGA
Golfweek’s Steve Dimeglio…”His history bodes well as Spieth seeks his 12th PGA Tour title. And his solid performance in last week’s PGA Championship at Bethpage Black restored some much sought after confidence and has him energized at Colonial.”
  • “This is the best I’ve felt in quite a while. I’m very happy,” Spieth said after he tied for third in the PGA Championship, six shots behind victor Brooks Koepka.
  • “…But on a course that favored bangers like Koepka and fellow Bash Brother Dustin Johnson, who finished second, Spieth rode four days of strong putting and worthy iron play to get into contention on the weekend.”
  • “I knew that it was unlikely on this golf course that I was going to have a chance to win, and that’s a humbling feeling for me,” Spieth said. “But I knew that if I played the course the right way, had the right mentality, kept putting the way I’ve been putting, that I would be in it and having a chance to make some noise.
4. Oak Hill weather
AP Report…“It didn’t take long for Jay Haas to be reminded of how gusting winds can wreak havoc on players attempting to navigate the narrow fairways of Oak Hill Country Club’s East Course.”
  • ‘”Got here on Sunday night and played nine holes Monday, and it was blowing, what, 25, 30 (miles per hour),” Haas said with a laugh Wednesday, a day before the Senior PGA Championship opens.’
  • “In some ways, the 65-year-old’s experience was no different than his previous visit to the Rochester suburbs 11 years ago. That’s when Haas overcame frigid conditions, heavy wind gusts and a one-stroke final-round deficit to finish with a 7-over 287 and win his second Senior PGA title.”
5. Johnny’s back
Our Gianni Magliocco...”Johnny Miller is back sharing his opinions on the game on Callaway’s new podcast: Real Golf Talk, which aired its first episode today (listen here on Soundcloud).”
  • “The longtime NBC golf announcer retired from broadcasting earlier this year, but Miller now features alongside avid golfer and television host Chris Harrison on the podcast, which will air six episodes in 2019 and eight in future seasons.”
6. Marty speaks!
Good stuff from PGATour.com’s Andrew Tursky talking with Ping’s (now legendary?) Marty Jertson…
  • Tursky: “Can you describe how tough the conditions were on the weekend, and put those weekend rounds into perspective? Like, what would say a 5-handicap shoot out there?”
  • Jertson: “Oh man. My caddie and I were talking about that a lot… ‘What would a scratch golfer shoot? What would a 5-handicap shoot out there?’ Let me put it this way: We had a hard time finding the golf balls in the rough with an army of spotters. So if you played by the real rules of golf where you had 3 minutes to look for your golf ball and you put a 5-handicapper out there, no joke I think they would shoot – if they followed the textbook rules – they would shoot 120 or more, because they would be losing so many golf balls in the rough and you only have 3 minutes to find it. Yeah, it was brutal. The ultimate test of precision and accuracy in terms of… you had to hit it both long and straight. You couldn’t do one or the other. You had to have both. That’s why I think some of the commentators and whatnot really like that style of golf.”
7. GolfWRX chats with Ryan Palmer
JN: Do you have a home field advantage here at Colonial?
RP: To a point, I guess. Obviously, I have played this golf course in every type of wind. I mean, I know certain holes play shorter than they are. So, a little bit of an advantage because I don’t put much stress into the golf course itself. I just know it. And of course, James, my caddie, knows it. And that is nice. But I do put more pressure on myself because I want to play well here
  • JN: What are your thoughts on not having a full bag club sponsorship?
  • RP: It is just a matter of playing with what I like. When I first got on tour, you would sign a full deal and it was pretty good. Now you are signing for balls and all 14 clubs. I love the Taylor Made driver but they cut out the driver only deals. They went just full line. Fortunately, with the help of Mike Chisholm and Chisholm Sports, I have some great corporate partners. United Rentals, a great deal with Unisys, RBC. I am able to have these corporate sponsors allow me to play what I want. I made some comments like ‘two hundred grand is not worth an equipment contract on tour because of what you can make that week.’
  • So, I got ribbed a little bit for making that comment but honestly it is not worth it in today’s game. We play for so much money now each and every week that by the time you get a $200,000 deal, you’re paying taxes and management, at the end of the day its worth a top 20-finish. And then you have to play those clubs all year long, whether you like them or not. So now I can play whatever putter or iron or driver I want. I am only under contract with ball, shoes and gloves. Footjoy and Titleist. I test and I tinker now and then but I always go back to what I have performed with in the past. I stand over a tee shot and I think, I know I hit this driver this way at this tournament at this particular moment. Why would I change?
8. Why it was great: Bridgestone’s J33R driver
For your viewing pleasure, a new video series from GolfWRX in general and equipment expert Ryan Barath in particular.
  • This video series breaks down why certain clubs maintain such a cult following, and what made them so popular to begin with.
  • The first club in this series is the Bridgestone J33R – a driver from 2005 that was both hard to find and extremely sought after. Ryan Barath breaks down some of the design attributes that still makes this a great club today.
9. Golf jokes!
Mark Townsend at National Club Golfer rounds up some of the worst…
Best golf jokes: Caddiesmack
  • A golfer walks off the 18th green, hands his putter to his caddie and says, “Kid, you’ve got to be the worst caddie in the world.”
  • The caddie replies: “Sir, that would be too much of a coincidence.”
  • Verdict: Not bad and a punchline that most of us weren’t expecting. Quick and to the point though how you’re going to bring this one to the table is anyone’s guess.
Best golf jokes: Clucking mad
  • A golfer sliced a ball into a field of chickens, striking one of the hens and killing it instantly. He was understandably upset, and sought out the farmer. “I’m sorry,” he said, “my terrible tee shot hit one of your hens and killed it. Can I replace the hen?”
  • “I don’t know about that,” replied the farmer, mulling it over. “How many eggs a day do you lay?”
  • Verdict: Better and unlike many of its golfing jokey contemporaries the punchline can’t be said to yourself about a third of the way in. Quite quirky for a golf joke and, told in the right manner, might be worth using.
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