Connect with us

News

GolfWRX Morning 9: Koepka denies fight | Anonymus RC member refutes Reed | WGHOF nominees

Published

on

1. Koepka denies dust-up
Per Golf Channel…”Speaking to reporters Wednesday at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, Koepka said: “This Dustin thing, I just don’t get. There was no fight, no argument. He’s one of my best friends. I love the kid to death. We talked on the phone Monday and yesterday, so you tell me how we fought…People like to make a story and run with it. It’s not the first time there’s been a news story that isn’t true that’s gone out.”
2. Anonymous Ryder Cup member refutes Reed
The Ryder Cup team rooms are proving more leaky than the West Wing!
  • ESPN report…”Reed essentially threw captainJim Furyk under the bus by telling The New York Times on Sunday that he was “blindsided” by not playing withJordan Spieth after the pair’s past success in international competitions.”
  • “He is so full of s—,” a member of Team USA told the New York Post on Monday. “Blindsided, my ass. He begged to play with Tiger [Woods].”
  • “He would have shot 83 on his own ball Saturday,” the Team USA member said to the Post. “He totally screwed Tiger. He has no clue how to play team golf. I saw firsthand how bad of a team player he was. Eleven players understood the concept of team golf and only one didn’t. Unfortunately, that one proved to be too costly for the team to overcome.”
3. Koepka “heartbroken” for fan he hit with drive
Koepka took to Twitter yesterday following reports that the woman struck with his errant tee shot has lost site in her eye.
  • “I was deeply hurt and saddened by the tragic accident,”he tweeted. “I have made contact with her family to offer my sincere and heartfelt sympathy.”
  • He added: “I am heartbroken by the incident. My thoughts remain with Ms. Remande and her family, and I have asked to be kept informed on her condition.”
4. WGHOF finalists
The World Golf Hall of Fame released Tuesday its 15 finalists who will be considered for induction in 2019.
Male competitor: Retief Goosen, Graham Marsh, Corey Pavin, Hal Sutton
Female competitor: Susie Maxwell Berning, Beverly Hanson, Sandra Palmer, Dottie Pepper, Jan Stephenson
Lifetime achievement: Peggy Kirk Bell, Billy Payne, Dennis Walters
Veterans: Jim Ferrier, Catherine Lacoste, Calvin Peete
5. Speaketh the Bjorn
Thomas Bjorn did a post-Cup Q&A with Golf Digest.
How does it feel to captain a winning side?
  • Thomas Bjorn: “How do you sum that up? You know, I felt like-I felt all along that this was a good group of guys, but I have to say, when we got here on Monday, we got together. This turned out pretty exciting because the way that the 12 of them have just joined up together as a team and the way they looked after each other and been there for each other and been there for each other throughout the whole week made captaincy pretty easy.”
  • “The hardest thing about the captaincy I think this week was that there’s so many guys playing well, and being in such good frame of mind that I didn’t really — I wanted to get everybody on the golf course, but you can’t.”
  • “Today’s performance, there was a little moment in the middle of it all where I was getting a little bit worried, but then everybody stood up and did their bit. You know, I can’t describe how I feel about these 12. They have been amazing from day one, and I’m just so proud of them.”
6. Ryu’s plea
Interesting/odd/unprecedented(?)
  • So Yeon Ryu asked Korean fans on Tuesday to restrain themselves during this week’s UL International Crown.
  • “If there was one favor I could ask the gallery or the crowds that will be showing up,” Ryu said. “If they could refrain from very, very sharp criticism, that would help.
  • “Of course, we need to take advice, but really painful, sharp criticism can actually erode our confidence. I think that if we were given a lot of support during the event, then we would definitely be able to win this time.”
7. More Reed-Spieth stomping
The scribes aren’t finished pummeling the U.S. Ryder Cuppers!
  • Christine Brennan for USA Today, yesterday…”For U.S. men’s golf, the embarrassment is flowing like the Europeans’ champagne. Humiliation on the course has been followed by humiliation in the news. First, the U.S. Ryder Cup team was soundly defeated over the weekend by Europe, 17½ to 10½. Then, the Americans opened their mouths and things really got bad.”
  • “Boys, boys, boys. Talk about making us all proud: ladies and gentlemen, your 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup team….Everyone seems to be handling losing so spectacularly well, aren’t they? If I didn’t know better, I’d think they were a bunch of spoiled brats….It appears the Americans are better at pointing fingers than they were at hitting fairways in Paris over the weekend, and they seem to be singling out one guy: Reed.”
8. Only a riddle remains
…and some inter-male drama…
  • Golf Channel’s WIll Gray looks toward an uncertain future for the U.S Ryder Cup team…”With Reed making waves and reports of a simmering Dustin Johnson-Brooks Koepka feud percolating out of the team room, it’s clear that the Paris problems extended beyond the captain and his two most established players.”
  • “But with Woods and Mickelson sure to have captaincies of their own in the near future, those three are the face of a leadership group counseling the next generation of Spieth, Reed and Justin Thomas before passing on the torch.”
  • “It’s a model that has produced great results for the Europeans, an endless rotation of interchangeable parts that remains committed to the common goal. But when it comes to the U.S., it’s an exercise in do as I say, not as I did.”
9. The club that clinched the cup
Golf Digest’s Mike Stachura with some well-deserved exposure for Bob & company’s fine work.
  • Discussing Francesco Molinari’s flatstick, he writes…”The common denominator in all is his customBettinardi DASS BBZero putter. Decked out with with a skull and crossbones stamp in the rear cavity in an Italian flag-themed paintfill, the putter is 32.25 inches in length with a loft of 2.5 degrees and a like angle of 70. The grip is Lamkin’s Deep Etch model. The putter has a single dot sightline on top and the head was milled to 372 grams, slightly heavier than most blade putters.”
  • “As for his play (which included holing 12 birdie putts in his two four-ball appearances plus singles) and that of the European team at the Ryder Cup, Molinari was typically modest. “I don’t think it’s as big as the score says. It was just holing putts at the right time.”

 

Your Reaction?
  • 12
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW1
  • LOL1
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK2

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Jon

    Oct 3, 2018 at 9:33 am

    It sounds like they need to start leaving the WAGS at home until after play has concluded on Sunday.

  2. C

    Oct 3, 2018 at 9:27 am

    Not sure why we’re still giving Christine Brennan the time of day…

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

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?
  • 4
  • 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
  • SHANK7

Continue Reading

News

Morning 9: Tour in better position for Tigermania 2.0? | Economics of hiring club caddies | Wie injury update

Published

on

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

April 24, 2019

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans.  
1. Tour better positioned for Tigermania 2.0?
The eminent Doug Ferguson at the AP talked to tournament organizers about the potential return of Tigermania…
  • “Still to be determined is whether that presents the problem of a generation ago when the PGA Tour schedule was largely divided between the tournaments Woods played and those he didn’t.”
  • “…Even if the new Minnesota event doesn’t get Woods, it already has an All-Star lineup.”
  • “The Travelers Championship never had much of a chance of getting him because the tournament Woods hosted in Washington was the following week. It created its own identity through building strong relationships with young stars and since has attracted some of the best – Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas – with Koepka, Day and Francesco Molinari expected this year.”
  • “The stock question for every tournament – “Is Tiger playing?” – does not seem as make-or-break as it once did.”
2. Wie to take time away
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…
“Wie has withdrawn from this week’s Hugel-Air Premia LA Open at Wilshire Country Club. She has been replaced in the field by former USC player Muni He.”
“Had an encouraging visit with my doctor,” Wie wrote in her social media statement, “however we both think it’s in my best interest to take some time away to allow my body to heal properly and get stronger. Health is my top priority right now and hopefully I can get back to being pain-free real soon.”
3. Woods’ Hero to wrap Saturday
AP report…”Woods announced Tuesday that his Hero World Challenge will return to the Bahamas in December and end on Saturday (Dec. 7) instead of Sunday to give him and some of the players a little extra time to get to Australia for the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne.”
  • “The matches start Thursday, Dec. 12. Even leaving the Bahamas on Saturday, a charter would not arrive until Monday morning. This will be the latest the Presidents Cup has ever been played. The first time it was held in Melbourne — 1998, the only International victory — the event ended on Dec. 12.”
4. Most intriguing Zurich Classic teams
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine offers his perspective on the most compelling duos joining forces for the team event.
  • “Jason Day and Adam Scott…The All-Aussie pairing has plenty of star power and name recognition. But this one will be interesting to watch considering Day’s health in recent months. He withdrew from Bay Hill with a back injury and then was seen getting worked on by a trainer just one hole into his Masters. However, Day did tie for fifth in Augusta, and if he can avoid any setbacks, his putting will pair nicely with Zurich debutant Scott in foursomes. This duo won the 2013 World Cup, so they know how to get the job done together.”
  • “Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia…Team Zurich was all smiles in the press tent on Tuesday. Asked when the first time they met was, Fleetwood asked for clarification: “When we first kissed?” Jokes aside, this pairing should produce as both players are stellar ballstrikers. Fleetwood hasn’t missed a cut since last summer’s French Open and he’s got two top 5s in the past two months. Garcia has four top 10s this year, though he’s also dealt with quite a bit of controversy. Maybe Fleetwood’s soothing personality will bring out the best in Garcia.”

 

5. An unusual partnership
Mike McAllister at PGATour.com…
  • “Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer. The young, intense Spanish star and the laid-back veteran from Texas”
  • “Why are they playing together this week at TPC Avondale?
  • “The simple answer is that they each needed a partner. For the first two years after the Zurich became the PGA TOUR’s only FedExCup team event, Palmer played with fellow Texan Jordan Spieth. Last year, in Rahm’s first start here, he played with close friend Wesley Bryan.”
  • “Spieth is sitting out this year, while Bryan is recovering from surgery on a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Had Bryan been healthy, he and Rahm would’ve been together this week. But since he isn’t …”
6. ‘The Voice of Golf’ is not going quietly: The life and complicated times of Peter Kessler
Masterful, singular work from Alan Shipnuck turning the one-man show that is Peter Kessler 2.0 into, well, a play…
He begins…
  • “PROLOGUE….The living room of a tidy light green house on Lake Winnah, in Orlando. Sitting on a couch is PETER KESSLER, 67. He is watching a golf tournament on a large TV. From his mannerisms and the look in his icy blue eyes it is clear that Kessler is frustrated by the coverage. He leaps off the couch and hurls the remote control against the wall.”
  • “KESSLER, yelling at the TV: These people don’t know anything about storytelling. They don’t know anything about developing characters, about moving them around on the stage. They think this is journalism. It’s not. It’s supposed to be theater!”
7. Average age of PGA Tour winners
Geoff Shackelford runs the numbers for 2019 on the heels of C.T. Pan’s RBC Heritage win…
  • “Careers are derailed or extreme pressures are inflicted simply to push players who might attract a more favorable advertising demographic. Yet the names are piling up of talented players given bad advice, while the average age for PGA Tour winners this year reminds us that golf-at least the winning variety for males-is often best produced in your thirties, not your twenties.”
  • “Following Pan’s win, the 2018-19 PGA Tour average age of winners is 33.08…If you take the schedule since Kapalua, when the field quality and course difficulty ratcheted up several notches, the average age of winners is 34.1.”
8. Undercover tour pro
This time, the unknown player for pay discusses the economics of hiring club caddies (are you listening, Matt Kuchar?)
  • “It’s an eight-second conversation to say, “$1,500 for the week, 5 percent of a made cut, 7 percent of a top 10, 10 percent for a win, you’ll get a check at the end of the week”-which, by the way, is the most common deal out here. And I’ve never heard of a caddie walking away because an offer was too low. The pro holds all the power to do the right thing. Or not.”
  • “I was floored when I heard about Matt Kuchar paying the local caddie five grand after he won $1.29 million in Mexico. I’ve been out to dinner with Matt and know him as a witty, stand-up guy. I’m not going to skewer him further, because the media already has (rightly, prompting Kuchar to up the pay to $50,000), but I will add how little sense it made from a tax perspective. Kooch could’ve given the caddie $129,000 and written it off as a business expense. Instead of changing the lives of that man’s family, a much bigger chunk will go to the government.”
9. Zurich Classic walk-up songs
Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo…
  • Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine, in introducing the full list of tunes, writes…”Teams will walk out to music of their choice before they tee off in Saturday’s third round at TPC Louisiana. For the most part, the genres are diverse – though fans will hear a few songs multiple times, most notably Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” which was picked by at least four teams.”
  • “Ah, and “Baby Shark” will get a few plays, well.”

 

Your Reaction?
  • 3
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK2

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending