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GolfWRX Morning 9: International Crown | No recourse for blinded spectator? | Ted Bishop speaks

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1. Likely little legal recourse for spectator hit by Koepka
USA Today’s Steve DiMeglio reports on what’s likely to be the unfortunate reality for Corine Remande.
  • “The reason it is so hard to even get this in front of a jury is because in most states, there’s an assumption of risk defense in these types of cases,” said Marc Diller, a Boston-based lawyer who sued the Boston Red Sox on behalf of a fan injured by a foul ball. “Any patron who goes to a golf match or a baseball game assumes the risks of those hazards. Those known risks, for baseball, would be foul balls. At a professional golf tournament, it’s errant golf balls.”
  • “Legal experts told USA TODAY Sports had such an incident happened in the U.S., Remande would be hard pressed to even get the case to trial — let alone win a verdict. Each state has its own laws that govern personal injury and in some jurisdictions merely warning fans of danger – including in the small print on tickets – is enough to thwart litigation.”
  • “In the U.S., the law is pretty clear,” Chicago-based attorney Robert Clifford said. “Being on a golf course – either as a player or spectator – there’s an obvious danger.”
Any legal experts on the French justice system care to weigh in? I assume the guillotine is no longer in vogue?
2. “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.”
Our Gianni Magliocco with a final word on the Ryder Cup: a reminder of the significance of the competition for Europeans.
“Europe continuously considering themselves as underdogs has no doubt helped to banish any sense of complacency. From the dominance of both U.S. politics and culture on the rest of the world, there has always been a special pride and sense of achievement for those outside of the U.S. in downing the sporting superstars from the land of milk and honey. This motivation only heightens when it’s at a sport where the U.S. has been so dominant throughout history, such as they have in golf. It’s an embedded mindset that both the European team and supporters possess year on year, while it seems likely that the U.S. Ryder Cup side is more susceptible to complacency, and perhaps, motivated more by defeat.”
“The attention for the twelve members of the defeated U.S. side will now turn to the new PGA Tour season, where they will be hoping for major championship triumphs, FedEx Cup success and even qualification for the Presidents Cup. It may be two years away, but much of the motivation for the European players will be to make the next Ryder Cup side and to keep that trophy in Europe until 2022 at the very least.”
“Francesco Molinari won the Open Championship earlier this year, which was his first ever taste of major championship glory. Years of sweat and perseverance culminating in the most memorable moment of his career, right? Not according to Francesco, who described this year’s Ryder Cup victory with his teammates as a far more significant achievement than his Open Championship success…”It means so much. So much more than majors, more than anything… It’s been an incredible week. It’s about the group. It’s incredible. It is the best feeling I have ever had in golf.”
3. Speaketh the Toski
The great Bob Toski, 92, chatted with Golf Digest.
  • The stamina!…”Today I woke up and felt like I was 27 again,” he said from his South Florida home….This after a long day by anyone’s standard, much less a nonagenarian. A legendary teaching pro and the PGA Tour’s leading money winner in 1954, Toski was at Atlantic National Golf Club in Lake Worth, Fla., on Tuesday, playing a nine-hole scramble, then teaching the rest of the day. He was on the lesson tee about 10 a.m., he said, and finished around four.”
  • Beating death!…”I was halfway to heaven,” he said. “But He sent me back. Said ‘I’ll call you later.’ They put two stents in my heart. They were delivering me to ICU and my heart stopped. It stopped five times. They had to regenerate my heart. The answer they gave me when they put the two stents in, the heart flow became so great that blood was rushing too fast. It was like the heart was drowning. They were able to control that so that my heart beat consistently.”
May he live forever. Full article.
4. Mixed start for Americans at International Crown
AP Report…”The United States had a mixed start on the opening day of the UL International Crown team golf tournament on Thursday, splitting the fourballs against Sweden, while favorite South Korea collected a maximum four points with two wins over Taiwan.”
  • “Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson gave the U.S. a winning start in the eight-nation, 32-player tournament against Pernilla Lindberg and Madelene Sagstrom to win 2-up.”
  • “The defending champion’s other pairing, Michelle Wie and Jessica Korda, had a disastrous start, however, and was 4 down after five holes against Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall. The American pair rallied to become all square by the 13th hole, only to lose 2-up.”
5. Does climate matter for young golfers?  
Our Brendan Ryan crunches the numbers on where top golfers come from.
A few of his conclusions…
  • “Ideal Climates: While you have the best opportunity based on the weather and course conditions to shoot a good score, it is important to invest in developing different shot shapes and trajectories, as well as learning to play in the rain / wind when it comes; next time it’s raining in Southern California run to the first tee and get in 9 holes. When the weather is idea, consider playing different games to sharpen your skills. For example, play with just irons, or ever other iron, or the rough out of bounds or play where your competitor names the shot shape you need to hit each shot.”
  • “Less than Ideal Climates: While you have less opportunity to shoot low scores in perfect weather and conditions, you have great opportunities to invest in skills that will serve you in the long run. In my experience the best players from these climates use cold months very carefully to refine technical skills through lots of block practice. They are also diligent about the time they have on the course, keeping careful stats and making sure nice days are spent at the course engaged in competition. When the weather is not ideal, don’t be afraid to play from a much shorter yardage to ensure you can still shoot good scores.”
6. The International Crown’s moment?
Keeley Levins writes…”On the heels of the Ryder Cup, the LPGA hosts a team event of its own: the UL International Crown. In the third edition of the biennial event, four women from the eight top-ranked countries will play four days of team play in Incheon, South Korea-the first time the event is being held outside the United States.”
  • “Women’s golf has seen success already in team competitions; the Solheim Cup draws large crowds-more than 120,000 in Des Moines in 2017 and solid TV ratings (2017 numbers in the U.S. surpassed those seen for majors). Add in the fact that it will be held in one of the global hotbeds for women’s golf, and the potential for the International Crown to develop an identity of its own appears high.”
  • “We built this event with one goal, let’s build something that’s never been done before,” LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan said in a Golf Channel interview. “We knew when we launched it there’d be some critics along the way, but it’s proven it’s different and fun.”
7. But where were the crowds?
Randall Mell…”The Korean fans didn’t live up to the hype in Thursday’s opening round. The Korean players did, though.”
  • “With the bleachers around the first tee nearly empty when England and Australia were introduced as the opening match, the UL International Crown got off to a decidedly underwhelming start.”
  • “There wasn’t a hint of electricity in the air in a surprisingly low voltage opening, with none of the new energy promised for this event’s first staging overseas. But the late-arriving Korean fans picked things up when their team teed off, 90 minutes after the first ball was struck.”
Odd.
8. Not exactly reaffirming your faith in humanity…
The woman blinded by Brooks Koepka‘s tee shot spoke with the media for the first time since the incident.
  • While she discussed her plans to take legal action and her grim prognosis, this remark was particularly disturbing.
  • “What shocked me too was that the spectators were taking pictures of me, but no one was calling for help.”
Unreal.
9. For your listening pleasure…
  • Former PGA of America CEO, Ted Bishop, joined Michael Williams on his 19th Hole podcast to talk about what went wrong for the U.S. side at the Ryder Cup and more.

 

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  1. Stixman

    Oct 4, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    I don’t believe for one moment the Euros regarded themselves as ‘underdogs’. I think they, and we, all take with a very liberal pinch of salt the overblown BS about ‘the Best Players in the World’ from ‘the Best Tour in th World’.It all depends who your audience is when you’re delivered the BS, fine if it’s domestic, but outwith that arena it doesn’t actually carry much weight.

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Brooks Koepka can’t stop defending major titles

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All right, it’s only two, but its two-consecutive PGA Championships…on the heels of two-straight U.S. Open titles. Thanks to the PGA moving up three months, he kinda-sorta has both doubles at the same time.

Brooks Koepka fought the golf course, his swing, the competition, and the self-inflicted pressure that he strives to minimize, and came out a winner. His margin of victory over workout pal Dustin Johnson was two strokes. Johnson had his chances but failed to capitalize. Can you fault him? If you had told him on Wednesday that he would be the only man to shoot all four rounds in the 60s, he might have anticipated a trophy at week’s end. Not to be. Despite a sequence of stumbles, Koepka parred the odd 18th hole and earned his sixth PGA Tour title and fourth major championship.

Here are five reasons he did it.

5. Dustin Johnson might be a one-off major winner, after all.

What they said couldn’t be done, was in Johnson’s grasp. Koepka’s apparently-insurmountable, 7-shot advantage had withered to 2 mere blows, and the man responsible for the winnowing was Dustin Johnson. The man from Myrtle was 3-under on the day, and stood a mere 12 feet from a 4th birdie at the 10th. Behind him, Koepka was even for the day, and about to birdie the 10th hole from 2 feet. Johnson missed, then bogeyed the 11th. What if DJ had made his birdie, and the roars had erupted. Would Koepka have stuffed his ridiculous, 160-yard lob wedge for a kick-in birdie? Probably not. DJ had to be perfect on Sunday, and when he most needed the endurance and the mental fortitude, both were lacking.

4. Koepka survived

I’ve played BPB and I’ve watched my high school golfers compete on it during New York state federation play. It is as difficult as you saw today. One bad swing leads to a bad hole, and it might lead to a run of four bogeys, as Koepka had on holes 11-14. He bogeyed a par five! He bogeyed a flip-shot par three!! He then turned around and parred the two most difficult holes of the closing stretch. Despite another bogey on his nemesis, the 17th, Koepka had enough wiggle room to limp home with par for a 2-shot victory.

3. Koepka elevated his game when needed

There was a point when the lead was down to one stroke, but if not for this shot, Koepka and Johnson would have been tied. The champion knew the adrenaline he was feeling, which explains the ludicrous thought that a gap wedge would fly 158 yards in the air. It did, and the ball settled two feet below the hole at the 10th. No matter what was happening in front of him, Koepka was about to shave a stroke from par. Golfers who choke a tournament away never make shots like this one.

2. Despite this…

I don’t have any words to describe this exchange. Your guy is trying to win a major, and somehow, it seems to be about you?

1. Karma

Doing a kind thing when you least need to do a kind thing, leads to Shivas, the god of Irons, smiling down on you.

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PGA Championship: 5 things we learned on Saturday

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Day three at Bethpage promised to differ from the first 48 hours of the 2019 PGA Championship. With a halved field and no 10th-hole tee times, odds of missing your tee time were reduced, even for David Lipsky. Brooks Koepka began the day with a 7-stroke lead, but the chance to chase him down depended on one of two scenarios playing out.

The first demanded similar course conditions to days one and two. In that situation, someone would shoot 63 or 64, hoping Koepka remained at par or higher. Conditions were different, as the wind picked up and then swirled, sending a higher number of tee shots into the rough and beyond. As for the second, well, it required Koepka to balloon to a mid- to high-70s score, allowing a score anywhere below par to make up ground. Neither one happened, and Koepka left the state park with the same lead as he had 24 hours prior. We still learned quite a bit on Saturday, so have a look at the 5 most important things we learned on Saturday at the 2019 PGA Championship.

5. New names made their presence known

Ardent followers of professional golf have read about Jazz Janewattananond, Harold Varner III and Luke List, but until today, none had made a dent in the first page of a major professional event. Each sits at -5, tied with Dustin Johnson, seven blows behind Koepka. Varner will accompany Koepka on the Sunday march, but all four of the minus-fives will play either for 2nd spot, or the coveted “If Koepka should falter” trophy.

4. How do you come from THAT far behind?

Simply put, you need to make six birdies at least, get to 9 or 10 under par, and pray for rain. Koepka’s swing looks like it’s here to stay. He doesn’t get tired physically, and he isn’t under the weather. Yesterday, I predicted that Matt Wallace would hit more shots like this one. I stand by that prediction, and expect Wallace (at -4) to be the only one of the chasers to give Koepka a run. Wallace is playing for the same sort of legitimacy as the leader. Koepka wants to be a part of the conversation for best golfer in the world; Wallace wants to be much more than an afterthought when Ryder Cup 2021 comes around. Sunday will put the Englishman in another class.

3. Spieth and Scott went quietly away

No one likes to foretell doom and gloom, unless they go by the name of Bran Stark. It is someone’s job to predict such things in golf, and the team of S and S shared the cloak of most likely to play above par on Saturday. The Jordan Spieth who gutted out the 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay was not present today. The Adam Scott who played through the rain to defeat Angel Cabrera in the 2013 Masters playoff was also unavailable. Bethpage is a big, brawny golf course. With the exception of Lucas Glover in 2009, it rewards big, brawny golfers.

2. Is Bethpage a boring place to play a major championship?

I don’t think so, but I’m not convinced that this was the best set-up for it. If the PGA likes birdies, tell me how they went from 10 billion birdies in the event’s first half, to quite a few less on day three? Something changed, or perhaps the course caught up with the conditions. There is a lot of thick rough out there…why? Increase fairway width by 10%, so that balls that barely miss, have a chance at redemption. Move the tee markers up on number six and make it a drivable par four for at least one round. Do the same on number eighteen, just for one day on the weekend. If Koepka is on his game for day four, anticipate a nice time for a long nap.

1. Will Brooks Koepka seal the deal on Sunday?

All signs point to Yes, and major championship number four, and possibly the blessing of Pope Brandel of Chamblee. However, we did see a few flinches on Saturday, and we would like to mention them here. To begin, his putting distance control was erratic. Did you see that first putt on 17, from 20 feet? The one that went 75% of the way to the hole? Brooks made his share of 5-feet putts today, but if the distance control gets weird tomorrow, and the short putts start spinning out, well then… Another area of concern was driving. He can’t be perfect, but with the big stick in his hands at all times, the big miss might be coming. If BK goes wide right or left and makes a big number, the confidence might be shaken.

All right, I’m searching for a needle in a haystack of straws at which I’m grasping. Got that? It’s a double metaphor, because a double metaphor is what is needed to keep Koepka from holding PGA and US Open trophies for the 2nd consecutive cycle.

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PGA Championship: 5 things we learned Friday

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Don’t worry, we’ll get to him. You have to be patient. Some interesting stuff happened at Bethpage Black on Friday, but doesn’t something always go down in metro?  Some late stumbles ensured that the plus-fours would see the weekend in a competitive fashion. Not talking knickers, mind you, but the guys who shot 72-72. All right then, enough with the musings, on with the 5 things we learned on day five of this week.

5. El Gato Con Rayas won’t be winning the Slam this season

Tiger Woods had history with BPB, doncha know?! Some things have a due date, an “it’s not you, it’s me” moment. 2k19 was that for TDubs and the Black. He fought, mind you. He birdied his 27th hole, but that was followed by 4 boges in 5 holes. He didn’t have his A nor his B game this week, so he didn’t walk away a beaten man. Just as well, as that guy who just wants respect went low again, opening up a 7-stroke lead at the halfway point. So that you know, I’ll take bets on Eldrick bagging either the U.S. or British Open championships. He’s coming out of 2019 with 16 majors, bank on it.

4. Three of your teachers made the cut

There are 3 shields on the leader board, and they will be there until Sunday. Marty Jertson, Rob Labritz and Ryan Vermeer stood tall as Friday dusked. They looked at their loved ones and said, simply, “I can’t believe it; I did it. I made the cut.” No matter what happens over the next two days, this triumvirate might as well be named Vardon, Taylor and Braid. They showed the golfing world that fellows who work a day job in golf, can prepare and perform at the level of the world’s finest touring professionals. Cheers to you, gentlemen.

3. Spieth and Scott are done; Wallace is your man

Despite this prank, or perhaps because of it, Matt Wallace is my pick to overtake Burger King and win the 2019 PGA Championship. If you can hashtag a chip on someone’s shoulder, Wallace has had a massive one since he was snubbed by Thomas Bjorn last fall for the Euro Ryder Cup team. The Englishman made 6 birdies on day two, and shows no signs of stopping. He’ll make 8 birdies on Saturday, mark my words. That should send a signal flare that even BK notices. Oh, Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott? They had their day of glory. They’re done.

2. They might be workout bruhs, but…

…enough is enough. DJ was poised to be the schizz until BK said “?Habla usted back-to-back US Open?” He’s now on the cusp of B2BPGA, and that’s something that the golfer currently known as Paulina’s will not stomach. Not with brother Austin in his bag. Not with all of South Carolina pulling for him. Johnson won’t be paired with the leader on Saturday, so he’ll have to make some noise on the first 4 holes to get muscles’ attention. He can do it, but can he sustain it? This weekend, he will.

1. How did this guy get an invite, again?

Just messing with you, B to the K. This guy epitomizes values: goes overseas to meet new people and learn the game the hard way; works his arse off in the gym to get large and fit; shows no fear when faced with adversity and greatness. I can’t promise I never dissed Brooks Koepka in previous pieces, but man, he sends a message. 7 birdies each day. 0 bogies day 1, 2 bogies day 2. If he keeps making buckets of birdies, t’ain’t no one gonna catch him. Here’s to you, Brooks, and whatever choice of swimwear is yours, today. Records? They nice.

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