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GolfWRX Morning 9: Reedbounding nicely | Guessing Tiger’s 2019 schedule | Slow play debate reignited

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1. Reed in the lead
AP Report…”Patrick Reed had a Ryder Cup he’d like to forget and spent three weeks at home in Texas preparing to finish the year strong….He was at his best Thursday in the HSBC Champions.”
  • “Even in blustery conditions, Reed putted for birdie on every hole at Sheshan International and closed out his bogey-free round with a 25-foot birdie putt for an 8-under 64, giving him a two-shot lead over Tony Finau and Xander Schauffele.”
  • “”It felt really good, because if you can go out and shoot rounds like that in these kind of conditions, you know you’re going to have confidence when the wind dies down and there are perfect conditions out there,” Reed said.”
2. What Tiger’s 2019 schedule could look like
ESPN’s Bob Harig postulates…
“Before taking a few educated guess as to where Woods will play, here are few pretty obvious predictions”
  • “The major championships will be the focus. Three of the venues — Augusta National (Masters), Bethpage Black (PGA) and Pebble Beach (U.S. Open) — are all courses on which he already has major wins. Woods will again put plenty of emphasis on those events and build his schedule around preparing for them.”
  • “He will play less. The 18 official worldwide events he played this year were the most since he played 19 in 2013 and 22 in 2012. Going back to 2006, Woods played as many as 18 events only four times before this year. It was remarkable he played that many this year, but it was clear at the Ryder Cup that it took a toll. Look for him to cut back to 16 or 17.”
  • Forget three in a row. Woods did that during the FedEx Cup playoffs, and he was sluggish at the Northern Trust and Dell Technologies before a tie for sixth at the BMW Championship, where he opened the tournament with a 62. At that point, Woods was in the midst of five tournaments in six weeks, and would add the Tour Championship and Ryder Cup for seven out of nine. With only three playoff events in 2019, expect that to be the only time Woods plays three straight.”
Full story, including a mock schedule.
3. Trailblazing women
Keeley Levins looks at LPGA Tour players from countries where the golfing population is small…”Maria Torres, Laetitia Beck, Tiffany Chan and Olafia Kristinsdottir are from four very different parts of the world. Torres grew up in Puerto Rico, Beck in Israel, Chan in Hong Kong, and Kristinsdottir in Iceland. Each is the first woman from her respective country/territory to have earned an LPGA Tour card.”
  • “In 2008, 121 international players from 26 countries were members of the LPGA Tour. This past season, 31 countries were represented, four more than on the PGA Tour. These women’s stories are different, but the same in that each was bold enough to dream of professional golf in a place where playing the game is not seen as a norm. They are all pioneers, having navigated a unique route to the LPGA Tour.”
4. The restorative power of Irish golf
Mike Stachura puts his usual equipment-related beat on the back burner for a reflective piece on his first golf trip to Ireland.
  • “My experience in Ireland with six rounds of golf in five days, and a host of new friends wanting the better for myself went beyond the golf course experiences, too. It came just from sitting on the weirdly perfect basalt columns of the jaw-dropping Giants Causeway on Northern Ireland’s north coast and contemplating just how big the world is. Or experiencing the eerie, deafening silence of an entire 50,000-seat stadium on a Saturday night in Dublin before a kick at the Guinness Rugby Final. And then the almost rehearsed delirium that follows as the ball spins through the uprights. These moments, and all the golf I could see in Ireland, are evidence, a reminder, that while there’s plenty of joy in the world, Irish joy seems so viscerally tangible that it exposes the joy of everyday life you’ve overlooked.”
  • “I think if you don’t love golf after a trip like mine, you probably never really liked it in the first place. And you don’t deserve to ever love it in the future. Ireland reveals love about yourself and about golf, no less than it demands it because it is as difficult as it is obvious, as frustrating as it is rewarding, as physical as it is spiritual. Like James Joyce’s writing or Samuel Beckett’s plays or Glen Hansard’s voice, it stays with you, confounds you, inspires you, calls you back.”
5. China Golf Association + Sean Foley
Not really sure about this one, but here’s the official word from the PGA Tour…
  • “The China Golf Association (CGA) launched its Olympics DreamStart Team program at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions on Wednesday, securing the services of renowned swing coach Sean Foley to help the nation realize its golden dream.”
  • “An initial group of four golfers – Liu Yanwei, Liu Wenbo, Ye Lei, Du Mohan – will be the focus in CGA’s initial efforts to prepare its golfers for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. China’s leading female golfer, Shanshan Feng delivered a bronze medal for the country in Rio de Janeiro two years ago when golf made a welcome return into the Olympics program.”
  • “I’ve been connected with a lot of the young Chinese golfers for the past five years. China is an incredible place – it has been since the Ming Dynasty – where the people are very hard working and very smart. Now that golf is more accepting here, the sky is the limit,” said Foley.
  • “I’m going to help the Chinese players with what they need help with, not just to understand their game but also to understand themselves. A lot of coaching that I do is going to be how they practice and getting them to understand the inner parts of their mind and hearts. I’m glad the CGA is moving forward with this project.”
6. Meanwhile, in Taiwan…
AP Report…”Jodi Ewart Shadoff shot 7-under 65 on Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship. Shadoff, seeking her first career victory, made seven birdies in a bogey-free round at the Ta Shee Golf and Country Club to finish ahead Haeji Kang and Nelly Korda. Kang also was bogey-free in shooting 67, while Korda eagled the par-5 third hole and added four birdies against a lone bogey.”
7. Pavin’s penalty reignites slow play discourse
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard filed a lengthy look at several facets of slow play in the professional game.
An interesting portion…”It’s become a broken record for both players and fans. People complain, pundits point out the flaws in a system that includes warnings and a healthy degree of leeway when a player is timed, and nothing changes. At this point, complaints about slow play have become little more than white noise.”
“But before you tune out and dismiss this most recent episode, consider that slow play is much more than a mild annoyance. It might be aggravating to fans that have grown weary watching a Tour-type run the two-minute drill on a tough putt, but next week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open offers a glimpse into the cost of slow play.”
“The Tour’s policy board approved a plan to reduce the field size in Las Vegas from 144 to 132 players. According to a memo sent to players, the decision was made “to give the tournament a better chance of completing Rounds 1 and 2 on schedule.”
“To be fair, part of this problem was driven by the event’s move from mid-October to early November, when the daylight window is slightly larger. But there’s no denying the fact that if threesome rounds didn’t regularly stretch past the five-hour mark, this would not be an issue.”
8. 67,000,000-1 odds
AFP Report…”An Australian club golfer has defied odds of more than 60-million-to-one to shoot two holes-in-one in a single round on a course in Melbourne, local media reported Thursday.”
  • “Jim Grant said he missed seeing his first ace go in on the 11th at the Green Acres Golf Club in the suburb of Kew because he was chatting with playing partners, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.”
  • “”I hit a lovely 8-iron up and I thought the ball was getting close and I turned to the fellas to say ‘I think this is going to go close’ and they were all jumping up and down,” he told the ABC. “I kind of missed it going in.”
  • “But he had another bite of the cherry just six holes later at the 17th, a 180-metre (196-yard) par three with a bunker guarding the front left of the green.”
Congrats, Mr. Grant!
9. New J alert
The iconic shoe brand announced the latest colorway of its Trainer ST G yesterday. Check out the next Jordan golf shoe, below.
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2 Comments

  1. Robert

    Oct 25, 2018 at 11:54 am

    Reed is “bounding back” with a new Scotty Cameron – maybe a “Newport 1.5” style. It is similar in design to his Odyssey but no insert.

  2. Jonny

    Oct 25, 2018 at 10:18 am

    Prediction: all Chinese golfers screw their backs up after being coached by foley.????????????

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2020 Open Championship canceled; PGA scheduled for August, U.S. Open for September, Masters for November

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The R&A has officially scratched the 2020 Open Championship due to the current Coronavirus pandemic in a statement today.

While this seemed poised to be the professional golf schedule news of the day, shortly thereafter, the Augusta National Golf Club, European Tour, LPGA, PGA of America, PGA Tour, The R&A, and USGA released a joint statement regarding the fate of the other three major championships as well as play on the LPGA and European Tour. 

First, the canceled major: The 149th Open Championship will now take place in 2021 from 11-18 July, and the R&A will transfer over tickets and hospitality packages purchased for the Championship to next year’s event.

St. Andrews, which was due to host the 150th Open Championship next year, will instead host the event in 2022.

In a statement published on the R&A’s website, Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said

“Our absolute priority is to protect the health and safety of the fans, players, officials, volunteers and staff involved in The Open. We care deeply about this historic Championship and have made this decision with a heavy heart. We appreciate that this will be disappointing for a great many people around the world but this pandemic is severely affecting the UK and we have to act responsibly. It is the right thing to do.

“I can assure everyone that we have explored every option for playing The Open this year but it is not going to be possible.

“There are many different considerations that go into organising a major sporting event of this scale. We rely on the support of the emergency services, local authorities and a range of other organisations to stage the Championship and it would be unreasonable to place any additional demands on them when they have far more urgent priorities to deal with. In recent weeks we have been working closely with those organisations as well as Royal St George’s, St Andrews Links Trust and the other golf bodies to resolve the remaining external factors and have done so as soon as we possibly could. We are grateful to all of them for their assistance and co-operation throughout this process.

“Most of all I would like to thank our fans around the world and all of our partners for their support and understanding. At a difficult time like this we have to recognise that sport must stand aside to let people focus on keeping themselves and their families healthy and safe. We are committed to supporting our wider community in the weeks and months ahead and will do everything in our power to help golf come through this crisis.”

Shortly therafter a joint press release from the Augusta National Golf Club, European Tour, LPGA, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, The R&A and USGA was circulated by email, which revealed the PGA Championship is now slated for August, the U.S. Open for September, and the Masters for November.

From the press release.

USGA: The U.S. Open, previously scheduled for June 15-21 at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York, has been officially rescheduled for September 14-20 and is confirmed to remain at Winged Foot. 

The R&A: The R&A has decided to cancel The Open in 2020 due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, and the Championship will next be played at Royal St. George’s in 2021. The Open was due to be played in Kent, England, from July 12-19, but it has been necessary to cancel the Championship based on guidance from the UK Government, the health authorities, public services and The R&A’s advisers. 

PGA of America: The PGA of America is announcing today that the PGA Championship is now scheduled to take place August 3-9 and will remain at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, California.  The PGA Championship was originally slated for May 11-17 but was postponed on March 17.

Augusta National Golf Club: Augusta National has identified November 9-15 as the intended dates to host the 2020 Masters Tournament, which was previously scheduled for April 6-12 and postponed on March 13.

Additionally, the release noted the Ryder Cup will still be contested September 22-27, at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin.

For those updating their schedules at home, the release also included this handy summary.

  • TO BE CONFIRMED: June 15-21 (formerly U.S. Open week) – potential PGA TOUR event
  • CANCELED: July 13-19, The Open Championship, Royal St. George’s GC, Sandwich, Kent, England
  • TO BE CONFIRMED: July 13-19 (formerly The Open Championship week) – potential PGA TOUR event
  • TO BE CONFIRMED: July 27-August 2 (formerly Men’s Olympic Competition week) – potential PGA TOUR event
  • CONFIRMED: August 3-9 – PGA Championship, TPC Harding Park, San Francisco, California
  • CONFIRMED: PGA TOUR’s season-ending event/FedExCup Playoffs
    • August 10-16 – Wyndham Championship, Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro, North Carolina
    • August 17-23 – THE NORTHERN TRUST, TPC Boston, Norton, Massachusetts
    • August 24-30 – BMW Championship, Olympia Fields CC, Olympia Fields, Illinois
    • August 31-September 7 (Labor Day) – TOUR Championship, East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Georgia
  • CONFIRMED: September 14-20 – U.S. Open, Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, New York
  • RECONFIRMED: September 22-27: Ryder Cup, Whistling Straits, Kohler, Wisconsin
  • CONFIRMED: November 9-15: the Masters Tournament, Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia
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GolfWRX Spotlight: Golf Drawn’s custom golf art

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I recently converted an extra bedroom in my house into a home office (golf-themed, of course). In my search for stuff to put up on the walls, I came across a company that was doing something different. They had a booth at this year’s PGA Show showing off some of their unique work, and when I dug in a bit more, I realized it was a really innovative product for the golf community. So, I reached out to the people at Golf Drawn to see if they could help me create a piece for my office.

Golf Drawn is a custom design and illustration service that specializes in creating original, hand-drawn course routing designs of your favorite club. Any club. That’s the best part. They can draw any course in the world using the wonders of satellite imaging.

Goat Hill Park

Brooklawn on Wood Canvas

Streamsong

“We began just as we still do now, by drawing up folks’ home tracks,” said Anthony Malky, Owner and Creative Director at Golf Drawn. “Whether it was a par three, municipal course, top-100, or whatever. Our whole deal was that we would draw any course….and we still do. There’s yet to be one that we couldn’t execute.”

If you’ve spent any time looking around for golf art or memorabilia, you realize how big a deal that actually is. The top-100 courses get all the love. Golf Drawn is filling a void out there and providing custom art focused on your favorite local course.

“We receive the course request from you and get to work on creating the design,” said Malky, “Once the design is complete, we send you proofs, and then you choose background color, labeling, frame and any additions.”

Popular additions to the framed prints include images of the scorecard table, compass to show direction of the course routing, alternative club logos, etc…

And Golf Drawn can then put that routing design or logo on a tee-shirt, sticker or other items if you like as well. Every new design requires a one-time design fee to get the work completed. But once that design is done, it is free to put on any framed print or tee in the future for anyone. Tee-shirts are becoming a rather popular item on the website.

If a course has been renovated or simply no longer exists, Golf Drawn has worked directly from old photos or original course plans to recreate the old track you remember. And, of course, Golf Drawn can do the famous courses as well. It’s a great way to commemorate a favorite round, hole in one, or once in a lifetime score.

My local club is Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. They already had a design drawn of Colonial, so it wasn’t hard to customize what I wanted and finish the order. I added the columns logo to the top left corner and script location on the bottom right.

So how did this all begin? Anthony Malky grew up in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. He caddied at Oakmont Country Club for over a decade…and even got to play the course on some Mondays. He loves golf, just like we all do. And he started drawing courses as a hobby.

“I began drawing up the clubs that meant a lot to me,” Malky said. “After some time, at the urging of others I made an Instagram. I had a ton of course designs done and figured might as well post them for folks. From there, the Instagram took off, that turned into a website…then the custom orders started coming.”

Fast forward a couple of years, and Golf Drawn now has an entire wholesale catalog of unique products, over 250+ club accounts, and products stocked in shops around the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. That is pretty impressive for a business that does everything in-house with a fully customizable product. And keeping prices low has always been a goal for Malky, as he remembers a time when he wanted to buy golf art himself but found everything to be overpriced and low quality.

Sticker Variety Pack

“We’ve tried to keep our prices, minimums at wholesale, all low and cost effective,” Malky said.  “That was part of the initial start too, allowing people to get their course drawn up, framed, etc. for a price that anyone could pay. Not some outlandish design fee or commission type setup.”

Prices per print with framing included

The supply is working hard to keep up with the demand. Golf Drawn is still a small operation and Malky does all of the designs himself. There is a team that helps with operations and a few sales reps across the country, but the business definitely remains small. That is intentional. Malky believes that allows Golf Drawn to offer a personal, high-level service to each individual customer. And it allows the company to remain focused on the reason they got started in the first place.

“It’s always been about shedding light on and propping up courses and places that otherwise wouldn’t be,” Malky said.  Giving attention to and making that local municipal course look as good as a top-10 track. Getting the par-3 course by your house designed, framed and up on a wall, highlighted in a way that many people have only seen the big courses like Pebble, Pinehurst, Oakmont. It’s always been about highlighting the places and the memories that mean so much to people.”

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Report: 2020 Open Championship set to be cancelled; R&A releases statement in response: “continuing to work through options”

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This year’s Open Championship will be cancelled outright by the R&A due to the Coronavirus pandemic, according to a report from Golf Digest.

Per the report, an unnamed source has divulged to the publication that the championship will next take place in 2021 with St. Andrews hosting the event. Royal St. Georges, due to host the 2020 Open Championship, would instead host the 2024 edition.

According to Golf Digest’s source, insurance has played a pivotal role in the decision making. As with Wimbledon, the Open Championship has an insurance policy that protects itself against a global pandemic if the event is cancelled by a specific date.

On Wednesday, the R&A officially announced that the 41st Curtis Cup would be played in 2021 while the organization also moved the British Amateur and British Women’s Amateur from June to August.

Though unconfirmed, this would mark the first major championship of 2020 to be cancelled outright, with the Masters and PGA Championship having been officially postponed.

*UPDATE*

On Thursday morning, in light of the speculation surrounding this year’s Open Championship, Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, released a statement where he said the R&A are “continuing to work through our options for The Open this year.”

“We are continuing to work through our options for The Open this year, including postponement. Due to a range of external factors, that process is taking some time to resolve. We are well aware of the importance of being able to give clear guidance to fans, players and everyone involved and are working to resolve this as soon as we can. We will give a further update as soon as we are in a position to do so and thank everyone for their support and understanding in this challenging situation.”

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