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GolfWRX Morning 9: Xander! Nelly! Champ the champ! | A pair of passings | Caddyshack festival

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

October 29, 2018

Good Monday morning, golf fans. Happy birthday to my dad, the guy who introduced me to the game.
1. X!
Birdie-birdie to get into a playoff, takedown of Tony Finau. Well played.
  • AP Report…”Xander Schauffele gave the Americans a sweep of the World Golf Championships and quickly put a winless sophomore season behind him.”
  • “Schauffele made birdie on his final three holes Sunday, the last one a 2-putt birdie from about 30 feet on the par-5 18th hole to beat Tony Finau in a sudden-death playoff and win the HSBC Champions.”
  • “When I was signing my card, I was like, ‘Oh, wow. I actually went birdie-birdie to get in the playoff,'” Schauffele said. “I was just in my own world out there.”
  • “He began the tournament by celebrating his 25th birthday. He ended it with one clutch shot after another in the closing stretch at Sheshan International for a 4-under 68, the lowest score of the final round, and his first victory in 13 months.”
2. Champ the champ
From frontrunning, to faltering, to closing the door.
  • AP Report…”Cameron Champ birdied five of the last six holes to win the Sanderson Farms Championship, recovering for his first PGA Tour victory after giving up a four-shot lead Sunday.”
  • “The 23-year-old Champ won in his ninth career tour start, closing with a 4-under 68 for a four-stroke victory. He finished at 21-under 267 in the wire-to-wire victory at the Country Club of Jackson.”
  • “Champ began the day four shots ahead, but played the front nine in 1 over to fall into a tie. Corey Conners pulled even on No. 9 with a 13-foot birdie putt, but Champ pulled away on the back nine with four straight birdies on Nos. 13-16. Conners had a 68 to finish second.”
  • ‘”The front side, there were some nerves, but on the back side I brought it all together and finished strong. It was awesome,” Champ said.”
3. Couldn’t handle the heat!
Cameron Champ cracked the head of his Ping G400 Max on the range ahead of the final round of the Sanderson Farms Championship. Fortunately, he had a backup, which even more fortunately, he was comfortable with.
  • I guess that’s a risk you run when you lead the PGA Tour in swing speed (129.99 mph) and the ball exits your driver at an average of more than 193 mph.
4. Whoa, Nelly!
AP Report…”Nelly Korda shot a 4-under 68 to win the Taiwan Championship on Sunday for her first LPGA tour title.”
  • “Korda – the younger sister of Jessica Korda, who has won five titles on the LPGA tour – had an eagle on the par-5 sixth hole and added two more birdies at the Ta Shee Golf and Country Club to finish at 13-under 275. She was two strokes ahead of Minjee Lee, who shot a bogey-free 66.”
  • “Truthfully, I cannot put it into words,” Korda said. “It still hasn’t hit. It’s definitely one of the best days of my entire life. I can finally check that off of my list, winning an LPGA event, something that I dreamed of ever since I started playing.”
5. RIP
A pair of passings in the world of golf…
  • Legendary Pinehurst caddie Willie McRae is dead at 85. A morsel from Bill Speros’ Golfweek obit…”Legendary Pinehurst looper Willie McRae, who caddied for presidents, athletic superstars and anyone else who asked for nearly 75 years, had died.”
  • “He was 85. McRae had retired from caddying at Pinehurst last year. McRae caddied for five presidents, athletes from Mickey Mantle to Michael Jordan and golf greats such as Gene Sarazen, Bobby Jones and Sam Snead. McRae caddied in several of the game’s most notable championships, starting with the 1951 Ryder Cup at Pinehurst No. 2, and extending to multiple U.S. Opens and U.S Women’s Opens.”
The oldest member of the PGA of America, Gus Andreone, is dead at 107.
  • Golf Digest’s Ryan Herrington writes… “You can do a lot when you live to be 107, as Gus Andreone proved. The son of a coal miner who grew up outside of Pittsburgh, Andreone earned three Bronze Stars for his military service, which included fighting in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II. He won the Pennsylvania lottery in 1983. And for more than 90 years he worked in the golf industry, become a PGA of America professional in 1939…The oldest member of the association, Andreone died on Saturday in Sarasota, Fla., after recently suffering a stroke.”
6. Caddyshack festival!
So what? So let’s dance!
  • Golf Digest’s Joel Beall writes…”On Saturday organizers announced that “Caddyshack Fest” will launch next summer in Kentucky, a celebration of all-things Bushwood.”
  • “We drove out to this golf course in Louisville, and this place is perfect,” planner Will Russell told Entertainment Weekly. “We’re going to have golf cart races and costume contests and a dance party. It’s going to be just a blast. We published the Facebook page today about 3 p.m., and last I looked it had about 200 followers already, so I think it’s going to be a huge hit.”
  • “If this sounds like a half-baked idea-which would be in line with the movie’s ethos-Russell has been the mastermind for the successful “Lebowski Fest,” which has been running since 2002 and attracted almost all of the movie’s main cast.”
7. Thanks, Tommy!
Via Derek Lawrenson at the Daily Mail...”The British Masters has been saved following an 11th hour deal that will see Tommy Fleetwood take on the role of host at the historic event which will be played in May next year.”
  • “The news will be officially disclosed on Monday when the 2019 European Tour schedule is announced. Three weeks ago the British Masters was missing when the proposed schedule was revealed at a players’ meeting – but there has now been a last-minute change of heart.”
  • The venue will be Hillside, which neighbors Royal Birkdale, in Southport.
8. Hensby trying to make it back
A refresher, via Eamon Lynch…”What transpired is this: after the first round of the Sanderson Farms Championship in October 2017, Hensby was summoned for a random drug test. Having just urinated on his 17th hole – and facing a long wait during which he could ruminate on his round of 78 and flagging career – he left the golf course and ignored a request from officials to return.”
  • “He was DQ’d and in December the PGA Tour announced the ban under a new policy of making public the names of those suspended for violations of drug test protocols….The Australian still believes his penalty was excessive. He points to Brad Fritsch, who got a three-month ban in January for admitting to inadvertently taking a banned substance.”
  • “A guy gets three months for saying he was taking something and I get a year for not doing the test at the time they wanted me to do it,” he said. “Nine extra months for that is a little bit harsh.”
Full piece, for more on his road back.
9. Winning WITB
Big-hitting Cameron Champ’s winning gear from the Sanderson Farms Championship.
Driver: Ping G400 Max (9 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Pro White TS 63X
Length: 44.5 inches, tipped 1.5 inches
Swing weight: D3
Fairway Wood: Ping G400 (14.5 degrees, at 14.2 degrees +0.6 setting)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black 85 grams 6.5-flex
Length: 42.75 inches, tipped 1 inch
Swing weight: D3
Irons: Ping i500 (4 iron), Ping iBlade (4-PW)
Shafts: KBS C-Taper 130X
Wedges: Ping Glide Forged (50, 54 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400
Putter: Ping PLD Mid Tyne Prototype
Length, loft, lie: 34.5 inches, 2 degrees, 0.5 degrees flat
Golf Ball: Srixon Z-Star XV

 

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Morning 9: Match 3 details announced | The New York Yankee who nearly won the Masters | Good news for golf card collectors

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By Ben Alberstadt
October 20, 2020 
 
Good Tuesday morning, golf fans.

 

1. The Match 3 details announced

PGATour.com staff report…“Turner Sports will present Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Change, a premier golf event with the World Golf Hall of Famer and crossover legends competing – Phil Mickelson, Charles Barkley, Stephen Curry and Peyton Manning. TNT will exclusively televise the event, to be held Friday, Nov. 27, at 3 p.m. ET at Stone Canyon Golf Club in Oro Valley, Ariz. Bleacher Report will also provide exclusive live content leading up to and during the event on the B/R app.”
  • “Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Change will uniquely contribute toward and highlight diversity, equality and inclusion through donations to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), while raising awareness and spotlighting opportunities for diversity and equality in sports. All four players have previously supported diversity and inclusion initiatives throughout their careers, which has led to them teaming up for this event. Additional information on these elements, among others, will be announced at a later date.”

2. DJ out of ZOZO
ESPN’s Bob Harig…“Dustin Johnson has withdrawn from this week’s Zozo Championship at Sherwood after missing last week’s CJ Cup due to a positive COVID-19 test.”
  • “Johnson, the No. 1-ranked player in the world, was eligible to return Thursday because he would have been 10 days past the onset of symptoms.”
  • “Unfortunately, Dustin just made the decision to withdraw from Zozo,” said David Winkle, Johnson’s agent, in a text “While he is feeling much better, he is still a bit low on energy and feels it would be best to wait and resume his schedule in Houston. “
3. Hero World Challenge canceled
PGATour.com staff report…“Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and associated travel restrictions, Tiger Woods’ TGR Foundation announced on social channels today the cancellation of this season’s Hero World Challenge at Albany, Bahamas.”
  • “The unofficial 18-player event was to have taken place Dec. 3-6.”
  • …”Here is the statement…Given the current global restrictions and ongoing developments resulting from COVID-19, the 2020 Hero World Challenge will not be played this year. This decision was made with the health and well-being of all tournament constituents and the Albany community in mind. We look forward to hosting 18 of the top players in the world and welcoming tournament guests to Albany, Bahamas next year.”
4. Solheim Cup: 2023 event to take place in mid-September in Spain
BBC Sport report…“The 2023 Solheim Cup in Spain will take place from 18-24 September.”
  • “Andalucia’s Finca Cortesin was already confirmed as host of the event – the first time Spain has staged the match between Europe and the United States.”
  • “Spain will be the sixth European nation to host the biggest team event in women’s golf.”

Full piece. 

GolfWRX Recommends 
 
We think a quarterly journal is the best complement to a website that publishes dozens of articles daily. And while that might not make sense to you now, it certainly will once you subscribe to The Golfer’s Journal and dive into some of the best golf writing and photography around. If you haven’t subscribed, do.
 
GolfWRX may earn a commission on sales of “GolfWRX Recommends” products.
5. Good news for golf card collectors
Adam Woodard for Golfweek…”Come next spring, a new set of trading cards will be available for golf fans thanks to Upper Deck. The sports and entertainment collectibles company announced a new set of cards that will feature golf’s current stars like Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau, Matthew Wolff, Danielle Kang and Lexi Thompson alongside legends like Arnold Palmer and Annika Sorenstam.”
  • “Collectors have been begging us to bring golf cards back for years,” said Upper Deck’s Sports Brand Manager, Paul Zickler”
  • ….”The release will be Upper Deck’s first golf cards since 2014 and feature a 50-card base set, a 30-card rookie set, a multi-major winners subset and rare signed memorabilia cards.”
6. Barkley guarantees victory in “Match”
We’ll see, Chuck…
Adam Schupak for Golfweek…“The competition format will be modified alternate-shot match play with five-time major winner Mickelson teaming with Barkley, a Naismith Memorial Hall of Famer, in facing Curry, a three-time NBA Champion and near scratch golfer, and two-time Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning, who played a pivotal role in his team winning the last edition of Capital One’s The Match.”
  • “I’m excited to return for the third edition of Capital One’s The Match and get out on the course with these three legendary athletes,” Mickelson said. “While we may need a handicap for Chuck, I’m looking forward to playing with Peyton and Stephen and to help raise money for another important cause. It’s also going to give fans and viewers an up-close look at Stone Canyon Golf Club, a place that I’m extremely proud of and excited to show how special it is.”
  • …”Barkley added: “Capital One’s The Match has been a lot of fun to be a part of over the past few years and I’m excited to finally show off my skills on the course. Phil and I got this, I GUARR-AAAN-TEEEE!!!”
7. The New York Yankee who nearly won the Masters 
Ashamed to say this is first I’ve heard of Sammy Byrd. Excellent stuff from John Fischer for the Morning Read…”it earned him much more than that: an invitation to play in the 1940 Masters. The Masters, which debuted in 1934, originally was known as the Augusta National Invitation Tournament, and the name change, beginning in 1939 and over club co-founder Jones’ initial objection, didn’t alter the “invitation” aspect. All players were invited by Jones to participate. There were no automatic entries based on prize money or other measurements of standing in the golf world.”
  • “It didn’t hurt that Byrd had played golf with Jones in 1933 and impressed him with his ball-striking ability, nor did it hurt that Byrd’s boss, Dudley, was the head professional at Augusta National Golf Club during the winter. In his first Masters, Byrd finished a respectable 14th, but the best was yet to come.”
  • “The next year, Byrd finished third at the Masters with a score of 3-under 285, behind Craig Wood’s winning 280 and runner-up Byron Nelson’s 283. Byrd finished one stroke ahead of Ben Hogan and four ahead of Sam Snead. Byrd was right in the mix of a major golf tournament.”
  • “In 1942, Byrd started the Masters with back-to-back rounds of 68, putting him one stroke behind the leader, Nelson. Byrd’s last two rounds of 75 and 74 put him at 285 and in fourth place, behind Nelson, the winner in a playoff with Hogan, and third-place Paul Runyan.”
8. How Kokrak got it done
Golf Digest’s Dave Shedloski…“For the first time in his career, Kokrak led the field in stroke gained/putting, gaining 2.573 strokes on the field. He made a little more than 401 feet of putts. A putter switch, to a club with a longer, stiffer shaft, that he made late last season has made a huge difference for a guy who ranked 151st in strokes gained/putting in the just completed campaign.”
  • “Experience on the tricky greens didn’t hurt. And reliance on his caddie, former tour player David Robinson, to help read those greens was another ace in the hole, so to speak.”
  • “Jason Kokrak praised his caddie, former tour pro David Robinson, for his assistance throughout Sunday’s closing 64.”
  • “I would characterize it more D-Rob’s work,” Kokrak said, magnanimously. “I mean, he reads them pretty dang good. I did a good job of hitting the spots where we were trying to putt it to. Very happy with how I’ve been putting and kind of paying off with all the work I’ve been putting in.”

 

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Tour Rundown: Sunday charge times three

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65…64…63. Those are the scores that your winners posted on Sunday this week. That other Basque golfer, Adrian Otaegui, got things rolling at the Scottish Championship, at those other St. Andrews courses, besting Matt Wallace by 4 with his 63. Next came Phil Mickelson in Virginia, where his 65 overtook that other lefty, Mike Weir, by three. Finally, and perhaps most satisfying, Jason Kokrak claimed his first PGA Tour title with a resounding 64, to best Xander Schauffele by a pair.

CJ Cup to Kokrak

With no offense meant to the winner, we ALL tuned in to see Shadow Creek. The mythical Las Vegas club, designed by Tom Fazio in the 1990s, carries a top-shelf sticker price and is not accessible by all. SC lived up to its billing…is Pine Valley next? Now, on to Kokrak. The North Bay, Ontario native had established himself on tour as a reliable money winner, but had not ever lofted a trophy on Sunday. A resident now of balmy Cleveland, Kokrak rode a four-birdie stretch (holes 5-8) to the lead, then withstood a charge by the X-Man, Xander Schauffele. In a tie with Kokrak, Schauffele drove left on the 612-yard par 5, and could but chunk his next a mere 85 yards, still in the rough.

Avoiding the fairway at all costs, Schauffele bombed his third shot into the right-side thick stuff, then failed to get up and down for par. Buoyed by his newfound, one-stroke advantage, Kokrak played error-free golf the rest of the way, then birdied the last for the margin of two strokes and his first tour title.

Otaegui is week’s low Basque with Scottish Championship win

Most weeks, unless he takes a rest, Jon Rahm Rodriguez is a shoo-in for low euskalduna. Rahm tied for 17th at the CJ Cup, opening the door to Otaegui for the coveted designation. The native of San Sebastian (Donostia) did not disappoint. Five birdies on the outward nine gave Otaegui the advantage over 54 hole leader Matt Wallace, who struggled with two birdies and two bogies on the front. Bogey at the tenth slowed the Spaniard, albeit momentarily. He recaptured his mojo with another five birdies from 11 through 18, finishing on -23, four clear of the runner-up, Wallace. The title was Otaegui’s third on the European Tour, and first since 2018.

Phil is two-for-two on the Tour Champions

Some say you need to know when to fold’em. Others say, you need to know when to say farewell. Phil Mickelson seems to know that now is a good time to bid adieu to the regular tour, although who can really phigure out Phil? On Sunday, Mickelson went lefty-vs.-lefty with that other, portside Masters champion, Mike Weir. It was the California vs. the Canadian, and sadly, it was one-sided. Mickelson made five birdies in his first eight holes, then survived a bellyflop bogey at the reachable, par-five ninth. Unfazed, the five-time major winner posted four additional birdies over the stretch run, reaching -17 on the week.

Weir had started quickly on in rounds one and two, both of which were played on Saturday (after a Friday rain-out.) Sunday was a different story. A passel of pars, and just one birdie, brought him to the ninth even on the day, pharther behind Phil. Weir’s fortunes on the inward half were slightly improved, and he closed at one-under on the day, one clear of Paul Goydos for solo second.

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GolfWRX Classifieds (10/19/20): Olson Putter, TaylorMade M4 Fairway, Sweetens Cover

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member osubuckeyes690 – Olson Mfg putter

Clean as clean can be. Milled, weld neck beautiful Olson putter—quality doesn’t come cheap, but this is still a pretty nice deal.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Olson Putter 

Member HeathBar – Tour Issue M4 3-wood

In a world of adjustability, sometimes it’s nice to know you’ve got things locked. This is a great condition 3-wood just begging for a new home and the opportunity to hit some more par 5’s in two.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: M4 3-wood

Member Aprovenz – Sweetens Cove driver cover

The only thing cooler than Sweeten’s Cove is Sweeten’s Cove merch, and this cover will keep you looking fresh and your big stick protected.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Sweeten’s Cove cover

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds

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