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GolfWRX Morning 9: Holly Sonders finished with golf for Fox | How Matt Wallace made it | Golf’s best Halloween costume

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

November 1, 2018

Good Thursday morning, golf fans. It’s fricking November already. While teeing it up in 40-50-degree weather may be less appealing than doing so when the mercury is a bit higher, you’ll wish you did so once the snow falls. And for those of you in the Floridas, Arizonas, and Californas of the world. Count your blessings!
1. Holly Sonders out at Fox (golf)
While she’ll continue with the network in some studio capacity, the former Golf Channel host will no longer be part of Fox’s golf coverage, Golfweek’s Forecaddie writes.
  • “‘I’m incredibly proud to have been a part of Fox Sports’ USGA coverage,” Sonders said when contacted by The Forecaddie. “The entire golf team has become like family and I learned a lot working alongside them. I look forward to continuing my relationship with Fox Sports as I transition into a studio role and am excited about the opportunities ahead of me.'”
  • “Sonders was in contract negotiations four years ago with Golf Channel when Fox Sports offered a lucrative deal to join its newly-acquired USGA coverage package. At the time, Sonders was the second big hire after Greg Norman, who lasted one season with the network as the lead analyst. Sonders was hired as a studio host and also was expected to work as an NFL sideline reporter. She continues to work select studio shows as well as college football broadcasts.”
2. Don’t drop the choke, Zinger!
Shane Ryan filed an excellent plea for Paul Azinger, once he’s sitting in Johnny Miller’s chair, to continue one of Miller’s signature expressions: choking. Azinger previously indicated he’ll refrain from use of the phrase.
  • A taste of Ryan’s writing on the matter…”To call someone a choker in golf is to heap scorn on a human who can’t hide, and who is already suffering from an overload of pressure in a game that’s particularly vulnerable to minor tensions-a game where the slightest mechanical deviation can result in an errant shot, and where that errant shot can be ruinous even in an otherwise perfect round. Where perfection is required, and where it is unbelievably hard to achieve, the word “choker” feels a little cruel.”
  • “But it’s also honest, and it’s also necessary. Johnny Miller would occasionally use the word “choke” as the lead analyst on NBC Sports…”
  • And another…”2. Anyone who follows televised golf knows that the players are a little coddled by announcers not named Johnny Miller-especially in comparison to other sports-and the fact that NBC Sports is a “partner” with the PGA Tour is an economic reality. Still, it’s a little strange to hear a media member, especially a kinda-sorta-journalist, say of the players that he wants to help “build their brand.” In golf’s realpolitik, it’s no conflict of interest at all, but it does feel like Azinger is grinding the last flickering embers of perceived media independence into ashes under his heel. It certainly makes him sound more like an aspiring Nantz than an aspiring Miller.”
3. Breathing DeChambeau
Never change, Bryson DeChambeau. Credit to Steve Dimeglio at USA Today for your daily dose of the singularity that is Mr. DeChambeau.
  • “‘Breathing is a monster part of resting,” said DeChambeau, 25. “Breathing in a way that will help get your brain into a parasympathetic state instead of a sympathetic state. It’s to make it easy on yourself to get to a more of a sleep state rather than a stress state.'”
  • “‘You can breathe in a stressful way. Or you can breathe in a relaxed state. Breathing in the proper state gets you into a state where you digest food better and calms your brainwaves down. “That helps you get into a state of recovery.'”
4. Matt Wallace riseth
It’s November 1, which in the confines of the golf mediaverse is apparently…Matt Wallace Day? Multiple stories on the surprise European standout hit the wires, including an item in the New York Times by John Clarke that looks at Wallace’s effort to improve his technique with coach Matt Belsham.
  • “Belsham said he would have to change fundamental techniques of hitting the ball to reach the level he wanted to play; he also told Wallace that he was nowhere near that level. “He was brutal and blunt, which was exactly what I needed,” Wallace said. They worked hard on his swing with the theory the swing makes the ball do what it wants to do. “He was brilliant,” Wallace said.”
  • “As his swing changed, Wallace was approached by the veteran caddy Dave McNeilly in 2017. “That was really cool,” Wallace said. “I had in my head the idea that a caddy should be young. You see a lot of very young caddies on tour now. That’s what I thought I wanted. Someone I could talk about sports, cars, golf and life. And that is completely the wrong thing for me. Coming out on tour, you need knowledge and history. The caddy needs to know every course we play like the back of his hand.””

Full piece.

5. Chris Kirk a Mizuno man
GolfWRX staff report…”While we don’t know all of the details yet, Chris Kirk announced on Wednesday night via Twitter that he is starting a partnership with Mizuno this week at the 2018 Shriners Open.”
“Kirk had beenpreviously gaming Mizuno irons, but we spotted him last week with a bag mostly full of Mizuno clubs. In the new setup, he had Mizuno JPX 919 Tour irons, a Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi driving iron, a couple Mizuno T7 Raw wedges, and an unreleased Mizuno ST 190G driver.”
6. Geoff Shackelford out of the running for USGA Senior Communications Manager
Shackelford skewed U.S. golf’s governing body while offering commentary on the folks in Far Hills job posting for a senior communications manager. A taste of Shack’s tone…
(job posting) “Shape and promote impact-driven activities of the association outside of championships to a wide array of traditional and social media/influencers that deliver positive media impressions and organization attribution, both inside and outside of endemic golf outlets”
  • (Shackelford) “Or what’s left of them.”
“Build relationships and deliver a regular cadence of communications to and with influential and emerging media, internal subject-matter leaders, and external USGA stakeholders to develop rich storytelling opportunities and show the USGA’s impact on the game, to include development of the organization’s Annual Report”
  • (Shackelford) “Put Barstool Sports at the front of whatever modern device is your Rolodex. To the Executive Committee, it’s a Rolodex.”
7. Lowry bouncing back?
The affable Irishman feels he’s on the verge of a return to form, writes Irish Golf Desk’s Brian Keogh.
  • “With his fortunes on an upward curve since The Open and buoyed by his runner-up finish to Sergio Garcia in the Andalucía Valderrama Masters two weeks ago, he tees it up with his confidence on the rise.”
  • “”The goal is still the same, next March to try and be in the top-50 in the world,” said Lowry, who is 71st right now and 42nd in the Race to Dubai knowing that the top 30 on the final money list will qualify for The Open at Royal Portrush.”
  • “”I like these next three weeks and I feel I can move a further move up the standings as my golf is good and my confidence is high. I just need to go out there and do the business.””
Lowry also added this sound bit of advice...”You can get down on yourself and the game can get down on you, it just shows me that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

Full piece.

8. Place your bets!
Odds to win the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (via Bovada)
  • Rickie Fowler 11-1
  • Tony Finau 11-1
  • Jordan Spieth 12-1
  • Bryson DeChambeau 14-1
  • Webb Simpson 16-1
  • Gary Woodland 18-1
  • Patrick Cantlay 18-1
  • Aaron Wise 20-1
  • Cameron Champ 28-1
  • Beau Hossler 28-1
9. Winning golf Halloween
You’ve either seen a king-sized candy bar’s worth of pictures of professional golfers in Halloween garb or absolutely none, depending on your persuasion. Either way, after careful consideration, I believe this costume(s) to be the most spooktacular (sorry).
  • While, Michelle Wie, Hally Leadbetter, and company technically donned their furry garb for pre-Halloween festivities last week, the simplicity, coordination, and “only golf fans” now element makes the Shark, (Golden) Bear, Tiger, and Black Knight my pick (photo from Wie’s Instagram).
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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Regina George

    Nov 5, 2018 at 12:10 am

    Do not trust Holly Sonders. She is a fugly sl ut.

  2. Laura Davies

    Nov 2, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    Imagine how nasty Holly looks in the morning when she rolls out of bed. Buzz, your girlfriend, WOOF!

  3. ogo

    Nov 2, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    h00ly s00nders is my kind of girl…. w00 h00

  4. Golf golf golf

    Nov 1, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    In the realm of women broadcasters in professional golf, hands down, the best is Amanda Balionis. She’s very knowledgeable and has the chops to interview guys as they come off the course. Holly… not so much. She’s all hair, plastic and b**bs.

    • Rodney Dangerfield

      Nov 2, 2018 at 2:27 am

      Amanda is gorgeous and charming. Holly looks like a 45 year old por n star and is a stone cold bit ch. She is obviously stupid too. Only a fool would marry an old guy with no money and tons of baggage.

  5. aga

    Nov 1, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Holly is outstanding … 😮 😮 😮

  6. Tom

    Nov 1, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    She can’t work outside in the heat anymore, if she does, she might melt all the plastic in her.

  7. ht

    Nov 1, 2018 at 10:08 am

    to her credit, she’s putting on a gun show! girl stays fit

  8. ht

    Nov 1, 2018 at 10:07 am

    That’s a bit aggro, but I agree that she’s taken the plastic surgery several steps too far. I really hate how normalized it’s all become

    • aga

      Nov 1, 2018 at 4:10 pm

      … but she can really swing that club around her handicaps… :-p

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The DailyWRX: What’s buzzing on social media 6/5/2020

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With everything going on, I wanted to find some humor out there…hope you all can find some time to have a chuckle, it helps.

I relate to this on so many levels…

My game therefore I am trash.

View this post on Instagram

Send this to a trash golfer ????

A post shared by Joshua Kelley (@holein1trickshots) on

It’s funny…

But the guy might do it cuz he’s so damn savage.

I’m in…

Once again…

I love the shots and tips that come out of these vids…..but these backyard setups continue to solidify that I have failed at life…SMH. My jealousy rages.

View this post on Instagram

Rainy Wednesday…we going skippin!

A post shared by R I C K I E (@rickiefowler) on

He is a literal walking ray of golden sunshine…

He’s inching up my list of favorite player…just sayin’.

DM @johnny_wunder for anything good

 

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Morning 9: U.S. Open could feature fans after all | LPGA skins match? | Singh WD’s from Korn Ferry event

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1. Singh bows out of Korn Ferry opener
Adam Woodard reports we will unfortunately not be getting the Singh/Schnell pairing we were hoping for…“Vijay Singh caused quite a stir a few weeks back when the three-time major champion’s name appeared on the field list for the Korn Ferry Tour’s first post-pandemic event at TPC Sawgrass’ Dye’s Valley Course June 11-14.”
  • “On Sunday, the PGA Tour confirmed Singh has withdrawn from the Korn Ferry Challenge. Golf Channel was first to report.”
  • “Singh riled up golf Twitter – Korn Ferry Tour pro Brady Schnell, in particular – with his initial decision to enter the KFT event. Being a lifetime PGA Tour member, The Big Fijian was eligible to enter the event because he wasn’t playing in the Tour’s return to play that same week at the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.”
2. Still no fans at Colonial
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…”Despite a revised state order that would allow fans to attend next month’s Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas, the PGA Tour plans to proceed without fans for at least the first four events when play resumes.”
  • “The PGA Tour’s primary focus continues to be the health and well-being of all involved with our tournaments and the communities in which we play,” a statement from the Tour read. “We plan to resume play at the Charles Schwab Challenge with the event – and the three to immediately follow – closed to the general public.”
3. Lynch on player mics
Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch has a few thoughts on one of the most-discussed matters coming out of The Match 2…“The most compelling possibility raised by “The Match II” is having players wear microphones during tournament play, and this week the European Tour said it will encourage players to be mic’d when it resumes action in July. The ET’s chief executive, Keith Pelley, exhibits more confidence in golfers agreeing to this than any of the people I know who produce live tournament golf for a living. Those producers will unanimously tell you it’s near impossible to get a simple walk and talk from a PGA Tour player, much less an intimate audio feed for 18 holes of competition.”
“The absence of mic’d competitors in tournaments isn’t because producers don’t want greater access. For all their garrulousness on social media, even younger Tour players maintain an old school mentality passed down from generations of Curtis Stranges and Raymond Floyds, who were as about as approachable as a piranha with toothache when they were working between the ropes. There is also a cost attached. “The Match II” was carefully stage-managed, with players held up along the way to ensure they were live at the right times. That won’t happen in tournaments with 156 guys in the field. Sure, you can stream a single group wired for sound, but for network broadcasts you’ll add the expense of a production staffer to monitor all the chatter for gems and a tape operator to cue it up (and armchair critics will still bemoan that it’s tape-delayed).”
4. Stymied LPGA skins match
Wherefore art the women in these charity matches? Apparently, we’d have already seen an LPGA skins match featuring top players, but for a lack of financial backing…
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols has the full story…
“It’s all in place:
  • “Two courses are interested in hosting
  • Twelve players have agreed to compete
  • If they can pay for TV production, Franzen says they have the full support of the LPGA to work with their broadcast partners
“The idea is to deliver two days of skins matches to outlets around the globe. Players will have the ability to choose which COVID-19 relief fund they want their winnings to go toward.”
“But here’s the deal: Franzen needs funding. Lots of it.”
5. USGA: USO could feature fans
ESPN’s Bob Harig…”But the United States Golf Association is now optimistic about keeping the championship at Winged Foot Golf Club in suburban New York City and remains hopeful that spectators in some limited form will be able to attend.”
  • “The organization had been working on contingency plans to move the tournament to another venue, if necessary.”
  • “We are focused singularly on Winged Foot,” John Bodenhamer, senior managing director of championships for the USGA, said in a phone interview Friday. “Once we got the September dates, that was our thinking. Time is on our side. We did look at multiple scenarios, but given the recent news we felt we could focus there.”
  • “Winged Foot is a special place for us. And the golf course will be amazing. And to be able to do this in New York, where things have been so challenging, will put an explanation point on it. We see Winged Foot as our sole focus.”
6. Fill-in Tour event?
Rob Oller, Columbus Dispatch, syndicated in Golfweek…“Columbus could be in the mix to host a second PGA Tour event the week before the Memorial Tournament scheduled for July 16-19, two sources confirmed to the USA Today Network on Friday.”
  • “The Columbus-based tournament would serve as a temporary fill-in for the John Deere Classic, which was scheduled to be held July 9-12 in Silvis, Illinois, but canceled on Thursday because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. It was to be the first tour event to include spectators.”
  • “…Other leading alternative site is Detroit with Lexington, Kentucky, and Carmel, Indiana, also possibilities. (This story was updated on Saturday, May 30, to include new information from the Akron Beacon-Journal, a member of the USA Today Network.)”
7. Mackenzie Tour cancels season
Carson Williams at Golf Channel…“Border restrictions, mandatory quarantines for those who enter Canada and gathering restrictions in all provinces because of the coronavirus pandemic were just a few reasons that led the tour to cancel its season.”
  • “With growing uncertainty surrounding the border and the 14-day quarantine regulations, among other factors, we’ve weighed all of our options and concluded that it is not feasible to play this summer,” Mackenzie Tour Executive Director Scott Pritchard said in a press release. “With the safety of the communities we play in mind, as well as the well-being of our players, sponsors, tournament-organizing committees, volunteers and golf course staff, we came to the realization that this is the best decision for everyone involved.”
  • “Mackenzie Tour members have been sent information detailing eligibility for the 2021 season. Those who have earned status at three 2020 Qualifying Tournaments will keep their status for next season. For the Qualifying Tournament entrants who have not yet competed, they will be guaranteed a spot for the 2021 event.”
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Morning 9: Latest memo from Tour to players | Phil’s post-Match perspective | Greg Norman’s regrettable take

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1. Latest “bubble” memo
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard details the most recent communique from Tour to its players…“In a memo sent to players on Wednesday, tournament director Michael Tothe outlined many of the protocols that will be required when play resumes on June 11 at Colonial including the four Fort Worth, Texas, hotels that will create the foundation of the circuit’s “bubble” for the week.”
  • “The core of the PGA Tour’s plan to return was always about testing, but it’s a fine line to walk. In two weeks, at the Charles Schwab Challenge, we’ll find out if it will be enough.”
  • “Players are allowed to stay in individual RVs or rental homes but they are being encouraged to assure the health and safety of their accommodations if they choose to stay outside the bubble.”
  • “Players were also informed where COVID-19 testing will occur when they arrive in Fort Worth as well as meal options at Colonial, which will be limited to grab-and-go lunches in order to follow safety protocols.”
2. Little John finishes second at Crooked Stick 
Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star…Daly II made that same walk on Wednesday, up the 18th fairway for the final round of the inaugural Dye Junior Golf Invitational at Crooked Stick.”
  • “I think a lot of guys have re-watched the 1991 PGA tournament,” Daly II said. “I watched it every night before the tournament. (Watching him) walk down the 18th with all of the fans everywhere was pretty cool. He started as the ninth alternate and didn’t expect to play. For him to win, it was a ridiculous story. He loves it.”
  • “Daly II put together a remarkable tournament in his own right, finishing a three-way tie for second place behind winner John Marshall Butler of Louisville, Kentucky. Daly II was 4 over for the two-day, 54-hole event, which featured 33 of the top high school boys players in the country and 33 of the same on the girls’ side.”
3. Phil open to wearing mic
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Speaking on the Dan Patrick Show, Mickelson admitted that he didn’t expect the same level of banter during a typical Tour event with a seven-figure prize on the line, but he’d nonetheless be willing to broadcast his inside-the-ropes dialogue.”
  • “I would be open to the idea because of how it’s being received, and some of the insight and so forth,” Mickelson said. “But you don’t have the play between individuals. I had a partner, and Tom and I could talk back and forth. And maybe you could get some of that with the caddie, but having a partner is much more intimate and you have much better conversation.”
4. …wants annual Match
AP report…”Phil Mickelson, fresh off the success of Sunday’s charity golf exhibition with Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, says he would like to see “The Match” become an annual event.”
  • “I think you could showcase guys like Steph Curry and Michael Jordan or Tony Romo and Patrick Mahomes, who are all good golfers, elite talents and have great personalities,” Mickelson told the Los Angeles Times in a column published Wednesday. “Those personalities are going to come out with this event. Or you could have someone who loves the game and is competitive but is really entertaining like Larry David and Bill Murray. I think that could shine.”
5. More audience info
Interesting stuff from Geoff Shackelford…“According to Showbuzzdaily.com, almost 1/3 of The Match 2’s audience was in the coveted 18-49 demo and the number was even better on on TruTV, also meaning there are people of any age group who know how to find TruTV”
  • “About 30% of The Match’s audience landed in the 18-49 demo despite the 44.5 average age of the participants…The numbers for TaylorMade Driving Relief with a foursome averaging 29.5 years”
  • “That’s 25% of the almighty buyers for a younger, supposedly more millennial-friendly group of golfers. And a grand total of (at least) 860,000 fewer viewers 18-49.  While not a huge difference in the percentage department, The Match did rout Driving Relief in overall audience and even took chipped away at NASCAR’s ratings.”

Full piece.

6. After a long layoff, how do the pros play?
Dylan Beirne, 15th Club for PGATour.com, examines the question…“As we might expect, there’s a clear relationship between performance and the number of weeks a player has been off. We can analyze how well players perform by comparing our estimate of their ability (how we would expect them to perform) to how they actually performed.”
  • “Generally, players taking small breaks of two weeks or less are marginally better than expected, while longer breaks result in an average drop in performance of between 0.1 and 0.2 strokes per round. For context, a drop of 0.2 strokes per round is about the gap between 100th- and 135th-ranked players in the world. It’s a significant change, but not enormous.”
  • “Additionally, the drop in performance after a 10-20 week gap is quite consistent across different levels of players. Top-50 players in the world are affected by a similar amount to those outside the top 50.”
7. A really bad take from Greg Norman
I mean, what else can you call it? A man who has a history of obtuseness and putting his fin in his mouth outdid himself with unfounded speculation about the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash in an interview with Michael Bamberger…“I asked Norman about the January helicopter crash in Los Angeles that killed all nine people aboard, Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, among them. I asked Norman if he had any insight, from his own experience as a helicopter pilot, and as an elite athlete who has flown often in helicopters as a passenger, into the tragedy.”
  • “Yes – yes,” he said. His voice was sober. “Probably pilot error and pressure from the back,” Norman said. Norman could imagine the legendary basketball player saying, “‘Get me through this; get me there. I’ve got to get my daughter to this game.’
  • …”My instructor and I had a saying, ‘If you can’t see through it don’t fly through it.’ If I was flying to Doral or Orlando or Naples and there was fog, we just put it down and waited it out.”
8. Sprint to the Cup
Ben Everill at PGATour.com…“The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting cancellations and postponements of tournaments leaves just 11 eligible tournaments over a 10-week stretch for players to qualify for the Playoffs and a chance at the $15 million bonus that comes with the season-long FedExCup crown.”
  • “While the top 125 will not double as the cutoff for TOUR cards next season in this reduced schedule, it will remain the mark to get into THE NORTHERN TRUST, the first of three Playoffs events in the chase for the FedExCup.”
  • “Gone is the luxury of extended rest between starts for those sitting way back on the list, such as Koepka, who was just starting to find his feet again on a return from injury when the pandemic halted play in March.”

 

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