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Bryson DeChambeau says he will leave the flag in while he putts in 2019

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Bryson DeChambeau is well known for being a nonconformist in the golfing world, and the 25-year-old lived up to that status once more when he announced that he plans on leaving the pin in when he putts in 2019 as doing so will be permitted under the Rules of Golf. Speaking at a photo shoot with Golf.com, DeChambeau stated that his strategy would depend on the coefficient of restitution of the flagstick (naturally).

“It depends on the COR, the coefficient of restitution of the flagstick. In U.S. Opens, I’ll take it out, and every other Tour event, when it’s fiberglass, I’ll leave it in and bounce that ball against the flagstick if I need to.”

DeChambeau is no stranger to the unorthodox; the American currently competes with irons that are the same length (that of a 7-iron) and same lie angle, as we well know. The physics major is also known to put his golf balls in a bowl of Epson Salts to make sure that they are perfectly round.

Explaining the reasoning behind his new strategy to only putt on the green when the pin is fiberglass, DeChambeau stressed that thicker pins, ala U.S. Open style, will lead to more aggressive rebounding when struck, claiming: “It’s a higher propensity for it to go in the hole if it’s fiberglass compared to metal.”

The four-time winner on the PGA Tour will have to wait until 2019 before he lets his new plan unfold, but DeChambeau is bullish that his scheme will pay off, stating

“The USGA’s gonna have to go back on that one. Like, ‘No! We made the hole bigger!’”

DeChambeau is in action this week at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open where he began the event with a 5-under par round of 66.

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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giancarlomag

60 Comments

60 Comments

  1. CrashTestDummy

    Nov 3, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    I have different thoughts about the flagstick, but am not against what he claims because I haven’t researched it. However, my whole thing is how the pin is oriented. On downhill putts I leave the pin in. I think helps much more than it hurts because of the way the pin is oriented. Above the cup there is an advantage because the pin is slopping away from the player on the low side of the cup, so, the cup is bigger on the high side of the cup. On the flipside on uphill putts, there is a disadvantage because since the pin is leaning toward the player, the cup is slightly smaller on the low side of the cup.

    • BoB

      Nov 5, 2018 at 4:36 am

      I believe the new rules will totally slow down the game, theb flag will be out and in all the time , player a always plays with the flagout , player b in on the long putts out on the short putts. Then the wind leaves in from one direction out from another, I play 3 hours by foot 18 holes. The games not going to be quicker for all the rule changes, its the people who have to player quicker. Please leave the rules alone.

      What comes next adouble so big hole so that the people need less putts

  2. CaoNiMa

    Nov 3, 2018 at 2:46 am

    You put your hard flag in, soft flag out, in-out, in-out, and shake it all about, you do the hokey pokey and turn the caddies all around, that’s what it’s all about!
    “No time for the old in-out, love, I’ve come to read the meter”

  3. Craig

    Nov 2, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    I expect for most players it will end up a bit like chipping. Leave it in for long putts, but for the make-able ones take it out. I guarantee Bryson takes it out on the 3 footers.

  4. JP

    Nov 2, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    Who cares? If it really helps, they will ALL do it. So wait and see…

  5. Rick

    Nov 2, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    The flagstick is like the backboard in basketball. It will never hurt a good shot, and only help a bad one. If you bang one off the stick so hard that it ricochets, it wasn’t going in anyway.

    • CrashTestDummy

      Nov 3, 2018 at 5:13 pm

      Not necessarily. Flags don’t sit perfectly in the cup and lean. So, they can be leaning depending the slope of where a cup is cut or the wind. The orientation of the flag leaning can make the cup bigger or smaller on one side of the hole which can help or hurt a putt from falling.

  6. John

    Nov 2, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    The day I leave the flag in to putt is the day I give up golf.

  7. benseattle

    Nov 2, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    I’m no physics major nor did I do a test with thousands of Pelz-inspired simulated shots nor did I conduct a chipping test with Iron Byron. However, I do know this: I can’t tell you how many HUNDREDS of times I’ve seen smooth rolling chips barely graze a flagstick and send the ball away from the hole — balls that would have DEFINITELY dropped had the flagstick been removed. Sure, a fast-moving skulled chip might fall if it hits the flagstick dead center (if it’s not so hard that it clanks off the stick back toward the player) but a ball rolling toward an empty cup at least has a chance to allow GRAVITY to take effect; not quite the case when the flagstick intercepts it first. I’ve known about the Pelz study for years but as a pretty good chipper, I always remove the pin before trying to hole a chip. Ain’t stopping now.

    The slow play deal (pin in, pin out, pin in) could very well manifest itself on the PGA Tour, depending on who’s playing and what they believe. Frankly, I don’t see a big change here: these guys have ALWAYS putted with the flag out… a habit hard to break and doesn’t the hole looks SMALLER when there’s a flagstick jammed in there?

    • Scheiss

      Nov 3, 2018 at 2:49 am

      A good speed that will catch the back of the cup on the way down by gravity will go in than the same speed that hits the flag, it’ll more than likely ricochet sideways

    • Pete

      Nov 3, 2018 at 6:34 am

      ‘Definitely dropped…’. But how do you know that? Without doing the thousands of hours of testing?

      • Brent

        Nov 3, 2018 at 8:55 am

        Some people are allergic to facts and science.

    • Mwa Kali Sana

      Nov 3, 2018 at 11:04 am

      I agree :I’m also an excellent chipper and most of the time I remove the pin if I chip to a flat green :if I chip downslope ,I keep the pin in the hole as a backstop

  8. Rich Douglas

    Nov 2, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    The only reason for pulling the flag on putts from the green is that it’s always been done that way (in our lifetimes, anyway). But it is a silly practice.

    First, no other shot mandates this, not even putts from off the green. Why the exception? I can see ALLOWING it, but REQUIRING it? Never made sense.

    Second, Dave Pelz showed in research a decade ago that it is always better to leave the flag in, even if the flag is being bent towards you by the wind, unless the wind is so strong it prevents the ball from falling in. (In which case, go into the clubhouse and have a drink.)

    The only problem with this rule is that it might slow play as players in a group go back and forth about whether or not they want the pin in. (They do, but they don’t always realize it.)

  9. Scott Grossman

    Nov 2, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    As a golfer, Bryson is something of a physicist.
    As a physicist, he is just a golfer.

  10. web design or web developer

    Nov 2, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks for finally talking about >Bryson DeChambeau says he will leave the flag
    in while he putts in 2019 – GolfWRX <Loved it!

  11. Leo Vincent

    Nov 2, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Once again Bryson is ahead of the curve. Putting with the flag in is advantageous in most situations.It aids in alignment and it is easier to putt at something above ground.Paul Azinger has been saying this for years. As a non – scientific test on a putting green putt at a water bottle or something similar that is smaller than a hole then putt at the hole and i bet you hit the bottle a lot more than you hole it.Everyone i have done this with has. I always putt at something above ground in warm ups and visualize a bottle or can in the hole when playing.Wish they had this rule when i was playing professionally

  12. dat

    Nov 2, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    I’d be fine if he never won again and left the tour to work for NASA. Get out of here with this mumbo jumbo crap.

  13. Steven

    Nov 2, 2018 at 11:56 am

    The PGA need to address this now. The rule designed is for speed of play and not to possibly benefit a player. Bryson is hardly speedy as it is and if nothing elsei he should be penalised for not playing within “the spirit of the game”
    The rule as it stands is a joke and bother the USGA & R&A have dropped the ball here.

    • kevin

      Nov 2, 2018 at 1:46 pm

      I think this is going to backfire on the intent of the rule to speed up play.

      This isn’t about Bryson. I think this will lead to slower play. one guys wants it in, then the next wants it out, then the third wants it back in.

      I really don’t understand with all the things that could’ve been addressed, why this was a priority. The rule simply should’ve been allowing anyone playing a round ‘by theirselves’ to be able to leave the pin in while on the green and still be conforming relating to posting handicap.

      • Simms

        Nov 2, 2018 at 2:25 pm

        Our club went to the 2019 rules two weeks ago…yes you are 100% correct…the group I played in today ended up 2 holes behind and that leave the pin in take it out thing was the main cause….some of the guys have found how much of an advantage it is even on a five foot put..I am talking a Senior Mens club here…and yes 100% leaving the flag in is a plus for Senior golfer for sure….RULE CHANGE SOON, RIGHT?

  14. Curt

    Nov 2, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Worst tour player ever. Definitely should be banned from tour. I guess I’m wrong but the flag can only be used when you can’t see the hole.

    • Brent

      Nov 3, 2018 at 8:57 am

      saying worst tour player ever makes you sound extremely ignorant and grossly misinformed. And you are wrong about he rule. Why would you hate on a guy for following the rules?

    • Mike

      Nov 3, 2018 at 9:51 am

      How would you go about banning him? What would you base the ban on? Maybe while you’re at it you can jail Hillary Clinton for NOT breaking any laws.

    • Richard Douglas

      Nov 3, 2018 at 2:56 pm

      Really? Worst ever? Worse than Ken Green? Mac O’Grady? Tommy Bolt? Tom Weiskopf?

      Yes, you’re wrong.

  15. tim

    Nov 2, 2018 at 11:47 am

    Why doesn’t the PGA Tour just make a tour-only rule that overrides the USGA?

    • Bill

      Nov 2, 2018 at 11:51 am

      Gianni:

      Before being critical of Dechambeau playing practices, you need to win 4 times on the PGA tour.

    • Curt

      Nov 2, 2018 at 11:54 am

      Should have all kinds of tour only rules since it’s where rules matter.

    • J Zilla

      Nov 2, 2018 at 12:42 pm

      Because the tour has no control over the majors or WGC (I think) and it probably wouldn’t be a good look to have separate rules on tour vs the biggest events.

    • Scheiss

      Nov 3, 2018 at 2:35 am

      They already do have separate rules on Tour. They cut the rough down way shorter, and make it easier for Eldrick to win by allowing him to play courses he likes and avoid the ones he doesn’t.

      • DougE

        Nov 3, 2018 at 10:18 am

        Really? Wait, so only Tiger benefits from shorter rough and can choose to play the courses he wants? Wow, all this time I thought he was just a better player than those other guys. Stupid me. Thanks for clarifying how the rules work Scheiss-ter.

      • AggOwl

        Nov 5, 2018 at 7:49 am

        Eldrick & Alfred both!

  16. HDTVMAN

    Nov 2, 2018 at 11:44 am

    I am really getting sick of this guy!

    • David C

      Nov 2, 2018 at 12:10 pm

      I love it. Every bit of it EXCEPT his slow play, put him ON THE CLOCK. It’s fine to play by the rules, even if they benefit a player, but all rules should be enforced.

  17. David Lehmann

    Nov 2, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Leave the flag in and sink a putt…. be careful pulling the flag to get your ball. Sometimes the cup will come out also.!!!

  18. Henry Adam

    Nov 2, 2018 at 10:02 am

    Some time ago, an experiment was conducted with an “iron Byron” putting and chipping machine, which showed very clearly that the ball found the bottom of the cup more often with the pin in than with it out.

    Other than the CoR of the flagstick itself, many are now tapered, getting thinner at the base, thus directing a ball which strikes it downwards.

    Now in my 70’s I remember well playing with the British sized ball (1.62″), prior to the rule change (in the 1970’s) enforcing the use of the larger (American)1.68″ version. Apart from immediately losing distance, there was a noticeable increase in “lip-outs”. This was due in part to larger size, but the effect of increased angular momentum as a ball rolled at given horizontal velocity to the hole. Horseshoe misses increased where the ball appeared to be dropping but managed to climb out again. The Welsh Ryder Cup player, Brian Huggett, appealed to the R&A to increase the size of the hole from its 4.25″ internal diameter to 4.5″, arguing that the rewards of hitting approach shots close were no longer as good. He was ignored. Now, the ball has changed again, with the construction such that the weight distribution is less at the centre and more evenly distributed out to the cover. We have gone from the would balls with a dense sack in the centre to a more uniform construction. This gives more rolling angular momentum and hence the ball rolls further on landing, especially on manicured fairways. There is also the further increase in lip-outs on the green. The hole diameter, arbitrarily based on the outside diameters of drain pipes in Eastern Scotland in the late 1800’s remains at 4.25″, but the saving grace is that modern greens are nothing like those of even 50 years ago, being much smoother, faster and truer.

    • Henry Adam

      Nov 2, 2018 at 10:06 am

      “This was due in part to larger size, but the effect…” should read “This was due in part to larger size, but also the effect…” and “We have gone from the would balls with a dense sack in the centre..” should read “We have gone from the wound balls with a dense sack in the centre..”

      We do not seem able to edit after posting..

    • Victor Sterner

      Nov 2, 2018 at 3:50 pm

      I believe Pelz did a study and it is the golfers advantage to leave in the pin whenever possible.

  19. Seth Mischke

    Nov 1, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    Flabbergasted…………Look at Zach Johnson, John Deere Classic from a few years back. Flagstick cost him the tourney on the 18th. The boys in the booth were like leave it in, it is stupid to take it out, and I was like Nooooooooooo. THE perfect example of why not to leave it in if you ask me.

  20. Mike

    Nov 1, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    Dave Pelz studied this and has concluded that leaving the flagstick in is an avvantage on ALL shots including a 4 foot putt. Therefore it would be stupid for anyone playing for millions of dollars to ever putt with it out again.

  21. TeeBone

    Nov 1, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    The flagstick might stop a ball that would finish well past, but will generally keep some balls out that might have gone in without the flagstick, regardless of the flexibility of the stick. Prediction: Bryson will do this until he hits a putt that he felt should have gone in, but hit the stick and didn’t. Then he’ll stop.

    • Johnny Penso

      Nov 1, 2018 at 11:30 pm

      Do you realize the irony of suggesting DeChambeau will make his decision as to whether to leave the stick in or not based on a whim or a single bad result? ???? ???? ???? ???? ????

  22. Scheiss

    Nov 1, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    I think you should also measure the CT, the characteristic time. Might as well. Then you can use a foam marshmallow ball to make sure it goes in as it hugs the stick on its slide down into the cup

  23. hans

    Nov 1, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    maybe the usga woulda been better off making this a local rule option, like the new 2 stroke penalty OB rule. don’t wanna see caddies on tv constantly shuffling to get the pin in/out depending on the player.

    • Scheiss

      Nov 1, 2018 at 7:17 pm

      Aha! You have hit it on the head.
      See, the USGA didn’t think of that when they thought this rule would quicken the pace at the local muni level. They didn’t think that in a 4some, some might leave it in, and others not, and this pulling out and pulling in depending on who’s playing might now make the round take longer to play, especially if the last guy putting always wants it out.
      It’ll be a circus to see the caddies hand it off to each other and ask around who’s leaving it in and who’s not and when it needs to be left in and not, and more traffic around the cup.

      • Ty Web

        Nov 1, 2018 at 7:38 pm

        These two comments right here. I fully expect to see this one changed somehow within a year.

      • Marco

        Nov 1, 2018 at 11:11 pm

        Not to mention how annoying it will be when you are waiting to hit into a green and you see the flag going in and out over and over again.

        • Acemandrake

          Nov 2, 2018 at 11:58 am

          Exactly! Your scenario sounds like “non-ready” golf as the player waiting in the fairway has to observe & wait for the correct time to begin their pre-shot routine.

      • Boyo

        Nov 2, 2018 at 9:12 am

        Right on! I’ve been saying this since I heard of this stupid rule….

  24. Allen Wilson

    Nov 1, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Back in the days of balata balls, we all floated them in Epsom salt water to see if the CG was actually in the physical middle of the ball.

    • BIG STU

      Nov 2, 2018 at 1:18 pm

      Allen Very true and we also carried a gauge to check to see if the ball was still round after a few holes. In fact I still have mine still attached to my old Ping Staff bag

  25. Brandon

    Nov 1, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    Putting with the flag in is like nails on a chalk board to me. I cant stand it when people do this. I know its not rational but I cant even leave the little flags on the practice putting green in.

    • Charlie

      Nov 1, 2018 at 11:09 pm

      And 90% of those players don’t put the little flags back in. Nails on the chalkboard…

      • Boyo

        Nov 2, 2018 at 9:14 am

        What about us old men who don’t like bending over to fetch balls on a putting green?

        • CaoNiMa

          Nov 2, 2018 at 10:55 am

          You can’t bend over to get the ball? Don’t play golf. I bet you’re not going to be able to drop the ball from knee height either

          • Steven Meyers

            Nov 2, 2018 at 2:19 pm

            Pretty douchey thing to say to somebody. If you get lucky, maybe you will live long enough to get a bad back.

          • Sid

            Nov 2, 2018 at 2:38 pm

            If you were in my foursome you would be providing us with another hole to stick the flag pole in!

        • Thomas A

          Nov 2, 2018 at 11:01 am

          Get a Fetch putter from Ping!

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Mickelson and Woods place $200,000 side bet, Phil explains why the event is PPV

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The $9 million jackpot that is on the line for Woods and Mickelson this Friday for their showdown at Shadow Creek isn’t going to hold either man back in placing extravagant wagers against each other, as we saw on Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference that involved both men, Mickelson began the kidology by laying down an early challenge against Woods, stating how “I’m willing to risk $100,000 that says I birdie the first hole. So that’s how good I feel heading into this match.” Lefty then stressed that Woods didn’t have to take the bet if it made him uncomfortable to do so before the 14-time major champion calmly responded: “Double it.”

Just like that, we have a $200,000 wager on the very first hole.

Mickelson then teased the idea of a seven-figure side bet, before revealing the psychological effect that the enormous sums of cash that are on the line will have on their match on Friday and the reason why it was necessary for the occasion to be a PPV event.

“This event is designed to be a unique experience for the golf viewer and to have an insight into what goes on with the players to create a production from drone coverage to on-screen gambling, to live mics and interaction. It’s an insight into the game which you’re normally not able to see.

It’s why it’s on pay-per-view, because we had to eliminate the commercials to have that insight in-between the shots. We don’t have the history of a Masters or a major championship, which is why the (prize figure) had to be so high because that creates an uncomfortable environment for us and creates pressure.”

The move to charge $19.99 to watch the match between the two golfing superstars has been criticized by some. However, the addition of exuberant side-bets, all of which will be coming out of the two players pockets, has generated a buzz that is unique for golf.

Nobody knows just how deep Mickelson or Woods will dig into their pockets for a side-bet during Friday’s winner-take-all battle in Las Vegas. But after Tuesday’s scene, a seven-figure sized wager between the two may well be on the cards.

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GolfWRX Morning 9: Pre-Match festivities | Making the case for equal PGA/LPGA Tour pay | TW & trash talk

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

November 21, 2018

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans.
1. Match preliminaries
Dave Shedloski on some of the action from the pre-Match festivities and associated ribbing.
  • “Very little news emerged from the affair, which was shown live on WarnerMedia’s B/R Live, though the two guaranteed that the opening hole should not be missed. When the subject of their side bets was broached – in which they risk their own money for charity – Mickelson layed out $100,000 that he could make birdie on the par-4 first hole. Woods responded by telling the left-hander to double the bet. What ensued was easily the most entertaining moment of the 45-minute chat.”
  • “Did you see how I baited him like that,” Mickelson crowed. “So, $200,000 I make birdie on the first hole.”
2. Mell makes the case for equal pay
The Golf Channel columnist argues against the pay gap between the PGA and LPGA Tours.
  • “Yes, women don’t draw the gate, TV audiences and media interest the men do, but they’re still climbing out of the ancient hole they started in, still battling thinking that limits views of what is possible.”
  • “There have been spectacular breakthroughs for females in sport, where the attention paid to women surpassed the men. The U.S. Open women’s tennis final drew more TV viewers in the United States than the men’s final did five times in this decade. The excitement the U.S. women’s soccer team has created at the World Cup stands as another example of what’s possible. So do Korean women in golf, whose popularity helps the women’s majors draw larger TV ratings than all the other men’s majors televised in South Korea, including the Masters.”
  • “More and more, women in golf are talking about the gender pay gap in their sport, not just in the prize money offered, but in endorsement opportunities. The tone ranges from frustration to anger to resignation.”
3. CH III talks with WRX
Our Johnny Wunder talked with Charles Howell III about his equipment switch and 11-year victory drought.
A few morsels...JW: Let’s talk about the golf ball. You go from a 2017 Pro V1x and you transition into the new Pro V1 proto…
“CH III: I loved everything about the Pro V1x ball off the driver and the 3-wood. Now, when the [2019 Pro V1] came out, what I found out was that I gave up no ball speed whatsoever, but I picked up a little bit of a softer feel and a little more spin around the greens. So for me, right away that was a home run. Now, I say that knowing that touch and feel around the green is highly player dependent. For me, I prefer a bit of a softer feel…I could find you 10 guys who prefer a firmer Pro V1x feel around the greens…but the cool thing was that I didn’t give up any ball speed with the driver whatsoever.”
“JW: Let’s talk a little bit about the last 11 years. We talked a little bit on the podcast with you about expectations and what you went through to get back to the winner’s circle. Just kind of man to man, how difficult was it at times. – knowing how good you are and being such an amazing player and then going on a drought like that – how difficult was that?”
“CH III: You know, there were a lot of times where I questioned everything I did from how I practiced, to how I prepared, to who I worked with…just everything. And eventually, I got to a point where I sat down with Grant Waite and Dana Dahlquist who I work with, and John Graham on short game, and I said, “OK, guys, do we really think that I’m doing this the right way?” And through some discussions…the answer was, “yes.” And [I said] let’s just stay the course. Let’s just keep doing this.”
“Golf’s a funny game. In Mexico, I missed the cut there, and I thought I played close to every bit as good as I did at Sea Island. I just didn’t quite score as well. That shows you how razor thin-edged this game is. You miss a cut, then you win a golf tournament. I think the most challenging part of the game is staying the course with stuff that you truly believe in and giving it time to work out, because it’s such a results driven game, and you want results yesterday. Between social media and the way golf is covered now, it’s “results, results, results.” I think the challenge is to stay patient amongst all that.”
4. TW likes trash talk
More pre-Match chatter…
  • Golfweek’s Dan Kilbridge…”Woods was asked if he’s more comfortable with this scene than people realize….'”When it comes to competing and talking a little bit, yeah. I do this quite a bit, it’s just that at tournaments you may not see it,” Woods said. “I’ve enjoyed playing practice rounds and do it a lot at home. A lot of guys on Tour either when I lived in Orlando or now in Jupiter, we go out and play and there’s always some denominations involved, always needling involved. … There’s non-stop banter and always trying to one-up another and chide one another. And I’ve always enjoyed it.”‘
  • “Mickelson, who spent a good part of the afternoon talking about Woods’ unique brand of trash talk, piped up….”It’s an important part of competition,” Mickelson said. “You have to learn how to compete and play your best under pressure and that’s the best way to do it, to have money matches against other good players.”‘
5. Singh v. Tour settled
Not a lot of details at this point, but the deer antler spray saga has come to an end.
  • AP Report...”Vijay Singh has settled his lawsuit against the PGA Tour over how it investigated his use of deer antler spray, ending more than five years of litigation less than a week before the case was to go to trial in New York.”
  • “Terms of the settlement announced Tuesday were not disclosed….”I’m very happy for Vijay that the matter has been resolved,” said Jeffrey Rosenblum, one of his attorneys.”
  • “Rosenblum declined further comment because of a confidentiality agreement. The PGA Tour said in a statement that the settlement reflects a mutual commitment to move forward “as we put this matter behind us.”
6. The most important measure of Tiger-Phil
AP column (presumably Doug Ferguson)
  • “There is no downside to Woods and Mickelson squaring off in a pay-per-view event on a beautiful golf course at Shadow Creek that everyone seems to know but hardly anyone has seen. But when the biggest upside is that there’s no downside, selling it becomes an uphill battle.:
  • “There will be plenty of talking, and Mickelson is rarely without words. There will be side action. That’s part of what makes this different from the “Showdown at Sherwood,” a Monday night exhibition between Woods and David Duval in 1999 when they were in their prime and battling for No. 1 in the world.”
  • “The question is whether it has a future.”
7. Gratitude
The folks at Golf Digest have put together a list of 20 things in golf to be grateful for ahead of tomorrow’s holiday.
Here are a few.
  • Right-edge putts
  • Marshals that let you sneak off the back
  • Gimme putts
  • Slow players who wave you through
  • Anytime Bryson goes full Bill Nye
  • Buddies’ trips
  • The friend who has the in at every local club
8. The European Team’s 15th Club
An interesting piece from Sean Ingle at the The Guardian on victorious Ryder Cup captain, Thomas Bjorn’s reliance on golf consultants 15th Club.
  • “Times have changed – a bit – since Michael Lewis wrote Moneyball but many in sport still prefer to trust their gut over any algorithm. Which is why a tweet last week from Thomas Bjørn, Europe’s 2018 Ryder Cup captain, was so unusual. After linking to apiece titled “How analytics helped reclaim the Ryder Cup”, written by Blake Wooster of the golf consultancy 15th Club, an enthusiastic Bjørn wrote “Stick to the plan!!! These guys played a vital role. Thanks for your hard work.”
  • “Bjørn, it turned out, had embraced data and analytics as “a useful addition to his toolbox” shortly after being named captain in December 2016, when he asked 15th Club whether he should pick two, three or four wildcards. The answer? Four. Because the data showed wildcards tend to perform better than those who qualify in the last couple of automatic spots. And so began a relationship that culminated in Europe’s thumping17½ – 10½ victory over USA in September.”
9. Meanwhile, at Metro…
The World Cup of Golf is having a little trouble getting off the ground this year.
  • AP Report…”Organizers of the 28-team event at Metropolitan Golf Club have moved up tee times by an hour for Thursday’s first round of the 72-hole stroke-play tournament that features fourballs (best ball) and foursomes (alternate shot) over two rounds each.”
  • “Heavy rain is in the forecast beginning in the early afternoon Thursday….Wednesday was mostly sunny after a big storm hit the course on Tuesday evening, bringing with it hail, high winds and plenty of rain.”
Here’s hoping things dry out at the revered sandbelt track.

 

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Vijay Singh and PGA Tour settle anti-doping lawsuit

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In what has been one of the longest legal disputes the game of golf has seen, Vijay Singh and the PGA Tour have reached a settlement over Singh’s anti-doping suspension.

It was five years ago that the PGA Tour suspended Singh after the Fijian opened up to Sports Illustrated magazine about his use of deer antler spray, which contained a substance banned under the PGA Tour Anti-Doping Policy. The initial three-month suspension was overturned, but the 55-year old then opened legal proceedings against the PGA Tour, claiming his reputation had been damaged.

After five years of litigation, and less than a week before the case was set to go to trial in New York, Singh and the PGA Tour released a joint statement on Tuesday which declared that the matter had now been settled.

“The PGA Tour and Vijay Singh are pleased to announce that we have resolved our prior dispute. The settlement reflects our mutual commitment to look to the future as we put this matter behind us. The PGA Tour fully supports Vijay as he continues to be a true champion on the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions.

“The PGA Tour recognizes that Vijay is one of the hardest working golfers ever to play the game, and does not believe that he intended to gain an unfair advantage over his fellow competitors in this matter. Vijay fully supports the PGA Tour’s Anti-Doping Program and all efforts to protect the integrity of the game that he loves so much.”

Both parties have stated that the terms of the settlement will not be made public.

 

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