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Tour Rundown: Bryson DeChambeau wins his fourth event of 2018

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There were just three events this week across the professional golfing world, but each offered a story of its own. In Europe, Justin Rose returned to the world’s number one ranking, despite having a battle of the putting woes with his chief combatant, Haotong Li. In Japan, Minjee Lee fell apart after leading through 3 rounds, opening the door for a homebred winner. And finally, Las Vegas rewarded the tour equivalent of a card counter, scientist Bryson DeChambeau. For all the deets, scroll down for this week’s Tour Rundown.

DeChambeau follows COR comment with fifth tour win

Bryson DeChambeau once again spun the golf world’s collective brain with a physics-related comment as the Shriners Open began. He ended the week demonstrating why he is a safe bet to win when in contention. DeChambeau held steady with a 4th consecutive mid-60s round while others around him fell apart, or caught fire. The wunderkind began round 4 in a tie with Peter Uihlein, who imploded with 75 for a 22-place drop on Sunday. Meanwhile, Patrick Cantlay made 9 birdies around the TPC Summerlin course, to close the gap on DeChambeau. Unfortunately for Cantlay, he made 2 more bogeys than the winner, and those stumbles were the difference between winning outright and losing by one. The round that everyone wanted, was turned in by Sam Ryder. He had 9 birdies for 62, and moved all the way from 14th to solo 3rd. With the win, DeChambeau move into 5th spot in the early going of the FedEx chase; as for that comment on the relationship of flagstick COR and leaving/removing it in 2019, does anyone really doubt him?

Rose outlasts Haotong at Turkish Airlines Open

It’s a safe wager that neither Justin Rose nor Haotong Li will hang a photo of the 18th at Regnum Carya in their living room. Rose must have thought he’d given away a chance at a title defense when he bogeyed the 17th and 18th in Turkey on Sunday. Haotong Li joined Rose’ parade of misery with a bogey of his own at the closing hole. Both golfers returned to the final tee deck, where they each found the fairway. Both golfers reached the putting surface with their approach shots, but Li’s putter let him down, in the haunting guise of a three putt. With a successful title defense, Rose re-ascended to the number-one ranking in the world, his second visit to the top spot this year.

Hataoka blesses rains in second LPGA Tour win of 2018 at Toto Japan

It didn’t rain all week in Shiga, Japan, but as long as the event is called the Toto Japan, there will be the obligatory Africa song reference. Drums began echoing in the night after Hataoka won in Arkansas during the summer; they didn’t guide her toward salvation immediately, but the writing was on the wall. Sunday’s 3rd round ended with 10 golfers within five shots of the top spot, all with a chance a the victory. Hataoka began the round on flame, with 5 birdies in 10 holes. She weathered consecutive bogeys on the inward side, then birdied the last hole to put some distance between her and the runners-up trio of countrywomen Momoko Ueda and Saki Nagamine, and Spaniard Carlota Ciganda. Hataoka moved inside the top 5 of the season-long CMFE Chase for the Globe playoff race with the victory. Hurry, girl, the title’s waiting there for you.

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Ronald Montesano writes for GolfWRX.com from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.

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  1. Golf Golf Golf

    Nov 6, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    There’s just something about Bryson that makes it hard to root for… I don’t know what it is. He doesn’t seem very likable.

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Morning 9: Spieth still searching | TW the eternal box office draw? | Senior LPGA fiasco

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By Ben Alberstadt
Email me at ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com and find me at @benalberstadt on Instagram and golfwrxEIC on Twitter.

October 16, 2019

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans.
1. Tiger’s memoir
Our Gianni Magliocco on Tiger Woods’ forthcoming (and cleverly-titled) autobiographical effort…
  • “Back” will be the first-ever memoir authored by Tiger Woods, and according to a statement published on the 15-time-major champion’s website, the memoir is “a candid and intimate narrative of an outsize American life.”
  • “The first and only account directly from Woods, with the full cooperation of his friends, family, and inner circle, “Back” covers Woods’ life from his growing up a celebrated golf prodigy through to his stunning 2019 Masters victory.”
  • “Speaking on the upcoming release of his memoir, Woods stated… “I’ve been in the spotlight for a long time, and because of that, there have been books and articles and TV shows about me, most filled with errors, speculative and wrong. This book is my definitive story.”
  • “It’s in my words and expresses my thoughts. It describes how I feel and what’s happened in my life. I’ve been working at it steadily, and I’m looking forward to continuing the process and creating a book that people will want to read.”

Full piece.

2. Inkster leads Senior LPGA 
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…“It was that kind of start for Inkster at the Senior LPGA Championship, where she stood 4 over after the first eight holes.”
  • “But if there was ever a place to grind – and that could be the LPGA Hall of Famer’s middle name – it’s here at French Lick, where Inkster said it’s sometimes better to miss big than a little bit.”
  • “The seven-time major winner has played the last 27 holes in 7 under to lead a field of familiar faces by two strokes.”

Full piece.

3. Spieth still searching
Steve Dimeglio for Golfweek on the state of the Spieth...”But his victory at Royal Birkdale in 2017 was the most recent of his 11 victories on the PGA Tour. Shortly after winning the Open, Spieth didn’t go into freefall – he has had chances to win, but not nearly enough to what he was accustomed to. No, the downward was as surprising as it was relentless.”
  • “Spieth was elite – and then he wasn’t. At times his putting, especially from short distance, was his nemesis. Other times his driver was awry, or his iron play was amiss, or his setup no matter what club was in hand was askew.”
  • “One thing, however, remained constant – his steadfast manner to fix the problem…”I know what I need to take care of, what parts of my game I need to take care of, to have those opportunities to contend each week and I’ve been trying to address those,” Spieth said. “Each part of my game at different points in my career has been towards the top of the PGA Tour at different times and sometimes at the same time. I know that I’m capable of doing it, it’s just a matter of the normal ups and downs of the game and addressing them and quickly turning the downs to ups and then maintaining when those parts of the game are on top.”
4. Penalty for not taking a mulligan?
Our Gianni Magliocco on some real weirdness that befell Jesper Parnevik…
“The incident occurred on the third hole of Parnevik’s final round, where according to Reuters, the Swede horseshoed a short bogey putt which came back and struck his foot. The veteran then tapped in for what he thought was a double-bogey, unaware that because the ball had accidentally struck him, he was required to take a mulligan.”
  • “Speaking to Reuters, rules official, Brian Claar said…”When a ball on the putting green accidentally hits any person, animal or immovable obstruction, this stroke does not count and the ball must be replaced on its original spot.”
  • “Jesper tapped it in. In that situation he’s played from the wrong place. Unfortunately he gets a two-stroke penalty for playing from the wrong place, and the one where he tapped in counts but the original stroke does not count.”
  • “According to Claar, when he called the USGA for assistance, the governing body asked him “Did that really happen out there?”, before adding that they had never heard of an incident like it occurring before in tournament play”
5. Lanto’s gear
PGATour.com’s Andrew Tursky chatted with the most recent PGA Tour winner about, among other things, his wedge stamping.
  • PGATOUR.COM: What about the wedges? Are those stampings something you helped come up with?
  • GRIFFIN: “Jim Ohlsen came up to the range on Tuesday and he was watching me hit some balls, and I said, “Man, you must be busy.” He was like, “Actually, I got everything done for the day, so I’m just hanging out watching you hit a few shots.”
  • …I told him he had free reign to stamp whatever he wanted.
  • “So he took my four wedges and he came back about an hour later. He threw two quotes from Talladega Nights on there. Then we had an inside joke throughout the year with Dino and Nathan and Brad from Titleist, that every time I’d ask for some help, or ask to borrow a Trackman, they’d say, “Yeah, we’ll be right over. We’re working with so-and-so.”
  • “As an inside joke, I’d ask them, “Well, where is he on the money list?” Just being sarcastic and joking with them. That was when I was first or second on the money list, so at the end of the season, I asked Dino one time, I was said, “Can I borrow a Trackman for a couple minutes?” And he said, “Sorry, someone’s using it right now and he’s a little higher on the money list than you (laughs).”

Full piece.

6. Q-School to CJ Cup
Golf Channel’s Will Gray on BK’s brother’s wild ride…”In two weeks, Chase Koepka will go from one extreme in professional golf to the other…Last week the 25-year-old was on the ground floor in St. George, Utah, trying to navigate through the first of three stages of Korn Ferry Tour Q-School. He advanced, shooting a four-round total of 14 under, but still has a ways to go before securing status for the 2020 season.”
“This week, however, he’ll live like the other half when he plays in the PGA Tour’s limited-field CJ Cup in South Korea on an unrestricted sponsor exemption. The tournament’s other two exemptions went to Whee Kim, a Korean player who made 27 PGA Tour starts last season, and Yongjun Bae.”

Full piece.

7. Woods the box office draw
Steve Dimeglio discusses, with Tiger Woods’ next made-for-TV match on the horizon, the history of TW’s box office appeal.
  • “The first Monday Night event came in 1999 and was billed as the Showdown at Sherwood in California, where Woods met David Duval in a match between the top two players of the time. Woods won 2 and 1 to collect $1.1 million. The event drew a 6.9 Nielsen rating, making the TV execs at ABC ecstatic.”
  • “The event shifted to the mountains of the Palm Springs area in California the following year, and Sergio Garcia was Woods’ opponent.”
  • “Billed as the Battle at Bighorn in Palm Desert, Woods won 1 up. The Nielsen rating was a whopping 7.6.”
  • “The second Battle at Bighorn brought a change of format, as Woods was paired with Annika Sorenstam and David Duval was paired with Karrie Webb. Woods and Sorenstam won with a par on the first playoff hole.”

Full piece.

8. Russell Knox: World traveler
PGATour.com’s Helen Ross on the globetrotting Russel Knox.
  • Knox’s…”wife Andrea had a pretty good back-up plan just in case Russell was available. She had arranged a trip for the couple, along with fellow PGA TOUR pro Brian Stuard and his girlfriend, to Peru.”
  • “The highlight of the vacation was a trip to Machu Picchu, a 15th century Inca citadel painstakingly constructed 7,970 feet in the air on the top of a mountain ridge, then abandoned a century later. Knox calls it the crème de la crème of Peru.”
  • “The ancient fortress was built using a technique called “ashlar,” where the stones are cut to fit together without mortar. And those stones either pushed up the mountain or chiseled out of it – no wheeled carts were used to transport them.”

Full piece. 

9. Head-scratching stuff
Geoff Shackelford wonders why the Senior LPGA is being contested at French Lick Resort’s Dye course…
  • “Any golfer who tuned in to the first two rounds of the Senior LPGA, they would have been treated to the silliness that is legends and other former LPGA greats trying to navigate a mountaintop mess in rural Indiana. On top of French Lick Resort’s “intense” Dye course, the overall look would make no one want to play this distance-fueled iteration of the game: a dearth of spectators, players taking carts kept on the paths, caddies sending them off with a couple of clubs (because who needs broken ankle?), and no shortage of ridiculous sidehill stances leading to drop-kick hybrids. There was even defending champion Laura Davies taking a tumble in round two…”
  • “Here’s the worst part: the resort features a charming, lovingly restored Donald Ross course that would seem more fitting than the 8,102 yard (80.0 Course rating/148 Slope) Dye course that was built in hopes of attracting a modern-game major…Why aren’t these LPGA greats playing the walkable Ross?”
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Brooks Koepka claims that he doesn’t have a rivalry with Rory McIlroy: “He hasn’t won a major since I’ve been on Tour”

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Brooks Koepka has poured cold water on the suggestion that himself and Rory McIlroy have a rivalry, citing the fact that the Ulsterman hasn’t won a major since Koepka has been on Tour.

The 29-year-old, who was speaking to the AFP ahead of this week’s CJ Cup, has been on the PGA Tour since 2015 and has won four major’s in that period, while McIlroy’s last success at a major championship came back in 2014.

“I’ve been out here for, what, five years. Rory hasn’t won a major since I’ve been on the PGA Tour. So I just don’t view it as a rivalry.”

The world number one then further reiterated his lack of belief that there is currently a serious rivalry in golf and laid out his intentions to remain at the top of the sport for the foreseeable future.

“I’m not looking at anybody behind me. I’m number one in the world. I’ve got open road in front of me I’m not looking in the rearview mirror, so I don’t see it as a rivalry. You know if the fans do (call it a rivalry), then that’s on them and it could be fun. Look I love Rory he’s a great player and he’s fun to watch, but it’s just hard to believe there’s a rivalry in golf. I just don’t see it.”

Brooks Koepka tees off in the opening round of the CJ Cup at 8.30 PM ET alongside Hideki Matsuyama and Si Woo Kim.

 

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Morning 9: Incredible Mickelsonian streak ending? | Appreciate the endless PGA Tour season | Masters invite issue?

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By Ben Alberstadt
Email me at ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com and find me at @benalberstadt on Instagram and golfwrxEIC on Twitter.

October 15, 2019

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans.
1. End of a helluva streak? 
Phil Mickelson’s bid to stay inside the top 50 in the OWGR is reaching a crisis point…
Scenarios! c/o Brian Wacker (and Nosferatu)
“Mickelson, who enters the PGA Tour’s CJ Cup in South Korea ranked 47th, could drop outside the top 50 depending where he and others finish in the no-cut event and how myriad scenarios play out. Here’s one, according to OWGR guru @Nosferatu, should Mickelson finish outside the top 52 in the tournament to not earn any points: If Byeong Hun An (currently 48th in the OWGR) finishes in the top 52, Tyrrell Hatton (49th) finishes inside the top 25 and Cam Smith (51st) inside the top 18 in Korea, and if Shugo Imahira (52nd) finishes inside the top five at the Japan Open, Mickelson would drop outside the top 50. A number of players-Alex Noren, Erik van Rooyen, Joaquin Niemann, C.T. Pan, Jazz Janewattananond, Charles Howell III, Jason Kokrak, Corey Conners and Collin Morikawa, among others-could also leapfrog Mickelson in the ranking. Four of them would have to do so to knock Mickelson out.”

 

 

2. Appreciate it for what it is

 

Golf Digest’s Joel Beall, unexpectedly, sings the praises of the never-ending PGA Tour season…

 

“In 2019, it has been the best version of itself. Good and spirited golf, sure, but also living up to its billing as a platform for rising talents. Joaquín Niemann became the youngest non-American winner (20 years old) in more than a century at The Greenbrier, Sebastián Muñoz (26) the first Colombian to win on tour since Camilo Villegas in 2014 with his Mississippi conquest, and Cameron Champ (24) showed that last year’s Sanderson Farms victory was no fluke in Napa. It has brought us breakthroughs in Munoz and Lanto Griffin, the latter who went from broke to a millionaire in less than two years, and the promise of young bucks in Akshay Bhatia and Cole Hammer (even if they occasionally fell off the saddle).”

 

 

3. More like the Scandanavian mixed, please

 

Golfweek’s Alistair Tait…“Hopefully the 2020 Scandinavian Mixed tournament will become the norm. What could be better than gathering the top players, male and female, on the same course, playing for one prize fund and one trophy?”
  • “…About time, too, say I and many more like me who want to see the increasingly moribund professional game shaken up. The game’s authorities need to do everything they can to attract new players, especially younger players. England alone lost approximately 300,000 club members in a 10-year period between 2007-2017. While the proportion of women and juniors has not really moved in all the years I’ve been reporting on golf.”

Full piece.

4. Forecaddie: Praising Ochoa (and company)’s support of emerging women’s talents in Mexico

 

TMOF writes…”The IGPM – Impulsando al Golf Profesional Mexicano – gives $450 toward entry fees for Symetra Tour players each week. Those who don’t have status but make the cut get reimbursed.”
  • “Gaby Lopez, a winner on the LPGA, called up offering to help with airline tickets for Symetra players. Newly minted LPGA pro Maria Fassi told Alvarez she’d help in any way she can.”
  • “Six of the 14 players don’t have status on the Symetra Tour but are involved in everything – including an upcoming four-day stay at Ochoa’s ranch in Mexico – and are given small stipends.”
  • “We know the process of every girl is different,” said Alvarez, “and we don’t want to leave anyone behind.”

 

 

5. “Bob from Oban”

 

Nice work by Golf Digest’s John Huggan profiling “Millionaire Bobby Mac”…
  • “Just as the superstar that Arnold Palmer became was forever the working-class boy from Latrobe, Pa., MacIntyre’s soundness of character, inherent good nature and solid upbringing are all inextricably linked with his hometown, a picturesque ferry port with a population of about 8,500 on the western edge of the Scottish Highlands. MacIntyre’s inventive shot-making-most recently witnessed with a driver off the deck played at last week’s Italian Open that had social media buzzing-is to a large extent a product of growing up at the local course, an eccentrically contoured par-62 layout measuring 4,471 yards.”
  • “I love the way Phil Mickelson plays. He puts everything on the line, and that’s how I try to do it,” MacIntyre says. “But my creativity stems from playing at Glencruitten. It is short. It is tight. It is up-and-down mountains. You never have a straightforward shot from the middle of the fairway. You might be in the middle of the fairway, but there is a hill to go ’round. It’s a place where I learned every type of shot: low, high, hooking, fading.”

Full piece.

6. Reconsider?

 

Hard to refute these points from Geoff Shackelford…
  • “When Chairman Billy Payne restored this grand perk of a PGA Tour victory, the logic was solid and the support unanimous. But with the new schedule dynamics and several fall European Tour events crushing the PGA Tour stops in field quality, the Masters should reconsider the automatic and coveted invitation.”
  • “The most obvious reason: golf is an international game and the founders of the Masters made special efforts to include foreign-born players. But the more glaring purpose: huge disparities in field strength.”
  • “In recent weeks, the BMW PGA Championship, Alfred Dunhill Links and Italian Open all enjoyed decisively superior fields to competing PGA Tour stops”
  • BMW PGA (416) vs. Sanderson Farms (106)
  • Alfred Dunhill Links (323) vs. Safeway Open (289)
  • Italian Open (248) vs. Houston Open (73)

Full piece.

7. The king of all formats?

 

Here’s a hot take via Golfweek’s Jason Lusk…
  • “There is no better golf format than skins.”
  • “You can keep your two-dollar Nassau with auto presses or your handicap-weighted Stableford points games that require way too much post-round math. And don’t even mention silly dot games that actually reward missing greens with sandies – isn’t the point to avoid the bunkers?”
  • “Skins games are all about birdies. Unless the game has dozens of players who are accustomed to circling numbers on their scorecards, because then it might be all about eagles. Pars usually only matter when almost everybody hits foul balls.”

Full piece.

8. Respectable start for Li

 

Golf Channel’s Randall Mell…”Lucy Li was among amateurs making strong starts Monday at LPGA Q-School’s second stage event at Plantation Golf & Country Club in Venice, Fla.
  • “Li, who just turned 17 on Oct. 1, opened with a 3-under 69, good for a tie for 17th, five shots behind Germany’s Olivia Cowan, a Ladies European Tour member. Min A. Yoon, a 16-year-old amateur from South Korea, opened with a 65 and sits one shot back.”
  • “A minimum of the top 30 and ties will advance to the Q-Series finale later this month, with the possibility up to 48 players advancing…”

Full piece. 

9. You get (to keep) a car!

 

A double Forecaddie day! TMOF also penned this piece: “Michigan State rules junior can keep car won at Symetra Tour event.”
  • “Michigan State coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll thought the same…No way was that 2019 Mazda 3 AWD going back to East Lansing…The MSU compliance department’s initial take: absolutely not.”
  • “But then Tanida’s swing coach, Andy Wada, recalled a player on the men’s team from Marquette, Hunter Eichhorn, getting to keep a car he’d won in a scramble.”
  • “Michigan State’s people called Marquette’s people, information on the ruling was passed along and lo and behold Tanida got to keep the car.”

 

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