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GolfWRX Morning 9: Bryson: 4 wins in last 12 starts | Bizarre DQ | Rose No. 1 (again) | TW/Federer friends no more?

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1. The quarter of Bryson
With 4 wins in his last 12 starts, can we stop questioning/criticizing Bryson’s approach now? The only question is the applicability of the DeChambeau Method beyond SMU alum.
  • AP Report…”Bryson DeChambeau holed an eagle putt from just inside 60 feet on the 16th hole that carried him to a 5-under 66 and a one-shot victory over Patrick Cantlay in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Sunday.”
  • “He had to survive a wild back nine at the TPC Summerlin in which four players had a share of the lead at some point. Cantlay, trying to become the first player to win back-to-back in Las Vegas in nearly 20 years, made a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-5 16th hole to take a one-shot lead. But from a bunker right of the green on the par-3 17th, Cantlay was fooled by the amount of sand under his ball and flubbed the shot.”
2. A Roseian defense
Back through the revolving door marked “World No. 1,” it’s Justin Rose!
  • John Huggan on Rose’s Turkish delight…despite his effort to get in his own way…”There was more than a little bit of stumbling and fumbling along the way, but Justin Rose eventually claimed the Turkish Airlines Open title in a playoff with Li Haotong. The pair, two-thirds of the final group on the final day, had earlier tied on 17 under par over four rounds at the Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort on Turkey’s southern shore.”
  • “Which sounds pretty good only until a wee bit more detailed look at the leader board reveals Rose reached 19 under par after 70 holes. And that both men were 18 under on the 72nd tee. In other words, Rose, the defending champion and needing a win to get back to World No. 1, finished bogey-bogey; Li contented himself with a dropped shot at the last, taking four shots to get down from just under 150 yards. Pretty this was not.”
3. Bizarre DQ
Our Gianni Magliocco…”The LPGA Tour has had its fair share of drama in recent years when it comes to rules infractions, and on Saturday at the LPGA Q-Series at Pinehurst Resort, a truly curious incident occurred, which resulted in a disqualification.”
  • “Doris Chen, the 2014 NCAA individual champion at USC, and the 2010 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion, was the player in question. She was deemed to have breached rule 15-3b after she played a ball that had gone out of bounds and then was moved back in bounds by “an outside agency.” The incident occurred on the 17th hole during Friday’s seventh round at the No. 7 course. According to reports from Golf Channel and Golfweek, it was Chen’s mother, Yuh-Guey Lin, who moved the ball back in bounds.”
  • “Speaking with GolfDigest.com on Sunday morning, Chen stated that she was unaware that the ball had been out of bounds, believing that the ball had been kicked from a bad lie to a good lie. Thinking that she was allowed to play the ball as it lies, Chen claimed that after her round she was then informed that the ball had been out of bounds.”
  • “My caddie and I didn’t see anything happen. We were looking for the ball. I didn’t see the ball move. It was just what the homeowner said, In my mind, I thought I was just supposed to play the ball as it lied. … I realize now I should have called for a rules official to investigate.”
4. RIP Grace Shin
Really sad stuff…A DII golfer, 22, is dead of leukemia.
Golfweek’s Kevin Casey writes…”Grace Shin, a University of Central Oklahoma golfer, died Wednesday at age 22 after a near two-year battle with leukemia.”
  • “‘The UCO women’s golf program will remember Grace as a person with a bubbly personality who was always ready to tell you a hilarious story,” Central Oklahoma head women’s golf coach Michael Bond said,per bronchosports.com. “She will be greatly missed. Her family is in our thoughts and prayers as they say goodbye to their daughter. We would like to thank everyone for their outpouring of love and support during this difficult time.'”
  • “Shin won three straight state championships at Union High School in Tulsa, Okla., before arriving at Central Oklahoma. As a freshman for the Bronchos in 2015-16, Shin played in 12 tournaments and earned All-MIAA honors. She competed in five more tournaments her sophomore season.”
5. A home W
Impressive, impressive answering of the bell. Ron Sirak, writing for LPGA.com…”The burden of expectation is a massive weight to lug around a golf course, especially when it’s magnified by the hopeful cheers of thousands of adoring home-country fans. On Sunday, Nasa Hataoka was more than a match for that pressure, closing with a 67, capped by a birdie on the final hole, to win the TOTO Japan Classic by two strokes, adding to an LPGA storyline in which globetrotting stars have risen to the occasion on home soil in 2018.”
  • “Hataoka, all of 19-years-old, joins Rolex Player of the Year Ariya Jutanugarn and Sung Hyun Park, with three each, and Brooke Henderson with two, as multiple LPGA winners this year, adding the TOTO title to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G in June, continuing a ferocious sprint to the finish line this season.”

Full story.

6. Does the Q-Series need tweaking?
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols with a strong take...”The LPGA threw down a sledgehammer on college golf with the inception of its new Q-Series. Seven of the eight amateurs who qualified for the eight-round event earned full status for 2019. Six college hotshots and one junior.”
  • “Two of those players – 2018 NCAA champion Jennifer Kupcho of Wake Forest and Maria Fassi of Arkansas – say they will defer status until after the NCAA Championship next May….They will prove to be exceptions to this rule going forward, with the vast majority of players likely to skip the spring semester to take advantage of every playing opportunity that becomes available their rookie season.”
7. On the subject of Q-Series…  
GolfWorld’s Ryan Herrington on the qualifiers…”Officially, the medalist was South Korea’s Jeongeun Lee6, already a standout at home with seven KLPGA titles and holding down 19th place on the Rolex Women’s World Ranking. A closing two-under 70 on the No. 7 course gave the 22-year-old an 18-under aggregate.”
  • “Twenty-two of the 48 Q-Series grads will be rookies on tour in 2019, including eight amateurs: Jennifer Kupcho (runner-up to Lee by one stroke back), Jaclyn Lee (sixth), Lauren Stephenson (T-8), Kristen Gillman (T-13), Lilia Vu (T-27), Maria Fassi (32nd), Suzuka Yamaguchi (T-36), Robyn Choi (T-45).”
  • “Seven of the eight are college golfers who have a difficult decision to make: Do they take their memberships immediate, turning pro and leaving school before the start of the spring semester? Or do you defer the membership until after the NCAA Championship, is an option not previously afforded amateurs who had success at Q school?”
  • “Three of the seven-Stephenson, Gillman and Vu-have said they’ll make their pro debuts early in 2019, leaving college behind”
8. Grotesque golf course vandalism
WXIN Report…”Residents are demanding answers after vandals carved a racial slur and a swastika onto an Indianapolis golf course…The man who discovered it said he wasn’t upset about the golf course being defaced, but about the message being sent.”
  • “It’s not the physical damage that was done, it’s the psychological damage,” said golfer Phil Rossman…Rossman plays golf at Smock Golf Course nearly five days a week. Over the weekend, the Vietnam vet saw something during his regular round that goes against everything he stands for in life.”
  • “I guess I was a bit shocked to see it in the middle of a golf course,” Rossman said. “But not surprised to see it in society in general.”…Rossman snapped pictures showing a racial slur, along with a swastika carved into the 8th hole green.”
9. Woods, Federer friends no more
The newsworthiness of this bit of trivia is debatable, nevertheless, it’s moderately interesting to hear that the two greatest athletes of their generation (in their respective sports) no longer speak…especially given Woods’ expansive chumminess in his return.
  • Adam Powers at the Daily Express… “I have not seen him for a lot of time…Yeah, once we used to see each other time-to-time for the Gillette (ad) campaign. Even Nike. But that was rare. It was more about wishing good luck. When he faced problems, he disappeared and changed his number.”
No word on what the two men shave with currently. 

 

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  1. Jamie

    Nov 5, 2018 at 10:35 am

    Phil Rossman probably carved the swastika himself. The sympathy card has been very lucrative. Wouldn’t be the first time. His name is Andrew King.

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Morning 9: Koepka is king | How Brooks got it done | Chamblee eats crow

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

May 20, 2019

Good Monday morning, golf fans.
1. Koepka is king
What can you say? Unless you feel our reaction to Brooks Koepka finishing the round he began with a seven-stroke lead just two in front (rather than, say, 10), Sunday was a mere polishing of the crown of the greatest major championship golfer since early 2000s Tiger Woods.
  • A few good takes from Sports Nation’s Brendan Porath…”Koepka did what he does at the majors and became the first player in the history of golf to hold back-to-back U.S. Opens and back-to-back PGA Championships. He’s now won four of his last nine major starts and even when he’s not winning, he’s around rattling the cage of the leaders. Like Tiger coming at you in his peak, Brooksy coming will only continue to be the most nerve-wracking of chaser options if you happen to be a leader at a major.”
  • “…We’ve seen him now win majors on soft courses, windy courses, firm courses, bomber’s courses, and courses considered strategic masterpieces. We’ve seen him come from behind on the weekend and win from in front on the weekend. We’ve seen him hold on under the pressure of this vanishing margin and in the mania of Tiger whipping St. Louis crowds into a frenzy while making at charge at him.”
2. The near turning point
Golf.com’s Dylan Dethier on the scene after Brooks Koepka made bogey at 11, 12, and 13 and what it was like on the ground…
  • A morsel…”Koepka may have thought the same thing, and attempted to play his iron shot past the front pin. But whether from adrenaline, miscalculation or just pure smash factor, Koepka’s ball pierced through the wind and airmailed over the back, nearly 30 yards long of the pin.”
  • “It’s hard to say with certainty why the Long Island mobs had suddenly turned on Koepka. He’s hardly the most popular Tour star, but crowds generally favor chaos, too. The combination of factors turned them boorish as Koepka approached his ball.”
3. Shane Ryan’s Sunday BK diary
I could pick any entry from Ryan’s singular minute-by-minute format, so here’s a taste…
  • “6:31 p.m.: I am far from the first one to make this observation, but it bears repeating: Feels like a really, really bad idea to let the people of Long Island host a Ryder Cup. This is going to be a madhouse in 2024. And now it’s time for Koepka hit his drive on 18, which can’t lose the tournament for him, but could probably win it…but that’s not happening. It’s in the sand left, and there’s still some juice in this orange.”
  • “6:35 p.m.: This may be too reactionary right now, but it feels like, at the very least, this is going to chip away at Koepka’s facade of invulnerability. Because this was a little ugly, even considering the course. And now he’s on the downslope of the bunker, and though he makes a good out, he still has to hit a good wedge to give himself two putts for the win.”
4. How long will the major reign of Brooks last?
Cameron Morfit (with an assist from Padraig Harrington) examines the question
  • “Brooks is young; he might get to double figures,” three-time major winner Padraig Harrington said after missing the cut earlier this week. “It’s a numbers game. He’s young enough that he could do it. Why wouldn’t you talk about getting to 18? He’s cracking them out at a fair pace.”
  • “Koepka, 29, put the lie to his own prediction that the winning score would be around even or a bit better. But he may prove himself right in suggesting before the tournament that he could perhaps get to double digits in major wins. If he keeps this up, he could get there quickly.”
  • “Players drift in and out,” said Harrington, a six-time PGA TOUR winner who won his three majors, the 2007 Open Championship and ’08 Open Championship and PGA Championship, in just 13 months. “Pretty much if you watch everybody’s career, they get about 18 months where they truly peak. Whether they’re 100th in the world and they become 50th, or 50th and it becomes 20th, or 20th and it becomes 10, or 10 becomes 1, I don’t know.”
5. Chamblee eats crow
On Sunday night’s edition of “Live From the PGA Championship,
  • “He’s made a believer out of me,” Chamblee said. “I don’t know that anybody saw this coming,” Chamblee said, referring to Koepka’s four major championship wins in two years. “We saw his talent. We knew how good he was. We knew how far he hit it. We knew that he had good touch around and on the greens. But how is it that a man who’s only won twice in regular Tour events shows up at the events with the thickest pressure, that mean the most, with the most mental hurdles that everybody else trips over, and he just glides right over them, one by one by one? That’s miraculous, is what it is.”
6. Runner-up slam
AFP report…”Back-to-back major runner-up efforts have given Dustin Johnson confidence in his game even as he settled for a career Runner-up Grand Slam by finishing second Sunday at the PGA Championship”
  • “…Johnson, whose only major win came at the 2016 US Open, has runner-up major finishes at the 2011 British Open, 2015 US Open, last month’s Masters and the PGA.”
  • “But he’s in good company with the “Second-place Slam” alongside Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, Phil Mickelson, Louis Oosthuizen, Tom Watson and Craig Wood.”
7. How Koepka avoided collapse
The New York Post’s Mark Cannizzaro…
  • “Surely, after the way he’d manhandled the brutal Black Course for the first 3.5 rounds, the steely Koepka would be as rock solid as anyone to complete the job.”
  • “Until it looked like he wasn’t.”
  • “With Johnson hanging around, Koepka started skidding out of control like a car with bald tires in a rainstorm on the LIE, carding four consecutive bogeys on Nos. 11, 12, 13 and – of all places – the par-3 14th, the shortest hole on the course, where he shocked himself by airmailing the green.”
  • “Those gaffes, along with a Johnson birdie on No. 15 (he was the only player in the field to make birdie on 15 in all four rounds), turned what was once a seven-shot lead into a throat-drying, one-shot differential.”
8. Meanwhile, at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open…
John Strege at Golf Digest…
  • “Helen Alfredsson predominantly is a recreational golfer these days, better than most recreational golfers, of course, but Nassaus and skins games with friends, however spirited, don’t remotely replicate tournament golf.”
  • “Yet Alfredsson, always competitive, often fiery so, somehow cobbled together a game better than good enough to compete, good enough to win a national championship.”
  • “Alfredsson, a 54-year-old Swede, won the second U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C., on Sunday, defeating Juli Inkster and England’s Trish Johnson by two strokes. She received $180,000 for the victory.”
9. Jena Sims: Denied
Important, no? But an awkward moment plenty are talking out…and sure to be a meme if it isn’t already.
  • Rod Ardehali for the Daily Mail…”The pair are filmed walking together with Koepka deep in thought as his rivals, including fellow champion Dustin Johnson, mounted a charge on his lead.”
  • “Sims gets close to him twice and tries to give him a kiss but he shrugs it off and continues walking. When she goes back in again, the golfer pulls back – to the ire of his girlfriend, who folds her arms and walks ahead of him.”
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Brooks Koepka can’t stop defending major titles

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All right, it’s only two, but its two-consecutive PGA Championships…on the heels of two-straight U.S. Open titles. Thanks to the PGA moving up three months, he kinda-sorta has both doubles at the same time.

Brooks Koepka fought the golf course, his swing, the competition, and the self-inflicted pressure that he strives to minimize, and came out a winner. His margin of victory over workout pal Dustin Johnson was two strokes. Johnson had his chances but failed to capitalize. Can you fault him? If you had told him on Wednesday that he would be the only man to shoot all four rounds in the 60s, he might have anticipated a trophy at week’s end. Not to be. Despite a sequence of stumbles, Koepka parred the odd 18th hole and earned his sixth PGA Tour title and fourth major championship.

Here are five reasons he did it.

5. Dustin Johnson might be a one-off major winner, after all.

What they said couldn’t be done, was in Johnson’s grasp. Koepka’s apparently-insurmountable, 7-shot advantage had withered to 2 mere blows, and the man responsible for the winnowing was Dustin Johnson. The man from Myrtle was 3-under on the day, and stood a mere 12 feet from a 4th birdie at the 10th. Behind him, Koepka was even for the day, and about to birdie the 10th hole from 2 feet. Johnson missed, then bogeyed the 11th. What if DJ had made his birdie, and the roars had erupted. Would Koepka have stuffed his ridiculous, 160-yard lob wedge for a kick-in birdie? Probably not. DJ had to be perfect on Sunday, and when he most needed the endurance and the mental fortitude, both were lacking.

4. Koepka survived

I’ve played BPB and I’ve watched my high school golfers compete on it during New York state federation play. It is as difficult as you saw today. One bad swing leads to a bad hole, and it might lead to a run of four bogeys, as Koepka had on holes 11-14. He bogeyed a par five! He bogeyed a flip-shot par three!! He then turned around and parred the two most difficult holes of the closing stretch. Despite another bogey on his nemesis, the 17th, Koepka had enough wiggle room to limp home with par for a 2-shot victory.

3. Koepka elevated his game when needed

There was a point when the lead was down to one stroke, but if not for this shot, Koepka and Johnson would have been tied. The champion knew the adrenaline he was feeling, which explains the ludicrous thought that a gap wedge would fly 158 yards in the air. It did, and the ball settled two feet below the hole at the 10th. No matter what was happening in front of him, Koepka was about to shave a stroke from par. Golfers who choke a tournament away never make shots like this one.

2. Despite this…

I don’t have any words to describe this exchange. Your guy is trying to win a major, and somehow, it seems to be about you?

1. Karma

Doing a kind thing when you least need to do a kind thing, leads to Shivas, the god of Irons, smiling down on you.

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PGA Championship: 5 things we learned on Saturday

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Day three at Bethpage promised to differ from the first 48 hours of the 2019 PGA Championship. With a halved field and no 10th-hole tee times, odds of missing your tee time were reduced, even for David Lipsky. Brooks Koepka began the day with a 7-stroke lead, but the chance to chase him down depended on one of two scenarios playing out.

The first demanded similar course conditions to days one and two. In that situation, someone would shoot 63 or 64, hoping Koepka remained at par or higher. Conditions were different, as the wind picked up and then swirled, sending a higher number of tee shots into the rough and beyond. As for the second, well, it required Koepka to balloon to a mid- to high-70s score, allowing a score anywhere below par to make up ground. Neither one happened, and Koepka left the state park with the same lead as he had 24 hours prior. We still learned quite a bit on Saturday, so have a look at the 5 most important things we learned on Saturday at the 2019 PGA Championship.

5. New names made their presence known

Ardent followers of professional golf have read about Jazz Janewattananond, Harold Varner III and Luke List, but until today, none had made a dent in the first page of a major professional event. Each sits at -5, tied with Dustin Johnson, seven blows behind Koepka. Varner will accompany Koepka on the Sunday march, but all four of the minus-fives will play either for 2nd spot, or the coveted “If Koepka should falter” trophy.

4. How do you come from THAT far behind?

Simply put, you need to make six birdies at least, get to 9 or 10 under par, and pray for rain. Koepka’s swing looks like it’s here to stay. He doesn’t get tired physically, and he isn’t under the weather. Yesterday, I predicted that Matt Wallace would hit more shots like this one. I stand by that prediction, and expect Wallace (at -4) to be the only one of the chasers to give Koepka a run. Wallace is playing for the same sort of legitimacy as the leader. Koepka wants to be a part of the conversation for best golfer in the world; Wallace wants to be much more than an afterthought when Ryder Cup 2021 comes around. Sunday will put the Englishman in another class.

3. Spieth and Scott went quietly away

No one likes to foretell doom and gloom, unless they go by the name of Bran Stark. It is someone’s job to predict such things in golf, and the team of S and S shared the cloak of most likely to play above par on Saturday. The Jordan Spieth who gutted out the 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay was not present today. The Adam Scott who played through the rain to defeat Angel Cabrera in the 2013 Masters playoff was also unavailable. Bethpage is a big, brawny golf course. With the exception of Lucas Glover in 2009, it rewards big, brawny golfers.

2. Is Bethpage a boring place to play a major championship?

I don’t think so, but I’m not convinced that this was the best set-up for it. If the PGA likes birdies, tell me how they went from 10 billion birdies in the event’s first half, to quite a few less on day three? Something changed, or perhaps the course caught up with the conditions. There is a lot of thick rough out there…why? Increase fairway width by 10%, so that balls that barely miss, have a chance at redemption. Move the tee markers up on number six and make it a drivable par four for at least one round. Do the same on number eighteen, just for one day on the weekend. If Koepka is on his game for day four, anticipate a nice time for a long nap.

1. Will Brooks Koepka seal the deal on Sunday?

All signs point to Yes, and major championship number four, and possibly the blessing of Pope Brandel of Chamblee. However, we did see a few flinches on Saturday, and we would like to mention them here. To begin, his putting distance control was erratic. Did you see that first putt on 17, from 20 feet? The one that went 75% of the way to the hole? Brooks made his share of 5-feet putts today, but if the distance control gets weird tomorrow, and the short putts start spinning out, well then… Another area of concern was driving. He can’t be perfect, but with the big stick in his hands at all times, the big miss might be coming. If BK goes wide right or left and makes a big number, the confidence might be shaken.

All right, I’m searching for a needle in a haystack of straws at which I’m grasping. Got that? It’s a double metaphor, because a double metaphor is what is needed to keep Koepka from holding PGA and US Open trophies for the 2nd consecutive cycle.

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