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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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Ian Poulter plays final round in 2 hours and 22 minutes, fires his best round of the week

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The debate regarding pace of play in the game of golf is rarely far from the surface, and on Sunday at the DP World Tour Championship, Ian Poulter showcased the benefits of speeding around the golf course.

It took Poulter just two hours and 22 minutes to complete his final round at Jumeirah Golf Estates (Earth Course), and what’s more, is that while flying around the golf course, the Englishman recorded his best score of the week, firing a round of 69.

After the round, Poulter, who is well known for his dislike of slow play in the game stated

“I’m a quick player. I don’t like slow play, so today was quite refreshing. It didn’t matter where I finished… I just wanted to get back for breakfast.”

Poulter isn’t the first player to play a final round in rapid time, with Wesley Bryan and Kevin Na both beating the Englishman’s time over the past couple of years. At the 2016 Tour Championship, Na darted around the course in just under two hours, while at the 2017 BMW Championship, Wesley Bryan took less than 90 minutes to complete his final round,

Interestingly, in all three of these cases of speedy play, the players shot their best round of the week while playing at their quickest.

So GolfWRXers, does playing fast bring out the best in a golfer, or is this another case of a player performing well when the pressure is off?

Let us know what you think!

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Is “make more birdies” really the best advice to shoot lower scores?

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I often hear golfers say, “I need to make more birdies to shoot lower scores.” This statement has been uttered by the team I currently coach, and through three tournaments this fall, it got me wondering how accurate that statement was for our level of play.

Our players’ scoring averages range from 74 to 87, having played in a minimum of two tournament rounds and up to seven tournament rounds. Most often, I have heard the statement above from our players who are in the middle to higher end of the scoring averages. So, I took a look into our scoring breakdown using the data we collect with GameGolf.

Here are the rankings of birdies per round for the seven players who have traveled this fall

1 2.7
2 1.42
3 1.17
4 1
5 0.5
6 0.42
7 0.33

The difference from the top to the seventh spot is 1.09 birdies per round. The player with the top spot has a scoring average of 74, and the player in seventh spot has a scoring average of 84.67.

Here are the rankings of double bogey/worse for the seven players who have traveled this fall

1 0.42
2 0.85
3 1
4 1.42
5 2
6 2.5
7 4

The difference from the top to the seventh spot is 3.58 doubles/worse per round. Again the player at the top has the 74 scoring average and the player at the bottom has the 87 scoring average.

Diving a little deeper, the players on the team with the top three scoring averages (74, 77.29 and 78) occupy the top three spots in both of these rankings. And taking a look at all the players’ differentials, their rank stays the same compared to their scoring average rank.

The fact that many golfers overlook when making the statement “I need to make more birdies to score better” is that each hole accounts for about 5.5 percent of your round. So, if we take our player who averages one birdie (minus 1) and 2.5 doubles/worse per round (plus 5, conservatively), 5.5 percent of her round is birdies and 13.75 percent of her round is doubles/worse.

If she were to simply focus on making more birdies per round to “balance out” the current 2.5 doubles/worse per round, she would need to increase to five birdies per round. That would be a jump up to 27.5 percent of her round. Compare that to shift a focus to minimizing the doubles/worse category. If this same player could even shave her doubles/worse to 1.5 per round (plus 3,  conservatively), it accounts for 8.25 percent of her round.

If we take a look at the top five scoring averages from the LPGA, Women’s DI and Women’s DII we see the scoring averages range from 68 to 72. While the birdies per round range from 2.4 to 4.8. An interesting thing to note from these numbers is that both the low scoring average and best birdies per round do not come from the LPGA players. While difficulty of the course setup may play into this factor, it can highlight that those women who are playing to make a living are making sure that they are keeping their cards clean of the big numbers because they do not have enough holes to make up for those errors with birdies.

While birdies are always more fun to celebrate, in stroke play you are better off to learn how to turn doubles into bogeys and bogeys into pars for better scores.

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GolfWRX Morning 9: Rolex Series ends with a whimper? | Poulter’s <3 hour round | Don't forget about Patrick

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

November 19, 2018

Good Monday morning, golf fans.
1. Another victory for CH3…finally
After an impossible-to-believe 11 years without a win, and a complete bag overhaul just weeks ago, Charles Howell III is a PGA Tour victor again.
  • Sean Martin of PGATour.com…”Charles Howell III made a 15-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a playoff with Patrick Rodgers on Sunday in The RSM Classic to end an 11-year victory drought.”
  • “Howell dropped to his knees and buried his head in his hands, then tearfully embraced wife Heather and children Ansley and Chase – neither of whom were born when he last won on the PGA TOUR at Riviera in 2007.”
  • “Howell earned $1,152,000 and a return trip to his hometown of Augusta, Georgia, in April to play in the Masters for the first time since 2012.”
  • “The way I started today, I just honestly thought I shot myself in the foot again,” Howell said. “I thought that was pretty much over. I had seen this movie before.”
2. Oh, Danny boy!
Golfworld’s Ryan Herrington…”Come Sunday at Jumeirah Golf Estates, however, Willett managed to make amends. A closing four-under 68 to take the title at the DP World Tour Championship, the European Tour’s season finale, by two strokes over Matt Wallace and Patrick Reed.”
  • “It’s been a lot of hard work,” said an emotional Willett after birdies on three of the final five holes helped him stand beside Francesco Molinari, who claimed the season-long Race to Dubai title despite finishing T-26 for the week. “It’s been tough.”
  • Tied for the lead with Reed entering the final round of the European Tour’s 2018 season finale, Willett reflected on Saturday evening on just how “tough” it had become. He was candid and forthcoming about the difficult times.
  • Willett also had this to say…”I was in a very, very dark place…There was no light coming through the trees. Just a big f—ing stump in front of my ball. I was despising golf, because it was like Groundhog Day, turn up, be in pain and repeat.”
3. Redemption for Lexi
Keeley Levins on Lexi hoisting a trophy again….”The redemption story is a sweet one for Thompson. Last year at the same event, on the same 18th green, Thompson missed a two-foot putt that likely would have won the tournament. That gave Ariya Jutanugarn an opening; should she birdie the final two holes she would win the CME Group Tour Championship, and to strip Thompson of Player of the Year honors. Jutanugarn made the back-to-back birdies, and what would have been a storybook ending to Thompson’s season turned into a bit of a nightmare, tempered only by the $1 million bonus Thompson earned for winning the season-long Race to the CME Globe.”
“This time, Thompson could have five-putted the 18th green and still walked away with the win. She missed the birdie putt and had about two feet coming back for par. She confidently holed it, her 18-under total giving her a four-shot victory over Nelly Korda. Instead of consoling hugs from her friends and family as she walked off the 18th green, this year she shared the winning moment with her brother Curtis, who after failing in a Monday qualifier to make the field in the PGA Tour’s RSM Classic, was pressed into service as her caddie. Then she was showered in celebratory champagne.”

Full piece.

Beth Ann Nichols writes….”Thompson’s 10th career win on tour might turn out to be the most significant.
  • “It’s helped out tremendously with my attitude just in general,” said Thompson, “just showing the hard work that I’ve been putting in these last – well, this whole year really … just to see that pay off in these four days was huge for me. I’ve been waiting for that moment.”
  • “One year ago Thompson’s family looked shell-shocked on the 18th green at Tiburon Golf Club. She’d won the $1 million bonus, but ashort miss on the 72nd hole kept her from claiming spoils that money can’t buy…Thompson tried push away the pain – her mother’s battle with cancer, the four-stroke fiasco at the ANA Inspiration, the 2-footer at CME, the snide comments on social media.”

Full piece.

4. Ariya the incredible
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell…Jutanugarn did something that’s never been done before.
  • “She completed an unprecedented LPGA sweep burying an 18-foot birdie putt Sunday to end her season at the CME Group Tour Championship….It was, by the way, her 470th birdie of the season, a tour record.”
  • “Jutanugarn wrapped up the Vare Trophy for low scoring and the season-long Race to the CME Globe’s $1 million bonus. She added those to the Rolex Player of the Year Award, LPGA money title and Rolex Annika Major Award that she had already clinched.”
5. Don’t forget Patrick!
While he didn’t get the W, Rex Hoggard puts Patrick Rodgers extraordinary weekend in context.
  • “Patrick Rodgers made the cut on the number at the RSM Classic and began the weekend at Sea Island Resort a dozen strokes off the pace.
  • “Rodgers posted rounds of 61-62 on the weekend to get into a playoff with Charles Howell III at 19 under par. His 123 total over his final 36 holes was the lowest closing weekend in PGA Tour history.”
  • “Rodgers final round included a 30 on his closing nine and a birdie at the 72nd hole from 8 feet to get into overtime. In the playoff he failed to convert birdies putts on both extra holes and his runner-up showing was his best finish on Tour since he finished second at the 2015 Wells Fargo Championship.”
6. Australian Ancer
Mexican phenom Abraham Ancer took the Australian Open with a steady final-round showing.
  • AP Report…”Abraham Ancer went into the final round of the Australian Open with a five-stroke lead. With a few ups and downs along the way, he won it by the same margin…The Mexican golfer, making his first trip to Australia, shot a final-round 69 Sunday to finish with a 16-under total of 272 at The Lakes.”
  • “His lead was reduced to four strokes a few times. But Ancer’s shot of the day came on the fourth hole where he hit his pitch shot from just off the green well left of the flag, then watched it hit a slope and roll back down to finish in the hole for a birdie.”
7. Sour finish?
Alistair Tait points out that the European Tour can’t be happy with the whimper with which the season wrapped.
  • “So much for Keith Pelley’s goal of getting the top European Tour players to play more on their home circuit. It didn’t exactly work out in the season-ending $8 million DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.”
  • “Pelley launched the lucrative Rolex Series two years ago with intention of ensuring Europe’s top players competed more on their home tour. What tour pro wouldn’t want to play in a tournament worth a minimum $7 million? And who in their right mind would turn down a $13 million, season-ending event (an $8 million prize fund and $5 million bonus pool for the top 10 players)?”
  • ” How about Justin Rose, Paul Casey and Rafael Cabrera Bello? They didn’t seem to get Pelley’s memo. All three sat out the DP World.”
  • Tait writes declaratively...”Rolex might think otherwise. The luxury watch company probably couldn’t care less about the 100th ranked player. Star players skipping lucrative events isn’t what they signed up for.”
8. Speedy, Poulty!
Ryan Herrington….”Teeing off first at 7 a.m. at the DP World Tour Championship, and playing as a single, Poulter decided to make his final round of the 2018 European Tour season a memorable one … and give new meaning to the Race to Dubai.”
  • “Poulter sped around the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai in 2 hours and 22 minutes…”It didn’t matter where I finished … I just wanted to get back for breakfast,” Poulter joked afterward.”
  • “Indeed, when you’re starting 20 strokes off the lead and tied for last, the incentive has to come from less obvious places…Impressively, the pace didn’t do anything to hurt his score; he shot a three-under 69.”
9. Odyssey R-Ball + additive manufacturing
An interesting one, here, for watchers of the future of the golf equipment space.
Our Giani Magliocco…”Callaway has announced the company has signed a consultancy agreement with GE Additive’s AddWorks team, with the aim of improving its equipment through the potential of additive manufacturing. According to GE Additive’s website, additive manufacturing is a process that creates a physical object from digital design, enabling the creation of lighter, stronger parts and systems.”
  • “What does this mean for Callaway’s equipment?...The opening project from the agreement is a redesigned Odyssey R-Ball Prototype putter head. Callaway originally developed the Odyssey R-Ball Prototype as a tour preferred model in Japan, which consisted of removing the front ball from the original 2-ball design. Callaway, through additive manufacturing, has optimized the acoustics of the putter while retaining the preferred shape and performance.”
  • “Brad Rice, director – R&D, Advanced Engineering at Callaway, speaking about the process, stressed that the use of additive manufacturing is the future to the production of equipment in the game of golf, stating”
  • “Additive manufacturing is a new tool; which is quickly going beyond the aspirational phase, and into the functionalization phase of the technology. Callaway needs to learn how to use this tool well because it is inevitable that 3D-Printing of production parts is going to happen – it is the production method of the future.”
9b.Gambling infuses Tiger-Phil with life?  
A bonus item this morning because, well, I can’t count…
  • Regarding gambling: No, not the players individually (although for Phil…) but rather, the match, ahem The Match, writes Eamon Lynch.
  • A taste…”None of this is to suggest that “The Match” is entirely without merit. Golf course architecture enthusiasts who pay $19.99 to watch will save $479.01 on the usual door charge to see Shadow Creek.”
  • “It’s also comparatively cheap entertainment, relative to the $100 that 4.3 million people parted with last year to watch Mayweather toy with McGregor for 10 rounds.”
  • “The real value of “The Match” is in blueprinting the vast scope that exists within golf for in-round gambling. Not just between players but on the scenarios they face. For every competitor there exists a deep reservoir of data – his average leave from all distances, his make percentage on putts of any length – that represents a wealth of predictive information. Incorporating that into every golf telecast, not just this one, would be manna for gamblers and considerably more engaging for casual viewers.”
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