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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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Paul Casey IS testing Honma irons (but he IS NOT a Honma staffer)

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paul-casey-honma-iron-pc

It turns out, Paul Casey is not the second PGA Tour staffer (after Justin Rose) to sign with Honma.

Two weeks ago, the Englishman sent the golf equipment world was sent into a frenzy when a photo of him with an apparent Honma iron in play at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

Casey took to Instagram to confirm that he did in fact have a Honma 3-iron in play. However, well, here it is from the horse’s mouth…

“Still testing these beauties. Contrary to reports I started the season with almost the exact same setup that I used during the latter half of last year. Including the Ryder Cup. The only change being a new @honmagolf 3 iron that was photographed in play at Kapalua”

“These beauties” would seem to include a full set of Rose Proto-esque irons (with “PC” stamping instead of “Rose Proto”). It seems the 3-iron was Honma’s TW-U Forged utility iron.

With respect to his setup from last season, Casey played a combo set of Mizuno MP-25 irons (3) and MP-5 irons (4-PW). TaylorMade woods, Vokey Wedges, and a Scotty Cameron putter rounded out his set, which you can see here.

Casey has been without a full bag deal since his 2016 Nike deal (although he was under contract to play TaylorMade woods in 2017).

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Morning 9: Kuchar’s “Not a story” still a story | LPGA commish pushing for pay parity | Grassy shoe

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

January 15, 2019

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans.
1. Further thoughts on Kuchar, caddie payola
Whether Kuchar stiffed El Toucan or not, the story is far from dead…especially in light of at least one additional pro suggesting Kuch has a reputation for…thriftiness.
  • Here’s a bit from Geoff Shackelford, who quotes a Joel Beall piece and offers his own perspective.
  • “Does this constitute a story? That’s the question GolfDigest.com’s Joel Beall asks and does a nice job answering after a fellow golf pro called out what he saw as Matt Kuchar’s substandard pay to a caddie last fall.
  • “(Beall writes…) Kuchar’s case, however, felt different, for it wasn’t a tip as it was wages owed. The optics alone-a veteran with $46 million in career earnings low-balling a man who makes less than $46,000 a year-were damning. That Gillis’ previous blast of Ben Crane over an unpaid bet to Daniel Berger proved accurate wasn’t helping, nor was Australian pro Cameron Percy’s reply of, “It’s not out of character if true.”
  • “The irony in this escapade like other recent episodes cited by Beall: this was started and fueled by one of Kuchar’s peers, not a media outlet. …As players have increasingly shunned media for social media to break news or tell their story, it’s fascinating how many examples we’ve already seen of players calling out fellow players on social media in ways more harsh and reputation-damaging than a traditional media outlet would dare.”

Full piece (including a link to Beall’s article)

2. Oda overcomes
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine writes…”John Oda overcame a double bogey Monday to maintain his lead at the Web.com Tour’s season opener.”
  • “The UNLV product offset his double on the par-4 fifth hole with six birdies as part of a second-round, 4-under 68. At 13 under, Oda leads the Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay by two shots over Marty Dou, who carded a second-round 66.”
  • “For the second straight day, play was suspended because of darkness. Three groups will have to finish their second rounds Tuesday morning…”
3. Glass half full/half empty
A Reuters report identifies two things: the LPGA Tour will feature its largest collective purse ever this year, and that pursue is nowhere near what PGA Tour players will play for.
“The LPGA season kicks off on Thursday for a season that will comprise 34 events and distribute some $70 million in prize money, a record amount for the circuit although it is still barely one-fifth on offer on the PGA Tour.”
  • “The discrepancy roughly parallels the difference in television ratings in the United States between the tours, according to LPGA commissioner Mike Whan, with the women mainly shown on the smaller audience Golf Channel while the men’s circuit is broadcast on free-to-air network television.”
  • “The difference in purses is the difference in total viewership,” Whan told Reuters in a television interview ahead of the Tournament of Champions season opener that will be held in Florida.
  • “There is a real business reason. It’s based on real data. I understand it. I was a sponsor before a commissioner.
  • “It doesn’t mean I like it, doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road. Seven or eight years ago it wouldn’t have been one fifth. We’re up 80 percent in purses since 2010.”
4. Hosung Choi to make PGA Tour debut?
Our Gianni Magliocco writes…”Hosung Choi, a two-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour and internet sensation, is set to make his first PGA Tour appearance of his career after being handed an invitation to compete at next month’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, according to multiple Korean media outlets.”
5. Spieth the victim?
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell argues that the real-time stats, day trader mentality, and abundance of scrutiny have combined for a hyperfocus on the putting stroke of one Jordan Spieth. And it’s hard to believe this is doing him any favors.
  • “Is former Tiger coach Hank Haney’s opinion that there’s a yip in Spieth’s putting stroke a short-term liability, or a long-term one? Are Spieth’s back-to-back MCs a trend or an anomaly?”
  • “Coach Sean Foley said Woods was subject to daily referendums when he worked with him.”
  • “Tiger isn’t alone anymore as the subject of intense inspection on web sites, in reader commentaries, Twitter and podcasts. The growing volume of opinion may well be good for the game, nurturing — or inflaming — interest like never before, but it comes at a price for players struggling to reverse a trend. There’s more pressure to produce results than ever before, and to produce them more quickly, before negative opinion becomes tsunamic.”
  • “Fans are more invested in players, with so many more opportunities to follow them online. The PGA Tour’s live streaming allows fans to isolate their viewing of their favorites through an entire round. That’s only going to grow.”
6. What we learned at the Sony
Looking back at the tournament that was, our Ronald Montesano has some observations.
  • “Shorter and Strategic will always have a place on tour…Courses like Waialae (restored by Doak and team) and Harbor Town offer less-than-long hitters an opportunity to showcase their talents. Remember last fall’s Ryder Cup? Team Europe neutralized the length advantage of the USA at Le Golf National, and rolled to victory. Great courses from a bygone era will charm  competitors and fans alike, and the essence of proper golf course architecture will never fade from fashion.”
  • “Ryder Cup snubs lead to resurgence…Last week, we discussed the Xander Schauffele snub by USA Ryder Cup team captains. This week, the veteran most expected to make the team (Kuchar) won a second time since that international competition. Nothing sparks the competitive fires like being told that you aren’t good enough. Kuchar’s multiple international caps weren’t enough to secure a spot in France, but he is playing like he wants Tiger Woods (2019 President’s Cup captain) to know that he plans to return to Team USA pronto. We think that the fans support his cause.”
7. Valentino Dixon to exhibit in NYC
Rightly, Golf Digest’s Max Adler with the story...”…you might say Dixon’s true arrival into the professional art scene occurs this week. January 17-20, doors open to the 27th Outsider Art Fair at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York. Alongside 67 exhibitors representing 37 cities from 7 countries, will hang the golf landscapes whose creation subsisted the soul of an innocent artist locked inside a cell.
  • “To have my drawings showcased in New York City, the art capital of the world, it’s a dream come true,” Dixon says. “I feel like this is redemption for my teachers at the Buffalo Performing Arts High School. For so long I had let them down.”
8. Two holes-in-one in four holes?
Tony Korologos at Hooked on Golf...”So what are the odds of getting two aces in one round? How about two aces on the front nine? This past weekend at the Coral Canyon Amateur tournament in St. George, Utah, Kirk Siddens did just that…”
  • “The odds of two golfers in a group making an ace on the same hole is 26 million to 1. The odds of making back to back aces are around 50 million to 1. So somewhere in there lies the odds of one golfer getting a hole in one in four holes, or two consecutive par 3’s. I say let’s call it 37.75 million to 1.”
9. Air Max 1 golf shoe: grass edition
Golf Digest’s Brittany Romano…”Sneaker News leaked Nike’s newest golf shoe drop that has everyone talking. The star design features a green grass shoe with what appears to be a turf-like covering. The “grass” is complemented by a thick white midsole and throwback rubber outsole. The shoe is a remix of the iconic Air Max 1 sneaker that became popular in 1987 as the first shoe to feature visible air pockets in the midsole.”
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19th Hole

I wasn’t ready for the 2019 Rules of Golf

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We weren’t ready. We thought we were, but we weren’t.

For the last year, the USGA reminded us that in 2019 Rules of Golf were coming, but we didn’t listen. We heard the flag stick could remain in and we heard that you could take a penalty drop from knee-height.

But we didn’t listen.

I bet none of you have even practiced using your putter to flatten the entire green between your ball and the cup. You can do that now.

I’m also sure that you and I will continue to hover our club in all hazards, er, penalty areas. Yeah, we’re calling it a penalty area now.

The USGA went to the extreme depths of changing words all to simplify the game for you.

I don’t think the USGA listened either.

The rule changes were intended to speed up play and simplify golf for amateurs. Seems like a good idea. In turn, they may have bamboozled the PGA Tour while confusing the only amateurs who kind-of, sort-of knew the rules.

The pros didn’t need a new rule book, the amateurs just needed a simple one.

Us “locals” as the USGA refers to amateurs, do have one extremely fluid perk. When hitting a ball OB, or following a lost ball, you can drop with a two-stroke penalty instead of walking back to the tee. This of course, is dependent on your course, head professional, tournament conditions, and other factors including and not limited to what phase the moon is in.

If that’s somewhat confusing, read up, ask about your local rules, and buy a few extra sleeves. Reason being, in 2019, the limit on searching for a golf ball has been cut from five to three minutes.

2019-rules-of-golf

But wait, there’s good news.

Thanks to the USGA, if you accidentally move your ball as you frantically high-step through fescue, it’s no longer a penalty! What an exciting 180 seconds that will be!

If you somehow don’t find your golf ball in the hazard penalty area, the USGA tried to help us out, which they did, yet regrettably took away a more iconic portrait on the golf course.

The rigid, stoic stance and forceful drop of a ball at shoulder-height.

And we let it happen.

Now, we’ll watch a defeated man deliberately bend to his knees and gingerly drop his ball…Which, by the way, appears to be a convenient way for cheaters to “take a drop” that ideally doubles as “identifying my first ball”.

Don’t even get me started on the back issues this could flare up.

We heard in late 2018 that Bryson DeChambeau would use the flagstick when the odds were in his favor. He even laid it out simply for us.

“It depends on the COR, the coefficient of restitution of the flagstick.”

Simple.

We didn’t listen Bryson, we didn’t believe. We also have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about.

But hey, as Bryson would say, don’t hate the player, hate the game. Yeah, he’d clearly never say that, but here’s to hoping!

We heard he would do it, but we didn’t believe it. We had to see to believe. What we saw was DeChambeau first in strokes gained putting in the very first round he was allowed to do it.

Obviously, this trend will continue for DeChambeau, and others may join in, because what is golf if not a constant chase for a marginally better opportunity at success.

Watch your back, because those others that may join in could be closer than you think. You may turn around to find a fellow member asking for the flag on their next 12-footer.

It should be a fun year of commentary and confusion at your local club and on the PGA tour. Professionals will have constant questions for rules officials, and commentators will consistently question Bryson’s methods.

There is one real question I hope is answered this April.

What will we do when Bryson banks in a downhill putt at No. 2 of Augusta?

Will we be ready? Will Augusta?

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19th Hole

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