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WATCH: John Senden’s driver shaft snaps mid-swing

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As challenging and unpredictable as golf is, professional golfers can usually count on one thing, making contact with the ball. However, when John Senden attempted to rip his tee shot at the par-5 ninth hole in his opening round at the Australian PGA Championship, the Aussie’s club snapped mid-swing producing an air shot.

Despite not causing himself a severe injury, Senden did wound his hand during the bizarre incident, and after deliberating with a rules official, things got even worse for the Aussie. After failing to make contact with the ball, rules officials told Senden that not only would that swing count as a stroke but that he would also be forced to play his next shot from the original high standing tee. A decision that left his fellow countryman Geoff Ogilvy seething.

Senden did, however, end up making a bogey on the hole, and despite being forced to finish his back nine driverless, the two time PGA Tour winner managed to get in the house with a solid round of level par.

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

22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Dave f

    Nov 30, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Good explanation from the full axcent of the one and only Charlie Rymer on the golf channel report, along with mr know it all Mr. Brandel man are they a pair or what they sure have it figured out.

  2. James A.

    Nov 30, 2018 at 11:44 am

    That happened to me with one of the early gen lite-weight graphite shafts – I’ll just say it was 23yrs ago & they were bright red & light years ahead of the other offerings at the time. I had been using XXX Penley – which weighed in ALMOST twice as much as these did and the designer/owner was very good to us. It played almost as firm in the tip, but to do that a lot of material was taken from the butt. We still saw a lot of high breaks in many different shafts until maybe 8 yrs ago but these Red ones were cutting edge. If you leaned on it at all teeing up? – SNAP. Bag fell over? SNAP- but you could hit 300+ balls on a test day at 115-120 club head speed and (almost) no problem.

    I did snap 10 one day but was testing a couple versions for them and most snapped if I let it bounce off my back on a ‘gorilla swing’ follow through.

    The bad one was another gen later when they changed the outer layer material to be stronger lengthwise. I had a relatively slow backswing for my swing speed to force a big turn – being a big guy with a back injury. I capitalized on 20+ yrs of karate & being a professional drummer with fast hands. In a pro-am, I went after it on a reachable 340yd hole & the shaft snapped halfway into the downswing – at peak lag when my hands started to turn into impact, but instead of half the club flying away, the head stayed on – connected by a strip of the new outer layer. I hit the ball, but the head wrapped completely around my back & came up and drilled me right on my right eye brow…inch or so lower, it would’ve shattered the orbit & I might’ve lost the eye. As it was, I just saw all blue light – like gettin’ KO’d and almost went down. The missing 2′ of shaft hit someone 10yds away (no harm done) and I just put my hand on the spot which was golf ball size in 3 seconds…I was lucky.

    I ended up with 6 stitches. I called the company & ‘my guys’ were out & the person I talked to sounded a little spooked & just said “I don’t think I can talk to you about this…sounds like you need to speak to our legal dept (lol)…I told him I was a sponsored test ‘driver’ & I wasn’t gonna sue! I just needed them to know it happened & maybe they needed to let the head/broken piece just go flying down the fairway if one broke. They stopped using that material lengthwise & created ‘Rings’so to speak – to make sure if it broke it’d be ‘cleaner’…

    True story 🙂

    For 8 years I didn’t carry a 3 wd. Used a Big Bertha one iron with ‘the red shaft’ and couldn’t miss. Best combo EVER. Eventually, just got tired of them breaking hitting off the deck, & other – now the all well known ‘high end’ shafts got so good I moved on ????

  3. Ray Bennett

    Nov 29, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    Come on USGA and R&A, surely this circumstance needs to be addressed in the Rules of Golf in the players favour.

  4. jc

    Nov 29, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    one of my friends just ticked the ball and it fell off the tee, he used his 3 wood, then an iron and made the putt…one of the best pars I had eve seen.

  5. Curt

    Nov 29, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    Was that a TPT Shaft?

    • Michael

      Nov 29, 2018 at 8:26 pm

      I think so. Those shafts are incredibly overpriced for the lack of quality control that seems to exist. I’ve heard of many of these snapping, way above the norm.

      • Scheiss

        Nov 29, 2018 at 8:38 pm

        What do you expect from ski poles, they’re not meant to be swung at something lol

  6. Kevin

    Nov 29, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Very stupid ruling and yes they should be fkd off. Should the club shaft stay intact he would have hit the ball, it is the one thing that the player does not have any control over. There was no obstacles, no roots in the ground, it is a faulty shaft and the player could not anticipate nor be prepared for. Its the same as punishing a Bus taker for the bus’ engine failture as soon as he stepped into the bus.

  7. KL Nix

    Nov 29, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    I had that happen to me once with a 1 iron during a tournament. Just after impact i heard and felt a snap and it didn’t compute until I felt the club pinching my hands and the head smacking me in the leg. One of the most bizarre things that I have ever had happen to me and until now I thought I was the only one to have that kind of luck. The following 16 holes of viagra jokes were not that funny at the time but in hindsight have grown on me.

  8. Kevin

    Nov 29, 2018 at 11:35 am

    I very well may be mistaken, but should he not have been able to tee off again without a penalty? He did not make contact with the ball and that would only be a stroke if he intends to make contact with the ball. Much like Kevin Na from years back, he still followed through but was able to say that he did not intend to hit the ball. It very much looked like after the club snapped he tried to stop his swing?

    • Tips

      Nov 29, 2018 at 1:11 pm

      No.
      In this case, it happened during the normal action of the actual swing, and the judgment is the same as if you were to break a club against a tree, for example. You can clearly see that it was not a practice swing or a waggle, it happened during the actual intended swing.
      Whether the shaft was poorly made or not is irrelevant.

      • Kevin

        Nov 29, 2018 at 3:27 pm

        This is the ruling of which I am talking about.

        14/1.5 Intent to Strike Ball Ceases During Downswing; Club Not Stopped But Path of Clubhead Altered to Avoid Striking Ball

        Q.A player begins his downswing with the intention of striking the ball but decides during the downswing not to strike the ball. The player is unable to stop the club before it reaches the ball, but he is able to swing intentionally over the top of the ball. Is the player deemed to have made a stroke?

        A.No. The player is considered to have checked his downswing voluntarily by altering the path of his downswing and missing the ball even though the swing carried the clubhead beyond the ball.

        If the player had not successfully checked his downswing (i.e., he had struck the ball), he is considered to have made a stroke.

        Any doubt regarding the player’s intent must be resolved against the player.

        Although it does not match perfectly and the rules in Australia may vary slightly I think this would apply. I would say once the shaft broke he clearly made an attempt to not make contact/check his swing and he did not make contact.

    • jc

      Nov 29, 2018 at 5:17 pm

      nope, if you take a swing, it is just like a whiff…the only thing that will change wit the new rules is that if the ball was falling off the tee, you no longer get a penalty for hitting a moving ball…

      • Willem van der Merwe

        Nov 30, 2018 at 5:22 am

        Under the new rules, the ball is still on the teeing are, so although the stroke counts, he would be able to re-tee, put the ball on the ground or on any surface irregularity, whether created by the player or natural.

        In fact, if you had hit a shot which rebounded and ended up back on your teeing area (the 2 club-length space behind the tee markers for your tee on the hole), you would be entitled to tee it up again for your second shot.

  9. Thomas Horonzy

    Nov 29, 2018 at 11:13 am

    I would have never assessed him a swing. I feel Geoff felt likewise. Where’s the logic?

  10. KingSingh

    Nov 29, 2018 at 9:53 am

    What shaft was Senden using in his driver?

  11. Nigel Kent

    Nov 29, 2018 at 9:39 am

    He did not have to finish the round driver-less . If you break a club deliberately (in temper across your leg ,against a tree or the ground ),that would be true .If it just breaks in normal play , you are allowed to have it replaced either from the pro-shop or your own spare supply in your vehicle , as long as you don’t delay play . I saw Sam Torrance snap a driver across his back on the follow-through,they sent a buggy to the pro- shop ,had a new one back to him in 15 minutes .

    • GP

      Nov 29, 2018 at 9:48 am

      The commentators said he didn’t have a back-up driver that day, but was hoping to get one for the next day from some place.

    • Eric Clancey

      Nov 29, 2018 at 9:51 am

      Good call Nigel.

      It looked like a snap at the grip from banging the club head on the ground after a bad shot.

      • Engineer Bob

        Nov 29, 2018 at 3:26 pm

        No…. that’s the result of applying a hands force couple to the club handle and the very thin-walled butt section of the shaft collapsing under the grip. Do not apply a hands force couple approaching impact because that signifies you are attempting a swing compensation.

        • gps

          Nov 29, 2018 at 5:53 pm

          Its very natural that there are forces at the point of the fulcrum, between the hands.

          In 5L, Ben Hogan pointed out the center of gravity of a golf club, without the golfer
          and fulcrum when it becomes a lever in the hands of the golfer.

          • Engineer Bob

            Nov 29, 2018 at 6:57 pm

            Sorry but there is no golf swing ‘fulcrum’ between the hands during a force couple, just a rotation axis. A fulcrum is a support whereas the rotation axis just floats through the downswing. You are confusing a lever with a static fulcrum and a moving object subject to a force couple.

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Viral star, Hosung Choi, set for second start on the PGA Tour

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Hosung Choi, the man who has become a viral internet star due to his unique golf swing, made his PGA Tour debut at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am earlier this year, and the South Korean is set to make his second start this summer, after accepting a sponsors exemption to play the John Deere Classic.

Choi missed the cut on his debut at Pebble Beach, firing rounds of 72-75-77 while playing alongside the likes of Jerry Kelly and Aaron Rodgers.

The 45-year-old won the 2018 Casio World Open at the back end of last year but has been quiet on the golf course in 2019. Besides his missed cut at the AT&T Pebble Beach, Choi has only made two other appearances, missing the cut at the Kenya Open and finishing T12 at the Singapore Open.

Those who have bought tickets for this year’s John Deere Classic in July can look forward to all of Choi’s beautiful eccentricities.

 

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Morning 9: Nelly! | Ogilvy on Rules changes | Phelps on watching Tiger | Nantz: “Best event I’ve covered”

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

April 18, 2019

Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. Meanwhile, on the LPGA Tour…
…some actual golf action, to begin…
AP Report on round one of the Lotte Championship…
  • “Nelly Korda took advantage when Hawaii’s tough trade winds took a break.”
  • Korda rolled in the last of her nine birdies at the 18th in a bogey-free round of 63 Wednesday for a one-shot lead after the opening round of the Lotte Championship at Ko Olina Golf Club.
  • “I got here Saturday and I swear I couldn’t even walk because it was so windy,” said Korda, who is making her Lotte debut. “But I like the place. Everyone is really friendly and it just feels good to be here.”

Full piece.

2. Ogilvy on Rules changes
…the always interesting, abundantly informed Australian sounds off…
Writing for Golf Australia…
  • All of which brought me immediately back to the notion that the idea of simplifying rules almost automatically makes them more complicated. That it is what almost always happens when a committee decides something. I actually have some experience in that area, when I was on the PGA Tour Player Advisory Council…”
  • “…There were so many contingencies because a committee was involved. And it seems to me the same thing has happened with this ball-dropping thing. Nobody in the world now knows how to drop the ball properly. So we have a more complex situation than we had on December 31, 2018.”
  • “But it should be so simple. All we have to do is make it easy for a player to get the ball from hand to ground so that the game can continue. It’s that straightforward. But now we have a situation where you have to stand a certain way – you can’t bend your knees – and you have to drop from this exact height; not too low or high. The simplest thing in the world is now complicated.”
Also notable: this statement...”I have to think 99 percent of golfers have never consulted the rulebook on that one and things have been fine as far as I can see. This is really just a pro golf issue. So what is the point in foisting it on everyone?”
3. Phelps on watching Tiger
…how one GOAT got in prime position to watch another…
Tyler Lauletta at Business Insider…
  • On Wednesday, Phelps spoke with NBC Sports about how he wound up at the Masters in the first place, explaining that it had always been a dream of his to attend the tournament, and him being there for Woods’ big comeback win was more luck than anything.
  • “A mutual friend is a member,” Phelps said, explaining how he got his invite to one of the most difficult tickets in sports. “A buddy of mine called me Monday before the Masters. ‘I have a ticket? Do you want to go? I have a plane. Do you want to go?’ I was like, awesome, I’m going to the Masters for the first time.”
  • “As to how Phelps fell into front row seats to watch Woods tee off at No. 16, he says it came down to a helpful strangers that got to the tournament early on Sunday.”
  • “We started walking around the course and ran into a couple of nice people who had gotten to the gate early, at 3:30 a.m,” Phelps said. “They said, if you ever want to come back and sit on 16 with us, we have a couple of chairs. We got lucky, met a super nice guy working there that had some seats set up in some primo spots that we just had some pretty amazing access to.”
4. Even Stevie watched!
…tuning in for his former boss…
TVNZ report…
  • “Writing for Australian outlet the Player’s Voice, Williams says he now concentrated on playing golf rather than watching – until Monday morning earlier this week.”
  • “…I try to keep up with the news and will read about golf – but I just don’t watch it. Ever.
  • “Except for last Monday.”
  • “Fourteen years! It’s almost impossible to believe. And it had been 11 years since his last major – the US Open at Torrey Pines – which he had no right to win thanks to his torn cruciate ligament and fractured tibia.
  • “But that’s Tiger Woods – he does things no-one else could dream of doing.”

 

5. OWGR points for the Tour Championship
…two sets of books…
Doug Ferguson writes...”The PGA Tour will continue to keep a traditional score, even if it won’t be published, so that world ranking points can be awarded.”
  • “The Official World Golf Ranking board met last week at the Masters and approved a PGA Tour proposal that awards full ranking points based on where players would have finished without the staggered start.”
  • “The No. 1 seed in the FedEx Cup starts the tournament at 10 under, with the No. 2 seed at 8 under, and then 7 under, 6 under and 5 under. The next five players start at 4 under, all the way down until Nos. 26 through 30 begin at even par.”
6. “Best event I’ve ever covered”
…says Jim Nantz regarding the 2019 Masters…
The Washington Post’s Ben Strauss quoting Nantz…
  • “I’ve done 34 Final Fours, had Super Bowls, Peyton [Manning’s] farewell. It’s been 48 hours since it ended, and I’d say it’s going to feel about the same 10 years from now,” said Nantz, who has already called this year’s Super Bowl and Final Four in addition to the Masters since February. “It’s the best event I’ve ever covered. And I feel very fortunate to have been in that spot.”
7. DeChambeau’s grip change
…much lighter, but still Jumbo…
Andrew Tursky at PGATour.com on the pre-Masters overhaul…
  • “After a 14-hour range session in Dallas the week before the Masters, Dechambeau made a 75-gram reduction in his oversized JumboMax grip weights in his Cobra clubs. His new grips, made from a different lightweight compound, now measure just more than 50 grams, considered to be a “normal” weight by industry standards, despite their relatively massive size. He also changed from True Temper Dynamic Gold X7 shafts – extremely heavy and stiff iron shafts – to Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts, which flex more than his previous gamer shafts.”
  • “Ever since he came on TOUR, DeChambeau used JumboMax grips on his clubs that measured about 125 grams per grip. He now works on his equipment with Cobra’s TOUR Operations Manager Ben Schomin, who says Dechambeau has improved his wedge play since first coming out on TOUR, but lately DeChambeau had struggled to find consistency with the flight of his wedges. The main issues were that spin was inconsistent and they tended to fly too high. For his part, Schomin built him wedges that used weld beads on the heel to help with face closure. While Schomin says it helped, DeChambeau — currently T105 in Strokes Gained: Around the Greens — wasn’t satisfied with his wedge play.”
  • “Schomin and DeChambeau, chasing consistency with the wedges, decided to begin testing different variables. As it turned out, DeChambeau liked the feel of a 50-gram grip, versus his old 125-gram grips, and the new build allowed DeChambeau to flight the wedges lower, and gain spin and launch consistency.”
8. An interesting note on Masters coverage
…how did Molinari set himself up for his water-destined third shot at the 15th?…
Golf Digest’s Alex Myers…
  • “Thanks as always to ClassicTVsports.com for charting all the shots televised during the final round of a major. The site confirmed what I believed to be true while being in and out of the Augusta National media center on Sunday: Molinari’s second shot on No. 15 never made it on TV.”
  • “Even after his disastrous double bogey on No. 12, Molinari arrived at the Augusta’s final par 5 tied for the lead with Woods, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, and Xander Schauffele. So why wasn’t his second shot shown? Well, it was just a layup after a poor drive, but that punchout from the right pine straw proved to be pivotal. It wound up running through the fairway and into the left rough. It should be noted you can see the shot on the Masters digital platforms, which, remarkably, attempted to show every shot from the tournament.”
  • “Although Molinari only had 79 yards for his third, which was shown live, his angle was so extreme that his golf ball caught a pine tree and dropped into the pond guarding the green. A surprised Molinari, who had just one bogey through the first 60 holes of the tournament, never recovered from his second double bogey in four holes. Meanwhile, Woods hit two great shots on the hole to find the green. And two putts later he had the solo lead for the first time all week, a lead he would not relinquish.”
9. Ho Sung mania is coming to the John Deere Classic
…the fisherman’s swing returneth to the PGA Tour…
The tournament announced Chou has been handed a sponsors exemption to the July tournament.
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Meteorologist received death threats for interrupting Masters coverage during most-watched morning golf round of all time

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Tornados brewing in the Georgia area meant an earlier start than usual for the final round of the Masters, and one CBS46 meteorologist was to receive death threats for interrupting coverage of the event to update residents in the area of the conditions.

Ella Dorsey took to Twitter on Sunday to report not just the vile abuse she was receiving, but also the importance of the work she was doing which cut into local Masters coverage.

Per The Weather Channel who spoke to local experts, who while being prepared for the backlash in interrupting the coverage to warn residents, were stunned by the level of abuse of some. On the subject, station news director Steve Doerr said

“The venom around this was insane, even by social media standards.”

CBS released its viewing figures for Sunday’s morning round, with an average of 10.8 million viewers tuning in to watch Tiger Woods claim his fifth green jacket. That total bested the 8.56 million number, according to Nielsen data, from the 2000 Open Championship which previously held the morning record.

According to CBS, the broadcasts viewership peaked between 2.15 and 2.30 ET with 18.3 million tuning in.

 

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