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GolfWRX Morning 9: Rahmbo the Hero | Thoughts on Tiger’s 2019 schedule | TW Monster Energy drink?

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

December 3, 2018

Good Monday morning, golf fans.
1. Rahmbo!
AP Report on the Spaniard’s third W of the year...”Jon Rahm turned a potential shootout into a Bahamas breeze Sunday, closing with a 7-under 65 for a four-shot victory in the Hero World Challenge.”
  • “Starting the final round in a three-way tie with Tony Finau and Henrik Stenson, Rahm took the lead when Finau made bogey on the par-3 eighth hole, and the 24-year-old Spaniard never trailed the rest of the day at Albany Golf Club.”
  • “Finau was the last challenger until the 14th hole, when he went from a sandy area to a bunker and over the green, leading to double bogey. Rahm made birdie on the hole, and suddenly had a five-shot lead without much trouble to get in the way.”
Rahm reiterated the importance of playing against (and beating) Woods at the Ryder Cup…”That Sunday with Tiger is still the most emotionally, most important moment of my golf career…It means so much to play against Tiger. A couple months later, to win his event, it’s really special.”
2. Smith Down Under
Fox Sports Australia report…”Cameron Smith has tamed the early nerves before ousting good mate Marc Leishman to defend his Australian PGA Championship, immediately setting his sights on the world’s top 20.”
  • “The Brisbane talent overcame a wonky start to shoot a fourth-round 70 to finish at 16-under-par and beat Leishman (69) by two strokes in a Sunday shootout at Royal Pines…Smith looked dead and buried on the 12th but held his nerve to spoil Leishman’s best chance of a maiden win on home soil.”
  • “The win should propel him into the top 30 for the first time and give the 25-year-old confidence when he returns to the PGA Tour.”
3. The Great Hero OWGR point debate
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell isn’t loving the world ranking points awarded at the 18-player “unofficial” Hero World Challenge.
  • “The winner of the Hero World Challenge receives 48 world ranking points this week, the same as this year’s Houston Open, CIMB Classic, Dubai Desert Classic and Scottish Open.” That’s from Golf Channel numbers guru Justin Ray. Can anyone out there explain how that’s fair?
  • “Yes, this is a question that has come up every year since the event began awarding world ranking points in 2009, but it remains relevant because we’re still waiting to hear how that’s fair. The Houston Open is an official PGA Tour event with a 144-player field. The Hero World Challenge is an unofficial event with an 18-player field. So, again, somebody please explain how that’s fair? Yes, there were six top-10 players in the Hero World Challenge field. So what? It’s “unofficial” and the equal weight given to a long-standing official event like the Houston Open isn’t clear. Again, can somebody explain that.”
I can explain it: Extra incentive for players to play Tiger’s event, which the Tour has a vested interest in remaining strong.
4. Putting tips from Tiger
Jon Rahm bent Tiger’s ear at the Tour Championship for advice putting on Bermuda–could you imagine a similar situation a decade ago?
  • “‘He was putting next to me and I asked him, because I’m not the best putter on Bermuda grass and I know it’s kind of funny to say that now,” Rahm said. “I said, ‘Hey, Tiger can you please teach me how to putt on Bermuda?'”
  • “Woods laughed and offered some passing advice, “He told me it’s all about feel,” Rahm recalled…The episode wasn’t lost on either Woods or Rahm on Sunday at the Hero World Challenge, where the Spaniard rolled to a four-shot victory at Albany, which has Bermuda grass greens.”
5. Tiger at Kapalua?
ESPN’s Bob Harig floats the idea that Tiger Woods could start his 2018-2019 season at the Tournament of Champions.
  • “It is far from a done deal, and this week’s trip he is taking to Australia for the Presidents Cup could ultimately derail the idea. But Woods has not said “no” to the prospect of playing at Kapalua the first week of January, a departure from the past decade-plus, and something that has tour brass and TOC officials hopeful.”
  • “We’re going to sit back after I’m done with Australia and really get back into the gym and build up my bod, get it stronger and get some weight on me and see where I want to start the year and see how many events that I should play,” Woods said Sunday following the final round of the Hero World Challenge, where he finished 17th in the 18-player field.”
  • “I’m not going to play as many as I did this year. I played in too many this year, and that was from adding an event because I missed the cut at L.A. (Genesis Open) to qualifying to get in Akron (WGC-Bridgestone). Who knew that I could make it through all the playoff events. So all those events told a lot. I won’t be playing as much as I did (in 2018).”

6. Reduced schedule ahead for TW

After unexpectedly playing more tournaments than he has in a decade and showing signs of fatigue late in the year, Tiger Woods, a solid World Ranking in hand, plans to reduce his schedule this season.

  • PGATour.com’s Mike McAllister quotes Woods…”We’re going to sit back after I’m done with Australia and really get back into the gym and build up my body, get it stronger and get some weight on me and see where I want to start the year and see how many events that I should play,” Woods said.
  • “I’m not going to play as many as I did this year. I played in too many this year, and that was from adding an event because I missed the cut at L.A. to qualifying to get into Akron. Who knew that I could make it through all the Playoffs events? So all those events told a lot.
  • “I won’t be playing as much as I did last year. … That was just too much for my body to handle and I was not physically prepared for it. I hadn’t trained for that, so we’re going to make some adjustments for next year.”

Full piece.

7. Missed it by that much
Justin Rose was one Tony Finau 10-footer away from retaking the World No. 1 spot…doesn’t sound like he’s too upset about missing out though.
  • Rex Hoggard at Golf Channel…”Rose finished strong in the Bahamas with a 7-under 65 and was in a three-way tie for second place when he completed his round. It was noteworthy because the Englishman could have moved back to No. 1 in the ranking if he finished in a three-way tie for second or better at Albany.”
  • “It’s not a huge goal for me, but when you have these opportunities you want to take them,” said Rose, who has moved into and been bounced out of the top spot three times in recent weeks. “Obviously anytime you get to No. 1 you want to stay there, it’s a nice feeling.”
  • “Rose remained poised to again overtake Brooks Koepka, who moved into the top spot on Monday, until the final group reached the 18th green…With Jon Rahm poised for a convincing four-stroke victory, Tony Finau calmly rolled in a 10-footer for birdie to break out of the tie with Rose and move into second place, alone at 16 under.”
8. Meanwhile, in Mauritius…
EuropeanTour.com report...”Kurt Kitayama secured his maiden European Tour title in just his third event after claiming a two-shot victory at the tri-sanctioned Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open at Anahita.”
  • “The American, who earned his playing privileges at Qualifying School last month, carded an eagle, four birdies and two bogeys in his closing 68 on Sunday.”
  • “But it was not all plain sailing for Kitayama, who saw his lead reduced to a single shot when he missed his par putt from six feet at the 16th.”
  • “He held his nerve, though, holing from 20 feet for a birdie at the 17th to restore his two-stroke cushion, before safely parring the last to finish the tournament on 20 under par.”
9. A Tiger Woods Monster drink cometh?
Via Golfweek’s Dan Kilbridge...it seems TW and sponsor Monster could be teaming up for a beverage offering.
  • “Agent Mark Steinberg confirmed an extension was finalized a few months ago….”We just extended the deal with Monster, and so we’re looking at what the next stages are of that relationship,” Steinberg told Golfweek. “It’s been an awesome partnership and there’s been talk about potential of a licensed deal with Tiger and Monster. What that looks like and tastes like, we haven’t flushed that out yet, but we’re at least in discussions about it now.'”
  • “They’re looking to get something done ‘in the next few months,’ for a Woods-licensed drink, one which he would have serious influence on from a flavor and concept perspective.”
Serious influence from a flavor and concept perspective!
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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Elin Nordegren

    Dec 19, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Monster Energy “TW” Grape Drink

  2. G Wizz

    Dec 3, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Ive always been confused on the Tiger and Monster pairing.. C’omon Tiger you dont need the sponsor cash that bad and you are better than selling kids rotten teeth with the bonus early diabetes. Whats next? A vape sponsor?

    • Jamie

      Dec 3, 2018 at 11:26 pm

      Who drinks that dog vomit? I have never seen anybody buy it. Maybe it’s a 7/11 at 3am thing.

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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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