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GolfWRX Morning 9: Average driving distance on Tour in ’18 | Mel Reid | Valentino Dixon doc premiers tonight

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

December 11, 2018

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans.
1. Double the distance gain?
Mike Stachura at Golf Digest ran the numbers and found a four-yard increase in average driving distance on the PGA Tour in 2018.
  • He writes…”What the USGA once described as a “slow creep” in distance exploded in 2018-at least on the PGA Tour. Driving distance leapt from 292.1 yards to 296.1-a four-yard, one-year increase. That came after a 2.1-yard jump the year before, a number that caused the USGA and R&A to launch the Distance Insights Project, an 18-month, comprehensive study that will blend data with input from virtually all of the game’s stakeholders, including everyday golfers, via online and telephone surveys.”
  • Stachura also found, “Fourteen players averaged 310 yards or more this past PGA Tour season and 60 topped 300 yards compared to 7 and 40, respectively, the year before.”
2. In a similar vein…sort of…
Perhaps it was this news, or the Christmas season in general, but Golf Channel’s Randall Mell was inspired to channel his inner Dr. Suess, and well, there’s really no right way to introduce this piece…
  • Mell writes…”The old guard from a bygone era of players has wailed for years against the advances in technology. This group got excited this year when the USGA and R&A finally went on record to say they were concerned about driving distances. It’s unclear where a new study the governing bodies launched in 2018 will take the game, but if Dr. Seuss were filing a Christmas report, it might go like this …”
  • “Every Pro down in Proville liked Christmas a lot.
  • “But the grumps who aged north of Proville did NOT.
  • “The grumps hated what Christmas brought. They hated the wicked science so easily bought.
  • “They hated big-headed drivers wrapped in the prettiest bows. They hated nuclear-powered golf balls that practically glow.
  • “Oh, how they hated that part of the season!”
This is, of course, only the tip of the Suessian iceberg. Full piece here.
3. Mel Reid’s announcement
Bill Speros at Golfweek…”Reid said the move to come out was part of a greater mission. “It’s important for me to always fight for equality,” she said.”
  • “She said the pro golf community has been very “welcoming” to her and she said it was “rare” when anyone had an issue with her sexuality or her positions on issues of gay rights and equality.”
  • “The only problem we run into is that being gay is still illegal or frowned upon in certain countries we play in,” she said. “There are also a lot of male-dominated sponsors that are looking for certain types of players, so that’s why I have felt I can’t be quite as open as I would like to be when it comes to my personal life,” she told Athlete Ally.”
  • “At the LPGA, we have a great relationship with so many companies, but would love to have more women come to events and publicly support women in sport. I think this would make a big difference and create more exposure opportunities for us players. I’d also love to see more equipment companies in general support women and show our faces in stores and in ads,” she said.”
4. Champion Golfer/European Tour Player of the Year
AP Report…”Francesco Molinari has been voted the European Tour golfer of the year for 2018, capping a year in which he won his first major title and produced a historic performance at the Ryder Cup.”
  • “Molinari became the first Italian to win the British Open after his triumph at Carnoustie, and finished the season as the Race to Dubai champion for the first time.”
  • “At the Ryder Cup outside Paris, he became the first European to win all five points from his five matches against the United States.”
5. The LPGA Tour’s next dominant star?
Digest staffers are rounding up their newsmakers of 2018 in the world of golf. Keely Levins suggests Ariya Jutanugarn could be the LPGA Tour’s next dominant figure.
  • “Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn recorded top-10 finishes 17 times in 2018-including three wins. At the end of the season, Jutanugarn had won every award available to her: Player of the Year, money leader, the new Leaders Top 10 competition, Rolex ANNIKA Major Award, and she walked away from the tour championship with the $1 million CME season-ending bonus. It’s a resume that’s impressive without explanation, but even more impressive with it. One of those three wins was the U.S. Women’s Open. Jutanugarn blew a seven-shot lead on the back nine to land in a playoff with Hyo-Joo Kim. It was a painful reminder of events early in Jutanugarn’s LPGA career when she struggled to close out tournaments.”
  • “But diligent work on her mental game paid off at Shoal Creek, as she resurrected her championship to win after four playoff holes. The 23-year-old’s talent has never been in question. After that win, any concerns with her ability to finish off a tournament were silenced, too. The only thing that may be lacking is that feeling that she’s going win every tournament that she shows up at. It’s something that’s a bit out of her control: She’s playing on a tour where pretty much anyone could win every event. With 26 different winners in 2018, the LPGA has never been deeper, making it harder than ever for an individual to become a dominant force. But Ariya’s 2018 performance is certainly a move in that direction.”
6. How much do fans benefit from golfers’ social media?
An interesting question, here, amidst – after initial trepidation – the Tour and its players plunging headlong into all things Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
  • Martin Kaufmann writes…”This gets to the heart of the disconnect in the Tour’s media efforts. It talks a good game about what McClellan calls a “fan-first strategy,” and Lawrence talks about making the players “more accessible” via social media.”
  • “But do you really feel more connected to the players now? I don’t. My sense is that the larger objective has less to do with the fans than business objectives. As Lawrence said, as the players’ social-media audiences grow, “there’s undoubtedly interest from sponsors and partners to tap into that audience.””
  • And that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with the players maximizing their value. But let’s not confuse that with fans developing a deeper connection with the athletes just because players are posting their highlights. If we’ve learned anything about social media, it’s that the carefully crafted public persona doesn’t necessarily mesh with the celebrity’s private reality.”
  • What we’re left with on social media is a safe, sterile presentation of Tour players, who are, by and large, already safe and sterile personalities. In this virtue-signaling era, where every social-media posting is scrutinized, there’s little incentive for athletes to stray beyond distribution of the most mundane content.”
7. Talking shop with JJ Van Wezenbeeck
Andrew Tursky caught up with Titleist Tour Rep JJ Van Wezenbeeck to talk about QBE Shootout winners Patton Kizzire and Brian Harman’s weaponry.
A morsel….”Is that tough for you as a fitter, dealing with the different personalities and different plans of attack for each player?”
  • “It’s one of the benefits of having relationships with these players. Brian and I first met when he was transitioning onto the Titleist staff. Sometimes there’s that little get-to-know-you period. But someone like Patton, we’ve been working together since his days on the Web.com Tour, so when you have that history with a player, you can remember a shaft that they played five, six, seven years ago, and you always have that in your internal database, as well as us keeping track of those types of things that allows us to reference those and know where that players likes to live.”
  • This is kind of an interesting scenario with them both being such opposite players, it’s kind of like the yin and yang, a problem that a lot of consumers deal with. Can you talk about how the specs differ, the lie angles and swing weights between a player who’s short and a player who’s tall?”
  • It’s kind of interesting when you look at their setups. We take Patton, he has three drivers actually, a half-inch short. It’s 44.5 inches. It has a mid-70’s weight shaft in it. When you look at Brian Harman, he plays a shaft in his driver that’s closer to 55 grams and plays it slightly long. He’s one who’s looking for a little lighter weight there, and is trying to create speed, whereas Patton, being a big tall guy, we’re trying to hone in the direction for him and the centeredness of the hit. Then as we get into irons, Harman’s are slightly short and Patton’s three quarters of an inch long. It doesn’t always correlate as ‘well I play my irons long so my driver should be long,’ or ‘I play my irons short so my driver should be short.'”
Many more Qs and As in the full piece.
8. New Wilson super game improvement irons
Our Gianni Magliocco...”Wilson Golf has announced that 2019 will see the release of their new super game improvement Wilson Staff D7 distance irons.”
  • “The new Wilson Staff D7 distance irons will keep the aesthetics from the FG Tour V6 and C300 irons while integrating Wilson’s RE-AKT technology, which is designed to provide golfers with extra power.”
  • “Speaking with regards to the new irons, manager of Wilson Golf Innovation Jon Pergande, described precisely what the new clubs are set to offer golfers.”
  • “The D7 line is our latest installment of game improvement irons that will give golfers increased distances on longer irons and precision with the shorter clubs. Our RE-AKT technology and ultra-thin responsive club-face increases ball speeds to help produce maximum distances, while the shorter clubs give golfers a greater feel and more distance control.””
  • “Just how has Wilson Golf gone about constructing these new irons to achieve these goals?…Well, the Wilson Staff D7 long irons (4-7 iron) feature three rows of power holes, and will also contain Wilson’s thinnest club face ever, designed to provide golfers with both maximum distance and greater responsiveness off the club face.”
  • “The D7 short irons, on the other hand,  feature fewer power holes and optimized weighting with the aim of providing maximum feel and greater distance control.”
9. Dixon doc to premier tonight
Should be a good one. Golf Channel will premier a Valentino Dixon documentary tonight at 8 ET.
  • Golf Digest’s Joel Beall with some context...”Narrated by actor Wendell Pierce (“The Wire,” “Jack Ryan”) “27 Years” spotlights how a diversion-in Dixon’s case, drawings of golf courses-served as a conduit to freedom. However, while the sport plays a vital role in Dixon’s tale, one that ultimately delivers a happy ending, the production doesn’t gloss over the disconcerting truths. It examines the frightening and deplorable circumstances that led to an innocent man’s guilt, which includes an interview with the lead prosecutor in Dixon’s case.”
  • “The show spotlights how negligence, along with racial and socioeconomic discrimination, have become feature players in America’s justice system. Through talks with Dixon’s family, the viewer sees how a man’s incarceration ruins more than just one life. Coupled with additional obstacles encountered by governmental red tape, “27 Years” can be a maddening watch.”
  • “Yet at the heart of Dixon’s story is hope. The show reveals how a team, which included Golf Digest’s Max Adler, the Golf Channel and a group of undergraduate students from Georgetown University, came together to right this wrong.”
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  1. Scott Hilgendorf

    Dec 12, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    The driving distance stat used to support the distance gain is flawed. It is only the measured holes where players are able to air it out. Rory shows 122 measured drives but he actually had 712. And of those tee shots 62% were over 300 yards.
    https://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.214.2018.html

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Morning 9: Hoage! | Another Romo sponsor’s exemption | First foreign-born U.S. Mid-Am winner | Skins game details

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By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com; @benalberstadt on Instagram)

September 20, 2019

Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1. Another bite at the Hoge 
Sean Martin at PGATour.com…“Tom Hoge couldn’t keep pace with Joaquin Niemann over the final holes of last week’s A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier, but now Hoge finds himself atop the leaderboard in the second event of the PGA TOUR season.”
  • “Hoge, who finished second to Niemann on Sunday, shot a bogey-free 64 on Thursday to lead the Sanderson Farms Championship before first-round play was suspended due to weather.”
  • “Hoge temporarily tied Niemann at The Greenbrier’s Old White TPC after making birdie on the 12th hole. Hoge bogeyed on two of his next three holes, though, and Niemann made six back-nine birdies to win by six strokes.”

Full piece.

2. Meanwhile, in Europe…
Round one at the BMW PGA…“Rory McIlroy made six bogeys and a double bogey in his last 11 holes to shoot 4-over 76 at the BMW PGA Championship, leaving the world No. 2 already 11 strokes off the first-round lead held by Matt Wallace on Thursday.”
  • “McIlroy’s round fell apart after his birdie at No. 5 that followed an eagle at No. 4, as he shot 42 in his back nine in glorious conditions at Wentworth.”
  • “One over for his round arriving at the 17th tee, he pulled his drive and wound up making a double-bogey 7. Another wayward drive led to a bogey at the 18th and he didn’t talk to reporters after his round.”

Full piece.

At the time of this writing, Danny Willett has an -8 second round going and is ahead by three at -12.

3. Romo planning to make the cut?
“The Forecaddie perused the Safeway Classic field next week and saw former quarterback Tony Romo will be playing on a sponsor invite. This was hardly earth-shattering given the former Cowboy’s appearance in three PGA Tour events and his passion for competitive golf.”
  • “But The Man Out Front also remembered Romo’s job with CBS where his uncanny ability to predict play calls has rapidly made him America’s most beloved football analyst. So what happens if Romo makes the cut in Napa when he and Jim Nantz are penciled in to work that Sunday’s Vikings-Bears game?”
  • “The Forecaddie hears CBS is just fine with Romo’s appearance and a backup plan is in place should he have the rounds of his life.”

Full piece.

4. First foreign-born U.S. Mid-Am winner
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…“Australian Lukas Michel rallied to win the U.S. Mid-Amateur final, 2 and 1, to punch his ticket to next year’s Masters and U.S. Open.”
  • “The 25-year-old from Melbourne trailed Joe Deraney for much of the 36-hole final at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colo., and Deraney held a 1-up advantage with just nine holes to play. But from there Michel turned the table, closing with birdies on four of his final eight holes. That included a birdie on No. 15, which gave him his first lead in 29 holes, and another on No. 16 to push his opponent to the brink.”
5. Stadium’s a goin’ up!
Golfweek’s Todd Kelly…”The Waste Management Phoenix Open is more than four months away but construction at TPC Scottsdale has already started.”
  • “The Thunderbirds House and Grounds Crew got things going on Monday, Sept. 16, the earliest the construction has ever started, but workers need to get going now because of the time and material it takes to build the luxury suites, grandstands, bleachers and all the other infrastructure for the tournament that draws the largest crowds in golf.”
  • “In 2018, tournament organizers announced a weekly attendance mark of more than 719,000. Close to 217,000 fans were tallied on Saturday that year, always the most highly attended day of the year for the Phoenix Open.”

Full piece.

6. ZJ takes advantage
PGATour.com’s Sean Martin…”‘Opportunity’ is a word used often at the Sanderson Farms Championship. The second event of the PGA TOUR season provides new players fresh off the Korn Ferry Tour the chance to gain experience, get a head-start in the FedExCup race and even earn that maiden victory and all the trappings that accompany it.”
  • “The PGA TOUR’s newest members aren’t the only ones who can change the trajectory of their career during this time of year, though. Veteran players, the ones with majors and FedExCups on their resume, also appear on the tee sheets of these early events. Many are trying to recapture that winning feeling or at least gain some confidence before the calendar changes to a new year.”

Full piece.

7. Hovland’s “home” debut
Golf Digest’s John Huggan…”Viktor Hovland has never failed to shoot in the 60s on the European Tour. Not even once.”
  • “Of course, the three-under-par 69 with which the 22-year-old Norwegian began the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on Thursday is also his first round as a professional in a European Tour event. Which did not go unnoticed.”
  • “Interviewed by Sky Sports and the BBC after his seven-birdie, four-bogey trip around the famous old Burma Road, which left him four off the lead of England’s Matt Wallace, Hovland was then surrounded by a posse of the U.K.’s print media. And still then he wasn’t done. Three journalists from his home country-one from VG, the biggest-selling newspaper and another from NRK, the most-watched television station-are here to cover his debut on the Old World circuit.”

Full piece.

8. Molinari speaketh
An interesting question for Francesco Molinari in a New York Times interview…”On a personal note, does it bother you that soccer players get more adoration than golfers in Italy?”
  • After last year, I get stopped a lot more often and get asked for autographs and pictures. It’s the recognition of the results I’ve had and things I’ve accomplished in the last two years. And it feels nice. I love it when it’s young kids. Part of what I do is because I was that young kid looking up to Costantino Rocca and all the Italian players that were on tour. It’s great to know that I’m doing the same now with the younger generations.”
  • “But I’m not the kind of guy who looks for too much public attention. Footballers get a lot of love, but they also get a lot of hate as well when they don’t play well. Italians are very passionate about sports. Football is a tough sport to be in. I’d rather golf.”

Full piece.

9. ICYMI: Skins game details
News from yesterday, in case you missed it. Our Gianni Magliocco…”The upcoming skins match in Japan involving Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama is set, with a prize purse of $350,00 up for grabs.”
  • “The opening six holes of the event billed as ‘The Challenge: Japan Skins’, will be worth $10,000 each, with the value of holes increasing as the match continues – with the potential of there being a total of $100,000 on the line on the 18th hole.”
  • “The event is scheduled to finish under the lights, and according to the release, will feature “special in-match challenges and surprises.”
  • “Viewers in the U.S. can watch the skins match live on Golf Channel, while those outside the U.S. will be able to tune into the event on Discovery’s GOLFTV. Viewers in the UK and Ireland will need to pay a subscription fee for the service.”
  • “Coverage of ‘The Challenge: Japan Skins’, which takes place on the week of the Zozo Championship, begins on Oct. 20 at 11 PM ET.”
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Morning 9: Red lights for slow play? | Thorbjorn still suspended | Rory on Solheim slow play

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By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com; @benalberstadt on Instagram)

September 19, 2019

Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. Red lights for slow play at Wentworth this week
Golf Digest’s John Huggan…”A lot of the time players are unaware that they are out of position,” said John Paramor, the European Tour’s chief referee. “So we felt that we would like to find a method that would tell them when they are. So we are trialing this week a system where they will have that information on five tees [Nos. 4, 7, 10, 13 and 16]. The previous group’s time will be recorded when they walk off the green. Then that time will be deducted from that of the next group, who will then be able to tell if they are within time.”
  • “Specifically, each monitor will operate a color-coded system, similar to a traffic light. If the number shown is red, then that group can expect to be monitored by the rules team very soon thereafter. If it is green, the players are in good shape and in position with the group ahead. Amber means the group is only slightly out position, but the players should be aware that they are going to have to move a little quicker.”

Full piece.

2. Thorbjorn stays suspended
BBC Staff report…”Danish golfer Thorbjorn Olesen will remain suspended from the European Tour until his court case is finished.”
  • “The 29-year-old Ryder Cup winner made his second appearance in court on Wednesday, charged with sexual assault and being drunk on an aircraft.”
  • “Olesen, of Chelsea, south-west London, has also been charged with assault by beating.
  • “…Olesen, who has been granted unconditional bail, did not enter a plea at a short hearing on Wednesday at Isleworth Crown Court.”

Full piece. 

3. Why Rory re-joined the European Tour…
From a Press Association report…”Everyone has to look out for themselves and next year I’m looking out for me,” McIlroy said during the DP World Tour Championship in November, before describing the European Tour as “a stepping stone” ahead of the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii in January.”
  • “However, following a meeting with European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley, McIlroy took up his membership before the May 1 deadline and can begin earning points for the 2020 Ryder Cup when qualification begins with this week’s BMW PGA Championship.”
  • “Asked what led to the change of heart, McIlroy said: “My wife. She said to me, ‘what are you trying to do, or what sort of point are you trying to make?’.”

Full piece.

4. Rory on Solheim slow play
Martin Dempster at The Scotsman quoting McIlroy…”I think it’s a start,” said the world No 2 of a GPS tracking devices being used to monitor each group’s position on the course, with the data to be displayed on five tees to inform players where they stand in relation to the groups around them.”
  • “Get all the latest news, analysis and expert opinion with an online subscription Subscribe Today”
  • “Look, it’s not a great thing for our game. I don’t want to single out particular people, but I watched a lot of the Solheim Cup at the weekend, and it was really slow. As much as you want to sit there and watch and support the European girls, it’s just hard not to get frustrated with it. If I’m a fan – and I am a fan of golf – I want the best for the game. It’s hard because there’s different scenarios where you have to take your time. It was tough conditions up there. It was windy. It was tough.”
5. The PGA Tour is also using GPS slow play tracking…
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…”The PGA Tour began using GPS tracking devices this year at “numerous” events, including The Players in March, as well as information provided by ShotLink.”
  • “We’ve used ShotLink data for some time to work with players over the years and maybe show them areas of their game where they might take a little more time,” said Tyler Dennis, the Tour’s chief of operations. “These [GPS] devices are the last missing piece. How long does it take to reach a tee, how fast do they walk. These are things that we can now see.”
  • “The Tour announced last month a plan to review its pace-of-play policy using data generated by ShotLink and Dennis explained that players have been asked at various events this season to test the tracking devices, which are simply placed in a player’s golf bag.”

Full piece.

6. Vice captain Karlsson 
Via RyderCup.com…”European Captain Padraig Harrington has named Robert Karlsson as his first vice captain for The 2020 Ryder Cup against the United States at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin next September.”
  • “The 50-year-old Swede twice represented Europe in The Ryder Cup – including partnering Harrington twice in foursomes at Valhalla in 2008 – and he will return to the backroom team in the biennial contest having been vice captain to Thomas Bjørn at Le Golf National in 2018″
7. Distinguished service
Via the PGA.com staff…”Barbara Nicklaus, one of the game’s most successful ambassadors and admired advocates for the healthcare of future generations in addition to being the wife of the greatest champion in golf history, has been named recipient of the 2019 PGA Distinguished Service Award.”
  • “Nicklaus, 79, will be honored Tuesday, Nov. 5, at the PGA of America’s 103rd Annual Meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida. Since 1988, the PGA Distinguished Service Award honors outstanding individuals who display leadership and humanitarian qualities, including integrity, sportsmanship and enthusiasm for the game of golf.”

Full piece. 

8. Jack discusses the Concession 
And in news related to her husband…the Golden Bear recently discussed the most famous gimme in pro golf history…
  • USA Today, Golfweek’s Steve DiMeglio...”Jacklin left his putt two feet short, while Nicklaus ran his attempt five feet by the hole. But Nicklaus drained his comebacker and then extended his hand in a gesture that was criticized by a few at the time but heralded by many more ever since.
  • “I knew going down the 18th hole as long as I didn’t lose the hole, we would retain the cup. Jacklin had a 25-footer and I had a 17- or 18-footer. He ran it up close and I ran it five feet by the hole and thought ‘Oh what an idiot,'” Nicklaus said. “I had a downhill left-to-right slider that I made, and I knew the match was essentially over from the standpoint of losing. I didn’t think of all this at the same time, but Tony had been the first hero that England had had in a long time. If he would’ve missed that putt, the British press would’ve barbecued him.”
  • “Instead of Jacklin facing a knee-knocker to earn the first tie in Ryder Cup history, Nicklaus bent over and picked up his opponent’s marker and conceded the putt. The two finished equal and the matches ended up 16-16. “

Full piece. 

9. Bhatia ready for the big time
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”At just 17 years old, Bhatia bears the fresh face and thin frame you might expect of a typical high school senior. His golf game, however, is ready for the big time. At least that’s the assertion of Bhatia and his close-knit team, as the teen sensation gets ready to make his pro debut this week at the Sanderson Farms Championship without ever setting foot on a college campus.”
  • “Bhatia’s game is well-regarded in the amateur ranks. He won the prestigious Jones Cup, was ranked No. 5 in the world and just this month helped the U.S. to a Walker Cup victory at Royal Liverpool. Bhatia received social media well-wishes Wednesday from former world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, whose academy in South Carolina has been a frequent destination for the bespectacled southpaw as he honed his game.”
  • “Bhatia’s fast track to the pros has not been an overnight decision. When he made his PGA Tour debut in March, missing the cut with rounds of 74-72 at the Valspar Championship, he told reporters that he and his parents had talked about his option to skip college since he was in the eighth grade.”

 

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Morning 9: Secrets of wedge stamping | Woods’ GF dismissed from wrongful death suit | Golf art masterpiece

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By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com; @benalberstadt on Instagram)

September 18, 2019

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans.
5 USC!
Adam Woodard at Golfweek hyping the Trojans! 
“There’s no denying the NCAA Championship-level talent on hand this week at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate Presented by 3M.”
  • “Since its inception in 2014, the event has boasted the best field in women’s Div. I golf. But if you ask preseason No. 1 USC, this week’s competition at Royal Golf Club is no more difficult than one of its pre-tournament qualifiers.”
  • “If you ask (Gabriela Ruffels), probably the biggest driver in her improvement is having to compete at home every week in qualifiers,” head coach Justin Silverstein said of his 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion.
  • “Silverstein’s squad returns eight players – five of whom were Golfweek All-Americans – from last season’s team that won seven events. Just how good are the Trojans on paper…”

(Find out in the) full piece.

6. Knee injury for Rose
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…”Rose withdrew from Wednesday’s pro-am at the European Tour’s flagship event citing a knee injury.”
  • “Last Thursday I slipped and jarred my knee,” Rose said in a statement. “Since then I have been getting treatment on the injury and I have been working hard with Justin Buckthorp and my medical team away from the course in order to ensure I am able to play in this week’s BMW PGA Championship. I am doing everything I can to be fit to play on Thursday.”

Full piece.

7. Who needs an equipment makeover?
I don’t agree with the premise, but it’s a witty piece nevertheless! E. Michael Johnson at Golf Digest rounds up players in need of an “equipment makeover”
“Henrik Stenson…It’s hard to knock a former major winner who also sits at No. 31 in the world ranking, but it’s time for Henrik Stenson to retire some clubs in his bag, notably the Callaway Legacy irons and Callaway Diablo Octane 3-wood (above). We know he has the strongest level of comfort with that fairway wood. But it dates back more than a decade (it debuted in 2008), and the Grafalloy Blue shaft in it goes back another five years to 2003. It’s one thing to have a “trusty” club in the bag. It’s another to have something that leads people to believe you might have stolen it from the USGA Golf House Museum. As for the irons, Stenson used this model to win the FedEx Cup … in 2013. We applaud loyalty, just not this much.”
“Bubba Watson…”I hate changing equipment,” Bubba Watson told Golf Digest in 2013. When it comes to his irons, that’s a bit of an understatement. The two-time Masters champion has used his Ping S55 irons since the 2012 BMW Championship (save for a few weeks with a different set). This after using the company’s S59 irons since 2004. So change comes slowly for Bubba. There are reasons, however. For starters, Watson is the ultimate “feel player,” noticing the slightest of differences. His specs are also not typical. His S55s are a half-inch longer in length with an extreme heel grind on the 3- through 5-irons. They’re also one degree upright, and the grips are massively oversized with 10 wraps of tape on the top and 12 wraps on the bottom. Still, having the same irons for seven seasons would seem to indicate it’s time for a change-even if you don’t like it.”
8. The craziest thing you’ve ever done for golf? 
Ryan Barath frames his trip to Sweetens Cove for the Oil Hardened Classic…
  • “Let me start by saying that I’m not a “Bag Tag Barry” or really a bucket list course kinda guy. Yes, I have courses I want to play, but at the moment the highest on the list starts and ends with the Old Course at St. Andrews – because, simple – it’s St. Andrews. Beyond that, my “hoping to play” list pretty much the standard classics.”
  • “But it doesn’t mean that I haven’t gone WAY out of my way to play, especially when you think about the recent 1600-plus mile journey I just took to Sweetens Cove to play in the First Annual “Oil Hardened Classic” run by Eternal Summer Golf Society.
  • “Sweetens has been on my radar since I first heard about it, and if you are at all interested in course architecture I’m sure it has been on your radar for a while too…”

Full piece.

9. The golf art you didn’t know you needed
Golf Digest’s Joel Beall…”Phil Mickelson’s foray into social media the past year has produced its share of art works. But the masterpiece-or should we say, Masters piece-that made the digital rounds on Monday takes that phenomenon to a new level.”
“Matt Landers is a painter specializing in oil canvasing. A fact we only know thanks to this thing of beauty…”

 

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