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GolfWRX Morning 9: Feel-good stories of the year | Quotes of 2018 | Jack: TW’s swing is his best ever

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

December 17, 2018

Good Monday morning, golf fans.
1. Feel-good stories of the year
The whole of 2018 may have been a Tiger Woods feel-good story (on the heels of the 2017 Woods feel-bad story as a foil). However, TW was but a dish in a multi-course meal of homestyle favorites.
  • Golf Digest’s Joel Beall rounded up his top-15 feel-good stories of 2018. Included in his list…JoAnne Carner at the Senior Women’s Open
  • “JoAnne Carner’s legacy was well intact when she arrived at Chicago Golf Club for the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open, but the player known as “Big Mama” left the Windy City by augmenting her legend status. Carner, who won the U.S. Open in 1971 and 1976, birdied the 18th hole to shoot 79, her age, in her opening round. Not bad for someone who hadn’t walked a golf course in 15 years.”
  • ...and Cody Blick
  • “Cody Blick needed to jump 34 spots in the final round of Q-School to earn Web.com Tour status. A challenge daunting in itself, especially so after Blick’s equipment was stolen following the third round. All Blick did is turn in a Sunday 63, highlighted by a back-nine 31, a score that vaulted him into the 25 to grab guaranteed starts next season. Not bad, given the borrowed set in tow. “Hitting bad shots was OK, almost, like, ‘Dude, I have a mismatched set. It’s not expected of me to hit good shots,'” Blick said. “In a weird way, that was comforting.” Sorry Johnny Miller, but there’s a new best all-time 63 in town.”
Matt Parziale, Sang Moon Bae, Lexi Thompson, and more in the full list.
2. Lipsky victorious 
Golfweek’s Alistair Tait…”David Lipsky will enter 2019 as European No. 1 after winning the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa, the last event of 2018. He joins Kurt Kitayama as the two American winners, after Kitayama’s victory in the Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open.”
  • “Lipsky earned his second victory following the 2014 Omega European Masters with a two-shot win over Scotland’s David Drysdale. The 30-year-old Northwestern graduate entered the final round one shot behind ex-Augusta State player Scott Jamieson. A closing 4-under 68 gave him a 14-under 274 total and a check for just under $270,000.”
3. A victory for Love(s)
AP Report…”Davis Love III and his son Dru played so well Sunday that they set two scoring records, rallied from a three-shot deficit to win the PNC Father-Son Challenge and then wondered if they would get to play again.”
  • “Team Love shot 27 on the front nine at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club to get in the mix, took the lead with a birdie at No. 11 and finished off their record round with four more birdies an eagle for a 16-under 56, breaking by one the 18-hole record in a scramble format.”
  • “They won by three shots at 26-under 118, another record in the scramble format….”Who knows? This might be our last time playing, so it was fun to finish it off,” Davis Love III said.”
  • “The 36-hole event is for players who have won a major or The Players Championship, and their partner cannot hold a PGA Tour-sanctioned card. Dru Love has played 17 times in the last two years on the PGA Tour, European Tour and Web.com Tour, but he has yet to earn a card and missed out in the qualifying tournament this year.”
4. LPGA Tour: Top 10 moments in 2018
Beth Ann Nichols rounded up the 10 most significant moments on the LPGA Tour in 2018.
  • Here are two…”Michelle Wie drained a birdie bomb from off the green on the 72nd hole in steamy Singapore to win for the first time since 2014. Wie took the HSBC Women’s World Championship, also known as “Asia’s Major,” in stirring fashion with a 35-foot putt that broke her out of a four-way tie for the lead. The LPGA’s resident needle-mover credited her family’s relentless belief for propelling her through a four-year drought.”
  • “Lexi Thompson’s sparkling performance at the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship – her first of 2018 – was among the most significant of her young career. Burdened from 18-months of hardship and disappointment, Thompson took a break mid-season to work on herself. It became obvious in Naples that her puppy, Leo, played a key role in helping Thompson feel like her old self. Her golf game looked vintage too, with the stock draw and old putter helping her back to the winner’s circle.”
5. Quotes of the year
The Golf Channel crew did some textual mining and assembled the best quotes of 2018.
  • “I never counted him out. When somebody said, ‘How is your [major] record, Jack?’ I said, ‘If Tiger comes back and plays I still think he’s got a shot at breaking my record.” – Jack Nicklaus on whether or not he believes Tiger Woods can still reach 19 major wins
  • “I would argue [Tiger Woods] got the least out of his talent of any player, maybe in history.” – Brandel Chamblee
  • ”I think I’m going to do exactly the same thing I did (Friday) night. I’m going to have a margarita as an aperitif, and then I’m going to have a nice bottle of Rioja (wine) and smoke a big fat cigar.” – Miguel Angel Jimenez on refusing to change his routine the night before the final round even with a three-shot lead (p.s. It worked.)
  • “Nope … He has my number.” – Patrick Reed, on whether or not he’s spoken to Jordan Spieth after the Ryder Cup.
6. Farewell, Charlie
Charlie Rymer is leaving Morning Drive for the greener pastures of retirement, golf, and charitable involvement.
  • Golfweek’s Forecaddie…”the Tennessee-born, South Carolina-raised Rymer confirmed he is departing the morning talk show for a scaled-back Golf Channel role in 2019.”
  • “Rymer said he’ll next be seen on April’s Drive, Chip and Putt Championship. He plans to relocate to Myrtle Beach, S.C., with wife Carol to play some golf, fish and focus on charity work for his favorite causes: junior golf and military veterans.”
  • “It’s been a wonderful run here, you guys are going to make me cry,” Rymer said at the conclusion of Sunday’s “Morning Drive” as he thanked the “hard-working men and women on the crew” along with his colleagues.”
7. Sports Personality of the Year!
BBC Report…”Italian golfer Francesco Molinari has been named World Sport Star of the Year at the BBC’s Sports Personality show.”
  • “The 36-year-old enjoyed a memorable 2018, most notably winning the Open Championship at Carnoustie in July to secure his first major and become the first Italian to win the title.”
  • “In September, he helped Europe to Ryder Cup victory over the United States. In doing so, Molinari became the first European player to win all five of his matches.”
8. Back on the bag
Brentley Romine writes…”Damon Green wasted no time finding a new boss…The 58-year-old Green and Zach Johnson parted ways last week after nearly 15 years, two majors and 11 total PGA Tour victories. Five days later, Green has agreed to caddie for Schniederjans beginning next year.”
  • “The news was first reported by The Caddie Network and confirmed to Golf Channel by Schniederjans’ agent.”
  • According to a report by Golfweek, Johnson’s agent helped facilitate a meeting between Green and Schniederjans, who played golf together last week at the Golf Club of Georgia before Green headed back home to caddie for Jim Furyk’s dad, Mike, in the PNC Father/Son Challenge in Orlando, Fla. On Thursday night, Green and Schniederjans reached an agreement over the phone.”
9. Tiger’s best swing ever? 
Quothe the Golden Bear…
  • “I think his swing is much better now than it ever was. The reason for that is Tiger was very much up and down with his head and I think that put a lot of pressure on his back.
  • “The fusion that he had, obviously was something he didn’t want but it was something he needed. … I didn’t think he would ever play golf as well as he’s playing.
  • “I never dreamed that he would play quite as well as he has and that the operation actually leveled out his head and leveled out his swing.”
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WRX Retrospective: Interesting photos from the 2019 Masters

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As of now, we know the 2020 Masters is going to have to wait until November. The tournament will be as exciting as it will be interesting since it will be the first modern glimpse into Augusta National beyond April.

It has also given us the great opportunity to look back with hindsight 20/20 (that was very much an unintended pun) at our pictures from 2019 to showcase some of the most noteworthy and interesting, including some potential foreshadowing of the week that was to come.

2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson isn’t one to change putters too often, but he must have been searching for something last year when testing out this TaylorMade Spider.

This was Viktor Hovland’s last Masters as an amateur. He won low amateur honors and went on to capture the same distinction at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

TaylorMade always does a wonderful job with major-themed accessories and bags. 2019 was no exception.

Little did we know at the time this was taken, this man would be leading heading into Sunday’s final round. How the tables turned so quickly.

Callaway’s collab with Seamus Golf lead to these flower-themed headcovers.

We can’t forget that Tuesday practice day was rained out and the course was closed at 10 a.m. to both players and spectators. It wasn’t the warm spring kickoff many had hoped for!

Although it was short-lived, it was a rainy Tuesday for all, including caddies.

The weather broke on Wednesday and the view up the 10th hole never gets old.

Did you realize two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson’s Flightscope has a custom pink paint job?

Inexpensive snacks and beverages are always a highlight of any Master’s visit.

The 2019 Masters featured pre-bulked Bryson, who also happened to have a custom FlightScope X3. He looks like a veritable stick!

They say a picture says 1,000 words, but in the case of Tiger Woods, we had no idea how many words would be written come Sunday.

A peek into the bag of Gary Woodland, who would go on to become the U.S. Open Champion only a few months later.

Special shoutout to Gary Woodland’s caddy Brennan Little, who hails from St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, and is obviously a big Toronto Blue Jays fan. He was also on the bag for Mike Wier’s win in 2003.

Although the relationship was short-lived, Sergio used some very cool custom Toulon putters while on staff with Callaway Golf.

The eighth green is one of the most interesting and mounded on the course, there’s not a bunker to be found but danger lurks everywhere.

Undulations at No. 1 are a sight to be seen at ground level.

The iconic, understated clubhouse of ANGC.

The tucked-away first tee spike cleaner is something every course should have.

And of course, the iconic 12th, where so much would be decided come Sunday.

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2020 Open Championship canceled; PGA scheduled for August, U.S. Open for September, Masters for November

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The R&A has officially scratched the 2020 Open Championship due to the current Coronavirus pandemic in a statement today.

While this seemed poised to be the professional golf schedule news of the day, shortly thereafter, the Augusta National Golf Club, European Tour, LPGA, PGA of America, PGA Tour, The R&A, and USGA released a joint statement regarding the fate of the other three major championships as well as play on the LPGA and European Tour. 

First, the canceled major: The 149th Open Championship will now take place in 2021 from 11-18 July, and the R&A will transfer over tickets and hospitality packages purchased for the Championship to next year’s event.

St. Andrews, which was due to host the 150th Open Championship next year, will instead host the event in 2022.

In a statement published on the R&A’s website, Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said

“Our absolute priority is to protect the health and safety of the fans, players, officials, volunteers and staff involved in The Open. We care deeply about this historic Championship and have made this decision with a heavy heart. We appreciate that this will be disappointing for a great many people around the world but this pandemic is severely affecting the UK and we have to act responsibly. It is the right thing to do.

“I can assure everyone that we have explored every option for playing The Open this year but it is not going to be possible.

“There are many different considerations that go into organising a major sporting event of this scale. We rely on the support of the emergency services, local authorities and a range of other organisations to stage the Championship and it would be unreasonable to place any additional demands on them when they have far more urgent priorities to deal with. In recent weeks we have been working closely with those organisations as well as Royal St George’s, St Andrews Links Trust and the other golf bodies to resolve the remaining external factors and have done so as soon as we possibly could. We are grateful to all of them for their assistance and co-operation throughout this process.

“Most of all I would like to thank our fans around the world and all of our partners for their support and understanding. At a difficult time like this we have to recognise that sport must stand aside to let people focus on keeping themselves and their families healthy and safe. We are committed to supporting our wider community in the weeks and months ahead and will do everything in our power to help golf come through this crisis.”

Shortly therafter a joint press release from the Augusta National Golf Club, European Tour, LPGA, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, The R&A and USGA was circulated by email, which revealed the PGA Championship is now slated for August, the U.S. Open for September, and the Masters for November.

From the press release.

USGA: The U.S. Open, previously scheduled for June 15-21 at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York, has been officially rescheduled for September 14-20 and is confirmed to remain at Winged Foot. 

The R&A: The R&A has decided to cancel The Open in 2020 due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, and the Championship will next be played at Royal St. George’s in 2021. The Open was due to be played in Kent, England, from July 12-19, but it has been necessary to cancel the Championship based on guidance from the UK Government, the health authorities, public services and The R&A’s advisers. 

PGA of America: The PGA of America is announcing today that the PGA Championship is now scheduled to take place August 3-9 and will remain at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, California.  The PGA Championship was originally slated for May 11-17 but was postponed on March 17.

Augusta National Golf Club: Augusta National has identified November 9-15 as the intended dates to host the 2020 Masters Tournament, which was previously scheduled for April 6-12 and postponed on March 13.

Additionally, the release noted the Ryder Cup will still be contested September 22-27, at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin.

For those updating their schedules at home, the release also included this handy summary.

  • TO BE CONFIRMED: June 15-21 (formerly U.S. Open week) – potential PGA TOUR event
  • CANCELED: July 13-19, The Open Championship, Royal St. George’s GC, Sandwich, Kent, England
  • TO BE CONFIRMED: July 13-19 (formerly The Open Championship week) – potential PGA TOUR event
  • TO BE CONFIRMED: July 27-August 2 (formerly Men’s Olympic Competition week) – potential PGA TOUR event
  • CONFIRMED: August 3-9 – PGA Championship, TPC Harding Park, San Francisco, California
  • CONFIRMED: PGA TOUR’s season-ending event/FedExCup Playoffs
    • August 10-16 – Wyndham Championship, Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro, North Carolina
    • August 17-23 – THE NORTHERN TRUST, TPC Boston, Norton, Massachusetts
    • August 24-30 – BMW Championship, Olympia Fields CC, Olympia Fields, Illinois
    • August 31-September 7 (Labor Day) – TOUR Championship, East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Georgia
  • CONFIRMED: September 14-20 – U.S. Open, Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, New York
  • RECONFIRMED: September 22-27: Ryder Cup, Whistling Straits, Kohler, Wisconsin
  • CONFIRMED: November 9-15: the Masters Tournament, Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia
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GolfWRX Spotlight: Golf Drawn’s custom golf art

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I recently converted an extra bedroom in my house into a home office (golf-themed, of course). In my search for stuff to put up on the walls, I came across a company that was doing something different. They had a booth at this year’s PGA Show showing off some of their unique work, and when I dug in a bit more, I realized it was a really innovative product for the golf community. So, I reached out to the people at Golf Drawn to see if they could help me create a piece for my office.

Golf Drawn is a custom design and illustration service that specializes in creating original, hand-drawn course routing designs of your favorite club. Any club. That’s the best part. They can draw any course in the world using the wonders of satellite imaging.

Goat Hill Park

Brooklawn on Wood Canvas

Streamsong

“We began just as we still do now, by drawing up folks’ home tracks,” said Anthony Malky, Owner and Creative Director at Golf Drawn. “Whether it was a par three, municipal course, top-100, or whatever. Our whole deal was that we would draw any course….and we still do. There’s yet to be one that we couldn’t execute.”

If you’ve spent any time looking around for golf art or memorabilia, you realize how big a deal that actually is. The top-100 courses get all the love. Golf Drawn is filling a void out there and providing custom art focused on your favorite local course.

“We receive the course request from you and get to work on creating the design,” said Malky, “Once the design is complete, we send you proofs, and then you choose background color, labeling, frame and any additions.”

Popular additions to the framed prints include images of the scorecard table, compass to show direction of the course routing, alternative club logos, etc…

And Golf Drawn can then put that routing design or logo on a tee-shirt, sticker or other items if you like as well. Every new design requires a one-time design fee to get the work completed. But once that design is done, it is free to put on any framed print or tee in the future for anyone. Tee-shirts are becoming a rather popular item on the website.

If a course has been renovated or simply no longer exists, Golf Drawn has worked directly from old photos or original course plans to recreate the old track you remember. And, of course, Golf Drawn can do the famous courses as well. It’s a great way to commemorate a favorite round, hole in one, or once in a lifetime score.

My local club is Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. They already had a design drawn of Colonial, so it wasn’t hard to customize what I wanted and finish the order. I added the columns logo to the top left corner and script location on the bottom right.

So how did this all begin? Anthony Malky grew up in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. He caddied at Oakmont Country Club for over a decade…and even got to play the course on some Mondays. He loves golf, just like we all do. And he started drawing courses as a hobby.

“I began drawing up the clubs that meant a lot to me,” Malky said. “After some time, at the urging of others I made an Instagram. I had a ton of course designs done and figured might as well post them for folks. From there, the Instagram took off, that turned into a website…then the custom orders started coming.”

Fast forward a couple of years, and Golf Drawn now has an entire wholesale catalog of unique products, over 250+ club accounts, and products stocked in shops around the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. That is pretty impressive for a business that does everything in-house with a fully customizable product. And keeping prices low has always been a goal for Malky, as he remembers a time when he wanted to buy golf art himself but found everything to be overpriced and low quality.

Sticker Variety Pack

“We’ve tried to keep our prices, minimums at wholesale, all low and cost effective,” Malky said.  “That was part of the initial start too, allowing people to get their course drawn up, framed, etc. for a price that anyone could pay. Not some outlandish design fee or commission type setup.”

Prices per print with framing included

The supply is working hard to keep up with the demand. Golf Drawn is still a small operation and Malky does all of the designs himself. There is a team that helps with operations and a few sales reps across the country, but the business definitely remains small. That is intentional. Malky believes that allows Golf Drawn to offer a personal, high-level service to each individual customer. And it allows the company to remain focused on the reason they got started in the first place.

“It’s always been about shedding light on and propping up courses and places that otherwise wouldn’t be,” Malky said.  Giving attention to and making that local municipal course look as good as a top-10 track. Getting the par-3 course by your house designed, framed and up on a wall, highlighted in a way that many people have only seen the big courses like Pebble, Pinehurst, Oakmont. It’s always been about highlighting the places and the memories that mean so much to people.”

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