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GolfWRX Morning 9: Most entertaining PGA Tour events of 2018 | Ping Blueprint irons aren’t hollow after all

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

December 21, 2018

Good Friday morning, golf fans.

 

 

1. Most entertaining PGA Tour events of 2018
The folks at Golfweek ranked their most entertaining Tour events of 2018. Normally, I wouldn’t play spoiler and reveal the top selections, but the most interesting element of the story is what they selected for the top trio.
  • “3. WGC-Mexico Championship…Of course Phil Mickelson breaking a five-year win drought will be high on this list (although another five-year win drought exorcized in 2018 ranks a little higher, stay tuned). Thomas put a jolt of electricity into the tournament when he holed a wedge from the fairway for eagle at the 18th to take the clubhouse lead and possibly the title. But Mickelson made a late birdie to match Thomas, and then beat him in a playoff. Quite a way to win again.”
  • “2. Arnold Palmer Invitational…There’s little in golf (outside of Tiger Woods) that can bring the entertainment value quite like a Rory McIlroy rampage to victory. We’ve seen less of that in recent years from the Northern Irishman, but he brought a glimpse again in 2018. It came at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where McIlroy went on an epic closing run of five birdies in his last six holes to storm to a three-shot win. You can relive it all here. It may be in smaller doses at the moment, but Rory’s still got it.”
  • “1. Tour Championship…Yeah, Woods had this win in the bag down the stretch and nobody really charged at him on Sunday. But really, who cares? This one is all about Woods breaking a five-year win drought and how much excitement that brought. Let’s remind you of the bedlam that broke out in the crowd as Woods walked down the 72nd hole.”
See the other 7 selections in the full piece.
2. Pros skeptical of rule changes?
Kevin Casey at Golfweek…”There are a huge set of changes coming to the Rules of Golf. These alterations courtesy of the U.S. Golf Association and the R&A will take effect on Jan. 1, and you can study up on those changes here.”
  • “But not everybody is automatically on board with every change…Mackenzie Hughes, winner of the 2016 RSM Classic, took to Twitter on Wednesday to express his mixed emotions on the changes coming in 2019″
  • Hughed: ” I just went through the new rules of golf for 2019 again. I feel like a few of the changes are good (ex. caddie alignment, loose impediments in bunkers), but I feel like most of them missed the mark (ex. ball drop from knee height, damaged club, and more). Thoughts?”
  • Jim Furyk: “If I had to be skeptical of one rule, it would be tapping down spike marks,” Furyk said. He then explained his reasoning on that and added skepticism on another change:
  • “I think pace of play. I guess for no other better reason than that’s just the way it’s always been (but) I think pace of play. I think moving the time you look for your ball (before it is declared lost) from 5 minutes to 3 minutes is going to insignificantly (improve) the pace of play. But the tapping down of spike marks could tend to drag things out a bit.”
3. The story of golf in 2018 in objects
Ryan Herrington with a fun one for Golf Digest’s Loop.
  • “Bryson DeChambeau’s drawing compass…The Mad Scientist said he was using it to help him get “true pin locations” off his green-reading books. USGA/R&A officials said not so fast when they saw its use on national TV at the Travelers Championship, noting that it violated Rule 14-3a that prohibits the use of unusual equipment that might assist a swing or play. The revolution ended before it could begin.”
  • “Tony Finau’s ankle brace…Who says golfers aren’t athletes? At the Masters, Finau suffered this gruesome (self-induced) ankle sprain after celebrating an ace during Wednesday’s Par-3 Contest. He then played the next four days, shooting 68-74-73-66 to finish in a tie for 10th in his first appearance at Augusta National. Not sure if we could have watched four days of the Masters let along played in it if our ankles looked like that.
  • “Shinnecock Hills’ 13th green…And we thought the speed limit was 35 miles per hour in Southampton?”
4. LET Q-School
Brentley Romine on LET card earners… “Bronte Law set a new tournament record Thursday in Morocco as she earned her Ladies European Tour card for next season….Law, a 23-year-old UCLA product from Stockport, England, shot 26-under 334 to earn medalist honors at the final stage of Lalla Aicha Tour School, the tour’s version of Q-School. Law posted rounds of 70-71-62-64-67 at Amelkis Golf Club to edge Sweden’s Linnea Strom, who played two-and-a-half seasons at Arizona State before turning pro last winter, by a shot.”
  • “The previous 90-hole scoring record was 331. Law’s third-round, 10-under 62 included tournament records for most birdies (12) and most consecutive birdies (nine).”
  • “German amateur Esther Henseleit, England’s Sian Evans and Ireland’s Leona Maguire also earned fully-exempt status for next season. Maguire needed to defeat Sarah Nilsson in a playoff after each player finished at 13 under. The former Duke standout, who won two Annika Awards in four seasons with the Blue Devils, holed a 15-footer for birdie on the first playoff hole.”
5. Mike Taylor on his work for Bernhard Langer
Andrew Tursky talked with Mike Taylor at Artisan Golf about the 5-iron manufactured by his company presently being gamed by gray-haired maestro. Langer plays a mixed set of clubs, with artillery from different manufacturers, including the cavity back 5-iron from Artisan pictured above.
  • Here’s Taylor…”Me and the boys, we did the ’99 Apex irons back in the day, and he sent a bunch of clubs here once so we could measure them all out. And his long-irons, at that time, were ’99 Apex raws that had enough lead tape on those things they could have gotten clearance on a nuclear reactor. But you know what, I love the way he looks at his stuff. An 8-iron is an 8-iron. (He doesn’t have to play a 7-iron) just because it’s married to the 8-iron. He’s looking for 14 tools that he’s got confidence in, and that’s all it is.”
  • “To give you a little bit of a backstory on how that happened, one of my buddies was a fitter here at The Oven for a long time. He works for Titleist now, but Scott worked with Bernhard a lot when he worked for Adams back in the day. The story was that (Bernhard) had been looking for new irons for years, but he’s very sensitive. You know, when you put his clubs down, if you held them, you’d see a lot of offset in those golf clubs. And that’s one of the things that his eye is very keen to, is the offset that he likes.
  • “We made some golf clubs at first, they were just some clubs that I ground on. We had some finished heads and we built them up, sent them to him, he tested them. And based upon those tests, he decided that initially he wanted us to make him a blade set. We made the blade set first. Then, he tested those. Then, when they were playing at the event in Houston this year, Scott and myself did some additional testing with him. We took some of the cavity-back stuff with us. And that test results in ‘Ok, I want you to make me a cavity back set.’ So, we made a blade set and a cavity-back set.”
6. Vote for the European Tour’s Shot of the Year
EuropeanTour.com Staff...”There was over a million shots hit during the 2018 Race to Dubai season. But only one can be crowned European Tour Shot of the Year.”
  • “Who wins is down to your vote. We’ve selected the ten best shots caught on camera from the year, all you have to do is watch each of the shots and pick your favourite. The winner will be the shot with the most fan votes.”
  • “Will it be Ross Fisher’s hole in one, Justin Thomas’ clutch hole out, Renato Paratore’s 72nd hole escape, Edoardo Molinari’s ace, Russell Knox’s play-off winning putt, Dylan Frittelli’s enormous eagle putt, Nicolas Colsaerts’ albatross, Eddie Pepperell’s rebound hole in one, Andy Sullivan’s driver off the deck or Justin Rose’s perfect hole out in Turkey? The decision is yours.”
7. The merits of sneaking in a round on Christmas
The folks at National Club Golfer discuss under what circumstances it is acceptable to play golf on Christmas Day.
  • “Steve: If I could scale the locked fence at the club I would do this every year. It’s a perfect day for a quick nine holes. There’s no-one about, you’ve usually got some new gear to put to the test, and you can whizz round in about an hour. That’s exactly the time my other half is usually out of the house at the Christmas Park Run so everyone is a winner.”
  • “James: I’m not sure it’s acceptable. Not if you have a partner, especially not if you have children. Maybe if your other half played as well and you could go out together once the kids have all flown the nest.”
  • “Alex: I have done this a couple of times in the past – it’s the best day to play by a mile – but not a chance now I have offspring. I’ll have to just wait until she’s old enough to caddie for me.”
8. Best golfers without entering a major entering 2019
Kyle Porter assembles his list of the best players on Tour without a major championship with the new year approaching.
Here are a few of his selections.
  • “Jon Rahm: He doubles as the most decorated on this list as well. For the second consecutive year, he won at least three times worldwide and solidified his spot as one of the handful of guys most likely to win the most majors from this point going forward.”
  • “Bryson DeChambeau: Only Rory McIlroy got to five wins more quickly in recent years. I don’t think DeChambeau is “somewhere between McIlroy and Spieth” good, but he’s certainly being undervalued.”
  • “Rickie Fowler: He’s the lightning rod for this conversation. I won’t belabor the point — I’ve done that plenty elsewhere — but he remains one of the most underrated big tournament players in the world.”
9. Not hollow after all
Andrew Tursky reveals that, contrary to the assumptions of most, Ping’s Blueprint irons are indeed fully forged and not hollow bodied.
  • “Despite getting play on TOUR, however, the iron designs remained shrouded in a bit of mystery. Most golfers assumed the screw in the toe signified that the irons have a hollow body design, much like the Ping’s new i500. Most golfers were incorrect.”
  • “During a recent trip to Ping Headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, company representatives informed me that the irons do not have a hollow-body design, and that the screw in the toe is to add weight.”
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  1. smz

    Dec 23, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    If it ain’t {{{hollow}}} they ain’t gonna be in my WITB arsenal of gonadal weaponry… PXG and TM are technologically superior with hollow irons… and hollow drivers… and hollow golfers.

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Morning 9: Nothing runs like a Frittelli | Royal Portrush takes center stage

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

July 15, 2019

Good Monday morning, golf fans.
1 Scottish Open: Wiesberger nabs second W of 2019
(Image above via Wiesberger on Instagram) EuropeanTour.com report…”Bernd Wiesberger…beat Benjamin Hebert in a twilight play-off at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open.”
  • “The Austrian entered the final day at The Renaissance Club with a two shot lead but found himself trailing after Hebert carded a stunning closing 62 to set the target at 22 under.”
  • “Wiesberger had edged back ahead with two to play but bogeyed the 17th in a 69 before a par on the third play-off hole handed him a sixth European Tour title.”
2. Nothing runs like a Frittelli 
AP report…”While the rest of the leaders faltered, Dylan Frittelli surged to his first PGA Tour title.”
  • “Frittelli won the John Deere Classic on Sunday, closing with a 7-under 64 for a two-stroke victory over Russell Henley. The South African earned a spot next week in the British Open, finishing at 21-under 263 after the bogey-free final round at TPC Deere Run.”
  • “One of eight players within two strokes of the lead entering the lead, Frittelli was looking forward to the tournament’s charter flight to Royal Portrush.”
  • “I’m sure it’s going to be a fun flight,” Frittelli said.

Indeed. Full piece.

3. Goose is loose at Senior Players 
AP report on Goosen’s win at one of the low-key best venues for watching professional golf…”Retief Goosen birdied the final two holes to win the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship on Sunday at Firestone Country Club for his first PGA Tour Champions title.”
  • “The 50-year-old Hall of Famer from South Africa broke a tie for the lead with a 15-foot putt on the par-4 17th and made a 10-footer on the par-4 18th for a 2-under 68 and a two-stroke victory over 65-year-old Jay Haas and Tim Petrovic.”
4. Kim outduels Thompson 
AP report…”I’m very happy to win, especially this tournament, because Marathon has a lot of history,” Kim said.
  • “With five birdies in the middle of her round, Kim pulled away from Lexi Thompson in their head-to-head duel at Highland Meadows Golf Club outside Toledo, Ohio.”
  • “She played some amazing golf,” Thompson said. “There was a stretch there, mid-round, where she stuck every shot.
  • “Had under 5 feet [for birdie] about four times in a row. So, it was a very well-deserved win by her.”
5. If only Tony Romo played playoff football as well as he does the American Century Championship…
(Kidding, Cowboys fans)
Golf Channel’s Adam Woodard…”Tony Romo is the man to beat in Lake Tahoe.”
  • “The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current CBS NFL analyst has staked his claim as best celebrity golfer by defending his title at the 2019 American Century Championship, winning with a score of 71 points. Former MLB All-Star Mark Mulder (61) finished second, followed by tennis Olympic medalist Mardy Fish and another former MLB All-Star Derek Lowe (57). Actor Jack Wagner rounds out the top five with 55 points.”
6. *Points to Collin Morikawa* You get a tour card!
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…”A week after Matthew Wolff earned his PGA Tour card by winning the 3M Open, Collin Morikawa locked up membership for next season.”
“The 22-year-old Cal product, in just his fifth pro start, tied for fourth Sunday at the John Deere Classic to collect 122.5 non-member FedExCup points and run his season total to 456.5. With just three weeks left in the regular season, that number, which currently would slot Morikawa at 88th, will assuredly be more than No. 125 in the final standings, meaning Morikawa can count on earning his card for the 2019-20 season.”
7. Portrush to center stage
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Much has changed since The Open last visited the coastal links of Royal Portrush. It’s been 68 years, in fact, since Max Faulkner scooped 300 pounds for winning the tournament despite never breaking 70. But that remains the only time the oldest major in golf was held somewhere other than England or Scotland.”
  • “That is, until this week. Long viewed as one of the best courses in the world, Royal Portrush now has a chance to shine in front of a global audience like never before.”
  • “And chances are, she’s going to put on quite a show.”
8. In a similar vein… 
James Corrigan at The Telegraph files his look ahead…
  • “Yet things change, as do politics, finance, perception and even dusty old men in blazers, and here we are in Open week. Everywhere you walked in Portrush on Saturday, with a big wheel spinning and looking down on families eating ice creams, and the brave dipping their toes in the grey ocean, it was clear that this was not a normal weekend. For, as the doors swing open, Tiger Woods is turning up on the Sunday morning and, no, that is not an everyday occurrence.”
  • “Perhaps Graeme McDowell summed it up best in a spectacular blog post on the European Tour website. “It’s been amazing to see the Open Championship evolve in the sleepy little town where I was born,” he said. “For anyone who has never been there, Portrush is on the very northern tip of the island of Ireland and is a very raw, beautiful, rugged landscape which feels very remote. To see an Open being staged there is mind-blowing for many of the local people.”
9. Fun yields win for Frittelli  
Good bit from Cameron Morfit going a level beyond the game story for PGATour.com…”It was mentality clarity,” Frittelli said, when asked to explain the difference at the Deere.
  • “With his attention divided and his career flagging, the 29-year-old with the prescription glasses found himself feeling stressed as this season wore on. His European Tour membership was running out, and he found himself in danger of losing his PGA TOUR card, too. That would mean going back to the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, where nothing is guaranteed except for the fact that it would preclude his playing in some big overseas events.”
  • “The clock was ticking, and Frittelli had to find a way to tune it out. Enter sports psychologist Jay Brunza, who helped Frittelli finally accept that he couldn’t affect outcomes, at least not positively, by obsessing over them. When he three-putted the 14th hole after driving the green Sunday, he not only forced himself to slow down and not overreact, he smiled.”
  • “I think I was the only one on the course who smiled after a three-putt,” he said.
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Tour Rundown runs toward Open with Frittelli, Kim, Goosen victories

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Something quite brilliant was in the air this week on the world’s golf tours. A new course debuted in Scotland, South Africa stood tall with two champions, and the world anticipated a return to a legendary, northern course that has not seen an Open Championship since 1951. The American tours are drawing to a close, and plans for 2019-2020 are firming up. Five events caught our attention this week, from Gullane to Toledo, from Iowa to Colorado. Plug in your charger and settle in for a nice read of this week’s Tour Rundown.

Scottish Open chalice rests in Wiesberger’s hands

Interesting stories envelope the Austrian golfer, Bernd Wiesberger. After a many-month layoff to rehab a wrist injury this season, 2 victories have come his way, including last week’s Scottish Open. The first 3 playoffs of his European Tour career all ended in defeat. In 2011, 2014 and 2015, he lost in extra holes at the Johnnie Walker, the Lyoness, and the Irish Open. Since then, he’s 2-0 in extra time. During the days leading into the 2016 and 2018 Ryder Cups, the 6-time Euro champ always seemed on the edge of breaking through to the European squad, but tailed off in the stretch run. On Sunday, under great pressure, he broke through for his finest triumph to date.

Soft ground and zero wind made The Renaissance Club an easy target during its championship debut. Wiesberger took advantage in round two, posting a course-record 61 to seize the lead. He held the top spot after 54 holes, placing all pressure squarely on his shoulders as round 4 began. It didn’t help that England’s Andrew Johnston had signed for a 62 before the Austrian pegged his opening tee shot. It also didn’t help that Benjamin Hebert of France was in the midst of his own 62, climbing the leaderboard. Ultimately, the duo of Wiesberger and Hebert would trade counters through the closing holes. After the Austrian holed a gutty, 7-feet effort at the last for a spot in the playoff, Hebert’s sound game betrayed him. He bogeyed the 2nd playoff hole, when par would have won, then 3-putted the 3rd go-round to finish 2nd.

As consolation, Hebert, Johnston and Italy’s Nino Bertasio earned the final 3 spots in this week’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

@ScottishOpen     @EuropeanTour     @Renaissancegc     @BWiesberger

John Deere Classic is Frittelli’s 1st PGA Tour victory

The 3rd weekend of July redefined the careers of its tournament winners. Dylan Frtitelli has long been a quality golfer, since before his days at the University of Texas. Frittelli found himself uncertain of his status for the 2019-2020 campaign. His major-tour memberships were at risk, and a return to the triple-A tours was not his number-one comfort blanket. Everything changed on Sunday, in the middle of the American continent, when Frittelli surged past 3rd-round leader Andrew Landry with 64. As Landry fell to 3rd spot, Frittelli reached 21-under par. His work wasn’t finished, however. After a 4-under opening nine in round 4, the kind that gets you into the top 10, Russell Henley continued to make birdies. He made 6 more coming home, including a marvelous one at the final hole. Henley reached 19-under, claiming 2nd spot for himself. Frittelli didn’t falter. He made 4 at the par-5 17th, one of the few holes Henley failed to birdie in his march to the green. Ultimately, the win was vindication, security, and an unexpected trip to Royal Portrush for this week’s Open Championship. Breathe easy, Dylan.

@JDCLASSIC     @PGATOUR     @TPCDeereRun     @Dylan_Frittelli

Sei Young Kim takes 2nd win of LPGA season at Marathon Classic

Sei Young Kim offered an LPGA marketing tutorial on how to pronounce her name (So Young!) a season or two ago. On Sunday, the 26-year old Korean golfer earned her 9th LPGA title by 2 strokes, over Lexi Thompson of the USA. Kim made 7 birdies over her first 15 holes, establishing a healthy lead as the tournament headed for home. Bogey at the 16th reduced her margin of victory to 2, but also served to secure trivia on the week: Kim’s scorecard’s were 64, 65, 66 and 67. A hand that would do some damage at the card table, also worked well at the Toledo LPGA stop. Thompson nor anyone else ever threatened the front-runner on day four. Thompson had too many bogies (2) and not enough birdies (also 2) on the outward nine, to mount an early challenge. 3 more birdies plus 1 additional bogey through the 16th, brought her even with Stacy Lewis for 2nd spot. Thompson closed fiercely, with birdie at 17 and eagle at the last. Her torrid finish made the final score appear closer than actuality. In truth, it was the Sei Young show all day long, a fitting tribute to a stellar performance.

@MarathonLPGA     @LPGA     @HMGCgrounds     @SY_KIM_lpga

Colorado Championship earns Ledesma a ticket to the show in 2019-2020

Argentina’s Nelson Ledesma had won on this level before. He triumphed at the LECOM in 2019, but that victory was not enough to propel him to the PGA Tour. In a campaign highlighted by higher, more consistent finishes, Ledesma’s victory on Sunday was enough to earn him a card on the golf world’s grandest dance stage. The walk home wasn’t easy on Sunday. Ledesma dueled with fellow southern-hemisphere golfer Brett Coletta the entire round. Ledesma went -1 on each of his 9s, but they could have differed more. On the outward half, the Platense was all over the place: 4 birdies, 1 bogey, 1 double. On the inward half, all pars until the last. Coletta might look back on Sunday and wonder, what went wrong on the par 5 holes. He doubled the first, bogeyed the 5th, and failed to birdie the 13th and 15th. A late birdie at 17 tied him with Ledesma, setting the stage for the 20-feet birdie putt that would settle the matter and send the champion to new heights.

@TPCColorado     @KornFerryTour     @TPCColoradoChampionship     @nelsonledesmaok

Senior Players Championship is Goosen’s 1st on senior circuit

There was a time, in the early 2000s, when a lead in Goosen’s hands was nearly as secure as a Tiger one. Then came the US Open of 2005, when his final-round lead simply went far, far away. Since those days, family, injuries and new challengers brought him back to the pack. Goosen won 4 more events on the European tour, never again on the US side of the water, until Sunday. Having followed Friday’s 62 with a Saturday 75, the South African found himself in 2nd spot, behind the 2019 story of the year, Scott Parel. This time, it was Goosen who hung on and the leader, that faltered.

Parel came out of the gate limping. He was plus-two through 14 holes in round four. Needing to make something happen to put pressure on his playing partner, Parel birdied the 14th and 17th holes. Unfortunately for him, sandwiched in between were another bogey and a double. He fell to a tie for 4th spot, 4 behind Goosen. In other groupings, Tim Petrovic and Jay Haas were making noise. Each closed to within 2 of Goosen, but neither had the firepower to gain any more ground. The pair tied for 2nd at 4-under par. As for Goosen, it was anything but steady or consistent. He had an eagle and 4 birdies on the day, including chirps at the final two holes, to seal the deal. He also had 2 bogies, along with a double at the 11th. It seems that excitement and thrills are part of the new normal for the formerly-unwavering champion. As long as the recipe results in victories, he’ll certainly cook something up.

@ChampionsTour     @SeniorPlayers     @BridgestoneGolf    

 

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Morning 9: Kuchar: “The things my grandma was hearing were really tough” | Kendra Little | Tiger’s Virginia course DOA?

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1. Diaz ahead
AP report…”Roberto Diaz shot a 9-under 62 on Thursday to take the first-round lead in the John Deere Classic.”
  • “Playing in the final group of the day off the first tee, the 32-year-old Mexican player birdied four of the first five holes, eagled the par-5 10th and birdied three of the last five in the bogey-free round at TPC Deere Run. He took the lead with a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-3 16th.”
  • “…Americans Adam Long and Russell Henley were two strokes back. Martin Laird was another stroke back at 65 with Ryan Palmer, Andrew Landry, Vaughn Taylor, Zack Sucher and Ryan Blaum.”

Full piece.

Also worth noting for those invested: Ho Sung Choi fired an opening-round 71, which is currently one stroke off the cut line.
2. A smiling American in Scotland
While the second round is well under way, here’s what happened in the first…
AP report…”Matt Kuchar shot an 8-under 63 on Thursday to share the lead with three players in a low-scoring opening round at the Scottish Open.”
  • “Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas, the highest-ranked players in the field, opened with 67s – a score only slightly better than the field average on a day when 118 players broke par at The Renaissance Club, which was softened by heavy early-morning rain.”
  • “Kuchar, who has two previous top-four finishes at the Scottish Open, made two eagles on his first nine and ran off four birdies in five holes to reach 9 under before bogeying his last hole of the day, the par-3 ninth.”

Full piece.

3. A John Deere stalwart struggles
Danny Lawhon, Des Moines Register, syndicated in Golfweek… “…the past 14 months might have been the most frustrating of the Cedar Rapids native’s professional career. He’s got just one top-10 finish in that span, and he hasn’t finished better than 16th this calendar year.”
  • “Coming off three weeks of mental and physical rest following the U.S. Open, he was a fountain of optimism Tuesday in his pre-tournament news conference. By Thursday evening, not even the friendly confines of the John Deere Classic seemed to be on his side.”
  • “For the first time in 11 years, Johnson failed to break par at TPC Deere Run, bogeying the 18th hole to card a 1-over-par round of 72. The last time the Drake alum was over par in any round in the Quad Cities was the third round in 2008, when he shot a 75 on his way to finishing 69th.”
4. Marathon: Lewis lurking
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell…”Stacy Lewis would like to take a decision out of U.S. Solheim Cup captain Juli Inkster’s hands.”
  • “Lewis would like to make the American team on points, rather than rely on a captain’s pick.”
  • “With a 6-under-par 65 Thursday at the Marathon Classic, Lewis took a step in that direction. She equaled her best score since rejoining the tour as a mom this year.”
  • “Lewis is one shot off the lead in suburban Toledo, where she’s embraced as a hometown favorite. She was born in Toledo, and her parents grew up there.”
5. Stricker leads Senior Players
AP report on the action…”Steve Stricker topped the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship leaderboard at 5 under with a hole to play Thursday when the first round was suspended for the day because of lightning and rain.”
  • “Coming off a victory two weeks ago in the U.S. Senior Open at Norte Dame, Stricker had a hole-in-one on the 184-yard, par-3 seventh at Firestone Country Club.”
  • “Play was suspended at 12:55 p.m., and called for the day at 5:05 p.m…”
6. “Things my grandma was hearing were really tough”
Golf Digest’s Joel Beall…”Kuchar did not reveal what his grandma read or heard, but has those in his life who keep him abreast of what’s being said about him.”
  • “Just the fact that she had called me to say, ‘I can’t believe what they are saying’ was hard, because I had a pretty decent idea from friends telling me, you know, ‘I can’t believe what this guy said,’ or ‘This guy really threw you under the bus,'” Kuchar said.
  • Yet, mentioned above, Kuchar continues to enjoy a prosperous year. He attributes the run to the advice of Phil Mickelson (who’s also had his fun with Kuchar). “He’s been one that says, ‘Listen, this is a tough deal,'” Kuchar said of Mickelson’s words. “He said, ‘I’ve been through way worse. It will pass. You keep being the guy you are and this will go away. Unfortunately it’s a tough situation you’re in, but just keep being the guy you are and time will heal.'”
7. Kendra Little’s struggle
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols...”If I had success, I knew that was going to push me closer to the LPGA,” said Little, who knew a drug test would have revealed her higher levels of testosterone.
  • “But it also would’ve pushed me closer to having to deal with my gender. That was such an insane internal battle.”
  • “It was around the age of 12 or 13 that a doctor first told Little that she was both a boy and a girl. After that day, she never discussed AIS with her parents or anyone else. Once a month she’d get estrogen injections. Later, once every three months.”
  • Those days in the doctor’s office were the darkest. There Little had to face the fact that she was different. That this really was her confusing and complex reality.
8. No Cliffs at High Carolina?
Dillon Davis, Asheville Citizen Times (syndicated in Golfweek)…”A nearly 800-acre Swannanoa, Virginia, property that once was the intended site of a luxury housing community and a Tiger Woods-designed golf course has changed hands, but future development plans there remain unclear.”
“The property was slated to be part of The Cliffs at High Carolina, a neighborhood project featuring about 1,000 luxury homes and what would have been the first U.S. golf course designed by Woods straddling parts of the Fairview and Swannanoa communities. It was sold in April by David Straus of Straus Family LLC for about $15.3 million.”
9. Rain no concern for Royal Portrush
RTE Sport report…“There are no concerns about Royal Portrush links golf club ahead of next week’s Open Championship after heavy rainfall on Wednesday.”
  • “Footage emerged on social media of torrential rain and several puddles at the venue in Antrim. Retired Ulster rugby player Darren Cave posted the video on his official Instagram account today, but tournament organisers Royal and Ancient (R&A) have no worries about the condition of Portrush.”
  • “We had a lot of rain yesterday but the course coped well and we are happy with how it is looking,” an R&A spokesman told RTÉ Sport.

Full piece.

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