Connect with us

News

Morning 9: ANA’s amateur tradition continues | Knee-high drop is a disaster | Akshay Bhatia!

Published

on

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

February 5, 2019

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans.
1. ANA + ANWA
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell writes that amateur invites to the ANA didn’t suffer with the advent of the ANWA.
  • “With so much uncertainty over how overlapping dates with the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur would affect the ANA’s amateur field, the ANA showed Monday that it can do more than coexist.”
  • “Its amateur tradition just might continue to thrive….”It turned out to be a really great field for us,” ANA Inspiration tournament director Chris Garrett said.”
  • “On Monday, the ANA Inspiration announced the four amateurs who have accepted invitations to play in the women’s first major (April 4-7) at Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, Calif. The list includes two of the top three players in the Women’s Amateur Golf Ranking, three of the top six and four of the top 11.”
  • “Sweden’s Frida Kinhult, a freshman at Florida State, leads the amateur invites. She’s No. 2 in the world amateur rankings.”
2. Carter on Sergio
The BBC columnist pens a reflection on the Sergio Garcia’s bad behavior, asking some poignant questions of the European Tour.
  • “The feeling among our officials is that Garcia did enough damage to his reputation with this latest episode and the harm done to his image is punishment enough.”
  • “But this is a player who has form. The Spanish star spat in a hole at Doral in 2007, threw a shoe in anger at Wentworth in 1999 and racially insulted Tiger Woods at a tour dinner in 2013 by saying he would serve him “fried chicken”.
  • “But since winning the Masters two years ago with a notably serene, composed display at Augusta – along with becoming a husband and father – it was believed Garcia had outgrown such behaviour.”
  • “This, though, was a return to the bad old days for someone who is also blessed with a charismatic charm that has made him one of Europe’s most popular players.”
  • “And this latest meltdown begs the question, what does a golfer have to do to earn a playing suspension? How bad do you have to be?”
3. While we’re on the subject…
Geoff Shackelford rightly points out the continued absurdity of the new drop rule.
  • “Now that the governing bodies are working overtime to deal with the alignment rule after conceding a lack of success, the navy and grey slack set needs to clear more space on their emergency meeting agenda. “
  • “I’ll start with the drop problem spotted by readers John A and June who correctly noted Branden Grace’s incorrect drop on 17 of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Or was it incorrect? After all, he’s almost around knee height as his knee is positioned! “
  • “…The overall absurd look of the knee height concept can go any day now. It will not speed up the game. Or grow it. “
4. Death of the tour bag?
Another  interesting observation from Shackelford…”Reading Jonathan Wall’s gear notes at Golf.com and his explanation of the Waste Management Phoenix Open debut of lighter stand bags from Puma, Titleist and Taylor Made be the beginning of the end for a traditional tour bag.”
  • “Fowler’s Puma-Vessel collaboration was limited to only 10 bags, while Titleist and TaylorMade unveiled versions – TaylorMade’s all-green FlexTech was specially made for the “The Greenest Show on Grass” – that are currently available to consumers.”
  • “…It’s fascinating that Phoenix was seen as a natural unveiling spot, suggesting a younger crowd would be more accepting of a lighter stand bag. And just seeing some of the newer stand bags it’s clear they accomplish the same goal as the classic tour player bag, only streamlined, modernized and more user friendly.”
5. Getting older on on tour
A few thoughts from an aging tour pro in the latest installment of Undercover Tour Pro.
  • “The new era has arrived, and I applaud all the Justin Thomases and Bryson DeChambeaus who’ve ushered it in. But tougher competition from the bottom is only half the reason why there are fewer “old guys” out here. It’s harder to have a long career because of how the pace of the PGA Tour has intensified. It’s no longer if you will get injured, but when.”
  • “Sure, we’re cutting one playoff event in 2019, but there’s still no off-season. The fall used to be a time to rest and repair the body, but not anymore. There are almost 50 events on the PGA Tour calendar this season. Unless you’re a top-30 player, you really can’t afford to take three weeks off in a row. Guys will shoot past you in the rankings. And once you fall outside the top 50, your schedule stops being in your control.”
6. Akshay!
Golfweek’s Brentley Romine…”Akshay Bhatia might be just 17 years old, but the junior golfer continues to outperform many college-aged amateurs.”
  • “Bhatia, the world’s top-ranked junior and ranked 12th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, added to his impressive list of accomplishments with a playoff victory Sunday at the Jones Cup.”
  • “After Sunday’s final round at Ocean Forest Golf Club in Sea Island, Ga., was washed out, Bhatia and Georgia sophomore Davis Thompson, tied for the 36-hole lead at 2 under, were able to make it on the course for a 1 p.m. playoff. Bhatia made quick work of Thompson, who rinsed his tee shot on the first hole in the playoff. Bhatia won with a two-putt par.”
  • “With his win, the Wake Forest, N.C., native earns a sponsor exemption into the 2019 RSM Classic. As of now, it will be Bhatia’s first PGA Tour start, though the youngster plans to play a few Monday qualifiers this year, like he did a year ago.”
7. Jumpstart for Rickie?
Brian Wacker frames Fowler’s WMPO win as a potentially important one for the future of his career…”Fowler, with his always forward-looking mindset, settled down (sort of) and bounced back with a birdie at the par-5 15th and another on the par-4 17th. He also made some nervy par saves-a six-footer on 13, an up-and-down from an awkward stance next to a bunker on the raucous 16th and one more on 18 after driving into thick rough.”
  • “It helped, too, that the three players chasing him-Justin Thomas and Matt Kuchar playing alongside Fowler, and Branden Grace, in the group ahead-all struggled at one point or another.”
  • “But as Paul Azinger noted in his debut broadcast for NBC after taking over for Johnny Miller on Sunday, this wasn’t about the players behind Fowler. He was competing against himself (at least until he wasn’t anymore).”
8. The importance of the Vic Open
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell…”Male and female pros will tee it up at 13th Beach Golf Links in Victoria, Australia, this week playing the same courses at the same time for the same amount of prize money. The men and women will alternate tee times.”
  • “It’s the only tour event like it on the planet.”
  • “That makes it a mustard seed of possibility for true believers wanting to narrow the sport’s enormous gender pay gap.”
  • “For a woman playing in the Vic Open to be able to look her male counterpart in the eye, knowing she’s playing for same amount of prize money, that she is his equal for the week, there’s a real feeling of fairness in that,” said Karen Lunn, the Australian Ladies Professional Golf CEO and 1993 Women’s British Open winner. “There’s a real important message in that, and I think it’s what has attracted so much attention.”
9. Archie got his sticks back!
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley, whose sticks disappeared after the WMPO pro-am, has gotten his weapons back.
He tweeted a photo of himself with the clubs, writing, “Super Sunday Delivery! Can’t comment much due to investigation. But clubs and everything in it were found and are at home where they belong! Thank you to everyone who helped with all their tips!”
Your Reaction?
  • 4
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK3

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. CrashTestDummy

    Feb 8, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    Being a celebrity has its big time advantages. Everyone bends over backwards to find your clubs. He got brand new clubs from PXG and his old golf clubs. I’m still waiting for my stolen golf clubs, mountain bike equipment, and fishing equipment to show up on my doorstep with balloons.

  2. 15th Club

    Feb 5, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    It seems to me that people keep looking for ways to create controversy in the drop rule. We simply want a drop that is from a height that is less likely to require re-drops. What is so hard about approximating knee height?

    http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/rules-modernization/major-changes/new-procedure-for-dropping-a-ball.html

  3. ChiliDip

    Feb 5, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    Knee height should be changed back nothing wrong with the way it use to be. Horrible look

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

News

Morning 9: LPGA players to add to Hazeltine’s history | Web.com Tour no more | Mickelson’s U.S. Open dream dead?

Published

on

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

June 20, 2019

Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1 Adding to Hazeltine’s history
Doug Ferguson at the AP….”This is where Rich Beem, a former car stereo salesman, held off a charge by Tiger Woods in the 2002 PGA Championship. It’s where Y.E. Yang became the only player to come from behind and beat Woods in the final round of a major at the 2009 PGA Championship.”
  • “It’s where the Americans actually won a Ryder Cup in 2016.”
  • “Hazeltine also is an example of how much the second-oldest major in women’s golf has risen in stature since the LPGA Tour and PGA of America became partners to stage what is now the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.”
  • “The magnitude of this event has gone up so high, and it’s neck and neck with the USGA and U.S. Open,” said Danielle Kang, who won the Women’s PGA two years ago at Olympia Fields, the course south of Chicago where Walter Hagen and Jim Furyk won majors. “It’s just when you get here and people talk so much about the golf course. ‘Oh, you’re going to play Hazeltine.’ They talk it up so much.”

Full piece.

2. Caddie arrested on charges of human trafficking, exploitation of a child
Bizarre, awful stuff, here. As reported by Joel Beall at Golf Digest…
  • “Evan H. Vollerthum, a caddie on the Korn Ferry Tour, was arrested Monday for human trafficking and attempting to sexually exploit a child.”
  • “Vollerthum was taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations in Topeka, Kansas, according to an ICE news release. Topeka is about two hours away from this week’s Wichita Open.”
  • “Shawnee County Jail (Kansas) records state Vollerthum is being held in connection with one count of aggravated human trafficking involving hiring a child 14 or older to engage in sexual acts, and attempted commercial exploitation of a child involving hiring a person under 18 for a sex act.”
3. Korn Ferry Tour
Via the Golf Channel Digital team…”As of Wednesday, the Web.com Tour will now be known as the Korn Ferry Tour, after inking a 10-year deal through 2028.”
“Korn Ferry, a global organizational consulting firm, also becomes a PGA Tour’s official marketing partner and will assume sponsorship of the developmental circuit’s Tour Championship, the third and final event of the Korn Ferry Tour Finals.”
4. Mickelson: I’m out of U.S. Open chances
Golfweek’s Dan Kilbridge…
  • “….He made a run up the leaderboard Friday and made the cut for a ho-hum T-52 finish. He also had nothing but praise for the USGA’s setup after ripping the organization’s past failures in the days and weeks leading up.”
  • “It was nice to see cooler heads prevail on both sides throughout the week, but it doesn’t change the fact that the U.S. Open remains Mickelson’s white whale. And he’s starting to get more and more realistic about his Career Grand Slam chances at age 49.”
  • “I’m appreciative of the opportunity, even though I didn’t play my best and didn’t win,” Mickelson said. “I really don’t have many more chances. Probably have to come to the realization that I’m not going to win the U.S. Open, but I’m not going to stop trying. I’ll keep trying. You never know.”
5. Hovland on being a Ping man
Andrew Tursky at PGATour.com went deep with Viktor Hovland on his new Ping weaponry (photo above is Tursky’s)
A few of his specs and remarks
Driver: Ping G410 LST (draw setting, 9 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS 6.5-flex 62 grams
  • Hovland says: “I just put this in the bag on Thursday morning of the U.S. Open. I drove it really nice and it was a big part of my success last week… I’ve been messing around with the different kind of heads and I felt like this was a great fit for me. I was struggling with a bigger left-to-right curve. I put it on draw [setting] and it keeps it neutralized a bit. I was able to hit a lot of fairways with it at the U.S. Open.”
3-wood: Ping G410 LST (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke 6.5TX 80 grams
  • Hovland says: “I really like [the way it] sits down because it looks like it has a lot of loft and it sits real tight to the ground, so for me it’s real easy to launch. I’m a guy who hits a lot of drivers off the tee, I don’t really like to hit a lot of 3 woods [off the tee]. So for me it’s key to have something I can launch up in the air and get it to stop on the greens, [such as going for] par 5’s in two. That’s been a great help for me.”

Full piece.

6. The role of restoration in Gary Woodland’s 17th-hole chip
An interesting note from Geoff Shackelford…
  • “The neck of the “hourglass” green created by Egan had been reduced to a sliver, the green unpinnable anywhere near the surrounds. The square footage restoration estimate was over 1000 square feet and while the green was still not as large as the original, the remodel made the 17th was made functional again.”
  • “But more important than the reclamation of architectural roots or reminding us of this wonderfully bizarre vision by Egan, the expansion gave Gary Woodland the opportunity to hit a shot for the ages, requiring him to clip the ball and land in a very small area and join Pebble Beach’s other 17th hole classic moments by Nicklaus and Watson.”
  • “The shot reminds how important golf course design is to giving us golf-watching thrills, and the vitality of caring for architectural gems.”
7. What it’s like without tour status
...rough…
Nick Menta focuses through the lens of Chip McDaniel…
  • “I saw [Roberto Diaz] in the locker room today,” McDaniel said Wednesday at the Travelers Championship. “He’s like, ‘What’s up, Mr. Monday?’
  • “I already have a nickname out here, which is pretty cool.”
  • On Thursday, McDaniel will make his sixth PGA Tour start this season and his second in as many weeks.
  • The 23-year-old out of the University of Kentucky went through local and sectional qualifying to make it to Pebble Beach, where he made the cut on the number and finished 78th in his U.S. Open debut.
  • “Then I had to hop on a red-eye and get back to the real world and play in a Monday qualifier,” he said.
8. Getting good at golf without a golf course
Golf Digest’s Keely Levins offers the example of Sung Hyun Park, who only visited an actual golf course about once per year early in her golfing development…
  • “…In her first few years playing golf, she barely set foot on the golf course.”
  • “I first started playing when I was nine years old, and I only practiced indoors,” Park said through a translator in her pre-tournament press conference at the KPMG. “It was like a three-meter distance, and I used to hit my shots over there. And playing like that for three years, I probably went on the golf course around four or five times only, which probably means like once a year. And so I always looked forward to going out on to the course and to play.”
  • “If you’re someone who loves golf, but don’t have easy access to a course, there’s hope for you. Park is proof that you can get good-sometimes really, really, good-even if you can’t get on-course as much as you’d like.”
 
9. Why does the USGA now care about player complaints?
Good point from Alan Shipnuck in his weekly mailbag.
  • Whining players > non-whining players during the U.S. Open? -@Nolanddad
  • “Oh, hell yes. Going back decades, the soundtrack to every U.S. Open was the plaintive wailing of the players. That’s how we knew it was our national championship. “Fair” is often codeword for too easy, so I knew we were in trouble when the players universally employed that word to praise the Pebble setup. I pray that future Opens will feature the appropriate amount of kvetching.”

 

Your Reaction?
  • 3
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

News

Morning 9: Women’s PGA | Fox: best golf coverage in the biz? | Michelle Wieturns

Published

on

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

June 19, 2019

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans.
1. Henderson, Thompson sizzling heading into Women’s PGA
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell…”Brooke Henderson and Lexi Thompson couldn’t get hotter at a better time.”
  • “With three major championships over the next seven weeks, they’ll be looking to make the most of their winning form. They each have a chance this week to reach No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings for the first time.”
  • “Henderson won the Meijer Classic last week, Thompson the ShopRite Classic two weeks ago.”
  • “Ladbrokes makes Henderson the co-favorite to win the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship with Jeongeun Lee6 at 11/1 odds, with Thompson at 12/1 odds.”
2. Wieturning again
Ron Sirak for LPGA.com…
“But perhaps the most difficult digits to digest are those detailing the impact of the injuries that have disrupted Wie’s career. Without the constant interruptions, her five career wins with one major championship would almost certainly be more. Now, she tries once again to get back into action.”
  • “I’m feeling hopeful,” Wie said Tuesday at Hazeltine National where, on Thursday, she will tee it up for just her ninth tournament round of the year. “It’s still a process. It’s been hard sitting out during the middle of the season. There’s really nothing worse. But I had to take the time to get myself back to where I want to be.”
  • “There is almost no a part of Wie that has not been damaged, beginning with an injury to her left wrist when she fell while jogging in 2007. Since then, she’s had issues with a finger, knee, hip and the other wrist. At times, it almost appears as if her body is held together by multi-colored physiotape.”

Full piece.

3. Arrival of the Wolff
Sean Martin at PGATour.com…”This week’s Travelers Championship is Matthew Wolff’s first tournament as a professional. It may be the most anticipated pro debut in a decade. The consensus collegiate player of the year combines charisma with a swing that is identifiable from a few fairways over.
  • “He wins. He’s unique. His swing is different, so it catches everybody’s eye,” said Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee. “And then there’s the incredible speed.
  • “When you see somebody with speed … it gets your attention.”
4. Fox the best?
An interesting take from Sean Zak at Golf.com…
  • “In its five years as the USGA rights-holder, Fox has added something new every year, which, for a sport whose visuals seem to never change, is refreshing and important. One year it was the mic’d up holes, even shadows on the greens to display slopes. Some of it sticks from year to year, some of it doesn’t, but Fox is trying new things and adding new context.”
  • “This year the novelty was epic, highlighted by delicious drone shots along the coast. Blimp shots are great and were more relevant this week than most, but the drones that floated up over Carmel Bay, gliding along with the players, providing the perfect scale of the property – those were new and beautiful. A good broadcast shows viewers everything they must see to better understand a course, but also makes them a bit jealous of everyone there on the grounds.”
5. JT pain free
A few quotes from Thomas…”I have zero pain. I can do everything normally.”
“I could have played Colonial – easily – but it would have been stupid and [my wrist] could have been lingering the entire year,” he said. “This injury should never be an issue again in my life, as long as I do the proper things and don’t do anything stupid. That’s why I waited as long as I did.”
6. Not a fan
The Herald’s (Scotland) Nick Rodger…
  • “As everyday life hurtles along at a furious rate of knots, the golf season too is hammering on. Three men’s majors have already been played and in just four weeks’ time the curtain will come down on the quartet of grand slam events at the Open Championship. It’s rather like uploading a Youtube video onto your laptop and quickly spooling through to the best bits.”
  • “It’s all happening a bit too quickly for my liking,” gasped Colin Montgomerie as the dust settled on last weekend’s US Open even though there’s still probably dust lingering from the previous majors of the US PGA Championship and the Masters.”
7. Jin Young Ko dreaming of Brooks?
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…“On a day when LPGA stars filed in and out of the press room at the KPMG Women’s PGA, Ko delivered the line of the day. When asked what it is that she likes about Koepka and how he inspires her play, Ko said: “I met him in my dream, and then we had really great time.”
  • “…He always (has) like a poker face and then like stone.”
  • Ko, 23, put her arms out wide and said, “I like big guy.”
8. What Gary was aiming for
Our Gianni Magliocco…“U.S. Open Champion Gary Woodland made an appearance at SiriusXM’s Manhattan studios on Tuesday, where he sat down to discuss a multitude of topics with Adam Schein on his Mad Dog Sports Radio program – Schein on Sports.”
  • “Woodland also discussed beating Tiger Woods’ total of 12-under-par from the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. The 35-year-old first mentioned how he recognized that Woods won that tournament by 15 strokes, before adding how he was aware of beating his 72-hole total, saying…”
  • “I knew it, but I was trying to two-putt. I wasn’t trying to make that putt. Once it got halfway there and it went in I obviously let the emotion out. My caddie came over to tell me congrats and I said, ‘You know that clipped Tiger by one?’ And he said, ‘No I didn’t.’ He was focused on the wrong stuff, he was focused on winning, I was focused on beating that record.”
9. A Phireside chat
How to introduce Phil Mickelson’s first Phireside with Phil video…? Mickelson tells a story of an early morning restart at the Memorial some years back and a, um, crappy situation.
My question: This is a clear violation of the rules of tournament play. Is there a provision for situations that make the hole/toilet unusable after restart and necessitate cutting a new cup?

 

Your Reaction?
  • 3
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP2
  • OB1
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

Equipment

TaylorMade signs Matthew Wolff to a multi-year deal; Wolff WITB

Published

on

TaylorMade Golf has officially announced the signing of Matthew Wolff on a multi-year agreement that will see the 20-year-old play the company’s metal woods, irons, wedges, putter and ultimately, TaylorMade’s flagship golf ball, the TP5x.

Wolff had previously unveiled that he would be making his professional debut at this week’s Travelers Championship, and just as top prospect Collin Morikawa did earlier at this month’s Canadian Open, Wolff will do so as a TaylorMade staffer.

The NCAA All-American and 2019 NCAA Division I individual champion made his debut on the PGA Tour at the Waste Management Phoenix Open earlier this year where he finished T50 after opening his week with a round of five-under par.

Matthew Wolff WITB

Driver: TaylorMade M6 (8 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design TP 7TX

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade M6 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke 6.5 TX

Utility Iron: TaylorMade P760 (2)
Shaft: Nippon Modus 130x

Irons: TaylorMade P750 Tour Proto (3-PW)
Shafts: Nippon Modus 130x

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind Raw (52, 56, 62 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Copper

 

Your Reaction?
  • 150
  • LEGIT15
  • WOW3
  • LOL4
  • IDHT2
  • FLOP7
  • OB6
  • SHANK28

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending