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Morning 9: Phil has to wait | Vic Open | Tiger’s ready | PGA Memes speaks

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

February 11, 2019

Good Monday morning, golf fans.
1. Phil has to wait until Monday
Golf Channel’s Will Gray on the pause button being pressed on Phil’s come-from-behind win at Pebble.
  • “After the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am was delayed by a hail storm, only darkness could keep Phil Mickelson from adding another chapter to the tournament record books.”
  • “Mickelson started the final round three shots behind Paul Casey, but he used a run of back-nine birdies to overtake the Englishman and build a three-shot lead. When darkness fell, Mickelson and Casey had just two holes left to play (Casey still faces a 3-footer for par on 16) and will return to the course at 11 a.m. ET to complete the final round.”
  • “Mickelson has won this event four times before, most recently in 2012, and a victory would tie him with Mark O’Meara for the most in tournament history. The 48-year-old trailed Casey by two through the first seven holes, but a combination of Mickelson birdies and Casey bogeys turned a two-shot deficit into a three-shot advantage in the span of about 90 minutes. Mickelson is 6 under on his final round and 18 under for the week, with Casey at 15 under and tied for second with Scott Stallings, who completed a 6-under 66 before sunset.”
2. Vic Open
The first simultaneous, equal-pay event is in the books.
Golfworld’s John Huggan on the action at the Vic Open and its two winners…”Only five events into his rookie season, 27-year-old Scot David Law can now call himself a European Tour champion. And Celine Boutier of France can do likewise on the LPGA Tour, early in only her second year as a full card-holder.”
  • “Reflecting perhaps the difficulty in setting-up any course for both men and women-a succession of tight pin positions on the final day were a lot more accessible for the male pros-the winning scores ended up 10 shots apart. Law’s closing eagle on the par-5 18th on the Beach Course at the 13th Beach Golf Club not far from Melbourne took the former Scottish Amateur champion to 18 under par and a one-stroke advantage over a pair of Australians, Brad Kennedy and Wade Ormsby. Boutier’s eight-under aggregate was two strokes better than two more Aussies, Sarah Kemp and Su Oh, as well as England’s Charlotte Thomas. Both winners earned $165,000.”
3. Meanwhile, in Panama
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine with the report…
  • “Michael Gligic entered this week’s Panama Championship with just one career top-10 finish on the Web.com Tour. Now, the 29-year-old Canadian is a Web.com Tour champion.”
  • “Gligic, who earned his Web.com Tour card for the first time via Q-School last December, shot 5-under 65 Sunday at Panama Golf Club to climb six spots on the leaderboard to 8 under and win by a shot over China’s Xinjun Zhang, who closed in 66.”
  • “The Ontario native made six birdies in his final round, including three straight, at Nos. 9-11. Gligic rose to No. 2 on the Web.com Tour points list with his victory.”
4. Greatest senior of them all?
Has to be, right? Bernhard Langer’s latest W gives him the record for senior career earnings, although many will undercut his achievements owing to a certain long putter.
  • Golf Digest’s John Strege…”His latest victory, in the Oasis Championship in Boca Raton, Fla., on Sunday, enabled him to break Hale Irwin’s record for career earnings on the PGA Tour Champions. His $255,000 first-prize money raised his career total to $27,196,504, $75,590 ahead of Irwin.”
  • “Langer, 61, took a one-stroke lead into the final round on the Old Course at Broken Sound, shot a seven-under-par 65 to equal the low score of the day, and won by five.”
5. Ready for Riv
A bit from Dan Kilbridge of Golfweek’s look at Tiger Woods’ return to action this week…
  • “This year I have an understanding of what I can and cannot do,” Woods said. “Finishing the year the way I did in the playoffs, hitting it like I did was great because I finally built it to a place where I can take a little time off and I know what I’ll have when I come back. I don’t have to go looking, searching for something, so that helps a lot.”
  • “Telling comments coming off a T-20 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open in January at Torrey Pines, where Woods wasn’t as sharp as he hoped but still put together a solid result without much help from the putter.”
  • “The fact Woods knows what his game is now all about means he’s spent the past few weeks sharpening and honing his swing. It’s not the big soul-searching process it was at times last year.”
6. Respect earned
Ho Sung Choi didn’t make the cut at Pebble Beach, but he did earn a measure of respect to go along with the amused infatuation the golf world has directed at him.
  • USA Today’s Steve Dimeglio…”Yet the 45-year-old from a small fishing village in South Korea, who took up golf when he was 25, couldn’t stop smiling as the waves crashed the craggy coastline. He had won the lottery, after all, and his first trip to American soil and his first start on the PGA Tour left a lasting impression not only for Choi but for those entertained by his affable personality, showmanship and outrageous follow-throughs full of twists and turns that have made him an internet sensation.”
  • “On the scenic stages of Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula’s Shore Course, Choi was the biggest star in a tournament filled with celebrities and some of the game’s best players, his festive galleries larger than those following Bill Murray, Wayne Gretzky, Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth.”
  • And this…”While the record will show he missed the cut by 11 shots after rounds of 72-75-77, Choi wasn’t out of his element in a week full of elements featuring hail, showers and bone-chilling temps. The four-time winner on the Japanese and Korean tours was baffled by the Poa annua greens but was far from a sideshow, as he impressed Kelly, who has six victories on the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions.”
7. 90 years of slow play
Geoff Shackelford reflects on the 1929 L.A. Open for Golfweek
  • “Walter Hagen was not having a great L.A. Open week after opening with a 77. The reigning Champion Golfer of the Year was announced on the first tee by actress Fay Ward as “the Opium Champion of Great Britain” and was paired with Tommy Armour during the third round of that 1929 L.A. Open, the first at Riviera.”
  • “Back then, groupings were notoriety-driven, so The Haig and the Silver Scot were the main draws and put together for Saturday’s round. Armour infamously set up shop over his shots after he triple-bogeyed the first hole and watched a lead slip away. Hagen was out of contention when organizers planned to put him with Armour for Sunday’s final round.”
  • “Knowing January days were short and not wanting to suffer another day with Armour, Hagen threatened to withdraw before suffering through another 18 with the Silver Scot. Organizers caved.”
8. Team Eldrick vs. Team Fredrick
While it’s unclear if the Monday finish at Pebble Beach will disrupt these plans, Golfweek’s Forecaddie took a look at the unique Monday itinerary at the Genesis Open.
  • “For $25 a fan can get a little bit of everything, from seeing some top players supporting their alma maters to major celebs. Oh, and Tiger Woods.”
  • “After 12 collegiate players vie for a Genesis Open field spot, a new team element hosted by Tiger and Fred Couples will feature a nine-hole celebrity match play. At around 2 p.m. PT, The Celebrity Cup “will bring together two teams comprised of six celebrities” with Team Eldrick captained by Woods and Team Frederick captained by LA fan favorite Fred Couples.”
  • “The Man Out Front has confirmed that Mark Wahlberg, Larry Fitzgerald, Jerry Rice, Nick Jonas and Reggie Bush have all committed – on top of Woods making a rare Monday appearance at a PGA Tour event. It’s all been an amazing L.A. transformation given how much of a struggle former tournament host Jerry West had in convincing the Tour and the tournament’s former sponsor, Northern Trust, to embrace L.A.’s access to attention-getting star power early in the week.”
9. PGA Memes speaks
Hally Leadbetter talked to the man (presumably) behind the PGA Memes Instagram account
“Walk us through the meme-making process.”
“I’m pretty busy in all areas of my life, so I try to balance it out and get ahead of things. The bigger following you get you have, the more people are sharing ideas and giving you inspiration. I’ll share a lot of images and line up different thoughts in my head for when the right moment comes. I try to have a content calendar because I think you can overshare and overdo things sometimes. I’m always trying to find something that fits with the audience and that’s “now.” There are a lot of pages that just repost the same material over and over again, but I’m always trying to push the boundaries. I’m really not that crazy; people probably think I’m nuts when they see some of my posts but there’s been times where I’ve second-guessed myself and then when I post it, it’s like “Wow, people liked that.”
“Wow, content calendar, so you’re pretty serious about this. What’s your day job, and what are your aspirations for PGA Memes?”
“I’m an executive that focuses on sales, marketing and business development. Understanding your content calendar is key because you don’t want to overdo it, and you need to know the right times to post. So I have that embedded in me from my day-to-day career. And for this, it certainly has taken off and opened the doors to some opportunities, but I’m not quite ready to quit my day job just yet. But the page is getting over 6 million impressions a week and it’s growing over 1,500 people a day, so I’m projecting to hit over a half a million followers by the end of the year. So who knows? When you get to that point you never know where it can take you. Overall, it’s just a hobby, it’s fun to do. It’s kind of an escape from day-to-day reality.”
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The DailyWRX: What’s buzzing on social media (5/25/2020)

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Gotta say, The Match: Champions for Charity, was a fun escape from reality and further fueled the “we need golf back” fire. I dedicate this DailyWRX to The Match, thanks for thrills boys.

No matter how hard you try to make this a meme…

It’s Tom Brady. He wins….always, no matter what. He’s a Mount Rushmore guy.

This gave me goosebumps…

Its an exhibition match for charity, and I’m over here jacked up like its Balboa vs. Drago. SMH. I love TW.

View this post on Instagram

Sunday red is back. ????

A post shared by PGA TOUR (@pgatour) on

Yes…

To all of it.

Phil…

Please just run for President and get it over with, you got my vote…..in perpetuity. I mean hellacious seeds? Yes I want hellacious seeds. Please.

DM @johnny_wunder

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Justin Rose, Honma officially part ways

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Justin Rose and Honma Golf have officially severed ties, per a joint statement released Friday evening.

Former World No. 1 and current World No. 14, Rose (previously a TaylorMade staffer) made waves in the equipment industry when he signed on as a full-bag Honma staffer at the beginning of 2019. He made waves again in late February when he arrived at PGA National with a TaylorMade SIM driver in his bag.

The next week, at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rose swapped out his remaining Honma wares for a TaylorMade SIM Max fairway wood, a Cobra Speedzone Pro 5-wood, TaylorMade P730 irons, and TaylorMade and Titleist wedges.

Full text of the statement from Honma/Rose below

“Honma Golf Limited (“Honma”) announces that, following a successful partnership with the former No. 1 player in the world, Honma and Justin Rose have agreed that Justin will no longer be one of Honma’s brand ambassadors. We are proud to have been a key part of Justin’s journey to regain his position as World Number 1 in early 2019, including a win at the Farmers Insurance Open in his second event with Honma equipment in play.”

“For over a year, Justin worked closely with our team to help develop innovative and top­ performing lines of Honma woods and irons. His pursuit of perfection, approach to product testing and feedback has produced great value to Honma. Justin’s expert input and desire for maximum ball speed inspired our team to make the Honma TR20 460 and 440 drivers among the fastest drivers in the game. Consistently, and excitingly, our nationwide team of fitters are seeing the new TR20 460 and TR20 440 drivers produce some of the fastest speeds on the market. We wish him the very best in his pursuit of more majors and career success,” said John Kawaja, President Honma Golf North America.”

“I have enjoyed working with the Honma team and collaborating closely with them to design and develop excellent golf equipment. I was able to see firsthand the innovations that the craftsmen at Honma bring to their clubs. I am hopeful that during our time of partnership, we have laid the groundwork for Honma to continue to expand their brand. We both feel it is the right time to pursue our own paths,” said Justin Rose.”

Per Honma PR: “This will be the official statement and we are unable to provide any further comments”

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Morning 9: Tour pros will need to be patient in return | Adam Scott skeptical of restart plan | Annoying on-course behaviors

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1. Patience, please
That’s the quality PGA Tour pros will need in a large quantity at the restart, according to Players Advisory Council member Charlie Hoffman, who spoke with Steve DiMeglio…
  • “But the days of jumping into the courtesy vehicle and getting to the course in eight minutes and then start working out 12 minutes later are gone, Hoffman said. Players will have to develop new routines to deal with the new safety measures.”
  • “For instance, upon arrival to the course, players will undergo a thermal test and take part in a questionnaire. A hot breakfast won’t be at the ready as soon as players walk into player dining. The range and practice putting green will have social distancing rules that could lead to a waiting game.”
  • “We’re going to have to figure it out,” Hoffman said. “Time management is going to be important. The first few weeks I’m sure there will be a lot of waiting around. It’s going to be new for everybody.”
  • “We have to be patient. But once the gun goes off, once we get inside the ropes, our instincts will come back and the competition will be amazing.”
  • “Hoffman’s biggest reservations as the restart nears are in travel, living arrangements and eating. The plan includes a charter plane to take players and caddies to the next tournament on the schedule and a designated hotel for all at each site. Room service is highly recommended. The plan is basically a beefed-up version of shelter-at-home guidelines.”
2. Like Tommy Fleetwood, playing the Tour right now isn’t worth it for Lee Westwood
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…“the Englishman is one of what the Tour estimates to be 25 players currently living outside the U.S., and in speaking with Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis he shared that the current quarantine restrictions surrounding international travel will likely preclude him from playing either tournament.”
  • “Right now I won’t be playing them, not with having to leave here two weeks before, quarantine, then play the two tournaments, then come back here and quarantine again,” Westwood said. “It’s six weeks for two tournaments, and to me that’s just not worth it. And it’s not worth taking the risk if everybody thinks that those kind of precautions have got to be in place. I don’t feel like golf’s a priority if it’s that severe.”
3. No caddies?
Golf Channel report…”Caddies will be optional when the LPGA makes its scheduled restart in late July.”
  • “GolfChannel.com has learned that as part of the tour’s new safety protocols for returning amid the coronavirus pandemic, players will be allowed to carry their own bags for the rest of the 2020 season, if they so choose.”
  • “The tour informed its members this is a temporary option designed to protect players who don’t have regular tour caddies, who may feel a heightened risk working with unfamiliar local caddies.”
  • “Still, the news didn’t land well among LPGA caddies eager to return when the tour makes its scheduled restart this summer.”

Full piece. 

4. Merging seasons
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell…”The LPGA will merge its 2020 and ’21 seasons for the purposes of eligibility and priority rankings, but will keep those two seasons separate in its historical and official record.”
  • “That was the news from the LPGA commissioner’s office Wednesday, as was the announcement that the Meijer Classic is being canceled with the tour continuing to adjust to life amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • “The Symetra Tour will also adopt the same plans with the merger of its 2020 and ’21 seasons for eligibility purposes.”
  • “That means Q-School and Q-Series won’t be staged this year, with no route that way to next year’s LPGA player ranks. However, Symetra Tour players competing this year will continue to have a route to the 2021 LPGA season, with the possibility up to five promotions will be allowed, depending on how many Symetra Tour events are played this year.”
5. Scott skeptical of Tour coronavirus plan? 
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard relays Scott’s remarks, which were originally made to the Australian AP…”They are being fairly thorough, but my initial reaction was I was surprised it wasn’t tighter than it is,” Scott said. “What concerns me is dialogue that [the Tour] is hopeful of returning one- or two-hour test [results]. You’d want that in place before competing.”
  • “Scott also said he has concerns with the circuit’s plan to only administer RT PCR Nasal Swab/Saliva tests to players, caddies and certain Tour and tournament officials but would only screen others on site at tournaments with questionnaires and thermal readings.”
  • “An asymptomatic person could operate within a tournament,” he said. “If they’re not showing symptoms, and I somehow picked it up inside the course, and I’m disqualified, I’m now self-isolating [in that city] for two weeks. I’d be annoyed if that happened.”
6. The most annoying things golfers do on the course 
Cracking work by Golf.com’s Luke Kerr-Dineen to compile a list of annoying on-course behaviors…
A few of the 34 he assembled…“Saying “get left” when the ball is clearly slicing…
  • “This is my pet peeve. Understand ball flight, people! If a ball is carving out to the right, there’s no chance of it getting left, so don’t pretend like there is.”
  • “Not picking up on bad holes…Have some awareness. If it’s taking you eight shots to get to the green, don’t slow the whole group down and make them watch all that. Pick up your ball, sit this one out, and move on.”
  • “Taking many practice swings … only to top the ball 10 feet…Don’t be that guy. If you’re going to have a long pre-shot routine, you better hit it good.”
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