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Morning 9: Compton qualifies for Honda | McIlroy preaches patience | Korda’s boyfriend arrested

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By Ben Alberstadt

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans

Consider this your hopefully less obnoxious “Your Ad Here” banner. If you’re interesting in advertising in the Morning 9, I’d be happy to talk.  Just drop me a line at ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com.
1. Olson speaks (tweets) on backstopping fiasco
Our Gianni Magliocco…”Following the backstopping controversy which overshadowed the LPGA’s Honda Thailand event, Amy Olson one of the two players involved, took to social media to present her side of the story.”
  • “Within the post, Olson denied any intent and dismissed claims of collusion, while stressing both herself and Ariya Jutanugarn’s innocence from any wrongdoing.”
The LPGA, of course, agreed, absolving her of any breach of the rules.
2. Compton qualifies for the Honda
Impressive stuff from one of the most inspirational players in the game.
  • Brian Wacker of Golf Digest writes…”Compton proved he was up to the golf challenge on Monday, shooting a seven-under 65 to share medalist honors with Drew Nesbitt at Banyan Cay Resort & Golf in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Monday, and earning the right to play in his first PGA Tour event since 2016.”
  • “Having competed on the Web.com Tour each of the past two years, Compton last played in a PGA Tour event at the Sanderson Farms Championship three years ago, where he missed the cut.”

Full piece.

3. McIlroy preaches patience
Brian Keogh, writing for the Irish Independent…”Rory McIlroy insists that he’s not frustrated with his eighth successive final-group disappointment in the space of 13 months and believes his patience will pay off soon.”
  • ….”No, I’m not frustrated,” McIlroy said after adding Sunday’s final-group disappointment to six similar episodes last season and this year’s season-opening Sentry Tournament of Champions, where Xander Schauffele shot 61 to snatch victory.”

“I’ve played well. I’ve done what I’ve wanted to do and needed to do. I think I’m 56-under par for my first four events of the year (stroke average 68.25). So the game’s good. It’s just about staying patient and hopefully one of these weeks it will fall my way.”

4. Praise be the Florida Swing
ESPN’s Bob Harig pens a piece on the reassembly of the Florida Swing
  • A bit…”The Florida Swing is a thing again. After two years of being interrupted by a trip to Mexico, the Sunshine State has retaken its place as a four-tournament run of events as the Masters draws closer. And now, the Players Championship is again part of the lineup.”
  • “There is no longer a World Ranking qualification that ends in Florida for a trip to the Masters, but of course any player who is not otherwise qualified can get in by winning. It is also a chance to qualify for the WGC-Match Play, where a good week can move a player into the top 50 and get in the first major of the year.”
5. Johnny Del Prete
Jessica Korda’s boyfriend joins the rogues gallery that includes Robert Kraft.
  • ESPN report…”Former Web.com golfer Johnny DelPrete was arrested Friday and charged with soliciting prostitution in the same widespread crackdown on sex trafficking in Florida…”
  • “…DelPrete, 29, who was booked by the Martin County Sheriff’s Office and released Friday on $2,500 bond, made just one cut in eight events on the Web.com Tour over the 2012 and 2014 seasons.”
6. Copy this, not that
Great stuff from Digest’s E. Michael Johnson reminding you there are some things tour pros do that you should copy…and some that you should not.
A few morsels…
  • Copy…”Arrive at the course well ahead of your tee time…How many times have you raced to the golf course and headed straight to the first tee? It probably takes you five or six holes just to settle in, right? That’s no way to play golf. The pros like to get to the course incredibly early, not just to get their work in, but to do so at a leisurely pace that sets them up well for a controlled round of golf. For an everyday player 45 minutes before tee time should be the minimum. An hour and 15 minutes would be better.”
  • Don’t copy…Putting your name on your bag...Our position on this one is pretty clear: If you’re not playing for prize money, then it’s better to remain anonymous. If you have your name on your bag there’s an expectation you’re a pretty good player and on some kind of tour. Save yourself the embarrassment when someone says, “Oh, what tour do you play on?” Added bonus advice: If you have your name on a big ol’ staff bag, then every caddie worldwide just thinks you’re a clown.
  • Don’t copy…Wearing Sunday red…”This reminds me of the commercial currently running where the tattoo artist says, “Stay in your lane, bro.” Even Patrick Reed looks bad wearing red on Sundays-and he has a Masters title to his credit. Feel free to go with the black pants or shorts. After all, black goes with any color. Just steer clear of the red shirt when doing so. There’s only one person that works for. And unless you have 14 majors, it isn’t you.”
7. Hot & cold
Gianni Magliocco looked at where the big names lost and gained strokes at the WGC-Mexico Championship.
  • A couple from the “hot” column…”Dustin Johnson dominated at the WGC-Mexico, and it was his red hot TaylorMade Spider Tour Black putter that separated himself primarily from his closest challenger, Rory McIlroy. Johnson led the field in strokes gained putting in Mexico, gaining a whopping 8.5 strokes over the field for the four days of action with his flat-stick. The second highest strokes gained putting total of his career.”
  • “Tiger Woods’ ultra-conservative strategy off the tee looked to hinder the 14-time major champion’s challenge at Club de Golf Chapultepec. Woods’ decision to continually lay back off the tee cost him 4.6 strokes to the field off the tee, so why is he in this category you ask? His iron play. Woods led the field for strokes gained approaching the green at the WGC-Mexico, gaining an impressive 8.3 strokes for his approach play with his TaylorMade P7TW Prototypes. Only three times since 2013 has Woods gained more strokes with his irons than he did last week in Mexico.”
  • And “not”…”Jordan Spieth’s long game is causing the three-time major champ all sorts of trouble right now. On his way to a disappointing T54 finish at the WGC-Mexico, Spieth lost 3.6 strokes off the tee to land himself in the bottom ten in this category for the week. What’s most concerning is that Spieth has performed worse than he did last week off the tee twice already this season, and the Texan has now lost strokes to the field for his play tee to green in six out of his last seven events.”
8. Bhatia lands an invite
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…”Akshay Bhatia, the 17-year-old reigning AJGA Rolex Junior Player of the Year, has received a sponsor exemption into the 2019 Valspar Championship.”
  • “Bhatia is ranked eighth in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. He recently won the Jones Cup and is coming off a year in which he won the Boys Junior PGA, AJGA Polo Golf Junior Classic and Junior Invitational at Sage Valley. He also received an invite to last December’s Walker Cup practice session at Seminole.”
9. Bamberger’s best
Michael Bamberger assembled his weekly rundown of the best things in golf right now, which is always worth a read.
  • Here’s what he had to say about TW’s bunker ballet in Mexico…“The slicing, spinning 9-iron shot Tiger Woods played to 12 feet from a bunker on Friday in Mexico City brought to mind Jim Thorpe, for the club-down hold finish, and Tiger Woods his own self, for the audacious talent and forethought it took. It needed only one more thing to elevate it: for the ensuing birdie putt to drop. As another touring pro with a finger in Buddhist teachings, Peter Teravainen, used to say, “Good shots must come in groups of two.”
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  1. Johnny Penso

    Feb 27, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    “It’s just about staying patient and hopefully one of these weeks it will fall my way.” I’m not the biggest TW fan but that’s what separated TW, Jack, Ben and a small cadre of elite golfers from the rest of the field throughout history. They literally burned for victory. They didn’t “stay patient” and wait for luck to land in their lap, they went out and sought victory at every opportunity, they played to win, not to place or show.

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Morning 9: Latest memo from Tour to players | Phil’s post-Match perspective | Greg Norman’s regrettable take

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1. Latest “bubble” memo
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard details the most recent communique from Tour to its players…“In a memo sent to players on Wednesday, tournament director Michael Tothe outlined many of the protocols that will be required when play resumes on June 11 at Colonial including the four Fort Worth, Texas, hotels that will create the foundation of the circuit’s “bubble” for the week.”
  • “The core of the PGA Tour’s plan to return was always about testing, but it’s a fine line to walk. In two weeks, at the Charles Schwab Challenge, we’ll find out if it will be enough.”
  • “Players are allowed to stay in individual RVs or rental homes but they are being encouraged to assure the health and safety of their accommodations if they choose to stay outside the bubble.”
  • “Players were also informed where COVID-19 testing will occur when they arrive in Fort Worth as well as meal options at Colonial, which will be limited to grab-and-go lunches in order to follow safety protocols.”
2. Little John finishes second at Crooked Stick 
Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star…Daly II made that same walk on Wednesday, up the 18th fairway for the final round of the inaugural Dye Junior Golf Invitational at Crooked Stick.”
  • “I think a lot of guys have re-watched the 1991 PGA tournament,” Daly II said. “I watched it every night before the tournament. (Watching him) walk down the 18th with all of the fans everywhere was pretty cool. He started as the ninth alternate and didn’t expect to play. For him to win, it was a ridiculous story. He loves it.”
  • “Daly II put together a remarkable tournament in his own right, finishing a three-way tie for second place behind winner John Marshall Butler of Louisville, Kentucky. Daly II was 4 over for the two-day, 54-hole event, which featured 33 of the top high school boys players in the country and 33 of the same on the girls’ side.”
3. Phil open to wearing mic
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Speaking on the Dan Patrick Show, Mickelson admitted that he didn’t expect the same level of banter during a typical Tour event with a seven-figure prize on the line, but he’d nonetheless be willing to broadcast his inside-the-ropes dialogue.”
  • “I would be open to the idea because of how it’s being received, and some of the insight and so forth,” Mickelson said. “But you don’t have the play between individuals. I had a partner, and Tom and I could talk back and forth. And maybe you could get some of that with the caddie, but having a partner is much more intimate and you have much better conversation.”
4. …wants annual Match
AP report…”Phil Mickelson, fresh off the success of Sunday’s charity golf exhibition with Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, says he would like to see “The Match” become an annual event.”
  • “I think you could showcase guys like Steph Curry and Michael Jordan or Tony Romo and Patrick Mahomes, who are all good golfers, elite talents and have great personalities,” Mickelson told the Los Angeles Times in a column published Wednesday. “Those personalities are going to come out with this event. Or you could have someone who loves the game and is competitive but is really entertaining like Larry David and Bill Murray. I think that could shine.”
5. More audience info
Interesting stuff from Geoff Shackelford…“According to Showbuzzdaily.com, almost 1/3 of The Match 2’s audience was in the coveted 18-49 demo and the number was even better on on TruTV, also meaning there are people of any age group who know how to find TruTV”
  • “About 30% of The Match’s audience landed in the 18-49 demo despite the 44.5 average age of the participants…The numbers for TaylorMade Driving Relief with a foursome averaging 29.5 years”
  • “That’s 25% of the almighty buyers for a younger, supposedly more millennial-friendly group of golfers. And a grand total of (at least) 860,000 fewer viewers 18-49.  While not a huge difference in the percentage department, The Match did rout Driving Relief in overall audience and even took chipped away at NASCAR’s ratings.”

Full piece.

6. After a long layoff, how do the pros play?
Dylan Beirne, 15th Club for PGATour.com, examines the question…“As we might expect, there’s a clear relationship between performance and the number of weeks a player has been off. We can analyze how well players perform by comparing our estimate of their ability (how we would expect them to perform) to how they actually performed.”
  • “Generally, players taking small breaks of two weeks or less are marginally better than expected, while longer breaks result in an average drop in performance of between 0.1 and 0.2 strokes per round. For context, a drop of 0.2 strokes per round is about the gap between 100th- and 135th-ranked players in the world. It’s a significant change, but not enormous.”
  • “Additionally, the drop in performance after a 10-20 week gap is quite consistent across different levels of players. Top-50 players in the world are affected by a similar amount to those outside the top 50.”
7. A really bad take from Greg Norman
I mean, what else can you call it? A man who has a history of obtuseness and putting his fin in his mouth outdid himself with unfounded speculation about the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash in an interview with Michael Bamberger…“I asked Norman about the January helicopter crash in Los Angeles that killed all nine people aboard, Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, among them. I asked Norman if he had any insight, from his own experience as a helicopter pilot, and as an elite athlete who has flown often in helicopters as a passenger, into the tragedy.”
  • “Yes – yes,” he said. His voice was sober. “Probably pilot error and pressure from the back,” Norman said. Norman could imagine the legendary basketball player saying, “‘Get me through this; get me there. I’ve got to get my daughter to this game.’
  • …”My instructor and I had a saying, ‘If you can’t see through it don’t fly through it.’ If I was flying to Doral or Orlando or Naples and there was fog, we just put it down and waited it out.”
8. Sprint to the Cup
Ben Everill at PGATour.com…“The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting cancellations and postponements of tournaments leaves just 11 eligible tournaments over a 10-week stretch for players to qualify for the Playoffs and a chance at the $15 million bonus that comes with the season-long FedExCup crown.”
  • “While the top 125 will not double as the cutoff for TOUR cards next season in this reduced schedule, it will remain the mark to get into THE NORTHERN TRUST, the first of three Playoffs events in the chase for the FedExCup.”
  • “Gone is the luxury of extended rest between starts for those sitting way back on the list, such as Koepka, who was just starting to find his feet again on a return from injury when the pandemic halted play in March.”

 

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Morning 9: Improving golf coverage | Oral history of TW’s “best shot” | Nichols: Charity matches were great…but why no women?

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1. Match-inspired innovations for improving golf coverage
Golf Digest’s Shane Ryan with a few thoughts…Mid-round interviews…There’s no really good reason beyond mild annoyance to the players that this couldn’t work, even in the current COVID-19 environment, provided that safe social distancing is practiced. In the major team sports, coaches are obliged to give interviews, and players will occasionally speak at halftime or between periods. There are no “coaches” in that same sense in golf, but the game happens at a slower pace, and a 60-second walking interview between holes is not too much to ask. I don’t think there’s a reasonable argument that it’s overly disruptive, especially if planned in advance.”
  • …”Mic’d up players and caddies…In exhibitions past, we’ve witnessed players with live microphones, but the purpose behind it is dreaded “banter,” which typically comes across as hollow, forced and not very funny. But if players and caddies wore mics during a round, producers could find riveting audio that captures natural conversation or impromptu strategy sessions. Phil serving as a mentor for Tom Brady was riveting and hopefully stokes our appetite for similar mid-round insight…”
2. An oral history of Tiger’s “best shot” 
Cameron Morfit for PGATour.com…(This is just the introduction to a fantastic piece that talks to Bob Weeks of TSN and Steve Williams, among others!)…”Had it slipped between Tiger Woods’ 6-iron and golf ball, one rogue grain could have sunk his hopes of winning the RBC Canadian Open in 2000, becoming the first since Lee Trevino in 1971 to win golf’s Triple Crown – the U.S., British, and Canadian Opens in the same year.”
  • “So was it the ultra-fine margin? The stakes? The absurdly improbable physics of the shot itself?”
  • “Yes. Yes. And yes. All of these things compelled Scott Verplank, among others, to call it “the greatest shot I’ve ever seen in my life,” Woods’ 218-yard masterstroke from the wet sand at the par-5 18th at Glen Abbey. Woods’ caddie Steve Williams would return to the bunker once the commotion had died down, still struggling to get his head around what he’d seen. Others have made the same pilgrimage and tried to visualize what Woods had, tried to feel what Woods felt, for this was magic.”
3. Thrive? Struggle? Survive? 
Golfweek’s Adam Schupak contemplates what’s ahead for the golf industry…”These are strange times living through a global pandemic. Suddenly, golf courses are packed in a way the industry hasn’t experienced since Tiger Woods was revolutionizing the game in the late 1990s and former PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem was predicting 50 million golfers by 2020.”
  • “Well, that didn’t happen, but golf has been given this new-found seal of approval highlighting its healthy aspects and its ability to provide safe recreation. As courses across the country re-open there is pent up demand among golfers to get out and play. Tee sheets are mostly filled and former golfers and those trying out the sport for the first time are emerging out of the woodwork desperate to be in the sunshine and doing something, anything that has been deemed “COVID OK.” There is renewed belief that golf can grab a bigger piece of the pie among recreational and entertainment options.”
4. Where were the women?
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols wonders…How can there be downside to two Sundays of golf taking center stage and raising mega-money for COVID-19 relief?”
  • “Well, there is no a downside, but it could’ve been more. As LPGA player Mel Reid tweeted during the TaylorMade Driving Relief Challenge, the broadcasts could’ve represented all of golf.”
  • “They could’ve included women.”
  • “…It would’ve been great to see an LPGA player and her sponsorship partners get in on the action in a similar fashion.”
  • “The TaylorMade event could’ve been a mixed-team format. Maria Fassi and Paula Creamer are both in Florida. Some of TaylorMade’s female stars could’ve also called in during the broadcast as Jon Rahm did. Staffers who could’ve called in include Natalie Gulbis, Muni He and Charley Hull. Sung Hyun Park, who speaks limited English, was involved in a charity exhibition in South Korea with current No. 1 Jin Young Ko. Women’s golf frequently takes center stage in that part of the world.”
5. 80% of golf retail open
From the NGF Q…”The number of physical golf retail outlets that are back in business continues to increase – from off-course stores and specialty club-fitters to green grass pro shops.”
  • “Approximately 66% of golf course pro shops are open at facilities that are open to play, the equivalent of almost 9 million square feet, although some states and counties have limitations on the number of customers permitted at one time. That percentage is up from 36% at the start of the month, but is unchanged over the past week as pro shops in at least 10 states (including Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois and New York) have government mandates that say they must remain closed inside to customers.”
  • “Meanwhile, approximately 79% of off-course golf retail stores were open (in terms of total square footage) through May 25. This is up from 73% last week and 59% two weeks ago. In early April, only about 4% of the 6.5 million square feet of total off-course golf specialty space was open to in-store traffic. Roughly 81% of all off-course retail stores are now open to customers.”
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GolfWRX Classifieds Spotlight (05/27/20): Adams, Mizuno, Ping

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member Gator5 – Adams CMB Irons

Forged – check, Multi-Material construction – check, cool as all heck because these clubs are sweet and Adams made some really cool gear – check!

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Adams CMB Irons

Member Ksears – Brand New Mizuno MP20 Irons

Did someone say brand new Mizunos??? What else could you really want from a forged blade beside being meticulously crafted and forged in Japan – as well as being priced lower than retail.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link hereMP 20 Irons

Member 1hellaofashot – Ping G410 7 Wood

Speaking from experience let me just say this “stop denying the inevitable and embrace the 7 Wood” It’s endlessly versatile, more forgiving than a hybrid, and because this one for sale is a Ping G410 it is adjustable. Here’s your chance to dial in your own par 5 killer.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Ping 7 Wood

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds 

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