With the exception of Meghan MacLaren, third-round leaders did not fare well on Sunday the 10th of March. An overnight lead on any tour is like a wild animal: it wants to get away and you have trouble holding on. Matthew Fitzpatrick, Fran Quinn and Oliver Wilson watched the chaser become the chased in round fours this weekend, and three daring champions emerged. As for MacLaren, well, she has a liking for the New South Wales Open championship.
Time to run down the tours like a chihuahua at the poodle races.
PGA Tour: Arnold Palmer Invitational to Moli-Moli-Moli-Molinari
Remember those Ryder Cup chants in the fall for the inscrutable, undefeatable pair of Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood? They’re back, at least for the reigning Open champion. Francesco Molinari made Orlando the Italian town its name implies for one weekend this year. He went one stroke lower than Rafa Cabrera Bello’s opening 65, and sneaked past Fitzpatrick by two slim strokes for his second stateside triumph.
Fitzpatrick had the misfortune of playing with Rory McIlroy, who finds any manner of struggling when in the mix these days. The Northern Irishman’s presence spurred Patrick Reed on to victory last spring at Augusta, but it didn’t work the same magic with Fitzpatrick. Fitzy was a steady presence this week, hovering around 70 in three of the four rounds. His Saturday 67 vaulted him up to the top spot, but he would always be low-hanging fruit for the mid-60s round that Molinari crushed on Sunday. How crushed? Eight birdies against zero others, including a three at the last. Fitzpatrick’s bogey at 15 was his undoing, despite a bounce-back birdie at the next. Forza, Francesco!
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 10, 2019
European Tour: Qatar Masters is Harding’s to hold
Part-way across the world in Doha, Oliver Wilson must somehow take success away from his nine-way tie for second spot in the Qatar Masters. The one-time winner and four-time playoff loser on the European Tour was relegated to 2nd Division last year. Two wins on the Challenge Tour returned him to the Premier Division, and he nearly pulled a Leicester on Sunday. Unfortunately for him, along came Justin Harding. Wilson battled all Sunday long, but came up two strokes shy, along with eight others, of Harding’s impressive, day-four 66. It wasn’t the low score, as that belonged to Jinho Choi with 64. Harding’s pair of sixes included birdies at three of the final four greens, including 17 and 18. After two victories in Asia, and seven on his native South Africa circuit, Harding offered a massive debut victory outside his homeland with his win in Doha. Here’s to more appearances across the world for the 33-year old with the long putter!
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) March 10, 2019
Ladies European Tour: young MacLaren defends title at New South Wales Open
It’s only two dates, but Meghan MacLaren has developed an affinity for this part of Australia. The young English professional captured the NSWO in 2018 by 2 shots, for an inaugural tour win. 365 days later, she went one better, holding off Munchin Keh of New Zealand and Lynn Carlsson of Sweden by three strokes for win number two. The titleholder was tied with Carlsson through 54 holes, but the Swede went out in 38 to the Englishwoman’s 36. The golf wasn’t stellar quite yet, but a bold eagle from three feet at the 16th stamped MacLaren as the worthy heiress to, well, herself. Keh’s 67 was the second-lowest round of the day, and it brought the 26-year old her best professional finish to date.
— Ladies European Tour (@LETgolf) March 10, 2019
Champions Tour: Hoag Classic is Triplett’s 7th on Senior circuit
Woody Austin’s combined playoff record from PGA and Champions tours was 4-1 until Sunday. Unable to birdie the closing par five, he went toe to toe with Kirk Triplett, he of the bucket hat. On the day’s third go at the finishing hole, Triplett made a spectacular eagle to dash Austin’s hopes for victory. The mercurial Austin had the oddest of rounds. A front-nine eagle, a back-side birdie, and 16 pars. His 68 equaled Triplett’s, as both went roaring past overnight leader Fran Quinn. The Bay State journeyman could not find any of the birdies that brought him to the top on Sunday. His three bogeys and one birdie etched 74 on his card, dropping him to a tie for fourth spot.
In an eerie replay, Triplett’s eagle putt came on the same line and distance as the birdie putt he made in regulation, to force the playoff. If that’s not a run down, well, we’ve done our best!
Never a doubt. pic.twitter.com/ZTpa1vqz7a
— PGA TOUR Champions (@ChampionsTour) March 11, 2019
Morning 9: Women’s PGA | Fox: best golf coverage in the biz? | Michelle Wieturns
By Ben Alberstadt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.”
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.”
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.
4. Fox the best?
An interesting take from Sean Zak at Golf.com…
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…
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.”
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.”
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?
TaylorMade signs Matthew Wolff to a multi-year deal; Wolff WITB
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
5 questions with Justin Kinney of Virtual Golf Caddy
We chatted with Justin Kinney, founder and CEO of startup Virtual Golf Caddy about his product, which serves both courses and players, by offering drone arial photography of golf courses (with graphics overlayed).
While drone photography and videography of golf courses is an established phenomenon, using the photos and video for better course management and preparation is a relatively new approach.
We wanted to learn more about what VGC is doing, and Kinney was kind enough to answer a handful of questions and include an example of the company’s work.
1. Tell us a bit about your background
I am 38 years old, born and raised in Connecticut. Lifelong golfer. Just finishing up my career as a middle school math teacher to focus on VGC full-time. I also have five years of business experience managing people’s retirement accounts. I played as many sports as I could growing up, and love the thrill of competition.
2. What’s the opportunity you saw?
I agreed to caddie for one of my students two summers ago. When researching the courses he was going to play, there was NO info on the courses. I thought there was a huge opportunity to provide course management strategies for players and give players a view of the entire courses with drones. No one was really doing anything like that, so I spent the past two years working on and building my business plan. Two months ago I secured funding to work on this full-time.
3. What is Virtual Golf Caddy, exactly?
VGC is a golf preparation and mental conditioning program designed to help give golfers a game plan to attack courses with. We provide drone views of each hole as well as course management strategies on how to best play each hole. Shot suggestions are given based on how far and confident players hit their clubs. We include mental conditioning tips and exercises to help players “zone in” more often and consistently. We are considering getting into golf fitness and nutrition as well to help build the whole golfer. Players purchase access to each course’s videos and info for either $15 or $25 per course, depending on how much info they want. They get unlimited access to the videos and can watch them wherever (home, airport, hotel, course).
4. What stage is the business in, and can you show us an example of VCG in action?
We are still in the start-up phase. We are making agreements with and filming at courses. The website is being redesigned and will be up in June. It appears like things may take off quickly so stay tuned!
For an example, check out the video below.
6. What else should GolfWRX members know?
We are looking for courses to partner with. We will give courses free publicity on our site, a promotional video from the footage to use on their site, and share 15 percent of their courses profits with them. A win-win for everyone involved! If readers know of any courses, please email us.
One other thing to add: the mental prep/conditioning program is being built by renowned sports psychologist Bill Cole, MS, MA. It is legit and comes from over 40 years of research and experience! We’re also pursuing options in fitness and nutrition.
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