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Morning 9: Respect the Fleetwood | Better putting from Tiger | Thank you, Alice Dye

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

March 15, 2019

Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1. Fleetwood on the verge
Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch points out Tommy Fleetwood, who co-lead The Players after one round at 7 under par, is garnering attention from his strong play this season…rather than his flowing mane.
  • “On Thursday at the Players Championship it was Fleetwood’s clubs rather than his coiffure that drew attention. The world No. 13 shot an opening-round 65 to grab the early lead ahead of a chasing pack that includes Rory McIlroy.”
  • “There were some tough holes there, but I kind of drove it so well that I was always in a good position,” Fleetwood said. “The course feels different then. Like if you’re in the fairway all the time, the course feels very, very different.”
  • “Thursday was Fleetwood’s ninth round at TPC Sawgrass, one of the most difficult venues on Tour, and the fifth time he has broken 70. But while he has enjoyed a string of high finishes on Tour – including a second place at last year’s U.S. Open on the back of a Sunday 63 – Fleetwood has yet to lift a trophy in the United States. He threatened to break through at last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational two hours south in Orlando, but a disastrous Saturday sank his hopes.”
2. A wild route to 70
Woods on his opening 2-under effort…
  • “I felt like I could have got something in the 60s today and got off to not actually the best of starts today,” Woods said.
  • “I hit some bad shots early, rectified that, made a few adjustments, and then went about my business, and then the back nine, there’s nine holes on the back nine, made one par, so that was interesting.
  • “Usually if I had one par it’s usually shooting 30 or 29, not what I did today.”
PGATour.com’s Ben Everill…”Tiger Woods produced a fairly innocuous opening nine holes in his opening round at THE PLAYERS Championship before sending his fans on a wild ride with an eventful back nine at TPC Sawgrass.”
  • “Woods traded one bogey and birdie on the front side of Pete Dye’s Stadium Course to turn even par but carded just a single par on his final nine holes.”
  • “Five birdies and three bogeys meant the 80-time PGA TOUR winner signed for a 2-under 70 to sit five shots off the pace set by England’s Tommy Fleetwood and fellow American Keegan Bradley.”
3. Satisfied with his stroke again
After a series of poor putting performances, Tiger Woods, neck feeling better and with a bit of help from Matt Killen, turned in a solid putting performance in round one.
Per Golf Channel’s Will Gray…
  • Well, it wasn’t like I had to do a lot. I just got back into something that I do naturally,” Woods said. “I putt with the toe moving and toe releasing. My face moves a lot more than most players do. And we just went back to that.”
  • Woods had some issues tee-to-green during his opener at TPC Sawgrass, but he ranked 15th in strokes gained: putting despite missing a 4-foot par putt on his final hole. Instead of a weak spot, the putter proved to be an area of strength in his first competitive round since asking Killen to take a peek.
  • “I feel like I can go ahead and hit it with my right hand again,” Woods said. “That’s how I’ve always putted. I always had a lot of hit in my stroke, and that felt good again.”
4. HV III’s penalty
Our Gianni Magliocco…
  • Varner III damaged his driver on the range before teeing off on Thursday and began his opening round at TPC Sawgrass with just 13 clubs in his bag after stating his intent to officials that he planned on replacing the club during his round, which is all perfectly legal under Rule 4.1b.
  • Varner III, wanting to keep the original shaft of his driver, and knowing that under the same rule that he is not permitted to take the shaft with him on to the course and have the new club assembled during play, left the shaft on the tee so that his agent could assemble the driver in the locker room.
  • However, a walking scorer believing that Varner had forgotten the piece of equipment brought the shaft to Varner on the course, and when the driver’s head was brought out to Varner, and the club was assembled on the course, Varner was deemed to have violated the rule and incurred a two-stroke penalty.
5. “I just don’t play this course well”
Golf Channel’s Will Gray on Phil Mickelson’s lackluster opening round…
  • “I knew when I got here, just because the setup is so great,” Mickelson said. “The rough is playable, the conditions of the course are really good. The greens are soft.”
  • Unfortunately for Mickelson, those conditions couldn’t turn around his recent slide on the Stadium Course. Lefty shot a 2-over 74 that included an approach shot on No. 5 from the middle of the cart path and was largely derailed by a triple bogey on the par-3 third hole when he four-putted from inside 25 feet after finding a greenside bunker with his tee shot.
  • “I was so upset I couldn’t get the ball on the green that I ended up kind of losing my focus and four-putting,” he said. “It happens.”

Full piece.

6. Mickelson surprised by admissions scandal
Yesterday, Phil Mickelson tweeted...”Our family, along with thousands of others, used Rick Singer’s company to guide us through the college admission process. We are shocked by the revelations of these events. Obviously, we were not part of this fraud, our kids would disown us if we ever tried to interfere.”
  • Golf Digest’s Ryan Herrington…”The Mickelsons hired the Edge College & Career Network to help in the college search process for all three of their children after getting positive recommendations from others regarding the company and William (Rick) Singer, its CEO. Singer has pled guilty to charges that his company, which also went by the name of The Key, bribed university coaches and officials and created fraudulent profiles for high school students pretending they were athletes in hopes that it would assist in the application process. The company also allegedly helped students improve their standardized test scores.”

Full piece.

7. Meanwhile, in Kenya…

EuropeanTour.com report…Louis de Jager posted a 66 to maintain his momentum and open up a four shot clubhouse lead on day two of the Magical Kenya Open presented by Absa.

  • The South African entered the second round with a share of the lead and combined seven birdies with two bogeys to jump to 12 under, clear of fellow overnight leader Jack Singh Brar.
  • Singh Brar’s 70 left him at eight under, a shot ahead of India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar, South African Justin Harding and Italian Guido Migliozzi.

Full piece.

8. Thank you, Alice
PGATour.com’s Jim McCabe with a nice piece on Alice Dye getting a bit of solo recognition this week…
  • “…in a break from the form of embracing them as a team, one member is being singled out in a fitting remembrance at THE PLAYERS Championship this week – Alice. She died Feb. 1 at the age of 91 and her significant contributions to this world-famous golf course are being recognized in a fitting locale – on the flagstick at the 17th, easily the most recognized hole at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course and arguably one of the most famous in the world.”
  • “Thank you, Alice is what it reads at the bottom of the flag. But emblazoned across the top is a quote from Alice that helped created the phenomenon that is the island-green 17th. “Why not just make an island green,” Alice famously said to her husband after he concluded that he had backed himself into a corner between the par-5 16th and par-4 18th.”
  • “As the story goes, Pete Dye – who is 93 and living with Alzheimer’s disease – needed sand throughout this swamp of a landsite and he got the majority from the area around what was going to be the 17th green. “So, one day Pete came to me and he said, ‘You know, we’ve got a big problem.’ He said, ‘I’ve only got 17 holes out there; where’s the par 3 supposed to be? All I’ve got is a gigantic hole in the ground,’ ” Alice Dye recalled.”
The full piece is excellent. Read it.
9. If you haven’t seen it…
Ryan Moore slam-dunked his tee shot at the 17th. Not a figure of speech, Moore’s ball landed in the cup on the fly and stayed there.

 

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  1. JR

    Mar 17, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    As much as I like Tommy Fleetwood, he’s looking like the latest in a long line of British chokers. Fabulous player though he is, he seems to get a look in his eyes when he’s in contention that suggests he doesn’t have the self-belief to close it out. I hope to be proven wrong but I expect to see him drop out of contention at Sawgrass on Sunday.

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Tour Photo Galleries

Top photos from the Farmers Insurance Open

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GolfWRX was live on the range, on-course,  and in the tour trucks at Torrey Pines this week, and we have a forum full of photos for our efforts!

While you can feast on all our galleries in the forums, we’re serving up an appetizer of some of the most interesting shots from the famed California course.

Some superb stamping from Vokey’s Aaron Dill on Ben Taylor’s SM8 wedges.

The Cobra tour department’s wedge efforts are, in the words of Judge Smails, “no slouch!” Justin Suh’s 52 and 58-degree Cobra King wedges.

A look at the spread of new Odyssey Triple Track putters

Rickie Fowler’s prototype Cobra blades and carry bag combo

A new camo grip from SuperStroke among the usual suspects in the Traxion lineup

The chalk! A few of TaylorMade’s Spider X photos in a chalk finish

A darling of the GolfWRX forums: Ping’s Blueprint irons

Check out all our galleries from the Farmers Insurance Open below

General galleries

WITB

And check out the discussion thread here to see what WRXers are saying

Prototype staff bag rain cover

 

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Equipment

PGA Show 2020: Demo Day recap

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The GolfWRX crew are on the ground at this week’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando primed to deliver bundles of content to our members from the annual gearhead junkie extravaganza all week long.

On Tuesday, it was the show’s Demo Day from Orange County National Golf Center, and we got an up-close and in-hand look at the latest and greatest in the world of golf equipment. Here’s a recap of what our team got their hands on from Demo Day.

5 eye-catching shots from Demo Day:

Great look at Cobra’s T-Rail iron/hybrid from address.

Callaway’s Mavrik.

A close look at Lamkin’s new Calibrate grips for 2020.

Titleist’s T400 iron.

AmzingCre Golf doing their very unique thing.

Our forums are jam-packed with photographs of all the best that yesterday’s Demo Day had to offer. Here’s what our crew snapped on Tuesday.

GolfWRX forums

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2020 PGA Show Demo Day: PRGR, Docus Design

2020 PGA Show Demo Day: Fourteen, Nippon, Daiwa

2020 PGA Show Demo Day: Graphite Design, Square Shoes, AmazingCre Golf, Fling Golf

Here’s a look at what has grabbed our member’s attention from Demo Day:

Seve0992: “The Honma blade looks as nice as any I have seen so far.”

No_Catchy_Nickname: “Docus make some really funky designs. I’d say both those irons are relatively understated for them.”

mBiden2: “(Srixon) Z forged definitely looking like they’ll be in the bag this upcoming year.”

jwadds19: “I think this one is the one I am most excited to learn about. Skytrak comparisons should be fun.”

Pmookie: “Those Srixon wedges!!!!”

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Additionally, you can snack on some photo and video morsels—including the “3-Shot Challenge”—on our Instagram and in our Instagram stories.

Brian Knudson checking out a new Ping G710 iron.

GolfWRX had all the bases covered on Demo Day at the PGA Merchandise Show, and the team will be live for the rest of the week’s action, so stay tuned for more great content from the Major of the Golf Business.

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GolfWRX’s 2020 PGA Merchandise Show coverage: What’s ahead

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GolfWRX staffers are presently scouring the range at the Orange County National Golf Center for PGA Show Demo Day. You can snack on some photo and video morsels—including the “3-Shot Challenge”—on our Instagram and in our Instagram stories.

Johnny Wunder testing the new Titleist T100-S irons (video in our Instagram story)

The crew have also gotten quick demos of the Cobra SZ Extreme driver, Titleist T400 irons, and an impressive new driver from Tour Edge so far as well as the new Callaway Mavrik and Mizuno ST200G drivers.

This evening, we’ll begin loading up the forums with photos from Demo Day.

We’ll post our daily recap pieces, along with takeaways from the crew on the ground, and when we see an absolute showstopper, we’ll do a deeper dive in article form.

Brian Knudson checking out a new Ping G710 iron.

Stay tuned!

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