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Morning 9: Masters tee times | RIP Marilynn Smith | Tales of Tiger’s equipment

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

April 10, 2019

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans.
1. Masters tee times announced
Masters round 1 and 2 tee times are out.
Here are a pair of back-to-back notables (via the WaPo)
11:04 a.m.: Tiger Woods, Haotong Li, Jon Rahm
  • “Woods eked into the weekend last year after shooting 4 over par on Thursday and Friday and was able to salvage a tie for 32nd. His last top 10 Masters finish was a tie for fourth in 2013. Ranked ninth in the world, Rahm has six top 10s in eight stroke-play events this calendar year and finished fourth at Augusta last year.”
11:15 a.m.: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Cameron Smith
  • “McIlroy, the betting favorite after his win at the Players Championship, looks to complete the career Grand Slam at the age of 29. He’s finished no worse than a tie for 10th at the Masters the last five years. Fowler came up one stroke short at Augusta last year after a 5-under Sunday charge and is hoping to shake the whole “best player never to win a major” thing.”

Full piece.

2. Juggling, meditating McIlroy
Phil Casey at the Irish News…
  • “And the four-time major winner has revealed how meditation, juggling and a wide variety of reading material helped him end a number of final-day failures and triumph at Sawgrass.”
  • “I’m not going to go and live with the monks for a couple months in Nepal, it’s 10 minutes a day,” McIlroy said in a fascinating pre-tournament interview. “It’s not as if I’m being consumed by it.
  • “But it’s definitely something that has helped from time to time. Especially in situations where you need your mind to be right. I meditated for 20 minutes on the Sunday morning of the Players.”
  • “My routine now consists of meditation, juggling, mind training, you know, doing all the stuff to get yourself in the right place. It was actually cool. I was watching the [Augusta National] Women’s Amateur over the weekend and I saw a few women on the range juggling, so it’s catching on.”
3. Augusta Spieth’s slump-ending elixir?
George Willis at the NY Post suggests Spieth, whose game is showing signs of life, could come fully alive at Augusta this week…
  • “More alarming, his putting, which once was compared with Jack Nicklaus’ and Tiger Woods’, has become unreliable. Before the recent WGC Match Play, he ranked 116th in strokes gained in putting at (-0.15), which is not good. But Augusta National has brought out the best in Spieth, and it should again this week.”
  • “My expectations are high this week,” Spieth said Tuesday. “I feel great about the state of my game right now. I feel like my recent results aren’t a tell of where my game actually is. I feel like I’ve made a lot of strides in the last couple of days. It’s just a matter of trust in the stuff that I’m working on.”
4. Tiger and the believers
Doug Ferguson at the AP examines the question of whether Woods can win major no. 14 at age 43…
  • “His believers – and there are legions of them – are hopeful that might change this week, if only because optimism is always at its peak before the first tee shot is hit. The old Tiger may not be fully back, but the prevailing thought is there’s enough of his greatness left to fit comfortably inside a green jacket come late Sunday afternoon.”
  • “Count Woods among the believers.”…”I know I can play this golf course,” he said. “I’ve had some success here.”
  • “Indeed he has, with four green jackets stitched with his name. That’s a haul that by itself qualifies him as one of the greatest players ever, though it is two short of the collection won by Jack Nicklaus.”
  • “But it isn’t what Woods or anyone else expected after he won his first four in just nine years. Nicklaus himself predicted that Woods would win 10 green jackets on his way to obliterating Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships.”
5. Reed family matters
Karen Crouse at the New York Times examined Patrick Reed and his estranged family…and the possibility that members of said family will make an unwelcome appearance at Augusta this week.
  • “Yet easily the worst distraction that Reed faces any week, but especially this one, when he will defend the Masters title he won last year, is the possibility that at any moment he will look up and come face-to-face with the most painful chapter of his life.”
  • “Reed’s parents live six miles from Augusta National Golf Club, in a two-story, Southern-style Colonial replete with a bedroom shrine to their first child and only son, who hasn’t stepped foot in the house since 2012. This week should be a joyous homecoming for Reed, who led Augusta State (now Augusta University) to back-to-back national championships and will preside over Tuesday’s legends-laden Champions dinner. But instead it has all the makings of a nightmare, with his acrimonious relationship with his family threatening to become as much a part of this year’s Masters narrative as his attempt to become the first golfer since Tiger Woods in 2002 to successfully defend his title.”
  • “I wouldn’t at all be surprised if they show up,” Reed said.
  • “Reed, 28, has steadfastly declined to speak publicly about the reasons for the family schism. In a Sports Illustrated story in 2015, Reed’s mother insinuated that the rift resulted from Reed’s marriage, at age 22, to the former Justine Karain, against the advice of his parents who worried that he was too young.”
6. RIP Marilynn Smith
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell on the passing of a legend…
“Though she earned induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame with her 21 LPGA victories and two majors, her legacy goes beyond the trophies she won.”
  • “As one of the 13 women who founded the LPGA in 1950, Smith filled so many roles vital to the organization’s growth. She spent time as tour president, secretary, business manager and public relations specialist. She fulfilled sales and marketing duties and tournament operation responsibilities.”
  • “Smith, like the 12 other women who built the organization, served all of those roles in either official or unofficial capacity to give the fledgling women’s tour a foundation that would last.”
  • “Different players who were in that era, including myself, all thought Marilynn did an extraordinary job as president, and more than anyone contributed greatly to the success of this tour,” Hall of Famer Kathy Whitworth said when introducing Smith as a World Golf Hall of Fame inductee in the 2006 ceremony. “Mickey Wright said she always remembers the hours and hours Marilynn would spend on the phone talking to these sponsors, potential sponsors, the press and anyone else she thought might help the Association.”
7. Tales of Tiger’s equipment
Superb work by Andrew Tursky at PGATour.com. AT talked to Tiger’s former Titleist club builder, Larry Bobka, and his equipment concierge at Nike to get the backstory on some of Woods weapons over the years.
  • “In 1997, Tiger used a Titleist 975D with 7.5 degrees loft. Bobka kept about six driver heads in his office, either 6.5 or 7.5 degrees loft, and occasionally Tiger would mess around with the 6.5. The swing weights were D4, which Tiger preferred on every club from driver through pitching wedge, with his other wedges a little heavier, around D6.”
  • “Tiger used a 43.5-inch steel-shafted driver during his time at Titleist. He tried various graphite shafts to see if he could pick up yardage, but then the question became: Could he control it? “He just never felt like at that time that he could find something that was consistent,” Bobka said. “Now, you’re talking about graphite shafts from late-’90s compared to how well graphite shafts are made now, in the year 2019 it’s a totally different story.”
8. Science returns to Augusta
Interesting nuggets in this AP report regarding BAD’s continued search for the holy grail…
  • “…he discovered something last week – just what he won’t say – that might make him just as effective with his short wedges as he has been with the rest of his game.”
  • “I’ve had some disadvantages with a couple of the irons I’ve had for a little bit,” DeChambeau said. “And just being able to practice and getting comfortable and seeing the ball flights come out the proper way for the first time ever in my life is pretty cool.”
  • “I’ve been fortunate to win a lot of tournaments using the equipment that I’ve had so far and it’s been great,” DeChambeau said. “But there’s always that little bit of room for improvement. So we’ve been working quite heavily this past week in trying to figure out some things that could give me an advantage this week.”
9. Clarification on rule related to replacing damaged club
Golfweek’s David Dusek on the introduction of a new local rule….
  • “…less than 48 hours before the start of the 2019 Masters, the USGA and R&A have released a clarification that introduces a new local rule related to damaged clubs.”
  • “Under the local rule, any club that is broken or significantly damaged can be replaced unless the damage occurs as a result of abuse. To make things easier to understand, the USGA and R&A have supplied examples of what broken or significantly damaged means.”
  • “However, a player is still not allowed to replace a club because there is a crack in the clubface or clubhead.”
  • “Under the new Rules of Golf that went into effect in January, the rule stated that any damaged club could not be replaced by another club except when it is damaged during the round by an outside influence, a natural force or by someone other than the player, partner or his caddie.”

 

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Morning 9: Match 3 details announced | The New York Yankee who nearly won the Masters | Good news for golf card collectors

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By Ben Alberstadt
October 20, 2020 
 
Good Tuesday morning, golf fans.

 

1. The Match 3 details announced

PGATour.com staff report…“Turner Sports will present Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Change, a premier golf event with the World Golf Hall of Famer and crossover legends competing – Phil Mickelson, Charles Barkley, Stephen Curry and Peyton Manning. TNT will exclusively televise the event, to be held Friday, Nov. 27, at 3 p.m. ET at Stone Canyon Golf Club in Oro Valley, Ariz. Bleacher Report will also provide exclusive live content leading up to and during the event on the B/R app.”
  • “Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Change will uniquely contribute toward and highlight diversity, equality and inclusion through donations to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), while raising awareness and spotlighting opportunities for diversity and equality in sports. All four players have previously supported diversity and inclusion initiatives throughout their careers, which has led to them teaming up for this event. Additional information on these elements, among others, will be announced at a later date.”

2. DJ out of ZOZO
ESPN’s Bob Harig…“Dustin Johnson has withdrawn from this week’s Zozo Championship at Sherwood after missing last week’s CJ Cup due to a positive COVID-19 test.”
  • “Johnson, the No. 1-ranked player in the world, was eligible to return Thursday because he would have been 10 days past the onset of symptoms.”
  • “Unfortunately, Dustin just made the decision to withdraw from Zozo,” said David Winkle, Johnson’s agent, in a text “While he is feeling much better, he is still a bit low on energy and feels it would be best to wait and resume his schedule in Houston. “
3. Hero World Challenge canceled
PGATour.com staff report…“Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and associated travel restrictions, Tiger Woods’ TGR Foundation announced on social channels today the cancellation of this season’s Hero World Challenge at Albany, Bahamas.”
  • “The unofficial 18-player event was to have taken place Dec. 3-6.”
  • …”Here is the statement…Given the current global restrictions and ongoing developments resulting from COVID-19, the 2020 Hero World Challenge will not be played this year. This decision was made with the health and well-being of all tournament constituents and the Albany community in mind. We look forward to hosting 18 of the top players in the world and welcoming tournament guests to Albany, Bahamas next year.”
4. Solheim Cup: 2023 event to take place in mid-September in Spain
BBC Sport report…“The 2023 Solheim Cup in Spain will take place from 18-24 September.”
  • “Andalucia’s Finca Cortesin was already confirmed as host of the event – the first time Spain has staged the match between Europe and the United States.”
  • “Spain will be the sixth European nation to host the biggest team event in women’s golf.”

Full piece. 

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GolfWRX may earn a commission on sales of “GolfWRX Recommends” products.
5. Good news for golf card collectors
Adam Woodard for Golfweek…”Come next spring, a new set of trading cards will be available for golf fans thanks to Upper Deck. The sports and entertainment collectibles company announced a new set of cards that will feature golf’s current stars like Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau, Matthew Wolff, Danielle Kang and Lexi Thompson alongside legends like Arnold Palmer and Annika Sorenstam.”
  • “Collectors have been begging us to bring golf cards back for years,” said Upper Deck’s Sports Brand Manager, Paul Zickler”
  • ….”The release will be Upper Deck’s first golf cards since 2014 and feature a 50-card base set, a 30-card rookie set, a multi-major winners subset and rare signed memorabilia cards.”
6. Barkley guarantees victory in “Match”
We’ll see, Chuck…
Adam Schupak for Golfweek…“The competition format will be modified alternate-shot match play with five-time major winner Mickelson teaming with Barkley, a Naismith Memorial Hall of Famer, in facing Curry, a three-time NBA Champion and near scratch golfer, and two-time Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning, who played a pivotal role in his team winning the last edition of Capital One’s The Match.”
  • “I’m excited to return for the third edition of Capital One’s The Match and get out on the course with these three legendary athletes,” Mickelson said. “While we may need a handicap for Chuck, I’m looking forward to playing with Peyton and Stephen and to help raise money for another important cause. It’s also going to give fans and viewers an up-close look at Stone Canyon Golf Club, a place that I’m extremely proud of and excited to show how special it is.”
  • …”Barkley added: “Capital One’s The Match has been a lot of fun to be a part of over the past few years and I’m excited to finally show off my skills on the course. Phil and I got this, I GUARR-AAAN-TEEEE!!!”
7. The New York Yankee who nearly won the Masters 
Ashamed to say this is first I’ve heard of Sammy Byrd. Excellent stuff from John Fischer for the Morning Read…”it earned him much more than that: an invitation to play in the 1940 Masters. The Masters, which debuted in 1934, originally was known as the Augusta National Invitation Tournament, and the name change, beginning in 1939 and over club co-founder Jones’ initial objection, didn’t alter the “invitation” aspect. All players were invited by Jones to participate. There were no automatic entries based on prize money or other measurements of standing in the golf world.”
  • “It didn’t hurt that Byrd had played golf with Jones in 1933 and impressed him with his ball-striking ability, nor did it hurt that Byrd’s boss, Dudley, was the head professional at Augusta National Golf Club during the winter. In his first Masters, Byrd finished a respectable 14th, but the best was yet to come.”
  • “The next year, Byrd finished third at the Masters with a score of 3-under 285, behind Craig Wood’s winning 280 and runner-up Byron Nelson’s 283. Byrd finished one stroke ahead of Ben Hogan and four ahead of Sam Snead. Byrd was right in the mix of a major golf tournament.”
  • “In 1942, Byrd started the Masters with back-to-back rounds of 68, putting him one stroke behind the leader, Nelson. Byrd’s last two rounds of 75 and 74 put him at 285 and in fourth place, behind Nelson, the winner in a playoff with Hogan, and third-place Paul Runyan.”
8. How Kokrak got it done
Golf Digest’s Dave Shedloski…“For the first time in his career, Kokrak led the field in stroke gained/putting, gaining 2.573 strokes on the field. He made a little more than 401 feet of putts. A putter switch, to a club with a longer, stiffer shaft, that he made late last season has made a huge difference for a guy who ranked 151st in strokes gained/putting in the just completed campaign.”
  • “Experience on the tricky greens didn’t hurt. And reliance on his caddie, former tour player David Robinson, to help read those greens was another ace in the hole, so to speak.”
  • “Jason Kokrak praised his caddie, former tour pro David Robinson, for his assistance throughout Sunday’s closing 64.”
  • “I would characterize it more D-Rob’s work,” Kokrak said, magnanimously. “I mean, he reads them pretty dang good. I did a good job of hitting the spots where we were trying to putt it to. Very happy with how I’ve been putting and kind of paying off with all the work I’ve been putting in.”

 

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Tour Rundown: Sunday charge times three

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65…64…63. Those are the scores that your winners posted on Sunday this week. That other Basque golfer, Adrian Otaegui, got things rolling at the Scottish Championship, at those other St. Andrews courses, besting Matt Wallace by 4 with his 63. Next came Phil Mickelson in Virginia, where his 65 overtook that other lefty, Mike Weir, by three. Finally, and perhaps most satisfying, Jason Kokrak claimed his first PGA Tour title with a resounding 64, to best Xander Schauffele by a pair.

CJ Cup to Kokrak

With no offense meant to the winner, we ALL tuned in to see Shadow Creek. The mythical Las Vegas club, designed by Tom Fazio in the 1990s, carries a top-shelf sticker price and is not accessible by all. SC lived up to its billing…is Pine Valley next? Now, on to Kokrak. The North Bay, Ontario native had established himself on tour as a reliable money winner, but had not ever lofted a trophy on Sunday. A resident now of balmy Cleveland, Kokrak rode a four-birdie stretch (holes 5-8) to the lead, then withstood a charge by the X-Man, Xander Schauffele. In a tie with Kokrak, Schauffele drove left on the 612-yard par 5, and could but chunk his next a mere 85 yards, still in the rough.

Avoiding the fairway at all costs, Schauffele bombed his third shot into the right-side thick stuff, then failed to get up and down for par. Buoyed by his newfound, one-stroke advantage, Kokrak played error-free golf the rest of the way, then birdied the last for the margin of two strokes and his first tour title.

Otaegui is week’s low Basque with Scottish Championship win

Most weeks, unless he takes a rest, Jon Rahm Rodriguez is a shoo-in for low euskalduna. Rahm tied for 17th at the CJ Cup, opening the door to Otaegui for the coveted designation. The native of San Sebastian (Donostia) did not disappoint. Five birdies on the outward nine gave Otaegui the advantage over 54 hole leader Matt Wallace, who struggled with two birdies and two bogies on the front. Bogey at the tenth slowed the Spaniard, albeit momentarily. He recaptured his mojo with another five birdies from 11 through 18, finishing on -23, four clear of the runner-up, Wallace. The title was Otaegui’s third on the European Tour, and first since 2018.

Phil is two-for-two on the Tour Champions

Some say you need to know when to fold’em. Others say, you need to know when to say farewell. Phil Mickelson seems to know that now is a good time to bid adieu to the regular tour, although who can really phigure out Phil? On Sunday, Mickelson went lefty-vs.-lefty with that other, portside Masters champion, Mike Weir. It was the California vs. the Canadian, and sadly, it was one-sided. Mickelson made five birdies in his first eight holes, then survived a bellyflop bogey at the reachable, par-five ninth. Unfazed, the five-time major winner posted four additional birdies over the stretch run, reaching -17 on the week.

Weir had started quickly on in rounds one and two, both of which were played on Saturday (after a Friday rain-out.) Sunday was a different story. A passel of pars, and just one birdie, brought him to the ninth even on the day, pharther behind Phil. Weir’s fortunes on the inward half were slightly improved, and he closed at one-under on the day, one clear of Paul Goydos for solo second.

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GolfWRX Classifieds (10/19/20): Olson Putter, TaylorMade M4 Fairway, Sweetens Cover

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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 osubuckeyes690 – Olson Mfg putter

Clean as clean can be. Milled, weld neck beautiful Olson putter—quality doesn’t come cheap, but this is still a pretty nice deal.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Olson Putter 

Member HeathBar – Tour Issue M4 3-wood

In a world of adjustability, sometimes it’s nice to know you’ve got things locked. This is a great condition 3-wood just begging for a new home and the opportunity to hit some more par 5’s in two.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: M4 3-wood

Member Aprovenz – Sweetens Cove driver cover

The only thing cooler than Sweeten’s Cove is Sweeten’s Cove merch, and this cover will keep you looking fresh and your big stick protected.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Sweeten’s Cove cover

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

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