Connect with us

News

Morning 9: McIlroy Hollow | Pelley: Why us? | Charity golf scam

Published

on

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

May 3, 2019

Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1. McIlroy Hollow
Whether it’s the swing tuneup or a return to a track he’s feasted upon, Rory McIlroy is tied atop the leaderboard after round one at Quail Hollow
  • Steve DiMeglio for Golfweek frames McIlroy’s 5-under start this way…”As a 20-year-old with unruly hair, Rory McIlroy made the cut on the number and then shot 62 in the final round at Quail Hollow to win the 2010 Wells Fargo Championship and claim his first PGA Tour title.”
  • “Five years later, with his hair trimmed down and four major championships under his belt, he shot 61 in the third round of the Wells Fargo Championship and cruised to a 7-shot victory, becoming the only player to win twice at Quail Hollow.”
  • “Now, four years later, a trimmed-down, muscled-up McIlroy put himself in position to become the first to win three times at Quail Hollow. With a 5-under-par 66 on Thursday, his familiar name was at the top of the leaderboard after the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship.”
2. Woods to receive Medal of Freedom on Monday
Victor Mather at the New York Times…”Tiger Woods will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Trump on Monday, the White House said Thursday.”
  • “Mr. Woods, 43, won the Masters last month, his 15th major win, but his first in a decade.”
  • “At the time, Mr. Trump tweeted that he would present Mr. Woods with the award “because of his incredible Success & Comeback in Sports (Golf) and, more importantly, LIFE.” Mr. Trump had also provided encouragement and updates about Mr. Woods’s Masters performance during the event.”
3. Why us?
…that’s the question European Tour chief Keith Pelley is asking regarding his sport/tour being “singled out” for criticism for Saudi involvement…
  • Golf Digest’s Joel Beall…”Somewhat curiously, Pelley said he was “perplexed” at his sport was being singled out for holding an event in the country.”
  • “After the incident [murder], many blue-chip businesses and many governments continued to do business in Saudi, [and the] entertainment business is still flourishing,” Pelley said. “There was Italian Super Cup with AC Milan and Juventus [in January], and Ronaldo scored the winning goal and celebrated, and we tried to find any kind of criticism for Ronaldo, yet our players were criticized. Why was golf singled out? I was perplexed why we were.
  • “I went over there first and listened to his Excellency (Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman) at a sports conference, talk about how … the country wanted to change, needed to change, wanted to use sports as a catalyst, was committed to golf.”
4. Meanwhile, in Chengdu…
EuropeanTour.com report…”Wu Ashun delighted the home crowds with a brilliant 65 that handed him a two shot lead heading into the weekend at the Volvo China Open.”

“The home favourite won his maiden European Tour title at this event in 2015 and has gone on to triumph twice more, making him the most prolific Chinese winner in European Tour history.”

  • “Victory number four may have looked a long way off as he secured just one top 40 finish in his first eight events on the 2019 Race To Dubai but he moved to 13 under on day two at Genzon Golf Club to lead the way from Finn Tapio Pulkkanen.”

Full piece.

5. AVD tied at the top
Owner of arguably the sweetest swing in golf, Anne van Dam is tied at the top after one.
  • Kent Paisley for LPGA.com...”She’s appeared in six LPGA events this year, with her best performance coming in Carlsbad at the Kia Classic. The longest driver on the LPGA posted weekend rounds of 69/68 to card a T28 finish.”
  • “She now finds herself in contention, tied for the lead at (-5) through 18 for the first time in her LPGA career. The Netherlands native came into the season with tempered expectations for her maiden year.”
  • “I learned that from my first year in Europe, for me it takes me a bit of time to get used to the rhythm and everything around it. I’ve learned a lot in the first few events. As long as I keep doing that, I think it’s going to be a good year.”
6. Under the lights…
BBC Report…”Ireland’s Leona Maguire has slipped off the top of the leaderboard at the Dubai Moonlight Classic.”
  • “Maguire, 24, held a two-shot overnight lead after a course record 64 but fell four shots behind the leaders during a disappointing second round.”
  • “Esther Henseleit of Germany carded a 66 to join Spaniard Nuria Iturrios in a tie for the lead on nine under par.”
  • “Olivia Cowan is one shot off the pace at the first professional day-night tournament.”
7. WA4B
AP Report on the Women’s Amateur Four-Ball finish…
  • “Megan Furtney and Erica Shepherd atoned for a semifinal loss a year ago by winning the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball on Wednesday with a strong start and a steady finish at Timuquana Country Club.”
  • “Furtney and Shepherd, high school seniors who plan to play for Duke next year, made their fourth birdie on the par-5 seventh hole to build a 3-up lead, and lost only one hole the rest of the way for a 2-and-1 victory over Jillian Bourdage and Casey Weidenfeld.”
8. The Strickerless Stricker charity tournament
A morsel of a wild fraud story in which Steve Stricker’s name and image were used without his knowledge…
  • Golf Digest’s Brian Wacker…”By the following morning, a bizarre story out of North Carolina had emerged in which the U.S. Ryder Cup captain had been promised as the host of a charity golf outing taking place on Thursday in Winston-Salem. Except there was one very big problem: Stricker was back home in Wisconsin, and neither he nor his agent knew anything about it.”
  • “According to a flyer (an image of which was posted on Twitter by Maple Chase Golf and Country Club head pro Sean Branagan), $7,500 would get participants breakfast with Stricker, 18 holes at a private course with him, autographed Ryder Cup merchandise, and a photo. The donation was “for a great cause and a once in a lifetime experience!” and would benefit the Winston-Salem Rescue Mission, a non-denominational ministry that provides services for those in need.”
9. Cobra Q&A
FYI: GolfWRX is hosting a live Q&A with the Cobra R&D team
Details below.
Join GolfWRX for a Live Q&A with COBRA Golf about their 2019 lineup. The experts at COBRA Golf HQ in Southern California will gather to answer your questions LIVE! Ask anything about COBRA PUMA GOLF you’d like. Have a question about the new COBRA King F9 Speedback Driver? The latest in golf R&D? The equipment that COBRA athletes Rickie Fowler, Bryson DeChambeau and Lexi Thompson play? Ask away! Here are the details…
Who’s On The Chat?
Tom Olsavsky, VP of Research & Development
Mike Yagley, Sr. Director of Innovation / AI
Tim Beno, Principal Research Engineer & Pro Tour Support
Doug Roberts, Sr. Director, Club Design & Metal Woods Lead
Karl Clausen, Senior Manager, R&D – Irons
When Is It?
Friday, May 10 at Noon ET / 9am PT
Bonus COBRA Giveaway!
A few lucky GolfWRX members who have their questions answered will win some awesome gear from COBRA Golf! Posts chosen at random. Grand prize is a COBRA KING F9 Speedback Driver.

 

Your Reaction?
  • 5
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB1
  • SHANK0

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

News

Morning 9: Will Captain Woods pick Tiger? | Would new Tour Champ format have altered past outcomes? | Pelley on slow play

Published

on

By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com; @benalberstadt on Instagram)

August 20, 2019

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans.
1. Captain Tiger’s expectations 
AP report…”Tiger Woods wants the eight players who made his Presidents Cup team and four more under consideration as captain’s picks to play tournaments and stay sharp over the next three months leading to the December matches Down Under.”
  • “…Woods said he told prospective Presidents Cup players at a meeting two weeks ago how important it was to be committed to the team and to the event.”
  • “And that means playing and being prepared,” he said during a conference call Monday evening. “The only time we have ever lost the Cup was in Australia, and quite frankly, some of the guys didn’t play or practice that much. It was our offseason, and we got beat pretty badly.”
2. …but will TW pick himself? 
ESPN’s Bob Harig with Woods‘ remarks on the matter…
“Woods said Monday that although the final decision remains his, he won’t participate as a player unless that is what all involved want. And even then, he might not.”
  • “My job as the captain is to put together the best team possible,” Woods said during a conference call Monday to discuss the eight players who automatically qualified for the team following the BMW Championship. “Trying to put together the best 12 guys. We’ll be going through the whole process of having communication with the top eight guys and vice captains.
  • “That is something that we’ll certainly talk about. Ultimately it’ll be my call. But I want to have all of their opinions before that decision is made.”

Full piece.

3. How Tiger will remember 2019…
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…
“The rest of the tournaments I didn’t really play as well as I wanted to,” Woods said. “But at the end of the day, I’m the one with the green jacket.”
  • “It was a perfect encapsulation of the dichotomy that ruled Woods’ 2019 campaign. For most of the year, he was mediocre and sometimes worse – this, despite coming off a season that saw him capture the Tour Championship and come within a whisker of winning the FedExCup. The good rounds were sporadic, the bad ones were more plentiful, and the few decent results usually stemmed from a palatable final round that began with Woods well out of contention.”
  • “In fact, there was only one tournament all year where Woods even finished within eight shots of the winner. But that’s also the only one most people will remember.”

Full piece.

4. What if…
Golf Digest’s Ryan Herrington on what the past FedEx Cup finales would have looked like with the current seeding…
  • “What if, however, the system that begins this week had been in place the previous 12 years of the FedEx Cup? How might history be different?”
  • “As it turns out, not all that much. And that’s the way the tour officials wanted it, having run thousands of computer simulations to try and approximate as best they could the point differential in play under the old system.”
  • “We went back all 12 years, took the top 30 in the FedEx Cup list entering East Lake and applied the adjusted strokes to the players scores at the Tour Championship to determine who would have won if the new format was used retroactively.”
  • “Nine times the actual FedEx Cup winner also would have won in the new strokes-based system, and a 10th time the winner (Jim Furyk in 2010) would have been in a sudden-death playoff for the title.”
5. Steph Curry bankrolls Howard golf
Our Gianni Magliocco…”NBA star and avid golfer Stephen Curry has donated a seven-figure sum to Howard University in a move that will see men’s and women’s golf teams at the school for at least the next six years.”
  • “As the Washington Post reported on Monday, this will be the first time the school will compete at the Division I level in the sport, and the university plans to have the teams ready to compete for the 2020/21 academic year.”
  • “Curry’s donation was partly inspired by Howard senior and golfer Otis Ferguson IV, and speaking on bringing golf back to Howard, the 31-year-old stated”
  • “Golf is a sport that has changed my life in ways that are less tangible, but just as impactful. It’s a discipline that challenges your mental wherewithal from patience to focus, and is impossible to truly master, so when you hear about these passionate student athletes who have the talent but don’t have a fair shot at the game, it’s tough. I feel really honored to play a small role in the rich history of Howard University.”
6. U.S. Am ratings…
Per Geoff Shackelford…”According to Sports Business Daily, the 2019 BMW Championship drew a 1.9 Saturday audience and a 2.4 for Sunday’s final round on NBC, well up over non-Tiger-contending Wyndham Championship’s previously played in this schedule spot.  The 2018 Wyndham drew a 1.9.”
“The slide in US Amateur interest and visibility continued with a .4 Saturday and a .3 for Sunday’s finale on Fox going head-to-head with most of the BMW final round. Talk about an event screaming out for a change in its Monday to Sunday format to avoid being an afterthought.”
7. Do away with the Tour Championship name? 
Randall Mell says it no longer applies…
  • “The Tour Championship isn’t really a “tournament” anymore.”
  • “They’re hosting something bigger and better at East Lake in Atlanta this week, something completely different.”
  • “They’re hosting the FedExCup Finale.”
  • “Really, the PGA Tour ought to rename this week’s event exactly that, because keeping “Tour Championship” shackles fans to conventions that offend traditional sensibilities. You don’t, after all, start a tournament with a lead of seven or more shots on two-thirds of the field, the way Justin Thomas will.”

Full piece.

8. Ogletree’s tough love short game lesson
Golf Digest’s Ryan Herrington on the discussion between Georgia Tech’s coach and the eventual U.S. Am winner…
  • “The tough-love conversation between Ogletree and Heppler had become the stuff of legend in the Georgia Tech camp. They were at Blaze Pizza in Atlanta last November, and Heppler let Ogletree know he had the game tee-to-green to be a successful tour pro, but the reason he had yet to win a college event was that he just wasn’t good enough around the greens.”
  • “Ogletree played the equivalent of six under par for 35 holes en route to the title. So Ogletree did something about it, working with Jeff Patton on technique in the sand. Meanwhile, teammate Noah Norton helped him with some putting drills. Ogletree put in time daily at the short-game area. And in the spring semester, he saw his stroke average drop 1½ shots without hitting his driver or irons any different.”
  • If perseverance in part characterizes Ogletree’s golf development, it certainly describes how he claimed the Havemeyer Trophy on Sunday. The day started with promise; Ogletree shot the equivalent of a 67 on Pinehurst No. 4 during the morning 18 (for the first time in U.S. Amateur history the 36-hole final was contested over two courses). The problem? Augenstein, a rising senior at Vanderbilt, shot a 65, and held a 2-up lead.”

Full piece.

9. Euro Tour chief on slow play
Keith Pelley penned an op-ed of sorts for EuropeanTour.com, that reads in part…
“Slow players, on the other hand, have become increasingly prevalent and problematic in our game in recent years, to the extent that we risk fans, both core and casual, switching off if we don’t do something about it.”
  • “The European Tour has been at the forefront of the assault on slow play for the last four years. We have the most aggressive monitoring policy in our sport, and we have issued shot penalties, but the past four months showed us finally that the time had arrived when players were willing to take a tough stance and we applauded that.”
  • “Slow play became a critical issue because our players wanted it to be.  That moment was the door opening and the mandate we were given at May’s tournament committee meeting empowered our operations and rules team to present stronger, more robust recommendations”
  • “We took a formal proposal back to the next Tournament Committee meeting at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open last month and following some fine tuning over the past six weeks, we yesterday publicly announced a four-point plan focusing on regulation, education, innovation and field size reduction where appropriate.”

 

Your Reaction?
  • 3
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK3

Continue Reading

News

European Tour announces 4-point plan in a bid to tackle slow play

Published

on

On Monday, the European Tour announced a four-point plan aimed at tackling the issue of slow play in the game.

The plan, which will come into effect this November, will focus on four areas—regulation, education, innovation and field sizes.

Of those four areas, notable updates include that players will now only have to breach the time allowances twice in a round to incur a one-stroke penalty, and players who are put on the clock at least 15 times next season will now be fined £26,000 compared to the £9,000 fine they currently face.

In their statement, the European Tour said

“When players are out of position and either being monitored or timed, a one-shot penalty will be incurred after two bad times – currently a player would be ‘monitored’ and if he breaches the time allowance (50 seconds for first to play, 40 seconds for second or third to play) he will then be ‘officially timed’ and would then have to breach twice more before being given a one-shot penalty. Players will, however, have the option to request one time extension per round, giving an additional 40 seconds to hit a shot on this request.”

The Tour will also look to reduce the number of players in the field at events where possible, while rules officials are set to be proactive regarding targeting slow players on the course.

Speaking on the four-point plan, Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, stated

“We are already at the forefront of pace of play management in the professional game, but after being mandated by our Tournament Committee to be even firmer in dealing with this issue, the time was right to take these additional steps.

I believe the plan we are implementing for the 2020 season will bring about meaningful change that will make golf even more enjoyable for the players and our fans, whether they are at the course in person or watching on television.”

To retain their European Tour card, each member will have to pass an interactive online rules test, while a trial pace of play timing system will be implemented at the Tour’s flagship event at Wentworth next month where there will also be larger gaps between start times over the weekend’s rounds.

Your Reaction?
  • 33
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW1
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK3

Continue Reading

News

Tour Rundown: How the pros (and amateur) got it done this weekend

Published

on

The Presidents Cup automatic-qualifying chase came to an end on Sunday. While students returned to schools across the country, and football teams played their 2nd preseason games. 8 USA golfers and 8 World professionals were named to their respective teams. Each captain has f our at-large selections to make. For team USA, the unfortunately-underperforming Rickie Fowler may have two weeks for more Farmer’s Insurance commercials, as he finds himself in the #11 slot. Only Tiger Woods’ beneficence will save him from an early vacation. Xander Schauffele left nothing to chance this time around. After being ignored for a Ryder Cup captain’s pick last year, he made the PCup team on merit this year. The World team still has a load of Aussies (3 at last count) but has the presence of golfers from Taipei, Mexico, China, South Africa and Japan. This year’s competition at Royal Melbourne has the potential to be quite memorable, assuming that the qualifiers don’t lose their edge over the next four months.

As for individual competition this week, we had lots of it. Playoff events on two tours, a male US Amateur champion to go with last week’s female winner, and a terrific story of rags to riches on the Champions tour. Seize the day and enjoy this week’s Tour Rundown.

BMW Classic

You had to chuckle a bit this week as another of the game’s vaunted hollows caved to the expansive skill of the modern golf professional. Medinah #3 has long been held as a bastion of defense, but this week, well, they ate it up. Hideki Matsuyama shot 63 on Friday for a course record, then did it again on Sunday. Not only did he not win (he had 73 on Saturday) but his course record lasted all of 24 hours. Matsuyama did finish 3rd at -20, 2 shots behind Patrick Cantlay. The fellow who broke Matsuyama’s fresh course record was someone for whom 2018-19 has been relatively quite: Justin Thomas. So quiet, that is had been 53 weeks since his last victory. Thomas blistered Medinah Tres with 8 birdies and 2 eagles on Saturday, moving oh-so-close to the hallowed, sacred 59. In the spirit of generosity, he made bogey at the 6th (after opening with 5 birdies) to not completely eviscerate Matsuyama’s record (and Medinah’s spirit.) Of course, JT would open Sunday with a bogey, to give just a bit of hope to the chasers. He had 2 birdies on the outward nine, steadying the ship but certainly not assuring himself of anything. After making 6 at the par-5 10th (twice as many strokes as he needed 24 hours earlier) Thomas was once again forced to dig deep. In the past, he has been unable to follow up super-low rounds with the needed performance, but he was up to it on this day. The Kentucky lad made 4 birdies over the closing 8 holes to hold off Cantlay by 3.

Nationwide Championship

Scottie Scheffler knew that he was headed to the PGA Tour after this year’s FedEx Cup playoffs. The Korn Ferry Tour playoffs would offer him an opportunity to better his standing, and he accomplished that task during week one of the finals. Scheffler, 3rd place during the regular season, vaulted into 1st on the strength of his 2-shot win over the Killer Bs (Brendan Todd, Beau Hossler and Ben Taylor.) Scheffler played like a seasoned vet, despite his 23 years of age. Scheffler made just 4 bogies during his final three rounds of 68-67-67 at the Ohio State University’s Scarlet course. That miser’s touch separated him from his chasers and gave him his 2nd win of the season. 25 PGA Tour cards were awarded during the regular season, and 25 more will be delivered at the Korn Ferry tour championship on September 2nd. If nerve-wracking putts are your flavor, stay tuned over the next fortnight.

Real Czech Masters

Thomas Pieters reminds you of every great range superstar. His swing exudes control and power, and you can’t help wondering how he doesn’t contend every week. That’s the mystery of golf, but Pieters reminded us why he has played Ryder Cup golf for Europe with a win this week in the Czech Republic. The tall Belgian sat 2 back of Edoardo Molinari after 36 holes, then took charge with a 66 on Saturday. On his heels was the young Spaniard, Adrian Arnaus, who posted middle 65s to stand one back on Saturday evening. The final round was half-shootout, half-stumble. Defending champion Andrea Pavan came out of the woods with 8 birdies over the first 15 holes. On a day when he needed perfection and 10 birdies, Pavan closed with 1 bogey and 0 birdies to tie Sam Horsfield for 3rd spot. Arnaus had three bogies on the day, and 2 of them came on the heels of birdie and eagle. The opposite of bounce-back, Arnaus gave Pieters breathing room with those mistakes. Closing with birdies at 16 and 18, Arnaus reached 18 below par, to put pressure on the leader. Pieters was 4-under on the day through 12 holes, and needed only to avoid disaster over the closing stretch. He stumbled with a bogey of his own at the 16th, but finished with pars to claim his 4th Euro title, 2nd at the Czech Masters, and 1st since 2016.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Open

Sometimes, the right person wins. Doug Barron epitomizes journeyman; he had to Monday-qualify to get in this week, and even has an are-you-kidding suspension on his record … for testosterone supplements. He’s not a big guy, and has low testosterone. He’s not Fred Couples, nor Langer, nor McCarron. Today, however, he is the Dick’s Sporting Goods champion. Barron and Miguel Angel Jimenez began the week with 65s, and Barron never let up. He followed with 68 on Saturday, and came home in 66 on Sunday, for a 2-shot victory. Understand that he had one of the game’s great personalities, and top golfers, on his heels on Sunday. Fred Couples turned in a tremendous 63 to finish at 15-under par, 2 clear of 3rd-place Woody Austin. Couples had the luck of the sleepy on his side: he dunked his tee shot on the par-3 14th hole, took his penalty drop, then chipped in for 3. Staying at the birdie-par timeshare in round 3, Couples had 9 of each to put serious pressure on Barron. How did the unlikely winner respond? Nearly identical to Freddie. Barron had 0 bogies on the day, and only 1 the entire week. The title elevated him 50 spots on the Schwab Cup money list, giving him an opportunity to move into the season-ending, playoff chase over the next 8 events.

U.S. Amateur rests in Ogletree’s arms

Andy Ogletree and John Augenstein were a perfect match in the U.S. Amateur final at Pinehurst. Ogletree was the 18th-ranked golfer in on-site qualifying, while Augenstein was #20. Both have had distinguished careers in college (Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt, respectively) and both were named yesterday to the USA side for the upcoming Walker Cup at Royal Liverpool, in England. In a most unique final, the morning 18 was played on the #4 course, while the afternoon round took place on the #2 layout. During the AM, 10 holes were won by the golfers, while 8 were halved. Augenstein stood 2-up after 18, but Ogletree delivered a warning bell with a birdie at the last. Ogletree returned to the course in identical form, making birdie on the 2nd hole to close within one hole. Augenstein remained in command, as most holes were halved until the 29th. At that juncture, Ogletree seized command with 3 wins in the next 4 holes, moving from 2 down to 1 up. A par at the par-3 17th hole, the 35th of the day, gave the Georgia Tech golfer a 2 up lead with 1 to play, making him this year’s national amateur champion.

In other news, the USGA added 7 golfers to its Walker Cup side. The one surprising move was the naming of Ricky Castillo, #9 in WAGR rankings and winner of 2 matches at Pinehurst, as 2nd alternate. The USGA decided that Steven Fisk and Alex Smalley, both ranked lower than Castillo, were better bets for success. Fortunately for the California kid, he is 18 and should have an opportunity to make both the 2021 and 2023 squads.

Your Reaction?
  • 1
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending