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Opinion & Analysis

Hot & Cold: Where strokes were won and lost at the Wells Fargo Championship

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In “Hot & Cold,” we’ll be focusing each week on what specific areas of the game players excelled and disappointed in throughout the previous tournament. On Sunday, we saw Max Homa produce a nerveless display at the Wells Fargo Championship to win his first title on the PGA Tour. Here’s a look at where some of the most notable players gained and lost strokes over the four days of action.

Hot

The bedrock of Max Homa’s victory at Quail Hollow was undoubtedly his putter. Armed with his Scotty Cameron T5W, Homa produced the putting display of his life last week, leading the field in strokes gained: putting, with a total of 9.8 strokes gained with the flat-stick. Homa’s previous best performance in this area came in 2014 where he gained 6.7 strokes on the greens at the Safeway. Check out the clubs Homa used to win the Wells Fargo Championship here.

Justin Rose said he wasn’t sure where his game was before teeing off last Thursday at Quail Hollow, but he found out it was in a positive place after four good days and a top-five finish. The Englishman gained over five strokes over the field for his approach play and an impressive 7.3 strokes on the greens. That four day total with the flat-stick is the best of Rose’s career on the PGA Tour.

Heading to Bethpage Black in a couple of weeks, Rickie Fowler’s entire game looks on point. At Quail Hollow, Fowler gained over eight strokes for his play tee to green, which is his best performance in this area of the year. Not since last year’s PGA Championship has Fowler played better tee to green. Look for Fowler to mount a challenge in New York as he once again goes in search of his first major title this month.

Cold

While Rory McIlroy’s T8 finish is by no means poor, the reason why he wasn’t able to win last week at Quail Hollow boiled down to his balky short game. The Ulsterman lost over two strokes to the field both on and around the greens last week. It’s just the second time that McIlroy has lost strokes in either department in 2019.

Phil Mickelson was way off the pace last week in North Carolina, and his major issue came on the greens. Mickelson lost almost two and a half strokes to the field with his flat-stick over the two days he was in town. Worryingly for Lefty is that he has now dropped strokes on the greens in his last four successive events.

Tony Finau was another who was far from his best at Quail Hollow, with the American settling for a T60 finish after struggling for four days. Finau’s major strength, his play off the tee, deserted him in North Carolina, with the Utah native losing over two strokes to the field in this area. That number represents Finau’s worst display off the tee since the 2016 Canadian Open.

 

 

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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giancarlomag

1 Comment

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  1. Ryan

    May 6, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    When you say Rory “lost over two strokes to the field both on and around the greens,” do you mean that he lost over 2 strokes around the greens, plus over 2 strokes lost on the greens for over 4 strokes lost vs the field, or combined it’s over 2 strokes lost between putting and around the green?

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Opinion & Analysis

5 most common golf injuries (and how to deal with them)

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You might not think about golf as a physically intensive game, but that doesn’t change the fact it is still a sport. And as with every sport, there’s a possibility you’ll sustain an injury while playing golf. Here’s a list of the five most common injuries you might sustain when playing the game, along with tips on how to deal with them in the best way possible so you heal quickly.

Sunburn

While not directly an injury, it’s paramount to talk about sunburns when talking about golf. A typical golf game is played outside in the open field, and it lasts for around four hours. This makes it extremely likely you’ll get sunburnt, especially if your skin is susceptible to it.

That’s why you should be quite careful when you play golf

Apply sunscreen every hour – since you’re moving around quite a lot on a golf course, sunscreen won’t last as long as it normally does.

Wear a golf hat – aside from making you look like a professional, the hat will provide additional protection for your face.

If you’re extra sensitive to the sun, you should check the weather and plan games when the weather is overcast.

Rotator Cuff Injury

A rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that surround the shoulder joint. This group are the main muscles responsible for swing movements in your arms. It’s no surprise then that in golf, where the main activity consists of swinging your arms, there’s a real chance this muscle group might sustain an injury.

To avoid injuries to this group, it’s imperative you practice the correct form of swinging the club. Before playing, you should also consider some stretching.

If you get an injury, however, you can recover faster by following RICE:

Rest: resting is extremely important for recovery. After an injury, the muscles are extremely vulnerable to further injury, and that’s why you should immediately stop playing and try to get some rest.

Ice: applying ice to the injured area during the first day or two can help. It reduces inflammation and relaxes the muscles.

Compress: bandage the rotator cuff group muscle and compress the muscles. This speeds up the muscle healing process.

Elevate: elevate the muscles above your heart to help achieve better circulation of blood and minimize fluids from gathering.

Wrist Injuries

Wrist tendons can sustain injuries when playing golf. Especially if you enjoy playing with a heavy club, it can put some strain on the wrist and cause wrist tendonitis, which is characterized by inflammation and irritation.

You should start by putting your wrist in a splint or a cast – it is necessary to immobilize your wrist to facilitate healing.

Anti-inflammatory medicine can relieve some of the pain and swelling you’ll have to deal with during the healing process. While it might not help your wrist heal much quicker, it’ll increase your comfort.

A professional hand therapist knows about the complexities of the wrist and the hand and can help you heal quicker by inspecting and treating your hands.

Back Pain

A golf game is long, sometimes taking up to 6 hours. This long a period of standing upright, walking, swinging clubs, etc. can put stress on your back, especially in people who aren’t used to a lot of physical activities:

If you feel like you’re not up for it, you should take a break mid-game and then continue after a decent rest. A golf game doesn’t have any particular time constraints, so it should be simple to agree to a short break.

If you don’t, consider renting a golf cart, it makes movement much easier. If that’s not possible, you can always buy a pushcart, which you can easily store all the equipment in. Take a look at golf push cart reviews to know which of them best suits your needs.

Better posture – a good posture distributes physical strain throughout your body and not only on your back, which means a good posture will prevent back pain and help you deal with it better during a game.

Golfer’s Elbow

Medically known as medial epicondylitis, golfer’s elbow occurs due to strain on the tendons connecting the elbow and forearm. It can also occur if you overuse and over-exhaust the muscles in your forearm that allow you to grip and rotate your arm:

A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug is the way to go to alleviate the most severe symptoms of the injury at the beginning.

Lift the club properly, and if you think there’s a mismatch between your wrist and the weight of the club, you should get a lighter one.

Learn when you’ve reached your limit. Don’t overexert yourself – when you know your elbow is starting to cause you problems, take a short break!

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Podcasts

TG2: Our PGA picks were spot on…and Rob hit a school bus with a golf ball

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Rob picked Brooks to win the PGA and hit the nail on the head, while Knudson’s DJ pick was pretty close. Rob hit a school bus with a golf ball and we talk about some new clubs that are going to be tested in the next couple days.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

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The Gear Dive: Vokey Wedge expert Aaron Dill

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In this episode of The Gear Dive, Johnny chats with Titleist Tour Rep Aaron Dill on working under Bob Vokey, How he got the gig and working with names like JT, Jordan and Brooks.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

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