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Morning 9: Denny 63 | The real father of Bethpage Black? | Icher’s message to the USGA



By Ben Alberstadt (

May 10, 2019

Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1. 63 for Denny
Golfweek’s Roxanna Scott on D-Mac’s (can we call him D-Mac?) strong start…
  • “Playing on a course softened by about 2 inches of rain the previous day, Denny McCarthy shot an 8-under-par 63 to take the early lead at the AT&T Byron Nelson in Thursday’s opening round.”
  • “Seeking his first PGA Tour win, McCarthy made six birdies on the back nine, capped off with a birdie on the par-3 17th when he hit his tee shot to within 16 feet of the hole. It was his 10th birdie of the day after he recovered from a double bogey on the fourth hole. The 63 was McCarthy’s lowest round in 41 Tour individual starts.”
2. Making the most of his invitation
AP Report…
  • “Matthew Jordan made the most of his late invitation to the British Masters by shooting 9-under 63 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round.”
  • Playing just his 12th event as a professional, the 23-year-old Jordan defied wet and chilly conditions at Hillside in northwest England to make nine birdies in a bogey-free round.”
  • “Matt Wallace and Marcus Kinhult were tied for second place.”
3. Day 1: Day’s day
AP report on the action from the first senior major of the year…”Glen Day was 7 under through 16 holes to top the Regions Tradition leaderboard Thursday when bad weather halted the opening round of the first PGA Tour Champions major of the year.”
  • “After a two-tee start to try to beat the weather, lightning stopped play just after noon when Day was aiming for his second straight long birdie putt on Greystone’s Founders Course. Tour officials announced more than four hours later that the first round would resume early Friday.
  • Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez and David Toms were two strokes back. Jimenez played 17 holes, and Toms finished 13.”

4. A woman scorned

Karine Icher didn’t receive the same consideration from the USGA as the Lewises and Lincicomes of the world. Randall Mell on how she became a woman on a mission…
“Icher blazed her way through the qualifier at Rush Creek in Maple Grove, Minn. She routed the field, taking the lone spot available among the 35 entrants. The five-time LET winner and four-time Solheim Cup veteran from France won medalist honors by five shots.”
  • “Icher, 40, did this while still freshly smarting from the rejection she felt after the USGA turned down her request for a special maternity exemption, something like the ones Stacy Lewis and Brittany Lincicome were offered this year. Lewis accepted, Lincicome declined and Icher fumed over why an exception couldn’t be made for her, too.”


5. The man behind Bethpage
Was Tillie merely a consultant?
Golf Digest re-runs a 2002 article that makes that case…
  • “Joe Burbeck had given up his crusade years ago, but after hearing that Bethpage Black would be the site of the 2002 U.S. Open, he gave it one last shot. He wrote a letter to this magazine, urging us to correct the record. The Black Course, he insisted, was designed in the 1930s by his father, Joseph H. Burbeck, the longtime superintendent of Bethpage State Park, and not by the famous golf architect A.W. Tillinghast. What proof do you have? he was asked.”
  • “I have no proof,” Joe confessed. “I was there but was a very young boy. I have recollections of going into my father’s office, seeing rolls of blueprints everywhere, and him at his drafting table. I remember he used to take me in his car, and we’d go visit crews out on the course. We lived on the property. He was out there every day. That was his job
6. My Shot: Seth Waugh
The CEO of the PGA sounds off in Golf Digest’s “My Shot”
  • “My favorite type of golf is the simple two-on-two stuff you see in every foursome. But two or three times a year, I’ll tee it up individually, in tournaments-the club championship at Seminole, the singles events at National or, in the past, the Travis at Garden City. I like to feel on occasion that uncomfortable sensation that comes when you have to post a number, no Equitable Stroke Control, no excuses and nowhere to hide. It’s a little scary, given my day job and a Handicap Index of 8.6, and there’s always the possibility I could go completely off the rails toward Humiliation Station. But I like it. My friend Vinny Giles said it best: “Golf’s a lot different when you’ve got a pencil in your hand.”
7. Despite eagle, Romo shoots 76
A recap of his round via ESPN’s Todd Archer…
  • “Romo opened with a 14-foot birdie putt on the par-5 first hole. After a bogey on No. 5, he got to 2 under on the seventh hole when he chipped in from 66 feet off the green for eagle, letting loose with a huge fist pump and loud “Let’s go!” as the gallery roared in approval.”
  • “Romo followed the eagle with an impressive up and down to save par on No. 8, but his round turned quickly on the 505-yard, par-4 ninth hole when he badly hooked his tee shot into the woods, leading to a double-bogey.”
  • “He made another double-bogey on No. 13 when his drive ran through the fairway into the tall native grasses. He made bogeys on Nos. 14, 15 and 17 mostly because of poor tee shots. He hit just six of 14 fairways and only eight of 18 greens in regulation.”
8. Ko’s perspective
Always interesting to see where top players’ heads are at when things haven’t exactly been going their way…
Via One News Now…
  • “A lot of things came to me that I didn’t really expect. The things that I’d dreamt of and more happened,” she said.
  • “Because of [how my career started] and now things aren’t going so great, I get compared to that. One player told me and I think it kind of came to me, that I’m never going to be the same.
  • “I might play as well as I did then or better or not as good, but I’m never going to be the same. Through every experience you change and you learn.”
9. Cobra Q&A!
A friendly reminder. The GolfWRX Cobra Live Q&A is today @ noon ET
Official details:  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
Doug Roberts, Sr. Director, Club Design
Karl Clausen, Senior Manager – Irons (KING F9 Irons)
Joseph Skupnjak, Senior Design Engineer (KING F9 Driver)
Tim Beno, Principal Research Engineer & Pro Tour Support
Jose Miraflor, VP of Marketing
Ryan Roach, Senior Principal Innovation Engineer
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 CUSTOM COBRA KING F9 Speedback Driver.

Full piece. 

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Tour Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from the Albertsons Boise Open



GolfWRX bypassed the PGA Tour’s Tour Championship in the early part of the week (we made it there Thursday!) for the road less traveled this week: The Korn Ferry Tour. Specifically, we have a full buffet of photos from the range at the Albertsons Boise Open, including a full plate of WITB looks.

Here are 10 interesting photos from the Albertsons Boise Open.

This spread of Scotty Cameron Circle T putter covers will have enthusiasts drooling

Is this tee marker edible?

Name a better-dressed pro than Morgan Hoffmann…

Brandon Crick’s Pingman-stamped Glide wedge

The TaylorMade Boise Open headcover features a Boise St. blue turf background

D.J. Trahan’s Grateful Dead dancing bear headcovers are money

J-Gore! Cheers to the 2002 champ!

Sweet orange paintfill on Kevin Doughtery’s PXG 0311T 4-iron

Idaho (potato) fries aplenty on Scotty Cameron’s superb Boise Open headcover

I was unaware Will Zalatoris nickname was Beavis. But a look at this wedge and a look at this photo have me pretty convinced it is

All our galleries from the Boise Open

General galleries

WITB, special galleries



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Morning 9: Rory offers simple slow play fix, isn’t sure about TC format | Brooks favors the Euro plan | Sunjae Im!



By Ben Alberstadt (; @benalberstadt on Instagram)

August 22, 2019

Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. Rory’s simple slow play fix
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard reporting...”The Northern Irishman has always been one of the most outspoken players when it comes to pace of play on the PGA Tour but enough is enough.”
  • “I saw [the European Tour] released a four-point plan, but I only read the headline. I didn’t go deeper into it. I’ve had enough of the slow play stuff,” McIlroy said. “I had two hours of it last week at the [player advisory council] meeting, and that came to nothing.”
  • “Although he didn’t know the details of the new European pace of play policy, McIlroy did offer a solution for slow play when he pointed out that pace of play won’t be an issue at this week’s 30-man Tour Championship.”
  • “Seriously, it’s like traffic, right? You get 156 in the field, and it’s hard to get those guys around quickly. Even last week, 70, there was no mention of pace of play,” McIlroy said. “I’m in a privileged position that I can say that because I’m going to get into a field of 30 or 70. Obviously, guys that are not quite in my position would disagree with that. [But] if you want to speed up play, cut the field sizes.”

Full piece.

2. Rory unsure regarding new Tour Championship format 
ESPN’s Bob Harig…”While saying Wednesday that he understands many of the reasons for the new format, he also said “come back to me Monday and I’ll tell you whether it’s worked or not.”
  • …”If we’re at the PGA Tour trying to do the season of championships, where it starts at the Players in March and goes through the four majors and culminates with the FedEx Cup in the end, if the FedEx Cup really wants to have this legacy in the game, like some of these other championships do, is people starting the tournament on different numbers the best way to do it?” McIlroy said Wednesday at East Lake Golf Club.”
  • “That’s my only thing. I get it from a fan experience point of view. I get it from giving guys that have played better throughout the year an advantage. But at the same time, it will make it sweeter for a guy that starts at even or 1-under par and goes all the way through the field and wins. Or if Justin Thomas shoots the tied low score of the week and doesn’t end up winning. … I don’t know.”

Full piece.

3. JT wants the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup
Good to hear he didn’t endorse finishing third if it’ll secure the cup…JT isn’t keen for a repeat of 2017
  • AP report…”Justin Thomas lived it two years ago when he capped off his best year by capturing the FedEx Cup with a runner-up finish in the Tour Championship. Thomas was thrilled to win the cup and its $10 million prize, but felt like a loser in the immediate aftermath because he was second in the Tour Championship to Xander Schauffele.”
  • “As the No. 1 seed, he starts Thursday at 10-under par with a two-shot lead under the staggered start. It’s possible that Thomas could finish the most under par and win the FedEx Cup, even though he doesn’t have the lowest 72-hole score.”
  • “And yes, he will be paying attention…“You guys probably won’t believe me, but, yeah, it will irk me,” Thomas said of such a scenario. “I want to beat everybody every week I play.”

Full piece.

4. Can anyone really win the FedEx Cup? 
Shane Ryan investigates…
  • “…a player starting at even par has to overcome a 10-shot deficit against the top player, but he also has to overcome a variety of smaller deficits against 25 other players. That compounds the problem, but one way we can try to answer the question is by examining other big comebacks in PGA Tour history. A look at final-round comebacks shows us that one player, Paul Lawrie, managed to take back 10 strokes in a single round, though it did require Jean Van de Velde’s infamous collapse at the 1999 Open Championship”
  • “…But Stewart Cink also roared back from nine shots down, and eight players have managed the feat on Sunday from eight shots back. In some respects, the task facing the “start-at-even” crew in the Tour Championship this weekend is much easier. First, they have 72 holes, not 18, to overcome a 10-stroke deficit. Second, the competition is 29 players, not the 70-or-so who typically make the cut at a “normal” event. They have a longer time to beat a smaller number of players, and by that reckoning, chipping off 2.5 shots per round seems far from impossible.”


5. In case you missed it: U.S. Prez Cup team top 8 set
Brooks Koepka
Justin Thomas
Dustin Johnson
Patrick Cantlay
Xander Schauffele
Webb Simpson
Matt Kuchar
Bryson DeChambeau
6. Olesen pleads not guilty
BBC report…”Danish golfer Thorbjorn Olesen has appeared in court charged with sexual assault and being drunk on an aircraft.”
  • “The 29-year-old Ryder Cup winner has also been charged with assault by beating…He indicated he would plead not guilty when he appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.”

Full piece.

7. Brooks favors the European plan? 
Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch…“Koepka has been an outspoken critic of slow play, calling for stiff penalties against lallygagging PGA Tour players. He was asked about a policy announced this week by the European Tour that cracks down on idlers by imposing stroke penalties, not the meaningless fines used this side of the Atlantic.”
  • “Perfect. We should adopt it,” Koepka replied. Then came the surgical insertion of the needle.
  • “I think you’ll see some urgency to play. It doesn’t matter how quick you walk. It doesn’t matter how quick you do anything.”
  • “The “quick walk” argument – that hoofing it to one’s ball faster excuses taking more time than permitted to execute the next shot – is the flaccid defense of Bryson DeChambeau, a notorious laggard and someone with whom Koepka has sparred on the issue.”

Full piece.

8. Cole Hammer time…for you to win the McCormack medal
Golf Digest’s Ryan Herrington…“On Wednesday, the USGA and R&A announced that Hammer remained the No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, and thus had secured the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the leading men’s player at the end of the summer.”
  • “With the honor comes exemptions into the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot and the 2020 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s, so long as Hammer remains an amateur when playing in the majors.”

Full piece.

9. Alone in anonymity?
Sungjae Im has hardly gotten the recognition he deserves this season…
  • Golf Digest’s Joel Beall…“One of the tour’s premier talents walked East Lake in anonymity Wednesday afternoon. Hard to do, given there are just 30 players at this shindig. When he passed a group of fans, necks strained to see the name on the bag, followed by a common chorus of whispers. Who’s that? … that’s not Hideki, right … wow, pretty nice shot. The man would nod as he made his way through, paying no heed to their ignorance. He doesn’t even blame them.”
  • “Hey, I’m surprised I’m here too,” Sungjae Im says with a laugh.
  • “In the Year of Young Guns, from Cameron Champ’s auspicious start to the torrid summers of Collin Morikawa, Matthew Wolff and Viktor Hovland, only one-Im-is standing at the Tour Championship.”
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Thorbjorn Olesen pleads not guilty to sexual assault; will face trial next month



On Wednesday, Thorbjorn Olesen indicated that he would plead not guilty to the charges of sexual assault, being drunk on an aircraft, and assault by beating, and he will now face trial in September.

Sky Sports broke the news that the Dane appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday where he confirmed his name, address, date of birth and nationality as well as his not guilty plea, and he has since been released on unconditional bail.

Olesen will now face trial at Isleworth Crown Court on 18th September which is the day before the European Tour’s Flagship event – the BMW Championship at Wentworth.

The 29-year-old was arrested on 29th July at Heathrow Airport and released upon investigation after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman and urinating in the aisle of a first-class cabin.

Olesen is currently suspended from the European Tour while the case is ongoing.

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19th Hole