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Morning 9: Brooks Koepka has a solution to slow play | No Tiger at Bethpage Wednesday? “No problem,” says team

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

May 16, 2019

Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. Koepka’s slow play fix
A take to be pardoned, indeed…
Via Golf Channel Digital…”Appearing on an episode of Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take podcast, Koepka talks about how he would fix the slow-play issue in professional golf.”
  • “Nobody wants to spend 5 1/2 hours out there,” said Koepka. “I would just make it 15 holes, 14 holes. Because then you get to go to the 19th hole a little bit quicker.”
  • “Koepka then took it a step further, saying he gets bored in the middle of rounds, even during tournament play.”
  • “It gets boring from hole five through 12, you’re just like ‘where am I right now?'” continued Koepka. “I literally can’t tell you what happened during those holes. You kind of black out. Everything is so repetitive.”
2. “All good”
Tiger Woods didn’t set foot anywhere inside Bethpage State Park Wednesday.
  • Golfweek’s Dan Kilbridge...”Woods practiced on property Tuesday and planned to play nine holes Wednesday. But he never arrived to the course one day before his 8:24 a.m. tee time with Brooks Koepka and Francesco Molinari.”
  • “He’s all good. Just getting some rest,” said agent Mark Steinberg, who noted that Woods played the course last week. “All is good.”
  • “Wednesday’s absence means he’ll enter the PGA Championship having played just nine practice holes this week. Woods played the front nine early Monday morning and that will be all until the scores start to count Thursday. Woods usually plays at least 18 holes the week of a major, which he did at Augusta National, but he’s plenty familiar with the course. Woods won the 2002 U.S. Open here when Bethpage first hosted a major and was T-6 at the 2009 U.S Open.”
3. New York brings out Phil’s second best
Jimmy Golen at the AP says that while Mickelson loves NYC…
  • “…it’s the courses in the area that seem intent on torturing him.”
  • “The five-time major champion is back in the area this week for the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, where he has finished second both times the course hosted the U.S. Open. In fact, of his six runner-up finishes in the Open, four have been in New York.”
  • “It’s the best playing here. It really is,” Mickelson, who did not have a media interview session, told the Golf Channel after his nine-hole practice round on Wednesday. “I would love nothing more than to have a victory here and be able to feed off the energy here that the people have provided me over the years and be able to reward it with a victory.”
4. Singular stuff from Ping’s Marty Jertson
The fact that one of Ping’s chief engineers qualified for and is playing in the PGA Championship is incredible, to say the least.
Golfweek’s David Dusek talked with Jertson…
  • …”Jerston, 38, from Phoenix, Ariz., shot a final-round 69 at the PGA Professional Championship to finish T-8 and earn a spot in this year’s PGA Championship. When he is not playing or spending time with his family, Jertson works for Ping and has held job titles like director of product development and senior design engineer.”
  • “In those roles, he led teams that created numerous woods and irons, including the G410 driver that is in his bag and is also being used this week by Bubba Watson.”
  • “I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into that driver,” he said. “I was the lead designer on that, so I did all the 3D design work, all the short-term research and development, made all the improvements to the turbulators (an aerodynamic-enhancing feature on the crown) and our center of gravity-shifting weight.
5. Spieth’s bid for the grand slam
Andy Vasquez of the North Jersey Record on Spieth’s pursuit of the full set of major hardware…
  • “That would be a dream come true for me,” Spieth said. “But I also recognize that if I continue to stay healthy and play well, I’ll have, I don’t know, 30 chances at it. One of them is bound to go my way, right?”
  • “Nearly two years have passed since his last win at the 2017 British Open. Since then, Spieth has fallen from No. 2 in the world to 39th and he hasn’t had a top-20 finish since September.”
  • “It’s an alarming drop-off for Spieth, who had won 10 events from 2015-17 before falling into a self-admitted slump.”
6. Daly on cart use
A few of JD’s remarks on the subject of his means of transportation this week, via Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…
  • “I wouldn’t have been able to play [without a golf cart],” Daly said. “To tell you the truth it’s not even easy playing with a cart because for me the cart is more of a distraction but I need it otherwise I can’t play.”
  • “…Osteoarthritis in Daly’s right knee prevents him from walking more than six holes at a time and he said there is no short-term option for relief.”
  • …”It won’t get better until I get it replaced and they said I’m too young [for replacement surgery],” Daly said. “If it was broken it would have been much better, but I have Osteoarthritis. It just hurts, especially when I go downhill. I rode in a cart and it’s swelling up like a watermelon.”
 
7. Why not?
USA Today’s Christine Brennan doesn’t want to be the one betting against Tiger Woods winning a second-consecutive major championship…
  • She begins with this…”Is it too much to ask, Tiger winning another major little more than a month after the Masters? Can a man who hasn’t hit one competitive shot between his final putt April 14 at Augusta National and his opening tee shot Thursday morning in the PGA Championship be in the mix come Sunday? Does a 43-year-old golfer with the back of a 70-year-old have it in him to do this again?”
  • “Why not?”
8. “Making golf’s biggest stars forgettable”
The New York Post’s George Willis with a hot take…
  • “…With Woods winning his fifth green jacket last month and first major in 11 years, it’s already Tiger Woods 24/7. Everything is being chronicled, from where his $20 million yacht is parked in Oyster Bay to being presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom to making his first practice round at the Black. It has the feel of the late 1990s and early 2000s again, when it was all about Woods and virtually no one else mattered. It’s getting that way again.”
  • “I would say 99 percent of the people that show up when he’s playing are there to see him,” Jordan Spieth said.
  • “Players like Spieth, Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Justin Thomas have carried the sport while Woods was out battling back injuries and personal troubles. Most of them grew up inspired by watching Woods in his prime. Once they matured into pros, they offered a much-needed injection of youth and bravado that has been good for golf. All but Fowler have won majors and earned their own legions of fans, who have gravitated to them for one reason or another.”
9. Area 313
…and now for something non-PGA Championship related…
Via Matt Charboneau, of the Detroit News…
  • “On Wednesday, the tournament revealed its plans for “Area 313,” which includes holes 14, 15 and 16 at Detroit Golf Club and plays off of the city’s area code. No. 14 is a 543-yard par-5 followed by 160-yard par-3 15th. The run is capped by No. 16, a 450-yard par-4.”
  • “With players aiming to go eagle-ace-birdie – a 3-1-3 on the scorecard – and the fans getting up close to the action, the belief is the cluster of holes, complete with general admission stadium seating and upgraded hospitality venues, will quickly become one of the most popular places to watch golf on Tour.”
  • “Area 313 has been designed to be a stretch of the golf course unlike anything else on the PGA Tour,” said Jason Langwell, executive director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “It is an area where fans can watch the action on three different holes, as some of the world’s best golfers make the difficult decision of whether to gamble on going for the green in two on 14, attacking the flag on 15 and pushing their luck on 16.”
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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. dj

    May 16, 2019 at 7:45 am

    Excited to see them come to Detroit.

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Tour Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from the Albertsons Boise Open

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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!

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

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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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