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Morning 9: Koepka’s 4.5-hour middle finger | The monster Tiger created? | Daly on why he’s playing

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

May 17, 2019

Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1. Koepka: “One of the best rounds I’ve played”
BK opens the PGA with a 63…
  • AP’s Doug Ferguson…“At times overlooked even after winning three majors in the last two years, Koepka gave thousands of fans a round to remember Thursday morning at brawny Bethpage Black with a record-setting start to his title defense in the PGA Championship.”
  • “He had a 7-under 63, making him the first player in 101 years of the PGA Championship to shoot that score twice. He broke the course record at Bethpage Black and became the first player to post 63 at a major in consecutive years.”
  • ”That was one of the best rounds I’ve played probably as a professional,” Koepka said. ”This golf course is brutal.”
2. Lackluster Tiger
A PGATour.com staff report…
  • “Woods drove the ball well enough to contend at Bethpage Black, but his steady ball-striking was outweighed by too many sloppy shots when he had short clubs in hand.”
  • “Bethpage Black is a long, brutish course lined by rough so thick that players are struggling even to hit mid-irons out of it. Woods missed just four fairways while hitting driver off a majority of the tees. And he had birdie putts on nine of his final 10 holes to steady himself after making two double-bogeys on his opening nine. But he three-putted twice on his back nine and signed for a 72. He sat nine shots off Brooks Koepka’s lead after that frustrating first round.”
  • “It wasn’t as clean as I’d like to have it for sure,” Woods said. His score was about three-quarters of a shot below the field average in the morning.
3. Also…
Golf Digest’s Dave Shedloski on those who also played well Thursday…
  • “The group, all at one-under 69, includes World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, three-time major winner Jordan Spieth, ageless wonder Phil Mickelson, former PGA champion Jason Day and the major-starved Rickie Fowler. All but Fowler played in the afternoon when conditions were a bit more stringent.”
  • “Yeah, it’s difficult,” said Mickelson, when asked about Koepka’s early scoring salvo, “but you just have to stay in the present because if you start chasing a score like that, it won’t come to you, and you’ll end up making big mistakes.”
  • “I’m very pleased with it,” said Johnson, who played alongside Spieth and Spaniard Jon Rahm, who was at even par. “I felt like I hit it really well, drove it good and hit a lot of greens, gave myself a lot of opportunities.”
4. The monster Tiger created
ESPN’s Ian O’Connor…
“This is all Tiger’s fault, of course, because he inspired a generation of golfers who grew up watching him. Koepka was 6 years old when Woods won his first of 15 major championships — the 1997 Masters. Though Koepka’s father, Bob, used to tease his high school classmates for earning letterman jackets for golf because, he said, “I didn’t think it was a sport,” Woods helped make golf a viable option for Brooks and other versatile young athletes who lived in the gym and preferred to look more like NFL strong safeties.”
5. No tip of DeChambeau’s cap to Bethpage’s length
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…
“DeChambeau opened with a 2-over 72, carding just two birdies, and he now trails Koepka by nine shots. Speaking to GolfChannel.com, he shared his viewpoint that when it comes to major championship venues, longer does not always mean better.”
  • “If you really want to prove who the best champion is, it’s not a long-drive contest. That’s why they have long-drive contests out here,” said DeChambeau, who actually won the long-drive contest at last year’s PGA at Bellerive. “It’s about precision. So when you start making it really tight, I get the tight part. But when you start lengthening it to the amounts that they’ve been lengthening it to, I just personally think that it’s a mess-up.”
6. A 4.5-hour middle finger
“I’ve been flipped off a few times in my life – probably not as often as you’d think – but I felt like he was giving me the finger for 4 1/2 hours out there today,” Chamblee said on Thursday night’s edition of “Golf Central Live From the PGA.”
  • “I gotta tell you, I enjoyed it,” Chamblee continued on Thursday, referring to Koepka’s round. “Outside of his immediate family, I can’t think anybody who enjoyed that round more than I did.”
7. Why play?
1991 PGA champion John Daly on why, with little chance of making the cut and motoring around the course in an Ez-Go, he is playing the PGA Championship.
Adam Woodard at Golfweek…
  • “It’s very awkward (to use a cart) and it’s almost to a point where it’s embarrassing,” he added, noting that he’d prefer to walk.
  • As as a past champion, Daly said he feels “obligated” to keep playing, if able.
  • “I don’t want to ride all the time, but if I don’t, I won’t be able to finish. I enjoy playing and I’m still competitive. It’s not really ego, I feel committed.”
8. Meanwhile, Eamon Lynch with the definitive Daly-taking-a-cart roasting
“There were cheers, for sure. There always are, whatever his failings. But around the grounds at Bethpage Black there is also an unmistakeable sense that the Daly Show is a tired act, that he is afforded courtesies that his conduct long ago cost him any right to expect. Sure, he earned his spot in the field as a former champion, and he has been legitimately granted a cart. But professional pride and sportsmanship should have rendered moot a decision on availing himself of either.”
9. When official yardage books don’t conform…
This is golf in the year 2019 files…
  • Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…“The official yardage books that were given to teams for this week’s NCAA Division I Women’s Championships are actually non-conforming.”
  • “The grids for 10 of the 18 greens were deemed too big. Coaches were informed of the problem during a meeting after Wednesday’s practice round.”
  • “We’re just going to go to Office Depot and get some sticker labels and cover up all 18 of them,” said Purdue coach Devon Brouse.
  • “Officials didn’t specify which of the 10 holes were in violation.”
  • “It’s 1/16th off,” said Arkansas coach Shauna Estes-Taylor. “It’s less than a freckle.”

 

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. NotGianni

    May 19, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    How doesn’t wrx have TWO of the worst journalists on earth in Gianni and his Ben clown???? Get rid of these idiots

  2. Dave r

    May 19, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    Mr Daly stop . Your are becoming a joke your exploits on and off the golf course are embarrassing to not only you but to the people who supported you year after year. Try and fade away quietly and get in shape and your injuries fixed then in a year come back and earn the respect you deserve. I’m one of your biggest fans but honestly people are wondering .

  3. Mower

    May 17, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    I’m in favor of letting Pros use the electric GolfBoards “Surf the Earth”.

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Lightning strike at Tour Championship injures six spectators; play to be resumed Sunday morning

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The third round of The Tour Championship was suspended this evening and won’t be resumed until Sunday morning after lightning strikes caused injuries to six spectators.

Play was suspended at East Lake approximately 30 minutes before the serious incident occurred. A lightning bolt is said to have struck a tree near the 15th green/16th hole, and according to reports, debris from the strike has caused the injuries to the six spectators.

According to the Tour, none of the injuries appears to be life-threatening after EMT tended to those hurt immediately and transported them from the property via ambulance for further medical attention.

Speaking on the incident, a PGA Tour spokesperson stated

“The safety of our fans, players and partners is of the utmost importance. We will provide further updates as they become available.”

The third round of the Tour finale is set to resume at 8 AM ET on Sunday.

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Morning 9: Tour Championship | Brooke Henderson | Decline of cookie-cutter swings

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

August 23, 2019

Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1 New normal
After 1…Xander Schauffele, Brooks Koepka, and Justin Thomas are all tied at the top.
PGATour.com’s Mike McAllister…
  • “I guess it was a little bit strange,” said Casey when asked about teeing off eight shots behind. “It was nice once everybody was on the golf course.”
  • Unlike previous TOUR Championships in the FedExCup era, there’s only one leaderboard needed this week. Once the leaderboard started to fill up Thursday, and players knew exactly where they stood, it seemed, well, a bit normal.
  • “It didn’t feel that much different, to be honest with you,” said 2016 FedExCup champ Rory McIlroy, who started five shots behind Thomas but shot a 66 and is now just a stroke off the lead. “… I sort of had the mindset this week that I’m starting on even par, and I’m going to try to shoot a good four-round total and see where that leaves me at the end of the week.”
  • Said Koepka: “You could say I played it like a five-day event. I knew I was three down and … by the time the turn comes, try to get back to all square.”

Full piece

2. Brooks in the buff
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard on BK’s ESPN Body Issue shoot…
“Koepka said the photos were taken at The Floridian in the spring and prompted him to lose 22 pounds in four months. Although he was pleased with the photo shoot he did acknowledge that there were some strange moments.”
  • “Getting naked is a bit weird; the first time you actually pull that robe off in front of 30, 40 people,” said Koepka, who was tied for the lead at East Lake after an opening 67.
  • “He said the weirdest moment came on a tee box as the photographers attempted to get a “face on” shot while Koepka’s swing coach Claude Harmon III was giving a lesson around the corner.
  • “I see Claude teaching this maybe 12-year-old kid, and his mom is just over here. I’m like, this is awkward. And Claude’s peeking around the corner laughing,” Koepka laughed. “You know, it’s fun. I’m pretty sure everybody that was at the golf course saw me that day, but whatever.”

Full piece.

3. Women’s Canadian Open
Defending champ, national hero is one back…
Golf Channel’ Randall Mell…”Henderson, 21, picked up right where she left off a year ago.”
  • “With a 6-under-par 66, she seized sole possession of the lead through the morning wave at Magna Golf Club. A strong gallery was there early to support her bid to win the national women’s open in back-to-back years.”
  • “To get a solid round like this in in front of them I think is really a confidence booster for me,” Henderson said. “Gives me a lot of momentum going into the next three days.”
  • “Henderson’s ball striking was sharp. She hit all but two fairways and all but two greens in regulation and converted seven of the birdie opportunities she gave herself, against a single bogey.”

Full piece.

4. Mr. East Lake?
Golf Channel’s Carson Williams…”There’s something about East Lake that seems to bring out the best in Xander Schauffele.”
  • “Just the style of this tournament being a limited field. It’s pretty exclusive,” Schauffele said. “It’s very relaxed. For how important and how topnotch this tournament is, it’s a very surprisingly relaxed week.”
  • “Schauffele certainly looked relaxed in Thursday’s opening round of the Tour Championship. He began the day at 4 under, six back of leader Justin Thomas, but quickly made up the ground and ultimately signed for a bogey-free, 6-under 64 to take a share of the lead with Thomas and Brooks Koepka.”
5. Scandinavian Invitation
AP report…”Wade Ormsby holed a 4-iron from 196 yards for eagle on his way to shooting a bogey-free, 8-under 62 at the Scandinavian Invitation, giving him the first-round lead in the European Tour event on Thursday.”
“The Australian’s eagle at the par-4 14th hole came in an opening-nine 28, after starting his round at No. 10. He also rolled in six birdies, including three straight from the 16th hole.”
6. Grayson! 
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Former PGA Tour winner Grayson Murray opened the Albertsons Boise Open with a 7-under 64 to grab a share of the lead in the second leg of the Korn Ferry Finals.”
  • “Murray won the 2017 Barbasol Championship, but his PGA Tour exemption for that win expired earlier this month. He was sidelined for much of the summer with an injured back, not playing on Tour after withdrawing from the Valero Texas Open in April. But Murray made a pair of rehab starts on the Korn Ferry Tour, including a T-2 at the Rex Hospital Open, and is participating in the three-event Finals as part of a medical extension.”

Full piece.

7. Timing Bryson
Joel Beall and the Golf Digest folks kept tabs on Bryson at East Lake…
  • “This comes with a caveat. DeChambeau was often the second player to hit, his drives a good 30 to 40 yards farther than Reavie. As such, he often had a generous amount of prep that wasn’t clocked (we didn’t time him during Reavie’s setup and shot). Even with the asterisk, DeChambeau’s average time of 43.57 seconds is more nuanced than the number conveys.”
“Almost half his approaches took less than 30 seconds, with a personal-best of 20.34 seconds at the par-4 eighth. However, there was no middle ground. If he wasn’t pulling the trig fast, it was a drawn-out process, even on a punch-out at the fifth (one minute, nine seconds) that went all of 30 yards. Aside from the third hole, there wasn’t much wind to calculate, and DeChambeau mostly kept his ball out of trouble. That he spent more than 40 seconds in three instances, including the punch-out, after waiting on Reavie (37.82 seconds average on approach) was somewhat odd. Although it did lead to this gem from a marshal on the fifth: “He’s trying to make Thanksgiving dinner when all he needs is a PB&J.”
8. Cherishing the experience
AP Report…Vancouver’s Michelle Liu was excited about striping her opening tee shot Thursday at the CP Women’s Open, but the 12-year-old left her history-making LPGA debut frustrated.
  • “Definitely wasn’t my best performance, I would say,” Liu said after opening with a 9-over-par 81. “My chipping wasn’t where it needed to be.”
  • Liu became the youngest player to tee it up in the 47-year history of Canada’s national women’s open, but she shed some tears of frustration in the end.
  • “Pretty disappointed about my score,” Liu said.
9. Decline of the cookie-cutter swing? 
 
Golf Digest staff….”We asked four top teachers from Golf Digest’s national and state rankings to discuss how (or if!) this new “freedom” will trickle down into the amateur player’s weekend game.”
What does a player like Matthew Wolff mean for golf?
  • “Rick Silva (Movement 3 Golf, Highland Park, Ill.): If you had walked down the range at a tour event the past 20 years, you’d have seen a lot of the same swings-almost robotic ones. I think the resurgence of individuality on tour is a great thing, and a real opportunity. It’s going to give tour players and recreational players permission to go beyond the numbers they see on a launch monitor or the images in a video to find what works for them.”
  • “Nick Clearwater (GolfTEC Vice President of Instruction, Denver): If I was a casual observer of golf from my couch, I’d be excited about the future of the sport. There are all these young players with fresh attitudes and different swing styles. It’s exciting. But how some of the swing stuff moves down to the average player is going to be terrifying! There are still plenty of people who think that the most noticeable thing is the most important thing, and the starting point for what you should be working on.”
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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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