By Ben Alberstadt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
June 6, 2019
Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. Canadian Open on the rise
Jason Logan at ScoreGolf with an excellent feature on this year’s tournament…
“MARY DEPAOLI HAS A DIRECT, HARD-TO-REFUTE ANSWER when asked about the status of the RBC Canadian Open, which this year is a) being played during a desirable part of the PGA Tour schedule for the first time in 30 years; b) being fronted by four-time major champion and first-time Canadian Open participant Rory McIlroy; c) being played for a purse that’s over $1 million more than past years; d) back at Hamilton G&CC, one of Canada’s best and most storied courses; and e) featuring attractive extras such as an on-site concert series headlined by Florida Georgia Line and food served by eight local restaurants between the 17th and 18th fairways.”
“We are doing what we said we were going to do,” says RBC’s executive vice-president and chief marketing officer. By that, DePaoli means elevating Canada’s national golf championship into something more befitting of the game’s third oldest open tournament. Into one of the best non-major stops on the PGA Tour, a status it enjoyed for most of its life. The tournament took its first body blow in 1990, when it was removed from the summer schedule, and therefore the network television window, and given a September date. (The reason? The tour struck a deal with the networks to have sponsors pay for TV commercials. The Canadian Open’s financial backer at the time, Imperial Tobacco, couldn’t do that because of new anti-tobacco advertising legislation.) That was followed by a real punch in the gut in 2007, when it was returned to July but got stuck with a horrible spot behind the British Open. (Part of the reason? No title sponsor that year. Bell dropped out in 2006 and RBC didn’t pick up the pieces until 2008.)
2. DJ on defending
”I mean, it’s a really good field. It’s a golf course I haven’t played. That definitely adds a little bit more difficulty to it,” Johnson said Wednesday. ”I don’t know the golf course as well as I know Glen Abbey, where I played a lot of Opens.”
3. Brooks’ break
Golfweek’s Steve Dimeglio…
4. Rory’s perspective
Via a BBC report…
5. Nondescript PGA Tour excellence awards
“The idea behind the prize is to recognize those golfers who have remarkably strong seasons-complete with high finishes, big money, and very few missed cuts-but who never seem to distinguish themselves by force of personality, playing style, or actual wins,” writes Shane Ryan in introducing his nondescript PGA Tour excellence awards.
Here are a couple…
“Kyle Stanley. He tallied zero victories, but was in the top ten five times, played in the Tour Championship, and of his six cuts last season, a remarkable three of them came in huge events (Players, U.S. Open, PGA Championship). That’s classic “nondescript excellence” right there, and though Stanley was a little too good in the WGC events (T-5, T-25, T-5, and 2), he managed to avoid winning one of them, and thus nudged ahead of Tony Finau, whose unbelievable 11 top-tens without a win looked great on paper, but ultimately stemmed from a style of play that was just too exciting and too visible, to the point that even his lack of wins became a medium-sized story. He simply couldn’t live up to Stanley’s anonymity…”
“Gary Woodland: The knock on Woodland might be that he’s a little too well-known, and in fact he’s won three times on Tour in his career, including last year’s Phoenix Open. However, he’s on the nondescript warpath this season, with seven top tens in 17 starts and zero wins. There’s also the fact that he looks like Brooks Koepka, the second-best player in the game, but is, in fact, not Brooks Koepka…although I’m not quite sure if that makes him more or less nondescript. And be honest: Did you know he was ninth on the FedExCup list, before I just told you? I certainly didn’t. There’s no greater compliment I can pay to someone vying for this award-being good without anyone noticing is the hallmark of a champ.”
6. BK’s very BK take on U.S. Open player complaints
From an AFP report…
A recent story in Golf Digest magazine included remarks from several anonymous players criticising the USGA’s running of the US Open, claiming that several professionals had even considered boycotting the event.
7. Canadian golf in a great spot?
PGATour.com’s Adam Stanley…
“Currently, there are 10 Canadians with TOUR membership, the most since 1970 when records were kept. Eight of those players are active most weeks: Hughes, Corey Conners, Adam Hadwin, Nick Taylor, Roger Sloan, David Hearn, Ben Silverman and Adam Svensson. The other two are Graham DeLaet, who is on a Major Medical exemption following microdiscectomy surgery and hopes to return later this year; and Weir, who has played mostly on the Web.com Tour this season (next May he turns 50 and will eligible for PGA TOUR Champions).”
“Of the active Canadians, five are inside the top 125 of the FedExCup standings; only Australia (six) has more among the non-U.S. members. Conners and Hadwin are in the top 20 of the International Team standings for this year’s Presidents Cup and hope to make a big push down the stretch this season.”
8. Mickelson’s grandfather was a Pebble Beach caddie
Michael Bamberger writes… “His mother’s father, Alfred Santos – strong, not lean, with work calluses on his fingers and boils between his knuckles – was born in 1906 in Monterey, Calif., the son of a Portuguese Cannery Row fisherman and his Portuguese wife. John Steinbeck, born in 1902, captured that briny world for eternity. Too bad he didn’t set up shop in Al’s boyhood caddie yards. He would have had a field day, the Irish kids, the Italian kids, the others, fists up at the first mention of mother. Al could hold his own.”
“When Pebble Beach opened for play in 1919, Al Santos was a boy caddie there, in wool pants and a newsboy cap, with cardboard insoles in his shoes. What he knew he had earned. As long as you have a silver dollar in your pocket, you’ll never be poor. Phil and his sibs, Tina and Tim, all know that one. This is what it means: Just because you have it doesn’t mean you should spend it. When Phil plays in the U.S. Open at Pebble this year, he’ll use a silver dollar as a ball marker, a coin his grandfather carried for decades, its sides worn smooth from his habitual rubbing of it.”
9. Mickelson aces Pebble’s 7th…sort of
Bill Speros at Golfweek…”Mickelson found himself working on his chipping game in the backyard of one Jim Nantz, he of CBS Sports broadcasting fame, located steps from the Pebble Beach course.”
Morning 9: Danny Comeback | Nelly | Munoz (and the rise of Latin American golf)
September 23, 2019
Good Monday morning, golf fans.
1. Danny Comeback
James Corrigan at The Telegraph…”The great Danny Willett comeback is finally complete. The Englishman, who fell so far and so dramatically in the wake of his Masters glory, proved that all the talent and competitive resilience of 2016 remains with a 20-under destruction of Jon Rahm and a world-class field.”
2. Munoz gets it done
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Munoz started the day with a one-shot lead, and for much of the afternoon it appeared to be his tournament to lose. But Im rallied with three straight birdies on the back nine to overtake him, leaving Munoz in the unenviable position of needing a birdie on the hardest hole to force the Tour’s first playoff since the RSM Classic in November. But his 15-footer on the 72nd hole found the bottom of the cup, and when Im missed a short par putt on the first playoff hole Munoz was left with a 4-footer for the win. The Colombian was battling to save his card at last month’s Wyndham Championship, but with the win he’s now exempt through the 2022 season and will make his Masters debut in April.”
3. Meet Munoz
So, who is this guy?
PGATour.com’s Sean Martin…“Like his former teammate, he didn’t take long to enter the winner’s circle. Munoz won his second start on the Korn Ferry Tour, after receiving a sponsor exemption into the event in his native Colombia. It translated into his first PGA TOUR card.”
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell…”Nelly Korda didn’t leave Europe without a trophy after all.”
5. Unleash the calves!
Steve DiMeglio for Golfweek on what’s ahead in Napa…
6. Rising, falling in strokes gained putting
Some research from David Dusek and the Golfweek team shows who’s improving (and who isn’t) in SG:P…”Unlike Spieth, who went from being a below-average putter to elite, Denny McCarthy went from being solid to the best on tour by lifting his average from 0.449 to 0.926, the 14th biggest rise last season.”
7. On spending $400 on a putter…
A question for Bomb & Gouge…Do I need to spend $400 on a putter or nah? –@Sam_Beishuizen
“Do you “need’ to spend $400 on a putter? No one truly needs to spend $400 on a putter. Of course, if you’re willing to spend $500-plus on a new driver, you could investigate the value of a higher end putter because you might be better fit at that price point than one from the bargain barrel. But fact is, most putters on the Golf Digest Hot List are well below that, and we’ve even had putters that go for as little as a hundred bucks make the list. And tour players have won with putters they picked up on sale or even used at the local golf shop or Golf Galaxy. If you’re the type of golfer that appreciates the quality of materials and the craftsmanship that comes with a $400 putter then you might not need to, but you might want to. It’s no different than the person who drives a Tesla or a Mercedes. They don’t need it to get where they’re going. A Honda CR-V will do just fine. But there’s a certain chest-puffing attitude that comes with knowing you have something special. Same applies to putters.”
8. Slow start to slow play monitoring
Geoff Shackelford writes…”The four-point plan debuted this week at the BMW PGA and despite some nice additions to the list of slow play remedies, we know the players aren’t always to blame. Even with the overrated field size reduction to 132, there is the pesky matter of modern distances on any course under 8,000 yards. That means waits, more waits and almost no chance of getting around in the time par of 4:30 or so.”
9. The rise of Latin American golfers?
Golf Digest’s Brian Wacker writes…”A week ago, 20-year-old Joaquin Niemann of Chile became the youngest non-American winner on the PGA Tour since 1923. Sunday, 26-year-old Sebastian Munoz became the first Colombian-born player to win on tour since Camilo Villegas.”
Interesting photos from the 2019 Sanderson Farms Championship
GolfWRX was on site at the 2019 Sanderson Farms Championship at the Country Club of Jackson in Jackson, Mississippi.
In addition to the usual spread of range photos from Monday and Tuesday, we also got a look at a new flatstick from Bettinardi, a few of Matt Jones’ Scotty Cameron putters, new wands from PXG, and some new shafts from Mitsubishi.
Check out a few highlights below and find the links to all our galleries after that.
2018 Scotty Cameron Hula Girl cover sighting!
A look at the unique tee markers
New Callaway staffer Akshay Bhatia’s awesome Callaway Apex MB irons
“Furby Boy” Joaquin Niemann’s 56-degree wedge
New Mitsubishi Tensei AV shafts spotted
One of the several new PXG Gen2 putters we got an in-hand look at
Sam Ryder with a little weight taken out of his Cleveland RTX-3 wedges
One of Matt Jones’ prototype Scotty Cameron putters
An in-hand look at the limited Bettinardi QB8 that launched in The Hive this week
All our photos from the Sanderson Farms Championship
- New Bettinardi putter – Sept 2019
- Matt Jones’ Cameron putters – Sept 2019
- Scotty Cameron Teryllium TFB-1.5 (stainless)
- PXG Putters – September 2019
- New Mitsubishi AV shafts – September 2019
- Joaquin Niemann – WITB Sept 2019
- Chandler Phillips – WITB Sept 2019
- Akshay Bhatia – WITB September 2019
- 2019 Sanderson Farms – Monday #1
- 2019 Sanderson Farms – Monday #2
- 2019 Sanderson Farms – Monday #3
- 2019 Sanderson Farms – Tuesday #1
- Sanderson Farms – Tuesday #2
Morning 9: Hoage! | Another Romo sponsor’s exemption | First foreign-born U.S. Mid-Am winner | Skins game details
September 20, 2019
Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1. Another bite at the Hoge
Sean Martin at PGATour.com…“Tom Hoge couldn’t keep pace with Joaquin Niemann over the final holes of last week’s A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier, but now Hoge finds himself atop the leaderboard in the second event of the PGA TOUR season.”
2. Meanwhile, in Europe…
Round one at the BMW PGA…“Rory McIlroy made six bogeys and a double bogey in his last 11 holes to shoot 4-over 76 at the BMW PGA Championship, leaving the world No. 2 already 11 strokes off the first-round lead held by Matt Wallace on Thursday.”
At the time of this writing, Danny Willett has an -8 second round going and is ahead by three at -12.
3. Romo planning to make the cut?
“The Forecaddie perused the Safeway Classic field next week and saw former quarterback Tony Romo will be playing on a sponsor invite. This was hardly earth-shattering given the former Cowboy’s appearance in three PGA Tour events and his passion for competitive golf.”
4. First foreign-born U.S. Mid-Am winner
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…“Australian Lukas Michel rallied to win the U.S. Mid-Amateur final, 2 and 1, to punch his ticket to next year’s Masters and U.S. Open.”
5. Stadium’s a goin’ up!
Golfweek’s Todd Kelly…”The Waste Management Phoenix Open is more than four months away but construction at TPC Scottsdale has already started.”
6. ZJ takes advantage
PGATour.com’s Sean Martin…”‘Opportunity’ is a word used often at the Sanderson Farms Championship. The second event of the PGA TOUR season provides new players fresh off the Korn Ferry Tour the chance to gain experience, get a head-start in the FedExCup race and even earn that maiden victory and all the trappings that accompany it.”
7. Hovland’s “home” debut
Golf Digest’s John Huggan…”Viktor Hovland has never failed to shoot in the 60s on the European Tour. Not even once.”
8. Molinari speaketh
An interesting question for Francesco Molinari in a New York Times interview…”On a personal note, does it bother you that soccer players get more adoration than golfers in Italy?”
9. ICYMI: Skins game details
News from yesterday, in case you missed it. Our Gianni Magliocco…”The upcoming skins match in Japan involving Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama is set, with a prize purse of $350,00 up for grabs.”
Best driver of 2019
Justin Thomas’ winning WITB: 2019 BMW Championship
Top 5 wedges of all time
Rory McIlroy’s winning WITB: 2019 Tour Championship
Top 10 most iconic driver and fairway wood shafts of all time
Patrick Reed’s winning WITB: 2019 Northern Trust
Titleist Left Dash Pro V1x is headed to retail
Phil Mickelson WITB
New 2019 TaylorMade P790 irons: Subtle changes improve a modern cult classic
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