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Morning 9: Keegan puts it together | U.S. Open coverage enhancements | Read this skin cancer PSA!

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

June 7, 2019

Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1. Keegan to the front
Golf Channel’s WIll Gray on Bradley’s opening-round 63…
  • “With his driver cooperating and his irons on point, Keegan Bradley tried not to let the frustration get to him after starting the RBC Canadian Open with six straight pars.”
  • “I had a couple brutal lip-outs,” Bradley told reporters. “I just kept telling myself to keep going.”
  • “Good that he did, since Bradley turned a frustrating start into one of his best rounds of the year. The veteran reeled off five straight birdies on Nos. 7-11, and he ultimately carded a 7-under 63 that gave him a one-shot lead after the morning wave at Hamilton Golf & Country Club.”
  • “Bradley has long been a solid ball-striker, but his putter has been uncooperative at best. Even amid a solid season he is ranked 206th on Tour in strokes gained putting, as it remains a weak spot in his otherwise stout game. But Thursday Bradley had it rolling on the greens, making four putts over 7 feet across his final 12 holes to take an early lead.”

Full piece.

2. Bathroom DQ?
Our Gianni Magliocco…
  • “A bathroom break at a US Open sectional qualifier led to a disqualification after Skyler Fox was deemed to have not delivered his scorecard in a prompt manner after completing his first round.”
  • “According to GolfWeek’s Andy Kostka, the 16-year-old began suffering from a headache around the 12th hole of his opening round at Woodmont Country Club, and after finishing his round of six-over par, darted to the bathroom to take medicine for the issue. On returning from the bathroom to submit his card, Fox learned that officials had already put an “NC” next to his name, indicating that he had failed to turn in a scorecard.”
  • “Per the report, when Fx returned to the scorer’s area, his swing coach, Sean Swidzinski, and father, Joe, were seen arguing with a tournament official.”
  • “Speaking on the DQ, Fox stated”
  • “They told me I was disqualified because I didn’t get to the scoring table in time, which made no sense. I was pretty upset. I mean, there was a good chance I wasn’t going to make it (to the US Open). I was going to have to shoot really low. But I wanted to go out there and put a respectable score up.”
3. Wolff, Hovland to debut together
Todd Kelly for Golfweek…”Matthew Wolff and Viktor Hovland, the killer 1-2 combo from Oklahoma State, will make their pro debuts together in two weeks the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut.”
  • “Wolff is fresh off winning the 2019 Haskins Award and just prior to that, the NCAA Championship.”
  • “Hovland is the reigning U.S. Amateur champ and was the top amateur at the Masters in April.”
4. The drones cometh
The Forecaddie on additions to U.S. Open coverage…
  • “Nine holes will be equipped to show us a “standard ball-trace over live video, with enhanced club and ball data.” The remaining nine will have the now-industry standard (thanks to Fox) FlightTrack, with a live trace over a graphic of the golf hole.”
  • “The next leap in tracer technology will be seen at the 14th green where, instead of a camera remaining set in place and following the shot into the green, new innovations will allow for Toptracer to show the incoming shot’s trajectory while the camera is free to pan, tilt and zoom. Fox producer Mark Loomis and team are still tinkering with how to make it best for viewers, but The Forecaddie is easily swayed by any effort to advance the use of tracers – it’s what the kids want!”
5. Remembering a departed friend
Our Michael Williams penned a touching remembrance of his friend Mark Parsinen.
  • “Golf has always elevated course architects to exalted status. From Mackenzie, Ross and Tillinghast to Fazio, Jones (Robert Jr. and Rees), Hanse and Coore-Crenshaw, golf’s version of rock stars make their name in the dirt and are lauded by writers and players worldwide.”
  • “Similarly, patrons of the game like Johnny Morris have ascended in the industry as they have translated their financial fortunes and love of golf to facilitate the creation of destinations like Big Cedar Lodge; they are the Medicis of golf’s new Golden Age. But I can only think of only a few who combine the skill and sensibility of a great designer with the vision and passion of a great patron. One who is well-known is Mike Keiser. Although lesser-known, Mark Parsinen was another.”
  • I was introduced to Mark Parsinen by another good friend, Robert Trent Jones Jr. Bobby had worked with Mark at Granite Bay; he knew that Mark was in Washington, DC for a family event and thought that we should meet. I met Mark in the lobby of his hotel along with his wife Dede, his daughter Jenny and a bunch of their friends, including the actor Taye Diggs. Someone wanted to get a picture of the family and I moved over to the side to make way. As they were forming up, Mark called to me, “Hey Michael, come join the picture!”
  • “I had known him for all of five minutes and he insisted that I be a part of a shared memory. That was our friendship. That was Mark Parsinen.”

Full piece.

6. U.S. Open tee times
CBS Sports Kyle Porter…
“Big Cat gets Jordan Spieth and Justin Rose as his group for the first two rounds of this year’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. That group will tee off at 5:09 p.m. ET on Thursday before going to a more reasonable 11:24 a.m. on Friday morning.”
“Jon Rahm, Marc Leishman and Rory McIlroy will play together over the first two days. So will Si Woo Kim, Rickie Fowler and Jason Day. Phil Mickelson gets two golfers who were at the heart of the last U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in 2010 — Dustin Johnson and Graeme McDowell — while last year’s champion Brooks Koepka will play with Francesco Molinari and U.S. Amateur champ, Viktor Hovland.”
7. 57!
Alex Ross of Davidson carded a 50-freaking-7 at the Dogwood Invitational…
  • Golfweek’s Brenley Romine…”The Davidson junior turned in the incredible round on Druid Hills Golf Club, carding 13 birdies and an eagle. He shot 9-under 27 on the back nine. The par-72 layout was played at 6,836 yards.”
  • “A native of Atlanta played in all 11 tournaments for the Wildcats as a sophomore, recording four top-10s and a 73.03 scoring average. He was a first-team All-Atlantic 10 Conference selection.”

Full piece.

8. Keegan’s changes
Steve Dimeglio for Golfweek…
“Keegan Bradley started working with a sports psychologist the week before the PGA Championship, put an old putter back in his golf bag ahead of last week’s Memorial and decided at the last minute to play this week’s RBC Canadian Open.”

Full piece.

9. PSA: Skin cancer for golfers (read it!) 
Digest’s David Owen mixes his personal skin cancer with science and shocking statistics. Read it!
“Skin cancer is the commonest type of cancer: There are more new cases each year than there are of all other cancers combined. The principal cause is exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, with the usual contributions from genetic bad luck. Basal cell carcinoma is the most widespread and least-frightening variety. It almost never metastasizes, and, if the tumor is superficial and small, it can sometimes even be obliterated non-surgically, with repeated applications of a topical cream or with a particular kind of light therapy. Next in severity is squamous cell carcinoma, the treatment for which is trickier but usually also straightforward unless the cancer has spread. The worst kind-and, fortunately, a relatively uncommon one, although its incidence is increasing-is melanoma. If melanoma isn’t caught early, it can metastasize rapidly to distant parts of the body, and once that happens it’s often fatal. Invasive melanoma accounts for a tiny percentage of all skin-cancer cases but for the majority of skin-cancer deaths.”
“Golfers have always been at greater risk of developing skin cancer than people who never go outside or visit tanning parlors, but even among nongolfers the incidence has been rising for years, worldwide. Studies cited by the Skin Cancer Foundation have shown that, in the United States, cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer increased by 77 percent from 1994 to 2014, and that there will be 7.7 percent more melanoma cases this year than there were in 2018. (Whales are also affected. They’re exposed to the sun when they surface, and the skin damage they suffer appears similar to the skin damage suffered by humans.) The main cause for the increases is the depletion of the earth’s ozone layer, which is a part of the stratosphere that begins about nine miles up and absorbs ultraviolet radiation that would otherwise broil us. It’s like sunscreen for the entire planet.”
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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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