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



By Ben Alberstadt (

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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Morning 9: Women’s PGA | Fox: best golf coverage in the biz? | Michelle Wieturns



By Ben Alberstadt (

June 19, 2019

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans.
1. Henderson, Thompson sizzling heading into Women’s PGA
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell…”Brooke Henderson and Lexi Thompson couldn’t get hotter at a better time.”
  • “With three major championships over the next seven weeks, they’ll be looking to make the most of their winning form. They each have a chance this week to reach No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings for the first time.”
  • “Henderson won the Meijer Classic last week, Thompson the ShopRite Classic two weeks ago.”
  • “Ladbrokes makes Henderson the co-favorite to win the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship with Jeongeun Lee6 at 11/1 odds, with Thompson at 12/1 odds.”
2. Wieturning again
Ron Sirak for…
“But perhaps the most difficult digits to digest are those detailing the impact of the injuries that have disrupted Wie’s career. Without the constant interruptions, her five career wins with one major championship would almost certainly be more. Now, she tries once again to get back into action.”
  • “I’m feeling hopeful,” Wie said Tuesday at Hazeltine National where, on Thursday, she will tee it up for just her ninth tournament round of the year. “It’s still a process. It’s been hard sitting out during the middle of the season. There’s really nothing worse. But I had to take the time to get myself back to where I want to be.”
  • “There is almost no a part of Wie that has not been damaged, beginning with an injury to her left wrist when she fell while jogging in 2007. Since then, she’s had issues with a finger, knee, hip and the other wrist. At times, it almost appears as if her body is held together by multi-colored physiotape.”

Full piece.

3. Arrival of the Wolff
Sean Martin at…”This week’s Travelers Championship is Matthew Wolff’s first tournament as a professional. It may be the most anticipated pro debut in a decade. The consensus collegiate player of the year combines charisma with a swing that is identifiable from a few fairways over.
  • “He wins. He’s unique. His swing is different, so it catches everybody’s eye,” said Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee. “And then there’s the incredible speed.
  • “When you see somebody with speed … it gets your attention.”
4. Fox the best?
An interesting take from Sean Zak at…
  • “In its five years as the USGA rights-holder, Fox has added something new every year, which, for a sport whose visuals seem to never change, is refreshing and important. One year it was the mic’d up holes, even shadows on the greens to display slopes. Some of it sticks from year to year, some of it doesn’t, but Fox is trying new things and adding new context.”
  • “This year the novelty was epic, highlighted by delicious drone shots along the coast. Blimp shots are great and were more relevant this week than most, but the drones that floated up over Carmel Bay, gliding along with the players, providing the perfect scale of the property – those were new and beautiful. A good broadcast shows viewers everything they must see to better understand a course, but also makes them a bit jealous of everyone there on the grounds.”
5. JT pain free
A few quotes from Thomas…”I have zero pain. I can do everything normally.”
“I could have played Colonial – easily – but it would have been stupid and [my wrist] could have been lingering the entire year,” he said. “This injury should never be an issue again in my life, as long as I do the proper things and don’t do anything stupid. That’s why I waited as long as I did.”
6. Not a fan
The Herald’s (Scotland) Nick Rodger…
  • “As everyday life hurtles along at a furious rate of knots, the golf season too is hammering on. Three men’s majors have already been played and in just four weeks’ time the curtain will come down on the quartet of grand slam events at the Open Championship. It’s rather like uploading a Youtube video onto your laptop and quickly spooling through to the best bits.”
  • “It’s all happening a bit too quickly for my liking,” gasped Colin Montgomerie as the dust settled on last weekend’s US Open even though there’s still probably dust lingering from the previous majors of the US PGA Championship and the Masters.”
7. Jin Young Ko dreaming of Brooks?
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…“On a day when LPGA stars filed in and out of the press room at the KPMG Women’s PGA, Ko delivered the line of the day. When asked what it is that she likes about Koepka and how he inspires her play, Ko said: “I met him in my dream, and then we had really great time.”
  • “…He always (has) like a poker face and then like stone.”
  • Ko, 23, put her arms out wide and said, “I like big guy.”
8. What Gary was aiming for
Our Gianni Magliocco…“U.S. Open Champion Gary Woodland made an appearance at SiriusXM’s Manhattan studios on Tuesday, where he sat down to discuss a multitude of topics with Adam Schein on his Mad Dog Sports Radio program – Schein on Sports.”
  • “Woodland also discussed beating Tiger Woods’ total of 12-under-par from the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. The 35-year-old first mentioned how he recognized that Woods won that tournament by 15 strokes, before adding how he was aware of beating his 72-hole total, saying…”
  • “I knew it, but I was trying to two-putt. I wasn’t trying to make that putt. Once it got halfway there and it went in I obviously let the emotion out. My caddie came over to tell me congrats and I said, ‘You know that clipped Tiger by one?’ And he said, ‘No I didn’t.’ He was focused on the wrong stuff, he was focused on winning, I was focused on beating that record.”
9. A Phireside chat
How to introduce Phil Mickelson’s first Phireside with Phil video…? Mickelson tells a story of an early morning restart at the Memorial some years back and a, um, crappy situation.
My question: This is a clear violation of the rules of tournament play. Is there a provision for situations that make the hole/toilet unusable after restart and necessitate cutting a new cup?


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TaylorMade signs Matthew Wolff to a multi-year deal; Wolff WITB



TaylorMade Golf has officially announced the signing of Matthew Wolff on a multi-year agreement that will see the 20-year-old play the company’s metal woods, irons, wedges, putter and ultimately, TaylorMade’s flagship golf ball, the TP5x.

Wolff had previously unveiled that he would be making his professional debut at this week’s Travelers Championship, and just as top prospect Collin Morikawa did earlier at this month’s Canadian Open, Wolff will do so as a TaylorMade staffer.

The NCAA All-American and 2019 NCAA Division I individual champion made his debut on the PGA Tour at the Waste Management Phoenix Open earlier this year where he finished T50 after opening his week with a round of five-under par.

Matthew Wolff WITB

Driver: TaylorMade M6 (8 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design TP 7TX

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade M6 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke 6.5 TX

Utility Iron: TaylorMade P760 (2)
Shaft: Nippon Modus 130x

Irons: TaylorMade P750 Tour Proto (3-PW)
Shafts: Nippon Modus 130x

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind Raw (52, 56, 62 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Copper


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5 questions with Justin Kinney of Virtual Golf Caddy



We chatted with Justin Kinney, founder and CEO of startup Virtual Golf Caddy about his product, which serves both courses and players, by offering drone arial photography of golf courses (with graphics overlayed).

While drone photography and videography of golf courses is an established phenomenon, using the photos and video for better course management and preparation is a relatively new approach.

We wanted to learn more about what VGC is doing, and Kinney was kind enough to answer a handful of questions and include an example of the company’s work.

1. Tell us a bit about your background

I am 38 years old, born and raised in Connecticut. Lifelong golfer. Just finishing up my career as a middle school math teacher to focus on VGC full-time. I also have five years of business experience managing people’s retirement accounts. I played as many sports as I could growing up, and love the thrill of competition.

2. What’s the opportunity you saw?

I agreed to caddie for one of my students two summers ago. When researching the courses he was going to play, there was NO info on the courses. I thought there was a huge opportunity to provide course management strategies for players and give players a view of the entire courses with drones. No one was really doing anything like that, so I spent the past two years working on and building my business plan. Two months ago I secured funding to work on this full-time.

3. What is Virtual Golf Caddy, exactly?

VGC is a golf preparation and mental conditioning program designed to help give golfers a game plan to attack courses with. We provide drone views of each hole as well as course management strategies on how to best play each hole. Shot suggestions are given based on how far and confident players hit their clubs. We include mental conditioning tips and exercises to help players “zone in” more often and consistently. We are considering getting into golf fitness and nutrition as well to help build the whole golfer. Players purchase access to each course’s videos and info for either $15 or $25 per course, depending on how much info they want. They get unlimited access to the videos and can watch them wherever (home, airport, hotel, course).

4. What stage is the business in, and can you show us an example of VCG in action? 

We are still in the start-up phase. We are making agreements with and filming at courses. The website is being redesigned and will be up in June. It appears like things may take off quickly so stay tuned!

For an example, check out the video below.

6. What else should GolfWRX members know?

We are looking for courses to partner with. We will give courses free publicity on our site, a promotional video from the footage to use on their site, and share 15 percent of their courses profits with them. A win-win for everyone involved! If readers know of any courses, please email us.

One other thing to add: the mental prep/conditioning program is being built by renowned sports psychologist Bill Cole, MS, MA. It is legit and comes from over 40 years of research and experience! We’re also pursuing options in fitness and nutrition.

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19th Hole