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Morning 9: Leadbetter calls out Ko family again | Olesen charged, suspended from Euro Tour | McIlroy roasts Kuchar

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

August 7, 2019

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans. 
1. Leadbetter calls out Kos again
Scathing words from Lydia Ko’s former instructor, via Christopher Powers at Golf Digest. Ko missed the cut at the Women’s British Open, has won just once in the past three years, and has been through a number of coaches and caddies in the process.
  • “It really is a very sad situation to observe,” Leadbetter added. “The problem is when you start changing everything.
  • “As many changes as she’s made, not only coaching, caddies and equipment, and sports psychologists and trainers, she’s also changed her body type now.”
  • “Her parents have a lot to answer for-a case of unbelievable ignorance,” he said. “They tell her when to go to bed, what to eat, what to wear, when to practice and what to practice. And they expect her to win every tournament. … They need to let her go, let her fly, let her leave the nest so to speak and find her own way. If she can do that, we could see Lydia back.”
2. Tiger’s prep day at Liberty National 
Alex Myers ventured off the 27th floor of One World Trade to check out Tiger Woods’ Tuesday practice round in Jersey City.
  • A few of his observations…“Just moments after Woods arrived on the range, a horn blew signaling everyone to leave the premises. Yes, even 15-time major champs have to seek shelter.”
  • “An hour and 20 minutes later, Woods was back on the range to finally, actually begin preparation for the first of three FedEx Cup Playoff events played over three consecutive weeks.”
  • “After a 40-minute warmup, Woods went to the first tee with Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, and Harold Varner III.”
  • “…As for Woods’ play, it was solid outside of a lost ball in the high fescue left on the par-4 sixth. Just a guess, but a Tiger-sized gallery would have found it during a tournament day.”

Full piece.

3. Olesen charged, suspended from European Tour
BBC report…”Ryder Cup winner Thorbjorn Olesen will appear in court on 21 August after being charged with sexual assault, being drunk on an aircraft and common assault.”
  • “…A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: “A man has been charged in connection with an incident on an inbound flight to Heathrow Airport on Monday, 29 July.”
  • “Jacob Thorbjorn Olesen, 29, of Redcliffe Road, Kensington and Chelsea, was charged by postal requisition on Thursday, 1 August with sexual assault, being drunk on an aircraft and common assault.”
  • “He is due to appear at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, 21 August.”

Full piece.

4. More tweaks for the scientist
PGATour.com’s Andrew Tursky on some adjustments (and a potential bombshell for amateur golfers?) ahead of the first FEC event.
  • “For DeChambeau, that meant a trip to Carlsbad, California — home of Cobra Golf’s headquarters – to work with Cobra’s R&D team on clubs that can be more beneficial for his game. While remaining mum on details, DeChambeau expressed that he was positive about what the group came up with; not only for himself, but for golfers worldwide.”
  • “We found some very interesting results that will be of future help to amateur golfers across the world,” DeChambeau said in a press conference.
  • “”We don’t have the full solution of it yet,” DeChambeau said. “We can’t just make a head right on the spot. It’s going to be a month before we can do things we need to do. There was a minor improvement with the tools we had at that point – not just minor, but pretty drastic — but it can even get better as time goes on. That time is necessary for me to keep learning and getting better.”
5. Woodland’s summer of stress
AP report…”So the smile that never left him Tuesday at Liberty National Golf Club had nothing to do with the $15 million prize at stake as the FedEx Cup playoffs begin. It was all about his twin daughters Maddox and Lennox born Thursday, making his best year in golf the greatest year of his life.”
  • “I feel 100 pounds lighter,” Woodland said as he walked off the course during a weather delay in a practice round Tuesday for The Northern Trust. “Obviously, I had a huge win and that was great. But it’s been stressful every week because every cart I see … ‘Are they coming to get me? Is Gabby going into labor?’ The last month has been stressful for both of us.”
6. The perils of expecting something different
Golf Digest’s Joel Beall…”Garcia’s litany of temper tantrums-ones seemingly reserved for grade-schoolers-have been met with increased fascination, self-righteousness and finger-wagging. Yet, entertaining as Garcia’s faux pas may be (to some), the aggregate of incidents-the latest a club throw at his caddie at Royal Portrush and a tee-box excavation in Memphis-raises a question: What is up with this cat?”
  • “After all, wasn’t Garcia a changed man, finding maturity in family, salvation in Augusta? This season, the consensus says, has been a digression to a persona Sergio seemingly had buried. Undeniably, there have been a number of missteps. But the only thing that’s fundamentally changed about Sergio-in this year, and all the years before it-is our perception, and tolerance, of him.”
7. Who’s up for a little Tiger or Jack debate? 
For The Win’s Andy Nesbitt with a vote for TW…
“But there’s been nobody as good as Tiger. Ever…And it really isn’t even close.”
  • “Tiger has excelled in an individual sport during a time when everything he did was examined, celebrated, and critiqued at levels that Nicklaus never even came close to having to deal with.”
  • “Tiger’s run through the 2000s was must-see TV and man did he know how to put on a show and rise to the occasion – often in dramatic fashion – when the whole world was watching.”
  • “He took the PGA Tour to a whole new level and continues to make many golfers absolutely filthy rich because of all the money Tiger brought into the game.”
  • “Before Tiger, winners would often get $180,000 for a win. Now most tournaments are over a million bucks, with majors and the Players’ going over two million bucks.”
8. Roasted! 
Golf Channel’s Jason Crook...”The latest burn came via Rory McIlroy on Tuesday during the Wyndham Rewards ceremony, where an extra $10 million in bonus money was handed out to players.”
  • “While Kuchar was explaining that McIlroy had cost him $300,000 by finishing just two points ahead of him in the season-long race, the four-time major champ quickly interjected, “And we all know what money means to him.”
9. Shibuno for team Japan?
Golf Channel’s Nick Menta...:”Shibuno is up to 14th in the Rolex Rankings, making her the second highest Japanese player in the world, behind 10th-ranked Nasa Hataoka.”
  • “Although there’s still 11 months to go before the qualification period for the women’s event closes on June 29, 2020, Shibuno is currently in line to represent the host country in Tokyo next year.”
  • “Ranked 563rd at the end of 2018, the 20-year-old made a quick ascent with a pair of victories on the JLPGA, vaulting all the way to 46th in just seven months…She jumped up 32 more spots with her win at Woburn, leapfrogging Mamiko Higa and Ai Suzuki to move into Japan’s second Olympic spot.”

 

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Donkeys

    Aug 10, 2019 at 10:57 pm

    Jackass.

  2. Jim

    Aug 8, 2019 at 9:24 am

    Matt Kuchar sucks.

    • Iknowdonkeys

      Aug 8, 2019 at 9:27 am

      Kuchar is a big donkey with a donkey face.

    • BoycottBridgestoneBalls

      Aug 8, 2019 at 1:13 pm

      Yes, he does. I stopped buying Bridgestone balls because he’s such a jerk.

      • BigDonkey

        Aug 10, 2019 at 11:57 am

        That’s hilarious. He does resemble a donkey.

    • Nick

      Aug 10, 2019 at 12:00 pm

      AKA…JACKASS – hee haw…

  3. Oh oYouDidnt

    Aug 7, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    Damn, Rory.

    • JThunder

      Aug 7, 2019 at 9:39 pm

      “Rory cost me $300,000…”

      Yeah, Matt, I’m sure the golfing public really cares about your 1% problems. The average U.S. household is lucky to make that much in 6 years of full-time, year-long work.

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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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PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan stresses that the Tour won’t be “overly reactionary” in attempts to solve slow play issue

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Days after the European Tour announced their 4-point plan to tackle slow play in the game, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has stated that the Tour will not be reactionary to their counterparts across the Atlantic Ocean.

According to USA Today, Monahan spoke to media at East Lake Golf Club on Tuesday and acknowledged the ire of golf fans around the world. But the commissioner stressed that while the Tour is currently in the process of combating the issue—there is no quick fix.

“We’ve been working on this, and we can be criticized for taking too long. But there’s been more than 1.2 million shots hit this year, and we’re talking about a few instances – and granted, they’re instances that are extreme – and we’re going to go down a path and we’re going to address that.

And I feel really good about where we’re going to get to, but it takes longer than you want, and you can’t be overly reactionary. I tend to have a fair amount of urgency around everything I do, and sometimes you can’t execute the urgency you want. You have to stay on the path you’re on.”

Per the report, PGA Tour officials have held numerous meetings with the Player Advisory Council and the Policy Board and one rule change which we know will be coming into effect for the 2020 season is that only the top-65 and ties instead of the top-70 and ties will play the weekend next season. While teams in Florida have also reportedly been analyzing ShotLink data going back to 2003 to identify trends and solutions to solve the issue plaguing the sport.

But while the European Tour have gone about things their own way, Monahan says that their new ideas will not influence the PGA Tour’s future decision making on the situation in any way.

“I wouldn’t say we’re going to be influenced in any way. I think everybody looking at this, talking about it is a good thing, and they’ve obviously decided that that’s the right thing for the European Tour. And when we’re ready to talk about what we’re going to do, I’ll be excited to talk to all of you about it.”

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