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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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  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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13-time major champion Mickey Wright passes away at the age of 85

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LPGA Tour legend and Hall of Famer Mickey Wright passed away on Monday after suffering a heart attack, according to the AP.

Wright won 82 titles on the LPGA Tour including 13-major titles in a career which began in 1955 and ended with her retirement at the age of just 34.

Per the 13-time major champion’s lawyer, Sonia Pawluc who was speaking to AP, Wright had been hospitalised for the last few weeks after suffering a fall.

The sporting legend is the only LPGA Tour professional to hold all majors at the same time, and Ben Hogan once described her swing as the finest in the game.

Speaking on the news of her passing, LPGA Tour commissioner, Michael Whan said

“We are deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Mickey Wright. We lost a legend, but we may also have lost the best swing in golf history today. Our thoughts are with her family and friends.”

Wright’s long list of accomplishments in the game includes the most victories in a single LPGA season (13), four consecutive LPGA money titles (1961-64), 14 successive years with an LPGA victory (1956-69) and a stunning 44 wins from 1961 through 1964.

She was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1976.

 

 

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Morning 9: Tiger: Bad week inside ropes, good week outside | Scott, Park end droughts | CBS’ coverage panned (again)

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By Ben Alberstadt
Email me at ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com and find me at @benalberstadt on Instagram and golfwrxEIC on Twitter.
February 17, 2020
Good Monday morning, golf fans.

 

1. Scott gets first Tour win since 2016
Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner with a succinct breakdown…“Scott started the day in part of a three-way share of the lead, and he suffered an early stumble with a double bogey on the fifth hole. But the notoriously wobbly putter steadied his nerve down the stretch, burying birdie putts on Nos. 13 and 17 that proved to be the difference. Scott earned an unofficial victory at Riviera in 2005 when he won a 36-hole, rain-slogged event, but now he has an official title as part of his Riv credentials. It’s back-to-back worldwide wins for Scott across two calendar years, as the veteran closed out 2019 with a victory at the Australian PGA Championship. But after a number of recent near-misses, the Aussie now has his first PGA Tour win since March 2016, when he went back-to-back at Honda and Doral.”
2. …and Down Under, another title drought endeth
AP report…”Seven-time major champion Inbee Park saw a seven shot lead shrink to two shots Sunday before winning the Women’s Australian Open by three strokes to clinch her first LPGA title in almost two years.”
  • “Park started her final round three shots in front of 19-year old South Korean compatriot Ayeon Cho. She bogeyed the ninth hole but still turned five shots ahead of the field and went out to a seven shot lead early on the back nine at the Royal Adelaide Golf Club.”
3. …and on the Korn Ferry Tour
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Andrew Novak birdied each of his final two holes to earn his first career Korn Ferry Tour victory at the LECOM Suncoast Classic.”
  • “Novak, 24, started the final round in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., one shot off the lead, and he was part of a crowded leaderboard as the tournament entered the closing stretch. But thanks in large part to birdies on Nos. 17 and 18, two of the seven hardest holes at Lakewood National GC, he closed with a 6-under 66. That left him at 23 under, one shot ahead of John Chin and two shots clear of Taylor Montgomery, both of whom closed with rounds of 64.”
4. Not the weekend he wanted
PGATour.com’s Ben Everill…”It was another week to lament at the famed course where Woods started his PGA TOUR career as a 16-year-old. He faded on the back nine of his rounds on Thursday and Friday and then shot 76-77 on the weekend to be 11 over par, some 22 shots behind winner Adam Scott.”
  • “Woods was full of praise for the event he and his foundation put on in its new elevated status, but could only try some self-deprecating humor when asked of his personal on course efforts.”
  • “I did not do much well today. Good news, I hit every ball forward, not backwards, a couple sideways. But overall, I’m done,” he said. “I’ve been in this position many times unfortunately. Just keep fighting hole by hole, shot by shot and try to make some birdies, which I did not do.
ESPN’s Bob Harig on what he saw…“Woods was still not moving great. While he looked good at times, his overall game was a shell of what he produced three weeks ago at Torrey Pines, let alone in December at the Presidents Cup or October at the Zozo Championship.”
  • “This was simply a day to endure, not make matters worse — and then hand the tournament trophy to winner Adam Scott, who finished 22 strokes ahead of the tournament host.”
  • “And it was yet another reminder: Woods is 44 years old, has a fused spine, had three previous back surgeries prior to that, and counts himself lucky to be playing the game at all, let alone a high level.”
Full piece. 
5. Chubb champ: Scott Parel
Greg Hardwig of the Naples Daily News…”Scott Parel lost two opportunities at victories last year in playoffs. He wasn’t going to take that chance Sunday in the Chubb Classic.”
“Parel, 54, birdied six of the first 12 holes to come back from five shots off the lead and went on to win at The Classics Country Club at Lely Resort for his third PGA Tour Champions victory. Parel tied the tournament record at 17-under 196 on the par-71 course, and won $240,000 out of the $1.6 million purse.”
6. Rave review for CBS’ golf coverage…
Joel Beall with a (incomplete) tally of some of the (many) errors…
  • “An incorrect score board from the LPGA’s Women’s Australian Open, caught by No Laying Up. The tournament ended Saturday night.”
  • “A singular Korn Ferry Tour highlight, featuring a putt from Peter Uihlein. Although Uihlein entered the day with the lead, he finished T-20 at the Suncoast Classic, which had already been decided when the event update was televised.”
  • “Delayed footage of Harold Varner III topping his tee shot at the iconic 10th hole. Varner was tied at the time of the miscue, which was noted by CBS Sports analyst Ian Baker-Finch. Varner’s top was eventually shown in a highlight package some 90 minutes after it occurred.”
  • “The relative broadcast absences of Max Homa, one of the more popular PGA Tour players on social media, and Joel Dahmen. As the Twitter handle Deep Fried Egg pointed out, at one juncture Homa, then a stroke back of the lead, had only a single shot televised while Rickie Fowler-who was not in the field-had two highlights during the program.”
7. Rory talks Brooks & more
Adam Woodard at Golfweek draws on more of Rory McIlroy’s conversation with journalist Paul Kimmage…a few morsels…
  • “So, I go out in the final round and my midset was . . . It’s another round of golf . . . a great opportunity . . . I’m going to try to play well. And I was beaten on the day,” McIlroy remembered. “Obviously, Brooks played great and shot 65 but I think, more than anything, I was beaten by his intensity and his desire. I was too relaxed.”
  • “Later on in the season, McIlroy learned of a text Koepka sent to his friends before the final round in Memphis: “I’m going to crush him.”
  • “Yeah, and f*** he sort of did,” said McIlroy. “Well, Brooks and I have always got on great – we do get on great – but he was obviously taking that mindset, ‘It’s me and him’. And I guess it was a good thing that he thinks highly of me, or not highly of me, if he was saying he was going to crush me.”
8. Unplanned break ahead
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…”When Muni He triumphed at LPGA Q-Series last November, she seized control of something every professional golfer holds dear: her schedule…”
  • “He, 20, decided early on that she’d skip the first three LPGA tournaments that she was eligible for and start 2020 on a three-week stretch in Asia, playing off of sponsor exemptions in limited-field events in Thailand and Singapore and the Blue Bay LPGA in her native China.”
  • “No one could’ve predicted that her first three starts would be canceled due to threats from the coronavirus. That control He worked so hard for went up in a puff of smoke. She’ll now make her first start of 2020 in late March at the LPGA event in Phoenix.”
9. Genesis a big success for Tiger…outside the ropes
Golf Digest’s Daniel Rapaport rightly points out…”It was not his week on the course, obviously. But Woods’ time here was about more than how he fared inside the ropes. He has hosted this event for the last three years in conjunction with his TGR Live venture, but this was the first year the tournament formerly known as the L.A. Open was no longer an open. It’s an Invitational now, which means a reduced field size to 120, an increased purse and an elevated status.
  • “And the first year was, by any measure, a marked success-four cloudless days, a challenging Riviera that flashed its teeth all week and a bunched leader board that didn’t sort itself until late Sunday afternoon, when Adam Scott prevailed for a two-shot victory.”
  • “From a tournament perspective, it couldn’t have gone any better,” Woods said. “We’ve had perfect weather, people have come out and supported this event. Our elevation, being a part of the new invitational status, look at the players that come out and supported this event that have played this week, we couldn’t have asked for a more dream scenario. The golf course was fantastic. Everything couldn’t have been any better from that side.”

 

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Tour Rundown: Scott’s grit and guile, Queen Bee, Wofford’s pride

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The PGA Tour’s Cali Swing came to a close for 2020, while the Champions Tour returned to the continental USA after a stint in Morocco. The ladies of the LPGA stood tall in Australia, just as the Korn Ferry tour also docked in the lower 48, after time spent in South America. As the world of golf considers the pros and cons of a world tour, it’s easy to look around and see how such a grand plan might come to pass. As the globe continues to orbit, we take our turn in running down this week’s results.

PGA Tour: Scott claims 14th tour title with grit and guile

Say what you must about the back nine at the Augusta National, but I will stand the inward half at Riviera as the ultimate gut-check site in golf. For starters, we saw Tiger Woods go out in 4-under par on Thursday, stoking the embers of bonfires of hope everywhere. El tigre played the inward half in 36-38-41-39, so we know which high-school crush still makes him nervous! Wasn’t much different for the rest of the field; play the inward half well and you stand a chance. How about Adam Scott? After an inexplicable 37 on Thursday, he back-nined Riviera for 31-33-35. For those (like me) not counting, that’s the essential difference between what Tiger tallied, and what the tournament victor posted. Scott had his hands full, as players like Bryson DeChambeau, Matt Kuchar, Rory McIlroy, and late to the party: Sung Kang and Scott Brown. Both Kang and Brown closed fast, reaching -9, joining Kuchar in a tie for 2nd. They call Riviera Hogan’s Alley, for the playing record of the wee ice mon over its 18 holes. It begs the question, which Riviera was Hogan playing, that he could get that good, that repeatedly, over these beguiling, 18 holes?

LPGA: Queen Bee secures 20th title in Royal fashion. Could gold be next?

Inbee Park has been many things over the years: Major champion (she won her first LPGA event at the 2008 US Open); Olympic Gold Medalist (yup, that was her in Rio, wearing the bling); and now, comeback kid. Park was injured in 2017, and despite a victory in 2018, has yet to capture the stature that thrust her to #1 in the world, and 18 tour victories. Watch out, world; she might be back. Park stood sooo tall after three rounds; 67-69-68 had her at  15-under par over the glorious, Royal Adelaide course in Seaton. Only Ayean Cho managed to find similar altitude, with 3 rounds of 69 for -12. Would Cho solve the mystery of the final round, the one that eluded her last week, when she gave back a lead over the final 9 holes? In a word, no. She closed with 77 and dropped to -8 and a tie for 6th place. All part of the learning curve, as they say. With her playing partner stalled, Park played things close to the safety vest. She finished with a +1 74 on Sunday, good for a 3-putts margin of victory over new runner-up Amy Olson of the USA. If Inbee is rounding into form now, she’ll be a certain threat to claim a second gold medal this summer, in Japan.

Korn Ferry: Wofford’s pride birdies final two holes for 1st victory

You know you’re small when … your small town isn’t the bigger of the two small towns in an arguably-metro region. Spartanburg ain’t no Greenville, says no one in those parts, but it’s true. And Wofford College is a charming, southern institution of higher learning, located in the middle of Spartanburg. And Andrew Novak found a golf and learning home at Wofford. And now, he has a title and Wofford again has a pro tour winner. Again? You mean another Boston Terrier has won on tour? Uh-huh, one William McGirt, at the 2016 Memorial Tournament. According to my researchers, that’s all. The dynamic duo of McGirt and Novak.

Right, back to Andrew Novak. He and 5 other golfers reached 20-below par at the Lakewood National (not to be confused with other, national golf clubs) near Sarasota. Greyson Sigg, Chandler Blanchott, and David Kocher ran out of gas there, and tied for 4th. Taylor Montgomery actually reached -22, before a bogey at the last dropped him to -21 and solo 3rd place. John Chin had 5 birdies throught 7 back-nine holes, but failed to summon a 6th, and ended his run at -22. And Novak? He birdied 17 and 18, to jump from 3rd to 1st in the blink of an eye. Novak moved all the way from 26th to 3rd on The 25 chase for PGA Tour cards. He’ll certainly earn his for 2020-2021, but might he manage 2 more victories, for a battlefield promotion? Keep closing and the answer will be uh-huh. #GoTerriers

Tour Champions: The ultimate grinder peppermills his third Senior victory

Bernhard Langer, Stephen Leaney, and Chris DiMarco went out on Sunday and shot wonderful rounds … for the conclusion of a US Open. Hovering near par, on any day, would not bring baubles at the Chubb Classic. Bob Estes went out and posted 64, his best round of the week by 3, to reach 15-under par. He blazed past the aforementioned trinity, but could not reach the brass ring. That plum went to Scott Parel, probably the only Georgia Bulldog who never was … a Georgia Bulldog. Parel posted 63 on Sunday, eclipsing Estes’ 198 by 2 shots. The victory was Parel’s 3rd on the late-stage circuit, and was his first since October of 2018. Parel graduated from the large, state school in Athens, but never competed for the varsity squad. He made his living as a computer programmer, but never gave up his dream of playing professional golf. As a size 50+, he is now living that dream. Langer salvaged a tie for 3rd (with Kevin Sutherland) at -13. Ironically, Parel has been in two Champions playoffs in his career, and has lost both of them … to Kevin Sutherland. Good thing for him that the California native could “only” close with 67

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