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Morning 9: Brooks’ Body Issue photos…revealed | World Long Driver winners | Brooks Body Issue

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

September 5, 2019

Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. New driver testing protocol 
Golf Digest’s E. Michael Johnson and Brian Wacker report the PGA Tour will begin a new driver testing protocol at next week’s A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier.
…In an email sent to players on Wednesday, the tour specified that its in-use driver-testing program will consist of the following:
  • Two weeks of informational sessions that will take place at The Greenbrier and at the Farmers Insurance Open in late January. During the sessions, members of the USGA Equipment Standards staff will demonstrate the testing procedure-which will be the same Characteristic Time (CT) test used on tour and at the Open Championship at Royal Portrush-and work with manufacturer representatives on site to review their own procedures. Additionally, they will test clubs of players on a voluntary, first-come, first-served basis.
  • Each manufacturer with driver heads in play will appoint a representative to be the on-site contact when testing is occurring. This representative and the player will be the only people who are notified of the results of the test.
  • At various times throughout the season, testing will occur at PGA Tour events. The testing will be unannounced and on non-competition days when manufacturer reps are on-site. If a player has been selected, a rules official will notify him when he arrives at the course. The player will be asked to provide the driver (or drivers) he intends to use for that event. Each test will take approximately 15 minutes, be conducted by a member of the USGA Equipment Standards staff and be performed on a pendulum device in accordance with published USGA test protocols.
If you’re wondering what the test looks like (I believe it is) the same process that’s displayed in this video.
2. Brooks in the buff arriveth
The moment of Brooks’ full nakedness is upon us! With ESPN’s Body Issue hitting newsstands Friday, BK’s full pictorial portfolio is, well, revealed online…
  • Golfweek’s Bill Speros…”Portions of the Body Issue were posted online Wednesday. The final print version of the Body Issue will hit newsstands Friday. ESPN has announced that the magazine will cease publication this year.”
  • “A total of 17 different past and present athletes, or groups of athletes, bore all for the 2019 Body Issue. Among the au naturel jocks joining Koepka are five members of the Philadelphia Eagles offensive line, soccer star Kelley O’Hara and Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder.”
  • “A dozen still images and videos of Koepka are featured, including one of him in a full-sized The Body Issue Robe awaiting to hit a tee shot. The photos were taken early in 2019 at Palm City, Fla., by Rob Daly.”

Full piece.

3. WLD
AP report…”Kyle Berkshire won the World Long Drive Championship on Wednesday night, beating two-time champion Tim Burke with a 406-yard drive at WinStar World Casino and Resort.”
  • “After Burke got to 374 on his eighth and final attempt in the final, Berkshire missed the grid on his first three shots before nailing the winner for his first world title and third tour victory of the season.”
  • “The top-ranked Berkshire, from Crofton, Maryland, played two seasons at the University of North Texas.”
  • “South Africa’s Chloe Garner won the women’s title, beating three-time champion Phillis Meti of New Zealand with a 347-yard drive on her fifth attempt. Meti, hitting first in the final, had a best of 344.”
4. Lee6’s family reunion
Golf Digest’s Keely Levins…”Nearly four months after winning the U.S. Women’s Open at the Country Club of Charleston, Jeongeun Lee6 relived the moment in a unique way on Wednesday when she returned to her native South Korea to take part in what was billed as the first Women’s Open trophy tour of the country.”
  • “It has been a while since the U.S. Women’s Open, I thought the fans and reporters wouldn’t care this much,” Lee said. “But today, I saw so many media and fans are here, to celebrate with me, and congratulate me, put so much effort into today, I feel so happy and blessed.”
  • “Part of what made the return to South Korea so meaningful was that Lee6 was finally able to share the victory with her parents. Neither her mother, Eunjin Ju, or father, Jung Ho, were in South Carolina in May to see their daughter, an LPGA rookie, win her first major. The 23-year-old hasn’t seen her parents for months. They keep in touch via video calls while she’s traveling.”
5. Best Tour card stories
Golfweek’s Adam Woodard rounds up a few of the most compelling tales…Doug Ghim…”Ghim entered the week 29th in the standings. After the week of play at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship, the former Texas standout needed a par on his final hole of the day and the 1,224th hole of his Korn Ferry season…”I’ve never felt nerves like that before. … to have it all come down to one putt is pretty surreal,” Ghim said after his round….Not only did Ghim earn his par, he did it the hard way, with an epic sand save.”
  • D.J. Trahan…”Ghim making par on his final hole was difficult. What if he had to make birdie?…That wasn’t a “what if” scenario for Trahan, it was his situation. And the 38-year-old made it look easy….On the 432-yard par-4 18th hole, Trahan painted the fairway off the tee and went pin-seeking with his approach, setting up the birdie he so desperately needed.”

Full piece.

6. Awful
Golf Digest’s Joel Beall with some seriously bad news…”On Saturday the University of Kentucky announced that sophomore golfer Cullan Brown has withdrawn from school for the upcoming year to begin immediate chemotherapy. Brown was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer.”
  • “My family and I are immensely appreciative of the outpouring of kind words, well-wishes, love and prayers we have received in the last few weeks from family, friends and the Big Blue Nation,” Brown said in a statement. “It certainly will be a tough year, but nothing that can’t be handled thanks to the amazing support group I have behind me at all times. Even though I will not be with my team in person this year, I will be there in spirit every time they compete, which I have full faith they will continue to do with the upmost integrity, passion and excellence.”

Full piece.

7. “Sorry state of Scottish PGA”
Martin Dempster of The Scotsman…”The fading glory of the Scottish PGA Championship has been lamented by one former competitor while another has said it is no surprise in the current economic climate and believes players need to do their bit to breathe new life into the event.”
  • “This week’s PGA in Scotland event at Downfield is taking place without a title sponsor, and with 132 players effectively playing for their own money after each paying £120 to enter the Tartan Tour’s flagship event.”
  • “Paul O’Hara, one of the first-round pacesetters at the Dundee venue, said the grand old tournament “feels like a sweep” as a consequence, adding that many others in the field share his “disappointment” about the paltry prize fund.”

Full piece.

8. Open heart surgery for Fuzzy
Golf Digest’s Dave Shedloski...”They said it wasn’t going to kill me, so I said, ‘Well, if it isn’t going to kill me, I’ll see you all at the end of May,’ ” Zoeller said with a hearty laugh.
  • .…Doctors performed a triple bypass on the two-time major winner on June 17, which kind of sounds like a big deal. The timing of the procedure explains why Zoeller, the 1984 U.S. Open winner, was one of the few absentees for the champions’ reunion at Pebble Beach Golf Links prior to the 119th U.S. Open.
  • “It worked out pretty good,” Zoeller said by phone from his home in New Albany, Ind., still downplaying the procedure that included replacing one of his valves, the very operation that his hero, Arnold Palmer, was waiting to have when he passed away in 2016. “Yeah, they did the triple Lindy on me. Threw in a double-toe loop. But it’s all good now.”
9. Herman’s goodbye to his childhood home course
Golf Digest’s Joel Beall on the demise of Shawnee Lookout and Jim Herman-who grew up honing his skills on the track-playing his last round there.
  • “Out of the park district’s seven courses, Shawnee was the black sheep. Tipping out at 6,016 yards, the architects shoehorned 18 holes in a space for 14, yielding an eccentric routing. A lot of holes banked against, not with, the terrain. Laying up was futile, because there was no such thing as a flat lie. There was a z-shaped par 5 that required a 200-yard drive, a 200-yard second up a mountain, followed by a 130-yard (minimum) approach. One par 4 resembled a boomerang, with a landing area the size of a laptop. Another par 5 went 300 yards straight down a hill and 240 yards up another.”
  • “That could explain why Shawnee routinely had the fewest customers of the district’s properties. Due to the unmanageable terrain, its conditioning was volatile (usually good in the spring, a superfund site by the summer), and when paved paths were installed, the slopes were so sharp and serpentine that many a cart ended overturned. Power lines from the plant were omnipresent.”
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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Ray

    Sep 6, 2019 at 11:35 am

    Agree. Not that impressive at all

  2. Conor Mr. 69 Himself

    Sep 5, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    Brooks is not in very good shape compared to Phil Mickleson. Plus the photo’s are g a y as fook.

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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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