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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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Tour Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from the Honda Classic

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2020 Honda Classic at PGA National’s Champion course (par 70: 7,125 yards) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

The field this week is stacked at the top, and it includes Brooks Koepka, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Louis Oosthuizen and more.

Last year, Keith Mitchell canned a 15-footer on the 72nd hole, outlasting Rickie Fowler and Brooks Koepka.

Check out all our galleries below, along with highlights from PGA National.

General galleries

Special galleries

Vijay Singh using custom Mizuno MP-20 irons with lofts modified enough they had to stamp new numbers. Link to his full WITB

Camilo Villegas with old-school Air Jordans

Close up of Tommy Fleetwood’s putting grip

Luke Donald with a new putting training aid

LA Golf has a couple of new shafts

Brooks Kopeka with his pink and white Nike Air Zoom Infinity Tour shoes

Odyssey Stroke Lab Ten with new sightlines.  Link to galleries and discussion

Kevin Streelman is a huge Chicago Cubs fan, so he went to a spring training game and had the players sign his staff bag (to be fair, he probably took just the panel and not the whole bag)

Jim Furyk has gone back to his standard length putter and cross-handed after trying the arm-lock style for a while.

Kyle Stanley’s coach is taking a worm’s-eye view of Kyle’s alignment and stroke.

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Morning 9: Koepka talks golf | Tiger’s Champions Dinner menu | Tour caddies and hot seats

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1. Koepka talks golf
Adam Woodard at Golfweek…The former World No. 1 – who now sits third behind Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm – opened up in great detail in a profile in GQ about what he would change about the game of golf, a sport that he truly loves despite some outside perception.
  • “One thing I’d change is maybe the stuffiness,” said Koepka, who’s never viewed himself as just a golfer. “Golf has always had this persona of the triple-pleated khaki pants, the button-up shirt, very country club atmosphere, where it doesn’t always have to be that way. That’s part of the problem.”
  • ...”Everybody always says, ‘You need to grow the game.’ Well, why do you need to be so buttoned-up? ‘You have to take your hat off when you get in here.’ ‘You’re not allowed in here unless you’re a member – or unless the member’s here.’…
  • …”I just think people confuse all this for me not loving the game. I love the game. I absolutely love the game,” said Koepka. “I don’t love the stuffy atmosphere that comes along with it. That, to me, isn’t enjoyable.”

Full piece.

2. Fajitas and sushi
“Being born and raised in SoCal, having fajitas and sushi was a part of my entire childhood, and I’m going back to what I had in 2006,” Woods said. “So, we’ll have steak and chicken fajitas, and we’ll have sushi and sashimi out on the deck, and I hope the guys will enjoy it.”
  • “Woods also said he’s considering serving milkshakes for desert like he did during the 1998 dinner.”
  • “That was one of the most great memories to see Gene Sarazen and Sam Snead having milkshakes that night in ’98,” he said.”

Full piece.

3. Why a tour caddie is always on the hot seat 
The Undercover Tour Caddie writeth again…“I’ve been lucky to partner with 18 players on the PGA and developmental tours, four of which were longtime appointments. I’ve also been fired 17 times-and among my friends, that’s on the low end of the spectrum…”
  • “The majority of the time, the breakups are amicable and done in person. I consider myself friends with almost all the players I’ve worked for, and though there were some strong emotions from both sides when it came time to disband, I get it. This is a business, and they’re making a business decision. Plus, you don’t want to burn any bridges. I’ve had two guys toss me aside after a month’s work, only for them to circle back within the year, one of which ended up sticking for five seasons.”
  • “There have been callous splits. In the early 2000s, I was trying to get my guy to hit an 8-iron on an approach at the 71st hole. He was adamant that 9 was the play. I strongly, but respectfully, said he needed to club up. He went with the 9; his ball came up short of the green, and he couldn’t get up and down. That bogey dropped us out of the top 10. He fired me after signing his card, claiming he needed someone “who has faith in me.” Hey, I had faith-faith that his 9 was the wrong club.”

Full piece.

4. The best part of Tiger’s Masters win…
Golf Digest’s Dave Shedloski…”Last April at Augusta National Golf Club, behind the 18th green, after tapping in for a one-stroke victory and fifth Masters triumph, there were hugs all around, none sweeter than those from his daughter and son.”
  • “I think what made it so special is that they saw me fail the year before at the British Open. I had gotten the lead there and made bogey, double, and ended up losing to Francesco,” Woods said. “To have them experience what it feels like to be part of a major championship and watch their dad fail and not get it done, and now to be a part of it when I did get it done, I think it’s two memories that they will never forget. And the embraces and the hugs and the excitement, because they know how I felt and what it felt like when I lost at Carnoustie … to have the complete flip with them in less than a year, it was very fresh in their minds.”
  • “It’s a long and rambling thought, and totally justified in the context of all the emotion woven into the two experiences. Some things are just difficult to express cogently, and the struggle with doing so only underscores their impact.”
5. Dream of Coul is dead
Golfweek’s Forecaddie…”Coul Links was supposed to be Scotland’s next great links golf course. Envisioned to be built by Coore-Crenshaw on a protected wildlife site in Embo on dunes near Dornoch, those hopes took a serious blow on Feb. 21, when the Scottish government denied planning permission for a project spearheaded by golf course developer Mike Keiser.”
  • “I’m moving on. I have so many other projects,” Keiser tells The Forecaddie. “God bless Dornoch.”
  • “In its decision notice, Scottish Ministers determined that the proposed development would adversely affect the local environment, stating in their findings that the “likely detriment to natural heritage is not outweighed by the socio-economic benefits of the proposal.”
6. Koepka: Great round of golf with Trump
Golfweek’s Adam Woodard…“In a profile in GQ, Koepka…talked about a recent round with President Trump…Koepka, his father, younger brother Chase and President Trump “had a blast” at Trump’s course in West Palm Beach.”
  • “It was nice to have my family there, my dad, my brother. Anytime it’s with a president, it’s pretty cool,” said Koepka. “I don’t care what your political beliefs are, it’s the President of the United States. It’s an honor that he even wanted to play with me.”
  • “I respect the office, I don’t care who it is,” added Koepka. “Still probably the most powerful man in the entire world. It’s a respect thing.”

Full piece.

7. Tiger on lengthening Augusta National 
Golf Digest’s Daniel Rapaport…”Augusta National has been at the forefront of trying to keep it competitive, keep it fair, keep it fun, and they’ve been at the forefront of lengthening the golf course,” Woods said. “Granted, they have the property and they can do virtually whatever they want. They have complete autonomy. It’s kind of nice.
  • “But also they’ve been at the forefront of trying to keep it exciting as the game has evolved. We have gotten longer, equipment changed, but they’ve been trying to keep it so the winning score is right around the 12- to 18-under-par mark, and they have.”
8. Inside the Bear Trap
Golf Channel Digital team…“Here’s a look at some of the notable Bear Trap stats according to the PGA Tour (all figures since 2007, when the tournament moved to PGA National):”
  • “Among non-majors, the Bear Trap ranks as the third-toughest three-hole stretch on Tour at 0.644 over par on average. It’s behind only Nos. 16-18 at Quail Hollow (+0.873) and Nos. 8-10 at Pebble Beach (+0.673).”
  • “The Honda Classic field is a combined 3,629 over par across the Bear Trap and 4,934 over par across the other 15 holes at PGA National.”
  • “543 different players have played at least one competitive round at the Honda since 2007, with 76 percent (415) of them hitting at least one ball in the water on the Bear Trap.”

Full piece.

9. San Diego muni renovations (including Torrey)
Jason Lusk of Golfweek…“San Diego’s city council has allotted $15 million for upgrades and renovations to the city’s three municipally operated golf facilities including Torrey Pines’ South Course, site of the 2021 U.S. Open, according to a report Tuesday by the San Diego Union-Tribune.”
  • “…The $15 million approved Monday by the city council also will include contract work at San Diego’s other municipally operated golf facilities at Balboa Park and Mission Bay, the Union-Tribune reported. The courses will remain open during the jobs that include installing new irrigation systems and drainage, replacing and repairing cart paths, renovating bunkers and tree work.”

 

*featured image via Augusta National/the Masters

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Tour Rundown

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@asiapacgolfgrp

Only two of the world’s featured tours were in action this week, but the golf that they provided was memorable and historic. Not the type of historic that you find in school books, but certainly the type that golf aficionados point to, down the road. On the one hand, a prodigious yet poliarizing talent demonstrated complete control down the stretch, during his march to a 2nd World Golf Championship victory. On the other, a precocious competitor joined into a talented triumvirate with a marvelous birdie at the last, to secure an inaugural PGA Tour championship.Tuesday Tour Rundown is back, for this week only!

WGC-Mexico flies away in the hands of Patrick Reed 

Golf Twitter, depending on your perspective, is either entertaining or inflamatory. As happens in the world today, people take sides. In the case of Patrick Reed, that’s not difficult. One either forgives (or denies) Reed’s free interpretation (on multiple occasions) of the rules and their enforcement, or one preserves a disregard for a leading player who simply doesn’t act like one. What isn’t up for debate, is Reed’s seizure of this week’s World Golf Championship in Mexico. What looked for so long like a Bryson-DeChambaeau win, ultimately stowed away in Patrick Reed’s check-on pouch.

The tournament came down to the aforementioned duo. Both Jon Rahm and Erik Van Rooyen swam along the margin, but neither made enough of a Sunday move to figure in the outcome. Both, in fact, tied for 3rd place, 2 back of DeChambeau and 3 behind the champion. Bryson and his on-display muscles barged out of the 10th-hole gate like a man (and muscles) on a mission. Birdies at 4 of the first 5 holes on the inward half, staked him to a 2-shot advantage. Over the closing four, however, the magic went away, and a bogey at the penultimate hole brought him back to 17-under par.

Reed looked like a man playing for second. His long game was nothing exceptional, but his putter kept him afloat, time and again. And then, whatever DeChambeau had in his water bottle, came over to Reed. Birdies at 15, 16 and 17 suddenly brought the 2-shot advantage to the 2018 Masters champion. Even the cough of an expectorant fan, mid-backswing on the 18th, was not enough to convulse the champion. A closing bogey made the margin closer than it was, and Reed jumped from 33rd to 5th in the FedEx Cup standings.

PGA Tour Puerto Rico is Viktor Hovland’s debut decision

It wasn’t as mauling as Tyson Fury’s technical decision over Deontay Wilder, but Viktor Hovland and Josh Teater came down the stretch in Puerto Rico, like a pair of pugilists. The young Norwegian, Hovland, was pitted against the career grinder, Teater. First it was the veteran, with 3 birdies on the opening nine, to reach minus-19. Hovland chipped away, with a birdie at 5, and a 2nd at 10. And then, Teater hit Hovland with a right-cross (or Hovland hit himself with a sucker punch; you make the call.) Triple bogey! A startling six at the 11th, dropped Hovland into a tie with Teater (bogeys of his own on 10 and 11) who now had new life … and new pressure.

To his credit, Teater didn’t back down. He made birdies at 15 and 17, to recoup the lost shots at the turn. Unfortunately for him, tour victory the first would have to wait. Hovland, the Oklahoma State alumnus, made a sensational eagle at the 15th, to counter Teater’s birdie, and reclaim the advantage. The pair reached the 18th tee, a par five, all square, and it was there that Hovland dealt the final thrust. He took every bit of break out of a 25-feet birdie putt, and banged it into the hole. With the win, Hovland joined Matthew Wolff and Collin Morikawa as anticipated winners who actually won. Now comes the hard part: winning again and reaching a new echelon of champion.

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