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Morning 9: New Euro Tour schedule | When Tiger made Adam Scott question turning pro

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By Ben Alberstadt
Email me at ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com and find me at @benalberstadt on Instagram

October 3, 2019

Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. Koepka: I don’t play for awards
Golf Channel’s Nick Menta on BK latest display of confidence…This year’s POY vote stirred up debate after Koepka – who won three times and finished in the top 4 at all four majors with a victory at the PGA Championship – lost the vote to Players and FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy.
  • “Asked on Wednesday for his reaction to the vote, Koepka was initially short….”I don’t play for awards. I just play to win, win trophies, win tournaments,” he said.”
  • “But then, right when it sounded like he was ready to move on and quash the conversation, the PGA Tour’s alpha dog made a sufficiently alpha comparison.”
  • “Yeah, it would’ve been great, but I think everybody in this room knows – I mean, LeBron has only won 4 MVPs

Full piece.

2. Stem cell injection
Steve Dimeglio with the previously unknown news of a Brooks Koepka injury and treatment…”Ahead of his season debut in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin, Koepka revealed Wednesday he underwent a stem cell procedure for a partially torn patella tendon. He did it to relieve discomfort and strengthen a left knee that had been bugging him since March.”
  • “The procedure was performed Sept. 2 in Orlando.”
  • “It’s stem cell, so they go in and inject it into my knee,” Koepka said. “I’m watching it on the screen, as they were doing it, and it was probably one of the most painful things, I was screaming when they did it.”

Full piece.

3. New Euro Tour schedule revealed 
EuropeanTour.com report on the 2020 schedule…”The Rolex Series returns for its fourth consecutive year, beginning with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Presented by EGA (January 16-19) followed by the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open (May 28-31), and the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open (July 9-12), before the BMW PGA Championship (September 10-13) and the Italian Open (October 8-11) take place a fortnight either side of The Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.”
  • “The season then concludes with three consecutive Rolex Series events; the Turkish Airlines Open (November 5-8), the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player (November 12-15) and the season-finale, the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai (November 19-22) where the 2020 Race to Dubai champion will be crowned.”

Full piece/see the full sched

4. Notable elements of the new schedule
Joe Hughes of National Club Golfer on a few of most noteworthy elements of the schedule.
  • For example, this on the Irish Open…”Staying with the Irish Open, the tournament will not take up its spot immediately before the Scottish Open and Open Championship in 2020.”
  • “The three events offered a nice links swing when all scheduled close together but this will no longer be the case.”
  • “Stacking up against the Rocket Mortgage Classic, the Irish Open will now be played on the last weekend in May and the move should encourage a stellar field to assemble at whichever venue is chosen.”
5. When Tiger beat up on Scott
Golf Channel’s Nick Menta…”Scott was working with swing coach Butch Harmon shortly after turning pro, and Woods was stopping by Rio Secco on his way to Pebble Beach.”
  • “It was the Sunday before the week of the U.S. Open,” Scott said.
  • “He closed me out on the 14th, but he double bogeyed the 9th for 63, and I was a bit blown away by what I saw. It was quite windy, and I thought I played quite well. Probably shot about even par and I was nine off the pace. I made probably a throwaway comment to Butch, something like, ‘Maybe I should reconsider turning pro?’
  • “The only thing that made me feel good was he won the U.S. Open by 15 the next week, so I was quite happy to see that no one else really played like that.”

Full piece.

6. Is Rory right? 
Alistair Tait thinks he might be…”Although there are still tournaments left to play on this year’s European schedule, average winning totals are two shots easier than Rory’s first full European Tour season of 2008. The average winning total 11 years ago was 272. It’s 270 this year. Ditto for shots under par. Sixteen under is the average winning tally, while it was 14 under in 2008.”
  • “Rory was right to feel miffed at finishing T-26 for 15 under in the Alfred Dunhill. He’d have finished higher with that score every year going back to 2008. In fact, 15 under would have won in 2008, and earned him a playoff last year. It would have put him in the top 10, including five top fives, every year except 2013 when he would have placed T-24.”

Full piece.

7. Na the humble? 
PGATour.com’s Ben Everill quoting Kevin Na…“I’m not afraid to make fun of myself. Some of these things, you have to be able to own up to it,” Na says.
  • “Making a 16, it can happen to anybody. I’ve had the yips. … that can also happen to anybody. Because I have been so open about it, I think a lot of people have come to me asking for advice and I love trying to help people where I can.
  • “It’s important that you are not a person that digs a hole of negativity that you ultimately struggle to get out of. Be open about things. Talk about it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
8. Eye of the Tiger test
Golf Digest’s Peter Morrice…Tiger discusses the subject of trying new equipment in Episode 7 of his “My Game: Tiger Woods'” video series, by GOLFTV and Golf Digest. “A club may perform better than what I have, but if I’m fighting the way it looks, and I have to rely on it on the 72nd hole of a tournament,” Tiger says, “I’m probably not going to give it a chance.”
Tiger talks about having 50 drivers sent to him when he’s considering a change, and his process of eliminating most of them to find a few keepers. First impressions matter to Tiger; in fact, his eye test is the critical first step. “It has to look good, then after that it has to perform at my expectations,” Tiger says. “If it’s not doing those two things, then it’s just not in.”
9. Baseball-golf parallel?
An interesting point from Geoff Shackelford…”Baseball and golf’s launch-angle focus has introduced safety issues in baseball, longer games and a less interesting version of the sport to watch. Similar parallels can be seen in golf. And yet…”
“Craig Calcaterra reports that in a record year for home runs, baseball saw its lowest attendance in sixteen years. While his focus on the price of attending games is no doubt part of the problem, the thirst to see home runs has not been enough to offset the economics. Sound familiar?”
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Morning 9: Improving golf coverage | Oral history of TW’s “best shot” | Nichols: Charity matches were great…but why no women?

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1. Match-inspired innovations for improving golf coverage
Golf Digest’s Shane Ryan with a few thoughts…Mid-round interviews…There’s no really good reason beyond mild annoyance to the players that this couldn’t work, even in the current COVID-19 environment, provided that safe social distancing is practiced. In the major team sports, coaches are obliged to give interviews, and players will occasionally speak at halftime or between periods. There are no “coaches” in that same sense in golf, but the game happens at a slower pace, and a 60-second walking interview between holes is not too much to ask. I don’t think there’s a reasonable argument that it’s overly disruptive, especially if planned in advance.”
  • …”Mic’d up players and caddies…In exhibitions past, we’ve witnessed players with live microphones, but the purpose behind it is dreaded “banter,” which typically comes across as hollow, forced and not very funny. But if players and caddies wore mics during a round, producers could find riveting audio that captures natural conversation or impromptu strategy sessions. Phil serving as a mentor for Tom Brady was riveting and hopefully stokes our appetite for similar mid-round insight…”
2. An oral history of Tiger’s “best shot” 
Cameron Morfit for PGATour.com…(This is just the introduction to a fantastic piece that talks to Bob Weeks of TSN and Steve Williams, among others!)…”Had it slipped between Tiger Woods’ 6-iron and golf ball, one rogue grain could have sunk his hopes of winning the RBC Canadian Open in 2000, becoming the first since Lee Trevino in 1971 to win golf’s Triple Crown – the U.S., British, and Canadian Opens in the same year.”
  • “So was it the ultra-fine margin? The stakes? The absurdly improbable physics of the shot itself?”
  • “Yes. Yes. And yes. All of these things compelled Scott Verplank, among others, to call it “the greatest shot I’ve ever seen in my life,” Woods’ 218-yard masterstroke from the wet sand at the par-5 18th at Glen Abbey. Woods’ caddie Steve Williams would return to the bunker once the commotion had died down, still struggling to get his head around what he’d seen. Others have made the same pilgrimage and tried to visualize what Woods had, tried to feel what Woods felt, for this was magic.”
3. Thrive? Struggle? Survive? 
Golfweek’s Adam Schupak contemplates what’s ahead for the golf industry…”These are strange times living through a global pandemic. Suddenly, golf courses are packed in a way the industry hasn’t experienced since Tiger Woods was revolutionizing the game in the late 1990s and former PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem was predicting 50 million golfers by 2020.”
  • “Well, that didn’t happen, but golf has been given this new-found seal of approval highlighting its healthy aspects and its ability to provide safe recreation. As courses across the country re-open there is pent up demand among golfers to get out and play. Tee sheets are mostly filled and former golfers and those trying out the sport for the first time are emerging out of the woodwork desperate to be in the sunshine and doing something, anything that has been deemed “COVID OK.” There is renewed belief that golf can grab a bigger piece of the pie among recreational and entertainment options.”
4. Where were the women?
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols wonders…How can there be downside to two Sundays of golf taking center stage and raising mega-money for COVID-19 relief?”
  • “Well, there is no a downside, but it could’ve been more. As LPGA player Mel Reid tweeted during the TaylorMade Driving Relief Challenge, the broadcasts could’ve represented all of golf.”
  • “They could’ve included women.”
  • “…It would’ve been great to see an LPGA player and her sponsorship partners get in on the action in a similar fashion.”
  • “The TaylorMade event could’ve been a mixed-team format. Maria Fassi and Paula Creamer are both in Florida. Some of TaylorMade’s female stars could’ve also called in during the broadcast as Jon Rahm did. Staffers who could’ve called in include Natalie Gulbis, Muni He and Charley Hull. Sung Hyun Park, who speaks limited English, was involved in a charity exhibition in South Korea with current No. 1 Jin Young Ko. Women’s golf frequently takes center stage in that part of the world.”
5. 80% of golf retail open
From the NGF Q…”The number of physical golf retail outlets that are back in business continues to increase – from off-course stores and specialty club-fitters to green grass pro shops.”
  • “Approximately 66% of golf course pro shops are open at facilities that are open to play, the equivalent of almost 9 million square feet, although some states and counties have limitations on the number of customers permitted at one time. That percentage is up from 36% at the start of the month, but is unchanged over the past week as pro shops in at least 10 states (including Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois and New York) have government mandates that say they must remain closed inside to customers.”
  • “Meanwhile, approximately 79% of off-course golf retail stores were open (in terms of total square footage) through May 25. This is up from 73% last week and 59% two weeks ago. In early April, only about 4% of the 6.5 million square feet of total off-course golf specialty space was open to in-store traffic. Roughly 81% of all off-course retail stores are now open to customers.”
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GolfWRX Classifieds Spotlight (05/27/20): Adams, Mizuno, Ping

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member Gator5 – Adams CMB Irons

Forged – check, Multi-Material construction – check, cool as all heck because these clubs are sweet and Adams made some really cool gear – check!

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Adams CMB Irons

Member Ksears – Brand New Mizuno MP20 Irons

Did someone say brand new Mizunos??? What else could you really want from a forged blade beside being meticulously crafted and forged in Japan – as well as being priced lower than retail.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link hereMP 20 Irons

Member 1hellaofashot – Ping G410 7 Wood

Speaking from experience let me just say this “stop denying the inevitable and embrace the 7 Wood” It’s endlessly versatile, more forgiving than a hybrid, and because this one for sale is a Ping G410 it is adjustable. Here’s your chance to dial in your own par 5 killer.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Ping 7 Wood

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds 

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Morning 9: Match 2: The most-watched golf telecast ever | Rory: Players don’t want fan-less Ryder Cup | Justin Thomas aces broadcast debut

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@attsportsnetpit
1. 5.8 million average viewers for The Match
AP report…”Two of the biggest names from the PGA Tour and the NFL proved to be must-see TV.”
  • “Turner Sports said the Sunday telecast of “The Match: Champions for Charity” attracted an average of 5.8 million viewers across four of its networks. Turner says it was the most-watched golf telecast in cable TV history.”
  • “It said the previous record was 4.9 million viewers on ESPN at the 2010 Masters, the year Tiger Woods returned to golf for the first time since the scandal in his personal life.”
  • “Woods and Peyton Manning scored a 1-up victory over Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady at Medalist Golf Club, a match that featured high entertainment with shots and with words, along with raising $20 million for COVID-19 relief funds.”
2. Shackelford’s take
A few observations from the scribe…“While still an overnight, it easily bests the previous week’s relief fund match that drew a 1.5 and total of 2.3 million viewers across three channels, including a 1.5 rating on NBC and a .24 on Golf Channel).”
“More incredibly, this means The Match 2 out-rated any major championship round on cable.”
“Given a so-so promotional run-up, a slow start to the show (caused in part by a slight weather delay) a dreary day to watch, and a long telecast, the rating is a stunning statement about the remaining star power of the contestants.”
3. JT’s TV debut
Adam Woodard at Golfweek…”That said, whenever he decides to put down the clubs, he should immediately pick up a mic.
The former Alabama star made his broadcast debut as an on-course reporter on TNT/TBS alongside CBS Sports’ Amanda Balionis on Sunday during The Match: Champions for Charity, which saw Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning defeat Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady. Thomas received rave reviews from golf Twitter during and after the event. He was brilliant. His rapport with Woods and Mickelson allowed them to open up on a different level compared to the original The Match in 2018.”
“Most importantly, Thomas didn’t overdo anything. Unlike some broadcasters, he knew fans weren’t watching for him and he never once tried to steal the spotlight. He didn’t speak just to talk. When he had something to say, it was insightful or funny. Like a golfer picking out which holes he can attack and score on, Thomas picked his spots on where to interject throughout the broadcast like someone who’s been doing it for years, let alone a day.”
4. Tiger looked terrific 
Bob Harig writes…”For the first time in 98 days, we got to see Woods in action. And the last time we saw him, he didn’t look good. Woods shot 77 at Riviera Country Club on Feb. 16 and finished last among those who made the cut at the Genesis Invitational. And he complained that his back was stiff”
  • …”Woods hasn’t played since but neither has anyone else. And the time off has done him some good.”
  • “Woods didn’t miss a fairway. His swing looked smooth and in rhythm. He hit some deft pitch shots and a really nice long bunker shot. And all of this in difficult, rainy conditions.”
  • “It was just a charity match, but he looked pretty good. Who knows when Woods will resume his schedule when the PGA Tour returns next month, but his game looks good to go.”
5. Rory McIlroy: ‘Majority of players’ want 2020 Ryder Cup postponed until 2021 
Adam Woodard at Golfweek…”Rory McIlroy has a hunch about the Ryder Cup, and it’s one that golf fans around the world aren’t going to like.”
  • “In an interview with BBC Sport, the world No. 1 said: “My personal hunch is that I don’t see how it is going to happen, so I do not think that it will happen.”
  • “Wisconsin’s Whistling Straits is scheduled to host the 2020 Ryder Cup Sept. 25-27, but amid the coronavirus pandemic the event would most-likely take place without fans (if held at all).”
  • “I think the majority of players would like to see it pushed back until 2021 so that they can play in front of crowds and have the atmosphere that makes the Ryder Cup so special,” explained McIlroy. “The players are the ones that make the Ryder Cup. If they are not on board with it and don’t want to play then there is no Ryder Cup.”
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