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Morning 9: Captain Els makes his picks | What makes a great captain’s pick? | Brutal DQ

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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.

November 7, 2019

Good Thursday morning, golf fans. 
 
**Just a reminder we’re looking for advertisers for 2020. Drop me a line if you’d like to talk about getting your message in front of the M9 readership.** 

 

1. Els’ picks
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard on the International Team captain choosing age over experience…”Els named Joaquin Niemann and Sungjae Im – 20 and 21 years old, respectively – along with Jason Day and Adam Hadwin, 32, his four captain’s picks for this year’s International Presidents Cup team.”
  • “The four picks, which were announced Wednesday evening, round out what is the youngest International team with six rookies, but Els didn’t see that as a drawback following more than two decades of futility in the biennial matches for the International side.”

“I didn’t go looking for Joaquin who is 20, or Sungjae who is 21, but they made themselves a lock on this team,” Els said. “I definitely wasn’t that good at 20, 21, but these guys are world-class players and they’ve proven themselves. I’m excited by the new blood that’s coming in.”

Full piece.

2. The essential qualities of good captain’s picks
Shane Ryan, international team competition aficionado that he is, catalogs the crucial attributes of great captain’s picks.
Here are two…”Form…As strange as it might sound, a player’s form entering a match-play exhibition doesn’t matter as much as logic says it should. Yes, you can find examples of bad form persisting, as we famously saw with Webb Simpson in the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, but more often the cauldron of a Cup renders recent results less critical than many believe. The heightened pressure, along with the format change to match play and the addition of a team, tends to stop individual momentum.”
“Ferocity…Fear is a killer. We see it over and over again, and of the Ryder Cups I’ve covered, one of the most memorable one-offs came in 2014 at Gleneagles. Paul McGinley, in an otherwise perfect captaincy, made his lone “mistake” when he selected native Scotsman Stephen Gallacher as a captain’s pick and never played him after the first session when it became clear that the stage was too big for him. (I put “mistake” in quotes because from a diplomacy angle, McGinley had to pick a Scotsman to play on a team competing in Scotland.) But it was most prominent in 2016, when Darren Clarke’s English rookies-Chris Wood, Danny Willett, Andy Sullivan, and Matthew Fitzpatrick-looked like they wanted to dig a hole in the Minnesota earth and bury themselves. Meanwhile, fellow rookie Thomas Pieters dealt with the hostile environment by decimating almost every American who stood in his way, including another fairly tough rookie named Brooks Koepka. Why? Because Pieters is a badass, and his English teammates were not. It doesn’t mean he’ll have a better career than the English four, or even that he’s a better player-it means that when faced with high pressure and a mano-a-mano duel, he’s up for it. He even enjoys it.”

Full piece.

3. Brutal DQ
Alex Myers with the horror story…“At the second stage of Q school, Luis Gagne put himself in decent shape after an opening round 70 in Plantation, Fla. Or so he thought. Turns out, Gagne left the course without signing his scorecard and was disqualified. Thanks to Ryan French (Monday Q Info) for first noticing this unfortunate occurrence.”
  • “Monday Q Info…The rules of golf can be harsh at times…Luis Gagne who is at 2nd in Plantation forgot to sign his scorecard before leaving the scoring area, the penalty for doing so…Disqualification. He had shot a -1 70 before being DQ’d. Gagne was ranked 24th in WAGR before turning pro”

Full piece.

4. European Tour ROY race
Golfweek’s Alistair Tait…”The Race to Dubai isn’t the only sprint to the finish over the remaining three tournaments of the 2019 European Tour season. There’s a pretty good contest to see who’ll become the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year, too.”
  • “Kurt Kitayama, Robert MacIntyre, Adri Arnaus and Guido Migliozzi wouldn’t have featured on my list of possible contenders to follow in the footsteps of future stars like Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Martin Kaymer, Paul Casey, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Colin Montgomerie, Jose Maria Olazabal, Sandy Lyle and Nick Faldo.”
5. Lucy Li turns pro
Golf Digest’s Alex Myers…”The San Francisco Chronicle’s Ron Kroichick first reported the news on Wednesday after getting confirmation from Li’s mom. But it’s a move that surprised no one following Li’s T-72 at Stage 2 of LPGA Q School last month. Following that performance, which didn’t advance her to the final stage, but did earn her Symetra Tour status for next season, Li said the following”
“I’m excited to be playing here and really looking forward to the Symetra Tour next year, then hopefully take that jump to the next level.”

Full piece.

6. AJGA POY
Meet Max Moldovan, match play maestro and AJGA POY
Golfweek’s Julie Williams…“Maxwell Moldovan isn’t someone you’d want to meet on the other side of a match-play bracket. On his way to winning the Polo Golf Junior Classic at Liberty National this summer then helping the East Team win the Wyndham Cup, the 17-year-old Uniontown, Ohio, native compiled a 9-0-1 match-play record. For such strong play, Moldovan earned the American Junior Golf Association’s highest honor: Rolex Player of the Year.”
  • “I had a really good year … definitely the best of my career so far,” Moldovan said. “My goal was to finish in the top 15 in Invitationals and try to win an AJGA tournament. I won in 2016 and 2017, but not last year. I can’t thank God, my family and friends enough for all they’ve done in my life. My faith has led to great things and winning this award is a true honor that reflects God’s glory.”

Full piece for the rundown of first and second-teamers.

7. Colin Montgomerie: course designer
Simon Cambers of the New York Times talked with Monty, designer of this week’s European Tour venue in Turkey…”What does it mean to you, and to the club itself, for the Montgomerie Maxx Royal to be holding the Turkish Open again this year? It is a fantastic honor, having designed a course that I am very proud of and one that is hosting its fourth Rolex event, one of a number of premier European Tour events.”
  • “Marc Stein has covered Jordan. He’s covered Kobe. And LeBron vs. the Warriors. Go behind the N.B.A.’s curtain with basketball’s foremost expert.”
  • “How would you describe the challenges presented by the Montgomerie Maxx Royal?”…”It can be played by all types of golfers. I particularly like the par 3s, which are very challenging. All the par 5s are risk-reward, which tests even the best European Tour pros. The green designs are such that the pin positions can be in some quite difficult and challenging positions. Therefore, hitting the fairways is a must, to allow the player to attack the pins. I particularly like the 12th hole. It is a very strong par 4, one where you have to hit the fairway, and then your second shot is very demanding, played into an undulating green. But really, I am very proud of all 18 holes.”

Full piece.

8. Ever wondered what’s in Tiger Woods’ pockets on the golf course?
…no, this isn’t the start to a lewd joke, but rather…
Peter Morrice at Golf Digest...”In the final episode of “My Game: Tiger Woods,” you’ll go behind the scenes at the shoots and hear some of the small things that go into Tiger’s game. Here’s a fun one: What does Tiger carry on him when he plays?”
“In my right-front pocket, there’s always a quarter, a divot tool and at least three tees. In my left-front pocket, there’s my Chapstick,” Tiger says. “If it’s cool and damp, my glove is always in my front-left pocket. If it’s hot out, I’ll air it out in my back-left pocket. Other than that, I really don’t have any quirks [smiles].”
9. A most interesting morsel
From the Twitterverse…Interesting excavation of a mention of “advice seeking” in the form of peeking into another player’s bag in a 1953 newspaper article on Ben Hogan’s U.S. Open victory, pointed out by Jeff Martin on Twitter.
See it in the image below.
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Morning 9: Latest memo from Tour to players | Phil’s post-Match perspective | Greg Norman’s regrettable take

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1. Latest “bubble” memo
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard details the most recent communique from Tour to its players…“In a memo sent to players on Wednesday, tournament director Michael Tothe outlined many of the protocols that will be required when play resumes on June 11 at Colonial including the four Fort Worth, Texas, hotels that will create the foundation of the circuit’s “bubble” for the week.”
  • “The core of the PGA Tour’s plan to return was always about testing, but it’s a fine line to walk. In two weeks, at the Charles Schwab Challenge, we’ll find out if it will be enough.”
  • “Players are allowed to stay in individual RVs or rental homes but they are being encouraged to assure the health and safety of their accommodations if they choose to stay outside the bubble.”
  • “Players were also informed where COVID-19 testing will occur when they arrive in Fort Worth as well as meal options at Colonial, which will be limited to grab-and-go lunches in order to follow safety protocols.”
2. Little John finishes second at Crooked Stick 
Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star…Daly II made that same walk on Wednesday, up the 18th fairway for the final round of the inaugural Dye Junior Golf Invitational at Crooked Stick.”
  • “I think a lot of guys have re-watched the 1991 PGA tournament,” Daly II said. “I watched it every night before the tournament. (Watching him) walk down the 18th with all of the fans everywhere was pretty cool. He started as the ninth alternate and didn’t expect to play. For him to win, it was a ridiculous story. He loves it.”
  • “Daly II put together a remarkable tournament in his own right, finishing a three-way tie for second place behind winner John Marshall Butler of Louisville, Kentucky. Daly II was 4 over for the two-day, 54-hole event, which featured 33 of the top high school boys players in the country and 33 of the same on the girls’ side.”
3. Phil open to wearing mic
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Speaking on the Dan Patrick Show, Mickelson admitted that he didn’t expect the same level of banter during a typical Tour event with a seven-figure prize on the line, but he’d nonetheless be willing to broadcast his inside-the-ropes dialogue.”
  • “I would be open to the idea because of how it’s being received, and some of the insight and so forth,” Mickelson said. “But you don’t have the play between individuals. I had a partner, and Tom and I could talk back and forth. And maybe you could get some of that with the caddie, but having a partner is much more intimate and you have much better conversation.”
4. …wants annual Match
AP report…”Phil Mickelson, fresh off the success of Sunday’s charity golf exhibition with Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, says he would like to see “The Match” become an annual event.”
  • “I think you could showcase guys like Steph Curry and Michael Jordan or Tony Romo and Patrick Mahomes, who are all good golfers, elite talents and have great personalities,” Mickelson told the Los Angeles Times in a column published Wednesday. “Those personalities are going to come out with this event. Or you could have someone who loves the game and is competitive but is really entertaining like Larry David and Bill Murray. I think that could shine.”
5. More audience info
Interesting stuff from Geoff Shackelford…“According to Showbuzzdaily.com, almost 1/3 of The Match 2’s audience was in the coveted 18-49 demo and the number was even better on on TruTV, also meaning there are people of any age group who know how to find TruTV”
  • “About 30% of The Match’s audience landed in the 18-49 demo despite the 44.5 average age of the participants…The numbers for TaylorMade Driving Relief with a foursome averaging 29.5 years”
  • “That’s 25% of the almighty buyers for a younger, supposedly more millennial-friendly group of golfers. And a grand total of (at least) 860,000 fewer viewers 18-49.  While not a huge difference in the percentage department, The Match did rout Driving Relief in overall audience and even took chipped away at NASCAR’s ratings.”

Full piece.

6. After a long layoff, how do the pros play?
Dylan Beirne, 15th Club for PGATour.com, examines the question…“As we might expect, there’s a clear relationship between performance and the number of weeks a player has been off. We can analyze how well players perform by comparing our estimate of their ability (how we would expect them to perform) to how they actually performed.”
  • “Generally, players taking small breaks of two weeks or less are marginally better than expected, while longer breaks result in an average drop in performance of between 0.1 and 0.2 strokes per round. For context, a drop of 0.2 strokes per round is about the gap between 100th- and 135th-ranked players in the world. It’s a significant change, but not enormous.”
  • “Additionally, the drop in performance after a 10-20 week gap is quite consistent across different levels of players. Top-50 players in the world are affected by a similar amount to those outside the top 50.”
7. A really bad take from Greg Norman
I mean, what else can you call it? A man who has a history of obtuseness and putting his fin in his mouth outdid himself with unfounded speculation about the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash in an interview with Michael Bamberger…“I asked Norman about the January helicopter crash in Los Angeles that killed all nine people aboard, Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, among them. I asked Norman if he had any insight, from his own experience as a helicopter pilot, and as an elite athlete who has flown often in helicopters as a passenger, into the tragedy.”
  • “Yes – yes,” he said. His voice was sober. “Probably pilot error and pressure from the back,” Norman said. Norman could imagine the legendary basketball player saying, “‘Get me through this; get me there. I’ve got to get my daughter to this game.’
  • …”My instructor and I had a saying, ‘If you can’t see through it don’t fly through it.’ If I was flying to Doral or Orlando or Naples and there was fog, we just put it down and waited it out.”
8. Sprint to the Cup
Ben Everill at PGATour.com…“The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting cancellations and postponements of tournaments leaves just 11 eligible tournaments over a 10-week stretch for players to qualify for the Playoffs and a chance at the $15 million bonus that comes with the season-long FedExCup crown.”
  • “While the top 125 will not double as the cutoff for TOUR cards next season in this reduced schedule, it will remain the mark to get into THE NORTHERN TRUST, the first of three Playoffs events in the chase for the FedExCup.”
  • “Gone is the luxury of extended rest between starts for those sitting way back on the list, such as Koepka, who was just starting to find his feet again on a return from injury when the pandemic halted play in March.”

 

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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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