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Tiger Woods chooses Finau, Woodland, Reed, and….himself as his Presidents Cup picks

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Tiger Woods has named himself, Tony Finau, Gary Woodland and Patrick Reed as his captain’s picks ahead of next month’s Presidents Cup.

Both Woodland and Finau are set for their debuts at the event, while Reed will be competing in his third consecutive Presidents Cup. For Woods, it will be the 15-time major champion’s first appearance at the biennial tournament since 2013.

Speaking on the decision to pick himself as playing-captain for the event, Woods stated

“The players, they wanted me to play in the event. It’s going to be difficult, but I also have three amazing assistants in Fred (Couples), Stricks (Steve Stricker) and Zach (Johnson). So that helps a lot.”

Both Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth are big-name omissions from the team which will feature five rookies. Spieth will be missing his first team event since 2012, while Fowler has been on each U.S. team since 2014.

Speaking on the call to leave Fowler out of the side, Woods stated

“That was a tough call to make. He’s a friend of mine. We kept it short. There was no need for a long call. I’ve been on both sides I haven’t been picked. I get it. He’s obviously going to hurt not being there.”

Woods’ four picks are all higher ranked in the OWGR than any of the players of the International side, but the 43-year-old warned that statistical advantage goes out the window once play gets underway next month.

“On paper we certainly have the advantage in the world ranking. Our players have earned that by playing well around the world and playing well in big events. But when we start out on Thursday, it’s 0-0. We’ve got to go out and earn points to win the cup.”

Woods’ decision to choose himself as a player next month means that he will be the first playing captain at team events since Hale Irwin in 1994.

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at gianni@golfwrx.com. Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Kim Chee

    Nov 8, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    Lots of salty ass Tiger haters in here. And the usual bringing up of his infidelity is sickening. Y’all are carrying a six shooter with only one bullet.

    Everyone deserves a change to change. Whether you care to admit it or not, he has changed. He was humbled big time when the game he loves so dearly was taken from him. He has so much more appreciation for the game and other people now. Take it from someone who has met him personally BEFORE and AFTER his change.

    Stop being so damn salty, you ignorant bags of trash.

  2. Steve C

    Nov 8, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    99% sure that TV execs were in Tigers ear convincing him to play. And I doubt it took too much arm twisting.

    • Big Dan

      Nov 8, 2019 at 5:29 pm

      So much negativity. Tiger is simply the best ever. The event will be so much more interesting with him playing. I for one wouldn’t even consider watching this event if Tiger wasn’t playing. Go Tiger go.

      • Jp

        Nov 8, 2019 at 7:05 pm

        You do realize tiger has not had a winning record nor has the United States won but one ryder cup with him on the team is last Ryder cup appearance he went 0 for 5 in points best ever hardly

      • MT

        Nov 9, 2019 at 11:33 am

        He was the best, but now is inconsistent. His Ryder and President cup record is not stellar.

        He should have given another player the opportunity.

  3. joro

    Nov 8, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    Woods has proven many times he stinks in team play. Look at his past, he cannot play with others, just against others. He and Phil, two of the greatest ever both suck at team play.

    But so be it, he had a choice and he took it leaving someone who could handle team play out. Good Luck Mr. Woods, you had an option and took it now go feed your ego..

  4. Pdq

    Nov 8, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    You know who is happy Tiger picked Tiger? The networks this will draw more eyeballs to the lay golf fan.

  5. Speedy

    Nov 8, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    Go International Team!

  6. Eck42

    Nov 8, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Just my thought, but I would like to see Captains not eligible to play. I think picking yourself is very selfish.

  7. Dave

    Nov 8, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Patrick Reed….are you kidding me. Why because he was so stellar as your partner? Very disappointed.

  8. JP

    Nov 8, 2019 at 9:14 am

    Tiger picking himself is the right move. IMO only
    .
    If America wins, nobody will be able to question it. Wait for the results and decide then.
    .
    And I agree, Trump is the best thing to happen to America since Columbus.

  9. Jesus Christ

    Nov 8, 2019 at 7:40 am

    God bless Donald J. Trump! He is America’s saviour.

  10. No nonsense

    Nov 8, 2019 at 3:18 am

    Typical clown Trump move. Hope they get their a$$es handed to ’em!

  11. Weaseling

    Nov 8, 2019 at 3:16 am

    What a selfish move, he himself and waffles house waitresses. Poor move on his part. Imagine the phone call to Fowler… he man I was going to pick u but I picked myself!

    • Obee

      Nov 8, 2019 at 9:57 am

      You an Arnold Palmer fan?

    • B

      Nov 8, 2019 at 10:14 am

      So picking the #7 ranked player in the world, who just won his last tournament played, over the 21st ranked player in the world, who hasn’t played since the Tour Championship is a selfish and poor move? Makes sense to me. Pick a guy who has been worried about a wedding and banging his wife on their honeymoon over a guy who just won and is ranked well ahead of him in the OWGR. Keep trolling bro

  12. john

    Nov 8, 2019 at 1:36 am

    surprised no Fowler .. I would take a Fowler over Reed any day

  13. MW

    Nov 7, 2019 at 10:57 pm

    I guess his back is better…when he wants it to be. Or is it his knee, or his…

  14. Bob

    Nov 7, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    Just confirming that Tiger is a narcissistic, selfish individual! He could have done something good for golf by choosing a young, up and comer.

    • Simms

      Nov 8, 2019 at 1:07 am

      100% correct, it would have been a real shot in the arm for him to just be the Captain. Just as his image was becoming stronger he pulls this bone head mistake…

      • I See Dumb People

        Nov 8, 2019 at 9:33 am

        What are you guys talking about? The guy literally just won last week and also won the Masters. In the tournaments he’s played in at 100%, he’s been great. If anyone else was captain they would pick Tiger. Just because he’s in the driver’s seat he’s not allowed to put together the best team? Tiger not being on the roster would be a mistake. No matter who is making that call.

    • Mike

      Nov 8, 2019 at 2:27 am

      Good for golf, are you drunk? The more Tiger plays with the few years he has left the better it is for golf. The more he plays directly influences the amount of new golfers we have. Nobodys turning on the TV or going to a tournament to watch some up and comer golfer, whether you like it or not Tiger is the draw for people.

      • Bob

        Nov 8, 2019 at 7:19 am

        Wow..has golf participation inclined or declined during the Tiger era? I know it will be hard for you Mike, but think hard….it’s declined greatly! Actually, I’m glad he chose himself. Now…I, for sure, will not be waisting my time watching this event.

    • Obee

      Nov 8, 2019 at 9:54 am

      Sigh…

  15. Jimmy

    Nov 7, 2019 at 10:10 pm

    No kuch, no donkeys..

  16. Kevin S

    Nov 7, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    Tiger is correct. Austrialian courses are vastly different from the states. Once the wind starts blowing, it will be a whole different story. Kevin kisner would be a better select over captain america

    • JP

      Nov 7, 2019 at 10:12 pm

      And Reed is a douche!

      • Miller Time

        Nov 8, 2019 at 9:53 am

        He may be a douche, but he’s the best player on the US team in these types of formats!

    • d

      Nov 8, 2019 at 9:49 am

      reed is a great match player….reed is from texas used to playing in the wind. Hits a natural draw again good for wind…..

      Tiger picking himself is fine. When healthy or focused he is still top 10 player and the number 1 draw period.

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The DailyWRX (9/20/2020)

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LOL!

View this post on Instagram

Yes that’s a 9 iron in my pants Via: @ziregolf

A post shared by PGA Memes (@pgamemes) on

Our national champion…

View this post on Instagram

A week our champion will never forget!

A post shared by U.S. Open Championship (@usopengolf) on

This was pretty cool…

It is brilliant…

I can’t…

DM @johnny_wunder

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Morning 9: Victory, validation, and what’s next for Bryson | Science and sweat | Azinger’s remark | Rory’s take

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1. Bryson bests Winged Foot 
Our Ron Montesano…“DeChambeau balanced strategy and sinew to perfection, decoding the challenges and opportunities offered by the West Course at Winged Foot, and he claimed his first major title just four days after his 27th birthday.”
  • “For nine holes on Sunday, DeChambeau was in a battle with pairing competitor Matthew Wolff. First #BigBangTheory, and then #RipDog, posted eagle at the par-five 9th, thanks to identical driver-pitching wedge combos. They went to the back nine at 5 under and 4 under, respectively. At 10, Wolff’s iron turned over just enough to miss the green and leave him the most awkward of stances. He made bogey, and the lead was doubled. The eagle at nine turned out to be Wolff’s only hole below par all day, and he would drop three more shots on the way in. Wolff finished the week at even-par, a number that many projected to win after Friday’s round.”
  • “DeChambeau simply gave no openings to anyone on this final day. His final birdie came at the 11th after his approach failed to release and finished on the fringe. Undeterred, he putted from the fairway, as he had all week, and the sphere found the bottom of the tin can. DeChambeau didn’t hit many fairways this week, but he didn’t need to. Clubhead speed and short approach shots conquered the rough, and the Calixan (a blend of Californian and Texan) played the course as if it were just another Fortnite stream on Twitch.”

Full piece.

2. For Bryson (and potentially golf), this is just the beginning…
From Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner’s superb piece…“Though he’s a polarizing figure, though he’s memed and mocked, DeChambeau is also easy to admire. Greatness is hard work, and he puts in the time. Early in the morning, late at night, he finds salvation on the range.”
  • “He sacrifices everything for this game,” Tucker [BAD’s caddie] said. “All he’s done his whole life is try to be the best. They tell you, ‘Oh, you can do anything.’ But what they don’t tell you is you have to sacrifice everything to be great.”
  • “So, hey, tip your Hogan cap: DeChambeau set an ambitious goal and achieved it. He led the Tour in driving distance (322.1 yards) this past season and gained more than a stroke per round on the field off the tee, tops on Tour. He won a tournament, contended in several others and positioned himself to win the first two majors of 2020 (after entering the year with no major finish better than 15th) despite setups that were supposed to discourage his aerial attack. “It’s definitely validating,” he said.”
3. Wolff comes up short
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…“Wolff began the final round at the U.S. Open with a two-stroke lead over Bryson DeChambeau and despite a rough start he was still just a shot off the lead when the final group made the turn. That’s when things went sideways.”
  • “Was it the break on 10 when I was standing in the bunker or like the not-left bounce on 12, and then the second shot that got pin high on 12 and then spun back down the slope?” said Wolff, who closed with a 75 and finished in second place and six strokes behind DeChambeau. “I mean, it’s just bad breaks. Like I said, you can’t do anything about it, and it just wasn’t meant to be.”
  • “Following an eagle at the ninth, Wolff bogeyed Nos. 10 and 14, and doubled the 16th, on his way to his worst round of the week. Still, it was his second consecutive top-10 finish in a major championship and a valuable chance to learn how to deal with the pressure that comes with playing for major title.”
4. Lynch: Toil and intellect
Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch filed his perspective piece on BAD’s victory…A morsel “In adopting a scientific approach to every aspect of his game, DeChambeau expects his carefully (some might say laboriously) calculated input to deliver a predictable output, which is an awfully high happiness bar to set in a sport that is hostage to the vagaries of chance, bounce and weather. Such a mindset would seem to guarantee frustration, and frustration is the very stress fracture that the U.S. Open is designed to locate, from which it will then prise a man open until it exposes every other weakness he didn’t think he had.”
  • “But that kind of U.S. Open is now a relic of a bygone era, one when courses were characters in the narrative and none evoked more fear than Winged Foot. Strategy is now dictated not by course architects but by player preference. The main peril DeChambeau faced at Winged Foot would come from a potential swing screw-up, not the USGA’s course set-up. Limit the former and the latter doesn’t matter. He did, and it didn’t.”
5. More 48-inch driver discussion
Per Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…“Length is going to be a big advantage there. I know that for a fact,” DeChambeau said. “I’m going to try and prepare by testing a couple things with the driver.”
  • “DeChambeau’s pre-Masters prep will include continuing to experiment with a 48-inch driver shaft. After averaging 336.3 yards off the tee at Winged Foot, DeChambeau doesn’t plan on stopping in his quest for distance.”
  • “We’re going to be messing with some head designs and do some amazing with things with Cobra to make it feasible to hit these drives maybe 360, 370 [yards],” he said. “Maybe even farther. I don’t know.”
6. Rory on Bryson 
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Bryson DeChambeau’s six-shot victory at the U.S. Open left many in the game shaking their heads and trying to make sense of a dominant performance. Included in that group was former U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy.”
  • …”I don’t really know what to say because that’s just the complete opposite of what you think a U.S. Open champion does. Look, he’s found a way to do it,” McIlroy said. “It’s not the way I saw this golf course being played, or this tournament being played. It’s kind of hard to really wrap my head around it.”
  • ….”I think it’s brilliant, but I think he’s taken advantage of where the game is at the minute,” McIlroy said. “Look, again, whether that’s good or bad, but it’s just the way it is. With the way he approaches it, with the arm-lock putting, with everything, it’s just where the game’s at right now. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong. He’s just taking advantage of what we have right now.”
7. “Validation on steroids”
Golfweek’s Todd Kelly…“Validation on steroids.”…”NBC analyst Paul Azinger uttered those words on Sunday during the final round of the U.S. Open.”
  • …”DeChambeau has been dogged by the steroid accusations. Putting on all that bulk and bragging about all those protein shakes will do it, it seems. But the insinuations are unfair nonetheless.”
  • “Azinger explained to Golfweek by text message Sunday night that his words were taken out of context.”
  • “If anyone was thinking I was implying that Bryson was on steroids they completely misinterpreted that,” he said. “They get tested twice a week for crying out loud. Bad choice of words. He took a lot of (bleep) and validated everything he’s done. If that needs cleaning up then the world has gone to hell.”
8. Meanwhile, on other tours…
Jim Furyk won on the Champions Tour…AP report...”Jim Furyk joined Arnold Palmer and Bruce Fleisher as the only players to win their first two PGA Tour Champions starts, beating Jerry Kelly with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff in the Pure Insurance Championship.”
  • “Furyk and Kelly both laid up on the par-5 18th in the playoff, with Kelly hitting his approach to 10 feet and Furyk following with a 90-yard wedge to 3 feet. Furyk holed his birdie try after Kelly pulled his attempt.”
  • “The 50-year-old Furyk closed with a 5-under 67 – a day after losing the lead to Ernie Els with a second-round 73 – to match Kelly at 12-under 204. Playing three groups ahead of Furyk and four in front of Els, Kelly birdied the 18th for a 65.”
And on the LPGA Tour…AP report…”Georgia Hall won the Cambia Portland Classic on Sunday for her first LPGA Tour victory in the United States, beating Ashleigh Buhai with a par on the second hole of a playoff.”
  • “Hall won after falling into a tie with a bogey on the part-4 18th in regulation. The 24-year-old Englishwoman, the 2018 Women’s British Open champion, matched Buhai with a par on 18 on the first extra hole and won on the par-4 first at Columbia Edgewater.”
9. Bryson’s winning WITB
Driver: Cobra King SpeedZone (7.5 degrees @5.5)
Shaft: LA Golf BAD Prototype 60 TX  
3-wood: Cobra King SZ Tour (14.5 @11.5 degrees)
Shaft: LA Golf BAD Prototype 70 TX  
3-wood: Cobra King SZ Tour (14.5 degrees @13.5)
Shaft: LA Golf BAD Prototype 80 TX  
Irons: Cobra King SZ One Length (4, 5), Cobra King Forged Tour One Length (6-PW)
Shafts: LA Golf Rebar Proto  
Wedges: Artisan Prototype (50 @47, 55 @52, 60 @58)
Shafts: LA Golf Rebar Proto shaft
Putter: SIK Prototype
Ball: Bridgestone Tour B X
Grips: Jumbo Max Tour
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DeChambeau holds straight to claim U.S. Open title

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Although the rounds came out of order, let the record show that Bryson DeChambeau did record a 70, a 69, a 68, and, on the most important of days, a Sunday 67. He was the only player to shoot under par on day four, and the only player to finish under par for the week.

His six-shot victory was not a dominant one, but it was the next best thing: impressive. DeChambeau balanced strategy and sinew to perfection, decoding the challenges and opportunities offered by the West Course at Winged Foot, and he claimed his first major title just four days after his 27th birthday.

For nine holes on Sunday, DeChambeau was in a battle with pairing competitor Matthew Wolff. First #BigBangTheory, and then #RipDog, posted eagle at the par-five 9th, thanks to identical driver-pitching wedge combos. They went to the back nine at 5 under and 4 under, respectively. At 10, Wolff’s iron turned over just enough to miss the green and leave him the most awkward of stances. He made bogey, and the lead was doubled. The eagle at nine turned out to be Wolff’s only hole below par all day, and he would drop three more shots on the way in. Wolff finished the week at even-par, a number that many projected to win after Friday’s round.

DeChambeau simply gave no openings to anyone on this final day. His final birdie came at the 11th after his approach failed to release and finished on the fringe. Undeterred, he putted from the fairway, as he had all week, and the sphere found the bottom of the tin can. DeChambeau didn’t hit many fairways this week, but he didn’t need to. Clubhead speed and short approach shots conquered the rough, and the Calixan (a blend of Californian and Texan) played the course as if it were just another Fortnite stream on Twitch (where you might find him tonight).

The two, non-player topics to hold our attention all week are absence of fans and distance gains. Would the oohs and ahhhs, and possible interruptions, of galleries have impacted this week’s result? No question. Some golfers feed off the electricity, while others wilt. No doubt a chorus of “You da man” and “Big Bang Theory” would have caused some influence, at some juncture.

Next, what about distance? Remember 1997, when Augusta did its level best to Tiger-proof the golf course? DeChambeau is only 73 inches tall. What happens when a 75- or an 80-inch golfer adds the mass that he did? All facets of the distance conversation amount to one of many discussions to be had. Anyone see how well he putted? How well he chipped and pitched? How well he decoded slopes of greens? The puzzle was there for the taking, and one golfer solved it.

Cheers, kudos, Hogan hats off to the champion!

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