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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 (9/24/2020)

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My kid trying to convince me Pokemon is a kid in his school…

…best words start with F and end with K…if you wanna get creative add you or me to the end. Helps me daily.

Is it me or did Rory barely swing at that…

I’m bummed I have to leave a course I won and play at a course I dominate on. Classic TDub!

Who cares…ESPN isn’t ESPN anymore…hasn’t been in YEARS.

DM @johnny_wunder if you know what happened to ESPN

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Morning 9: The return of pro-ams | Akshay Bhatia | Has the game changed…or just for the pros? | Wunder’s love/hate

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1. Pro-ams and (some) fans returneth 
Golfweek’s JuliaKate E. Culpepper…“Spectators haven’t been allowed on site during PGA Tour events since the first round of the Players Championship over six months ago. After a 13-week break due to the coronavirus pandemic, there have been 16 tournaments without cheers, jeers or patron antics.”
  • “That’ll change slightly this week in the Dominican Republic.”
  • “The Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, previously scheduled for March but rescheduled due to the pandemic, will allow a select number of patrons back on tournament grounds – socially distanced, of course – when the event tees off Thursday.”
  • “The final few holes at Corales Golf Club will have corporate VIP areas set up, allowing sponsors and a handful of other visitors to watch the live sporting event in person following necessary COVID screening precautions.”
2. First made cut earns Bhatia Puntacana berth
Adam Stanley for PGATour.com…“Bhatia turned professional in 2019 after becoming the youngest player to ever represent the United States in the Walker Cup. He made his pro debut on TOUR at the Sanderson Farms Championship last season. The debut came after he had reached No. 5 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.”
  • “But despite his success on the junior and amateur circuit, it hadn’t quite translated to the pro game until the Safeway Open. Bhatia finished T9 there and earned a spot in the field at this week’s Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship. He was the youngest player to finish in the top 10 of a stroke-play event on the PGA TOUR since Justin Rose finished fourth at the 1998 Open Championship.”
  • “It’s always nice anytime you get a chance to play the PGA TOUR,” Bhatia said. “It’s a great way to enjoy things because this is the life I want to have and I have to get a taste of it. Earning my spot here was a different feeling for me and I’m just excited to get it going.”
  • “After putting a bow on an impressive junior golf career – he was on the winning Junior Presidents Cup team in 2017, the winning Junior Ryder Cup team in 2018 and the winning Walker Cup team last year – he hadn’t made a cut on the PGA TOUR until the Safeway Open.”

Full piece.

3. Bhatia’s WITB

DRIVER: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZURDUS “Hulk” Smoke Green 75 6.5 TX
3-WOOD: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZURDUS Hulk Smoke Green 85 6.5 TX
IRONS: Callaway Epic Forged (3), Callaway Apex MB 18 Raw (4-PW)
Shafts: KBS TG Hybrid Proto 95 X (3), KBS $-Taper Black 125 S+ (4-PW)
WEDGES: Callaway MD5 Jaws Raw (50S, 54S, 60C)
Shafts: KBS $-Taper 125S+
PUTTER: Odyssey SL Black Armlock 7
GRIPS: Iomic Sticky 2.3 Black
4. Scottish Open: Plan for spectators shelved in line with pause on pilot events
BBC report…“The decision to have spectators at the Scottish Open at Renaissance Club next month has been reversed.”
  • “The tournament in East Lothian had been chosen as a pilot for the return of fans, with 650 permitted on both Saturday and Sunday.”
  • “However, a rise in coronavirus cases has resulted in a pause on all sporting test events.”
5. Has the game changed…or just for the pros? 
GolfWRX’s resident “Wedge Guy,” Terry Koehler wonders post-Winged Foot what conclusions we can draw…
“I believe the first takeaway is that we play a totally different game than they do. Very few of us recreational golfers have the strength to continually muscle the ball out of even “normal” rough to put it in a position to successfully finish out the hole with a par or better. For most of us, I have no doubt that our best scores come when we hit the fewest shots from the rough. I challenge all of you to keep track of your “strokes lost” when your tee shot does not leave you in the fairway with a clean lie and open shot to the green.”
“Secondly, we do not have anything close to their skills around the greens. If you miss greens, you are more likely to make bogey or worse than to save par. Leaving the distance thing out of the equation, this is the largest chasm between the skills of tour player and regular amateurs. Day in and day out, these elite players get up and down more than 50% of the time, and very few amateurs approach 30% from my research. What’s the moral of that story? Spend more time practicing your creativity and execution on the shortest of shots…that is, IF you really want to lower your scores.”
“Finally, these guys are so darn good with the putter in their hands…It certainly doesn’t hurt that they putt on pool-table-perfect greens most of the time. Or that they have a great caddy to help them get an accurate read on most every putt. Or that they focus on positioning their approach shots and recoveries to give themselves the best look at the hole. But also realize that they practice incessantly on this part of the game.”
6. Johnny Wunder’s love/hate
I LOVE watching players mic’d up and having fun together. The conversations and smack talk is a blast to listen to. We also get an inside peek into a portion of what these players are really like. In a normal event? No. Maybe a caddie or two but not the players-I wouldn’t want to be mic’d up at work-not that anyone cares what I say anyway. Just facts. To be honest, Tiger without a JT or Phil to prod him along isn’t exactly gonna peel your hair back in good times. The guy is a born assassin, they don’t talk all that much besides the impromptu “thanks” or  “F$$K!”
I HATE that we have “the one best this and best that” culture in golf equipment. It’s such a big game with so many variables. Can’t we just accept the fact that it’s all REALLY good and have fun exploring what’s best for us individually? I mean, we even do it with tour players-there is no singular “best.” We have had like four of them over the last 100 years. Undisputed 5-plus year stallions that nobody disputed. “Best” defined as it relates to the PGA Tour is Tiger Woods 1999-2009…that’s the best. Anything short of that is a disservice to the players and a mind circus for us.
7. The new queen of LPGA driving distance
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…“A rookie currently leads the LPGA in driving distance with a 287.462 yard average. Unlike Bryson DeChambeau, Bianca Pagdanganan didn’t seek out extra yardage. In fact, she can’t really even explain where her power comes from.”
“Her mantra, repeated throughout a recent phone conversation, is “I try not to force anything.”
“Pagdanganan’s coach at Arizona, Laura Ianello, points to “insanely” fast hips and use of the ground as key to her power. She’s 4 yards longer than Maria Fassi on the LPGA stats list and 5 yards ahead of Anne van Dam.”
8. Tiger officially in for Zozo
ESPN’s Bob Harig…“Tiger Woods announced his commitment to next month’s Zozo Championship at Sherwood Country Club, where he will be the defending champion of an event that has moved from Japan to Thousand Oaks, California, this year amid to the coronavirus pandemic.”
  • “Woods, 44, won the event over Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama last year at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club outside of Tokyo. The victory was the 82nd of his career and tied him with Sam Snead for the top spot on the PGA Tour’s victory list.”

 

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M9: Shane Ryan on Bryson: Nobody else is trying hard enough | Mike Davis moving on | Rory loves Domino’s

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1. Mike Davis leaving USGA in 2021
Scapegoat? Villian? Whatever your impression of the man, Mike Davis is moving on… Golf Digest’s Dave Shedloski…”The USGA on Tuesday announced that Davis is stepping down as its chief executive officer, effective at the end of 2021, to embark on a career in golf course design and construction. Davis plans to team up with Tom Fazio II to create a new golf course architecture company, Fazio & Davis Golf Design.”
  • “I’ve absolutely loved the USGA, and I hate the idea of leaving,” said Davis, 55, who became the USGA’s seventh executive director in 2011, succeeding David Fay, a role that segued into that of CEO in 2016. “I’ve grown up around here. I mean, it will have been 32 years by the time I leave, and my work in championships and governance and so on is just … in some ways, I never thought I’d leave.
  • “But at the heart of this, I have always loved golf course design. I loved learning, seeing, playing, studying golf courses. I’m closer to 60 than I am 50, and there was almost a sense that if I don’t do this, I’m going to regret it.”
2. Replacement search underway 
Shedloski again…”The process of finding a successor to USGA CEO Mike Davis, who announced Tuesday he will leave the association at the end of 2021, commenced about a year ago with the help of a search firm. So it is, according to USGA president Stu Francis, that the association already has taken meaningful steps toward an eventual leadership transition.”
  • “Francis would not divulge how many candidates might have been identified, be they inside the halls of Golf House in Liberty Corner, N.J., or outside them.”
3. More meditations on the Bryson Effect
Shane Ryan, as can be gleaned from his headline, thinks the Bryson DeChambeau Effect is going the change the game of golf…and I for one think his points are superb…
“For a moment, let’s forget the specifics. Let’s forget the weight and distance gain, the muscle activation fitness regimen, the protein shakes, the single iron length, the putting lasers, and a thousand other things that fall under the umbrella of “science.” Forget it all and think broadly. We need some distance to understand Bryson DeChambeau’s win at the U.S. Open-the most consequential result for golf since Tiger Woods won the Masters in 1997-and to internalize the only conclusion that really matters: On an intellectual level, nobody else is trying hard enough.”
“If that sounds like an insult to a group of professionals who have dedicated their lives to becoming elite practitioners of the sport, so be it. DeChambeau is putting them to shame simply because he has the courage not just to seek out innovative ideas, but to pursue them with monomaniacal energy. His commitment is so rigorous, so fanatical, that everyone else comes off looking like a dilettante.”
“This makes people uncomfortable, fans and players alike, but the ultimate legacy of his astonishing win at Winged Foot-a course that was supposed to be the antithesis to and kryptonite for the DeChambeau Style-is that we can no longer dismiss him as a pretentious pseudoscientist. That comfort is gone, and now we reckon with a reality that forces from the mouths of the doubters the three most painful words imaginable.
“He was right.”
4. …and even more…this on Bryson’s putting
Mike Purkey for the Morning Read…“DeChambeau also uses a device that measures putts in miles per hour. Yes, you read that correctly. So, he knows how far to swing his arm-lock putter to produce a particular speed, therefore a precise distance. Then, he takes slope and break into account, using the same device.”
  • “It’s not pretty like Ben Crenshaw putted, but DeChambeau thinks that’s the best way for him to putt. And you can’t argue results. He tied for 11th at Winged Foot in putts per round, at 28.75.”
  • “You see me out there on the greens with the device trying to control my speed,” he said. “It’s just something that allows me and gives me comfort to know that on this green, or these speeds of greens, it’s going to be repeatable. It’s going to be comfort in knowing how far I can take it back and go through.”
5. Danny Lee offers an apology after six-putt horrorshow 
Golfweek’s Julie Williams…“Danny Lee made an early exit from the U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club on Saturday evening – one culminating with a six-putt from 4 feet on the 18th green for a quadruple-bogey 8. After that, Lee withdrew from the championship, citing a wrist injury, and left the property.”
  • …”In the Tweet, Lee pledged to think about his actions and use it to get better.”
  • “I apologize for my poor actions at (the) U.S. Open at week. It was very unprofessional and foolish. Obviously hurts lots of my fans and followers and my sponsors out there,” Lee wrote in part. “My frustration took over me and combined with injury I had to fight with it all week. … I shouldn’t have left it like that.”
6. Watch out for Will Zalatoris 
Adam Stanley for PGATour.com…“Zalatoris’ play on the Korn Ferry Tour has been, in a word, impressive. He has finished in the top 20 in his last 11 starts, the longest streak in that circuit’s history. He’s hitting 81% of greens this season, which is on pace to be the most in KFT history, as well.”
  • “He’s also first in Scoring Average and Ball Striking.”
  • “He might be the best ball striker out there,” said Josh Gregory, a performance golf coach based out of Maridoe. Zalatoris credits a lot of his recent success to his work with Gregory along with Troy Denton, who is the head golf professional at the club.
  • “Denton calls Zalatoris a “freak ball-striker.”
  • “Gregory works with 11 golfers across the Korn Ferry Tour and PGA TOUR, and has been with Zalatoris for the last 18 months. He said Zalatoris was the “perfect candidate” for his way of teaching – mostly wrapped in games and drills and repetition.”
7. JT, TW win Payne’s Valley Cup…
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…“Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas edged Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose in the first-ever Payne’s Valley Cup, played at Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri to mark the opening of Woods’ first-ever public course design.”
  • “Woods and Thomas teamed in a Ryder Cup-style match against a pair of former world No. 1s from Europe, with the match divided into three sections. The first six-hole segment, won by McIlroy and Rose, was played using best-ball format. Nos. 7-12 featured alternate shot and saw the Americans strike back to tie the match at one point apiece, setting up a singles’ showdown across the home stretch.”
  • “Woods faced off against Rose in a singles match, while Thomas went against McIlroy. Those two points were also halved, with Rose beating Woods, 1 up, and Thomas beating McIlroy, 2 up. Both matches ended on the picturesque 123-yard, par-3 19th hole at Payne’s Valley, and with the match tied 2-2 Woods and Thomas got the win by virtue of a closest-to-the-pin tiebreaker after Thomas hit his final shot inside 9 feet.”
 
8. Tiger on Payne’s Valley…
Derek Duncan for Golf Digest…“My goal when starting TGR Design was to create courses that are fun and playable for golfers of all abilities,” Woods told Golf Digest. “This was particularly important at Payne’s Valley, my first public golf course.”
“Woods has always been at his best on the biggest stages, and Payne’s Valley, named for the late Payne Stewart, who grew up in nearby Springfield, is unquestionably big. The course plays atop a broad, starburst arrangement of low bluffs in the southwest Missouri Ozarks, where ancient peaks and ridgetops have been scrubbed and worn by time. (Parts of the property were formerly nine holes of the defunct Murder Rock golf course; the other nine became parts of Ozarks National, Golf Digest’s Best New Public Course in 2019.) Yet Payne’s Valley manages to effect an impression of height by pushing the holes, particularly on the first nine, out to the edges of the extended fingers of land that tumble down into wooded ravines, giving rise to cross-valley vistas. “While shaping the golf course, we spent a lot of time thinking about the views that we wanted to capture from various greens, fairways and tee boxes,” Woods says.”
“To this point, he and Johnny Morris, founder of Big Cedar Lodge and Bass Pro Shops retailers, made several in-the-field adjustments to maximize the down-valley sightlines, including reconceptualizing two of the closing holes into the downhill par-3 16th and the par-4 17th, a classic Bottle hole with a strand of bunkers breaking high and low sections of fairway. (Fitting a drive into the upper fairway is more risky, but it provides a straight look into the angled green.) Woods and Beau Welling, senior design consultant for TGR Design, filled the bare, blufftop panoramas with vast wall-to-wall fairways (the course has a considerable 116 acres of maintained turf), sprawling bunkers and expansive greens with false edges that slip off into smooth, low-cut chipping zones. Zeon zoysia green collars and approaches, which can be cut lower than other zoysia grasses, encourage shots along the ground.”
9. Rory loves…Domino’s pizza…?
Our Gianni Magliocco…“The Payne’s Valley Cup on Tuesday provided plenty of entertaining moments, but one thing golf fans perhaps weren’t bargaining on hearing was a Rory McIlroy deep dive into his current favorite pizza joint.”
“While his partner Rose was preparing to putt, McIlroy revealed that he was on a ‘big Domino’s kick’ at the moment, and it elicited a pretty hilarious reaction from Justin Thomas.”
“The Ulsterman justified his choice by claiming that when you don’t know the good local spots, then Domino’s Pizza is ‘solid’. When asked by JT what toppings he goes for, McIlroy responded that his go-to order is the ‘Deluxe’, which according to google consists of ‘green peppers, black olives, and meats like pepperoni, ham, and Italian sausage.”

 

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