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Morning 9: Chasing a trophy on blistered feet | Controversies of 2019 | DJ out of Hero

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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.

December 2, 2019

Good Monday morning, golf fans. Hope y’all enjoyed Thanksgiving! 
 
**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. Winning soothes blistered feet?
John Strege at Golf Digest with a tale of fluid-filled bubbles and triumph…”The Alfred Dunhill Championship was Pablo Larrazabal’s to lose on Sunday, and, hobbled by a painful blister, was in the process of doing so when he took a cue from Tiger Woods and limped to his first victory in more than four years.”
  • “The 36-year-old Spaniard had a three-stroke lead through 54 holes at Leopard Creek Country Club in Malelane, South Africa, when “a big blister on my right toe,” he said, threatened to derail him in the final round.”
  • “He went out in six-over 41, then clawed his way back into contention and birdied three of the final four holes for his fifth European Tour victory.”

Full piece.

2. Controversies of the decade!
…as rounded up by the Golfweek staff. Here’s a juicy one at No. 9!
  • “Tiger Woods, 2013 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship...On the fifth hole of the second round, Woods flared his drive to the right between the fairways of the fifth and sixth holes and into a scrubby plant in the sand. Woods asked playing competitor Martin Kaymer to confirm his ball was plugged and Kaymer agreed. Woods took what he believed was a free drop, chipped out sideways onto the fairway and made bogey.”
  • “Golfweek’s Alistair Tait questioned whether Woods was entitled to relief from an embedded ball in the sand. Tait took it up with rules official Miguel Vidor. Initially, he upheld that Tiger was entitled to the drop, but afterwards had second thoughts. He consulted with referee Andy McFee who agreed with Tait that relief wasn’t allowed in the sand, and Tiger was given a two-stroke penalty and missed the cut.”
3. Controversies of 2019!
And in case you hadn’t gotten your fill of controversy, the Golf Channel team rounded up the controversies of 2019…
  • “Here’s there bit on the theatrics of one Sergio Garcia…”In February, Garcia was disqualified from the Saudi International because of “serious misconduct.” He was accused by other competitors of purposefully hitting his clubs into the surface of the greens, causing damage. But it wasn’t just once; it was reportedly five times.”
  • “That wasn’t the first mishap of the week for Garcia, though. A day before, after hitting a bunker shot on to the green, Garcia took some frustrating swipes at the sand and then uttered an expletive-laden tirade in Spanish.”

Full piece.

4. DJ out of Hero
PGATour.com staff…”Dustin Johnson has withdrawn from next week’s Hero World Challenge but still plans on competing in this year’s Presidents Cup.”
  • “Johnson underwent arthroscopic surgery in September to repair cartilage damage in his left knee. He has not played since finishing last in the TOUR Championship.”
  • “Johnson wrote on Twitter that he made the decision to withdraw after “a lot of careful thought and consultation.”
  • “While my recovery from knee surgery is complete, I feel another week of physical therapy and practice will best prepare me for the Presidents Cup,” Johnson added. “I have informed Captain Woods of my decision, which he fully supports and understands.”
5. TV negotiations…are still being negotiated
Geoff Shackelford…”Thanksgiving came and went with no announcement. The PGA Tour and LPGA Tour’s television future is still only full of possibilities with no concrete answers.”
  • “The future of how golf will be broadcast could land moments after this story is published. Or not.”
  • ‘The Tour’s current contracts with CBS, NBC and Golf Channel run through 2021. An international broadcasting arrangement with Discovery network is locked in much longer. What’s the fuss all about with plenty of time to sort this out?”
  • “Millions of dollars are at stake. Hundreds of jobs may be affected. The sports media world is eyeing the Tour’s decision. And some of the planet’s most powerful moguls are weighing whether to overpay as they unbundle cable into streaming networks that they will eventually rebundle all over again.”

Full piece.

6. Don’t cheer for Tiger! 
…that’s the message from Adam Scott.
  • Golf Digest’s Joel Beall…”The Presidents Cup, compared to its biennial match counterpart, the Ryder Cup, has been a civil affair. In Adam Scott’s eyes, perhaps a bit too civil.”
  • “In an interview with the Herald Sun ahead of the American-International matchup at Royal Melbourne, Scott implored his countrymen not to root for the opposing squad.”
  • “Last time it was too friendly,” Scott told the Herald Sun, referring to the 2011 Presidents Cup in Melbourne. “Quite bluntly, we want the home-crowd advantage, and I’ll be disappointed if they are cheering enthusiastically for Tiger or anyone on the U.S. team.”

Full piece.

7. Equipment trends of the decade
The time for a backward glance at the past 10 years is upon us. Andrew Tursky at PGATour.com rounds up his top five equipment developments of the decade.
  • “Here’s what he had to say about the proliferation of launch monitors…”By the early 2010s, however, due to more affordability and portability, PGA TOUR players were using launch monitors in their personal practice sessions and club testing sessions to dial in their swing and golf clubs.”
  • “Now, if you’re not using a launch monitor, you’re at a severe disadvantage against whatever competitive field you’re in.”
  • “Launch monitor systems, with their abilities to identify ball speed, spin rate, launch, angle of attack, impact location, etc. have changed the way players think about and play the game, and how golf club and shaft companies make products. It’s likely that some of the products mentioned below would not have been instituted had launch monitors not been as available to the golfing public.”

Full piece.

8. England’s oldest course bans plastic tees
First they came for our straws… but really, good move here. With the bevy of biodegradable options available (if you don’t like wood), there’s no reason for plastic tees.
  • Via Golf Channel Digital…”Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, Royal North Devon Golf Club in Northam will ban plastic tees in an effort to keep local wildlife from eating and being harmed by them. The news was first reported by The Telegraph, which also stated that the club is believed to be the first to ban plastic tees.”
  • “The simple fact is that plastic tees are more likely to harm the birds and animals we share our wonderful course with,” the club said in a statement. “The greenskeepers will also tell you that they can do a great deal more harm to their equipment than a wooden tee. So from the start of the new decade we would like all golfers to only use wooden tees and the pro shop will only supply wooden tees. If you see a plastic tee (or a wooden one for that matter) that has been discarded please place it in one of the tee bins provided. There will soon be more of these for the other tee areas. Look after our environment and hopefully it will be there for many years to come.”

Full piece.

9. Mickelson on the sidelines
Digest’s Dave Shedloski…”For the first time since 1993, he is not playing in the Presidents Cup or the Ryder Cup, a streak almost as impressive as his run of 1,353 weeks ranked in the top 50 in the world that ended Nov. 3. Until this year, he had played in every Presidents Cup.
While disappointed to be omitted from this year’s team-and he candidly admitted that he didn’t deserve a captain’s pick from Woods after failing to make the team on points-he assessed his coming weekend at home in typical Mickelson fashion.”
  • “I’ve always thought this would be one of the most exciting events to watch,” he said. “No, I’m excited. I’m pulling for the guys. I want to see us get another win.”

 

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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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