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Morning 9: Pete Dye dead at 94 | Reed’s lawyer sends Chamblee cease & desist | Wie expecting

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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.
January 10, 2020
Good Friday morning, golf fans.
**Drop me a line (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com) if you’d like to talk about getting your message in front of the M9 readership.**
1. Pete Dye dead at 94
From Richard Goldstein’s New York Times obituary for the most well-known (and arguably most polarizing) figure in modern golf course architecture…
  • “Pete Dye, who designed many of America’s most famous golf courses and became known as the mad scientist of golf architecture for his imaginative and supremely challenging layouts, died on Thursday. He was 94.”
  • “His death was announced by the Dye family’s company, Dye Designs, on Twitter. He had been treated for dementia and lived in Gulf Stream, Fla.”
  • “Often collaborating with his wife, Alice, who died in February at 91, and in later years with their two sons, Perry and Paul Burke (known as P.B.) Dye, Mr. Dye designed more than 100 courses.”
  • “He and his wife were best known for the “island green,” the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., probably the most photographed hole in golf history. The green is only some 135 yards from the tee, but it brings dread to even the world’s greatest golfers competing in the Players Championship, an unofficial fifth major tournament. Surrounded by water and connected to the rest of the course by a slender land bridge, it has tormented even the world’s greatest golfers and is one of the most recognized images in the sport.”

Full piece.

2. Pros remember Pete
Tiger Woods called him “the father of modern golf course design,” saying Dye “brought fear into the equation” and “really messed with your mind.”
“He leaves a huge footprint on the game. One of my best experiences with Pete was playing Whistling Straits one of the first times we went there and I was lucky enough he walked nine holes with me in a practice round and I would ask him, “Mr. Dye why would you put that bunker right there… what were you thinking?” and he would look at me and said dryly, “just to piss you off, that’s the only reason.” He was a good man who obviously loved golf and just a wonderful course designer who knew how to make difficult golf courses. If you were going to play well around his places you couldn’t fake it and it’s a sad loss for golf. His footprint was at all of his places, undeniably and not a lot of designers can say that. And boy you knew it was going to be tough.” – Charles Howell III
“Pete and Alice Dye are royalty in golf, no question. My mother was friends with Alice and always enjoyed talking with Pete every chance I could get. I love TPC Sawgrass and my parents were members at The Honors Course which I think is one of his best of all time. He revolutionized golf, changed it, and made it better. We are all lucky to have had him. If you look at the history of golf I’m not sure there is a bigger change in architecture than when Pete Dye came along. It was the most radical change and it was a great change. He is timeless. They’ll be copying him till the end of time.” – Jerry Kelly

Full piece.

3. Reed’s lawyer sends Brandel Chamblee cease & desist letter
Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch…”Patrick Reed doesn’t only have his caddie wading in to defend his badly battered reputation – he’s sending in his lawyer too. Golfweek has exclusively obtained a cease and desist letter Reed had his attorney send to Brandel Chamblee demanding the Golf Channel analyst not repeat accusations that the former Masters champion cheated at the Hero World Challenge last month.”
  • “Chamblee has been a vocal critic of Reed’s hugely controversial actions at the Hero, where video showed him twice scooping sand from behind his ball on practice swings in a bunker, thereby improving his lie. Reed was penalized two strokes by rules officials but denied deliberately cheating, a brush-off that did little to alter the widespread belief that he did just that.”
  • “The purpose of this letter is to obtain assurance that you will refrain from any further dissemination, publication or republication of false and defamatory statements concerning Mr. Reed, including any allegations that he ‘cheated’ at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas,” wrote Peter Ginsberg, a partner at the New York City law firm of Sullivan & Worcester.”
4. Sony: Morikawa in front as play suspended
AP report…”The wind blew so hard that palm trees looked as though they were made of rubber. The Pacific looked angrier than usual. Some of the sights Thursday at the Sony Open in Hawaii made it clear that playing golf in Hawaii was no vacation.”
  • “Collin Morikawa managed better than everyone. He learned enough about the wind last week on Maui to cope with it on Oahua, getting through the relentless 30 mph win without a bogey for a 5-under 65 and a two-shot lead.”
  • “It’s tough out here,” Morikawa said. “If you have a 20-foot birdie putt, you’ve got to factor in the wind, the rain, everything. So playing last week got me prepared for today in the wind, and I look forward to the next few days.”
  • “Ryan Palmer was among four players at 67, with Marc Leishman and Corey Conners among those at 68.”
5. Hall in front in South Africa
EuropeanTour.com report…”The Englishman made his professional and European Tour debut at last season’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and did not disappoint, outscoring playing partner and four time Major Championship winner Rory McIlroy in the final round as he finished in the top 20.”
  • “He moved to nine under on day two at Randpark Golf Club to share the clubhouse lead with local favourite Daniel Greene, who fired a 66.”
  • “That was one shot behind overnight leader Johannes Veerman, who picked up a shot in his first six holes to move to ten under.”
6. Wie pregnant
ESPN report…”Michelle Wie announced on Instagram on Thursday that she is going to be a mother.”
  • “Wie posted on the social media site that she and husband Jonnie West — the son of NBA legend Jerry West — are expecting a daughter.”
  • “Babygirl, we love you so much already and we just can’t wait to meet you this summer!” Wie wrote.

Full piece.

7. Captain Hurst
AP report…”Pat Hurst was selected captain of the U.S. team for the 2021 Solheim Cup on Thursday.”
  • “Hurst, 50, was an assistant to Juli Inkster for the matches against Europe in 2015, 2017 and 2019, and played in the competition five times during a 20-year career on the LPGA Tour.”
  • “Hurst said Inkster was the first person she called after LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan told her she was captain.”

Full piece.

8. Officially in
First official start since the Zozo Championship in October…
  • Golf Digest’s Daniel Rapaport...”Tiger Woods announced on Thursday that he will play his first event of 2020 at the Farmers Insurance Open, which begins Jan. 23 at Torrey Pines in San Diego. He also confirmed on Twitter that he will tee it up at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera, an event run by his TGR Live venture.”
“See you soon west coast,” Woods said in the tweet.

Full piece.

9. “8-year-old key”
“Last week was one of those instances, though as Howell explained Wednesday during his pre-tournament news conference at the Sony Open, he had a good excuse.
  • “My son now is big into golf and he loves it, so like he has his favorites and the guys that he really likes,” Howell said of his 8-year-old son, Chase. “Justin Thomas is his clear favorite. Not even close. Like watching last week (when Thomas won the Sentry Tournament of Champions), like me seeing golf through his eyes watching Justin in the playoff and rooting him on and all that kind of stuff, it’s kind of reinvigorated my golf career a little bit.”

 

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  1. JP

    Jan 11, 2020 at 7:34 am

    RIP Pete Dye. Reed is a cheater. No one cares that a has been crybaby like Michele Wie is expecting.

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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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The DailyWRX: What’s buzzing on social media (5/25/2020)

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Gotta say, The Match: Champions for Charity, was a fun escape from reality and further fueled the “we need golf back” fire. I dedicate this DailyWRX to The Match, thanks for thrills boys.

No matter how hard you try to make this a meme…

It’s Tom Brady. He wins….always, no matter what. He’s a Mount Rushmore guy.

This gave me goosebumps…

Its an exhibition match for charity, and I’m over here jacked up like its Balboa vs. Drago. SMH. I love TW.

View this post on Instagram

Sunday red is back. ????

A post shared by PGA TOUR (@pgatour) on

Yes…

To all of it.

Phil…

Please just run for President and get it over with, you got my vote…..in perpetuity. I mean hellacious seeds? Yes I want hellacious seeds. Please.

DM @johnny_wunder

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Justin Rose, Honma officially part ways

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Justin Rose and Honma Golf have officially severed ties, per a joint statement released Friday evening.

Former World No. 1 and current World No. 14, Rose (previously a TaylorMade staffer) made waves in the equipment industry when he signed on as a full-bag Honma staffer at the beginning of 2019. He made waves again in late February when he arrived at PGA National with a TaylorMade SIM driver in his bag.

The next week, at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rose swapped out his remaining Honma wares for a TaylorMade SIM Max fairway wood, a Cobra Speedzone Pro 5-wood, TaylorMade P730 irons, and TaylorMade and Titleist wedges.

Full text of the statement from Honma/Rose below

“Honma Golf Limited (“Honma”) announces that, following a successful partnership with the former No. 1 player in the world, Honma and Justin Rose have agreed that Justin will no longer be one of Honma’s brand ambassadors. We are proud to have been a key part of Justin’s journey to regain his position as World Number 1 in early 2019, including a win at the Farmers Insurance Open in his second event with Honma equipment in play.”

“For over a year, Justin worked closely with our team to help develop innovative and top­ performing lines of Honma woods and irons. His pursuit of perfection, approach to product testing and feedback has produced great value to Honma. Justin’s expert input and desire for maximum ball speed inspired our team to make the Honma TR20 460 and 440 drivers among the fastest drivers in the game. Consistently, and excitingly, our nationwide team of fitters are seeing the new TR20 460 and TR20 440 drivers produce some of the fastest speeds on the market. We wish him the very best in his pursuit of more majors and career success,” said John Kawaja, President Honma Golf North America.”

“I have enjoyed working with the Honma team and collaborating closely with them to design and develop excellent golf equipment. I was able to see firsthand the innovations that the craftsmen at Honma bring to their clubs. I am hopeful that during our time of partnership, we have laid the groundwork for Honma to continue to expand their brand. We both feel it is the right time to pursue our own paths,” said Justin Rose.”

Per Honma PR: “This will be the official statement and we are unable to provide any further comments”

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