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Morning 9: Nearly Land(ry) of the lost | LPGA rules controversy that wasn’t | Westy! | Inside screen golf in S. Korea

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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 20, 2020
Good Monday morning, golf fans. Welcome to the beautiful madness of PGA Show week. Demo Day is tomorrow, so be sure to stay tuned to GolfWRX and our social media channels for the latest from Orlando.
Also, special thanks to Cut Golf for sponsoring the M9 this week! If you’re unfamiliar, or looking to restock your supply of Cut golf balls at a discounted rate, check ’em out via the banner above.

 

1. Nearly Land(ry) of the lost… 
Six ahead with six to play. What could possibly go wrong?
Golf Digest’s Brian Wacker...”After making the turn in 33 and tacking on three straight birdies to open the back nine, it looked like Landry would cruise to his second career title. He led by six over Ancer and was on his way.”
  • “…It started with a three-putt bogey from 60 feet on the par-3 13th, followed by another three-jack from 12 feet on the par-4 14th and when Landry failed to get up and down from left of the green at the par-4 15th, his lead was all but gone.
  • “…Having just blown the lead and playing the 166-yard 17th, Landry stuck his tee shot over the water that surrounds the par 3 to five feet. It was a nervy shot in the best of circumstances. Then he coolly made the putt for birdie to move one ahead of Ancer and two clear of Scheffler.”

Full piece.

2. Westy in Abu Dhabi
Plop Lee Westwood down anywhere in the world (as long as it’s not a major) and he can win, as he showed again this week.
BBC report…”England’s Lee Westwood claimed the Abu Dhabi Championship to win titles in four different decades on the European Tour.”
  • “Westwood finished on 19 under par, two shots ahead of Tommy Fleetwood, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Victor Perez.”
  • “The 46-year-old shot a five-under-par 67 at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club to win the event for the first time.”

Full piece.

3. A storyline headline related to Matt Kuchar’s on-course performance in a positive sense
Matt Kuchar won a golf tournament with nary a mention of on-course whining nor payments to caddies.
David Lee of the Singapore Times...”Matt Kuchar had breezed through the three par-five holes at Sentosa Golf Club all week. Ten times he had played them and he had nine birdies and an eagle.”
  • “As he stepped onto the 587 yard par-five 7th, with a commanding four shot lead, Kuchar had seemingly turned Sunday’s (Jan 19) final round of the SMBC Singapore Open into a procession.”
  • “Then, disaster struck. His tee shot missed to the left, his approach went out of bounds and the 10-footer he holed was for a triple-bogey eight. That, coupled with flightmate Jazz Janewattananond’s birdie on the same hole, wiped out Kuchar’s advantage at the US$1 million (S$1.35 million) tournament.”
  • “The veteran American showed tremendous resilience though to recover as he managed three birdies over the next 11 holes for a one-under 70 and a winning total of 18-under 266.”
4. LPGA TOC TBC
Lisa D. Mickey for ESPN...”The LPGA kicked off the new year and the 2020 season with an outright tussle for the title at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions.”
“But at the end of four rounds, five playoff holes and the gloaming of another day, a playoff between Japan’s Nasa Hataoka and Gaby Lopez of Mexico was suspended because of darkness a little after 6 p.m. ET. Play will resume at 8 a.m. ET on Monday.”

 

5. Nothing to see here…
At least Lexi Thompson wasn’t involved…
  • Golf Channel’s Randall Mell on Nasa Hataoka’s rules infraction that wasn’t…”A tweeted video (that has since been deleted) only partially showed Hataoka marking her ball but made it appear as if she laid her coin in front of her ball, picked up the ball and then returned it in front of the coin, closer to the hole.”
  • “According to the LPGA, a tour video rules official watched the entire sequence and could see there was no violation. In fact, Hataoka could be seen marking her ball that way more than once, placing the coin behind the ball, then then moving the ball behind the coin to read the putt before returning the ball to its original position.”

Full piece.

6. Have a cigar
Does anyone celebrate success like Miguel Angel Jimenez? Likely no. (Does anyone celebrate being filled with the breath of life like MAJ? Also, likely no.)
  • AP report…”Miguel Angel Jimenez made a 12-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a playoff Saturday with senior newcomer Ernie Els to win the PGA Tour Champions’ season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship.”
  • “Fred Couples dropped out on the first extra trip down the par-4 18th at windy Hualalai, missing a short par putt.”
  • “Jimenez, paired with Couples in the second-to-last group, birdied Nos. 13-15 in a 5-under 67 to match Els and Couples at 14-under 202.”
  • ”I said to my caddie, ‘The winning score is going to be 15-under par and we need to hurry up and make birdie,”’ Jimenez said. ”Make three birdies in a row, 14-under par and then here we are.”

Full piece.

7. Unbothered by the criticism 
If you expected Phil Mickelson to be having second thoughts about teeing it up in Saudi Arabia, you will be disappointed.
  • ESPN’s Bob Harig…”Mickelson, who is skipping a longtime staple on his schedule, the Waste Management Phoenix Open the same week, told ESPN at the American Express that he understood the political ramifications of his commitment and expected there to be criticism.”
  • “I knew that was going to be the case,” Mickelson, 49, said in his first public comments on the issue. “I weighed that in my decision. But I still want to go.”
  • ….”I knew that criticism would come with this,” Mickelson said. “But I’m excited to go. I’m looking forward to it. I just figured that would be the case. I feel good in the sense that I’ve supported the Phoenix Open for 30 years. I’ve turned down opportunities for 20 years now to go over to different parts of the world. I’m at a point now where I want to take advantage of it. I want to go see it.”

Full piece.

8. Gallegos!
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine on the LAAC winner…”While Gallegos learned the game there, there’s nothing little about him. The 17-year-old stands 6 feet, 3 inches, and possesses incredible power, including a 125-plus mph clubhead speed.”
  • “He’s a great project of a player with enormous power,” said Mark Lawrie, the R&A’s director for Latin American and the Caribbean who formerly served as the longtime executive director of the Argentina Golf Federation.
  • “On Sunday, the teenage Gallegos accomplished something immeasurable…Since the first Latin America Amateur Championship was held at Pilar Golf in Buenos Aires in 2015, no Argentine had won the tournament that has quickly grown into one of the most prestigious amateur events in the world. But Gallegos, one of eight representing Argentina in this year’s edition, changed that by overcoming a two-shot deficit and firing a final-round, 4-under 67 to win by four shots over Mexico’s Aaron Terrazas.”

Full piece.

9. On screen golf in South Korea
Rounding out today’s lineup is a super look at the massive popularity of screen golf in South Korea from GolfWRX Featured Writer Jimmy Chang. If you’re unaware of the scale of South Korea’s obsession with simulator-based golf and unclear as to why it’s such a phenomenon, you must read this piece.

 

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Tour Rundown: Morikawa, Lipsky, and Warren claim titles on three world tours

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After nearly a month of covering a single tournament each week, today feels like a birthday, with three presents to open. The European Tour returned to action for the first time since Qatar, in early March. The Korn Ferry Tour was again in action, this time in a canyon in San Antonio, Texas. And the PGA Tour headed into territory not charted since the 1950s. More on that tease in a moment. As humanity navigates the careful steps required by quarantine, our professional golf tours have done their best to clear a path on how to properly do so. There is stumbling and mild retreat, but in the end, movement forward. Here’s to caution and confidence, as we return to Tour Rundown, this second week of July 2020.

Collin Morikawa claims first PGA Tour medal-play title

Justin Thomas is young. He’s only 27. The thing is, Collin Morikawa is younger. Like a quarter-generation younger. In an era of internet immediacy and social media fame, people identify by these five-year segments of a generation. On Sunday, at the Workday Charity Open, Morikawa earned his second tour title in less than a year, and he did so by staring down the 2017 PGA champion.

In a word, Sunday in Columbus, Ohio, was crazy. Arriving weather dictated threesomes off early, on both front and back nines, for final-round completion. Morikawa was paired with Thomas and Viktor Hovland, on a stage set for drama. Thomas had the lead at the outset, but Morikawa seized it back with two birdies and an eagle in the first five holes. Thomas responded, as in the middle rounds of a prize fight, with a stunning sequence of his own. Birdies at 8 through 11, followed by birdie-eagle at 14 and 15, appeared to pave a path to a 13th tour title for the Kentuckian.

With a flicker, Thomas made bogey at 16 and 18, while a 17th-hole birdie by Morikawa evened the score. Off to extra holes they went. Thomas appeared to have stolen the win with a 50-feet bomb for birdie at th 18th, but Morikawa matched him with a putt for three of his own. They returned to 18 one more, where pars sent them off to the 10th tee. A change of venue, to the 10th hole, brought resolution to the week. Morikawa’s drive found the fairway, while Thomas’ tee ball was stymied behind a wee sapling of a tree trunk. Forced to pitch out, Thomas ultimately missed a 15-feet putt for par. Morikawa took two putts from six feet, and the victory was his. After an initial win in the modified-stableford Barracuda Championship 11 months ago, the young Californian now has a stroke-play title, against one of the best of the tour, on his sleeve.

For the first time since 1957, the PGA Tour will host events on the same course, in consecutive weeks. The Workday Classic steps aside for the Memorial Invitational. Expect faster greens, deeper tees, thicker rough, and angrier hole locations as Jack’s event takes center stage.

David Lipsky steps out of covert operations for San Antonio Challenge win

If you’re one of those Golf Channel stalwarts, the ones who watch early-morning telecasts from the Asian and European tours, you know his name. If not, please allow me to introduce David Lipsky. A graduate of Northwestern University, a Big Ten titleist in college, 2-time champion on both the European and Asian tours, and now, a winner stateside. By reaching 25-under par on Sunday evening, David Lipsky claimed an inaugural Korn Ferry tour title at the (deep breath) TPC-San Antonio Challenge at the Canyons. The native of La Cañada, California, turned in a weekend scorecard of 128 for 36 holes, blazing past the field by four shots.

The majority of the onslaught took place on Saturday. Lipsky had been known, on his overseas tours of golf duty, to post the occasional low round. Following it up was always the difficult part. More on that in a jiff. On day three, Lipsky posted consecutive bogies, at the 13th and 14th holes. No worries. They were sandwiched by a birdie and an eagle. And those were sandwiched by two more birdies on either side. And that was after an outward nine of five-under 31. Lipsky’s matching nines totaled 62, and included 10 birdies and that screaming eagle.

On Sunday, the third-round leader picked up where he left off. He made few mistakes on the day, and expanded his week-long birdie total by seven. As his closest pursuers hiccoughed and stumbled, Canada’s Taylor Pendrith took up the challenge. Pendrith reached the turn on a five-birdie streak, but was unable to maintain the momentum. He reached 21-under par, one clear of Paul Haley II and Paul Barjon in third, and claimed his first runner-up finish on the Korn Ferry tour. Coming on the heels of a tie for third the previous week, Pendrith is one to watch as the Korn Ferry tour moves across property to the Oaks course, for a 2nd consecutive TPC San Antonio event.

Marc Warren edges Schneider by one in Austria

Compared with the above winners (23 and 32) Marc Warren is an old guy. He’s 39, which qualifies for tour-old status. Not as old as Miguel Ángel Jiménez, the 36-hole leader, but certainly trending upward in circles around the tree trunk. No matter, after 72 holes, it was Marc Warren by one shot, for his fourth career win on the European tour. Six years had passed since the Scotsman hoisted the Made In Denmark trophy, and this rep was more than sweet.

Warren sat two shots behind the ageless Spaniard, Jiménez, aftet two rounds. Surprising himself, the PGA Tour Champions regular was out in 133, emboldened by a Friday 65. What went right on day two, moved in the opposite direction on Saturday. Jiménez turned in a 77, dropping out of the top five. Warren seized the opportunity on a difficult day, and took the lead with a two-under 70. On Sunday, the Caledonian struggled with his swing, giving the lead away to runner-up Marcel Schneider, midway through the back nine. Emboldened by years of toil, Warren responded with birdies at 15 and 17 to snatch the lead back. A par at the last was sufficient to close in 13-under par, one clear of Germany’s Schneider. Holland’s Will Besseling turned in the day’s best score (66) to ascend 16 spots on the board, into solo third position.

The tour remains in Austria this week, at the Euram Bank Open. Unlike the US tours, the remainder of the Euro schedule is uncertain. With fortune, previously-scheduled events will make a return to competition in 2021, if not sooner.

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GolfWRX Classifieds (07/10/20): Sim MAX, Tour Nike, Srixon irons

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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 EDWARDSR – Tour Issue Nike 2i, Koepka Stock

Sure you might not quite hit it like Brooks Koepka, or have 4 majors, but for a pretty nice price you can at least have the same 2 iron he used.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Tour Issue Nike 2 iron

Member ce5600 – TaylorMade SIM Max Drive head

Shaft – Check, Grip – Check…. Still need a head? well here you go! TaylorMade Sim MAX 9° just waiting for you and a few wrench clicks.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Sim Max Head

Member JoeFrigo – Srixon Z785 with Proto UST Recoil

Special irons built with special shafts. Z785 with UST Proto recoils that can only be had through select TSPX dealers. These aren’t your grandad’s graphite shafts – unless of course, they are what he uses in which case ignore the attempted joke.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Srixon Z785 Irons

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds

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GolfWRX Classifieds (07/09/20): YES! Putter, Mevo, Honma irons

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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 mlp021 – Flightscope Mevo

If you are looking to add some fun to your practice routine, while also getting useful data to help you improve and become more consistent, the Mevo is one of the best options around.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Flightscope Mevo 

Member OpenPar – YES! Golf Holly Putter

Finding any classic YES! putters in good shape continues to be more difficult, but this Holly looks like it hasn’t seen many rounds of golf, and it even comes with the original cover! Yes!

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Yes golf Holly

Member niznikd – In plastic Honma TW 747V Irons

These are a steal of a deal and just a third of their original asking price—and did I mention BRAND NEW!

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: 747V Honma Irons

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds

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