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Morning 9: Tiger: Bad week inside ropes, good week outside | Scott, Park end droughts | CBS’ coverage panned (again)



By Ben Alberstadt
Email me at and find me at @benalberstadt on Instagram and golfwrxEIC on Twitter.
February 17, 2020
Good Monday morning, golf fans.


1. Scott gets first Tour win since 2016
Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner with a succinct breakdown…“Scott started the day in part of a three-way share of the lead, and he suffered an early stumble with a double bogey on the fifth hole. But the notoriously wobbly putter steadied his nerve down the stretch, burying birdie putts on Nos. 13 and 17 that proved to be the difference. Scott earned an unofficial victory at Riviera in 2005 when he won a 36-hole, rain-slogged event, but now he has an official title as part of his Riv credentials. It’s back-to-back worldwide wins for Scott across two calendar years, as the veteran closed out 2019 with a victory at the Australian PGA Championship. But after a number of recent near-misses, the Aussie now has his first PGA Tour win since March 2016, when he went back-to-back at Honda and Doral.”
2. …and Down Under, another title drought endeth
AP report…”Seven-time major champion Inbee Park saw a seven shot lead shrink to two shots Sunday before winning the Women’s Australian Open by three strokes to clinch her first LPGA title in almost two years.”
  • “Park started her final round three shots in front of 19-year old South Korean compatriot Ayeon Cho. She bogeyed the ninth hole but still turned five shots ahead of the field and went out to a seven shot lead early on the back nine at the Royal Adelaide Golf Club.”
3. …and on the Korn Ferry Tour
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Andrew Novak birdied each of his final two holes to earn his first career Korn Ferry Tour victory at the LECOM Suncoast Classic.”
  • “Novak, 24, started the final round in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., one shot off the lead, and he was part of a crowded leaderboard as the tournament entered the closing stretch. But thanks in large part to birdies on Nos. 17 and 18, two of the seven hardest holes at Lakewood National GC, he closed with a 6-under 66. That left him at 23 under, one shot ahead of John Chin and two shots clear of Taylor Montgomery, both of whom closed with rounds of 64.”
4. Not the weekend he wanted’s Ben Everill…”It was another week to lament at the famed course where Woods started his PGA TOUR career as a 16-year-old. He faded on the back nine of his rounds on Thursday and Friday and then shot 76-77 on the weekend to be 11 over par, some 22 shots behind winner Adam Scott.”
  • “Woods was full of praise for the event he and his foundation put on in its new elevated status, but could only try some self-deprecating humor when asked of his personal on course efforts.”
  • “I did not do much well today. Good news, I hit every ball forward, not backwards, a couple sideways. But overall, I’m done,” he said. “I’ve been in this position many times unfortunately. Just keep fighting hole by hole, shot by shot and try to make some birdies, which I did not do.
ESPN’s Bob Harig on what he saw…“Woods was still not moving great. While he looked good at times, his overall game was a shell of what he produced three weeks ago at Torrey Pines, let alone in December at the Presidents Cup or October at the Zozo Championship.”
  • “This was simply a day to endure, not make matters worse — and then hand the tournament trophy to winner Adam Scott, who finished 22 strokes ahead of the tournament host.”
  • “And it was yet another reminder: Woods is 44 years old, has a fused spine, had three previous back surgeries prior to that, and counts himself lucky to be playing the game at all, let alone a high level.”
Full piece. 
5. Chubb champ: Scott Parel
Greg Hardwig of the Naples Daily News…”Scott Parel lost two opportunities at victories last year in playoffs. He wasn’t going to take that chance Sunday in the Chubb Classic.”
“Parel, 54, birdied six of the first 12 holes to come back from five shots off the lead and went on to win at The Classics Country Club at Lely Resort for his third PGA Tour Champions victory. Parel tied the tournament record at 17-under 196 on the par-71 course, and won $240,000 out of the $1.6 million purse.”
6. Rave review for CBS’ golf coverage…
Joel Beall with a (incomplete) tally of some of the (many) errors…
  • “An incorrect score board from the LPGA’s Women’s Australian Open, caught by No Laying Up. The tournament ended Saturday night.”
  • “A singular Korn Ferry Tour highlight, featuring a putt from Peter Uihlein. Although Uihlein entered the day with the lead, he finished T-20 at the Suncoast Classic, which had already been decided when the event update was televised.”
  • “Delayed footage of Harold Varner III topping his tee shot at the iconic 10th hole. Varner was tied at the time of the miscue, which was noted by CBS Sports analyst Ian Baker-Finch. Varner’s top was eventually shown in a highlight package some 90 minutes after it occurred.”
  • “The relative broadcast absences of Max Homa, one of the more popular PGA Tour players on social media, and Joel Dahmen. As the Twitter handle Deep Fried Egg pointed out, at one juncture Homa, then a stroke back of the lead, had only a single shot televised while Rickie Fowler-who was not in the field-had two highlights during the program.”
7. Rory talks Brooks & more
Adam Woodard at Golfweek draws on more of Rory McIlroy’s conversation with journalist Paul Kimmage…a few morsels…
  • “So, I go out in the final round and my midset was . . . It’s another round of golf . . . a great opportunity . . . I’m going to try to play well. And I was beaten on the day,” McIlroy remembered. “Obviously, Brooks played great and shot 65 but I think, more than anything, I was beaten by his intensity and his desire. I was too relaxed.”
  • “Later on in the season, McIlroy learned of a text Koepka sent to his friends before the final round in Memphis: “I’m going to crush him.”
  • “Yeah, and f*** he sort of did,” said McIlroy. “Well, Brooks and I have always got on great – we do get on great – but he was obviously taking that mindset, ‘It’s me and him’. And I guess it was a good thing that he thinks highly of me, or not highly of me, if he was saying he was going to crush me.”
8. Unplanned break ahead
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…”When Muni He triumphed at LPGA Q-Series last November, she seized control of something every professional golfer holds dear: her schedule…”
  • “He, 20, decided early on that she’d skip the first three LPGA tournaments that she was eligible for and start 2020 on a three-week stretch in Asia, playing off of sponsor exemptions in limited-field events in Thailand and Singapore and the Blue Bay LPGA in her native China.”
  • “No one could’ve predicted that her first three starts would be canceled due to threats from the coronavirus. That control He worked so hard for went up in a puff of smoke. She’ll now make her first start of 2020 in late March at the LPGA event in Phoenix.”
9. Genesis a big success for Tiger…outside the ropes
Golf Digest’s Daniel Rapaport rightly points out…”It was not his week on the course, obviously. But Woods’ time here was about more than how he fared inside the ropes. He has hosted this event for the last three years in conjunction with his TGR Live venture, but this was the first year the tournament formerly known as the L.A. Open was no longer an open. It’s an Invitational now, which means a reduced field size to 120, an increased purse and an elevated status.
  • “And the first year was, by any measure, a marked success-four cloudless days, a challenging Riviera that flashed its teeth all week and a bunched leader board that didn’t sort itself until late Sunday afternoon, when Adam Scott prevailed for a two-shot victory.”
  • “From a tournament perspective, it couldn’t have gone any better,” Woods said. “We’ve had perfect weather, people have come out and supported this event. Our elevation, being a part of the new invitational status, look at the players that come out and supported this event that have played this week, we couldn’t have asked for a more dream scenario. The golf course was fantastic. Everything couldn’t have been any better from that side.”


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  1. Case

    Feb 18, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    law: Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy – Dallas DWI Defense

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DeChambeau holds straight to claim U.S. Open title



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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5 things we learned on Saturday at the U.S. Open



On Friday, one of the announcers remarked that Brendon Todd was an ideal pick to win, because he never misses a fairway. Todd missed plenty on his way to 75, but so did everyone else. Not to knock Todd by any stretch of the imagination; the 2020 US Open, the 120th of its kind, doesn’t favor anyone. On Sunday, it will select someone as its champion. The decision might come grudgingly from the golfing gods, or it might be the anointment of a favored son or a new darling. It won’t come early, either. The realization of the winner’s identity will come in the final 40 minutes, over the closing, three-hole stretch. That’s the way these things work. We didn’t learn this on Saturday, but we did learn five things that we cannot wait to share with you.

And so, dear reader, welcome to five things we learned on Saturday at the 120th US Open championship.

1. Bryson dodged a bullet

Bryson DeChambeau is a really good golfer and a really smart fellow. He reminds me, in a lot of ways, of a guy who came through and changed the game in the late 1990s. People loved that cat from the start, but for some reason, are loathe to warm to #BigBangTheory. People need to check their egos and recognize that Bryson is good for the game. He’s honest, a little haughty, freaking smart, and jacked like Lalanne. He also might be this year’s US Open champion, this time tomorrow.

BDC had every reason to go away on Saturday. He made bogey at the first two holes, at the same time that playing partner Patrick Reed was making a birdie. Three shots gone in the first two holes. Yet BDC persevered. Reed, well, we’ll save what he did. Bryson made three birdies over his next 15 holes, and only a final-hole bogey kept him from a third consecutive round in the 60s. DeChambeau will have an advantage over his playing partner on Sunday, in that he has already felt the pressure of a final-group pairing in the Open.

2. Matthew Wolff wants his stature back

Last summer, when things were normal, Matthew Wolff jumped from college to tour winner in an instant. Later, Collin Morikawa joined him as a titleist, and Viktor Hovland, soon after. Thing was, Hovland and Morikawa had classic moves at the ball while Wolff, well, you know. Jump ahead to the ratchet year of 2020, and there was Morikawa, winning the PGA Championship while Wolff came 4th. Both finishes were impressive, but you can’t tell me that Wolff didn’t feel a bit chuffed as Morikawa became the new darling, major champion and some such.

September came, and Morikawa fueled his jet after missing the cut on Friday at Winged Foot. As for Wolff, he went out on day three and lit the flying five toes’ gettable front nine in 30 strokes. No, there was never a 59 watch, because this is the US Open, and that doesn’t happen. Wolff did manage to survive the inward side with one bogey, and then he ripped home one more birdie at the difficult closing hole to take the lead.

Logic says he won’t repeat that 65 on Sunday. If he does, he wins. He also might win with 70. Par will be his friend on day four, but can his putter remain ablaze? Good question.

3. St. Patrick of the worthless nine

Not since Retief Goosen absolutely lost it on day four of the 2005 US Open, have we seen a rock-solid performance fall off the planet in such spontaneous and dramatic gore. Actually, Gore was Goosen’s partner that day, but I digress. Patrick Reed was grinding through the third round, giving Bryson what four, when the wheels, well, they didn’t fall off. They exploded, and every bit of rubber disintegrated into anti-matter, which then disappeared into a black hole.

Reed had a pair of pars on the inward half, and those were the high points. He made bogey at six holes, including three straight mid-meltdown. As if that weren’t enough, the golfing gods hid the 11th fairway from site, and the Texan found the rough with three consecutive shots, on the way to a double bogey.

If this were a Greek tragedy or an epic poem, Reed might be dead, but he is not. His hubris gone, some kind of comeback on Sunday, into the top eight, would be seen as a fine performance. Patrick Reed is some kind of golfing talent, but the vagaries of a US Open setup make even the most precocious question their execution.

4. Quiet Louis lurks

Remember the 2012 Masters, the one where Charl Schwartzel was the defending champion, and was all set to drape the jacket on good friend Louis Oosthuizen’s shoulders? Yeah, then Bubba hit that hooking wedge from Tarzan’s front porch, and the bromantic ending was scuttled. Over the years, Louis has had opps to add to his major championship total of one, but has yet to sign the check. He had 2nd-place finishes in all four major championships, and tonight, he finds himself the last golfer under par through 54 holes. He sits 4 back of Wolff, really a pittance when an Open is on the line. If Louis brings the repeater that won him the 2010 Open at St. Andrews, he’ll double his majors total on Sunday. Anything less, and another top-five ending awaits.

5. Wherefore art thou, Roryo?

‘Tis the east, and Winged Foot is the sun, right, Bill? On Thursday and Saturday, Rory had two bogeys total. On Friday, ick. Dad Rory is battling to regain the confidence and the ability to close that young Rory possessed in spades, early last decade. McIlroy needs this win more than any other player in the field, or else it will be another chapter in the story of his life, Nice first half of your career. Sure, that’s harsh, but McIlroy is a once-a-decade talent, maybe better. He should win more majors than the six guys ahead of him, but he hasn’t claimed one since 2014, when he won the Open and the PGA. in consecutive months.

Six years is a long time between major titles. Ask Jack. Ask Tiger. Mac won the 2011 US Open at Congressional, but that one didn’t feel like any other Open. Soaked course where players threw darts all week, and he won by a large amount. McIlroy currently sits at +1. If he can get to 3 or 4 under on Sunday, which requires a mid-60s round, he should win the tournament. It’s time to orient the career as you move through your 30s, Roars. The bard has spoken.

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GolfWRX U.S. Open watchalong thread (with WRX staff)



Jump into the forums to get the U.S Open chatter flowing!

GolfWRX Staff Members will be in the forums, on IG and Twitter talking equipment, opinions, predictions, and everything else.

And the final three holes, Saturday and Sunday, our own Johnny Wunder will be going live on Instagram with some special guests.

Tune in when the leaders tee off both afternoons to get into the mix.


Final Group Tee Off  to Finish Saturday: Editor Ben Alberstadt, Director of Content Johnny Wunder, Assistant Editor Gianni Magliocco

Final Group Tee Off  to Finish Sunday: On Spec’s Ryan Barath and TG2 host Brian “BK” Knudson, Assistant Editor Gianni Magliocco

Join the discussion here.

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