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Morning 9: Bamberger on Reed | Courage Award for M. Hoff | Ogilvy on “dumbed down” golf

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1. Hard to root for
Doesn’t seem like Michael Bamberger will be buying a Patrick Reed jersey anytime soon… Points worth reading from one of the most prominent voices in the game, however…
  • “…Reed, among others, has treated the incident as no big deal. I think it is. I have talked to World Golf Hall of Famers who feel the same way. They feel that Reed did nothing to make golf better on that Friday afternoon in early December, but in fact did the opposite. Golf took a step that day in the direction of the NBA, the NFL, MLB. A step toward catch me if you can. Golf with that as its prevailing ethos would be a different game.”
  • “…My view (this space is reserved for columnizing) is that Reed has to earn back my trust. That stance is not based on anything that happened with his parents years ago (he is estranged from them) or when he attended the University of Georgia, where he was thrown off the golf team for various incidents. It’s not because of his over-the-top body language while helping the U.S. win the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, and it’s not because of his inane remarks about his pairings after the U.S. loss at the 2018 Ryder Cup in France.”
2. Courage Award; what’s next for Morgan Hoffmann
PGATour.com’s Helen Ross…“On Monday, Hoffman became the fourth recipient of the PGA TOUR Courage Award, joining Erik Compton (2013), Jarrod Lyle (2015) and Gene Sauers (2017). The award is presented to a player who, through courage and perseverance, has overcome adversity to make a meaningful contribution to the game.”
  • “It was really a shock and something that is obviously very special with the past recipients and how much they have done and what they have been rewarded for,” Morgan says. “And to be a part of that is very humbling, but obviously it’s a situation that you don’t want to be in.
  • “But I’m accepting it with as much gratitude as I can and hopefully, I can really help our foundation and make a change in people’s lives.”
3. The only critic he pays attention to
Golf Digest’s Brian Wacker…”Even his victory on Sunday was a reminder of controversies past. In 2014, Reed won the same tournament when it was played at Trump Doral in Miami. That year, in a taped interview with NBC that aired during the final round, Reed declared himself a top-five player in the world, a remark that came off as cocky and was generally not well-received, considering Reed was just 23 at the time, hadn’t played in a major yet and had started the week ranked 44th in the world.”
  • “Since then, Reed has racked up several notable wins, including his 2018 Masters triumph…When this latest controversy will wash away, who knows. In the meantime, Reed is now up to No. 8 in the world after his latest victory over a world-class field.”
  • “I think the biggest thing is, I’ve grown as a player,” he said. “I’ve not allowed too many things to bother me, the highs and lows in golf, especially through a round of golf.”
4. Final USO qualifying sites announced
The Golf Channel Digital team…”The USGA announced Monday the list of 12 final qualifying sites, the venues whereby approximately half the field will punch their ticket to this summer’s U.S. Open. After conducting 109 local, 18-hole qualifiers from late April to early May, the USGA will turn their attention to a dozen 36-hole qualifiers held across four different countries.”
  • “Several final (previously sectional) qualifying sites are familiar, and for the second year in a row there will be a qualifier held in Canada ahead of the RBC Canadian Open. But two courses are hosting final qualifiers for the first time: Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in Oregon and The Club at Admiral’s Cove in Florida.”
5. “Dumbed me down”
Remarks from Geoff Ogilvy on playing the modern game…”Questions like, “should I hit a big slice here?” or “should I just lay-up short of that pond?” hardly ever enter my head these days. Just about every time I have a perfect club in my bag for the shot I am faced with. I just dial it in and hit it. All of which does, of course lead to better results for me as a professional. But I can’t help feeling it has “dumbed me down” as a golfer.”
  • “Another example: I am way better out of sand now than I was when I was, say, two. By far. But I’m only better hitting ‘Tour’ bunker shots. On Tour we have similar sand just about every week. The greens are similar every week. So I became really, really good at that shot. But that is a much narrower band of shots than I grew up playing in Melbourne. There, the bunkers vary from course to course. And, playing amateur tournaments all over the place, I was faced with wildly different conditions just about every time out.”
6. WAPA moves dates
Golf Channel’s Nick Menta…“The R&A announced last Friday that it has rescheduled the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship for Oct. 7-10 at Siam Country Club in Pattaya, Thailand.”
  • “The event was originally scheduled Feb. 12-15 but postponed as a result of the continued outbreak of coronavirus.”
  • “We will continue to monitor the situation and liaise with the authorities to ensure we can stage the championship safely in October. We are looking forward to a successful week of golf and crowning the 2020 champion,” Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, said in a statement.” 
7. Women’s Golf Day returns
Our Gianni Magliocco…“Women’s Golf Day in 2020 looks set to be a record-breaking year, and for clubs signing up before March 1st, they can now avail of free location registration for the event which takes place on June 2, 2020.”
  • “A dedicated day to celebrate the female golf game, in 2019 Women’s Golf Day saw more than 900 events taking place in a whopping 52 countries.”
  • “With more locations and people participation planned for the 2020 event, the team behind WGD is offering free location registration with code VIP2020 to anyone signing up before March 1st.”
  • “Along with a new website, for 2020 the celebration is set to have an even greater global reach with WGD now taking place in all continents across the world, with different events also being arranged for the run-up to the main event.”

 

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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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