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Morning 9: Latest memo from Tour to players | Phil’s post-Match perspective | Greg Norman’s regrettable take

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1. Latest “bubble” memo
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard details the most recent communique from Tour to its players…“In a memo sent to players on Wednesday, tournament director Michael Tothe outlined many of the protocols that will be required when play resumes on June 11 at Colonial including the four Fort Worth, Texas, hotels that will create the foundation of the circuit’s “bubble” for the week.”
  • “The core of the PGA Tour’s plan to return was always about testing, but it’s a fine line to walk. In two weeks, at the Charles Schwab Challenge, we’ll find out if it will be enough.”
  • “Players are allowed to stay in individual RVs or rental homes but they are being encouraged to assure the health and safety of their accommodations if they choose to stay outside the bubble.”
  • “Players were also informed where COVID-19 testing will occur when they arrive in Fort Worth as well as meal options at Colonial, which will be limited to grab-and-go lunches in order to follow safety protocols.”
2. Little John finishes second at Crooked Stick 
Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star…Daly II made that same walk on Wednesday, up the 18th fairway for the final round of the inaugural Dye Junior Golf Invitational at Crooked Stick.”
  • “I think a lot of guys have re-watched the 1991 PGA tournament,” Daly II said. “I watched it every night before the tournament. (Watching him) walk down the 18th with all of the fans everywhere was pretty cool. He started as the ninth alternate and didn’t expect to play. For him to win, it was a ridiculous story. He loves it.”
  • “Daly II put together a remarkable tournament in his own right, finishing a three-way tie for second place behind winner John Marshall Butler of Louisville, Kentucky. Daly II was 4 over for the two-day, 54-hole event, which featured 33 of the top high school boys players in the country and 33 of the same on the girls’ side.”
3. Phil open to wearing mic
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Speaking on the Dan Patrick Show, Mickelson admitted that he didn’t expect the same level of banter during a typical Tour event with a seven-figure prize on the line, but he’d nonetheless be willing to broadcast his inside-the-ropes dialogue.”
  • “I would be open to the idea because of how it’s being received, and some of the insight and so forth,” Mickelson said. “But you don’t have the play between individuals. I had a partner, and Tom and I could talk back and forth. And maybe you could get some of that with the caddie, but having a partner is much more intimate and you have much better conversation.”
4. …wants annual Match
AP report…”Phil Mickelson, fresh off the success of Sunday’s charity golf exhibition with Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, says he would like to see “The Match” become an annual event.”
  • “I think you could showcase guys like Steph Curry and Michael Jordan or Tony Romo and Patrick Mahomes, who are all good golfers, elite talents and have great personalities,” Mickelson told the Los Angeles Times in a column published Wednesday. “Those personalities are going to come out with this event. Or you could have someone who loves the game and is competitive but is really entertaining like Larry David and Bill Murray. I think that could shine.”
5. More audience info
Interesting stuff from Geoff Shackelford…“According to Showbuzzdaily.com, almost 1/3 of The Match 2’s audience was in the coveted 18-49 demo and the number was even better on on TruTV, also meaning there are people of any age group who know how to find TruTV”
  • “About 30% of The Match’s audience landed in the 18-49 demo despite the 44.5 average age of the participants…The numbers for TaylorMade Driving Relief with a foursome averaging 29.5 years”
  • “That’s 25% of the almighty buyers for a younger, supposedly more millennial-friendly group of golfers. And a grand total of (at least) 860,000 fewer viewers 18-49.  While not a huge difference in the percentage department, The Match did rout Driving Relief in overall audience and even took chipped away at NASCAR’s ratings.”

Full piece.

6. After a long layoff, how do the pros play?
Dylan Beirne, 15th Club for PGATour.com, examines the question…“As we might expect, there’s a clear relationship between performance and the number of weeks a player has been off. We can analyze how well players perform by comparing our estimate of their ability (how we would expect them to perform) to how they actually performed.”
  • “Generally, players taking small breaks of two weeks or less are marginally better than expected, while longer breaks result in an average drop in performance of between 0.1 and 0.2 strokes per round. For context, a drop of 0.2 strokes per round is about the gap between 100th- and 135th-ranked players in the world. It’s a significant change, but not enormous.”
  • “Additionally, the drop in performance after a 10-20 week gap is quite consistent across different levels of players. Top-50 players in the world are affected by a similar amount to those outside the top 50.”
7. A really bad take from Greg Norman
I mean, what else can you call it? A man who has a history of obtuseness and putting his fin in his mouth outdid himself with unfounded speculation about the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash in an interview with Michael Bamberger…“I asked Norman about the January helicopter crash in Los Angeles that killed all nine people aboard, Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, among them. I asked Norman if he had any insight, from his own experience as a helicopter pilot, and as an elite athlete who has flown often in helicopters as a passenger, into the tragedy.”
  • “Yes – yes,” he said. His voice was sober. “Probably pilot error and pressure from the back,” Norman said. Norman could imagine the legendary basketball player saying, “‘Get me through this; get me there. I’ve got to get my daughter to this game.’
  • …”My instructor and I had a saying, ‘If you can’t see through it don’t fly through it.’ If I was flying to Doral or Orlando or Naples and there was fog, we just put it down and waited it out.”
8. Sprint to the Cup
Ben Everill at PGATour.com…“The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting cancellations and postponements of tournaments leaves just 11 eligible tournaments over a 10-week stretch for players to qualify for the Playoffs and a chance at the $15 million bonus that comes with the season-long FedExCup crown.”
  • “While the top 125 will not double as the cutoff for TOUR cards next season in this reduced schedule, it will remain the mark to get into THE NORTHERN TRUST, the first of three Playoffs events in the chase for the FedExCup.”
  • “Gone is the luxury of extended rest between starts for those sitting way back on the list, such as Koepka, who was just starting to find his feet again on a return from injury when the pandemic halted play in March.”

 

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3 Comments

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  1. Jon

    May 28, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    How is that quote from Norman “regrettable”? It sounds pretty spot on to me.

    • Scooter

      May 28, 2020 at 6:15 pm

      Agree … spot on regarding pressure to get to the destination, whether prompted from “the back” or just self-imposed by the pilot. Flying into marginal conditions for which you’re unprepared or unqualified has been a problem in aviation for a long time.

    • A. Commoner

      May 29, 2020 at 10:19 am

      Also, it seems to be in agreement with many news articles.

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Morning 9: Morikawa! | Kang wins another as Ko crumbles | Sullivan | Lynch: Brooks’ verbal sparring is a good thing

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1. PGA Championship: Morikawa breaks through
Bursting forth from a pack of golfers thicker than the marine layer enveloping TPC Harding Park, Collin Morikawa vaulted to victory with an incredible drive onto the par-4 16th’s green to set up a tournament-clenching eagle putt.
  • AP report…”Collin Morikawa delivered a shot that will go down as one of the best in a major that hardly anyone witnessed, setting up an eagle on the 16th hole Sunday that carried him to the most quiet PGA Championship ever.”
  • “In the first major without spectators, Morikawa finished with a bang.”
  • “He was among seven players tied for the lead on the back nine at Harding Park, as wild as any Sunday in a major. Morikawa chipped in from 40 feet on the 14th hole to take the lead, and then he ended it with one swing. On the 294-yard 16th hole, Morikawa hit driver that hopped onto the green and settled 7 feet below the cup.”
  • “He made it for eagle and was on his way. Morikawa closed with a 6-under 64, the lowest final round by a PGA champion in 25 years, and took his place among the young stars taking over golf.”
Our Ron Montesano with more of the story in numbered form
  • “1. Collin Morikawa drove the 16th green and…left himself an eight-foot putt for eagle. And he made it! You’ve seen it, and you’ll see it again and again. Kind of like Christian Laettner’s half-court shot against Duke, or Jack’s putt on 17 at Augusta. Morikawa set up for a baby cut on the antepenultimate hole and executed it to perfection. The ball bounced once in the fairway, once on the green, then rolled up the putting surface to three yards below the hole. His stroke was pure and the putt for the deuce never looked like anything but stellar. The eagle gave him a two-shot lead over Paul Casey with two holes left.”
  • 2. Collin Morikawa put on a short-game clinic on Sunday…You don’t shoot a six-under 64 without holing a bit of this and a bit of that. Morikawa made a few longish putts for par in the early going, keeping himself in the thick of the contest. On the 14th hole, Morikawa hit a weekend-golfer sort of approach …WITH A WEDGE! Unphased by leaving it 10 yards short of the green, Morikawa pitched his third on the par-4 hole to the green, where it rolled into the hole for birdie to reach 11 under par. The pitch-in set the stage for the fireworks yet to come.”
2. Ko falls apart, Kang triumphs
Insane stuff at the Marathon Classic as Lydia Ko carded a final-hole double-bogey 7 to lose by a stroke to Danielle Kang. Alternatively, impressive final-round 68 from DK for her second straight victory….AP report…”Five shots behind with six holes to play, Danielle Kang won her second straight LPGA Tour event on Sunday when Lydia Ko took double bogey on the final hole in the Marathon Classic.”
  • “Kang began her rally with consecutive birdies on the 13th and 14th holes at Highland Meadows, and then all she needed were pars the rest of the way for a 3-under 68, all because of Ko’s shocking collapse.”
  • “…on the closing par 5, Ko fell apart. She hit her chip through the green. With a slightly uphill lie in patchy rough, Ko muffed the chip and watched it roll into a bunker. She blasted that out to 10 feet and missed the putt that would have forced a playoff. She wound up with a 73.”
3. Andy Sullivan!
Gotta be delighted to see Sully hoisting a trophy again! AP report…”An emotional Andy Sullivan ended a near five-year wait for his fourth European Tour title as he recorded a seven-shot victory at the English Championship in Ware on Sunday.”
  • “Heading into the final round at Hanbury Manor with a five-shot advantage, Sullivan saw his lead cut to just two by Spain’s Adrian Otaegui (66).”
  • “But while his challenger faltered over the closing stages, Sullivan recorded four birdies on the back nine to shoot a 6-under 65 for a 27-under 257 total.”
4. Never a factor, Tiger at least finished strong (and made putts)
Golfweek’s Steve DiMeglio…”Starting his final 18 at TPC Harding Park under a thick marine layer that clouded objects 200 yards away, Woods was shrouded in somewhat of a stupor from humdrum play in the second and third rounds. But there was pop in his step from the first tee onward and the 15-time major winner turned in an upbeat performance with a 3-under-par 67 and finished with rounds of 68-72-72-67 to end at 1 under for the tournament, just his second in six months.”
  • “Woods was much sharper with all aspects of his game, especially with his putting, which had been dull throughout the week as he struggled with the speed of the greens. Woods needed just 25 putts in the final round – six fewer than the 31 he took in both the second and third rounds.”
  • “I drove it kind of like I did on Friday, and my irons were a little bit more crisp and I hit better putts,” Woods said. “I made a few early on, and just kind of kept the momentum going. It’s something I hadn’t done the last two days, and it was an under-par tournament score, which yesterday I was saying that’s kind of what I wanted to do. I made it happen today.”
5. Koepka: “Wasn’t meant to be”
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…“Brooks Koepka finally ran out of major momentum.”
  • “Seeking to become the first player in more than 60 years to win the same major three years in a row, and the first to do it at the PGA Championship since the 1920s, Koepka began the final round just two shots off the lead. But while low scores were abundant and several players rolled in birdies while jockeying for position, the two-time defending champ came up empty.”
  • …”Hey, wasn’t meant to be,” Koepka said. “Three in a row, you’re not really supposed to do two in a row looking at history. But that’s all right. Got two more (majors) the rest of the season and we’ll figure it out from there.”
6. Speaking of Koepka…Eamon Lynch says his “verbal jousting…is good for golf”
A morsel from a piece well forth consuming in full…“Koepka has long been an enthusiastic practitioner of the dark art of psych ops, and generous in his targeting. While Tiger Woods treated opponents with an icy aloofness, barely acknowledging their existence at times, Koepka pokes around in search of a frailty, preferably one that manifests itself in an agitated mind under pressure on a Sunday afternoon. His instruments of choice are press conferences and social media posts, but these are not throwaway comments or tweets. Nothing that exits Koepka’s mouth – not one syllable – isn’t premeditated.”
  • “Mind games are as much a weapon in Koepka’s arsenal as his driver, and that isn’t necessarily as popular among his peers as it is among golf fans who crave a little conflict, and reporters thirsty for a good quote.”
7. U.S. Women’s Am. 
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…“The second longest final in U.S. Women’s Amateur history came down to just 3 feet.”
  • “Rose Zhang, a 17-year-old from Irvine, Calif., fully expected to be heading to a 38th hole in Sunday’s championship bout with USC senior and reigning champion Gabriela Ruffels at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland. Instead, Ruffels’ bid to become the championship’s first repeat winner since Danielle Kang in 2011 came to a shocking and sudden end.”
  • “Her 3-foot par save to extend the match was halfway in the hole before it lipped out harshly, leaving a dejected Ruffels to scoop up her ball in defeat.”
8. Travel restrictions separate the Clarkes for 5 months
Marla Ridenour, Akron Beacon Journal, with a fairly wild story…”When his wife Alison left Newport Beach, California, on March 8, Darren Clarke could not have imagined they would spend the next five months apart.”
  • “After he completed the final round of the PGA Tour Champions’ Hoag Classic, she flew to their home in Portrush, Northern Ireland, just before international travel was halted by the coronavirus pandemic. Clarke found himself alone at their place at The Abaco Club on Winding Bay in the Bahamas from March 14 until five weeks ago, when their eldest son Tyrone managed to join him.”
  • “The Clarkes were an ocean away on their eighth wedding anniversary on April 11.”
  • “So Clarke’s excitement to return to Firestone Country Club for the first time in nine years for this week’s Bridgestone Senior Players Championship might be superseded by the fact that Alison will join him in Akron on Saturday night.”
9. Morikawa’s winning WITB
Driver: TaylorMade SIM (8 degrees @ 8.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX
3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Titanium (15 degrees @ 13.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 80 TX
Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White Hybrid 100 TX
Irons: TaylorMade P750 (4, 5), TaylorMade P730 (6-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (52-09SB), Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (56-14F), TaylorMade MG2 Hi-Toe (60)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400
Putter: TaylorMade TP Soto Prototype
Ball: TaylorMade TP5
Grips: Golf Pride Z-Grip Cord

 

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The DailyWRX (8/10/2020): Phil in the booth | “So much beer” | More

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The PGA Championship…..now that was a golf tournament. That Morikawa kid has brass Tp5’s.

Could be the big winner of the whole week…

CBS, not Phil….He just took their coverage from serviceable to awesome in 45 minutes.

The girl is wise…

Not a bad lineup…

Stew Hagestad for the win though…

Secret of the pros…

Hot take…

I wonder who these two podcasters are…I have a couple in mind.

DM @johnny_wunder

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Collin Morikawa wins first major title at 2020 PGA Championship

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We’ve had a decade or so of driveable par-4 holes in major championships, thanks to a newfound appreciation for traditional course setups and, let’s be honest, fun. The PGA of America decided to make the 16th hole one of those holes on Sunday, and what a fine decision that turned out to be. We’ll get to that tidbit in a bit.

As happens at most major championships, golfers fade away far more frequently than they rise up. We’ll also get to those unfortunate souls. Regular tour events are one thing, but the return of major championship golf is quite another. Let’s talk about who did what, when, and where, on championship Sunday at TPC Harding Park.

1. Collin Morikawa drove the 16th green and …

…left himself an eight-foot putt for eagle. And he made it! You’ve seen it, and you’ll see it again and again. Kind of like Christian Laettner’s half-court shot for Duke, or Jack’s putt on 17 at Augusta. Morikawa set up for a baby cut on the antepenultimate hole and executed it to perfection. The ball bounced once in the fairway, once on the green, then rolled up the putting surface to three yards below the hole. His stroke was pure and the putt for the deuce never looked like anything but stellar. The eagle gave him a two-shot lead over Paul Casey with two holes left.

2. Collin Morikawa put on a short-game clinic on Sunday

You don’t shoot a six-under 64 without holing a bit of this and a bit of that. Morikawa made a few longish putts for par in the early going, keeping himself in the thick of the contest. On the 14th hole, Morikawa hit a weekend-golfer sort of approach …WITH A WEDGE! Unphased by leaving it 10 yards short of the green, Morikawa pitched his third on the par-4 hole to the green, where it rolled into the hole for birdie to reach 11 under par. The pitch-in set the stage for the fireworks yet to come.

3. Collin Morikawa broke the Wannamaker trophy

For those who don’t know, the winner’s trophy for the U.S. PGA championship is really heavy. It’s kind of hilarious that the lid is not affixed to the chalice part. Morikawa found that out the hard way, as he lifted it above his shoulders, albeit slightly akimbo. That was all it took for the lid to go sailing off toward Lake Merced. The nice thing about Morikawa is, he smiles a lot, and seems able to laugh at himself.

4. Paul Casey came up just shy of his first major

Casey was one of the first to congratulate Morikawa on his victory. The classy Englishman played superior golf on Sunday, posting 66 for his best round of the week. He posted five birdies against one bogey and reached 72 holes at 11 under par before anyone else. No one can deny that Casey did everything required to win an elusive major title. Unfortunately for him, he fell victim to two miraculous shots, late in the round, from the same golfer. Should Casey be considered a favorite next month at Winged Foot, at the U.S. Open? Absolutely.

5. Dustin Johnson came up just shy of his second major

DJ is moving into a club that most golfers would love to join, and one that he desperately wants to leave. He has one major title to his name, despite more than 20 tour victories and a winning streak of nearly fifteen years. Like Casey before him, Johnson played a solid final round. He had two bogeys on the day, which was two more than Morikawa had. Johnson made a birdie at the last, which is what champions do. Somehow, it wasn’t enough. Somehow, Johnson had earned yet another runner-up finish at a major, another top-ten, another big check. He deserves more, not pon de replay.

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