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5 things we learned on day one of professional golf’s return

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We expected, months ago, that the conversation upon golf’s return would center on Covid-19 and the remaining concerns that surround its potency. We did not anticipate the protests, the awareness, the focus on identity and rights. No, we cannot claim golf, nor sports, as a safe space, away from all that other stuff. Life is life, and our lives are our lives, whether at the daily grind or in moments of repose.

Illness and injustice do not go away, while respect and equity need to always be present. It is wonderful that the top of the day-one leader board at the Charles Schwab Challenge includes two men of color, two men of Hispanic ethnicity, one Asian-American, and a host of others. Being mindful of who we all are, at all times, will make this return to athletics worthy of a true celebration.

There are at least 5 things that we learned today, so let’s get to them.

5. The PGA Tour is filled with strange things

Gallery ropes with no galleries? I don’t think you can explain that one. If anything, there will be some sort of rules issue that emanates from hitting a needless gallery stake or rope this week. The sound of silence? Social distancing? Whoever thought that an ace from Sung Kang would generate…quiet? Whoever expected golfers to march together yet separate, at least six feet apart?

4. The role of the caddie is underrated

We saw the uncertainty of Fowler, Wolff, Johnson, and McIlroy at Seminole last month. To be fair, their message was different from this one. They promoted safe, proper golf on the edge of a pandemic. Today, we saw Justin Rose and Harold Varner III reach seven-under par. Want to take bets on anyone in the field going seven deep while flying solo? The caddie-as-confidant offers both audience and second opinion. Reading putts, calculating wind and yardage, are bonuses. So many things that they do, leaving the golfer free to go about his business. No more snark aimed at the loopers!

3. Did we time travel back to the 1990s?

How else to explain that Scott McCarron, David Frost and Keith Clearwater are in the field? There must be a logical reason, but it begs the question, wasn’t there a struggling pro more deserving of an invitation? You know, the type of outcry that got Vijay Singh drummed out of the Korn Ferry Challenge at Sawgrass? Come to think of it, why wasn’t Vijay invited to Colonial, instead of McCarron, Frost or Clearwater? Someone needs to read my introduction.

2. Justin Rose is playing us

Remember when he switched to Honma, and won immediately at the Farmers Championship? We thought he was brilliant. Then, well, he wasn’t. Now he’s back with Taylor Made, and whooops, he’s in the lead again. If he wins this week (he might-he won at Colonial 2 years ago) he’ll set us all adrift and we’ll race to replicate his set, something that will make Taylor Made very happy.

1. Predictions are in

Most likely young gun to win: Collin Morikawa

Most likely established star to drift away: Justin Rose

Most likely Presidents Cup star to claim victory: Abraham Ancer

Most likely leftie to emerge as champ: Brian Harman

Most likely escapee from Muscle Beach to contend: Bryson DeChambeau

Most likely winner from South America: Jhonattan Vegas

There are many more categories to reveal, so check back tomorrow for 5 things we learned on Friday at the Charles Schwab Challenge.

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Ronald Montesano writes for GolfWRX.com from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Brian LaFevre

    Jun 12, 2020 at 9:31 am

    The caddy comment is not valid. These guys play rounds outside of tournaments and shoot deep, the caddy simply lets them focus on the shots and not the numbers, while also not wearing their bodies out over the course of a week. The caddy is essential, yes, but not for the reason that they couldn’t go, “seven deep while flying solo”. That’s just ridiculous. I, for one, like caddies, as it is good for the game and for the players, but let’s be honest, if they gave the players a rangefinder and a cart the public wouldn’t notice much of a difference and play would speed up.

  2. AOC

    Jun 12, 2020 at 9:17 am

    I am offended that they are playing golf with everything going on! DEFUND THE PGA TOUR!

  3. jgpl001

    Jun 12, 2020 at 4:56 am

    I would like to see Rose’s WITB now
    Interesting to see PX back in his irons after many years with the C-Tapers

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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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Morning 9: Why a fanless Ryder Cup never made sense | Rapid LPGA restart | How Tiger practices putting at home

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1. Officially no Ryder Cup in 2020…Prez Cup moved to ’22
What was widely reported is now official. Our Gianni Magliocco…”On Wednesday, it was officially announced that the 2020 Ryder Cup had been postponed and rescheduled for September 21-26, 2021.”
  • “Subsequently, the next Presidents Cup which was initially scheduled for September 30-October 3, 2021 will now be played in September 2022.”
  • “Per the announcement on the Ryder Cup website, the decision to postpone “was based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
  • “Speaking on the postponement, PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh stated…
  • “Unlike other major sporting events that are played in existing stadiums, we had to make a decision now about building facilities to host the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. It became clear that as of today, our medical experts and the public authorities in Wisconsin could not give us certainty that conducting an event responsibly with thousands of spectators in September would be possible. Given that uncertainty, we knew rescheduling was the right call. We are grateful to PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan and our partners at the TOUR for their flexibility and generosity in the complex task of shifting the global golf calendar.”
2. A fanless Cup never made sense…
ESPN’s Bob Harig…”Some 50,000 spectators a day packed Hazeltine four years ago. They came ready and roaring, fueled by flowing alcohol and the freedom that comes with a Ryder Cup, where cheering and booing is expected and taunting of the opponent comes with the territory.”
  • “It was much the same two years ago at Le Golf National outside of Paris — although the event was lacking the boorishness observed two years before that — when the Europeans romped to victory in front of a serenading home crowd.”
  • “That, in essence, is the Ryder Cup….And to not have that in any form would be nearly as depressing from a sporting standpoint as what all have endured during these unprecedented times.”
3. Forecaddie on LPGA restart
Golfweek’s Forecaddie…”After nearly five months off, LPGA players can finally begin to explore what their comeback on tour might look like, and there’s not much time to ease into things either. The decision to travel overseas for two weeks in Scotland looms large ­- not to mention the possibility of fans in Toledo. To the Forecaddie, in many ways it feels like a straight plunge into the deep end.”
  • “One day after two events in Scotland were confirmed for next month, the LPGA hosted two tour-wide conference calls on Wednesday and sent out a couple of surveys.”
  • “The Forecaddie certainly didn’t expect the LPGA to offer its players anything remotely close to the $100,000 that PGA Tour players received after testing positive for COVID-19. It looks like LPGA players will receive a $5,000 stipend if they test positive during a tournament and $2,500 if it happens while at home. Same for caddies.”
4. Playing while testing positive
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…“In what the PGA Tour is calling a clarification regarding its health and safety plan, players or caddies who continue to test positive for COVID-19 can now return to competition under certain guidelines.”
  • “Last week, the Tour announced a move to a “test-based model” for asymptomatic cases, which means that anyone who tests positive would be allowed to return competition if they returned two negative tests that were administered at least 24 hours apart.”
  • “Wednesday’s clarification addressed a player or caddie who continues to test positive after 10 days since the first symptoms appeared and hasn’t had a fever for 72 hours. That player would be allowed to return to competition with certain restrictions.”
5. LPGA return environment
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell…“There are all kinds of challenges for the women going overseas, even with Scotland set to ratify the United Kingdom’s foreign athlete quarantine exemption, which will allow Americans and players from other foreign countries to avoid the 14-day quarantine required upon arriving.”
  • “That exemption doesn’t include parents or agents.”
  • “That’s a challenge for young players accustomed to traveling with their parents, a fairly common practice in the LPGA ranks.”
  • “The Women’s British Open is creating a “bio secure zone” at Royal Troon, allowing only players, caddies and other essential personnel inside the zone, which restricts movement to the course and designated hotel.”
6. Workday features COVID-19 grouping
Todd Kelly for Golfweek…“Nick Watney, Denny McCarthy and Dylan Frittelli, who all tested positive for COVID during the PGA Tour’s restart and who the Tour says continue to test positive, are in the field at this week’s Workday Charity Open and, after a late change to the tee times, will play in the same group for the first two rounds.”
  • …”The Tour said it is following the CDC’s symptom-based model for those three golfers, as they have continued to return positive tests but they all meet the CDC guidelines for Return to Work.”
7. Asia Pacific Ams canceled 
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…“The Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific, set for Oct. 7-10 in Thailand, and Asian-Pacific Amateur, scheduled for Oct. 29-Nov. 1 in Australia, will not be played this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
  • “While the women’s championship, which was already rescheduled from last February, will return next year for its third edition, to be played Feb. 4-7 at Siam Country Club, the men’s championship does not have a future date at this time. It was supposed to be contested at Royal Melbourne this fall.”
8. Rocket Mortgage ratings
Geoff Shackelford…”Another very solid weekend for PGA Tour ratings with not much sports competition due to the pandemic and a late start for NASCAR’s rance, a July 4 weekend that should have substantially cut into numbers, did not.”
  • “Bryson DeChameau’s win at the Rocket Mortgage Classic was up 56% from 2019 and if you ignore the silly demographics, earned plenty of eyeballs.”
9. Tiger’s at-home practice putting routine
In case you ever wondered how one of the greatest flatstick wielders practices his putting…
Explaining to GolfTV’s Henni Koyack, Woods revealed how he consistently focuses on his putting from 6 feet and in before going straight into a heavy workload of lag putting.
  • “I end up doing a few sets of chalk lines from probably about 6 feet and in. I work on my start line (and) I try and get that dialed in. And then I really don’t spend a whole lot of time in the 8-15 foot range.
  • “Once I get a lot of my dialed-in time on my putting, then I’ll lag putt a lot and start trying to get my feel in my fingers and how I like to release the putter and feel it in my stroke. I like to do designated tee drill, line drill and then lag putt to death.”
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The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (7.9.20)

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In this segment, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best #GolfWRX tagged photos on Instagram. In case you aren’t already, there’s a whole load of action going on at our page, so follow us: @golfwrx

Let’s get to it then, here are six of the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

New Bushnell series wedges in the works from Golf Sub 70.

Built up Honma wedge from Peoples Golf.

Great shots of We-Ko-Pa Golf Club courtesy of Zoe.

New covers from Robert Mark Golf.

‘Skyler & The Gauge’

Beautifully clean looking set of irons from Ballistic Golf.

Get hashtagging your golf posts #GolfWRX for your chance to feature in our best of Instagram posts in the future!

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