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5 things we learned on day two of the Charles Schwab Challenge

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Comebacks play well across the swells of sports fandom. Give me a story on someone who battled through adversity, and I’ll eat it up. Comebacks offer hope at the same time they convince us that the immortals are momentarily, if unsustainably, mortal. Suspicion is that Thursday would be characterized by adrenaline rushes, at the thought of finally being back on the fairway. This worked well for some, not so well for others. Friday’s reaction to the rush was the crash. Rory McIlroy went 7 deep for 63, as two golfers did on Thursday.

5. Comeback 1: Harold Varner III

Harold Varner III made triple bogey at the 10th and bogey at the 18th. Fortunately for him, he started on inward half, so the entire front side offered a chance at redemption. Varner began his day with a tee shot to a bridge at the 10th. After a penalty drop and a succession of unfortunate slashes, he tapped in for a triple bogey and handed 3 shots back to Old Man Par. His calm was evident, as he notched birdies at 12, 13 and 16, to return to level for the day. The aforementioned bogey at the last (his 9th) offered two paths, and Varner found the proper one. He played the second nine in 5-under 30, thanks to 4 consecutive birdies from 4-7, and a 5th at the 9th. Varner missed makeable birdie putts (1o’ and 22′) at the 1st and 2nd, then made a mighty par save at the third. Buoyed by the effort, he reeled off birdie rolls of 31′, 3′, 3′ again, and 20′. He capped the day by knocking in a 10-foot putt for 3 at the 9th. Only a missed 30-foot putt at the 8th kept him from a six-birdie streak.

4. Comeback 2: Jordan Spieth

Forget macro-comebacks. Let’s focus on Jordan Spieth’s 2nd-round, micro-comeback for this moment. Like Varner III, Spieth started on the inward half. Unlike Varner, Spieth played it in 4 strokes below par. Birdies at 1 and 2 brought the 3-time major champion to 6 deep on the day, and 11-under for the week. His putter was on fire … until it wasn’t. Spieth 1-putted 2-jacked 3-jabbed 4-whacked the par four 3rd hole from 33 feet. 3 of those came from inside 3 feet. He then missed a 10-foot putt for par at the next, and was back to 8-under. His comeback was immediate. Spieth birdied 5 and 6 and finished the day on -5, and -10 overall. He’ll be paired with Varner III in Saturday’s final grouping.

3. How did Bryson get jacked?

This writer doesn’t know and doesn’t currently care. Why not? It would be the greatest ego move to get strong by abusing disallowed methods. It would be career damaging and reputation slaughtering. DeChambeau is most intelligent and quite upstanding. We’ll leave it at that. On Friday, The Big Bang Theory (yup, you may use it) went low with no damage. He scratched 5 birdies into the scorecard, and joined Spieth at -10, one behind Varner III. If you had promised us this trio at the top, heading into round three, we’d have asked for seconds.

2. Rory roaries

There was something special on that 10th tee this morning. Rory, like Jordan and HV3, teed off at numero diez and played a 7-under round, to work his way to -8. If it weren’t for the final hole of the day (#9), McIlroy would have reached 8-under 62 and, well, that’s it. The North Ulsterman posted three birdies heading out, then eagled the first and birdied the 2nd to reach -6 on the day. 2 more birdies, at 6 and 7, had him smiling from ear to ear. Alas, a wretched lie in the right-side rough on number nine compelled him to pitch out, shy of the water, and take his chances with his wedge. His pitch was nearly as wretched, leaving him nearly 50 feet from the hole. Like a boss, he calmly two-putted for bogey, and escaped major collateral damage.

1. More Predictions

Most likely to rip his pants on live television: DeChambeau. Let’s be honest, how do you size clothing to those muscles?

Most likely to do self-commentary: Justin Thomas. He’s two back and handles the mic pretty well.

Most likely to fade away: HV3. Sorry, Harold. Use it as motivation.

Most likely to rise on Saturday: Xander Schauffele. This guy smells blood like sharks smell blood, if sharks indeed smell.

Most likely to bounce back on Saturday: Justin Rose. Blah Friday of -1, so he needs a bounce-back on Saturday, or he might switch clubs again.

Most likely to wave the Maple Leaf: Corey Conners. This Canadian can play, and will be the next northern heartbreaker for our neighbors across the line.

Most likely to elicit “oh yeah, I remember him”: Peter Uihlein. Also, most likely to play Titleist.

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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.

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  1. Dirty D

    Jun 12, 2020 at 11:02 pm

    A note to GOLFWRX, I consider you very lucky to have this Ronald character.

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Equipment

TGD: Faldo, New TM Irons Drop, Bryson and Rickie scoop with Cobra Tour Manager Ben Schomin and the decline of my golf game

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On this episode of TGD brought to you by Titleist, Johnny goes in on the new TaylorMade MB, Faldo on Bryson, the demise of his golf game and some nuggets on Rickie and Bryson with Cobra Golfs Tour operations manager Ben Schomin.

Enjoy!

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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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