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Morning 9: Charles Schwab Challenge ratings | Phil at 50 | PGA Championship officially on | Will Bryson change golf?

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By Ben Alberstadt
June 16, 2020
Good Tuesday morning, golf fans. Happy 50th, Phil!
1. Charles Schwab Challenge ratings are in…
Nobody parses a ratings press release like Geoff Shackelford! Don’t underestimate the magnetic pull of re-airings of the Beverly Hills Dog Show…
Anyway, of the final-round 2.1 rating, Shackelford writes…”CBS did not make any ratings predictions for the “Return to Golf”, but the Charles Schwab Challenge tournament director predicted a final round rating of a 6, which would have been equal to a lot of majors. “
  • “The rating is dismal when you consider:
  • -This was the first live, official PGA Tour event since mid-March.
  • -Network competition was non-existent. Fox’s presentation of NASCAR was delayed by rain (eventually airing in prime time). NBC was airing the Beverly Hills Dog Show (again). And ABC wheeled out Last Dance (still!).
  • -Heading into the final round, the leaderboard featured star players and the promise of a close finish…

You can read CBS full 50-percent-increase-YoY-emphasizing press release…full piece.

2. Workday Charity Open
PGATour.com staff report… “The PGA TOUR has announced that a full-field tournament has been scheduled for July 6-12 at Muirfield Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, through a partnership with Workday, Inc. a leader in enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources.”
  • “Featuring a 156-player field and $6.2 million purse, the Workday Charity Open will be held without the general public attendance the week prior to the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, filling the week vacated when the 2020 John Deere Classic was cancelled on May 28. Domestically, the event will include Thursday-Friday afternoon coverage and early Saturday-Sunday coverage on Golf Channel, with CBS Sports anchoring the weekend coverage”
3. PGA OK’d for no fans play
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”The first major championship of 2020 will be conducted without fans, according to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle.”
  • “The PGA Championship has already been postponed from its original May dates at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco to Aug. 6-9 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While officials maintained hope that fans would be able to attend the event in some capacity, the decision has reportedly been made that no fans will be allowed on property during tournament week, with an announcement from the PGA of America expected on Tuesday. A GolfChannel.com request for comment from the PGA of America was not immediately returned.”
  • “According to the report, PGA officials had hoped to host up to 40,000 fans per day at Harding Park, which has never before hosted a major championship and which last hosted a PGA Tour event in 2015 when Rory McIlroy won the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Fans who had purchased tickets to the tournament will reportedly receive a refund.”
Full pieceSee the paywalled SF Chronicle story here
4. Tour template? 
Bill Pennington for the New York Times…More than 100 other pro golfers did line up on Saturday to take the saliva test for the coronavirus, since a negative result was required in order to board the charter after the tournament. There were no evident objections to undergoing another test, an about-face among players who had done plenty of grumbling when the invasive swab test was administered earlier in the week upon their arrival in Fort Worth.”
  • “The malleability of highly compensated golfers in the span of a few days might also be noteworthy for other sports organizing their returns to play. Elaborate testing – PGA Tour players were also screened daily for fever and had to fill out tracing questionnaires – was not viewed as an imposition but instead may have instilled a welcomed sense of security. In the end, after a lengthy time in some form of quarantine at home, some players considered the environment almost liberating.”
5. Monty calls for tournament ball 
BBC report quoting Colin Montgomerie…“It’s great to see athleticism in the game but this is a whole new game we are beginning to witness.
  • “On Friday, Bryson had 10 holes on which he was within 100 yards of the green for his approach. And if you include the four par threes that means there were only four holes on which Bryson was more than 100 yards away for his approach.
  • “The game has changed dramatically. It’s now brute force and a sand wedge.”
  • …”I’m an advocate of what Jack Nicklaus proposes – a tournament ball for professionals, that goes only 80-85% as far,” Montgomerie said.
6. Beefier Bryson = gamechanger for Tour pros?
Michael Bamberger for Golf.com…”DeChambeau, over the course of this three-month Covid-19 pause, got bigger (20 pounds bigger, by his estimate) and better. Yes, it would be easy to read too much into his four solid rounds at Colonial (65, 65, 70, 66). But when you hit it 20 and 30 and 40 yards past the game’s longest hitters, and in play, with sound mechanics, that’s not a one-off. That’s repeatable. It’s a recipe.”
  • “How hard is any par-4 when you can cover 480 yards with a driver and a wedge? Name a single par-5 that this guy can’t reach with a driver and some kind of iron? We’re talking about kick-in birdies and low-stress golf.”
  • ….”The last player to really separate himself from the rest of the field by length was Tiger, in his early 20s. Now comes this guy.”
  • “Tour driving statistics don’t allow for real-world analysis. As Woods has often said about Dustin Johnson’s length, he has another gear – and another 20 yards – when he wants it and needs it, when the conditions are ripe for him. The wind, the shape of the hole, how he’s feeling, where he is on the leaderboard. That’s why DeChambeau, driving it so far past McIlroy, who wasn’t holding back, was so revealing.”
7. Phil turns Phifty 
Steve DiMeglio for Golfweek on Phil’s reflections as he hits 5-0…”His thoughts often turned to his family, which has always been his priority – his parents, Phil and Mark, his brother, Tim, and sister, Tina, and his beautiful wife, Amy, and two daughters and one son.”
  • “His other love has produced a bountiful of memories, as well, from the days he started copying his father’s swing in the back yard and thus turning himself into a left-handed golfer despite being a natural righty.”
  • “The three NCAA individual titles, becoming the first left-hander to win the U.S. Amateur, winning his first PGA Tour title as an amateur, cashing in on 100s of money games on Tuesdays. Three green jackets, one Claret Jug, one Wanamaker Trophy, a record six silver medals in the U.S. Open. Forty-four PGA Tour wins, numerous Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup wins, a record 25 consecutive years in the top 50 in the official world rankings.”
8. Who’s in? 
Our Gianni Magliocco rounds up the players who you’ll be able to play as in PGATour 2K21-exciting news for those desperate for a successor to the Tiger Woods PGA Tour franchise from EA Sports (including me)…”Last month, details emerged on golf’s latest video game PGA Tour 2k21 which features Justin Thomas as the game’s cover star.”
“Since then, PGA Tour 2K21 has been slowly unveiling the other PGA Star’s that golf fans will be able to play with and the list is now complete – with the final man revealed in the lineup being Sergio Garcia.”
Here are the 12 players featured in PGA Tour 2k21:
Justin Thomas
Matt Kuchar
Bryson DeChambeau
Kevin Kisner
Cam Champ
Tony Finau
Ian Poulter
Gary Woodland
Billy Horschel
Patrick Cantlay
Sergio Garcia
Jim Furyk
9. Divergent strategies for Woodland, DeChambeau
Our Ryan Barath…”Since the fall, Bryson has admitted to adding up to 40lbs to his frame and with that also added a big uptick in ball speed-one of the single biggest factors to hitting it longer.”
  • “On the other hand, Gary Woodland returned to action this week at the Charles Schwab Challenge having dropped 25 pounds during the PGA Tour’s break after hitting the gym and changing his diet too. Woodland, the reigning US Open Champion remains one of the longest players in the game and like Bryson was in contention coming down the stretch.”
  • “Bryson is not the first golfer to change his swing and his body to pick up distance off the tee, there are many examples of golfers who have tried to search for distance but come up short. Bryson is the first in recent memory to put up big gains and turn them into immediate results.”
  • “As pointed out by Neil Schuster from No Laying Up, the contrast between DeChambeau and Woodland couldn’t be further apart, and with such a condensed schedule for the rest of the PGA Tour season seeing the sample size grow and how these two play for the rest of the year is going to be interesting to keep an eye on.”
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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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