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Saturday on Tour: 5 things we learned

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The Korn Ferry Tour completed its second post-quarantine event on Saturday, rather than Sunday. No reason was given, other than, perhaps, the high holy day of fatherly adulation. The PGA Tour has no such consideration for pater familius, it appears. Its tournament will conclude on Sunday.

As such, we have learned five things about winning and not winning, and another five things about positioning. Live from St. Augustine and Hilton Head Island, it’s 5 things we learned.

The King and The Bear Classic

Top billing must be given to the concluded contest, ergo Korn Ferry before PGA Tour. This one ended traumatically, but let’s not give it away.

5. As if written by Wodehouse

If you haven’t read P.G. Wodehouse on golf, you must. If you have, you understand that the unkind end to Vince India’s week might have been written by the master himself. The golfer who could do no wrong through the end of 54 holes, could suddenly do no right over the final 18. There was no calamitous flub, no gargantuan spasm. The shots simply ebbed away with the wind. Four bogies, 14 pars. That’s it. How to explain? No manner. The birdie well simply dried up. The pitcher of eagles was emptied on Saturday. The game simply left him, and he tumbled from a four-shot advantage to a tie for sixth position, five behind the winner.

4. Zalatoris edges closer

Will Zalatoris moved closer to a first, important professional triumph. He did so by shooting his highest round of the week. Thing was, his high round was a 68, and a 68 rarely inflicts collateral damage. The Calixan (Californian Texan) had a foozle at the 10th, where he made bogie. He offset that mistake with five birdies, and tied for 3rd, a slim 3 shots back of the champion. Was -26 within reach? Yes. With the exception of a very few in golf’s competitive history, winners have lost far more often than they have won. It is these almosts and if onlys that forge the inner strength. Our money’s on the Demon Deacon over the course of the summer’s schedule.

3. Joseph Bramlett rises

It’s tempting to write about Joseph Bramlett’s performance these last two weeks, in the context of something bigger, owing to his ethnicity. If something is there, it is Joseph Bramlett’s place and right to inform the golf world, and not for the golf world to project and extrapolate. Instead, we consider his 128 over the final 36 holes. The Stanford alumnus was cruising along through 71 holes, probably happy to be at minus-20, inside the top 15. And then, lightning struck. With two flicks at the orb, Bramlett had holed for an albatross, a double eagle at the last. The rarest of birds vaulted him into a tie for 3rd with Zalatoris. Not even Wodehouse wrote so fine an ending.

2. Lower goes higher

That low-hanging fruit was irresistible. Justin Lower closed with birdies at four of his final five holes, to make Chris Kirk sweat. By going lower, Lower moved all the way to solo second, one shot behind the champion. Nerves were unsteady all around the course on day four, and Lower was no exception. He followed an eagle three at the fifth with a bogey six at the seventh. As mentioned, his inward half was settled and stellar. Like Zalatoris, he’ll be one to watch in the coming weeks.

1. Captain Kirk in command

As mentioned yesterday, Chris Kirk has been there and done that. For Vince India and the rest of the field, that was the worst combination in the top 15. True to form, Kirk played like a breed apart. He was four under par through nine holes, before an inexplicable double at the 10th gave the field a sliver of hope. Alas, it was to be dashed, as the Georgia Bulldog steadied and played his final eight holes in minus three. It was just enough to win, and for a man trying to return to the high echelon of the PGA Tour, the proper medicine.

RBC Heritage

I can’t tell you how many times I looked at the Hilton Head leaderboard and thought, “We’ll have a playoff, for sure.” I would then recall that it was only day three for the major leagues, and that today’s heroics would mean next to nothing on Sunday.

5. Goodbye, Ernie and Bryson

At Sea Pines, scores in the 70s simply will not due. Ernie Els teased us with matching 67s, then ballooned to a 72 on Saturday. Farewell, Big Easy. DeChambeau seemingly defied the odds of a bomber winning at the Heritage, then tossed a beanbag of a 70 on day three. The Big Bang Theory was reduced to a fine powder explosion. Adios.

4. Hello, Carlos, Joaquin, Daniel, Joel, and Chris

There are simply no odds for a quintet to shoot 63 on the same day and move within two shots of the lead. Yet, here we are, with Carlos Ortiz, Joaquin Niemann, Daniel Berger, Joel Dahmen, and Chris Stroud as star witnesses. Each found a method to slice and dice the Sea Pines Plantation’s signature course to the tune of eight under par. Carlos, Daniel, and Joel currently sit at 14 under, while Joaquin and Chris are one shot further back. Odds suggest that at least one of them will replicate form and be in the mix tomorrow, so I’ll go out on a limb and choose the guy whose first name ends in a consonant.

3. 15 golfers within two shots?

Yep. Turns out there are six more golfers at 13 under along with four golfers at 15 under, the ladder’s bustling top rung. Sergio Garcia, first-round leader Ian Poulter, and my prediction (Matthew Fitzpatrick) found their way into contention. Sunday will demand perfection from any of them, in order to win. Bogeys will derail each of their locomotives, so dig deep, lads.

2. A quartet at the top

Tyrrell Hatton, Abraham Ancer, and Ryan Palmer joined 36-hole leader Webb Simpson atop the heap. Will Sunday bring fireworks? No doubt. Will one of these gents repeat his Saturday heroics? I’m going to say no. The winner will come from behind (see footnote on Matthew Fitzpatrick).

1. Prediction hour

Most likely to win: Matthew Fitzpatrick. I’m sticking with him.

Most likely to fade away: Webb Simpson. 26 putts on Saturday, but most were to save par. The long game is off, and the putter won’t save him forever.

Most likely to be mistaken for Gael Garcia Bernal: Abraham Ancer. Honestly, they’re like twins!

Most likely to grind his teeth to dust while smiling: Tyrrell Hatton. Someone hurt him, but who?

Most likely to do something bizarre: Sergio Garcia. It has simply been too long.

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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.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Ken

    Jun 21, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Bryson was sweating profusely and seemed to be struggling with the heat. Perhaps not comfortable with an extra 40 lbs and affected his game.

  2. Benny

    Jun 21, 2020 at 7:08 am

    Hahaha awesome

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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’s comment on Bryson’s wedges, the demise of his golf game and some nuggets on Rickie and Bryson with Cobra Golf 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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