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5 things we learned: Saturday at the Travelers

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The rains came to the Hartford area around 12:30 on Saturday. Thanks to the meteorological skills of the PGA Tour’s advance planners, the golfers were gone from the greens by noon-thirty. Using split tees from seven to nine am, all those who made the cut were able to complete 18 holes on what was essentially Saturday morning. It was like a British Open, in terms of the time for the USA, and almost for the weather.

Before we get to the five things we learned on half-Saturday, here’s a bonus one: don’t bet this house. My predictions from Friday were as wretched as the afternoon weather, so bad that they are laughable. We’ll take a look at some of them, blended with the news of the day. That written (and read), here are the five things that we learned on Saturday at the Travelers.

1. Dustin Johnson did not exit

This prognosticator nominated Johnson as Most likely to make a Saturday exit. Well, nah. The big, bearded one had nine birdies and nine pars, for a cool 61. He had four on the front and five on the back. He reached 16-under par and secured a spot in Sunday’s final threesome. He’ll walk ’round with Brendon Todd (the leader) and Kevin Streelman (the next chaser.) Todd’s round mirrored Johnson’s; the Georgian had five birdies on the front and four on the back. If you have a rotten memory, let’s refresh Todd in November of last year. Two wins in consecutive weeks, with an almost-third a week later. The magic hasn’t left just yet, although this one will be a tough one to secure. As for Streelman, six years have passed since his second and last win. For a deep refresh, that win came at this event, and he closed it out with seven consecutive birdies. Hot time on the old town on Sunday, for sure!

2. Phil played like phifty

The Phil prediction was embedded in a paragraph, and not a separate line of its own. It basically suggested that the lefthander, who recently joined the AARP crowd, was most likely to do good things on Saturday. Instead, he did meh things. Two birdies, three bogeys, abandoned by his putter, six shots behind the leaders. What’s left for Phil? Go low on Sunday and take 3 of 4 away from this week. He ain’t winning; he would need 59 on Sunday to have a shot. Someone will reach at least 20 or 21-under par for the week, and Phil will need super-low to match that. Will Gordon, paired with Mickelson, played like a Will Gordon should. He made far too many mistakes (four bogies and a double) to counteract any number of birdies (five on the day) he could possibly attain. Gordon would have needed the nine birdies that Johnson and Todd each made, in order to remain relevant. The experience he took away from Saturday was valuable; what’s left for him is the same as what’s left for Phil. In Gordon’s case, a big check will mean a lot more.

3. Ancer not the answer

It’s not that Abraham Ancer played poorly on shortened Saturday. He was in position through nine holes, at four-under on the day. Then, the game left him, and he played the first four holes on the back in plus-two. Zoinks! Ancer recovered with two birdies coming home, but his 66 that should have been a 63 or 64, left him at 12-under par.

4. Two guys that proved me a bit right

Guess what a 60 gets you? A two-day pass. Mackenzie Hughes was less than brilliant again, but he held it together for best round in the final group and will tee off in the penultimate threesome with Bryson DeChambeau and Kevin Na. That ridiculous 60 that Hughes posted on Thursday was his ticket to contention on Sunday. On Saturday, Hughes was kinda like Nick Faldo in a British Open. He had 2 birdies and 16 pars. He’s not making mistakes, which leads me to believe that he just might pull it off on Sunday. If he finds the birdie machine on Sunday, the Maple Leaf might fly over Cromwell, Connecticut.

The other, fulfilled prediction was Bryson, as Most likely to paint the round for what it was.  One quote, making the rounds in golf journalism, involves his aspiration to be the house in gambling parlance. As we know, the house always wins. Whether it is his golf e.q. or his physics i.q., Bryson finds driving lines that no one else does, and he proceeds to hit them. Being 3o yards longer off the tee, thanks to being built like a brick house, compels him to move into a different echelon of thinker and planner. Will there be enough fairway for his line? If not, plan B.

Want more honesty from BD? Try this: Yeah, like today there was plenty of shots where I had these massive jumpers and I don’t understand them one bit. We don’t understand, they come out randomly, and those are things that kind of dumbfound me, and that’s golf. If I could figure that out, I’d be that much closer to figuring out the game. That will never happen.

One more for the road from BD: I’ve slowed down a little bit because I’m guiding it with the driver right now, not 100 percent confident with it, but I’m working hard to figure out what I had at Colonial and RBC. It’s not bad, obviously; it’s just not exactly where I want it where I can get up on the tee box and let it go and know it’s going straight.

5. Day four predictions

Most likely to win on Sunday: Kevin Na. Such an edgy competitor. Should have been picked by Tiger for Team USA at the President’s Cup last fall. I’m predicting a 62 for 21-under par. Hey-hey-hey … Goodbye!

Most likely to post best round from final trio: Kevin Streelman. He’ll be the forgotten one, for sure. He’ll post 64 and enter a playoff with Na, but will miss out by a hair.

Most likely to get a bad break: Bryson DeChambeau. Don’t know why and don’t know where, but it’s coming.

The numbers game: Time to go out on a limb and call it as I don’t see (because you know what happens when I soothsay!)

Todd: 71 for 17-under
Johnson: 68 for 18-under
Streelman: 64 for 21-under
DeChambeau: 67 for 16-under
Na: 62 for 21-under and the win in overtime
Hughes: 65 for 19-under

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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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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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