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Morning 9: Bryson: I feel like I can go faster…and I’ve found something for more accuracy | JT: No ball rollback needed | Ricky Barnes’ wild night in the ANGC clubhouse

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1 “Feel like I can go faster”
David Dusek at Golfweek…”Three years ago, DeChambeau asked his trainer, Greg Roskopf, a question. “What is the end game in all of this, in all this neuromuscular training and working out?'” Roskopf replied that he wasn’t sure because no athlete had ever, “gone the distance.”
  • “To that, DeChambeau said, “I’m willing to go the distance, and we went the distance…”
  • “I truly felt like I started to become an athlete probably around December of this past year,” DeChambeau said during a pre-tournament press conference Tuesday. “I started moving weights up quite a bit, and when I was with Greg in Denver, we just kept upping the weight, and I’m like, ‘Man, I did not think I would be able to tolerate all these forces going through my body,’ and I kept recovering well after that.”
  • “I wake up every day and feel like I can go faster, I can swing it faster,” DeChambeau said with a smile on Tuesday. “Just last week, I got my 6-iron up to 112 miles an hour swing speed. My ball speed was 160, and that was me going after it. But I don’t know where the limit is on this, and I’m excited about that because I keep looking forward to each and every day to go down this rabbit hole to see how far I can go.”
2. Bryson has “figured something out”
Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner with a few of the mad scientist of golf’s latest #content gems…”I think I’ve figured something out in the golf swing that will hopefully help me hit it a little straighter,” he said Tuesday. “That would be nice.”
  • “His length, of course, has not been the issue since he added roughly 40 pounds of muscle over the past year. He currently leads the PGA Tour in average driving distance, at 323.9 yards…”
  • “So how, exactly, did one of the game’s bulkiest bashers work on his accuracy during the off-week? It’s a trial-and-error process in which DeChambeau said he “must have tried 50 different things” as he worked his way through the entire bag.
  • “It’s just a process of elimination going on,” he said, “and then finding a little nugget every once in a while going, Oh my gosh, it works with everything! And that’s what I felt this past week.”
3. JT on Winged Foot: Really hard, maybe his favorite course
Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner…“Thomas played two rounds at Winged Foot (alongside Tiger Woods) earlier this week in anticipation of next month’s U.S. Open.”
  • “And the verdict?”
  • “It’s really hard,” he said Tuesday. “I absolutely loved it. It’s one of my favorite, if not my favorite courses I’ve ever played. It’s right there in front of you. It’s not tricked up. Nothing is hidden. You just stand on the tee and you’re about 490 yards away and you have a really narrow fairway and a pretty severe green. There’s a lot of holes like that.”
4. Thomas: No golf ball rollback needed
Zephyr Melton, owner of the best name in golf journalism, with this for Golf.com…“That said, there is still a place in the game for plodders. In fact, of the four golfers who have won multiple times this season – Brendon Todd, Collin Morikawa, Webb Simpson and Justin Thomas – only Thomas ranks inside the top 100 in driving distance. Bombs might generate headlines, but (this season, at least) precision has proven to be more important.”
  • “I think the fact that three guys have won multiple times this year being outside the top 100 in distance just proves yet again that you don’t need distance,” Thomas said at The Northern Trust. “Yeah, it’s helpful, but it makes me cringe and it really bothers me when whoever says that, you know, the golf ball or everything needs to be rolled back because there’s plenty of people that are still performing well that don’t hit it as far.
  • “It is quite an interesting stat,” Thomas continued. “I loved it when I saw it because that just kind of proves yet again that length is not the answer. It’s just helpful. Still got to get the ball in the hole.”
5. Beware USGA email scam
…and no I’m not referring to the one where you send $10 and all you get is a bag tag… kidding. Kidding.
  • Golfweek’s Todd Kelly…”The United States Golf Association put a warning out on social media on Tuesday about an email scam soliciting part-time employment at September’s U.S. Open.”
  • “The USGA advises everyone that this is scam and those involved are not affiliated with the USGA or the tournament.”
  • “The USGA was recently made aware of a fraudulent email campaign in which persons are falsely posing as USGA representatives to offer job candidates part-time employment for use of their vehicles to advertise for the 2020 U.S. Open. Please be advised that this is a scam. This email campaign and the persons involved are in no way affiliated with or have any connection to the USGA or the U.S. Open. Do not respond to the email and do not provide any personal or financial information. If you receive any such email or solicitation, please email the USGA at privacy@usga.org. You may also want to notify your local law enforcement regarding this scam.”
6. Ratings? 
Geoff Shackelford writes…”last week’s Wyndham Championship, won in compelling fashion by Jim Herman over Billy Horschel. It was soggy, hot, with an ok field, but sports television offered plenty of competition: NASCAR, NHL playoffs and MLB games across the country. Oh, and sports fans have lives that might have them doing other things, too, reportedly.”
  • “Yet the Wyndham held its own against the heavy competition. From ShowBuzzDaily.com’s roundup of sports ratings where you can see how the other sports fared…”
  • “The 1.62 edged out the Portland-Memphis NBA play-in game on ABC Saturday, which did draw a much younger audience, but just a 1.29. While this was not a true playoff game and the NBA/ABC combo is off 45% on average from 2012, this is still an eye-opening sight with golf facing tougher competition Sunday. (The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss looks at the NBA’s falling ratings here.)”
  • “Up 36% from last year’s Wyndham, the tournament at Sedgefield also held its own against 2019’s BMW Championship. That was won by Justin Thomas and contested on a similar weekend as the 2020 Wyndham, but with less TV competition and a better field…”
7. Mac Bernhardt
Michael Bamberger at Golf.com with the story of exiled agent Mac Bernhardt (who once represented Davis Love III and Justin Leonard) as he mounts a comeback…
  • “…In 2013, the company Barnhardt owned, Crown Sports Management, was bought out by Lagardère Sports, which has a golf division run by Steve Loy, Phil Mickelson’s agent. In May 2018, Barnhardt was, in his own candid telling, fired. That act triggered a noncompete clause. Barnhardt was pushed to the sidelines for a two-year period. Those two years have come and gone and then some. Which brings us to the comeback he is attempting.”
  • “…In the story of his business life, to turn our subject’s 58 years on this earth into a movie script, Barnhardt’s in the part of Jerry Maguire where Jerry (Tom Cruise) is trying to recruit the fictional NFL receiver Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.) to be the first client in the new, we’re-humans-first agency Jerry wants to launch. In real life, Barnhardt settled on his Rod Tidwell last summer. That’s when he started focusing his particular brand of attention, with its curious blend of purposefulness and nonchalance, on Ogletree, a tall, lean golfer from Union, Miss., where his father owns a Piggly Wiggly grocery store….”
8. Ricky Barnes’ wild ANGC story
Told on the latest episode of Subpar, Barnes recounts getting locked out of Augusta National Masters Sunday following a night out at the bar to celebrate his low am honors…
  • “I get back to the front gate to get dropped off and the gate’s closed,” he said. “I’ll never forget it. I hop the brick stone wall, get over, and I’m jogging down Magnolia Lane thinking someone’s going to shoot me.”
  • “…I go upstairs, and they’ll kill me for saying this,” Barnes said. “[British Amateur champion Alejandro Larrazábal] is the only one still there. And it’s only us two. So we walk down the crow’s nest, and there’s a telephone booth and we walk left and we keep going around and there’s the champion’s locker room.”
  • “Then, Larrazábal slipped on a green jacket in a nod to fellow countryman Seve Ballesteros.”
  • “Alex goes right into Seve’s locker, and he’s got Seve’s green jacket on,” Barnes said. “He’s pouring drinks with Seve’s jacket on.”
9. JT peaking?
Golfweek’s JuliaKate E. Culpepper…“Thomas, 27, has plenty to be confident about entering the playoffs: he’s No. 1 in FedEx Cup points, the No. 2 golfer in the world ranking and has the most wins on the PGA Tour this season.”
  • “However, the 13-time Tour winner insists he’s just warming up…”I’m not trying to peak this week,” Thomas said Tuesday. “I’m trying to kind of start the upward climb to hopefully be peaking (at the Tour Championship) in Atlanta.”

 

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2 Comments

  1. geohogan

    Sep 8, 2020 at 8:08 am

    BD is the real deal… Tin Cup

    He will keep pushing, the weights, until his proprioception is gone
    … and his fitness trainer admitted he doesnt know.

    Where has weight training got Koepke….damaged knee and hips?
    ask Jason Day.

  2. Dat jurnolizm do

    Aug 19, 2020 at 10:23 am

    Great job missing the story about Charlie Woods crushing a US Kids event with Tiger looping for him.

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The DailyWRX (9/24/2020)

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My kid trying to convince me Pokemon is a kid in his school…

…best words start with F and end with K…if you wanna get creative add you or me to the end. Helps me daily.

Is it me or did Rory barely swing at that…

I’m bummed I have to leave a course I won and play at a course I dominate on. Classic TDub!

Who cares…ESPN isn’t ESPN anymore…hasn’t been in YEARS.

DM @johnny_wunder if you know what happened to ESPN

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Morning 9: The return of pro-ams | Akshay Bhatia | Has the game changed…or just for the pros? | Wunder’s love/hate

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1. Pro-ams and (some) fans returneth 
Golfweek’s JuliaKate E. Culpepper…“Spectators haven’t been allowed on site during PGA Tour events since the first round of the Players Championship over six months ago. After a 13-week break due to the coronavirus pandemic, there have been 16 tournaments without cheers, jeers or patron antics.”
  • “That’ll change slightly this week in the Dominican Republic.”
  • “The Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, previously scheduled for March but rescheduled due to the pandemic, will allow a select number of patrons back on tournament grounds – socially distanced, of course – when the event tees off Thursday.”
  • “The final few holes at Corales Golf Club will have corporate VIP areas set up, allowing sponsors and a handful of other visitors to watch the live sporting event in person following necessary COVID screening precautions.”
2. First made cut earns Bhatia Puntacana berth
Adam Stanley for PGATour.com…“Bhatia turned professional in 2019 after becoming the youngest player to ever represent the United States in the Walker Cup. He made his pro debut on TOUR at the Sanderson Farms Championship last season. The debut came after he had reached No. 5 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.”
  • “But despite his success on the junior and amateur circuit, it hadn’t quite translated to the pro game until the Safeway Open. Bhatia finished T9 there and earned a spot in the field at this week’s Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship. He was the youngest player to finish in the top 10 of a stroke-play event on the PGA TOUR since Justin Rose finished fourth at the 1998 Open Championship.”
  • “It’s always nice anytime you get a chance to play the PGA TOUR,” Bhatia said. “It’s a great way to enjoy things because this is the life I want to have and I have to get a taste of it. Earning my spot here was a different feeling for me and I’m just excited to get it going.”
  • “After putting a bow on an impressive junior golf career – he was on the winning Junior Presidents Cup team in 2017, the winning Junior Ryder Cup team in 2018 and the winning Walker Cup team last year – he hadn’t made a cut on the PGA TOUR until the Safeway Open.”

Full piece.

3. Bhatia’s WITB

DRIVER: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZURDUS “Hulk” Smoke Green 75 6.5 TX
3-WOOD: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZURDUS Hulk Smoke Green 85 6.5 TX
IRONS: Callaway Epic Forged (3), Callaway Apex MB 18 Raw (4-PW)
Shafts: KBS TG Hybrid Proto 95 X (3), KBS $-Taper Black 125 S+ (4-PW)
WEDGES: Callaway MD5 Jaws Raw (50S, 54S, 60C)
Shafts: KBS $-Taper 125S+
PUTTER: Odyssey SL Black Armlock 7
GRIPS: Iomic Sticky 2.3 Black
4. Scottish Open: Plan for spectators shelved in line with pause on pilot events
BBC report…“The decision to have spectators at the Scottish Open at Renaissance Club next month has been reversed.”
  • “The tournament in East Lothian had been chosen as a pilot for the return of fans, with 650 permitted on both Saturday and Sunday.”
  • “However, a rise in coronavirus cases has resulted in a pause on all sporting test events.”
5. Has the game changed…or just for the pros? 
GolfWRX’s resident “Wedge Guy,” Terry Koehler wonders post-Winged Foot what conclusions we can draw…
“I believe the first takeaway is that we play a totally different game than they do. Very few of us recreational golfers have the strength to continually muscle the ball out of even “normal” rough to put it in a position to successfully finish out the hole with a par or better. For most of us, I have no doubt that our best scores come when we hit the fewest shots from the rough. I challenge all of you to keep track of your “strokes lost” when your tee shot does not leave you in the fairway with a clean lie and open shot to the green.”
“Secondly, we do not have anything close to their skills around the greens. If you miss greens, you are more likely to make bogey or worse than to save par. Leaving the distance thing out of the equation, this is the largest chasm between the skills of tour player and regular amateurs. Day in and day out, these elite players get up and down more than 50% of the time, and very few amateurs approach 30% from my research. What’s the moral of that story? Spend more time practicing your creativity and execution on the shortest of shots…that is, IF you really want to lower your scores.”
“Finally, these guys are so darn good with the putter in their hands…It certainly doesn’t hurt that they putt on pool-table-perfect greens most of the time. Or that they have a great caddy to help them get an accurate read on most every putt. Or that they focus on positioning their approach shots and recoveries to give themselves the best look at the hole. But also realize that they practice incessantly on this part of the game.”
6. Johnny Wunder’s love/hate
I LOVE watching players mic’d up and having fun together. The conversations and smack talk is a blast to listen to. We also get an inside peek into a portion of what these players are really like. In a normal event? No. Maybe a caddie or two but not the players-I wouldn’t want to be mic’d up at work-not that anyone cares what I say anyway. Just facts. To be honest, Tiger without a JT or Phil to prod him along isn’t exactly gonna peel your hair back in good times. The guy is a born assassin, they don’t talk all that much besides the impromptu “thanks” or  “F$$K!”
I HATE that we have “the one best this and best that” culture in golf equipment. It’s such a big game with so many variables. Can’t we just accept the fact that it’s all REALLY good and have fun exploring what’s best for us individually? I mean, we even do it with tour players-there is no singular “best.” We have had like four of them over the last 100 years. Undisputed 5-plus year stallions that nobody disputed. “Best” defined as it relates to the PGA Tour is Tiger Woods 1999-2009…that’s the best. Anything short of that is a disservice to the players and a mind circus for us.
7. The new queen of LPGA driving distance
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…“A rookie currently leads the LPGA in driving distance with a 287.462 yard average. Unlike Bryson DeChambeau, Bianca Pagdanganan didn’t seek out extra yardage. In fact, she can’t really even explain where her power comes from.”
“Her mantra, repeated throughout a recent phone conversation, is “I try not to force anything.”
“Pagdanganan’s coach at Arizona, Laura Ianello, points to “insanely” fast hips and use of the ground as key to her power. She’s 4 yards longer than Maria Fassi on the LPGA stats list and 5 yards ahead of Anne van Dam.”
8. Tiger officially in for Zozo
ESPN’s Bob Harig…“Tiger Woods announced his commitment to next month’s Zozo Championship at Sherwood Country Club, where he will be the defending champion of an event that has moved from Japan to Thousand Oaks, California, this year amid to the coronavirus pandemic.”
  • “Woods, 44, won the event over Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama last year at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club outside of Tokyo. The victory was the 82nd of his career and tied him with Sam Snead for the top spot on the PGA Tour’s victory list.”

 

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M9: Shane Ryan on Bryson: Nobody else is trying hard enough | Mike Davis moving on | Rory loves Domino’s

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1. Mike Davis leaving USGA in 2021
Scapegoat? Villian? Whatever your impression of the man, Mike Davis is moving on… Golf Digest’s Dave Shedloski…”The USGA on Tuesday announced that Davis is stepping down as its chief executive officer, effective at the end of 2021, to embark on a career in golf course design and construction. Davis plans to team up with Tom Fazio II to create a new golf course architecture company, Fazio & Davis Golf Design.”
  • “I’ve absolutely loved the USGA, and I hate the idea of leaving,” said Davis, 55, who became the USGA’s seventh executive director in 2011, succeeding David Fay, a role that segued into that of CEO in 2016. “I’ve grown up around here. I mean, it will have been 32 years by the time I leave, and my work in championships and governance and so on is just … in some ways, I never thought I’d leave.
  • “But at the heart of this, I have always loved golf course design. I loved learning, seeing, playing, studying golf courses. I’m closer to 60 than I am 50, and there was almost a sense that if I don’t do this, I’m going to regret it.”
2. Replacement search underway 
Shedloski again…”The process of finding a successor to USGA CEO Mike Davis, who announced Tuesday he will leave the association at the end of 2021, commenced about a year ago with the help of a search firm. So it is, according to USGA president Stu Francis, that the association already has taken meaningful steps toward an eventual leadership transition.”
  • “Francis would not divulge how many candidates might have been identified, be they inside the halls of Golf House in Liberty Corner, N.J., or outside them.”
3. More meditations on the Bryson Effect
Shane Ryan, as can be gleaned from his headline, thinks the Bryson DeChambeau Effect is going the change the game of golf…and I for one think his points are superb…
“For a moment, let’s forget the specifics. Let’s forget the weight and distance gain, the muscle activation fitness regimen, the protein shakes, the single iron length, the putting lasers, and a thousand other things that fall under the umbrella of “science.” Forget it all and think broadly. We need some distance to understand Bryson DeChambeau’s win at the U.S. Open-the most consequential result for golf since Tiger Woods won the Masters in 1997-and to internalize the only conclusion that really matters: On an intellectual level, nobody else is trying hard enough.”
“If that sounds like an insult to a group of professionals who have dedicated their lives to becoming elite practitioners of the sport, so be it. DeChambeau is putting them to shame simply because he has the courage not just to seek out innovative ideas, but to pursue them with monomaniacal energy. His commitment is so rigorous, so fanatical, that everyone else comes off looking like a dilettante.”
“This makes people uncomfortable, fans and players alike, but the ultimate legacy of his astonishing win at Winged Foot-a course that was supposed to be the antithesis to and kryptonite for the DeChambeau Style-is that we can no longer dismiss him as a pretentious pseudoscientist. That comfort is gone, and now we reckon with a reality that forces from the mouths of the doubters the three most painful words imaginable.
“He was right.”
4. …and even more…this on Bryson’s putting
Mike Purkey for the Morning Read…“DeChambeau also uses a device that measures putts in miles per hour. Yes, you read that correctly. So, he knows how far to swing his arm-lock putter to produce a particular speed, therefore a precise distance. Then, he takes slope and break into account, using the same device.”
  • “It’s not pretty like Ben Crenshaw putted, but DeChambeau thinks that’s the best way for him to putt. And you can’t argue results. He tied for 11th at Winged Foot in putts per round, at 28.75.”
  • “You see me out there on the greens with the device trying to control my speed,” he said. “It’s just something that allows me and gives me comfort to know that on this green, or these speeds of greens, it’s going to be repeatable. It’s going to be comfort in knowing how far I can take it back and go through.”
5. Danny Lee offers an apology after six-putt horrorshow 
Golfweek’s Julie Williams…“Danny Lee made an early exit from the U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club on Saturday evening – one culminating with a six-putt from 4 feet on the 18th green for a quadruple-bogey 8. After that, Lee withdrew from the championship, citing a wrist injury, and left the property.”
  • …”In the Tweet, Lee pledged to think about his actions and use it to get better.”
  • “I apologize for my poor actions at (the) U.S. Open at week. It was very unprofessional and foolish. Obviously hurts lots of my fans and followers and my sponsors out there,” Lee wrote in part. “My frustration took over me and combined with injury I had to fight with it all week. … I shouldn’t have left it like that.”
6. Watch out for Will Zalatoris 
Adam Stanley for PGATour.com…“Zalatoris’ play on the Korn Ferry Tour has been, in a word, impressive. He has finished in the top 20 in his last 11 starts, the longest streak in that circuit’s history. He’s hitting 81% of greens this season, which is on pace to be the most in KFT history, as well.”
  • “He’s also first in Scoring Average and Ball Striking.”
  • “He might be the best ball striker out there,” said Josh Gregory, a performance golf coach based out of Maridoe. Zalatoris credits a lot of his recent success to his work with Gregory along with Troy Denton, who is the head golf professional at the club.
  • “Denton calls Zalatoris a “freak ball-striker.”
  • “Gregory works with 11 golfers across the Korn Ferry Tour and PGA TOUR, and has been with Zalatoris for the last 18 months. He said Zalatoris was the “perfect candidate” for his way of teaching – mostly wrapped in games and drills and repetition.”
7. JT, TW win Payne’s Valley Cup…
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…“Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas edged Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose in the first-ever Payne’s Valley Cup, played at Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri to mark the opening of Woods’ first-ever public course design.”
  • “Woods and Thomas teamed in a Ryder Cup-style match against a pair of former world No. 1s from Europe, with the match divided into three sections. The first six-hole segment, won by McIlroy and Rose, was played using best-ball format. Nos. 7-12 featured alternate shot and saw the Americans strike back to tie the match at one point apiece, setting up a singles’ showdown across the home stretch.”
  • “Woods faced off against Rose in a singles match, while Thomas went against McIlroy. Those two points were also halved, with Rose beating Woods, 1 up, and Thomas beating McIlroy, 2 up. Both matches ended on the picturesque 123-yard, par-3 19th hole at Payne’s Valley, and with the match tied 2-2 Woods and Thomas got the win by virtue of a closest-to-the-pin tiebreaker after Thomas hit his final shot inside 9 feet.”
 
8. Tiger on Payne’s Valley…
Derek Duncan for Golf Digest…“My goal when starting TGR Design was to create courses that are fun and playable for golfers of all abilities,” Woods told Golf Digest. “This was particularly important at Payne’s Valley, my first public golf course.”
“Woods has always been at his best on the biggest stages, and Payne’s Valley, named for the late Payne Stewart, who grew up in nearby Springfield, is unquestionably big. The course plays atop a broad, starburst arrangement of low bluffs in the southwest Missouri Ozarks, where ancient peaks and ridgetops have been scrubbed and worn by time. (Parts of the property were formerly nine holes of the defunct Murder Rock golf course; the other nine became parts of Ozarks National, Golf Digest’s Best New Public Course in 2019.) Yet Payne’s Valley manages to effect an impression of height by pushing the holes, particularly on the first nine, out to the edges of the extended fingers of land that tumble down into wooded ravines, giving rise to cross-valley vistas. “While shaping the golf course, we spent a lot of time thinking about the views that we wanted to capture from various greens, fairways and tee boxes,” Woods says.”
“To this point, he and Johnny Morris, founder of Big Cedar Lodge and Bass Pro Shops retailers, made several in-the-field adjustments to maximize the down-valley sightlines, including reconceptualizing two of the closing holes into the downhill par-3 16th and the par-4 17th, a classic Bottle hole with a strand of bunkers breaking high and low sections of fairway. (Fitting a drive into the upper fairway is more risky, but it provides a straight look into the angled green.) Woods and Beau Welling, senior design consultant for TGR Design, filled the bare, blufftop panoramas with vast wall-to-wall fairways (the course has a considerable 116 acres of maintained turf), sprawling bunkers and expansive greens with false edges that slip off into smooth, low-cut chipping zones. Zeon zoysia green collars and approaches, which can be cut lower than other zoysia grasses, encourage shots along the ground.”
9. Rory loves…Domino’s pizza…?
Our Gianni Magliocco…“The Payne’s Valley Cup on Tuesday provided plenty of entertaining moments, but one thing golf fans perhaps weren’t bargaining on hearing was a Rory McIlroy deep dive into his current favorite pizza joint.”
“While his partner Rose was preparing to putt, McIlroy revealed that he was on a ‘big Domino’s kick’ at the moment, and it elicited a pretty hilarious reaction from Justin Thomas.”
“The Ulsterman justified his choice by claiming that when you don’t know the good local spots, then Domino’s Pizza is ‘solid’. When asked by JT what toppings he goes for, McIlroy responded that his go-to order is the ‘Deluxe’, which according to google consists of ‘green peppers, black olives, and meats like pepperoni, ham, and Italian sausage.”

 

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