Davis Love III hit into the rough and a bunker on the last two holes, managing to get up and down for par to complete a final round 8 under par 64, winning for the first time in over two years. With his 20th career PGA Tour victory Mr. Love III earned a lifetime exemption on Tour. “I always questioned, ‘Am I doing the right thing? Why am I still doing this,”’ the 44-year-old Love said. “I didn’t doubt my desire, or that I could still compete, it was just the little things I had to do.” After stepping into a hole during a recreational round last year and suffering two torn ligaments, he spent a lot of time improving his conditioning. Mr. Love III also spent time talking with noted sports head shrinker Bob Rotella. I’ve never understood the need for a psychologist, but then, despite more than a few testimonials, I’ve not considered myself to be a head case.
One shot behind Mr. Love III was Tommy "two gloves" Gainey, whose 30 on the back nine closed out his 64 on Sunday. Mr. Gainey, whose money total was a sorry $65,405 coming into this week, went from number 228 on the money list to number 148 thus assuring himself a pass into the finals of Q school and at least 15 sponsor exemption starts next year. “I played horrible, terrible this year,” Gainey said. “I had one week, and this was the week. I definitely assured myself of a place to play next year.” There is nothing smooth and fluid about Mr. Gainey’s swing. I don’t remember seeing a more violent slash at the ball at any level. Compare that to the touch around and on the greens Mr. Gainey displayed, which was quite impressive and I believe we have a modern day Jekyll and Hyde disguised as a golfer. You don’t see many guys hit 172 yard 9 irons into a par 3…amazingly marvelous entertainment.
Scott Verplank and Steve Marino had the 54 hole lead and wound up tied for third after shooting 71’s. Mr. Verplank shot 38 on the front side, and even four birdies in a row on the back nine wasn’t enough to get him into serious contention. Mr. Marino was tied for the lead with Mr. Love III when he reached the 320 yard par 4 13th hole, the second easiest hole on the course. His tee shot cleared the trees and wound up just in front of the bunker guarding the green. From that point on it was a marvelous impression of a weekend hack. His short pitch didn’t clear the bunker, plugging in the steep sided face. The only shot was to smack the wedge into the sand underneath the ball and pray for a result. With a stance that allowed zero weight shift, Mr. Marino hoseled a shot at a 45* angle that stayed short of the green. Two shots later and Mr. Marino had his second bogey of the week from which he never recovered.
One of the stories of the week was that of Erik Compton who was playing on a sponsor’s exemption. He shot an even par 72 Sunday to finish a 6 under par and tied for 60th. Nothing spectacular unless you know he’s six months removed from his second heart transplant. He’ll be playing in the second stage of Q school next week in an effort to win a tour card. It’s painful enough to have your chest cracked open once, must less twice. And to be able to play competitive golf just six months later is phenomenal. Thank goodness Mr. Compton has a swing much less violent than that of Mr. Gainey.
A lot of happy stories from this final event of the year. Which is nice, considering not much happy has been in the news lately. I for one, need a break.
Morning 9: Women’s PGA | Fox: best golf coverage in the biz? | Michelle Wieturns
By Ben Alberstadt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
June 19, 2019
Good Wednesday morning, golf fans.
1. Henderson, Thompson sizzling heading into Women’s PGA
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell…”Brooke Henderson and Lexi Thompson couldn’t get hotter at a better time.”
2. Wieturning again
Ron Sirak for LPGA.com…
“But perhaps the most difficult digits to digest are those detailing the impact of the injuries that have disrupted Wie’s career. Without the constant interruptions, her five career wins with one major championship would almost certainly be more. Now, she tries once again to get back into action.”
3. Arrival of the Wolff
Sean Martin at PGATour.com…”This week’s Travelers Championship is Matthew Wolff’s first tournament as a professional. It may be the most anticipated pro debut in a decade. The consensus collegiate player of the year combines charisma with a swing that is identifiable from a few fairways over.
4. Fox the best?
An interesting take from Sean Zak at Golf.com…
5. JT pain free
A few quotes from Thomas…”I have zero pain. I can do everything normally.”
“I could have played Colonial – easily – but it would have been stupid and [my wrist] could have been lingering the entire year,” he said. “This injury should never be an issue again in my life, as long as I do the proper things and don’t do anything stupid. That’s why I waited as long as I did.”
6. Not a fan
The Herald’s (Scotland) Nick Rodger…
7. Jin Young Ko dreaming of Brooks?
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…“On a day when LPGA stars filed in and out of the press room at the KPMG Women’s PGA, Ko delivered the line of the day. When asked what it is that she likes about Koepka and how he inspires her play, Ko said: “I met him in my dream, and then we had really great time.”
8. What Gary was aiming for
Our Gianni Magliocco…“U.S. Open Champion Gary Woodland made an appearance at SiriusXM’s Manhattan studios on Tuesday, where he sat down to discuss a multitude of topics with Adam Schein on his Mad Dog Sports Radio program – Schein on Sports.”
9. A Phireside chat
How to introduce Phil Mickelson’s first Phireside with Phil video…? Mickelson tells a story of an early morning restart at the Memorial some years back and a, um, crappy situation.
My question: This is a clear violation of the rules of tournament play. Is there a provision for situations that make the hole/toilet unusable after restart and necessitate cutting a new cup?
TaylorMade signs Matthew Wolff to a multi-year deal; Wolff WITB
TaylorMade Golf has officially announced the signing of Matthew Wolff on a multi-year agreement that will see the 20-year-old play the company’s metal woods, irons, wedges, putter and ultimately, TaylorMade’s flagship golf ball, the TP5x.
Wolff had previously unveiled that he would be making his professional debut at this week’s Travelers Championship, and just as top prospect Collin Morikawa did earlier at this month’s Canadian Open, Wolff will do so as a TaylorMade staffer.
The NCAA All-American and 2019 NCAA Division I individual champion made his debut on the PGA Tour at the Waste Management Phoenix Open earlier this year where he finished T50 after opening his week with a round of five-under par.
Matthew Wolff WITB
Driver: TaylorMade M6 (8 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design TP 7TX
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade M6 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke 6.5 TX
Utility Iron: TaylorMade P760 (2)
Shaft: Nippon Modus 130x
Irons: TaylorMade P750 Tour Proto (3-PW)
Shafts: Nippon Modus 130x
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind Raw (52, 56, 62 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100
Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Copper
5 questions with Justin Kinney of Virtual Golf Caddy
We chatted with Justin Kinney, founder and CEO of startup Virtual Golf Caddy about his product, which serves both courses and players, by offering drone arial photography of golf courses (with graphics overlayed).
While drone photography and videography of golf courses is an established phenomenon, using the photos and video for better course management and preparation is a relatively new approach.
We wanted to learn more about what VGC is doing, and Kinney was kind enough to answer a handful of questions and include an example of the company’s work.
1. Tell us a bit about your background
I am 38 years old, born and raised in Connecticut. Lifelong golfer. Just finishing up my career as a middle school math teacher to focus on VGC full-time. I also have five years of business experience managing people’s retirement accounts. I played as many sports as I could growing up, and love the thrill of competition.
2. What’s the opportunity you saw?
I agreed to caddie for one of my students two summers ago. When researching the courses he was going to play, there was NO info on the courses. I thought there was a huge opportunity to provide course management strategies for players and give players a view of the entire courses with drones. No one was really doing anything like that, so I spent the past two years working on and building my business plan. Two months ago I secured funding to work on this full-time.
3. What is Virtual Golf Caddy, exactly?
VGC is a golf preparation and mental conditioning program designed to help give golfers a game plan to attack courses with. We provide drone views of each hole as well as course management strategies on how to best play each hole. Shot suggestions are given based on how far and confident players hit their clubs. We include mental conditioning tips and exercises to help players “zone in” more often and consistently. We are considering getting into golf fitness and nutrition as well to help build the whole golfer. Players purchase access to each course’s videos and info for either $15 or $25 per course, depending on how much info they want. They get unlimited access to the videos and can watch them wherever (home, airport, hotel, course).
4. What stage is the business in, and can you show us an example of VCG in action?
We are still in the start-up phase. We are making agreements with and filming at courses. The website is being redesigned and will be up in June. It appears like things may take off quickly so stay tuned!
For an example, check out the video below.
6. What else should GolfWRX members know?
We are looking for courses to partner with. We will give courses free publicity on our site, a promotional video from the footage to use on their site, and share 15 percent of their courses profits with them. A win-win for everyone involved! If readers know of any courses, please email us.
One other thing to add: the mental prep/conditioning program is being built by renowned sports psychologist Bill Cole, MS, MA. It is legit and comes from over 40 years of research and experience! We’re also pursuing options in fitness and nutrition.
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