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Ye unable to repeat Guan’s Masters success

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Thirteen-year-old Ye Wo-cheng signed for rounds of 78 and 76 at the Omega European Masters, beating just two players in the 153-player field.

Before the event, Miguel Angel Jimenez, a spry 48 years of age, indicated his displeasure with the decision to offer the 13-year old an exemption into this week’s event in Switzerland.

“It is nice to see that golf is interesting no matter what the age but for me, a 13-year-old competing against professionals is a little a bit too young,” said Jimenez. “People want to start things too early and a 13-year-old should be playing alongside other 13-year-olds and not players averaging 33 years of age.”

Earlier this year, Ye received an invitation to compete in the Volvo China Open, where he returned a pair of 79s for another missed cut, besting a trio of players along the way. In April, countryman Tianlang Guan survived a slow-play penalty at The Masters to become the youngest golfer to ever make the cut at Augusta. Guan, 14 at the time, also finished as the low amateur, causing some to suggest that a youth movement was nigh in the sport of professional golf.

Those of Jimenez’ age have watched as young teen and even pre-teen tennis players and gymnasts have graced the international stage, typically on the female side of competition. But Ye was clearly not up to the task of managing the Crans-sur-Sierre golf course. The youngster made a single birdie that was more than offset by five bogeys and four double bogies, missing the Omega European Masters cut by 12 strokes. At the Volvo China Open, he missed the cut by 14 shots.

Despite his concerns, Jimenez was in no way distracted by his youthful competitor. The Spaniard posted rounds of 65 and 68 to sit one stroke off the halfway lead. With luck, Ye paid attention to everything that the most interesting man in golf accomplished over the course of 36 holes of golf. It will certainly benefit him as he attempts to simultaneously conquer golf and adolescence.

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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.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Ronald Montesano

    Sep 23, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Good point, Nick.

    Greg, I’ll keep an eye on Paratore.

  2. greg schofield

    Sep 9, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    forget this guy, how about Paratore the 16 year old Italian who shoots 72/70 and misses cut by a shot. tis lad is one to watch.

  3. Nick

    Sep 9, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Jiminez is the right. They’re going to damage these kid’s psychs if they keep asking them to make the cut at the Masters at 14 to get positive press. This kids is 13 and broke 80 at the European Masters. That’s incredibl. Yet every article he’ll read will remind him about how he fell short of Guan.

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Opinion & Analysis

The Wedge Guy: From “secret” to 5 basics for a better wedge game

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First of all, thanks to all of you who read and gave last week’s post such high marks. And for all of you who have sent me an email asking for me to address so many topics. Keep those coming and I’ll never run out of things to write about.

In response to so many of those who asked for more on the basics, I want to start a series of articles this week to address some of what I consider the basics as you move your wedge game from greenside chipping, back to “full” wedge distances.

While I certainly do not want to try to replace the skills and contributions of a good instructor, what I hope to accomplish over the next few posts is to give you some of what I consider the most sound and basic of fundamentals as you approach shots from the green back to 100-130 yards, or what you consider “full” swing pitching wedge distance.

So, to get this series kicked off, let’s take the most basic of greenside chips, where the ball lies in a reasonably decent lie 3-10 feet from the edge of the green. I know there are many theories and approaches to chipping the ball, from a “putt-stroke” to hitting them all with a lob wedge, but I’m going to focus on what I consider the most simple and basic of approaches to chipping, so here we go:

Club selection. For golfers who are not highly skilled in this shot and who do not yet want to try to exhibit tons of creativity, my theory is that it is much easier to master one basic technique, then choose the right club to deliver the appropriate carry/roll combination. Once you have done a little practice and experimenting, you should really understand that relationship for two to four different clubs, say your sand wedge, gap wedge and pitching wedge.

Geometry. By that I mean to “build” the shot technique around the club and ball relationship to your body, as those are static. Start with your club soled properly, so that it is not standing up on the toe or rocked back on the heel. With the ball centered in the face, the shaft should be leaning very slightly forward toward the hole. Then move into your stance position, so that your lead arm is hanging straight down from your shoulders and your upper hand can grasp the grip with about 1-2” of “grip down” (I hate the term “choke up”). I’m a firm believer that the lead arm should not angle back toward the body, or out toward the ball, as either compromises the geometry of the club. The stance should be rather narrow and a bit open, weight 70% on your lead foot, and the ball positioned just forward of your trailing foot.

Relax. This is a touch shot, so it needs a very light grip on the club. Tension in the hands and forearms is a killer on these. I like to do a “pressure check” just before taking the club back, just to make sure I have not let the shot tighten me up.

The body core is key. This is not a “handsy” shot, but much more like a putt in that the shoulders turn away from the shot and back through, with the arms and hands pretty quiet. Because of the light grip, there will, by necessity, be some “loading” as you make the transition at the end of the backswing, but you want to “hold” that making sure your lead shoulder/forearm stay ahead of the clubhead through the entire through-stroke. This insures – like I pointed out last week – that the club stays in front of your body through the entire mini-swing.

Control speed with core speed. I think a longer stroke/swing makes for a smoother tempo on these shots. Don’t be afraid to take the club back a bit further than you might otherwise think, and just make the through-stroke as s-m-o-0-t-h as possible. Avoid any quickness or “jab-iness” in the stroke at all. Once you experiment a bit, you can learn how to control your body core rotation speed much easier than you can control hand speed. And it is nearly impossible to get too quick if you do that.

Again, I am certainly not here to replace or substitute for good instruction, and I know there are a number of approaches to chipping. This is just the one that I have found easier to learn and master in relation to the time you have to spend on your short game practice.

Next week, we’ll move back to those shorter pitches up to about 30 yards.

And keep those emails coming, OK? [email protected].

 

 

 

 

 

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Club Junkie

Club Junkie: Reviewing TaylorMade’s NEW SIM2 woods and hybrids!

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TaylorMade’s new SIM2 woods and hybrids are out and I have had them on the range to test. SIM2 seems to offer better shots on mishits throughout the line, keeping those shots in play better than last year. Everything seems to be improved in one way or another and I personally love the SIM2 Max driver and fairway!

 

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Golf's Perfect Imperfections

Golf’s Perfect Imperfections: What’s your takeaway waggle?

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Two wonderful examples on the PGA Tour are Sung Jae Im and Justin Thomas. We explain how this takeaway waggle brings your awareness full circle to how your backswing matches the direction you want to start the ball on. With awareness and confirmation that the backswing fits and that you don’t have to rush through it. You get a sense of calm that you can accomplish the task you set out and your chances at consistency have increased exponentially.

 

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