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U.S. Ryder Cup Task Force members elected

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There’s been a lot of hype and even more questions regarding the “task force” that the PGA of America was planning to create in preparation for the 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup team. What’s a task force? Who will be on it?

Speculations for the latter can now subside. The 11-member committee was announced early Tuesday morning, and it has been tasked to examine all aspects of the Ryder Cup, including the selection of players, captains and the week of competition.

Real ground breaking stuff, right?

Here’s who’s involved.

PGA of America Officials

  • Pete Bevacqua (Co-Chair)
  • Derek Sprague (Co-Chair)
  • Paul Levy (secretary of the PGA of America)

Former Captains (all of losing teams)

  • Raymond Floyd (1989)
  • Tom Lehman (2006)
  • Davis Love III (2012)

Former Players 

  • Tiger Woods
  • Phil Mickelson
  • Steve Stricker
  • Jim Furyk
  • Rickie Fowler

Surprisingly, the list of members leaves off Paul Azinger, captain of the 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup team. He’s the man responsible for the team’s only win since 1999, and his pod-system received public acclaim from Phil Mickelson in a press conference after the U.S. Team’s most recent losing effort.

Azinger was offered a spot on the Task Force, according to his interview on the Golf Channel’s Morning Drive, and while he declined he left open the possibility that he could be a part of the Task Force in the future.

“I didn’t say no,” Azinger said. “I said not yet. I think everything is going too fast. It’s just too soon to make that kind of decision when emotions are involved.”

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. Large chris

    Oct 16, 2014 at 8:25 am

    LMAO well that’s European victories sorted out for the next ten years at least. A ‘task force’ hahahah. And even more hahahaha at trying to get Tiger or a few of the others to a ‘task force meeting’

    If there is one occasional truism about the American mentality, it is that Americans have a tendency to try the same thing over and over again, with the same end result. The last thing USA needs is another committee.

    Solutions? Hardly difficult honestly – pick the players the week before (justin Leonard said last week how difficult is it to run up a pair of pants?). And part of the selection process is that to be considered you make the effort to turn up for a practice two days at the next venue say 5 months beforehand.

  2. Derehk

    Oct 15, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    All time Ryder cup records
    (I think PGA was looking at the wrong lists when picking the task force members.)
    Most matches lost
    USA
    Jim Furyk, 20
    Phil Mickelson, 19
    Tiger Woods, 18
    Raymond Floyd, 16
    Davis Love III, 12

    Most single matches lost
    USA
    Phil Mickelson, 5
    Raymond Floyd, 4
    Jim Furyk, 4

    Most foursome matches lost
    USA
    Raymond Floyd, 8
    Jim Furyk, 8
    Tiger Woods, 8
    Phil Mickelson, 6

    Most fourball matches lost
    USA
    Jim Furyk, 8
    Phil Mickelson, 8
    Tiger Woods, 8
    Davis Love III, 6

    Golfers Who Played 5 or More Career Matches Without Winning
    USA
    Rickie Fowler, 0-3-5

    Steve Stricker fits right in with a 3-7-1 record but he didn’t make any lists. Why Tom Lehman is picked besides losing as a captain is hard to understand as he actually got more experience winning than losing individually.

    To sum it up. This task force has lots of experience on how not to do it. Lets see if that helps.

    • bullrambler

      Oct 16, 2014 at 7:18 am

      The Rider Cup story has gotten old and it’s the players themselves that have to step up on the stage and want the victory as bad as the europeans do.

    • Knobbywood

      Oct 16, 2014 at 9:00 am

      Winning doesn’t teach you as much as losing

      • Robeli

        Oct 16, 2014 at 1:29 pm

        So you Americans are well educated, aren’t you? LMAO

  3. Jafar

    Oct 15, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    They should just let the fans vote. Then the fans can blame the fans.

  4. michael

    Oct 15, 2014 at 10:16 am

    The pga is a joke and has become a political ponzie scheme at best!
    Ask yourself what percentage of pga pros receive any benefit for their
    yearly magazine subscription while the pga political big shots reap $$$.
    You don’t see the Europeans with such issues. Lets take care of the club pros
    who work two jobs to support their families give them something to look
    forward too. Once again money has spoiled a once great game and most of its
    players! The pga wants to grow the game so they can line their pockets.
    Check their salaries vs the club pro. Oh by the way what is the dollar amount
    spent on each player and spouse they send to the ryder cup?

    • Knobbywood

      Oct 15, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      The golf course that employs the PGA pro pays his salary idiot not the PGA of America

    • gplfing

      Oct 15, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      Golf is a businesses that has a sport here and a sport that has some business there.

    • DolphLundgrenade

      Oct 20, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      Where are you getting your PGA “big shots” salary information from? They are vastly underpaid at headquarters and understaffed. The money they paid for Pete has already reaped tremendous benefits for the association. Notably, money passed down to the section offices , to be distributed to tournament funding and staffing to benefit PGA professionals doubled last year alone.

      The PGA is adapting and growing and big things are happening right now. PGA professionals and endemic businesses should be very excited about the future.

      Your false opinions and rumours are more suited to a sewing circle you gossip girl and hate mongorer. Make your lies and agenda an inside voice and focus on whatever it is you do know.

      Regarding the task force, however, I agree this is very reactionary and should have been considered for a few months before making this a public forum. The Europeans played better than us. That is all. I hope they find some sense and can recover from this knee jerk reaction. It was a PR blunder on their part.

      Perhaps a new system for selecting our team is the best solution. How Ryan Moore, a match play stud, didn’t make this team is entirely beyond my ability to comprehend. I love Tom Watson, but perhaps captains should be of an age that relates to the average age of the team should be considered. Tom couldn’t relate and therefore chose poorly and couldn’t get buy in the way Zinger did.

  5. Sir Nick

    Oct 15, 2014 at 3:39 am

    Ridiculous! Why in the world do they need to do this? America does so many great things, and yet they go and do silly stuff like this. There really is no need for all this hoopla, what American golfers need are stricter rules on the PGA Tour for players to have to show up and play at least 25 tournaments a year to get enough Ryder Cup points, so that they are forced to show up and play even the smaller events. The points system should be revised for selection into the team, according to those appearance numbers. You can’t have a player show up for only a dozen or so tournaments and collect enough points to be able to stay in the top 10 of the points and then show up and expect to play well with others when he didn’t show up half the year!

    • bradford

      Oct 15, 2014 at 7:27 am

      And on the flip side, if a player is living 90% in the US and playing almost solely US PGA events–should he (they in this case) REALLY be playing on the EU team?

  6. Lee Westwood

    Oct 14, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    hahahaha … ha ha! lol

  7. Swang'nThemClubs

    Oct 14, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    If only there were a time machine to bring back some of sports’ greatest coaches (ie, Vince Lombardi, Eddie Robinson, John Wooden, etc) to offer a swift kick and a brash dose of reality to those who think a “Task Force” is the answer to figuring out why we keep getting our @zzes handed to us… SMDH 😐

    • Team

      Oct 15, 2014 at 3:43 am

      That’s not going to do any good either, as these modern players just don’t care about a team effort when they don’t get paid to play, when the winnings on the regular tour pays so much money that they can afford to retire after 1 year of playing.

      • Knobbywood

        Oct 15, 2014 at 12:36 pm

        Right cause the euros are all broke and don’t care about money right? The euros PLAYED BETTER! And even if the euros did care more (false) since when did caring about the result actually lead to a good shot? Oh right it works the other way around…

  8. Rwj

    Oct 14, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    The PGA of America is part of the problem, so having them chair is going to negate this whole task force meaningless. If they don’t like the solutions, they will not implement them. Having current players on the list doesn’t mean much considering they don’t get along and play well in the first place. Rickie on the list is a joke, he has only one experience and he doesn’t sound off about things anyway; he’s a go with the flow mid level player who just shows up and gets paid. I don’t have the answers…but neither does the task force…Europe is better, they care about the game, winning, and some fashion. The US guys care about sponsor dollars, matching outfits, and their image

    • Knobbywood

      Oct 14, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      Lol ur entire comment is a joke i hope.Europe cares about winning, the game, and SOME fashion? Haha ur like 12 right? Rickie folder is a mid level player? Man if top 10 in the world is mid level what are you playing to right now? +7?

      • Knobbywood

        Oct 15, 2014 at 12:25 pm

        Fowler* though rickie folder is a pretty good tag for his Ryder cup performance

    • Knobbywood

      Oct 15, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      Also fowler has participated in two Ryder cups o dispenser of knowledge and wisdom

  9. Joseph

    Oct 14, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    I hardly think it’s a bad idea to create a team to discuss ways in which they can improve upon their performance. It’s really easy to say, just play better. I do think the US needs some consistency in their approach. It may take a few Cups to get the system in place and working effectively. It’s worth the investment.

  10. Robeli

    Oct 14, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    What a bunch of losers! No, seriously. Tom Lehman is the ONLY player with a winning record. How the @#$% are they going to come up with a winning formula? Lost case, even before they started,

    • Knobbywood

      Oct 15, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      There is no “winning formula” other than hit good shots and make putts… In other words PLAY BETTER

      • Robeli

        Oct 15, 2014 at 2:39 pm

        And that was Tom Watson’s approach – and look what happened. In 4balls and 4somes it require more than just hit good shots and make putts, it is also who you play together and when that plays a role – and Watson had NO clue about that. To ensure the players hit good shots and make putts, the captain has to manage his players for 4somes and 4balls in such a way it becomes a winning formula!

        • Knobbywood

          Oct 16, 2014 at 9:07 am

          That might be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard… I watched the whole cup and Europe didn’t win because of what Paul M did, they won because they hit better shots and made more putts. Sorry to break it to you but the euros just played better… Bottom line Watson behaved like the egomaniac he is and he is cast as the scapegoat… If they had won he would have been cast as a hero

  11. Rich

    Oct 14, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    This task force thing is hilarious. Smells just a little of desperation. I wonder what will happen if Europe wins again in 2016? The problem for the USA team is that it’s all too political and not just about playing the better golf. Too many ego’s involved. Good luck with your task force.

  12. Joe

    Oct 14, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Why is Rickie on the team

    • Steve

      Oct 14, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      Young guy’s opinion. Smart move…look who did well!

      Have to keep Azinger off the task force if you’re going to choose him as the captain.

      • Robeli

        Oct 14, 2014 at 7:39 pm

        LOL. He should have the chair person!!! Well, at least they opened the door for an excuse. If they fail in 2016, it can be blamed that Azinger wasn’t part of this joke of a “team”.

        • Knobbywood

          Oct 14, 2014 at 8:54 pm

          U mean he should HAVE BEEN or BE? Anyways steve said what I thought as I read the list… Can’t have azinger on the task force and then pick him as captain… Wouldn’t look good

          • Robeli

            Oct 15, 2014 at 2:45 pm

            Aye, aye Captain Spelling Bee! First take the balk out of your own eye before taking the splinter out of somebody else’s. If you can’t spell or type perfectly yourself, better to keep quiet.

          • Knobbywood

            Oct 16, 2014 at 9:19 am

            Spellcheck looks clean to me captain robelli… Here let me grab that splinter from your eye

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Equipment

U.S. Open Tour Truck Report: #7woodSZN, mini drivers, fresh grooves, and tinkering

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A nearly 7,700-yard, par-71 track featuring penal rough off the fairway and green, Torrey Pines’ South Course presents a difficult, demanding examination for players at this week’s U.S. Open. From every television, computer, and mobile device screen this truth is being conveyed to the point that, as is often the case in the leadup to U.S. Opens, a certain fatigue sets in.

However, it’s worth pointing to the obvious in order to highlight the fact that some players are making changes to their setups to accommodate the long approaches into par-4s and the need to maximize descent angle into — what are expected to be — thoroughly baked out greens.

Additionally, we’re hearing a ton of players are putting 7-woods in play primarily for the purpose of advancing the ball from the rough — not exactly “a get out of jail free” card, but hopefully a key to slip out of one’s cell.

Let’s get into the specifics.

Titleist

Jordan Spieth is testing a 21-degree TSi2 fairway wood, which is a game-time decision to add to the lineup in place of his 818 H2 hybrid.

Both Lanto Griffin and Matt Jones are adding TSi2 (21-degree) fairway woods in place of their utility irons.

Adam Scott is going with four woods this week. He’s adding a 13.5-degree TSi2 fairway wood. The Australian is also putting a Vokey 60A wedge in play (switching from a 60-06K). With four degrees of bounce, the wedge works well on tight lies.

Titleist Tour Rep J.J. Van Wezenbeeck: “The rough is really, really difficult this week. And the greens are starting to firm up. So we have a lot of players evaluating TSi fairway wood options. The TSi 21-degree 7-wood has been very popular. Players are really liking what it does out of the rough and then into the greens – really high launch angle and landing very softly has been really effective.”

Max Homa put a new Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5, which is a similar profile to the 11.5 model he played earlier in the year. Homa likes the feel, forgiveness, and ease of alignment in the smaller profile.

Vokey

Not surprisingly, the majority of players asking for fresh grooves this week.

Vokey Tour Rep Aaron Dill on wedges this week: “This golf course is a beast. As you would imagine, rough is long and thick, but it’s a really cool different style of golf course where you’ve got a couple different types of grasses and just the way they put it together, it makes it extremely challenging. Because of this rough, because of the fairways, because of the greens, you would think that you’d want a little bit more bounce because of just how juicy and thick and healthy this rough is. But the reality is the more bounce you get, the slower it moves through that tall grass.”

“And so we see a lot of guys gravitate to something with less bounce: T grinds, A Grinds, L Grinds, Low-bounce K’s. Adam Scott switched to a 60A this week. He dabbled a little bit with it at Augusta National this year, but this is that week where it really fits the conditions. He wants that speed. He wants that comfort. He wants to be aggressive, so it’s great fit for him. Guys like Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth are bringing in fresh 60’s this week. So these guys are prepared. They’re ready to go. But again, very difficult golf course. You’ve got to have fresh grooves and you’ve got to have a little bit less bounced to maneuver through this tall grass.”

(Photo via Titleist)

Callaway

Phil Mickelson was spotted with a TaylorMade 300 Mini Driver (Fujikura Ventus Black shaft) in practice rounds. He’s also reportedly testing a 5-wood with a Fujikura Ventus Red 9 X shaft.

Akshay Bhatia is testing a Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X shaft in an Epic Max LS driver.

Patrick Rodgers is testing a Callaway Epic Speed 7-wood (Graphite Design Tour AD DI 9 TX).

Henrik Stenson has new Jaws MD5 Slate wedges in the bag (52-10S, 58-08C).

(Photo via Callaway’s Johnny Wunder)

TaylorMade

Dustin Johnson looks to be returning to a TaylorMade TP Bandon putter (now outfitted with an LA Golf shaft) after rolling it with his Spider IB Limited at the Palmetto Championship. He’s sticking with the prototype LA Golf shaft in his driver, which makes sense, considering he now owns part of the company.

Sergio Garcia has a new TaylorMade Spider X Chalf in the bag.

Quick rundown of Matthew Wolff’s setup: SIM (9 degrees), P770 3, P750 4-PW, Spider X, TP5 Pix

Collin Morikawa put a MG2 Hi Toe (60-10) in play.

Robert MacIntyre changed up his flatstick and is going with a TP Bandon 3.

Ping

Reportedly “half of the tour staff” are putting 7-woods in play, according to our source at Ping. Bubba Watson and Mackenzie Hughes included.

Watson’s 7-wood specs: Ping G425 Max (23.5 degrees). 40.5-inch Fujikura Black 9 X shaft in custom pink (tipped 2 inches, D2+).

Cole Hammer is testing a Graphite Design Tour AD HD 7 TX shaft in his driver.

Others, free agents

Hideki Matsuyama is testing a Graphite Design Tour AD UB 9 X shaft in a SIM2 Max 3-wood.

Rikuya Hoshino is testing Graphite Design Tour AD UB 9 X in a Srixon ZX5 driver.

Shane Lowry has a new Cleveland RTX Full-Face 58-degree wedge in play.

Zack Sucher is putting a 16-degree Srixon ZX hybrid in play.

The king of stout shafts, Jhonny Vegas is testing a Fujikura Ventus Black 100 X shaft in his 5-wood.

Richard Bland has a spread of TM wedges: MG (46 degrees), MG Hi Toe (54, 60 degrees).

Cameron Champ put TaylorMade wedges in play: (MG Hi Toe 56, 60 degrees).

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Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2021 Palmetto Championship at Congaree

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GolfWRX is live from Congaree Golf Club for the Palmetto Championship. This one-time replacement for the RBC Canadian Open is the third PGA Tour event contested in South Carolina this season.

Palmetto State native Dustin Johnson headlines the field (and has been doing plenty of putter testing). Brooks Koepka and Jason Dufner will be teeing it up as well. John Pak and Davis Thompson will both be making their professional debuts.

General galleries

Tuesday

Wednesday

Special galleries

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Tour News

John Pak, college golf’s top player, signs with TaylorMade

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Editor’s note: We filed this piece for PGATour.com’s Equipment Report.

With a buddy on the bag and fresh off receiving the Jack Nicklaus Award in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday, celebrated amateur and Florida State standout John Pak is making his professional debut at this week’s Palmetto Championship at Congaree — and he’ll do so as a TaylorMade staffer, the company announced today.

College golf’s top player, Pak has played TaylorMade gear and a Titleist ball since his amateur days. And as we found out from Ryan Ressa, TaylorMade’s player development manager, who has worked with Pak since he was in his early teens, it’s not surprising Pak will continue with the same bag setup and ball combination as he joins the professional ranks.

The Scotch Plains, New Jersey, native is an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kind of guy when it comes to his equipment, which is a trait Ressa sees among many of the game’s best. (Another TaylorMade staffer Tiger Woods, for one, comes to mind).

Ressa and TaylorMade have had a relationship with Pak for nearly a decade, and it’s Ressa’s job to not only make sure Pak is in the right equipment for his game but is also navigating the matrix of amateur competitions, college, and the decision to turn pro successfully.

According to Ressa, Pak, and other junior standouts, need new equipment, or at least a fitting, roughly every six months as their bodies and swings change.

Even so, while he’s transitioned into new fairway wood models as they’ve become available, the DNA of Pak’s bag has stayed largely the same.

“Jon is a very simple guy when it comes to equipment, and he doesn’t do a lot of tinkering outside of driver shafts,” Ressa said. “Deep down, he’s a great competitor. He just loves to compete and is focused on getting the ball in the hole. He’s stayed really, really consistent with the look of his irons, the loft of his wedges, and his bag setup. He’s been easy to work with and only needs one or two visits per year to get squared away.”

Read the full piece here.

Check out the full WITB here. 

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