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GolfWRX Morning 9: 2019 Rules | Getting to know Mark Broadie | Fujikawa’s full statement

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By Ben Alberstadt ([email protected])

September 13, 2018

Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. 2019 Rules of Golf ready for the reading
Our Gianni Magliocco with the report…”The modernized Rules of Golf features over 30 changes in all, and it is said to be the most significant change to the rules in more than 60 years.”
“The changes to the rules will see the reduction of several penalties, looser putting green and bunker rules, and regulations that encourage improved pace of play.”
“Among the significant changes that will come into effect in the new year
  • Penalty drops will now be made from knee height, rather than shoulder height
  • No penalty for an accidental double hit
  • No penalty for accidentally moving your ball or ball-marker on the putting green
  • No penalty for accidentally moving your ball during search.
  • Your ball is lost if not found in three minutes (rather than the current 5 minutes)
2. Getting to know the strokes gained guru
Brilliant stuff from Josh Sens at Golf.com profiling Mark Broadie.
“That reputation stems from Broadie’s pioneering data-driven research, which began nearly two decades back, inspired by what you might call his golf obsession, and which continues to this day. Drawn from his analysis of millions of golf shots, struck by pros and amateurs alike, that research has yielded insights with farther-reaching implications than Broadie himself ever foresaw.”
  • “First adopted by the PGA Tour in 2011, “strokes gained,” Broadie’s breakthrough analytics tool, has become a fixture in golf’s Moneyball age. Though he was not alone in seeing the shortcomings of old-saw categories such as greens-in-regulation and putts-per-round (which, beyond being unhelpful, can be outright misleading), he was the first to do something about it. With strokes gained, Broadie was able to set the data straight by placing it in proper context. It allowed him to measure a player’s performance against the rest of the field while providing an isolated view of specific aspects of their game.”
  • “What started out in 2011 as merely a strokes-gained putting stat has, in the past seven years, spawned many other categories in the Tour’s ShotLink database, including revelatory strokes gained measures on tee shots, approach shots and shots around the green. Their combined influence on golf have been likened to the sway of sabermetrics over baseball, changing how Tour pros play and practice, how coaches coach, how caddies caddie.”
3. Tadd Fujikawa comes out
The former teen phenom posted the following to Instagram yesterday. He is believed to be the first openly gay male professional golfer
“I don’t expect everyone to understand or accept me. But please be gracious enough to not push your beliefs on me or anyone in the LGBTQ community. My hope is this post will inspire each and every one of you to be more empathetic and loving towards one another.”
  • “I’ve been back and forth for a while about opening up about my sexuality. I thought that I didn’t need to come out because it doesn’t matter if anyone knows. But I remember how much other’s stories have helped me in my darkest times to have hope. I spent way too long pretending, hiding, and hating who I was. I was always afraid of what others would think/say. I’ve struggled with my mental health for many years because of that and it put me in a really bad place. Now I’m standing up for myself and the rest of the LGBTQ community in hopes of being an inspiration and making a difference in someone’s life.”
  • “Although it’s a lot more accepted in our society today, we still see children, teens, and adults being ridiculed and discriminated against for being the way we are. Some have even taken their lives because of it. As long as those things are still happening, I will continue to do my best to bring more awareness to this issue and to fight for equality. Whether the LGBTQ is what you support or not, we must liberate and encourage each other to be our best selves, whatever that may be. It’s the only way we can make this world a better place for future generations.”
4. Longer, more sophisticated fairway woods
Golfweek’s David Dusek explores the phenomenon of longer-flying, technology laden fairway woods.
  • “For the longest time, I think fairway woods were sort of a dead category, just chugging along, but there was nothing that inspired consumers to go out and replace what they had,” said Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade’s vice president of product creation. “It was clear to us that from a ball-speed standpoint, there was a lot of runway.”
  • “I give TaylorMade credit because (RocketBallz) really started the arms race in fairway woods,” said Dave Neville, Callaway’s senior director of brand management.
  • “According to Neville, Chip Brewer had just started as Callaway’s president in early 2012 when he was shown the fairway woods company officials planned to release. Unimpressed, Brewer canceled their production and pressed Callaway’s R&D team to further develop a prototype technology that could deliver significantly more distance, even though it meant releasing the clubs later. The result was the first Callaway fairway wood with a cup face, the X Hot, and it quickly became a hit.”

Full article.

5. The Ryder Cup effect? Non!
They’re skeptical in France!
  • AP Report…”The head of France’s only golf major says hosting the Ryder Cup won’t help his country produce a star player.”
  • “Asked at an eve-of-tournament news conference Wednesday about a stellar month for French golf, the women’s Evian Championship chairman Franck Riboud dismissed what the Ryder Cup could achieve when it’s played Sept. 28-30 near Paris.”
  • “We need a (French) champion, that’s all,” Riboud said. “I think we need a project for the young French player to show we are a champion in the next five years. … We don’t have a golf culture, we have to build it.”
  • “Perhaps you are surprised,” Riboud said. “Because personally I think the Ryder Cup is not building or helping to reach the objective” of developing talent.”
The top Frenchman in the OWGR? Mike Lorenzo-Vera at No. 97.
6. A scarcity of women’s college golf scholarships?
Interesting take from Beth Ann Nichols at Golfweek on the poverty of women’s golf scholarships.
  • “I am so glad you are doing a story on this because I am so tired of hearing this,” wrote Boise State head coach Nicole Bird. “Parents in women’s golf expect a full ride, no matter how good (or bad) their daughter is because they think there is an overwhelming number of scholarships available.
  • “Parents and juniors often start the recruiting process not realizing that many golf programs aren’t fully funded, particularly at the Division II level, even among top-tier programs.”
  • “Division I women’s golf teams are allotted six full scholarships, while Division II is allowed 5.4.”
  • “Division III does not have athletic scholarships.”
  • “There’s a big chunk of your better academic schools who may only have one scholarship among the whole team,” Jackson said. “Eight girls on the team … the majority of those girls are paying to be there.”
7. AN Women’s Am coming to NBC
Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner…”The inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur will be broadcast next April on NBC Sports, it was announced Wednesday.”
  • “NBC will provide live broadcast and digital tournament coverage of the final round on Saturday, April 6 (noon-3 p.m. ET), while Golf Channel will cover the championship on its news and digital platforms.”
  • “Held the week before the 2019 Masters, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur will include an international field of 72 players competing in a 54-hole event. The first two rounds will be contested on Champions Retreat Golf Club’s Island and Bluff courses (April 3 and 4), after which the field will be trimmed to the low 30 players.”
  • “The field will then play an official practice round at Augusta National on April 5, before the final round on Saturday, April 6.”
8. The rise of Rose
An unbylined AP column looks at Justin Rose’s long road to the top.
  • “He was a 17-year-old amateur at Royal Birkdale in 1998 who holed out for par on the final hole to tie for fourth, soaking up a celebration that suggested golf could only get sweeter.”
  • “And then it went sour over the next year when he turned pro and missed 21 consecutive cuts on the European Tour.”
  • “It took him nearly four years before he won for the first time in Europe. He went 12 years before winning on the PGA Tour, rallying from four shots behind to win the Memorial and get that handshake with Jack Nicklaus. He won the U.S. Open in 2013 by denying Phil Mickelson. He added precious gold to the collection of silver trophies when he won in golf’s return to the Olympics in 2016.”
9. Mickelson the sniper
Phil Mickelson tweeted a video of himself firing a sniper rifle, saying, “How is today’s long range sniper shooting preparing me for the Ryder Cup? Meditation, controlling my thoughts, breathing, heart rate and connecting with the target are critical for both!”
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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Dave r

    Sep 13, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Neat some idiot shooting a rifle . Nice golf related article don’t you think?

    • Dugger65

      Sep 17, 2018 at 2:03 pm

      Better than some rifle shooting an idiot.

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Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2024 Arnold Palmer Invitational

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GolfWRX is on the ground in Orlando ahead of the 2024 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club & Lodge.

We’re assembling our usual collection of WITB photos, general galleries, and of course, gear inspired by the King himself.

We’ll continue to add to the photos below as more flow in from Florida.

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See what GolfWRXers are saying in the forums.

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Morning 9: Rory responds to Gooch | The Match draws record low viewership | AK on joining LIV

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco.

For comments: [email protected]

Good Thursday morning, golf fans, as day one of the Cognizant Classic gets underway.

1. McIlroy on Gooch’s “asterisk” remark

Golf Channel report…”The latest chapters of the saga came Wednesday, when McIlroy said he wanted to give LIV player Talor Gooch “the benefit of the doubt” over comments he made saying if the world’s No. 2-ranked player wins the Masters to complete the career Grand Slam the accomplishment should come with an asterisk because some players who have signed with Saudi-funded LIV cannot play at Augusta National since they have fallen out of the top 50 in the world rankings.”

  • “The Masters is an invitational and they’ll invite whoever they think warrants an invite,” said McIlroy, who’ll play in the Cognizant Classic that starts Thursday at PGA National — the site of what used to be called the Honda Classic. “I think to be fair to Talor, if you read the entire … the question and then the answer, it’s not as if he just came out with that. I feel like whoever did the interview led him down that path to say that, so I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt there a little bit. He just agreed with what the interviewer asked.”
Full piece.

2. Villegas named PGA Tour Advisory Board chair

Field Level Media report…”Camilo Villegas was named the new chairman of the PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council on Wednesday.”

  • The 42-year-old from Colombia will serve in that role for the remainder of 2024. The council advises and consults with the PGA Tour policy board and commissioner Jay Monahan on issues affecting the tour.
Full piece.

3. AK on joining LIV

Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner…“What has been rumored for weeks finally became official Wednesday with the announcement from the Saudi-backed league that Kim, 38, who hasn’t played competitively since 2012, will join LIV as a wildcard player for the remainder of the 2024 season…”

  • “After stepping away from the game years ago due to injury, I’m happy to officially announce my return to the world of professional golf,” Kim said in a LIV press release. “It’s been a long time coming, and I’m very grateful for all the highs, lows and lessons learned from the first part of my career.
  • “I want to compete with the best players in the world, and I’m on a mission to prove to myself that I can win again. The next step on that journey starts now, and I’m excited to give everything I’ve got this season on the LIV Golf League.”
Full piece.

4. A peek into the Tour’s private-equity plan

Matthew Rudy for Golf Digest…”The new entity—PGA Tour Enterprises—built an equity distribution plan that looks similar to something tech companies use to protect themselves from losing their most valuable contributors to deep-pocketed competitors. “The whole idea behind restricted stock units [RSUs] is to motivate employees to stay and create more value for the business,” says Matt Erley, who before founding golf start-up fund Old Tom Ventures was the head of growth at beverage-delivery startup Drizly when it was acquired by Uber. “You’re acting like an owner.”

  • “In broad terms, RSUs work in two phases: how they’re allocated and triggered, and how and when they vest. At a tech start-up backed by a venture capital firm, the leadership team will usually assign a certain amount of equity to be distributed each year to contributors for a variety of reasons—from simply being a member of the team to achieving a performance milestone. The rules about how and when contributors get access to the equity they’ve been awarded are set with strategic goals in mind.”
  • “Confirmed details about the PGA Tour’s new equity plan are still murky, but we know there will be four broad categories of players earning equity stakes in this initial round: A handful of superstars like Tiger Woods will share $750 million. A second group of 64 players will share $75 million based on their past three years of performance. The third group—mostly the remaining fully-exempt current players—will share $30 million, and a group of 36 designated “founding” players will share $75 million for their historical contributions. Another $600 million will be distributed in the future through recurring grants based on factors like on-course performance and Player Impact Program finish.”
Full piece.

5. Worse for the Tour rank and file?

Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…It’s an immediate ripple effect of sweeping changes made by the PGA Tour for this season, most notably the transformation of several events into limited-field, highly lucrative signature stops that was expected to shrink the total number of playing opportunities by about 10%. A select group of guys, however, are the ones taking the brunt of this initial wave.

  • “Those top-50 guys, they’re playing fields that we can’t get into, and then fields that we can get into, they’re playing those, too,” a Korn Ferry Tour graduate, who wished to remain anonymous, argued. “And it’s not their fault; I would do it if I were them. But it does make it kind of tough. I don’t know what to do. Do you play Korn Ferry? Do you try and go get a DP World start? Do you try and keep writing for these f—ing sponsor invites? I’m tired of writing for sponsor invites.
  • “… They’re going to tell you to play better, and I hear ya, I do. But you can’t play better if you’re not in the field.”
  • Scott Gutschewski is 47 years old and has 140 career PGA Tour starts under his belt. He’s familiar with this reorder territory, having played out of similar categories for much of his career, though he notes this year has been uniquely challenging – “The Tour gives you the access summaries from previous years, and you can just throw that thing away. It’s completely meaningless.” When he finished No. 28 in Korn Ferry Tour points last year, Gutschewski planned a family vacation to Hawaii that would culminate with his season debut at the Sony Open.
Full piece.

6. Record low audience for The Match

7. Schmelzel leads in Singapore

AP report…” Sarah Schmelzel birdied two of of her final three holes Thursday for a 4-under 68 to take a 1-stroke lead over three players, including fellow American Lilia Vu, at the LPGA tournament in Singapore.”

  • “Also tied for second with Vu at the HSBC Women’s World Championship at Sentosa Golf Club were Linn Grant and Esther Henseleit.”
Full Piece.

8. 2024 Cognizant Classic photos

  • Check out all of our galleries from this week’s event!
Full Piece.
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Morning 9: Gooch: Masters deserves asterisk | LIV’s new streaming deal | Mosquito mayhem

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco.

For comments: [email protected]

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans, as the PGA Tour moves over to the Florida swing, while Anthony Kim looks set to make his stunning return in Jeddah.

1. Gooch: Majors sans LIV golfers deserve asterisk

Brad Clifton and Rohan Clarke for Australian Golf Digest…In an ominous portent to Augusta National, Gooch said: “If Rory McIlroy goes and completes his [Career] Grand Slam without some of the best players in the world, there’s just going to be an asterisk. It’s just the reality. I think everybody wins whenever the majors figure out a way to get the best players in the world there.”

Full piece.

2. “The Match is good again”

Brody Miller’s take for the Athleltic…”Monday night’s version offered a potential vision for this to stay around. Here’s how.”

  • “For starters, the mixed-gender format works. It is a chance to watch golf with a perspective we’re not used to. Women’s golf is booming. The women’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach was a huge moment for the game, seeing these elite women play a historic course we’ve known for decades. And getting to watch these four play a skins game against one another provides context, and context makes golf better.”
  • “Second, the people. The Match needs to be about highlighting certain personalities. Otherwise, it’s just watching mostly forgettable golf with awkward pauses in between as they get from hole to hole. Homa was put on Earth to be in settings like this. His witty digs and dry narrations made this all flow. He made me legitimately laugh out loud multiple times. He constantly needled McIlroy and playfully pretended to flex on Zhang when he tied her on a hole. On one shot out of a bunker, he jumped in the air and confusedly yelled, “I don’t know, fore? Fore?” Multiple times he begged and pleaded for his competitors to give him short putts so he didn’t have to embarrass himself.”
Full piece.

3. $10 million question

James Corrigan for The Telegraph…”He might well be re-emerging as a freak show this week, who could be taking a $10 million insurance gamble to rejoin the circus, but be sure his return would have been big news whether there was a Saudi-funded breakaway league or not.”

  • “Indeed, the myth of Anthony Kim has continued to build with so much fascination over the last decade that any tournament promoter worthy of their publicity department would crave his presence.”
  • “When he burst through those country club gates, Kim – or “AK” as he soon became known – was America’s ‘can’t miss kid’, the country’s first since Tiger Woods. At the time, there was no Dustin Johnson, or Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler or Justin Thomas, or, of course, the next generation led by Collin Morikawa.”
  • “When Kim played in the Texas Open in 2006, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh and Adam Scott had largely been seen off by the monstrous domination of Woods. Although there was a young Ulsterman by the name of Rory McIlroy threatening to storm the hegemony, here was a 20-year-old with the skill and swagger to at least promise a vibrant future.”
Full piece.

4. Nicklaus, pros keen on PGA National decision

Tom D’Angelo for the Palm Beach Post…”Steve Rintoul, the Tour’s vice president for rules and officiating and the chief referee for the Cognizant Classic in the Palm Beaches, believes that stretch from the fourth hole to No. 17 without a par 5 was as grinding as any on Tour. So he contacted the man who re-designed the course in 2000 and asked what he thought of converting the 10th hole from a par 4 to a par 5.”

  • “And Jack Nicklaus agreed with the move.”
  • “His reply was, ‘I always thought it was a better par 5 than a par 4,’ ” Rintoul said. “Now we got his blessing.”
  • “Then, after talking with several Tour pros who have either won Cognizant or played the event regularly, the move became official.”
  • “Nobody said, ‘Well, that’s a bad idea,’ ” Rintoul said. “It was an easy sell.”
  • “Now, for the first time since the event moved to PGA National in 2007, it will have three par 5s and become a par 71. The 10th will be lengthened by about 25 yards, playing at 530 yards, and the fairway line will be shifted a bit to the left by about eight yards at the dogleg.”
Full piece.

5. Mosquito mayhem

Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…“There could be a record amount of mosquito repellant used on the Korn Ferry Tour this week in Argentina.”

  • “The city of Buenos Aires and its surrounding areas have been dealing with multiple mosquito invasions since the start of the new year, according to the Buenos Aires Times. The most recent swarm hit less than a week ago following another bout of flooding, and multiple videos online show hordes of the flying insects invading city streets, structures, subway stations and more. One video showed what looked like a dark cloud of mosquitoes flying over a road.”
  • “Olivos Golf Club, where the 117 Visa Argentina Open will begin on Thursday, is located about 25 miles north of the capital’s center. Some players who have arrived in Buenos Aires have already reported run-ins with the mosquitoes. Another, Thomas Walsh, posted a video of himself hitting a shot on the range while wearing protective netting over his head and upper body.”
Full piece.

6. Pettersen adds Reid as vice captain

Sky Sports report…”European Solheim Cup skipper Suzann Pettersen has added Mel Reid as a fourth vice-captain for this year’s contest against Team USA in Virginia.”

  • “Englishwoman Reid – a vice-captain to Catriona Matthew in 2019 – will join Dame Laura Davies, Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Martens as deputies when Europe look to retain the trophy in Gainesville between September 13-15, live on Sky Sports.”
Full Piece.

7. LIV’s new streaming deal

Golf Monthly’s Jonny Leighfield…”The LIV Golf League has announced a new broadcast deal with streaming platform, Caffeine to show its live Friday action.”

  • “As well as opening-day coverage being available on the LIV YouTube channel, LIV Golf Plus, and the CW app, fans of the 54-hole competition will now have another option to watch Jon Rahm and co. battle it out.”
Full Piece.

8. ICYMI…Overton set for Cognizant start

Tom D’Angelo for Palm Beach Post…”It’s been a long road back for former U.S. Ryder Cup member Jeff Overton, but the Palm Beach Gardens resident will have a short drive this week to continue that journey.”

  • “Overton was one of three players to earn a spot in this week’s Cognizant Classic in the Palm Beaches when the 40-year-old Monday qualified with a 6-under 66 at the Tesoro Club.”
  • “It feels great, but it will feel even greater if I can continue this thing,” said Overton, who was sidelined from the game for five years with a serious infection after back surgery in 2017.
Full Piece.

9. 2024 Cognizant Classic photos

  • Check out all of our galleries from this week’s event!
Full Piece.
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