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GolfWRX Morning 9: Tour offers more support for sports betting | Best LPGA moments | Jaime Diaz on the year’s best

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By Ben Alberstadt ([email protected])

Good Thursday morning, golf fans. Mac Daddy Santa will be here in five short days.

1. Tour again pledges to go all in on sports betting
The Tour hasn’t hesitated to offer support every step along the way.
Golf Channel Staff...”As the process of legalizing sports betting at the federal level took another step forward, the PGA Tour offered their support of work being introduced in the U.S. Congress.”
  • “Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) formally introduced legislation Wednesday that could pave the way for a federal framework to oversee sports betting, the legality of which has grown this year on a state-by-state basis following a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court. The Tour has offered statements in support of legalized sports betting at previous junctures in the process, and that trend continued this week.”
  • “The PGA Tour supports the efforts of Senators Schumer and Hatch to introduce sports betting legislation,” read a Tour statement. “We continue to believe that nationwide standards are the best method of protecting the integrity of our competitors and our fans. In particular, we would welcome the establishment of a national body to oversee the integrity of sports in the United States.”
  • “Sports betting is currently legal in eight states across the nation, while residents of Washington, D.C., voted Tuesday to allow legalized betting in the nation’s capital pending Congressional approval.”
2. No dot for 2019! (But still a memorable year)
An interesting headline, lead choice from Jaime Diaz in his must-read recap of 2018
He writes…”Picture a horizontal timeline of golf’s historical highlights, with only select years like 1930, 1945 and 2000 set off by dots along the continuum.”
  • “2018 wouldn’t get a dot. Its important moments weren’t sufficiently transformative, and its major champions weren’t quite special enough in terms of personage or performance.”
  • “That might sound disrespectful of brilliant achievers.  Especially Brooks Koepka, who captured two of the year’s majors, in the process winning back-to back U.S. Opens and becoming the No. 1 player in the world. And Francesco Molinari, who exhibited ball control in winning The Open Championship at Carnoustie that channeled Ben Hogan of 1953, and then went 5-0 in the Ryder Cup.”
  • “It’s just that a timeline’s purpose is pith, making the standard for when a year gets a dot of demarcation very high. The most important player of 2018 – Tiger Woods – is arguably the most prolific dot maker ever, but he didn’t win a major or break an important record. He had an incredible comeback season in which his victory at the Tour Championship put him within two of Sam Snead in all-time PGA Tour victories. And his serious contention deep into two majors has him on the verge of winning his first one in more than a decade. He’s proved he still has enough game when he’s rolling to beat today’s best young players, and more importantly, his return from the depths proves his legendary will hasn’t lost power. His next major will earn a dot. So will the win that passes Snead. But all that did not a dot make in 2018.”
Diaz goes on to reflect on the majority of the major happenings of 2018 in an excellent roundup.
3. Amelia Island to be restored…by court order
Geoff Shackelford with a wild report for Golfweek…”As many golf course real estate developments have seen courses closed and property values implode, it’s nice to see a circuit court judge recognizing the rogue work by the Omni resort to close a historic early Pete Dye design.”
  • “They have until October 31, 2019 to reopen the course in what will be a much costlier than had it been kept open. Garry Smits does a super job recounting the entire escapade for the Florida Times-Union.”
  • “Omni Amelia closed Ocean Links one day after it was still booking local tee times. The club moved in bulldozers under police protection and began tearing down the greens on the three oceanside holes with the intention of converting the property into “green space,” for parks, bicycle trails and nature trails.”
  • “The resort did not notify property owners that it had begun the demolition until that day, in an email time-dated 5 p.m. By that time, the heavy construction equipment had already been at work a full day. The Equity Club filed for an emergency injunction halting the demolition, which was granted two days later.”
4. Rules agony of 2018
Ryan Herrington rounds up some of the major rules incidents of 2018.
A couple…
  • “Rhein Gibson, Bahamas Great Abacao Classic…During the second event of the Web.com Tour season in January, Gibson got a one-stroke penalty when his caddie, Brandon Davis, picked up his ball from a hazard on the final hole of the tournament rather than Gibson. The extra stroke dropped a none-to-happy Gibson from T-2 to solo third and caused him to throw his putter cover at Davis in disgust. Davis wasn’t Gibson’s full-time caddie, but the 32-year-old Australian made sure he wasn’t his part-time one any more either, firing Davis for the blunder. That night, Davis took to social media to offer an explanation for his actions, taping an eight-minute video in which he cited Decision 26-1/9 to try to exonerate him.”
  • “Phil Mickelson, U.S. Open…Did the chaos that was Saturday at Shinnecock cause Lefty to temporarily lose his mind, or did his shocking decision to hit a moving golf ball on the 13th green cause the rest of the third round to be played on tilt? Either way, what Mickelson did was pretty nutty.”
  • “USGA officials seemed to have a handful of ways they could have adjudicated the matter, and for some, their choice was as disappointing as that day’s course set-up. Because Mickelson took a swing when he hit the ball, officials said he violated Rule 14-5 (playing a moving ball) rather than Rule 1-2 (purposely deflecting a ball). The former came with a two-stroke penalty-giving Mickelson a 10 on the hole-while the latter had the potential for a disqualification penalty that some clamored for. What about Rule 33-7, which gives the committee the ability to DQ a player for a serious breach of etiquette? It was what former USGA executive director David Fay recommended during the Fox broadcast. Officials, however, choice not to go to this extreme. Mickelson played the next day, finishing T-48, and his eventual apology for his momentary lapse of reason helped minimize permanent damage to his legacy.”
5. Best of 2018 on the LPGA Tour
A solid curation from the Golf Channel staff. A few of the moments…
  • “Jessica Korda won on the LPGA for the first time since jaw surgery in December 2017 by setting a tournament record (25 under par) at the LPGA Thailand.”
  • “Michelle Wie holed a 36-foot putt from off the green on the final hole to win the Women’s World Championship by one stroke and capture her first LPGA tournament since the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open.”
  • “Ariya Jutanugarn lost a seven-shot lead on the back nine before prevailing on the fourth hole of a playoff to win the U.S. Women’s Open for her second major championship.”
6. The Dame speaks
Michael Williams talked with Hall-of-Famer Laura Davies about her incredible year, her friend Mel Davis, Tiger Woods, the state of the LPGA Tour and more.
  • On the state of the LPGA, LET Tours…”Well I think the LPGA is in a really healthy position. We’re playing all over the world. We’re playing in, you know, obviously Asia because the great influence of Asian players on the LPGA. The American tour is getting stronger and stronger. The American side of the tour is getting stronger. We play in Europe. And so I think the commissioner and all his team are doing a sensational job.”
  • Obviously the women players would like the prize money to be a bit more, but we do have some events with huge prize money…the US Open. I think that would be the only thing, is like getting the prize money up more. But by no means are any of the players complaining…You know, you got a lot of tournaments to play in and you’ve got great players from all over the world playing on the LPGA. And I think things are going really well.”
  • “Now on this side of the Atlantic, we need some help. The LET, which is the Ladies European Tour, we’ve lost some tournaments because of the problems in Europe and the lack of money for sponsors of women’s sports. So we’re hoping over the next three or four years that it’ll pick up this side of the Atlantic because we deserve to have, the young girls of Europe deserve to have a good tour to play on, and at the moment it is not happening.”
7. PGA Tour Live on Prime
Golfweek report…”Amazon revealed Wednesday that Amazon Prime customers will be able to subscribe to PGA Tour Live via its Prime Video Channels platform.”
  • “The service will be available to Prime members for $9.99 per month or $64.99 per season. This news arrives after NBC Sports Gold was announced as the U.S. home for PGA Tour Live in 2019.”
  • “Now, the service will be available on both of these platforms at the above prices.”
8. RIP, Colm Smith
Brian Keogh assembled a superb piece for EuropeanTour.com remembering long-time golf writer Colm Smith.
  • “Colm was one of the great characters,” recalled Des Smyth of those more innocent days when Smith, a former interprovincial tennis player, was a regular on the golf circuit.
  • “We spent a lot of time together over the years and he was a hell of a character and a great tennis player too.
  • “When I played my first Ryder Cup in the Greenbrier in 1979, we were free on the Monday and I fancied myself as a bit of a tennis player.
  • “Of course, I thought it would be no problem to take Colm out. But no, he beat the bejaysus out of me. He had me running around the court. He was great fun and I enjoyed his company for years.”
  • “Eamonn Darcy, Paul McGinley and Pádraig Harrington all look back fondly on those days when ‘Smithy’ roamed the fairways from Rosses Point to Muirfield Village – a fellow sportsman and kindred spirit.”
9. Serious legal beef for Darren Clarke co-owned steakhouse
AP Report…”A lawsuit charges that a South Carolina steakhouse co-owned by professional golfer Darren Clarke hasn’t paid more than $2 million toward its mortgage.”
  • “The Island Packet reported Wednesday that the lawsuit was filed by Synovus Bank in September against co-owner Michael Doyle and others. The lawsuit alleges the restaurant owed $2.5 million in unpaid mortgage payments as of August and asks for nearly $50,000 in interest and fees.”
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Pat Perez and his lavish obsession with Air Jordans

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If you follow Pat Perez at all on his social media, his love for the Air Jordan brand will become apparent pretty quickly.

This love affair, which has evolved into the Phoenix native having a dedicated Jordan shoe room full of over 1,000 pairs, had humble beginnings: the first Jordans Pat got his hands on were a beat-up pair out of a trash can in high school.

“To go from pulling a pair of cement gray Jordan IVs out the trash when in junior high—unable to afford such a luxury—to MJ telling me last summer in Monte Carlo that he would make that for me in a golf shoe…never in my wildest dreams.”

Double P is now living his wildest dreams as he has become an unofficial bridge (but official brand ambassador) for Air Jordans in the golf world: He gets early access to unreleased Jordan golf shoes, most recently the Air Jordan 4 Bred in a golf version back in July of 2021.

Based on the comments on his IG post, these will likely sell out and trade at a premium on the multi-billion dollar sneaker reselling market.

Pay more attention to Pat’s feet on tour, and you’ll see he wears Jordans more often than not.

Here are some pictures we snapped on the PGA Tour this year. Perez is wearing Air Jordan 5’s in black metallic and wolf grey.

Pat’s collection off the golf course will inspire insane levels of envy in any serious sneaker collector. Living in his vast collection are several pairs of rare shoes worth five to six figures apiece.

He recently flexed a Friends & Family only release of the Board of Governors Jordan 1’s.

At only 88 pairs with none currently on the market at the moment, these are estimated to have a resale value of $20,000-$40,000 based on a Friends & Family release of the same model in a similar colorway.

StockX listing of the Jordan 1 Retro Fragment Friends and Family at $34,000+.

Pat’s favorite shoe is the Jordan IV, specifically the Wahlburg IV, which recently sold at Sotheby’s for nearly $33,000.

The 45-year-old is all about sharing his passion: he recently gave away part of his collection to his Instagram audience.

We don’t blame you if you’re starting to consider an upgrade of standard spikes to Jordan golf shoes after hearing about the level at which Double P loves and flaunts the iconic brand.

Additionally, you can even make money owning and trading Jordan golf shoes. For example, the Jordan 11 “Concord” golf shoe retailed at $220 in 2019 and now trades consistently between $350-$700 per pair on StockX.

And we wouldn’t be surprised if Pat Perez comes out with a shoe that will appreciate in value in a similar fashion.

You can learn more about this market at Six Figure Sneakerhead, a top educational resource for sneaker resellers worldwide.

Featured image: Double P holding a pair of 1999 Air Jordan 4 White Cement in front of his massive Air Jordan collection

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Morning 9: Hero field set | Remembering TW’s ZOZO win | Bubba’s book

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By Ben Alberstadt
For comments—or if you’re looking for a fourth—email me at [email protected].
October 19, 2021
Good Tuesday morning, golf fans.
1. Hero field set (no, it doesn’t include Tiger, but we had this picture on file and it is his event, so…)
PGATour staff report…”The field for the 2021 Hero World Challenge has been announced, as the limited-field PGA TOUR event hosted by Tiger Woods is set to return to Albany, Bahamas, Nov. 29 – Dec. 5.”
  • “This year’s event will include two additional players after the field was permanently expanded from 18 to 20. Fifteen of the players set to compete rank inside the top 20 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Collin Morikawa, winner of the 2020 PGA Championship and 2021 Open Championship, will make his tournament debut and be joined by 2020 U.S. Open winner Bryson DeChambeau, 2021 Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama and defending Hero World Challenge winner Henrik Stenson. Starting this year, the winner of THE PLAYERS Championship also received an invitation to the Hero World Challenge, with Justin Thomas set to compete again at Albany. Xander Schauffele returns to Albany following his gold medal performance at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.”
2. Remembering Tiger’s Zozo win
PGATour.com’s Ben Everill…“After his opening three bogeys, Woods rebounded with four birdies to close his first nine holes. Then he took things up a notch with five more in his last seven holes for a 6-under 64. Nine birdies were his most in a round since 2013 and he had three more birdies than any other player. He birdied four of the five par-3s and sat tied for the lead with Gary Woodland.”
  • “Playing partner Tommy Fleetwood: “It was a cool atmosphere. I loved being there. … His start, … it was interesting. You never know what a round of golf is going to unfold and he hit it in the water off the first, hooked a tee shot off the next, and then he bogeyed the next and he was 3 over.”
  • “But from that point on… it probably is the best round of golf I’ve ever watched. Like just the way he conducted it. The way he played, the control he had of his golf ball. I shook his hand and I was like, ‘Tiger that was really good today’. And he just looks at me and he went, ‘How about that, huh?’ with that big grin of his. And at that point I was like, man, even he knows it was so good. So yeah, it was very, very impressive.”
3. Schauffele’s pursuits
PGATour.com’s Ben Everill…”The four-time PGA TOUR winner might be small in stature but he’s massive in heart. And he’s a straight shooter. Despite having a career resume some players spend a lifetime failing to achieve, this 28-year-old evaluates his 2021 as barely acceptable.”
  • “For the second consecutive season he went winless on the TOUR but did pick up the gold medal and was impressive in the Ryder Cup going 3-0 in the team section before losing to Rory McIlroy in Singles.”
  • “I feel not that I failed on the PGA TOUR season, but I didn’t really accomplish what I wanted to. And I did get worse in certain categories throughout the year,” Schauffele says. “But I was able to step up to the plate in tournaments that don’t count for the PGA TOUR… it’s an interesting feeling.”
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4 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals has been finalized
Golf Channel staff…”Eighty junior boys and girls, ages 7-15 from 30 different U.S. states, will compete at Augusta National Golf Club on April 3, the Sunday before the Masters Tournament.”
  • “That number includes six returners from this past April’s national finals: Lisa Copeland (2017 national finalist), of Naperville, Ill.; Brayden Dock (2021 national finalist), of Queensbury, N.Y.; Michael Jorski (2018 national finalist), of Clarendon Hills, Ill.; Athena Singh (2021 national finalist), of Morehead, Ky.; Asterisk Talley (2018 national finalist), of Chowchilla, Calif.; Champa Visetsin (2021 national finalist), of Sudbury, Mass.”
5. First mom to graduate from the Symetra Tour overcomes four-stroke penalty for having daughter’s U.S. Kids club in the bag
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…Earlier this year during the final round of the Copper Rock Championship, Rohanna reached into her bag to pull out a club and discovered that daughter Gemelia’s 23-inch club had slipped to the bottom. She called over a rules official and received a four-stroke penalty for having a U.S. Kids 7-iron as her 15th club.
  • …”Rohanna, 30, couldn’t help but look at the money list to see how much the oversight had cost her. Could that $900 be what keep her from earning back her LPGA card?”
  • “Rohanna, who won the 2017 Symetra Tour Championship when she was six weeks pregnant, is believed to be the first mom to earn LPGA status through the developmental tour. With no daycare available on the Symetra Tour, Rohanna spent about half the season on the road with 3-year-old Gemelia – with help from family – and half the time traveling on her own. She and husband Ethan Virgili own ERV Cattle Co. in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, and lead jam-packed lives.”
6. Bubba’s book
Our Gianni Magliocco…”Bubba Watson took to Instagram over the weekend to unveil his new book ‘Up & Down’, which is billed as “The inspiring Story of an Imperfect Man.”
  • “Per the description on the book’s site, Watson “began to let the constant criticism from fans and commentators haunt his thoughts.”
7. Same hole, consecutive rounds: Hole-in-one
Craig Dolch for the Palm Beach Post…”He was thrilled when he aced the par-3 16th on the Heritage Course at The Club at Ibis on Oct. 2 with an 8-iron from 160 yards even though he wasn’t certain until he found the ball in the hole.”
  • “It was kind of hazy that day,” the 63-year-old Brunelle said. “We saw it bounce toward the hole and disappear, but we weren’t absolutely sure it was in the hole or hidden behind the pin. When we got to the green, we didn’t see and, sure enough, it was in the hole.”
  • “Four days later, Brunelle, who lives in West Palm Beach, returned to the 16th hole at the Heritage, knowing the golf gods are good at extracting their revenge.”
  • “I just didn’t want to embarrass myself,” he said. “I was hoping just to make a par.”
  • “Instead, using a pitching wedge from 128 yards, it was déjà vu all over again as the ball disappeared into the hole. And this time, they could celebrate on the tee.”
8. WITB Time Machine: Tiger Woods 2019 Zozo Championship
Driver: TaylorMade M5 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 60 TX
3-wood: TaylorMade M5 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 70 TX
5-wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 80 TX
Irons: TaylorMade P7TW (3-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: TaylorMade MG 2 “Tiger MT Grind” (56-12, 60-10 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400
Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS
Grip: Ping PP58 Blackout
Golf Ball: Bridgestone Tour B XS
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord
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WOTW: Rory McIlroy’s $137,000 Omega DeVille Tourbillon CO-AXIAL Chronometer

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Rory McIlroy took on a VERY strong Sunday leaderboard at the CJ Cup and walked away with a 1 stroke win over a hard charging Collin Morikawa. This is Rory’s 20th PGA Tour win and a great bounce-back from a tough Ryder Cup. While holding the unconventional trophy in the setting Las Vegas sun, he was wearing a very special piece on his wrist!

WOTW Specs:
Name: Omega DeVille Tourbillon CO-AXIAL Chronometer Numbered Edition
Reference: 513.53.39.21.99.001
Limited: No, Numbered
Date: ?
Case: 18k Red Gold
Bezel: 18k Red Gold
Dial: Sapphire Crystal
Size: 38.7mm
Movement: Omega 2635
Power Reserve: 45 Hours
Glass: Domed Saphire Crystal, Anti-Reflective
Waterproof: 30 Meters
Bracelet: Black Alligator Leather Strap
Price: $137,000

Omega has been making watches since Louis Brandt founded the company in 1848. The original name was La Generale Watch Co. and in 1903 added the Omega name. Omega has a long history with the British Air Force, United States Army, and even NASA supplying watches to them all. Omega has also been the official timekeeper of the Olympics since 1932, making them a very experienced sports watch brand. Rory McIlroy has been part of the Omega team since 2013 and even has had his own signature model. Usually he is wearing a Speedmaster or Aqua Terra 150 model when you see him after or before rounds. But this weekend he was wearing a very special, and rare, Omega DeVille Tourbillon CO-AXIAL Chronometer Numbered Edition in Red Gold. Omega’s DeVille was released in 1960 and originally part of the Seamaster lineage but became its own line in 1967. The design of the DeVill is far more classic and dressy compared to the sport watches Omega is known for. Rory’s DeVille is special because it is one of the few models in the line that contain a tourbillon. A tourbillon (toor-bil-yuhn) is a mechanical complication found in high-end watches and originally designed for pocket watches. Since a pocket watch sat vertical for most of its life, gravity could effect the mechanical movement and make it less accurate. So Abraham-Louis Breguet invented the tourbillon in 1795 to counteract those gravitational forces, making the pocket watch much more precise. Today the tourbillon is far less effective on making a wrist watch more accurate, but it is still an amazing piece of engineering that watch lovers covet. Omega places the tourbillon in the dead center of the dial to show off the beautiful, rotating masterpiece. The Omega 2635 movement is a self-winding, automatic movement that also features Omega’s CO-AXIAL escapement for better efficiency when using stored up power. The baseplates of the movement are brown PVD coated and everything is hand-polished. The rotating weight that moves with your wrist movement is made from solid platinum and the 2635 is a certified chronometer. The dial on the DeVille is made from sapphire crystal so you can see all the parts, especially the center mounted tourbillon, of this special movement.

The case is crafted from 18k Red Gold, Omega’s own alloy with copper and silver, measuring in at 38.7mm across. The Red Gold is very corrosion resistant as well as being hypoallergenic. The caseback is solid Red Gold and engraved with the number of the series. The bezel is non-rotating and made from matching Red Gold, polished perfectly. The strap on Rory’s DeVille is made from black alligator leather, coming together with a Red Gold deployment buckle. This is not a piece that you will find at just any Omega dealer, seeing that the retail price is $137,000. The Omega website states that you can signup for a waiting list or you need to contact a boutique in order to pursue getting one of these timepieces. I haven’t been able to find out if this is a limited edition that is numbered or when it was originally released, so if you have some information please let me know in the comments.

I think most golf fans are excited to see Rory back winning again, along with some other big names playing well. I know Rory has a pretty solid watch collection and I can’t wait to see what piece he has on next!

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