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Tiger allows journalists to finally write THAT story

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We’ve been writing it in our minds for over 10 years, you know. Since the glory at Torrey, in June of 2008. No one imagined that 10 years and 10 months would pass before Tiger Woods would move from 14 to 15 major titles. We’ve been writing it since April of 2005, when Phil Mickelson draped the green jacket on Woods’ shoulders, 14 years ago. Despite the best efforts of Xander Schauffele, Francesco Molinari, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson, we finally get to write our story, his story.

Tiger Woods won the 2019 Masters tournament, in the 83rd telling of the golfing rite of spring. He won quietly, with a bogey at the last, accompanied by the reigning Open champion, Francesco Molinari, and Woods’ 2018 Ryder Cup teammate, Tony Finau. Molinari led most of the final day, until a pair of double bogeys did him in. Finau was also in contention, until the tiniest of flowers tore his heart. To the credit of both, they rebounded from disaster to finish in a tie for fifth, at 11 under.

Ahead of Woods, magic was taking place on a day threatened by the weather gods. Dustin Johnson, for whom Masters success has been long predicted, reached the clubhouse at 12-under par, on the strength of a Sunday 68. Johnson birdied four of his final six holes, in a Greg Norman-esque charge. Like Norman, he came agonizingly close to victory. Tied with Johnson were Schauffele, who overcame a mid-round case of bogey indigestion with five birdies in seven holes. Schauffele could not find the necessary birdie over the final four holes, to reach 13 under and put even more pressure on Woods. Also at a dozen under par was Brooks Koepka. The double defender at the U.S. Open joined Molinari and Finau in Rae’s 12th-hole, double-bogey lagoon, but rebounded immediately with eagle at the 13th, to pick up the chase. Koepka had another birdie at the 15th but, like the X Man, the crucial number would remain an excruciating step away.

And what of Woods? He and Molinari played a game of cat and mouse from the first tee into Amen Corner. Molinari opened with eight pars, plus one bogey, and one birdie. Meanwhile, Woods had three of each to also remain at even on the day. No blood as the reckoning arrived. It appeared that Woods flinched first, as his drive at 11 dropped into the right-side trees. There was a gap, though, and that was all that Tiger required. As on Saturday at the 14th, as so many times before, he threaded the needle and found the putting surface. Disaster averted, Golden Bell on deck.

The Fates selected the 12th, as they had so many times in the past, to encourage an outcome at Augusta. Both Finau and Molinari inexplicably found the water. Neither one fanned the blade open; they simply underclubbed, or misjudged the wind, or caught the ball a groove too high. Woods watched each one rinse, then aimed at the left edge of the bunker, toward center green and safety. His par to their doubles ensured that the game was truly afoot. Woods would birdie 13 and 15, reaching 13-under par. Molinari did rebound with birdies at 13 and 17, but another double bogey, at the 15th, would assure that victory at Augusta was at least a year off for him.

Far ahead, both Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Thomas found the precise slope point at 16, allowing their tee balls to find the cup in one for an ace. How’s that for a skins game? Not even an ace gets you any cash! Woods came to 16 in need of his A game, and he found it. Not quite the ace, but close enough. He tapped in for two and a two-stroke lead, heading toward the closing holes.

Perhaps it was Saint Earl watching over his son from above. First, it was Fowler, missing a short birdie putt at 16. Next came Cantlay, making bogeys after eagle at 15 gave him the lead. Later, it was Koepka, missing from 11 feet at the last, to reach Tiger’s winning score of 13 under. And also, Dustin Johnson, hitting a silly driver at 18 into a fairway bunker. He did well to get it on the green, but his 20-something feet putt came up short of -13 as well. The chances were there, but the competition failed to cross the threshold. Woods was partially blocked by trees on his approach, and wisely chose to lay back of the green. His pitch reached 10 feet, and two putts later, his and our wait were over. 22 years after father and son hugged to celebrate Tiger’s first major championship, another father and his son hugged to celebrate the 15th.

The wheel turns, the ball rolls on.

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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.

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Tika

    Apr 16, 2019 at 12:17 am

    He absolutely striped his irons, dont think he misses one on back….pure ballstriking under pressure….say this or that but at end of day he was one better than field…just like any other tourney….

  2. Eric C OBrien

    Apr 15, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    Best account I have read – explains why Tiger was short at 18 – I got distracted and was confused by that – Koepka had missed birdie putt so Tiger knew he only needed a 5 after being blocked by trees right !

  3. Me2

    Apr 15, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    You notice how when his girl tried to kiss him on the mouth he turned his face away and just gave her a hug? Poor girl. Why wouldn’t he give her a nice long smooch for the cameras? We all know what’s going on there, don’t we

    • Not Me2

      Apr 15, 2019 at 3:14 pm

      What is the matter with you? You win clown comment of the day award.

      • gff

        Apr 16, 2019 at 2:18 am

        He’s only writing down what he observed, just like this article.

    • Pelling

      Apr 15, 2019 at 5:35 pm

      I think he was chewing gum.

  4. S

    Apr 15, 2019 at 11:34 am

    Do you think the result would have been the same had the tee times been normal, 2somes, in the afternoon? The eternal question

    • norom detector

      Apr 15, 2019 at 3:19 pm

      And would you have said that if Johnson or Molinari or another player won? I doubt it.

      Now go fluff your lie before the rest of your foursome catches up to you.

      • Idiot Detector

        Apr 15, 2019 at 6:40 pm

        That’s why it’s a hypothetical question for eternity

  5. Bobbyg

    Apr 14, 2019 at 11:47 pm

    It’s still amazing that Tiger is even playing golf after his surgeriess. Miracle comeback.

  6. Jamie

    Apr 14, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    First off, his story is not “our” story. Second, Earl was not a saint in the least. Today’s nonstop slurpfest by CBS re-confirms that golf commentary is dead.

    • Ronald Montesano

      Apr 14, 2019 at 8:59 pm

      Sure it is, lad. His story is our story.

      So he was a saint in the most?

      What do you want from your golf coverage, steamy exposees? Hard-hitting, investigative journalism that uncovers the scandal behind the ANGC sub air drainage system?

      The easy way to write this piece, in my estimation, would have been to focus on the victor’s flaws and why we should not care if he ever won/wins again. That’s a chop piece, better left to the checkout rags.

  7. Just Believe It

    Apr 14, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    When are you fanboys gonna wake up? Dude is done! lololololol

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News

Top pros call out NCAA over canceled women’s regional debacle

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12 of the 18 schools competing at the NCAA Women’s Regional in Baton Rouge, La., were left angry and heartbroken this week after the NCAA pulled the plug on the event to put an end to their dreams of competing at the NCAA Women’s Championship.

The event was due to be a 54-hole contest played over Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday but was initially delayed after a deluge of rain hit the course over the weekend.

Officials had hoped to play 18 holes on Wednesday to decide who would qualify but instead adjudged the course unplayable and canceled the event in its entirety.

Without a single ball being hit, this decision meant that the top six seeds in the regional advance to nationals and the top three individuals of the six that were competing.

Those teams are LSU, Mississippi, Baylor, Oregon, Maryland and Alabama, with the following players Karen Fredgaard, Houston; Nataliya Guseva, Miami (Fla.); and Hanna Alberto, Sam Houston.

Eliminating seeds 7-18: Oregon State, Houston, Miami (Fla.), North Texas, Purdue, Mississippi State, Tulsa, Sam Houston State, Kennesaw State, East Tennessee State, Jacksonville State and Quinnipiac.

In a statement outside the clubhouse of The University Club, Brad Hurlbut, the Director of Athletics at Fairleigh Dickinson, announced the news saying:

“Look, this is one of the most gut-wrenching decisions and announcements that I’ve ever been a part of. Even though the course is playable, it’s not playable at a championship level.”

The statement was understandably received with shock and anger by the players of the teams who felt cheated out of the opportunity to win a place at the NCAA Women’s Championship, with cries of  “You should be ashamed of yourselves” and “Thank you for ending our careers!” directed at Hurlbut.

The decision to cancel the event has also caused indignation amongst some of the most prominent names in professional golf. Here’s a look at the reaction of some of those on social media:

The NCAA Women’s Championship takes place in two weeks as the fallout from this week’s controversial decision continues.

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Tour Photo Galleries

Interesting photos from the AT&T Byron Nelson

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GolfWRX was on site at a very wet TPC Craig for practice rounds ahead of the AT&T Byron Nelson, and we weren’t going to let the rain wash away the opportunity for interesting photos.

We have six general galleries for your viewing pleasure

…and a number of special of galleries as well.

We got a look at University of Texas Junior Cole Hammer’s sticks as he prepares to put a peg in the ground at the Byron Nelson on a sponsor’s exemption.

Equipment free agent Daniel Berger was seen testing a Titleist TS3 driver with a Fujikura Ventus Black shaft.

D.J. Trahan once again solidifies his status as the Tour’s biggest Deadhead.

Kevin Chappell’s Wilson Staff irons have taken on a lovely patina.

Tidy stamping on Jhonattan Vegas custom Cameron.

Also on the Cameron front: James Hahn’s T12 Prototype.

More putter photos: Matt Kuchar had two center-shafted Bettinardi blades built for testing. (More photos here)

Rickie Fowler has gone back to his Newport 2 with “Cameron” stamped in the cavity rather than “Rickie,” which is in his other wand. He’s also been back in a steel shaft in the putter for a while.

Russell Knox was spotted testing an Axis1 putter.

New to us, this Odyssey “Sir Makes-a-Lot” putter cover is clever.

Odyssey Tri-Hot insert sighting!

Michael Greller displays Jordan Spieth’s new 2021 Pro V1x balls. Did he stop in the pro shop to pick up a sleeve?

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Tour News

AT&T Byron Nelson Tour Truck Report: Details on Spieth’s ball change, Kuch’s new putters, more

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There’s not a ton of tinkering going on at presently soggy TPC Craig Ranch where Monday was wet and Tuesday was a washout. With it being the week before a major championship and the heart of the season, most players are committed to dancing with the one that brought them and are only soliciting the tour trucks for spec checks and regripping.

Perhaps most interestingly this week, Jordan Spieth has switched from a previous generation of the Titleist Pro V1x into the current iteration of the golf ball (Exhibit A: The photos of Spieth’s caddie, Michael Greller holding up the wares below).

Check out all our photos from the Byron Nelson!

Matt Kuchar continues his flatstick experimentation as he looks to find his form on the green. Bettinardi built him a couple of long-neck center-shafted blades to tinker with. Face-on view of one of the models below, and more photos here.

More of what’s up with major OEM staffers, below.

Titleist

Sean O’Hair is testing a TSi2 (10 degree) driver and TSi2 (15 degree) fairway.

Per Titleist, Spieth offered this about his switch into the new Pro V1x

“I’m trying to optimize launch conditions through the bag. For me, the 2021 Pro V1x, I get more spin around the greens. It’s softer, spinnier around the greens with my short game shots. And then when I went up the bag, I started to get a little bit higher launch, but it didn’t add spin in the long clubs. It just added ball speed and launch. So it’s a little higher window, but it just looks like it’s screaming through the air. And then from the 7-iron on down, I didn’t see much difference in the full shots, just like I said more action around the greens.”

“I’m trying to just hit optimal windows and if I can gain – really, in my long clubs – just a little bit better peak height with a little bit faster ball speed, it actually helps fill my gaps a little bit easier. And then it’s just coming down – it has the potential to come down a little bit softer, which is obviously important. But I’m not seeing a massive difference through kind of that mid iron into short iron. And I still can hit each shot that I want to with the scoring clubs. So being able to tee off and all you do is change the ball and it’s actually in a similar window that’s going 3-4 yards further, that’s nice. And then when I get to the scoring range clubs, I feel like if anything, I just have the ability to hit an even softer shot if I want to. But the rest of them were all still there.”

 

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A post shared by Aaron Dill (@vokeywedgerep)

And while Titleist is mum on any further details, there is this…

Callaway

Sam Burns had set of raw Apex MB irons built for testing.

Talor Gooch is testing a 15-degree Epic Speed Triple Diamond with a Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 80 TX shaft.

Jamie Lovemark is testing a new Epic Speed Triple Diamond LS ([email protected] degrees) with an Oban HB Kiyoshi 05 shaft.

Wesley Bryant added a prototype full-face 58-08C (@59 degrees) MD5 wedge to his arsenal.

Image via Callaway’s Johnny Wunder

TaylorMade

Beau Hossler switched into a SIM2 Max (12 degrees).

Daniel Berger (non-staffer) added a 15-degree SIM2 Max to his arsenal.

Making his pro debut, amateur Pierceson Coody had this combo set built: P790 (3), P7MC (4-6), P7MB (7-PW).

Non-staffer Rory Sabbatini added a SIM2 driver (9 degrees) and P7MC to his bag (5-PW).

Others, free agents

Rickie Fowler returned to the Scotty Cameron with “Cameron” rather than “Rickie” at the Wells Fargo Championship, but this is the first good look at the flatstick we’ve gotten since the switch.

Daniel Berger was spotted testing a Titleist TS3 with a Ventus Black shaft.

Russell Knox was spotted testing an Axis1 putter.

In a pretty wild story we’re looking for more information on, notorious gearhead Chris Baker is rumored to be putting a set of irons belonging to Cobra rep James Posey in play. Incidentally, Baker is also testing a Kali White shaft.

Free agent Dominic Bozzelli is testing a Titleist TSi3 driver (9 degrees).

James Hahn is reportedly testing a number of shafts: prototype Aldila in a fairway wood, and Mitsubishi MMT in a hybrid and long iron.

PXG staffer Danny Lee switched out of Project X 6.5 and into KBS Tour V 125 shafts (5-PW) and KBS TGI 110 in 3 and 4-iron.

Tom Lewis has moved back into KBS S Taper 125 in his full set. He was playing Nippon 125’s in his irons and a Fujikura Ventus Black 115 HB in his Srixon ZX5 3-iron.

Check out all our photos from the Byron Nelson!

 

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