Various ailments to Michelle Wie’s right hand and wrist has forced the 29-year-old out of action for most of 2019, and after posting a round of 12-over-par in the opening round of this week’s Women’s KPMG PGA Championship, Wie suggested that her days on Tour may be coming to an end.
Wie, who has arthritis in both wrists and underwent surgery on her right wrist back in November, made six bogeys, two double-bogeys and a quadruple-bogey on her way to an opening 84. After her round, an emotional Wie broke down in tears after stating
“I’m not entirely sure how much more I have left in me. So even on the bad days, I’m just like trying to take time to enjoy it. But it’s tough, I just love being out here.”
The 29-year-old began her tournament on the back nine, and according to GolfWeek’s Beth Ann Nichols, began applying an ice pack to her wrist as early as the 11th hole.
Michelle Wie just got some ice out of the chest on the 11th for an ice pack. Currently on her wrist.
— Beth Ann Nichols (@GolfweekNichols) June 20, 2019
Wie is set to tee off for her second round on Friday 2.44 PM CT.
Morning 9: Neither rain nor pressure of pursuing first PGA Tour win… | Remembering Rory’s 2012 Kiawah romp
Good Monday morning, golf fans. For those of you who still have not adjusted to the reshuffled major calendar (like myself) the second major of the year, the PGA Championship, is this week.
1. Patient Lee takes Byron Nelson
Kevin Robbins for PGATour.com…”Lee was indeed happy, having won his first PGA TOUR title, 500 FedExCup points, exempt status through the 2022-23 TOUR season and entry into the game’s biggest events, starting with this week’s PGA Championship. But it came with considerable distress, including terrible weather for golf. Late in the final round, players had to be evacuated from TPC Craig Ranch for more than two hours, leaving Lee alone with his own thoughts, a two-shot lead and two holes remaining.”
“Which is exactly what the 29-year-old from South Korea did, of course, shortly after play resumed at 4:15 local time in North Texas.”
“Lee birdied the par-3 17th. He birdied the par-5 18th. He shot 6-under 66 on an afternoon when, at times, a predictable golf shot seemed about as realistic as kayaking down a fairway. Turns out both were entirely possible.”
2. Bland breaks through
Reuters report…”Richard Bland won his first European Tour title at the 478th attempt after beating Guido Migliozzi in a playoff at the British Masters on Saturday.”
“Bland, 48, and Migliozzi finished on 13 under par after 72 holes at The Belfry to force the playoff in which the Englishman parred the first extra hole while his Italian opponent made a bogey.”
“I’ve done it,” an emotional Bland, who turned professional in 1996, said after becoming the oldest first-time winner on the European Tour.”
3. Grayson Sigg wins Vistin Knoxville Open
Todd Kelly for Golfweek…”Stephan Jaeger will have to wait at least another week to try to earn that PGA Tour promotion as Greyson Sigg had other plans.”
“On Sunday, at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Visit Knoxville Open, Jaeger opened the final round with a three-shot lead over Sigg and then birdied his first hole. A win would’ve been Jaeger’s third on the circuit, and that would’ve earned him his Tour card. The last player to earn his PGA Tour card via the three-win promotion was Wesley Bryan in 2016. In all, 11 players have done so.”
4. A Monday qualifier wins on Champions Tour
AP report…”Monday qualifier Dicky Pride won the Mitsubishi Electric Classic on Sunday for his first PGA Tour Champions title, closing with a 5-under 67 for a 3-stroke victory.”
“Making his 11th senior start, the 51-year-old Pride had six birdies in an 11-hole stretch before dropping a stroke on the par-4 15th. He parred the final three to win at TPC Sugarloaf a week after contending in the major Regions Tradition in his home state of Alabama.”
5. PXG store manager qualifies for PGA Championship
Via the Golf Channel Digital team…”Twenty PGA professionals will compete in the 103rd PGA Championship in Kiawah Island, South Carolina.”
“Among those will be Derek Holmes, who made a 30-foot par save on the final hole of April’s PGA Professional Championship to secure his spot in the men’s second major of the year.”
“Holmes, 32, was an assistant pro at Dellwood County Club in Dellwood, Minnesota, from 2016-20, until becoming a PXG Minneapolis store manager.”
6. Remembering McIlroy’s 2012 Kiawah romp
Via the Golfweek staff…”McIlroy was well in front of the field on the final day at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course, and while this wasn’t completely foreign, even for a major — he’d lapped the field by eight strokes during the U.S. Open just 14 months before at Congressional Country Club — it felt different. Unlike his previous major victory, which seemed to introduce McIlroy as a potential heir, a convincing win here would cement his royalty.”
“…There would be no mistaking this; as much as Tiger Woods had rooted himself as the supreme ruler of professional golf, the cheering masses now had a prince.”
“Rory was for real.”
7. On Morikawa’s shot heard round the world
Cameron Morfit for PGATour.com…”Here’s how it happened, according to those who were there.”
“All week, the 16th hole, the last good place to attack at TPC Harding Park, loomed as the potential turning point. And the fact that it was drivable – Justin Thomas hit it to 18 feet in Friday’s second round but missed the eagle putt – added intrigue.”
“Collin Morikawa: I wasn’t planning on going for it at the beginning of the week, so I actually never even tried it.”
“Paul Casey (66, T2): It was wind dependent, flag dependent, tee dependent. It was always going to be a pivotal hole, one you feel like you should birdie, but there was also the possibility of screwing it up because of the penalty area on the left and the tree canopy on the right. There was plenty of danger on the last three holes, but 16 was your last real birdie opportunity.”
8. Ladies European Tour: South African Open a weather person’s delight
Our Ron Montesano…”Pia Babnik made an incredible move on Sunday morning, as the winds of South Africa perplexed every other golfer in the field. The 17-year-old Slovenian was the only competitor to break par, and she did so by three strokes. The question on the minds of all involved was, did she have enough left in the tank for the closing 18 holes that afternoon? For 13 holes, the answer was Yes.”
“Babnik began round four with a two-shot advantage over Lee-Ann Pace, a well-decorated golfer playing in her homeland. The Slovenian opened birdie-double bogey and quickly conceded her lead. As things went along, she fought back and found herself even for the round and in the thick of things with five holes remaining. At that juncture, wind or exhaustion or tension set in, and Babnik came unraveled. She closed in plus-six for 78 on the day and a tie for sixth position.”
“Pace herself had struggles at the end. She closed bogey-bogey but had just enough fuel to hold off Germany’s Leonie Harm by one mere stroke. Harm’s bogey at the penultimate hole pushed her to 4 over overall, one beyond Pace.”
9. K.H. Lee’s winning WITB
Presented by Club Champion
Driver: Callaway Epic Max LS (10.5 degrees @9)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 6 X
3-wood: Titleist TS3 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD GP 7 X
Hybrid: Titleist TS3 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD HY 95 X
Irons: Titleist U500 (4), Callaway X Forged CB (5-PW)
Shafts: Project X LZ 6.5
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 (52-08F @51, 56-14F, 60-08M)
Shafts: LZ 6.5 (52), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400, S200 (60)
Putter: Toulon Design San Diego
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet
Tour Rundown: Breakthrough wins abound
I’m wondering how the introduction of the Forme Tour snuck up on me. If you haven’t seen the release, it’s a complement to the Mackenzie Tour, for U.S.-based members of that Canadian wing of the PGA Tour. Say what? Well, since Canada is still locked down, and cross-border transit is non-existent, the Blue Jays in Buffalo isn’t the only big news. The PGA Tour will offer a series of eight events for MacTour golfers in the states to earn a spot on the Korn Ferry Tour. Meanwhile, the Mackenzie Tour will continue for Canada-based card holders.
That’s not the biggest news this week, however. The Byron Nelson found a new home near Dallas, the peripatetic Ladies European Tour opened its season in South Africa, and three other major tours competed from England to the southeastern USA. Masks came off in certain spaces as the parts of the world moved a bit closer to what once was, and professional golf marched on.
Let’s have a look at what transpired in this week’s release of #TourRundownGolfWRX.
PGA Tour: K.H. Lee notches inaugural tour win
It’s great when all eyes are on someone else. Sam Burns learned this lesson the hard way, and Kyoung-hoon Lee was the beneficiary of deflected attention. Burns had done everything right at the 2021 Byron Nelson Classic through 54 holes. He blistered the Craig Ranch course for 65 and 62. Those numbers weren’t necessary on the weekend, but what Burns provided just missed the mark. He close with 69 and 70 for 266 and solo second place.
Patton Kizzire and Daniel Berger got out early on Sunday and signed for 63 and 64, respectively, before the rains came. Lee and Burns were on the 16th hole when forced to endure a multi-hour delay. Displaying great patience, both players returned to the course and lost no ground. Lee had jumped out to a lead by playing the front nine in 4-under, despite an inexplicable bogey-six at the par-5 ninth. He tamed the back nine as well, finishing with birdies at 17 and 18 when matters got a wee bit tight.
Burns played the bogey-birdie game on two occasions during the outward half and dropped from the top spot for the first time all week. He gathered himself coming home, posted minus two on the back nine, and salvaged second tier on the podium.
K.H. Lee had a week to remember to earn his first TOUR win. ? pic.twitter.com/c4KsOcspYa
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 17, 2021
European Tour: Bland breaks through at British Masters
In 1996, Richard Bland turned pro. In 2001, he won the Challenge Tour Grand Final and jumped to the big tour. Since then, he exemplified the notion of the journeyman professional. He came close on numerous occasions to winning on tour, including three runners-up and a pair of show finishes. On Sunday at The Belfry, Bland began his last round three shots behind the leader, fellow Englishman Eddie Pepperell. The front-runner had struggles on the front nine, paving a path for someone to jump up and seize the title. That someone was Richard Bland.
Bland had quietly played a near-perfect tournament as round four opened. He had tripped over bogey just once in 54 holes, at the par-four eighth hole on Saturday. He nearly matched his weeklong tally of eight birdies with six more on Sunday. He also avoided bogey and reached the 18th hole in a tie with Guido Migliozzi. When the young Italian champion three-putted the green that had been the site of so many European triumphs in the Ryder Cup, Bland was finally a European Tour champion. His inaugural victory came less than half an hour from his hometown, a fitting locale for a long-awaited breakthrough.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) May 16, 2021
Korn Ferry Tour: Sigg-nificant win at the Visit Knoxville Open
With no offense intended to the other 73 golfers, the Visit Knoxville Open was always about two golfers: Greyson Sigg and Stephan Jaeger. Sigg opened the week’s curtains with a masterful 61 to seize the lead by two. The next day, Jaeger produced a sparkling 62 and seized the lead when Sigg collapsed to a 68. Yup, it was that kind of week. The pair produced 65s on day three and set the stage for day four.
Speaking of day four, Seth Reeves matched Sigg’s 61 with 10 birdies and one bogey. Ironically, the only day that failed to feature a sizzling round was moving day; the best these chaps could do on Saturday was a 63 — but I digress. Sigg and Jaeger produced seven rounds in the 60s this week, and the one to seep into the 70s was the one who settled for second-place money.
Jaeger’s round four bordered on the symmetrical. He posted birdies at one and 10, and bogeys at nine and 17. The rest were pars. So close! Symmetry doesn’t guarantee victories, however, and it was that 71st-hole bogey that dropped him to 19-under par. Sigg, meanwhile, was out in 3-under par and caught Jaeger by the turn. On the inward half, the Georgia Bulldog posted two bogeys and three birdies. It was his stroke-saver at 16 that pushed him to 20-under par, and a one-shot win — his first on the Korn Ferry Tour.
Clutch out of the sand.
— Korn Ferry Tour (@KornFerryTour) May 16, 2021
Ladies European Tour: South African Open a weather person’s delight
Pia Babnik made an incredible move on Sunday morning, as the winds of South Africa perplexed every other golfer in the field. The 17-year-old Slovenian was the only competitor to break par, and she did so by three strokes. The question on the minds of all involved was, did she have enough left in the tank for the closing 18 holes that afternoon? For 13 holes, the answer was Yes.
Babnik began round four with a two-shot advantage over Lee-Ann Pace, a well-decorated golfer playing in her homeland. The Slovenian opened birdie-double bogey and quickly conceded her lead. As things went along, she fought back and found herself even for the round and in the thick of things with five holes remaining. At that juncture, wind or exhaustion or tension set in, and Babnik came unraveled. She closed in plus-six for 78 on the day and a tie for sixth position.
Pace herself had struggles at the end. She closed bogey-bogey but had just enough fuel to hold off Germany’s Leonie Harm by one mere stroke. Harm’s bogey at the penultimate hole pushed her to 4 over overall, one beyond Pace.
? "It should suit Lee-Anne Pace's draw."
— Ladies European Tour (@LETgolf) May 16, 2021
PGA Tour Champions: Pride at stake at Mitsubishi Electric
Dicky Pride never had to look far to find motivation. He was a very good junior golfer and played his collegiate golf at Alabama, but that was long before the Crimson Tide was the powerhouse it is today. He was often overlooked — until he wasn’t. U.S. Amateur semifinalist in 1991, a one-time winner on the PGA and Korn Ferry tours, and now, a champion on the Champions Tour.
When Pride turned 50 in 2019, his arrival on the PGA Tour Champions circuit was not heralded with fanfare. He was recognized as yet another journeyman pro who aged into another opportunity. On Sunday at Duluth, Georgia, Pride stood at the top with guys like Ames, Triplett, and Andrade, all multiple winners on the regular tour, golfers with greater cred than he. And Pride simply turned the tables on everyone. He had six birdies in his hip pocket before he reached the 15th tee, where he made his lone bogey of the day.
Meanwhile, Doug Barron had run and stumbled, reaching minus-ten before a double and a single brought him back to 7-under and a T5 finish. Andrade could not get out of his own way, making birdie at the first and bogey at the last, and 16 pars the rest of the way. Pride finished with pars at the final three holes for minus eleven and a three-shot win over Ames, Triplett, and overnight leader Paul Goydos, who fell back and then fired to return to the podium.
— PGA TOUR Champions (@ChampionsTour) May 16, 2021
GolfWRX sponsoring “Distance: The Science Behind the Golf Swing” expo
GolfWRX is proud to co-sponsor the virtual expo “Distance: The Science Behind the Golf Swing” Monday, May 17, from 6:30-9:00 PM, which includes Sir Nick Faldo and Jim McLean, among a panel of other distinguished speakers.
You can check out the agenda are below and get your ticket here.
6:30-7:00: Sir Nick Faldo
Spend some time with golf legend Sir Nick Faldo and get some behind-the-scenes perspective on getting the most out of your golf game.
7-7:15: Terry Hashimoto
Ground force and the golf swing
As the co-founder of BodiTrak a portable pressure mapping system built right here in North America, my job is to identify Center of Pressure Mapping Traces generated during a golfers swing, how they impact performance and how to optimize foot movement patterns for maximum distance and accuracy
I’ve spent a decade collecting COP Traces from PGA Tour Players and Top Players worldwide and certainly, there are key pressure positions that all top players achieve during their swing that affect ROM in knees, hips, and shoulders as validated by 3D and launch in addition to BodiTrak and that is what we are here to discuss and share together.
7:15-7:30: Phil Stotter, CEP
The key to swing velocity, clubhead speed, and distance is biomechanical reaction through postural control
For maximum power creation in the golf swing, with minimal negative stress on the body, the ground must be the first link in the kinetic chain of energy transfer. Newton’s third law of motion tells us that using our feet and legs to drive forcefully into the ground results in the ground pushing back up into the golfer’s body with an equal magnitude of force. The force the ground transfers into the golfer is known as the ground reaction force (GRF). GRF is then transferred up the kinetic chain, first through the feet then the legs and into the pelvis, then up into the golfer’s core, shoulder complex, arms, and, finally, the golf club and ball. Controlling the transfer of this energy up the kinetic chain from the ground to the ball with the most efficiency is what allows the golfer to create the most force your body will allow, which leads to the greatest distance the ball will travel. A golfer’s body depends on three systems to control this neurological, sensory, and musculoskeletal.
7:30-7:45: Robert Scales, PhD
More years to play golf and more years to play golf well: A health perspective
Whether you are an athlete looking for more explosive power or a senior who is concerned about maintaining lifestyle independence, optimizing the way our body moves has important implications for both health and sports performance, including golf. Many patients in our cardiology practice love to play golf or want to start playing again after an absence. So we conduct a physical performance screening to customize exercise therapy recommendations to focus on golf fitness in addition to overall health. While heart health can be a motivator, for many, the promise to hit a little white ball further may be the reason they stick with their prescribed home exercise plan.
7:45-8: Jim McLean
Get the most out of your golf game
8:00-8:15: Bob Winskowicz
A well-designed golf shoe can help you play better golf
Balance, stability, accuracy, hip rotation, weight transfer, and swing speed are all influenced by the feet and your connection to the ground. There are two connections in golf; your hands to the club and your feet to the ground. Distance is a result of swing speed. A golfer creates swing speed through a series of forces and pressure exchanged with the ground. The golf shoe should provide structure and an optimum connection to the ground for facilitating this energy exchange. Many of today’s sneaker-like designs lack structure and cannot effectively harness and direct the energy up through the kinetic chain. Over the past four decades, there have been only a handful of golf equipment manufacturers who have broken the mold and dared to buy into the concept of “traditional looks are secondary to performance.” Recent advancements in swing and pressure mapping software have facilitated the unique design of SQAIRZ.
8:15-9: Expert roundtable discussing where distance comes from
Phil Stotter, CEP, Terry Hashimoto, Robert Scales, PhD, Bob Winskowicz, Jim McLean
You are going to learn where distance comes from including dynamic balance, stability, pressure, and impact. Symmetry, biomechanics, and gait will be addressed as well as ground force and distance. This will all be followed by a Q&A.
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K.H. Lee WITB accurate as of the AT&T Byron Nelson. Driver: Callaway Epic Max LS (10.5 degrees @9) Shaft: Graphite...
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Equipment is accurate as of the 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson Driver: Callaway Epic Max LS (8.5 degrees @7) Shaft: Mitsubishi Ka’ili...
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Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto (10.5 degrees) Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana TB 60 X 3-wood: PXG 0341 X Gen4 Irons: PXG...
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