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Morning 9: Smiling Cinderella | Bubble boys & card losers | The Postman delivers a bogey-free tournament

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By Ben Alberstadt ([email protected]; @benalberstadt on Instagram)

August 5, 2019

Good Monday morning, golf fans. 
1. “Smiling Cinderella”
Ron Sirak for LPGA.com on the appropriately nicknamed Hinako Shibuno, who captured the Women’s British Open in improbable fashion (250-1 odds!).
  • “The clock never struck midnight for Smiling Cinderella. Playing in her first LPGA event, 20-year-old Hinako Shibuno, exuding a passion that melted hearts and won over minds, birdied the final hole on Sunday to take the AIG Women’s British Open by one stroke over Lizette Salas in a dramatic ending to a sensational day of golf featuring brilliant performances by a slew of players.”
  • “Shibuno, a rookie on the Japan LPGA, was the only player in the field to shoot all four rounds at Woburn Golf Club in the 60s. She simply owned the back nine, shooting 30 there twice and then 31 on Sunday for a closing 68 that put her at 18-under-par 270. She now has the option to join the LPGA.”

Full piece.

2. Bogey-free!
Not to be outdone, a 100-1 longshot hoisted the trophy at the Wyndham…and didn’t card a bogey for 72 holes of golf.
  • AP report…”J.T. Poston kept racking up birdies and pars — but no bogeys — at the Wyndham Championship. They added up to his first PGA Tour victory — and a first-time-in-decades achievement.”
  • “Poston shot an 8-under 62 on Sunday for a one-stroke victory at the tour’s regular-season finale.”
  • “He tied Henrik Stenson’s 2-year-old tournament record at 22-under 258, and became the first player since Lee Trevino in 1974 to win a 72-hole stroke-play event on tour without any bogeys or worse.”

Full piece.

3. Losing their cards…
…alternatively: gaining a spot in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals…
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Among those who will remain exempt next season despite missing the top 125 are Austin Cook (130th), Jason Dufner (136th), Zach Johnson (154th), Jimmy Walker (158th) and Brendan Steele (171st).”
“But here’s a look at some of the marquee players who finished on the wrong side of the bubble and are not fully exempt for the 2019-20 season, with trips looming for many to the Korn Ferry Tour Finals later this month”
Martin Kaymer (150th)
Bill Haas (140th)
Hunter Mahan (184th)
Daniel Berger (131st)
Beau Hossler (145th)
Ollie Schniederjans (180th)
Sam Saunders (173rd
Curtis Luck (175th)
Harris English (149th)
Sangmoon Bae (205th
4. Salas reborn
Lizette Salas couldn’t convert a five-footer at the 72nd hole, and she watched Hinako Shibuno roll one in a group later for the win.
  • What she was thinking over the putt: “I told myself, ‘You’ve got this. You’re made for this,'” Salas said. “I’m not going to lie. I was nervous. I haven’t been in that position in a long time, but I gave it a good stroke. I controlled all my thoughts. It just didn’t drop.
  • And…”To pull off a 65 on a Sunday at a major like this, it’s pretty awesome,” she said. “Pretty proud of myself.”
  • “This is all great momentum going into Solheim,” she said. “This is great for my confidence. I just turned 30 a couple weeks ago, and I feel like I’m kind of reborn. I’m just happy to be in this position.”
5. Feinstein on Wyndham
The eminent sportswriter on the event that wouldn’t go away…”Eighty-one years after Sam Snead won the first tournament and first-place money of $1,200 from a $5,000 purse, what’s now known as the Wyndham Championship-but remains the GGO in the hearts and minds of most locals-handed out a check Sunday evening for $1.116 million to J.T. Poston.”
  • “Pretty good for a tournament that seemed to be a target for extinction 14 years ago. The tour was in the process of re-organizing its schedule in order to launch the FedEx Cup Playoffs starting in 2007, and the tournament’s title sponsor, Chrysler, had let it be known that it wouldn’t be renewing after its contract ran out following the 2006 tournament. Forest Oaks, the site of the event since 1977, was one of the least popular venues on tour with most players. The tour had made it clear for years that tradition and history had nothing to do with deciding a tournament’s future. Money and money did.”
  • “And so, the tournament that Snead had won eight times, seemed likely to go the way of the Kemper Open and the Westchester Classic under the new tour setup.”
6. The cautionary tale of Cameron Champ? 
Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch…”Not even 10 months ago, Champ was Wolff or Morikawa, a spellbindingly talented rookie setting out on the yellow brick road to superstardom. He won the second tournament of the season at the Sanderson Farms Championship- only the ninth Tour event he had ever played – and even in this power era he was stupefyingly long off the tee (he ranks No. 1 in driving distance). Those were the pigeon days. In 18 starts since January, he has 10 missed cuts, one WD and only two top-30 finishes.”
7. Playoff missers
Shane Ryan files a boots-on-the-ground report on the bubble drama at the Wyndham Championship.
He begins…”You could hear the shouted expletive before you saw Roberto Diaz emerging from the brick scoring building where a PGA Tour official had just imparted the bad news. Despite shooting nine under on the weekend, and 14 under for the tournament, Diaz was going to finish outside the 150th position on the FedEx Cup points list, which meant he won’t enjoy even conditional status for the 2019-’20 PGA Tour season … unless he goes to the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, a three-event series featuring 75 golfers from the PGA Tour and another 75 from the developmental tour, and finishes top 25. (If that sounds complicated, well, buckle up, because Sunday at the Wyndham Championship is the most complicated day on the PGA Tour.)”
8. Poston’s winning WITB
Driver: Titleist TS3 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana BF 60TX
 
3-wood: Titleist TS2 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana BF 70TX

Irons: Titleist 716 T-MB (3-5), Titleist 718 AP2 (6-9)
Shafts: Project X PXi 6.5 (3-5), Project X 6.5 (6-9) 

Wedges: Vokey Design SM7 (46, 50, 55, 60 degrees)

Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400
Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo 5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

Full piece, pics.

9. Tour Rundown
A PSA for all of you looking for a succinct recap of the week’s pro golf action: Our Ron Montesano does as well as anyone in his weekly Tour Rundown. 
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Morning 9: Search warrant executed for black box in Tiger crash | Man makes 3 aces in 5 days

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By Ben Alberstadt
For comments—or if you’re looking for a fourth—email me at [email protected].
You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram.
March 4, 2021
Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. Sheriff’s department seeking “black box” from Woods’ SUV
  • ESPN staff…”The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant Monday to get data from the so-called black box in the SUV that Tiger Woods was driving when he was seriously injured in a crash last week.”
  • “To get a warrant, probable cause that a crime was involved has to be determined, even if it’s just a misdemeanor. A sheriff’s deputy downplayed the warrant as routine to USA Today Sports on Tuesday, saying he considered it due diligence.”
  • “We’re trying to determine if a crime was committed,” Sheriff’s Deputy John Schloegl said. “If somebody is involved in a traffic collision, we’ve got to reconstruct the traffic collision, if there was any reckless driving, if somebody was on their cellphone or something like that. We determine if there was a crime. If there was no crime, we close out the case, and it was a regular traffic collision.”
2. Status update on “Operation Drive the 6th”
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…”For those wanting to see Bryson DeChambeau drive the sixth green this week at Bay Hill, his two water balls Wednesday probably didn’t inspire much confidence. But the weather forecast does provide a glimmer of hope.”
  • “While there was about a 15-mph wind humming in off the right and slightly into him, DeChambeau came up well short on both attempts during his practice round for the Arnold Palmer Invitational.”
  • “The par-5 sixth is listed at 555 yards, but from the back tee box it requires about a 350-yard carry to safely clear the water. On Wednesday, DeChambeau teed his ball up at the very front of the back tee box, about 10 yards in front of the markers.”
3. C.T. Pan saw COVID-19 on the horizon
Dave Shedloski for Golf Digest…“But, again, they [C.T. Pan and his wife] had been exercising extraordinary caution for more than a month.”
  • “Obviously, with family at home in Taiwan, my wife and I have a better idea of what goes on in Asia,” Pan, 29, explained. “Taiwan is only about 80 miles away from China, so from our family and from the Taiwan government we heard about this unknown virus that could be very deadly and spreads fast, and while we didn’t know that much about it, we knew in January that people could be asymptomatic but still have it and might spread it.”
  • “We were being really careful. The last time we were in the restaurant dining was in San Diego [during the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines], but after we started getting the news about this virus we didn’t go in any more restaurants. We really tried to not go anywhere except for golf. Unfortunately, the rumors were true.”
4. How everything changed for Tiger
ESPN’s Bob Harig and Ramona Shelburne frame the Feb. 23 Tiger Woods crash in compelling fashion…”RIVIERA COUNTRY CLUB in Pacific Palisades, California, is a special place for Tiger Woods — even if it is the venue he has played the most without a victory on tour.”
  • “It is the PGA Tour stop — known back then as the L.A. Open — closest to Woods’ boyhood home in Cypress, California. It is where he made his debut in a professional tournament, playing as an amateur in 1992 at age 16. And it is where, in 2017, his TGR Foundation became the beneficiary of tournament proceeds, with Woods as tournament host.”
  • “That’s why he traveled by private jet from Stuart Aviation near his home in Jupiter, Florida, to Los Angeles on Feb. 19.”
  • “Woods wasn’t playing in the event. He was just eight weeks removed from his fifth back surgery in seven years. There was still plenty for him to do, though: meet and greet tournament sponsors, converse with foundation employees, catch up with other players and preside over the trophy presentation.”
5. Three aces in five days
Wild stuff! Viva Jim Wolklin! Greg Hardwig, Naples Daily News…”Golf has been pretty wild for Wolklin since he got back into the game in the 1980s. The three holes-in-one at Heritage Bay gave him a total of 11.”
  • “When you least expect them, they go in the hole,” said Wolklin, 68. “It’s when you’re not thinking about it, and you’re just trying to make par.”
  • “Wolklin’s wild stretch started on Feb. 12 on No. 13 on the Cypress Course, holing out with an 8-iron from 144 yards with Gary Bradbury, Brad Kroll and Randy Johnson witnessing. Three days later, Wolklin made his second on the 148-yard No. 21 Oak with a 7-iron, with David Foltz, Anthony Nizzardo and Michael McCarthy witnessing. The third was the next day, with his wife Cheryl, Steve Kosek and Mary Kosek witnessing the 9-iron from 130 yards on No. 26 on the Oak Course.”
  • “It’s regular rounds playing with friends,” Wolklin said. “I hit a good shot and then it’s one or two bounces right in the hole.”
6. Your top-ranked golfer in the API field? Tyrrell Hatton
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…“Asked on Wednesday how that all feels, Hatton replied: “Standing at 5’8, I wish I could walk onto the range a little taller (laughing), but sadly that’s out of my control.”
  • “Hatton, who boasts six worldwide top-5s (including two wins) since last year’s API triumph, the continued.”
  • “No, I mean, I feel confident when I go to a tournament if I know that my swing’s in a good place and I can kind of, if I manage my emotions well throughout the week then, sure, I’ll give myself a chance,” said Hatton, who is coming off of a T-22 at the WGC-Workday last week. “I felt last week that I was, I didn’t feel like I was swinging it that good and I was getting a bit frustrated and my golf got a little bit better each day. I actually played really good on Sunday … so I take confidence from that, that my swing kind of feels like it’s getting into a good place again and I guess we’ll see exactly tomorrow how it is.”
7. Tiger’s best shots at Bay Hill—and the clubs he used
Our Gianni Magliocco—for PGATour.com—rounded up Tiger Woods’ best shots from his incomprehensible career at Bay Hill…”5. 2012 (final round): Approach to No. 8”
  • “At the 2012 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, Tiger was looking to end a two-and-a-half-year winless streak, on what was a windy Sunday with greens and pins that Woods would afterwards describe as the most difficult he had ever experienced at this event.”
  • “On the treacherous eighth hole, Woods held a two-stroke lead. Sitting in the middle of the fairway with the pin on the left side guarded by the pond in front of the green, Woods, who would often lean on his cut shot during his time working with Sean Foley, struck a high draw. The ball landed softly on the front portion of the green and rolled to within 5 feet of the cup.”
  • “The bold shot paid off and gave Woods a three-stroke advantage, and he would go on to secure his 72nd PGA TOUR win and begin his ascension back to World No. 1.”
  • Club Used: Nike VR Pro Blade 8-iron with a True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaft.
8. Why Claude Harmon III was dismissed
Our Gianni Magliocco…”Brooks Koepka and Claude Harmon III’s split was a surprise when it was announced in January, and the swing coach has given his view on the break up this week on The Filthy Lipout Golf Podcast.”
  • “On the podcast, Harmon III stated that he believed that Brooks “wanted to hear something different”, bringing an end to their highly successful 8-year spell.”
  • “I just got fired by Brooks Koepka. I was with Brooks for eight years. You know, I think you get players that say ‘Listen, I’m just tired of hearing the same thing’ and I’ve always been one that would say, ‘Well listen, I’m not gonna make stuff up, I can try and tell you something different but we kind of know what you do as a player and if you’ve had success.’”
9. Arnold Palmer Invitational Tour Truck Report: Rickie’s iron experiments continue, MMT train rolls on, Rose tests a ton
Yours truly took a stab at the Tour Truck Report…”The fleet of tour trucks arrived southwest of Orlando this week for the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge.”
“It’s an appropriate place to be digging into the nuances of pro golfers’ gear, given the club building, tinkering, and general gear junkie-hood of the tournament’s namesake, Arnold Palmer, whose 10,000 club-filled workshop is gear nut’s cave of wonders.”
  • “Let’s dig into the tweaks and wholesale switches we’re hearing about at the King’s place.”
  • “Byeong Hun An plugged a Mitsubishi MMT Utility 125 TX shaft in his Titleist U500 2-iron.”
  • “Bernd Wiesberger is testing a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 9 TX shaft (tipped 1.5 inches) in his TSi2 3-wood as he searches for more of a consistent cut ball flight. His current gamer features a Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 8 TX shaft with the same tipping.”
  • “Denny McCarthy, Robert Streb, and Byeong Hun An are all testing new Project X EvenFlow RipTide shafts (which began tour seeding in late January)”.
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“We know exactly the optimal launch and spin you should be chasing” Ping’s Marty Jertson – On Spec podcast

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On this week’s episode of the “On Spec” podcast presented on the GolfWRX radio network, host Ryan Barath had the opportunity to speak with Ping Golf’s VP of Fitting and Performance Marty Jertson about their new virtual fitting platform along with a whole bunch of other topics related to club fitting and beyond.

One of the key point made by Marty on the topic of optimization was

“…we now have the ability to pass information to the golfer on what exactly the optimal launch and spin you should be chasing “

You can listen to the full show below, the above quote starts at 17:30

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‘New Course’ by Gil Hanse set for summer opening at Les Bordes Golf Club in Loire Valley, France

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golf course, aerial view, golf

The new owners of Les Bordes–the principals of European private equity firm RoundShield and a few outside partners–have spent two years invigorating new life into France’s famed Loire Valley region through the historic estate and globally recognized golf club.

Embraced by nature, a sense of community, and spread across 1,400 acres of mythical Sologne Forest, substantial investment since 2018 has created an environment for fun and adventure for families at Les Bordes. Located a 90-minute drive from Paris, the Loire Valley is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage region famous for its chateaux, medieval towns, fine wine, gastronomy, and breath-taking landscape.

New family facilities have been delivered across the estate including a natural swimming lake with a white sand beach, enhanced equestrian facilities, boating lakes, archery, fishing, cycle, and electric quad paths, and a new tennis center. Younger family members can experience a petting farm, go-kart track, pony riding, and adventure playgrounds, with a kids’ club, ice-cream shop, and zip lines coming this winter.

golf course, aerial view, golf

Gil Hanse designed the New Course at Les Bordes Golf Club. It is scheduled to open this summer. When it does, there will be three courses at the private golf club, which many cite as one of continental Europe’s finest. This is an aerial view of the 7th hole.

Les Bordes Golf Club is exclusively private and governed separately from the rest of the estate. The opening of its highly anticipated second 18-hole course will take place this summer. Named the New Course, it was created by globally acclaimed golf architect Gil Hanse, who authored world top-100 courses Castle Stuart and Ohoopee Match Club as well as the 2016 Rio Olympic Course. The New Course is Hanse’s first project in continental Europe.

Lauded for his restoration work, including two of the next three U.S. Open venues–The Country Club and The Los Angeles Country Club–Hanse has already completed work on an accompanying 10-hole short course at Les Bordes, the Wild Piglet.

The recently developed new golf courses join the existing Old Course, to provide members with a diverse yet complementary array of playing options. Commissioned by Baron Marcel Bich in 1987, the Old Course is one of Europe’s premier golf courses. A tree-lined, par-72 course measuring more than 7,000 yards, it weaves through the Sologne Forest, intertwined with a stunning complex of lakes that offer a sublimely serene setting.

This course was designed by the late Robert von Hagge, whose award-winning portfolio includes more than 100 courses around the globe; with the Old Course widely considered to be his masterpiece. The design of the course represents the epitome of heroic golf architecture, with exciting risk/reward decisions to be made throughout. Much like his later effort at Le Golf National, host of the highly successful 2018 Ryder Cup, the Old Course is perfectly suited to the match play format and provides a stage for the utmost in spirited competition amongst the Golf Club membership.

Throughout its history, the Old Course has been perennially ranked amongst the top five courses in continental Europe and has often been regarded as one of the most difficult courses in the world. Whilst the challenge of the course is still quite formidable from the back tees, recent improvements have made the course more playable and multi-dimensional. Overly penal rough and trees encroaching on the lines of play have been removed, resulting in a more enjoyable and strategically compelling course presentation. In addition, the implementation of a new maintenance program is already yielding much firmer conditions that promote the ground game to a greater extent and make the length of the course less impactful.

As a result of these developments, the global allure of Les Bordes Golf Club is greater than ever. Formed in August 2019, it is accessible to members only and their guests, and includes approximately 140 current members.

Additionally, leading London-based architects Michaelis Boyd have completed a full renovation of the clubhouse and 24 of the 39 member cottages, while work on a new member gym, sports bar, mini-spa, and private lounge and games room, including a golf simulator, is to be completed for March 2021.

“We are blessed with a beautiful site in one of the most stunning and culturally-rich areas of France, 90 minutes south of Paris,” said Driss Benkirane, founder of RoundShield and an avid 6-handicap golfer. “With my fellow owners, a group which includes my co-founder and a handful of other long-dated partners, we aim to create the pre-eminent European golf club and to build a relaxed and fun-filled community for all members of the family – golfers and non-golfers, adults and children alike.”

Near-term plans include the announced partnership with Six Senses for the transformation of the on-site 19th century ‘Chateau Bel Air’ into an 88-key luxury hotel and spa, the creation of a community village square with restaurants, shops, a farmer’s market, and an outdoor amphitheater centered around the estate’s 13th-century priory, and a variety of residential homes also designed by Michaelis Boyd, half of which have already been reserved by golf club members prior to a mid-year release to market.

 

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