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19th Hole

Collin Morikawa came this close to being mentally scarred at the Workday Charity Open

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Sunday’s final round at the Workday Charity Open provided a tense and thrilling playoff finish, but it almost inconceivably never happened.

Collin Morikawa’s birdie attempt at the final hole in regulation just missed and left the youngster a straight forward tap-in putt from 2 feet, 3 inches for his par. But what happened next was far from straight forward…

Just a few weeks earlier, Morikawa had missed a four-foot putt to gift the Charles Schwab Challenge to Daniel Berger in a playoff, and the recovery process from a two-foot miss in the clutch against Thomas could have caused significant psychological damage to the 23-year-old.

Instead, the Californian went on to hole an incredible must-make 20-foot birdie putt to keep his hopes alive in the playoff after he had just seen Justin Thomas drop a 50-footer…

…before Morikawa let his supreme ball striking take care of business to claim his second PGA Tour title.

Speaking following his round, Morikawa told the media what he felt after lipping in the two-footer:

“Yeah, that my heartbeat must have skipped a billion times. We talk about comfort; just a bad putt. But that’s when it really shouldn’t happen. But thankfully it caught the hole.

The hole was very kind to me. You know, when you get an opportunity like that, you move on, look at the next hole.”

No pictures on the scorecard!

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

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19th Hole

2021 Ryder Cup betting preview

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After a three-year-long wait, the 43rd edition of the Ryder Cup is finally here! The match will be held at the Pete Dye-designed Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin. The U.S. team figures to be glad to receive the home field advantage this year, as the European side has won each of the last six times on their soil, including the infamous 2018 beatdown in Paris.

Whistling Straits is playing as a 7,390-yard par 71 this week, and the course will play in stark contrast to the previous host course, Le Golf National. Since the U.S. team plays a hand in set-up, the rough figures to be down and multiple par fours have been shortened to become drivable for the longest hitters. This should play right into the U.S. team’s hands, who have an embarrassment of riches in terms of length off the tee, which has historically been one of the greatest indicators of success at Whistling Straits.

With all of that being said, bettors will have to pay a hefty price to back the United States. FanDuel currently has the most generous odds for the U.S. at -160, but they can be found at other books all the way up to -225. For this reason, while I do believe the U.S. will ultimately prevail, I have chosen to highlight five of my favorite prop offerings for those less inclined to lay that much juice. Let’s dive in!

2021 Ryder Cup betting picks

Shane Lowry top Great Britain and Ireland points scorer (+600, DraftKings)

Shane Lowry is a player that U.K tipster Steve Bamford and I discussed in-depth on the Inside Golf Podcast, and we are both high on his chances for a number of reasons. Firstly, Whistling Straits seems an ideal fit for the Northern Irishman’s game, especially if the current weather forecast holds. Lowry finished third earlier this year on the Pete Dye designed Ocean Course at the PGA Championship, and who could get forget his monumental win of the 2019 Open Championship at the wind-swept Royal Portrush. With seven consecutive top-30 worldwide finishes, the five-time European Tour winner enters the Ryder Cup in much stronger form than many of his European counterparts at similar odds.

The greatest obstacle will be how much European captain Padraig Harrington chooses to utilize Lowry, yet I have a sneaking suspicion that we will see a lot more of the former Open Champion than we would expect. A pairing with Rory McIlroy certainly makes sense, as both hail from Northern Ireland and possess similarly strong ball-striking. With that being said, the well-rounded nature of Lowry’s game makes him a solid partner for just about anyone on the European side. The reason I am selecting him as top Great Britain and Ireland points scorer instead of top European points scorer is that I do believe that both Viktor Hovland and Jon Rahm will have big weeks for the European side, and in this offering, I am able to get rid of both of those threats, yet still acquire Lowry at inviting odds.

Daniel Berger top wildcard (+900, FanDuel)

I firmly believe that Daniel Berger is going to have an exceptional week, and I’m frankly a little surprised he’s not receiving more buzz. The four-time PGA Tour winner has gained over five strokes from tee-to-green in his last seven starts, and he is coming off a performance at the TOUR Championship where he gained 3.8 strokes ball-striking. Berger’s iron play rarely gets discussed, yet over a large sample size of his last 50 rounds, only Collin Morikawa has gained more strokes on approach.

Of course, I am concerned about Berger’s opportunity. The U.S. side is loaded with talent, and there is definitely a possibility that Berger will get lost in the shuffle. With that being said, when examining the top wildcard market, I am a little bit lower on Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele’s chances this week than others, and I do believe that if Berger plays well in his first match, then he will earn more opportunities as the week progresses. The Florida native has an incredibly well-rounded skill-set that should pair well with any of his teammates, and I have zero concerns about his motivation to make the most of his first Ryder Cup opportunity.

United States wins singles (-160, DraftKings)

While I am barely getting a better price on the U.S. to win the singles portion than the whole Ryder Cup, I do believe that the U.S.’s greatest advantage actually comes in this aspect of the event. Thus, I am failing to understand why they have shorter odds in this offering. On the other hand, the European’s greatest advantage comes during the foursomes format due to their lack of questions surrounding team chemistry and their ability to hide some of their weaker players.

Conversely, the U.S.’s greatest edge comes during singles, where they possess the clear talent advantage. I will gladly back the U.S. side to take care of business in an offering that I believe should have sizably steeper odds than the U.S.’s standard price to win the Ryder Cup.

Most points won matchup – Tony Finau (+100) over Tommy Fleetwood (DraftKings)

I understand that Tommy Fleetwood is everyone’s Ryder Cup darling after his 4-1 performance in 2018 at Le Golf National, yet I have my concerns about his ability to repeat such a performance at Whistling Straits for a number of reasons. Firstly, while Le Golf National was the perfect fit for the five-time European Tour winner’s game, Fleetwood may have his hands full at Whistling Straits. The Englishman is one of the shorter players off the tee in this entire competition and he is a very poor long iron player as well. Fleetwood is accurate off the tee and possesses an excellent short game, and those project to be two skill-sets that could be largely devalued on a course with virtually no rough that is simultaneously set-up for scoring.

Even more importantly, Fleetwood has still yet to figure things out recently on American soil. While he has been solid on the European Tour this season, the Southport native has not recorded a top-five in the U.S. since the 2020 Honda Classic, pre-COVID-19 pandemic. I do not see Padraig Harrington utilizing Fleetwood a great deal this week for the aforementioned reasons. I would actually be surprised if he plays more than three matches.

Tony Finau, on the other hand, figures to be an excellent fit for Whistling Straits, as exemplified by his tenth-place finish at the 2015 PGA Championship. The recent Northern Trust winner is plenty long off the tee, and is an ideal partner for any of the U.S. bombers because of his elite short game and ability to clean up some of the green-side messes on the plethora of drivable par-fours. There is little point of choosing a host course like Whistling Straights and then proceeding to not utilize a player with Tony Finau’s skill-set. I expect Finau to both get more opportunities than Fleetwood, and outperform him in the opportunities that he does receive as well.

Team USA to win by 1-3 points (+250, DraftKings)

I’ll conclude with what is my favorite bet on the board. After much back and forth, I have settled on the United States squeaking out a victory as my predicted outcome. Earlier in the week, I was in the camp that the U.S. would win more handily because of their clear talent advantage and how much better their collective skill-set fits at Whistling Straits, yet after a quick scan of this week’s weather forecast, conditions actually look more-so to resemble that of a course on the British Isles. The one aspect of the set-up that the U.S. cannot control is the weather, and even if they do everything in their power to make this course favor length off the tee and birdie makers, that desired outcome is nearly impossible to achieve with wind gusts up to 30 mph. If this event was played in a dome, the U.S. may win in a rout, but if these conditions hold, I do believe that excellent wind and difficult condition specialists such as Shane Lowry, Tyrrell Hatton, and Matthew Fitzpatrick suddenly become far more relevant.

With all of that being said, the depth on the United States side gives them a clear edge in singles, and while I would be not be shocked if Europe actually enters Sunday with a lead, the U.S. still figures to outlast by a slim margin.

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19th Hole

11 year old records two holes in one in the span of seven holes

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In a U.S. Kids Golf Tournament over the weekend, 11-year old Jake Martinez did the near impossible by recording two hole in ones in the same round.

Golf Digest reported that in round one of the Palm Springs open, the Tucson native got off to a rocky start by double bogeying the first and third holes. Yet his fortunes turned on the fifth hole when he aced the 95-yard par three. Just seven holes later, on the 100 yard par three twelve hole, Martinez hit the same club.

“It’s 100 yards, so I hit pitching wedge again. My dad says the exact same thing, aim left, try to draw it in there. It does the same exact thing as the last one, it hits and then it drops. We were all just in awe,” Martinez commented after the round.

Martinez recorded a first round 74, and followed it up with a final round 76 to finish in 14th place. While winning the tournament was the goal, two aces, a feat golfers spend decades trying to achieve, is certainly a worthy consolation prize.

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19th Hole

2020 Ryder Cup: Full Viewer’s Guide

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The 43rd edition of the Ryder Cup kicks off on Friday, September 24th at the Pete Dye designed Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin. Despite losing nine of the last 12 Ryder Cups, the United States currently sits as a -200 favorite at DraftKings sports book.

Temperatures are projected to be in the 60’s throughout the weekend, with intermittent wind gusts peaking at 29 mph on Friday afternoon, while Sunday is expected to be the calmest day.

Here’s how you can watch the action all week. All times Eastern.

Tuesday, September 21st

9:00 AM – 6:00 PM: Live from the Ryder Cup (Golf Channel)

7:00 – 9:00 PM: Live from the Ryder Cup (Golf Channel)

Wednesday, September 22nd 

9:00 AM – 6:00 PM: Live from the Ryder Cup (Golf Channel)

7:00 – 9:00 PM: Live from the Ryder Cup (Golf Channel)

Thursday, September 23rd

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM: Live from the Ryder Cup (Golf Channel)

5:00 – 8:00 PM: Ryder Cup opening ceremony (Golf Channel)

Friday, September 24th 

6:00 – 8:30 AM: Live from the Ryder Cup (Golf Channel)

8:30 AM – 7:00 PM: Day 1 Ryder Cup coverage (Golf Channel)

7:00 – 9:00 PM: Live from the Ryder Cup (Golf Channel)

Saturday, September 25th 

6:00 – 8:30 AM: Live from the Ryder Cup (Golf Channel)

8:30 – 9:00 AM: Day 2 Ryder Cup coverage (Golf Channel)

9:00 AM – 7:00 PM: Day 2 Ryder Cup coverage (NBC)

7:00 – 9:00 PM: Live from Ryder Cup (Golf Channel)

Sunday, September 26th 

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Day 3 Ryder Cup coverage (Golf Channel)

12:00 – 6:00 PM: Day 3 Ryder Cup coverage (NBC)

6:00 – 9:00 PM: Live from the Ryder Cup (Golf Channel)

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