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M9: Shane Ryan on Bryson: Nobody else is trying hard enough | Mike Davis moving on | Rory loves Domino’s

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1. Mike Davis leaving USGA in 2021
Scapegoat? Villian? Whatever your impression of the man, Mike Davis is moving on… Golf Digest’s Dave Shedloski…”The USGA on Tuesday announced that Davis is stepping down as its chief executive officer, effective at the end of 2021, to embark on a career in golf course design and construction. Davis plans to team up with Tom Fazio II to create a new golf course architecture company, Fazio & Davis Golf Design.”
  • “I’ve absolutely loved the USGA, and I hate the idea of leaving,” said Davis, 55, who became the USGA’s seventh executive director in 2011, succeeding David Fay, a role that segued into that of CEO in 2016. “I’ve grown up around here. I mean, it will have been 32 years by the time I leave, and my work in championships and governance and so on is just … in some ways, I never thought I’d leave.
  • “But at the heart of this, I have always loved golf course design. I loved learning, seeing, playing, studying golf courses. I’m closer to 60 than I am 50, and there was almost a sense that if I don’t do this, I’m going to regret it.”
2. Replacement search underway 
Shedloski again…”The process of finding a successor to USGA CEO Mike Davis, who announced Tuesday he will leave the association at the end of 2021, commenced about a year ago with the help of a search firm. So it is, according to USGA president Stu Francis, that the association already has taken meaningful steps toward an eventual leadership transition.”
  • “Francis would not divulge how many candidates might have been identified, be they inside the halls of Golf House in Liberty Corner, N.J., or outside them.”
3. More meditations on the Bryson Effect
Shane Ryan, as can be gleaned from his headline, thinks the Bryson DeChambeau Effect is going the change the game of golf…and I for one think his points are superb…
“For a moment, let’s forget the specifics. Let’s forget the weight and distance gain, the muscle activation fitness regimen, the protein shakes, the single iron length, the putting lasers, and a thousand other things that fall under the umbrella of “science.” Forget it all and think broadly. We need some distance to understand Bryson DeChambeau’s win at the U.S. Open-the most consequential result for golf since Tiger Woods won the Masters in 1997-and to internalize the only conclusion that really matters: On an intellectual level, nobody else is trying hard enough.”
“If that sounds like an insult to a group of professionals who have dedicated their lives to becoming elite practitioners of the sport, so be it. DeChambeau is putting them to shame simply because he has the courage not just to seek out innovative ideas, but to pursue them with monomaniacal energy. His commitment is so rigorous, so fanatical, that everyone else comes off looking like a dilettante.”
“This makes people uncomfortable, fans and players alike, but the ultimate legacy of his astonishing win at Winged Foot-a course that was supposed to be the antithesis to and kryptonite for the DeChambeau Style-is that we can no longer dismiss him as a pretentious pseudoscientist. That comfort is gone, and now we reckon with a reality that forces from the mouths of the doubters the three most painful words imaginable.
“He was right.”
4. …and even more…this on Bryson’s putting
Mike Purkey for the Morning Read…“DeChambeau also uses a device that measures putts in miles per hour. Yes, you read that correctly. So, he knows how far to swing his arm-lock putter to produce a particular speed, therefore a precise distance. Then, he takes slope and break into account, using the same device.”
  • “It’s not pretty like Ben Crenshaw putted, but DeChambeau thinks that’s the best way for him to putt. And you can’t argue results. He tied for 11th at Winged Foot in putts per round, at 28.75.”
  • “You see me out there on the greens with the device trying to control my speed,” he said. “It’s just something that allows me and gives me comfort to know that on this green, or these speeds of greens, it’s going to be repeatable. It’s going to be comfort in knowing how far I can take it back and go through.”
5. Danny Lee offers an apology after six-putt horrorshow 
Golfweek’s Julie Williams…“Danny Lee made an early exit from the U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club on Saturday evening – one culminating with a six-putt from 4 feet on the 18th green for a quadruple-bogey 8. After that, Lee withdrew from the championship, citing a wrist injury, and left the property.”
  • …”In the Tweet, Lee pledged to think about his actions and use it to get better.”
  • “I apologize for my poor actions at (the) U.S. Open at week. It was very unprofessional and foolish. Obviously hurts lots of my fans and followers and my sponsors out there,” Lee wrote in part. “My frustration took over me and combined with injury I had to fight with it all week. … I shouldn’t have left it like that.”
6. Watch out for Will Zalatoris 
Adam Stanley for PGATour.com…“Zalatoris’ play on the Korn Ferry Tour has been, in a word, impressive. He has finished in the top 20 in his last 11 starts, the longest streak in that circuit’s history. He’s hitting 81% of greens this season, which is on pace to be the most in KFT history, as well.”
  • “He’s also first in Scoring Average and Ball Striking.”
  • “He might be the best ball striker out there,” said Josh Gregory, a performance golf coach based out of Maridoe. Zalatoris credits a lot of his recent success to his work with Gregory along with Troy Denton, who is the head golf professional at the club.
  • “Denton calls Zalatoris a “freak ball-striker.”
  • “Gregory works with 11 golfers across the Korn Ferry Tour and PGA TOUR, and has been with Zalatoris for the last 18 months. He said Zalatoris was the “perfect candidate” for his way of teaching – mostly wrapped in games and drills and repetition.”
7. JT, TW win Payne’s Valley Cup…
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…“Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas edged Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose in the first-ever Payne’s Valley Cup, played at Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri to mark the opening of Woods’ first-ever public course design.”
  • “Woods and Thomas teamed in a Ryder Cup-style match against a pair of former world No. 1s from Europe, with the match divided into three sections. The first six-hole segment, won by McIlroy and Rose, was played using best-ball format. Nos. 7-12 featured alternate shot and saw the Americans strike back to tie the match at one point apiece, setting up a singles’ showdown across the home stretch.”
  • “Woods faced off against Rose in a singles match, while Thomas went against McIlroy. Those two points were also halved, with Rose beating Woods, 1 up, and Thomas beating McIlroy, 2 up. Both matches ended on the picturesque 123-yard, par-3 19th hole at Payne’s Valley, and with the match tied 2-2 Woods and Thomas got the win by virtue of a closest-to-the-pin tiebreaker after Thomas hit his final shot inside 9 feet.”
 
8. Tiger on Payne’s Valley…
Derek Duncan for Golf Digest…“My goal when starting TGR Design was to create courses that are fun and playable for golfers of all abilities,” Woods told Golf Digest. “This was particularly important at Payne’s Valley, my first public golf course.”
“Woods has always been at his best on the biggest stages, and Payne’s Valley, named for the late Payne Stewart, who grew up in nearby Springfield, is unquestionably big. The course plays atop a broad, starburst arrangement of low bluffs in the southwest Missouri Ozarks, where ancient peaks and ridgetops have been scrubbed and worn by time. (Parts of the property were formerly nine holes of the defunct Murder Rock golf course; the other nine became parts of Ozarks National, Golf Digest’s Best New Public Course in 2019.) Yet Payne’s Valley manages to effect an impression of height by pushing the holes, particularly on the first nine, out to the edges of the extended fingers of land that tumble down into wooded ravines, giving rise to cross-valley vistas. “While shaping the golf course, we spent a lot of time thinking about the views that we wanted to capture from various greens, fairways and tee boxes,” Woods says.”
“To this point, he and Johnny Morris, founder of Big Cedar Lodge and Bass Pro Shops retailers, made several in-the-field adjustments to maximize the down-valley sightlines, including reconceptualizing two of the closing holes into the downhill par-3 16th and the par-4 17th, a classic Bottle hole with a strand of bunkers breaking high and low sections of fairway. (Fitting a drive into the upper fairway is more risky, but it provides a straight look into the angled green.) Woods and Beau Welling, senior design consultant for TGR Design, filled the bare, blufftop panoramas with vast wall-to-wall fairways (the course has a considerable 116 acres of maintained turf), sprawling bunkers and expansive greens with false edges that slip off into smooth, low-cut chipping zones. Zeon zoysia green collars and approaches, which can be cut lower than other zoysia grasses, encourage shots along the ground.”
9. Rory loves…Domino’s pizza…?
Our Gianni Magliocco…“The Payne’s Valley Cup on Tuesday provided plenty of entertaining moments, but one thing golf fans perhaps weren’t bargaining on hearing was a Rory McIlroy deep dive into his current favorite pizza joint.”
“While his partner Rose was preparing to putt, McIlroy revealed that he was on a ‘big Domino’s kick’ at the moment, and it elicited a pretty hilarious reaction from Justin Thomas.”
“The Ulsterman justified his choice by claiming that when you don’t know the good local spots, then Domino’s Pizza is ‘solid’. When asked by JT what toppings he goes for, McIlroy responded that his go-to order is the ‘Deluxe’, which according to google consists of ‘green peppers, black olives, and meats like pepperoni, ham, and Italian sausage.”

 

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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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Morning 9: No 20 for Rory | No moral victory, but progress for Rickie | Lee Janzen!

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By Ben Alberstadt
For comments—or if you’re looking for a fourth—email me at [email protected].
October 18, 2021
Good Monday morning, golf fans.
1. No 20 for Rory
AP report…”Rory McIlroy capped off a big weekend in Las Vegas on Sunday by surging past Rickie Fowler and holding off Collin Morikawa to win THE CJ CUP @ SUMMIT for his 20th PGA TOUR title.”
  • “McIlroy seized control with a 35-foot eagle putt from just off the green on the par-5 14th and then playing mistake-free down the stretch for a 6-under 66 and a one-victory.”
  • “McIlroy is the 39th player to win at least 20 times on the PGA TOUR, and it’s his fifth straight PGA TOUR season with at least one win.”
  • “Fowler, who started the final round with a two-shot lead as he tried to end nearly three years without a victory, faded with a pair of three-putts and shot 71 to tie for third. The threat came from Morikawa, a member at The Summit Club, who shot 29 on the front to get in the mix and closed with an eagle for a 62.”
2. No moral victory
Golfweek’s Adam Schupak…”Kanye West once sang that “moral victories are for minor league coaches.” Well, that may be true, but Rickie Fowler shouldn’t be hanging his head despite squandering a two-stroke 54-hole lead at the CJ Cup in Las Vegas.”
  • “It felt good to finally hit the golf ball properly, at least most of the time, for 72 holes,” he said. “A lot of quality shots, a lot of good swings this week.”
  • “Fowler came home in 1-under 71 on Sunday at the Summit Club to finished tied for third with Keith Mitchell, three strokes behind Rory McIlroy, who notched his 20th PGA Tour title, and two behind Collin Morikawa, who shot a scorching 62.”
  • “For Fowler, who hasn’t won since the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February 2019, it was a big step in the right direction. Fowler turns 33 on December 13 and has been open about his struggles, which have seen him fall from No. 8 in the world to No. 128 entering this week…”
3. European Tour: Fitzpatrick wins
AP report…”Patience paid off for Matt Fitzpatrick at the tough Valderrama course in Spain on Sunday.”
  • “The Englishman made 15 straight pars then rallied with two birdies on his last three holes to win the Andalucía Masters by three shots.”
  • “Amazing,” Fitzpatrick said. “Particularly the way I did it. I was very patient all day, didn’t try to press anything, stuck to our targets and managed to make all the putts in the end. I’m delighted with the win.”
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4. Aramco Team Series
Keith Jackson, Sky Sports…”Jessica Korda led her team to a thrilling victory as Charley Hull clinched the individual title at the Aramco Team Series – New York.”
  • “Korda’s par on the second playoff hole at the floodlit 17th was enough to deny former Women’s Open champion Sophia Popov and claim the team prize along with Ladies European Tour stars Karolin Lampert and Lina Boqvist, along with Golf Channel journalist Alexandra O’Laughlin.”
  • “The quartet combined for a closing round of 12 under which was matched by Team Popov, finishing the 54-hole event on 41 under and just one stroke ahead of Team Hull, who were 20 under par for their final round.”
5. KFT Q School 
Nick Parker for PGATour.com…”The first of five sites for the second stage of Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament kicked off this week at Southern Hills Plantation in Brooksville, Florida with 22 of 73 players earning 2022 Korn Ferry Tour membership by advancing to the final stage.”
  • “25-year-old Alex Weiss of Pickerington, Ohio secured the biggest win of his career Friday, winning the second stage at the Southern Hills site by three shots at 20-under 268. The Marshall University grad is yet to make a Korn Ferry Tour start but is off to final stage after blitzing the field with rounds of 69-67-66-66. Weiss has 19 career starts on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica with four top-10s including a runner-up in 2019.”
  • “Five-time PGA TOUR winner Jonathan Byrd finished just behind Weiss in solo second at 17-under-par 271 and is off to final stage. Byrd, owner of 434 career PGA TOUR starts, made 15 starts on TOUR in 2021 but narrowly missed a shot at a TOUR card at the Korn Ferry Tour Finals after finishing No. 206 in the FedExCup standings.”
  • “Michael Johnson, 28, finished solo third at 16-under and is off to final stage. Shortly after turning pro in 2016 after graduating from Auburn University, Johnson finished one shot out of a playoff in solo third at the 2016 Barbasol Championship. He lost Korn Ferry Tour membership in 2020 but is heading back to the Korn Ferry Tour after finishing solo third.”
6. Casey Martin has right leg amputated
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…“Oregon men’s golf coach Casey Martin is recovering at a Rochester, Minnesota, hospital after undergoing an amputation of his right leg.”
  • “Martin had the surgery, a three-and-a-half-hour procedure that amputated the leg just above the knee, on Friday afternoon at Mayo Clinic, according to Golf Digest. Martin’s older brother, Cameron Martin, told Digest that the operation was successful and that doctors feel they were able to save enough of Martin’s upper leg to give him a “good shot” at fitting into a prosthetic once his leg heals.”
  • “The 49-year-old Martin has had issues with the leg since birth, specifically dealing with a type of circulatory disorder called Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber Syndrome, which makes walking difficult.”
7. Rahm: “I don’t want to see a golf club”
Geoff Shackelford…”World No. 1 Jon Rahm spoke of plans to shut it down after the best and also most dramatic stretch of his career when he captured the U.S. Open, contended regularly in majors, lost a probable title after testing positive for COVID-19 at the Memorial, and became a father.”
  • “His comments after a 78 and missed cut in Madrid, as reported by AP…”This is the first time in my life that I don’t want to see a golf club,” Rahm said. “And this comes from someone who loves this sport, and after a year in which some pretty good things have happened to me.”
  • “Rahm said he needs to take a break and may not play for one month until the World Tour Championship in Dubai.”
8. Were you expecting a Lee Janzen win this week? 
AP report…”Lee Janzen made a 20-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff with Miguel Angel Jimenez on Sunday to win the PGA Tour Champions’ SAS Championship.”
  • “The 57-year-old Janzen also birdied the par-4 18th in regulation in a closing 5-under 67 in the regular-season finale. The two-time U.S. Open champion won the 2015 ACE Group Classic for his only other senior title.”
9. Winning WITB: Rory McIlroy
Driver: TaylorMade SIM2 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X
3-wood: TaylorMade SIM (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 8 X
Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max (19 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black Prototype 105 6.5
Irons: TaylorMade Rors Proto (3-9)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 7.0
Wedges: TaylorMade MG3 (46-09SB @48), MG2 TW (56-12), MG2 (58-08LB @60)
Shaft: Project X Rifle 6.5
Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Hydro Blast
Grip: SuperSroke Pistol GT Tour
Ball: 2021 TaylorMade TP5x (#22)
Grips: Golf Pride MCC
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Tour Rundown: Mr. Honest and Mr. Out-of-Nowhere

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October, when the trees are bare of all they wear. That’s Bono and U2 singing, way back when. Saturday brought colder temps to the northeastern USA, and Sunday confirmed them. Fall has arrived and with it, brought fewer golf tournaments. Gone are the weeks of five and six tours in competition. Like life, things wane in the closing months. Despite the dearth of competition, the three events that took place delivered every bit of drama that one could demand. Not until the final hole did things unfold for this trio of tourneys. Our mid-October Tour Rundown is worth your time, so have a read.

PGA Tour: McIlroy outsmarts the pundits this week in Vegas

Perhaps you caught the quote from Mr. Honesty, the one about the level of golf skill that lurks on the PGA Tour. McIlroy mentioned Keith Mitchell, with whom he had played at some recent point, as really good and capable of winning at any moment. For two days of 62-64, Mitchell made the Northern Irishman seem a druid. 73 derailed Mitchell’s run at the title, although he made a run at recovery on Sunday with 67. Mitchell finished three shy of the top spot, in a tie with 3rd round leader Rickie “Hardluck” Fowler, who flatlined with with 71 on a birdie-filled Sunday.

Second spot went to Open champion Collin Morikawa, who turned in 29 after seven birdies in nine holes. The Californian cooled down a bit on the back nine with only a birdie and an eagle to brag on. Morikawa reached 24-deep and looked for all the world a winner…until along came McIlroy! The druid himself capped a final-day 66 with an eagle at the 14th and clipped Morikawa by one to claim his 20th PGA Tour title. After a forgettable Ryder Cup last month, Rors needed (and got) an individual title.

PGA Tour Champions: Mr. Out-of-Nowhere comes out of nowhere to win

We’re going to stop short of saying that the 2021 campaign has been a hardluck run for Miguel Ángel Jiménez. The Canarian has notched eight top-10 finishes highlighted by five in the top three places. In his last four starts, MAJ has finished 2-4-2-2; if winning is the measuring stick, it’s a putt or two that makes the difference. Contrast his stretch with that of Lee Janzen; the two-time U.S. Open champion has one top-20 finish this calendar year, but it’s a win. And it came this week. And you know who he touched past in the end to win!

Janzen wins as often as Jiménez eschews a glass of tinto with dinner. It ain’t often. On this day in October, a few miles west of Raleigh, Janzen opened with bogey then played 17 holes in 6 under par…scratch that, played 18 holes in 7 under par. Why 18? It took one extra hole (which he birdied) to dispatch the Spaniard. Don Miguel did everything correctly to win: He made five birdies and limited his bogey output. Unfortunately, Janzen hammered out four birdies on the inward half to close the gap. Now, perhaps, he’ll finally be mentioned in greater company than that of Leslie Knope.

European Tour: Anyone want the Andalucía Masters?

As time wound down at Valderrama, the thought on the minds of many was, “Does anyone wish to lay claim to this title?” Laurie Canter was in the mix at the start of round four; after birdie at the fifth, the Englishman played the remaining holes in 6 over par and dropped to a tie for fourth position. Min Woo Lee got close, too., but he had an ugly three-in-four stretch of bogeys and finished in a tie for second place. Sebastian Söderberg got even closer. He reached 6 under par after 70 holes but closed double and bogey over Valderrama’s difficult close and dropped back with Lee into second at minus 3.

Who came out on top? A fellow who had a less-than-memorable Ryder Cup last month, who was desperate for an affirming victory. Matt Fitzpatrick had nearly as boring a round as one might imagine: 15 consecutive pars, two birdies, then one final par. On this day, his recipe for bogey-avoidance won him an unexpected, seventh tour title. It was his first since December of 2021, when he claimed victory at Dubai. On this day, Fitzpatrick lulled the course and the opposition to sleep and emerged with a three-shot victory.

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