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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
WOTW: Rory McIlroy’s $137,000 Omega DeVille Tourbillon CO-AXIAL Chronometer
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!
Name: Omega DeVille Tourbillon CO-AXIAL Chronometer Numbered Edition
Limited: No, Numbered
Case: 18k Red Gold
Bezel: 18k Red Gold
Dial: Sapphire Crystal
Movement: Omega 2635
Power Reserve: 45 Hours
Glass: Domed Saphire Crystal, Anti-Reflective
Waterproof: 30 Meters
Bracelet: Black Alligator Leather Strap
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!
Morning 9: No 20 for Rory | No moral victory, but progress for Rickie | Lee Janzen!
Tour Rundown: Mr. Honest and Mr. Out-of-Nowhere
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 (@PGATOUR) October 17, 2021
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.
— PGA TOUR Champions (@ChampionsTour) October 17, 2021
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.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) October 17, 2021
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Clement: This wrist position can add 30 yards to your drive
Steve Stricker shares positive news from Tiger Woods’ rehab
Spider-Man’s driver off the deck nearly lands him a spot on the European Ryder Cup team
Bryson DeChambeau shares why dimples are the key to sinking more short putts
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