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Tour Rundown: Rai surprises (Garcia, too) | Finally, a win for Mel Reid



The major golf news this week was more agronomic in nature, as the Instagram world marveled at how the Augusta National could go from beautiful brown to…green, in a matter of days. Seems it has to do with rye over-seeding and witchcraft; we’ll get back to you on the specifics. Meanwhile, back at the 18th green, four golfers walked away with massive smiles, thanks to tournament victories. We’ve run them down the best that we can, and are happy to share them with you in this week’s version of Tour Runbrown, err, Rundown.

Scottish Open to Rai in surprise victory

If someone, say, me, had suggested that three English golfers would take the top three spots at this week’s Scottish Open, you’d have been surprised that one of them wasn’t Lee Westwood. If offered the names Tommy Fleetwood, Robert Rock, and Aaron Rai, you’d probably have done nothing to the order. Fairway Jesus is one of the top 20 players in the world, and Rock has multiple wins on the European Tour. Before this week, Rai was known as the two-glove guy, a fellow who had won a few times in Asia.

In regulation play, Rock decided to chip from just off the 18th green, rather than putt. He failed to get up and down, dropped from -11 to -10, and came third. Tied at -11 were, you guessed it, the mashie messiah and Rai. Away they sailed, to the 18th tee of the Renaissance Club, to settle matters. Fleetwood drove into the fairway, while Rai found trouble left. He recovered to leave a challenging pitch, which he tossed to four feet. After converting his par putt, Rai watched in disbelief as the putting paragon flinched from three feet. Just like that, Aaron Rai was no longer two-glove guy.

The tour moves to the toney Wentworth Club this week for the PGA Championship.

Sanderson Farms rates just behind Masters for Garcia

Perhaps not, but let’s be realistic: even though Sergio Garcia Fernandez had won three times since his major breakthrough in 2017, he had not won on US soil, where victories matter more. And, even though his major opposition came from guys named Malnatti, Poston, and Norlander, this win had to mean much to his psyche, as the 2020 version of the little gathering at Augusta looms.

Garcia hit a titanic metal approach to the par-five 14th hole. The ball hit either on the grassy upslope of a greenside bunker, or just past it, and bounced forward to the green, settling inside ten feet. No word on whether he putted with eyes open or closed (the second big story of the week, after the browning of Berckmans) but el adulto made the putt and moved into a tie for the lead. On the 18th hole, with the sun setting quickly, Garcia did the thing that made him famous: he hit an iron approach to within two feet. Garcia started walking after it, as though he knew. The ball landed one foot shy of the hole, and rolled out three feet. With the tap-in, the pride of Borriol had his 11th tour title in 20 seasons.

The PGA tour moves along to Las Vegas for the next two weeks. The Shriners Open will be played first, at TPC Summerlin. It will be followed by the relocated CJ Cup the next week, to be played at fabled Shadow Creek.

Shoprite Classic, finally, is a win for Mel Reid

Mel Reid knew how to win. She had won six times on the Ladies European Tour, albeit not in the past 3.5 years. She also knew how to not win, and had specialized in that in the USA. Reid had so many ways to not win a tournament, and each loss ate away at her confidence. She entered the final round of the annual New Jersey tilt within striking distance once more. In her way were Jennifer Kupcho. winner of the inaugural Augusta Women’s Amateur two years back; Jennifer Song, Nasa Hataoka, and world number two Nelly Korda. It would be no walk in the park.

After opening with a pair of birdies, Reid faltered with bogies at six and seven. Steadying herself, she recorded two more birdies at eight and nine, to finish the outward half in minus-two, still in the mix. Reid had two more birdies at 11 and 12, but stumbled again with bogey at 17. In that mysterious way that sometimes defines golf tournaments, no one had separated from the field, and Reid was tied for the lead as she stepped to the final tee. Her drive found a bit of rough, but Reid lashed at it with all the fury built up from those losses over the years. The ball found the edge of the green, and after two putts, Reid was finally an LPGA champion.

The LPGA Tour moves across state lines to Philadelphia, for the Womens PGA Championship at Aronimink.

Savannah Golf Championship is Harmeling’s first Korn Ferry title

The closing hole was double kind to Evan Harmeling on Sunday, and twice cruel to Kevin Dougherty. Harmeling made birdie there twice, while Dougherty was able to manage pars, despite having two cracks at the par-five finisher. If you’re an astute student of the game, you know that I’m hinting at a playoff, but let’s hold off on the result for a moment. Harmeling entered the final round with a one-shot advantage over Dougherty, but neither did much to separate from the other, or the field. George Cunningham and Austen Truslow made runs on day four, each turning in a seven-under 65. Those numbers were good enough to reach -19, and earn them a tie for third spot with three other competitors.

Harmeling’s round could be described as a three-part drama. He managed three birdies over his first six holes, then followed that with three bogies over the next six. Finally, he concluded with three more birdies over the closing third of the round, to reach 21 deep. His playing partner, Dougherty, fared much better over the first sixteen holes. After a bogey at the fourth, Dougherty reeled off six birdies over the subsequent 11 holes, to seize a two shot lead with two to play. In an eye’s blink, it slipped away. A bogey at the 17th, followed by the aforementioned, first birdie at 18 by Harmeling, erased the two-shot advantage, and away to the playoff they went. Harmeling ended matters quickly, but not without a little providence. His second to the par five bounded over the green, but fell into a sprinkler head just off the back edge. Instead of facing a testy pitch from down below, a flattish chip awaited. Two shots later, another birdie was in hand, along with a first-place check and trophy.

The Korn Ferry Tour concludes its 2020 campaign this week, at the Orange County national championship, in Orlando, Florida.

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Ronald Montesano writes for from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Lrn2journalism

    Oct 5, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    Reid wasn’t tied for the lead on the 72nd tee. She led her two playing partners by two strokes.

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GolfWRX Classifieds (10/22/20): Adams MB2, Olson putter, Titleist TS3 head



At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member Bradh972 – Adams raw MB irons

A set of Adams MB2 in this condition doesn’t come up that often – these are highly sought after and considered the peak of Adams golf irons.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Adams MB 

Member ThatCAGolfer – Olson Legacy putter

Made in America, one at a time, Olson putters are some of the nicest around. Now here is your chance to snag one for an attractive price in brand new condition.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Olson Putter

Member Taylormadehunter1 – Titleist TS3 driver head

With the announcement of the new TSi Series from Titleist, you can expect to see more TS driver on the market and for a great price. This TS3 head comes with extra weights and is hot melted, and ready to go.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: TS3 driver head

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds

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What players really think about fan-less events | dam Scott positive for COVID-19 | PGA Merch Show to be virtual



By Ben Alberstadt
Email me at [email protected]
October 22, 2020 
Good Thursday morning, golf fans. May you own the home stretch of your weeks the way Henrik Stenson’s did the “Dreams” Challenge.
1. What players really think about fan-less events
The Undercover Caddie (yes, I know some readers think UC is fake news, but I believe the source is a legitimate one)…
  • “What’s it like on tour without fans? You came to the right place. I’ve seen what the players have said, and though I’m not calling them liars, they aren’t being honest, either. In their defense, what are players supposed to say? We’re glad fans are at home. They’re pests. This makes our jobs so less demanding. Come on. No one is that boneheaded.”
  • “Listen, everyone misses fans. Most players are alphas; they enjoy entertaining you, and there’s no drug that feels as good as doing what you love and getting loved for it. On the caddie front, no one ever accused us of being introverted souls. But the fact is, life at the golf course is easier without spectators.”
2. Adam Scott positive for COVID-19
BBC report…”Former world number one Adam Scott has pulled out of this week’s Zozo Championship in California after testing positive for coronavirus.”
  • “The PGA Tour confirmed on Wednesday that the 40-year-old Australian will not play at the Sherwood Country Club.”
  • “Scott said his “focus now is on recovery” for the rest of the season.”
  • “In a statement, the PGA Tour said Scott “will have the PGA Tour’s full support throughout his self-isolation period under CDC guidelines”.
3. Mickelson nervous for fans in Houston
ESPN’s Bob Harig..”Mickelson said Wednesday he might skip the tournament, which announced last week it would be the first PGA Tour event in the United States to allow spectators, capped at 2,000 per day.”
  • “I think that they will do a very good, safe job in having 2,000 people at the Houston Open,” Mickelson said at Sherwood Country Club, where he is playing in this week’s Zozo Championship. “However, for me personally, I don’t like the risk that having that happen the week before the Masters. I just feel like the week before the Masters, like that’s a big tournament we have and I just don’t want to have any risk heading in there.”
  • “So it has made me question whether or not I’ll play there. But then I have to give the Tour a lot of credit and confidence in the way that they’ve handled the entire year and I’m sure they’re going to do a great job at keeping the players safe in that environment.”
  • “But because I haven’t seen it before, because it’s the first one out on the Tour with some people, I’m unsure and I don’t want to take any unnecessary risks. I don’t go out to dinner, I don’t go out and socialize, because I want to make sure that I have an opportunity to compete in the Masters.”
4. PGA Merchandise Show will be virtual
Golfweek’s David Dusek…“In an announcement that should come as a surprise to almost no one, PGA Golf Exhibitions and the PGA of America announced on Wednesday that the 2021 PGA Merchandise Show will be an all-virtual event.”
  • “The three-day event held annually at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, typically attracts more than 40,000 PGA of America professionals, manufacturers, media members and golf industry insiders. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing throughout the United States and the rest of the world, the safety of everyone involved took precedence.”
5. No fans for USWO
From the Golf Channel Digital team…“The U.S. Women’s Open will be conducted without fans because of ongoing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, the USGA announced Wednesday.”
  • “The Women’s Open, originally slated for early June, was rescheduled for Dec. 10-13 at Champions Golf Club in Houston.”
  • “Following extensive consultation with health officials, we have decided that hosting the U.S. Women’s Open without spectators will provide the best opportunity to conduct the championship safely for all involved,” said John Bodenhamer, the USGA’s senior managing director of championships. “While we are disappointed that we won’t be able to welcome fans and their unmatched energy at Champions Golf Club, we know this is the right decision for the community and players.”
6. Tiger talks distance debate in Zozo press conference
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard “…Whether the game’s rules makers should consider dialing back some of those gains, however, is a completely different question.  “[The rules makers] should have been worried a long time ago, but the genie’s out of the bag now,” Woods said. “It’s about what do we do going forward and how soon can they do it? You’re not going to stop the guys who are there right now. Guys are figuring out how to carry the ball 320-plus yards, and it’s not just a few of them.”
7. Record golf equipment sales 
Golf Digest’s Joel Beall…“Golf Datatech, an industry research firm, announced Wednesday that United States retail golf equipment sales surpassed the $1 billion mark for the third quarter. If that number sounds significant, it is, the first time sales in July, August and September have ever exceeded $1 billion in Q3, and serves as the second-highest quarter ($1.013 billion in Q2, 2008) of all-time.”
  • “For comparison, Q3 sales are up 42 percent over the same period last year, spurred by purchases of golf bags, wedges and irons.”
  • “The story keeps getting better as golf continues to surge coming out of the shutdown, and Q3 equipment sales suggests that 2020 will likely end up positive for the entire year,” said John Krzynowek of Golf Datatech. “While the US economy will not enjoy a ‘V Shaped Recovery’ in 2020, if golf continues on this trajectory we will be there soon.”
8. Tiger’s toughest test?
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…“But the biggest challenge for Tiger may have nothing to do with the conditions or his uprooted schedule. Since the Tour’s restart in June, Woods, along with a few other players, have talked of how difficult it is to focus during rounds without fans at events and nowhere will that be more evident than at the Masters, a tournament defined by Sunday roars.”
  • “There’s no other place like it. It echos there, it travels,” he said. “When you know the pairings, you know where certain players would be at that particular time and you can figure out who’s doing what, and the roars for certain people are louder than others, and then you hear eagle roars and hole-outs on 16, or whatever it may be. It’s unlike any other place in the world.”
9. A thin slice of golf’s recent success pie
The Denver Post’s Kyle Frederickson…“Colorado’s golf renaissance is real.  Public golf courses operated by the City of Denver report a roughly 20-percent rise in rounds played this year and that’s despite being closed for several weeks due to the coronavirus. Ed Mate, executive director of the Colorado Golf Association, said: “I’ve heard from some private clubs, anecdotally, that they’ve increased their rounds by 100 percent in a given month.”  The CGA compiles an annual survey of public course operators, and prior to this year, the state averaged about 1.5 million-1.7 million rounds played. That number is about to rise, by a lot.”


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Tour Photo Galleries

Interesting photos from the Zozo Championship



This week is the Zozo Championship at Sherwood Golf Club, and with most of the worlds top golfers including Tiger Woods playing and prepping for the November Masters, there is a lot going on around the range when it comes to gear and testing.

As a reminder, you can check out all of our photos in the GolfWRX forums.

New Fourteen irons and wedges


The irons are a throwback to a classic “channel back” style iron with mass positioned towards the top and bottom of the face to increase vertical stability of the blade while also maintaining feel.



Justin Rose with Artisan lob wedge

The little shop from Texas continues to make big waves with more wedges spotted on tour every week including in former world number 1 Justin Rose.

Xander Schauffele’s new Apex irons and testing putters on Quintic

Xander’s prototype Callaway Apex irons look a lot like the newly released 2021 X-Forged irons but with obvious Apex branding. We also can’t forget about putting, and it’s cool to see a Quintic high-speed camera system on the practice green getting players dialed in to launch conditions just like how they would for a driver.

Ricky using older generation Cobra Amp Cell Pro Irons


If there is one thing pros love, it’s a set of older irons—they’re the golf equivalent of putting on a pair of comfy broken-in jeans. For Ricky and his custom Amp Cell Pro’s with tungsten toe inserts, there must be some magic there because he has previously used multiple newer sets of irons but continues to gravitate towards these.

Shigeki Maruyama testing new Bettinardi putter

Shigeki isn’t someone to shy away from testing putters, and this week he was spotted testing one of the new Bettinardi putters that debuted last week in Las Vegas at Shadow Creek.

Pros are “just like us” – Justin Thomas and Mac Hughes edition

Yes, tour pros are just like us except for the fact that they are exceptional golfers, but even JT likes help in his long game and has a Titleist T300 3-iron in the bag, and when it comes to breakfast Mackenzie Hughes happens to like ketchup with his breakfast sandwich—although personally, I’m anti-ketchup when it comes to breakfast sandwiches.

Mickelson testing older X-Hot 3Deep

We’ve heard rumblings, of Champions Tour terminator Phil Mickelson testing 47.5″ drivers in the name of speed and distance, but as a way to also have a “fairway finder” it appears that he is contemplating putting his old X-Hot 3Deep in play. (Being able to identify a multi-generations old fairway wood from a distance based on its paint scheme is part of the reason we are WRX)

Gary Woodland testing Ping G425 driver

With the launch of the Ping G425 woods on tour a few weeks ago, it’s no surprise to see more players testing them in prep for the Masters, and for the fact that, they are the next evolution of the well-loved Ping G410—Gary Woodland is no exception.


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