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Morning 9: Bryson’s transformation: One year on | Koepka set to return from injury | “Monstrous” week ahead at Aronimink

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1. Bryson’s transformation: one year on
PGATour.com’s Ben Everill…“One year ago, DeChambeau looked a small throng of journalists in the eye as he was getting set to leave the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and vowed he would transform his body to a level not seen before.”
  • “I’m going to come back next year and look like a different person. You’re going to see some pretty big changes in my body, which is going to be a good thing. Going to be hitting it a lot further,” DeChambeau said after finishing T4 in his title defense at TPC Summerlin.”
  • “At the time the comments brought with it plenty of eyerolls. A sense of – here goes crazy Bryson again – was most certainly permeating through some of the golf world. But the doubters are – at least right now – eating their words.”
  • “…At the end of the 2018-19 season DeChambeau boasted a Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee mark of +0.421 and a driving distance average of 302.5 yards. A year later he put up a season where his SG: Off-the-Tee led the TOUR at +1.039 and led driving distance at 322.1 yards.”
2. 48-inch driver plans persist
ESPN’s Bob Harig…“DeChambeau, who is making his first start since he won the U.S. Open last month at Winged Foot at this week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, said Wednesday that he has been working with a 48-inch driver and hopes to unveil it at Augusta National.”
  • “A longer shaft, presumably, would allow him to hit the ball farther. DeChambeau, who has undergone a well-chronicled transformation in the past year that has seen him add weight to get up to 240 pounds, led the PGA Tour in driving distance for the 2019-20 season, averaging 322.1 yards off the tee.”
  • “I’m looking forward to trying to put in a 48-inch driver and see what that can do for the golf course and what opportunities it will present me,” DeChambeau said at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, the site of this week’s tournament. “It’s going well. I think there is a lot of, I guess you would say, advantages to having a 48-inch driver and being able to put it in play and keep it in play.”
  • “So working on that. Still need to get some things worked out, but so far, it’s been pretty amazing.”
3. What to watch in the LPGA Tour’s third major of 2020
Charlotte Gibson for ESPN.com…“It’s October, and still golf major season. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the LPGA Tour shifted its schedule — including when and how many majors will be played….Here’s what to watch for in this week’s LPGA major”
“Riding major momentum, Sophia Popov looks for title No. 2…Last year, Popov lost her LPGA membership after battling complications of Lyme disease for nearly five years. When she tried to win it back at the LPGA Q-Series in the fall of 2019, she fell short by one shot. Playing on the Symetra Tour, Popov got into the Marathon Classic in August after the LPGA was unable to fill the field due to the pandemic. After she tied for ninth, she gained a spot at the Women’s Open.”
  • “Nelly Korda looks to claim first major…”At the ANA Inspiration in September, all eyes were on Korda.”
  • “It looked like the 22-year-old was going to win her first major in a battle against Brooke Henderson. Korda knew it wasn’t over until the last putt on 18. In a wild turn of events on the back nine, Mirim Lee holed two chip shots and landed herself in a three-way playoff with Korda and Henderson. On the first playoff hole, Lee holed a five-foot birdie putt and won the major.”
4. Bryson hits a car behind the range at TPC Summerlin
Golfweek’s David Dusek…“On Tuesday, golfers used a forward position, and with the dry desert air warming into the 90s, the range couldn’t contain Bryson DeChambeau.”
  • “Fresh off his win at the 2020 U.S. Open, DeChambeau hit several drives over the range and onto Hillshire Drive, the street behind the range where the trucks were parked. DeChambeau was flying the ball nearly 360 yards.”
  • “Reps were calling me saying he was bombing it into their trucks,” said Ben Schomin, Cobra Golf’s director of tour operations. “I had him stop in the morning and had to move him back in the afternoon for safety reasons.”
5. Mel Reid fined by LPGA after first win celebration
Golf Channel’s Mercer Baggs…“And there was Sunday night’s celebration, for which she said she was fined for breaking the LPGA’s COVID-19 protocols.”
  • “Got in a bit of trouble. It wouldn’t have been me if I didn’t get in trouble,” she said at Aronimink Golf Club. “Yeah, I mean, I obviously took it a little bit easier than I probably would have done normally.”
  • “Reid’s celebration included beers in her voluminous trophy and she said her caddie, Ryan Desveaux, took it a little deeper than did she. Reid will have a proper celebration when she reunites with family and friends.”
6. Brooks Koepka set to return from injury at CJ Cup
Golf Channel’s Will Gray… “Koepka will return to action next week at Shadow Creek, as the tournament which he won in South Korea in 2018 has temporarily relocated this year to Las Vegas because of the COVID-19 pandemic. There he’ll be joined by Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, PGA champ Collin Morikawa and defending champ Justin Thomas among a 78-man field.”
7. USGA to play the 2022 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur in Alaska, completing its quest of playing a championship in all 50 states
Golf Digest’s John Strege…”The missing link in the United States Golf Association’s quest to take its championships to every corner of the country has been Alaska, which it finally will be able to check off its list in 2022 with the playing of the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur there.”
“The USGA made the announcement on Wednesday, scheduling the championship for July 30 through Aug. 4 at Anchorage Golf Course.”
“It’s a monumental occasion for us to bring a championship to Alaska, something that has been a long time coming,” Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA, said in a news release. “Players from all over the country dream of becoming USGA champions, so it is important we bring our events to all corners of the United States to expose golfers and golf fans to the inspiration and competitiveness of our championships. We’re so thankful to Anchorage Golf Course for working with us to make this dream a reality.”
8. “Monstrous” week ahead at Aronimink 
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…“Everything about the historic Donald Ross design, including its stately clubhouse and oversized greens, feels grandiose.”
  • “The view from the first tee alone is a stunner.”
  • “I mean they’re kind of calling it the ‘lumber yard’ right now,” said Cristie Kerr, referring to the number of woods players are hitting into greens.
  • “Danielle Kang called it “monstrous,” and said she’s thinking about taking out one of her wedges and putting an extra hybrid in the bag.”
  • “This is a proper golf course for sure,” said 2018 AIG Women’s British Open winner Georgia Hall. “It’s what a major should be.”
9. Molinari returns
PGATour.com’s Ben Everill…“While the 37-year-old’s concern for the global health crisis was a factor in his absence, the main reason the Italian has been off the golf grid so long is a cross Atlantic move from London to Los Angeles. Molinari and his wife and two children have made a permanent shift and the former Open Champion insisted he be a dedicated part of the monumental move.”
  • “Obviously feels great after such a long layoff to be back. I didn’t think at THE PLAYERS that it will be so long to get back. I’m just very happy to be here,” he said.
  • “I just decided to take some time off to work out a few things with the family. Obviously we moved over here to California during this time, so, yeah, it’s been different. Not something I thought I would do in my career, but in a way it was nice to take a break and stay away for a bit. I definitely feel refreshed and looking forward to being back playing golf.”
  • “The Molinari’s first moved to San Francisco in July and were in fact in the city during the PGA Championship but Molinari declined to play as they continued to try to lockdown a new residence. While Collin Morikawa was making history, Molinari and his kids were at the zoo. Since then they’ve found a place to call home in Southern California.”

 

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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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