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Morning 9: Why Bryson is winning | Live odds coming to a PGA Tour telecast near you | Gary Player’s pleas

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By Ben Alberstadt
Email me at [email protected]

October 13, 2020 

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans.  
**We’re currently offering discounted Q4 Morning 9 ad packages. Drop me a line for more details**
1. Shane Ryan on Fitzpatrick’s DeChambeau comments (& future of the sport)
I don’t want to say it’s the fullest rejoinder or the final word on Mr. Fitzpatrick’s remarks, and this is to avoid the issue of whether governing bodies ought to intercede, but Ryan’s take is the reality and historically-informed one, in my opinion.
He writes…”It’s clear from his comments that Fitzpatrick doesn’t want to be forced to change, which is why he’d prefer if somebody else handled the problem. Unfortunately for him, there are far more examples of sports evolving, and old styles being left behind, than there are of governing bodies stopping these changes in their tracks. In the early days of baseball, there were many who thought the curveball was a deceptive, unsportsmanlike tactic that should be banned. In football, the forward pass was resented. In soccer, traditionalists looked askance at the rise of professionalism. Today in basketball, there are fewer true centers than ever before due to recent style transformations. In all sports, equipment has improved, training has improved, and records are continually broken. In almost every case, change carries the day.”
“Golf might become an exception, but smart money is against it. At this point, any interference from the top-such as altering course set-ups (graduated rough, faster greens), or restricting equipment (dialing back the ball)-would have to be implemented specifically to punish long hitters. And that would be an aesthetic choice, because none of the long hitters are doing anything illegal. Can you really re-write the rules simply because a certain style rubs you the wrong way? Probably not (although some believe the anchoring ban was done for that specific reason), and it leaves Fitzpatrick in an uncomfortable position. He may soon arrive at an inevitable conclusion: to compete with DeChambeau, serious weight training and a bigger body are the only way forward. The irony is that this is already true in almost every other professional sport…”
2. CJ Cup telecast to feature live odds
The official word on the permeation of sports betting into the once entirely off limits realm of the PGA Tour (generally, telecast, specifically)…”The PGA TOUR announced today that BetMGM will provide betting odds for all four rounds of THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK in Las Vegas, Oct. 15-18 on Golf Channel. This will mark the first time that a PGA TOUR telecast will feature live odds.”
  • “We are excited to build upon our recently announced Official Betting Operator relationship with BetMGM by activating this partnership at THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK,” said Norb Gambuzza, PGA TOUR Senior Vice President, Media and Gaming. “The focus of our sports betting partnerships is to engage fans in new and creative ways. As an element of that strategy, we began integrating live odds onto TOUR digital platforms in August and now we look forward to learning from this first-time test in a live telecast.”
  • “The BetMGM telecast executions will occur twice per hour, featuring leaderboards with integrated “open” and “current” odds to win, along with odds for head-to-head matchups, top finishes, winning margin, wire-to-wire winner, holes-in-one and playoffs.”
3. “Solheim Cup stars set to compete in Saudi Arabia – where women fight for basic freedoms”
That’s Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols’ headline…“European Solheim Cup stars Carlota Ciganda, Georgia Hall and Charley Hull plan to tee it up next month in back-to-back events in Saudi Arabia. The first women’s golf events ever held in the Kingdom will take place from Nov. 12-19 at Royal Greens Golf Club on the Red Sea Coast near Jeddah. The two events will have a combined purse of $1.5 million.”
  • “Ciganda, who tied for third on Sunday at the KPMG Women’s PGA, said she’ll go home to Spain for the first time since Christmas after this month’s LPGA Drive On Championship, a new event in Georgia, and then and take the six-hour flight over to Saudi Arabia.”
  • “Top male players drew criticism for teeing it up in the men’s Saudi event in 2019 and 2020, particularly in the wake of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.”
4. Teen star Kim set for The CJ Cup at Shadow Creek
Chuah Choo Chiang for PGATour.com…“Korean teenager Joohyung “Tom” Kim is your typical golf nerd. He idolizes Tiger Woods, regularly watches the PGA TOUR on TV or mobile device and dreams of becoming World No. 1 and a World Golf Hall of Famer.”
  • “Some may think he has his head in the clouds, but with five professional victories already under his belt at just 18 years old, Kim has established himself as a young player to watch.”
  • “This week, he will enjoy another crack at the PGA TOUR when he tees up at THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK. The tournament features the last five FedExCup champions and five of the top six in the Official World Golf Ranking.”
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5. Gary Player on Bryson, ball rollback
Michael McEwean for Bunkered…“he said that is a huge fan of the new US Open champion, South African Player insisted that the time has come for the R&A and USGA to rein in golf ball technology.”
  • “Do I admire DeChambeau? Extremely so, because you’ve got to look after your body,” said the nine-time major champion. “It’s a holy temple. Your health is the single most important thing in your life, and he’s working out and taking it to another level,
  • “They all said, Here comes the kook, here comes the scientist, but he’s been more brilliant than all of them, and there’s nothing worse than when you think you have a superior attitude to others and they actually have a superior knowledge to you.”
  • …”So we must cut the ball back, and it will happen. As sure as I’m standing here, it will happen, otherwise they’re going to make a mockery of these golf courses, and we cannot make them longer because we’re running out of water.”
6. Taking advantage of the COVID-19 bump
The National Golf Foundation compiled some thoughts from its members/industry leaders on how golf can capitalize on the present participation bump.
Joe Assell, CEO, GOLFTEC…“Golf is experiencing an unprecedented surge in interest and activity. As long as COVID-related lifestyle and business restrictions are in place, golf will remain one of the primary activities people pursue. Existing golfers are playing more golf, former golfers are returning to the sport, and droves of people are taking up golf for the first time. This surge is leading to more demand on all aspects of the industry from club memberships, to tee times, to golf equipment, to lessons. The opportunity for golf is to retain as much of this accelerated activity as possible for years to come.”
Mike Davis, Executive Director, USGA…“Thinking about it in very general terms, one of the things that all of us in golf talk about on a constant basis is what the game of golf is. We all know it’s the game of a lifetime, so you can be a little kid to days away from kicking the bucket, so to speak, and you can play golf. It’s a game that through the handicapping system allows players of varying skill levels to play on an equitable basis. Not many other sports are like that. I think that this coronavirus has given us a great opportunity for people that never played the game, or people that did play it that lapsed from it and came back, or families to recreate and socialize together and do it safely. We went from really utter chaos in March and April – golf courses being closed, golf equipment manufacturers furloughing employees, laying off employees, shuttering plants – to now it’s booming. And it’s only been a few months that that’s happened.”
7. Koepka bused outta the Top 10…Hatton in
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine: “The Englishman, who won the BMW PGA Championship on Sunday for his fifth career European Tour title, jumped five spots from No. 15 to No. 10, bumping Koepka to 11th in the process.  Hatton’s previous career-best ranking had been No. 13, which he achieved after tying for third at the WGC-Mexico Championship in February 2018. Hatton nearly dropped out of the top 50 last fall before winning in Turkey and ending the year just outside of the top 30….”
“Koepka, meanwhile, will return to action this week at the CJ Cup, which will be played at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas. Koepka hasn’t played since the Wyndham Championship in August, about a year after he underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair his left knee. He later reaggravated the injury at last year’s CJ Cup in South Korea and didn’t play again until February.”
8. Cobb Creek closed for the next 2 years
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Julia Coleman…“Philadelphia’s historic Cobbs Creek Golf Course will close for a few years to undergo a $20 million renovation aimed at restoring it to its former glory as one of the country’s most well-regarded public courses.  Cobbs Creek will close to the public Oct. 31, when the city’s contract with its managing company, Billy Casper Golf, ends. The renovations will start this spring, and the course is expected to reopen in June 2023, a representative from Philadelphia Parks and Recreation said.”
9. Just brutal…Do better
Reading this story, I’m very confused by the build up of tension and what precipitated, but there is no place for a conflict like this nor language like this on a golf course (or anywhere).
City News’ Quintin Bignell and Erica Natividad…“According to Dhillon, there was tension with the family throughout the afternoon as he and his friend played just ahead of them on the golf course. He alleges it came to a head at the final hole.
  • “The son mentioned to me: ‘you better hit a good shot’,” says Dhillon. “Luckily I hit a good shot and after I hit this good shot I [said] to my friend ‘was that good enough’ and as I said that, the father got out of the cart … he said he was going to shove that golf club right up my a**.”
  • “Dhillon says it was after this that he started filming on his phone. The older man in the video can then be heard directing a racial slur towards Dhillon.”
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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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