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Morning 9: Bryson’s Masters prep plans | Rory searching for speed? | Koepka feeling healthy | Tour Truck report

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1. Koepka feeling healthy, ready for return in Vegas
Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner…“Rehabbing his injuries the past two months in San Diego, Koepka said he underwent another round of platelet-rich plasma injections in his left knee and also had a cortisone shot in his hip. If the issue persists, he said, he’s looking at surgery and a nine-month recovery. But asked how he feels now compared to when he began the year, he said: “A million times better.”
  • “I didn’t know how bad I felt until I actually feel good,” he said.
  • “Koepka began hitting balls about 10 days ago and traveled to Las Vegas last week to work with swing coach Butch Harmon. After a painful season, he was pleasantly surprised by the quality of his shots and reported no limitations.”
  • “After this week’s CJ Cup, Koepka will return to San Diego for more rehab. He’ll also play the Houston Open at Memorial Park – where Koepka served as a consultant for the redesign – in the week leading up to the Masters.”
2. DeChambeau’s pre-Masters plans
AP report…”DeChambeau left Winged Foot with the U.S. Open trophy and headed straight to Denver to start working out. Upon leaving Las Vegas, he plans to be in Dallas “practicing every day, working out every day and doing a lot of speed training.”
  • “Every other day I’ll do a speed training session trying to get my swing speed, at least with a 48-inch driver, up to 200 (mph) on average,” he said.
  • “The 48-inch driver, used primarily in long driving competitions, is what he hopes to bring to Augusta National, where he expects to play all the long holes (except No. 10) differently than they’ve ever been played.”
  • “DeChambeau said he would take one scouting trip to Augusta National ahead of the first Masters ever held in November.”
3. Rory revving the engine
Cameron Morfit for PGATour.com…“With some speed work in the gym and a lighter shaft in his driver, he posted on Instagram that he’s getting up around 190 mph ball speed and 340 yards of carry.”
  • “Has he been inspired by DeChambeau? Well, yes, but only to a point.”
  • “Yeah, for the last couple weeks I was working on some stuff,” McIlroy said from Las Vegas, where eight of the top 10 and 70 of the top 125 from the final 2020 FedExCup standings will take on Shadow Creek. “I think as a golfer, we’re so ingrained to trying to hit the ball where you’re looking, and I think with – I think that’s one of the great things that Bryson’s done.
  • “Bryson, when he speed-trains, he just hits the ball into a net, so he doesn’t really know where it’s going,” McIlroy continued. “He’s just trying to move as fast as he can … and sort of making the target irrelevant for the time being and then you can sort of try to bring it in from there. From what I’ve done and what I’ve been trying – you know, sort of experimenting with the last couple weeks – it’s the fastest I’ve ever moved the club, the fastest my body has ever moved.”
4. How the PGA Tour made the one-year move of its Asian events 
Daniel Rapaport for Golf Digest…The full piece is well worth a read, but here’s a morsel of the logistical considerations the Tour was looking at…”When those restrictions took place,” said Ty Votaw, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for the PGA Tour, when discussing the status of the tour’s Asian swing events, “we were confronted with the reality that if [the restrictions] stayed in place between then and the tournament, very few, if any, players would fly to Seoul, sit in a hotel for 14 days, then fly to Jeju Island for the CJ Cup.”
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5. Embracing Danny Noonan

 

T.J. Auclair for Caddie Network…“After years and years of being recognized as Noonan, O’Keefe said something happened in 2007 that allowed him to embrace it.”
  • “I had a great thing happen – one of the many great things that happened while I was caddying at the Open a couple of weeks ago,” said O’Keefe, who caddied two practice rounds in the 2020 “U.S. Open for PGA Professional Danny Balin at Winged Foot, a place where O’Keefe caddied as a teen in the early 1970s. “Jimmy Roberts did an interview and I was able to tell him this story about how my whole way of relating to the movie changed in 2007.”
  • “That year, O’Keefe was shooting a TV pilot and the wardrobe designer, he explained, was a big fan of Caddyshack.”
  • “When I came in for the meeting, almost one of the first things she said was, she mentioned the movie,” he said. “And, you know, actors are always wanting to be remembered for bodies of work and different performances. Me, personally, I wouldn’t mind it if somebody recognized my work, say, from the 21st century.”
6. LPGA Apprentice Brittany Ferrante plays 200 holes and raised $52,000 for breast cancer  research
Let’s just celebrate a good thing here, shall we? Hope Barnett for LPGA.com…“Headlights were beaming onto the green as Brittany Ferrante dropped to her knees and burst into tears. She had done it. The LPGA Apprentice accomplished more than she thought was possible.”
  • “…Helping people and golf; when you put the two things together, it sounds like a dream to Ferrante. On one summer day in Long Island, New York, these two things combined in a way that no one could wrap their head around. Not even Ferrante.”
  • “Ferrante directs the Junior Golf Program at The Village Club of Sands Point. Not only does she help children every day, but she helps raise money for Babes Against Cancer every year; an organization that funds breast cancer and prostate cancer research, which lives underneath the American Cancer Society.”
7. Fowler, McIlroy say Shadow Creek is a good tuneup for ANGC
Golf Digest’s Joel Beall…“players in this week’s CJ Cup are finding the Las Vegas course is serving surprisingly well as preparation for next month’s Masters.”
  • “I think this is actually a great place for-you know, to kind of have a little checkpoint of where things are leading up to Augusta,” said Rickie Fowler.”
  • “Speaking to the media Wednesday, both Fowler and Rory McIlroy commented on the similarities between the Georgia and Nevada properties. Specifically, the comparisons of green complexes.”
  • “I was saying yesterday with how good the greens are here and how slopey and how fast and how the course is set up, it’s actually-it’s not a bad place to prepare for Augusta,” said McIlroy, who owns five top-10s as the Masters. “It’s bent, the same conditions you’re going to get there in terms of grass anyway.”
8. Could this keep a green jacket off Bryson’s shoulders?
Something to keep an eye on. An interesting thought from Golf Digest’s Alex Myers who has taken his eyes off Instagram long enough to publish this piece...”during the second round of the 2019 Northern Trust, Bryson DeChambeau took an astonishing two minutes and 20 seconds before attempting an eight-foot putt. It’s the kind of thing you have to see to believe. It’s also the kind of thing you probably won’t see from DeChambeau-or anyone else-at next month’s Masters.”
  • “That’s not because the Masters cracks down on slow play more than other tournaments-although, Tianlang Guan might beg to differ-but rather, because officials at Augusta National Golf Club don’t allow the detailed green-reading books that have become so prevalent on the PGA Tour.”
9. From the GolfWRX Classifieds…
A few notes from our Johnny Wunder regarding adjustments various staffers are making ahead of play at Shadow Creek.
TaylorMade…
  • Rory McIlroy: To no one’s surprise, Rory made the switch into the Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X in his driver. The lower-lofted 10.5-degree head is set at 8 degrees (45.5, D3, Golf Pride BCT 58R grip, 59.5-degree lie, 2-degree sleeve)
  • Jason Day switched back to his trusty P760 irons (4-PW) after a brief (one week) run with TM’s new P7MB.
  • Collin Morikawa: Testing and may switch into TaylorMade’s new FCG putter.
Titleist…
  • Jimmy Walker (not in the field) is testing a T100 4-iron as well as testing a new TSi3 driver with a Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X (@45.75 inches). This would be an increase of an inch from his previous spec. Walker also shot a 61 at home with the new Pro V1 in the bag.
  • Justin Thomas will have a 9 degree TSi3 driver in the bag with the new Mitsubishi Diamana TB 60 TX shaft.

 

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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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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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