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5 things we learned Friday at the Masters



Greater than all other lessons on this November Friday at Augusta was this: there are bogeys at Berckmans. No one gets out without losing a stroke somewhere; it’s the golfers that minimize there impact, that post a number. Consider Cameron Smith, who had four bogeys on the second day but closed with four birdies and an eagle over his final six holes, to reach minus-four on the day, minus-nine through two rounds. Consider also, Bryson DeChambeau, who posted a triple and four single bogies over his first 12 holes on Friday. No amount of birdies will offset wayward action of that level. No, it’s not rocket science, but it is easily forgotten. It will prove itself over the weekend, when a Masters champion will don a green jacket, appropriate for this particular season.

Let’s uncover five things that we learned on Friday at the Masters.

1. Without patrons, competitors go about their business

Even at serene Augusta National, it’s impossible to go about a round of golf and unhear what the assemblage of patrons opines. A gallery of attendees is vocal, whether attempting to assist or derail a player. In each case, the suggestions and admonitions reach a golfer’s ears, and they doubtless impact the execution of subsequent shots. Without this interference, it’s the golfer and his ball. Some suggest that this Masters, like the 2020 Open and PGA before it, is somehow less of a major competition for this reason. In my opinion, these events represent pure golf competition more than other years, without the impact of the witnesses. Don’t get me started on the views, which are vast and to die for.

2. May the odds be in your favor

There are two gunslingers currently in the top ten. Their names are Im and Cantlay. Neither betrays any sort of emotion, each goes about his business with the cold precision of a western outlaw or lawman (there wasn’t much separation between the two, doncha know?) Im is competing in his first Masters, but is an incredibly-complete 22 year old, and might win this week. Cantlay led the event through 69 holes last year, but faltered down the stretch. It is an odd fact that only one, first-time attendee (after the inaugural playing, of course) emerged victorious, and that was in 1979, when Ed Sneed wretchedly handed the event to Fuzzy Zoeller. From what I’ve seen thus far, Im can win. Cantlay can win. A gunslinger might win.

3. Is it Hideki’s time?

Here he comes, edging his way into the top five. Hideki Matsuyama has four birdies on the day with zero bogeys and will complete his round on Saturday with holes 16 through 18. The 7-iron he will hit on Redbud, to begin his third day of competition, will probably be easier than driver on 15 or 17. I like his chances of reaching nine-under, right off the bat. Matsuyama lives and dies by the flat stick. Through 33 holes, he averages 1.5 putts per green, with only one three-putt. Those are spectacular numbers for Augusta. Should they continue, watch out.

4. What about Rahm?

The Masters always has a marvelous leaderboard for one simple reason: only the best compete. Five amateurs and a handful of former champions are all that resists a perfect field. It’s easy to lose track of a guy like Jon Rahm. Along with Bryson, Rahm is one of the best interviews in the game. Neither one is capable of playing the cards close to the vest; they WANT you to know what they are feeling. Neither should go contrary to this natural impulse. In Rahm’s case, it walks, hand in hand, with powerful, emotional golf. Rahm was in the mix on Sunday last year, and has matured in every way, with each passing year. He begins Saturday with a five-feet putt for birdie at the 13th. When that putt drops, Rahm will reach 9-under, the current, clubhouse lead. From there, who knows?

5. The cut

The current cut line sits at even par. The biggest (in so many ways) name outside the line is DeChambeau. He needs to play his remaining six holes in 1 under par to slide back to even and play the remainder of the weekend. Matthew Wolff (77) had a forgettable Friday, as did Tyrrell Hatton (74). Both players will miss the final 36 holes, despite riding waves of positivity all the way up Washington Road. Sitting inside the current cut line are two amateurs. John Augenstein reached 6 under par at one point, before easing back to minus-three. He will certainly play the final two rounds and receive an amateur medal. Andy Ogletree, who defeated Augenstein in the 2019 U.S. Amateur final, has eight holes left in his day, and balances precariously on the even-par tightrope. Augusta, you’ve won our hearts again.

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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. Rwj

    Nov 14, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    Every wekk is the same thing. Its so different without fans. I am not producing good rounds because no fans. Blah blah blah. Its been months and months. Get over it and play. Stop talking about it. They are there for the money and majors. They only care about the fans becuase it helps their brand and more sponsors

  2. Bob Pegram

    Nov 13, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    PLEASE list hole numbers when using hole names! What hole is Redbud???

    • Ronald Montesano

      Nov 14, 2020 at 5:29 am

      1 Tea Olive
      2 Pink Dogwood
      3 Flowering Peach
      4 Flowering Crab Apple
      5 Magnolia
      6 Juniper
      7 Pampas
      8 Yellow Jasmine
      9 Carolina Cherry
      10 Camellia
      11 White Dogwood
      12 Golden Bell
      13 Azalea
      14 Chinese Fir
      15 Firethorn
      16 Redbud
      17 Nandina
      18 Holly

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The DailyWRX (11/23/2020): Do not enter if…



Don’t do it….


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My God…..


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“Bad Little 9″……..


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It’s an honest question…

True Legend spotted in the wild…

DM @johnny_wunder

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Morning 9: Streb gets 2nd win…at same course as first | World #1 picks up where she left off | Lynch: “Giving thanks in a lousy year”



By Ben Alberstadt
Email me at [email protected]; and find me on Twitter and Instagram.
November 23, 2020
Good Monday morning, golf fans. A bit of housekeeping for this Thanksgiving week: Morning 9 will be expressing gratitude and ingesting holiday fare from Wednesday through Friday.

1. Second for Streb (finally)’s Sean Martin…”Robert Streb thought the wins would keep on coming after his first victory at The RSM Classic. He had to wait six years for the next one, though.”
  • “Streb won The RSM Classic again Sunday, becoming the first two-time winner of this decade-old event at Sea Island Resort. He knocked a wedge within inches of the hole to beat Kevin Kisner on the second hole of their sudden-death playoff.”


  • “With the win, Streb became the first player since Dave Eichelberger in the 1970s to earn his first two titles at the same event but at least six seasons apart. Eichelberger won the 1971 and 1977 Greater Milwaukee Opens.”

2. Sei Young Kim wins Pelican Women’s Championship

AP report…”Sei Young Kim won the Pelican Women’s Championship on Sunday for her second straight victory, closing with an even-par 70 for a 3-stroke victory over Ally McDonald.”
  • “The KPMG Women’s PGA winner on Oct. 11 in her last start, the second-ranked Kim won for the 12th time on the LPGA Tour to break a tie for third on the South Korean victory list with Jiyai Shin, behind only Inbee Park (20) and Se Ri Pak (25).”

3. Hansen seals maiden victory in Johannesburg report…”He graduated from the European Challenge Tour in 2012 and 2015 but had a breakout year in 2018, claiming two Challenge Tour victories en route to becoming the first Dane to top the Rankings since Thomas Bjørn 23 years earlier.
  • “The 30-year-old had his best year to date on the Race to Dubai in 2019 as he finished in the top 50 on the Rankings presented by Rolex and, after securing an impressive top ten in the Rolex Series at the BMW PGA Championship last month, he is now a winner, making it a Danish hat-trick in 2020 after Rasmus Højgaard’s brace of victories.”

4. Lynch: Giving thanks in a lousy year—to Bryson, Brooks and the ‘stick to golf’ brigade

Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch “…the grim realities of the pandemic and the attendant economic hangover suggest that at least part of ’21 won’t be much better, so perhaps its more important than ever amid our shared gloominess to spare a moment to recognize the things we are thankful for.”
  • “For Bryson DeChambeau, who single-handedly filled the long, dark days of summer with antics sufficient to fuel social media for an age. Blessed be his talent, his success, his work ethic and his stupendous absence of self-awareness. The PGA Tour and its fans are richer for all of the above.”
  • “For Brooks Koepka, whose most noteworthy shot during this truncated major season came at the PGA Championship, when he grazed his ex-pal Dustin Johnson in a Saturday night drive-by press conference. He also freely admitted that he wouldn’t share a protein shake with DeChambeau and that he’s not out to make friends on Tour, solidifying his reputation as a straight-shooter unafraid to flavor golf’s vanilla-centric menu.”

5. Doomed by distance

John Huggan for Golf Digest…”Three days after hitting the drive that echoed around the world of golf—a 439-yard bomb off the tee at the 597-yard par-5 fourth hole on the Randpark course during the opening round of the European Tour event—Wilco Nienaber arrived on the penultimate tee tied for the lead with Joachim B. Hansen. Unfortunately for Nienaber, a 20-year-old South African, that was as good as things would get. His tee shot on the 223-yard par-3 17th finished inches from the water that runs behind and left of the putting surface. A bogey, his first of the day, was the almost inevitable result from the awkward spot, the dropped shot putting Hansen one shot clear.
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6. Maria Fassi added to U.S. Women’s Open field.

Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…“It wasn’t that long ago, Fassi said, that she was 14th on the alternate list. But, as players begin to drop out, like Shanshan Feng for example, Fassi zipped up the list. The U.S. Women’s Open will take place Dec. 10-13 at Champions Golf Club in Houston.  “I was pretty sad honestly,” said Fassi of potentially missing out on the year’s final major. “For me, the U.S. Open is the one that I look forward to the most.”

7. A return to his trusty tools: Kisner back to Callaway Apex ‘14 irons

Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…”For those who were really paying attention, they might have also recognized his familiar irons.”
  • “Kisner put into play this week the irons he won the ’14 event with. It was an attempt to find some consistency and control his ball flight in what were demanding conditions.”
  • “I was struggling with my distance control the last few weeks, couldn’t figure out if it was the change in the weather or if it was me or if it was the irons,” Kisner said. “I knew they were familiar and had some good history with them here, so they seemed to work.”

8. Niemann donates RSM paycheck to ailing cousin

Golfweek’s Adam Schupak…”Joaquin Niemann missed the Masters last week after testing positive for COVID-19. It sounds like a horrible twist of fate until you consider that the 22-year-old Chilean is dealing with graver medical concerns.”
  • “Niemann’s one-month-old cousin, Rafita Calderon, was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a rare genetic disease that affects about one in every 10,000 babies born every year. Calderon is battling for his life, desperately needing a one-time injection of Zolgensma, a drug which according to Niemann costs $2.1 million.”

9. Streb’s winning WITB

Driver: Titleist TSi2 (10 degrees)
Shaft: Project X EvenFlow RipTide 60 6.5
3-wood: Titleist TS3 (15 degrees, B2 Surefit)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana S+ 80 TX
Hybrid: Titleist TS3 (21 degrees, B2 Surefit)
Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Black Hy 95X
Irons: Titleist TMB (4), Titleist 620CB (5-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S300
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (46-10F, 52-08F, 56-08M, 60-04L)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S300
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Prototype
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet
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Tour Rundown: Streb outduels Kisner | Sei what you will



It’s nearly Thanksgiving and we STILL have three competitive events to run down here at GolfWRX. The first real snows of the season have fallen gently in western New York, which gives even more value to watching events in South Africa, Georgia, and  Florida.

The golf world was introduced to a talented player this week, by way of a 439-yard drive; reintroduced to a stunning talent from Korea; and re-reintroduced to a tournament that has become a warehouse for first-time winners.

The time has come to run down some late November tournament golf, where excitement ruled the day.

Robert Streb outduels Kevin Kisner in playoff at RSM

In 2014, Robert Streb made the then-McGladrey Classic his first PGA Tour victory. 2015 saw Kevin Kisner earn a debut title at the same event, rechristened the RSM Classic. Both players came to the 2020 edition on a cool streak, in search of the magic that results in a tour title. Since 2014, Streb had yet to find the winner’s circle, while Kisner had earned two additional titles, both in Texas. In an ironic twist of fate, both golfers reached 19-under par, one stroke clear of Cameron Tringale. With no one ahead of them, a playoff was in order, and off they went to the 18th tee of Sea Island Resort’s Seaside course. A demanding par four of 460-plus yards,  water runs the entirety of the left side, forcing shots right, toward the marsh.

In truth, Streb’s arrival at the playoff was a minor miracle. His two-under 70 the final day was scorched by Kisner’s 63, Tringale’s 62, and a host of other, low-60s numbers. His three-shot lead held up, barely, awarding him a spot in extra holes. Harris English made birdie at six of his first eight holes, also reaching 62, but needing 59 to join the playoff. Kisner notched seven birdies on the day, but was unable to collect an eighth over the closing stretch.

In the playoff, each golfer recorded par at the first playoff hole, albeit in completely different manners. Kisner missed a 15-foot putt for the win, while Streb clutched-in a seven-foot effort of his own. Return they did to the tee for another go. This time through, Streb nearly holed his approach shot. After kissing the edge of the cup, the ball settled 18 inches from pay dirt. With the birdie, Streb became the only two-time, both-in-a-playoff winner at the Sea Island event.

Sei what you will, she’s a winner!

Sei Young Kim found herself in a Streb-like situation on Sunday morning. She had an ample three-round lead, and wished only to secure a victory as the LPGA season waned. Ally McDonald had other ideas. buoyed (or gurled?) by her inaugural LPGA title in 2020 and her third-round ace, McDonald went on the attack. After a bogey at the third, she reeled off three birdies in four holes. As quickly as her charge mounted, it just as promptly dissipated. McDonald made no more birdies until the 18th hole, securing solo second.

There were low numbers on the course on Sunday. Jessica Korda signed for 64, while Angela Stanford and Jennifer Song were able to attest to 65. All three were too far back to charge and settled for top-10 placements. In addition to McDonald, Stephanie Meadow, Austin Ernst, and Lydia Ko all had ample opportunity to make a run with a Korda-esque round. Each was derailed by a slow start, at even par or worse through the round’s first third. Solid play earned that trio a top-five result.

As for Sei Young Kim, it was a case of balance. Make a bogey? Make a birdie. She had three of each on the day and, after McDonald’s stalled charge, enjoyed a stroll along the fairways of the inaugural Pelican Women’s Championship. The title was her second of 2020, and the 12th of her career. The 2020 PGA Champion will break with her tour mates before heading to Texas for the VOA and the U.S. Women’s Open, in early December.

Wilco nearly complies, but Joachim emerges in the end

It’s has been a tale of two cities, for Wilco Nienaber and Joachim B. Hansen. Nienaber stunned the world for a moment with his 440-yard explosion on Thursday, then showed that he has much more game than just the long ball off the tee. Hansen spent the 2010s doing apprentice duty, first in the Nordic Golf League, then on the European Challenge Tour. As recently as 2018, he was a two-time winner on the second-tier circuit but, after this week’s performance, the 30-year old native of Denmark might have some confidence on the big circuit.

For all the world, the 2020 Joburg Open looked to be a home-country affair. In addition to Nienaber, fellow South African golfers Shaun Norris, Jacques Blaauw, and Brandon Stone made appearances at or near the top of the board. Nienaber had the greatest staying power. The 20-year old opened with 63, and followed it with a pair of 67s. At his heels was the danish bulldog. Hansen played four rounds in the 60s, punctuated by a Saturday 64. The week required a pair of low-60s scores from any other challenger, and none was up to the task.

On day four, Hansen and Nienaber were flawless if unspectacular. Nienaber made birdie at holes 4 through 6, to reach 19-deep. Hansen countered with a quartet of birdies of his own. Well spaced, they allowed him to keep pace with the wunderkind. At the 17th tee, either adrenalin or club selection did Nienaber in. His tee ball was long, leaving him an awkward stance for his recovery. The ensuing bogey dropped him a shot back of Hansen. Pressing for a matching birdie at the home hole, Nienaber once again made bogey, allowing Hansen a two-stroke margin of victory.

The peripatetic tour remains in South Africa for one more week, before moving on to Mauritius and Australia to close the books on 2020.

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