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19th Hole

“I bet you didn’t know…” – Bay Hill edition

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The Bay Hill Club and Lodge has been the home to many great wins on the PGA Tour. From Robert Gamez’s hole-out at the last in 1990 to beat Greg Norman by a shot to Tiger Woods’ impressive 8 titles, a lot has happened at Arnie’s place.

But I bet you didn’t know…

In 1983, a young pro by the name of Mike Nicolette won his first and only PGA Tour event at Bay Hill when he beat Greg Norman along with a very stacked leader board—which included Jack Nicklaus, Hale Irwin, and Tom Watson among others.

Although it was his first and only win on the PGA Tour, Mike went onto become a very successful club designer in the golf business, first at Ping, and now more notably as the Director at PXG.

Now you know.

 

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

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  1. Chuck

    Mar 3, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    This is great writing/reporting, Ryan. Really well done.

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19th Hole

Why Justin Thomas ‘doesn’t really like’ that rangefinders will be used at PGA Championship

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For the first time, the PGA Championship will allow players to use rangefinders during tournament play this year, but it’s not a prospect Justin Thomas is excited about.

Speaking ahead of this week’s Wells Fargo, Thomas revealed that he’s unlikely to use one, stating that he doesn’t “really like them” and believes that the technology takes away the importance of caddies.

“I think it takes away an advantage of having a good caddie that maybe goes out there and does the work beforehand as opposed to someone, especially now between the yardage books, the greens books and range finders, you technically don’t even really need to see the place or play a practice round. You can go out there and know exactly what the green does, you know exactly what certain things are on certain angles because you can just shoot it with the range finder.”

PGA of America president Jim Richerson stated earlier this year that he expects the use of rangefinders to improve the pace of play at the event. However, JT doesn’t see that being the case at Kiawah Island later this month.

“I certainly don’t think it’s going to speed pace of play up at all unless you have a scenario where you do hit it on another hole or some kind of crazy angle where it would take you a long time to get a yardage. At the end of the day, Kiawah Island isn’t some kind of course where the greens are going to be really soft and you just see pin, hit pin. It’s going to be, okay, I have 193 hole, we have 174 front, I need to probably land this probably 180 to 182, a little wind off this way.”

The PGA Championship begins on May 20 from Kiawah Island.

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19th Hole

Rickie Fowler shares his thoughts on ‘interesting’ Super Golf League

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While Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas have ruled themselves out of joining a Saudi backed Super Golf League, others have had their interest piqued and are waiting to hear more details on the proposals.

Phil Mickelson has said that he is intrigued by the idea, and now Rickie Fowler has revealed his interest in the potential breakaway Super Golf League.

“It’s definitely interesting. I think there’s a lot that needs to happen for it to even move forward of any sort, and at the same time I think competition can be a good thing. 

I do think that the PGA Tour is the premier place to be playing against the best players in the world. Could it get better? I’m sure this wouldn’t be coming up if someone didn’t think that there were ways that certain things could be better.”

Though PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has threatened that any players committing to a breakaway tour could face expulsion from the PGA Tour, it hasn’t stopped players voicing their interest in the SGL. For Rickie, he’s happy to wait and see what develops.

“For a super golfer league of some sort to move forward, it would definitely need at least a handful of guys to be going that direction, or committed or whatever it may be. I don’t know of anything like that right now.

I can’t say that I’m in, out or whatever. I still think the Tour is the best place to be. We’ll see what happens, but I’m happy where we are.”

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19th Hole

Patrick Reed recounts meeting wife Justine after being ghosted by her sister

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Patrick Reed and his wife Justine are one of the more prominent couples on the PGA Tour, with his wife previously caddying for her man on the tour.

But the story of how the two met may surprise you, with Reed recounting the interesting story in a recent Q&A with Golf Digest.

It all began with a date with Justine’s sister, which ended abruptly after Patrick found himself quickly ghosted (a personal relationship ended without communication or explanation).

“I was a freshman at the University of Georgia, and her younger sister, Kris, was at LSU. Kris came to visit, and we went on one date, and I texted her to confirm she’d made it back home safe. No response.

So I reached out to Justine on Facebook, who confirmed her sister was back and got frank with me about why it was probably not going to work out. So I start talking with Justine, who I discovered is this incredibly driven person who was pursuing dual degrees while working to become a nurse.

We kept talking as a couple of years went by; then we started dating. Best decision of my life.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Kristiane Karain (@kris_karain)

All is well that ends well for Patrick and Justine, with the two being married since 2012.

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