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Morning 9: Slow play penalty and a loss | Phil on Ryder Cup chances | Brooks-Bryson

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Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1 Slow play penalty and a loss
Amy Rogers for Golf Channel…“It was a penalty, not a birdie, that determined the outcome of Carlota Ciganda’s match against Sarah Schmelzel on Day 1 of the Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play.”
  • “Ciganda, the No. 17 seed, and Schmelzel, No. 48, were tied as they pushed their match to the closing par 5 at Shadow Creek Golf Club. Surprisingly, Ciganda, a four-time member of the European Solheim Cup team, never led during the match – until it was all over. Ciganda birdied the 18th to – seemingly – earn a 1-up win.”
  • “However, following the conclusion of play, the LPGA Tour notified Ciganda that she had been assessed a slow-play penalty at the 18th. Per the policy, Ciganda, who exceeded her allotted time for total strokes taken on the hole, was assessed a loss-of-hole penalty. That awarded Schmelzel the hole and subsequently the match.”
2. Phil on Ryder Cup chances
ESPN’s Bob Harig…”But the 12-time participant said Wednesday that he expects to have to do more in order to be part of the 12-player team that will take on Europe in late September at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.”
  • “If I’m the captain, I’m not going to want a guy that plays well one week in an entire year,” Mickelson said at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas. “And so just because I played really well last week and won a big championship, that does not warrant a spot on the team by any means.
  • “But I know at least I have an opportunity over the course of the next three months to play at a high level consistently and maybe be in a position to add something to the team.”
3. Bryson-Brooks
ESPN report…”Not able to contain their feud to the golf course, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau traded barbs Wednesday on social media.”
  • “After some tongue-in-cheek banter on social media following the announcement that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson would be taking on DeChambeau and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on July 6 in The Match, Koepka entered the fray.”
  • “Sorry bro @AaronRodgers12,” Koepka tweeted, seemingly for Rodgers having to be paired with DeChambeau.
  • “DeChambeau responded, directly to Koepka: “@BKoepka It’s nice to be living rent free in your head!”
4. Still digesting
Cameron Morfit for PGATour.com…“Really it hit me in the last two days what just happened,” Mickelson, 50, said Wednesday from Colonial Country Club, where he is a two-time past champion (2000, ’08).”
  • “The last 72 hours have been a whirlwind. After his media obligations he flew home to San Diego see wife Amy, and the two stayed up until 6 a.m. ET Monday morning, savoring the victory.”
  • “Now he’s in Texas for the Schwab, a commitment he said he never considered not honoring.”
  • “I’m excited to play here because I’ve been playing well,” said Mickelson, part of a threesome with Jordan Spieth and Daniel Berger. “I want to try to carry that momentum into a tournament that I’ve enjoyed many times and fortunate to win a couple of times on a great golf course.”
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5. The Match
Via the Golf Channel Digital team…”Bryson DeChambeau and Aaron Rodgers are set to join the next iteration of “The Match.”
  • “The reigning U.S. Open champion and NFL MVP will face PGA champion Phil Mickelson and Super Bowl champ Tom Brady, it was announced on Wednesday.”
  • “The fourth edition of the made-for-TV event will take place July 6 at The Reserve at Moonlight Basin in Big Sky, Montana. They will play a modified alternate-shot match-play format.”
6. UK participation surges
BBC report…”Golf in the UK and Ireland has been told by the R&A to “seize” its chance to build on a surge in participation.”
  • “An extra 2.3 million adults played in the UK and Ireland in 2020 despite disruption from the Covid-19 pandemic.”
  • “The numbers playing on a nine or 18-hole course in the UK increased by 2.1 million players to 5.2 million – the highest figure recorded this century.”
  • “In Ireland, participation also grew markedly, with an increase of 219,000 on-course players to 540,000.”
7. Reed at home
Golfweek’s Tim Schmitt…”when the nine-time PGA Tour winner gets back home with wife Justine and kiddos Windsor-Wells and Barrett, he insists he checks his dastardly persona at the door.”
  • “The other side of Team Reed where we have Justine as the wife and the two little ones, puts perspective on just life in general. I’m fortunate enough to play a sport for a living and to travel the world, see the world but then at the same time, at the end of the day, I go out and play golf and always you can control is what you do on the golf course,” he said in advance of this week’s Charles Schwab Classic in Fort Worth.
  • “If you go home, it doesn’t matter if I shoot 63 or 73 or 83. When you walk in the door. … you’re their hero. Daddy’s home. They don’t care what happened on the golf course, they are just happy to have me back.”
8. Mickelson’s legacy: Longevity
AP report…“It’s really difficult when you’ve had as much success as I had over a long period of time to charge your batteries, day after day, and go back out and say, ‘Man, I want to do this again,’” Nicklaus said.”
  • “That’s where Mickelson stands alone.”
  • “The list of 24 players who have reached No. 1 since the world ranking began in 1986 does not include Mickelson, who is more accomplished than all but one of them. He has never won a PGA TOUR money title. He has never been PGA TOUR Player of the Year. He is not among the most elite group in golf with the career Grand Slam.”
9. Photos from Colonial
GolfWRX is live this week from the 76th edition of the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club.
  • Marvin Leonard’s dream plays to a par 70 at 7,209 yards, and this year’s tournament features a strong field for the week following a major championship. Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Collin Morikawa, Louis Oosthuizen, and Justin Rose are all putting a peg in the ground in Fort Worth.
  • Speaking of Justin Rose, it looks like Rosey has benched his Mizuno MP-20 irons and returned to TaylorMade P730’s with a few Srixon ZX U irons in the mix as well.
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Photos from the 2021 Palmetto Championship at Congaree

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GolfWRX is live from Congaree Golf Club for the Palmetto Championship. This one-time replacement for the RBC Canadian Open is the third PGA Tour event contested in South Carolina this season.

Palmetto State native Dustin Johnson headlines the field (and has been doing plenty of putter testing). Brooks Koepka and Jason Dufner will be teeing it up as well. John Pak and Davis Thompson will both be making their professional debuts.

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John Pak, college golf’s top player, signs with TaylorMade

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Editor’s note: We filed this piece for PGATour.com’s Equipment Report.

With a buddy on the bag and fresh off receiving the Jack Nicklaus Award in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday, celebrated amateur and Florida State standout John Pak is making his professional debut at this week’s Palmetto Championship at Congaree — and he’ll do so as a TaylorMade staffer, the company announced today.

College golf’s top player, Pak has played TaylorMade gear and a Titleist ball since his amateur days. And as we found out from Ryan Ressa, TaylorMade’s player development manager, who has worked with Pak since he was in his early teens, it’s not surprising Pak will continue with the same bag setup and ball combination as he joins the professional ranks.

The Scotch Plains, New Jersey, native is an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kind of guy when it comes to his equipment, which is a trait Ressa sees among many of the game’s best. (Another TaylorMade staffer Tiger Woods, for one, comes to mind).

Ressa and TaylorMade have had a relationship with Pak for nearly a decade, and it’s Ressa’s job to not only make sure Pak is in the right equipment for his game but is also navigating the matrix of amateur competitions, college, and the decision to turn pro successfully.

According to Ressa, Pak, and other junior standouts, need new equipment, or at least a fitting, roughly every six months as their bodies and swings change.

Even so, while he’s transitioned into new fairway wood models as they’ve become available, the DNA of Pak’s bag has stayed largely the same.

“Jon is a very simple guy when it comes to equipment, and he doesn’t do a lot of tinkering outside of driver shafts,” Ressa said. “Deep down, he’s a great competitor. He just loves to compete and is focused on getting the ball in the hole. He’s stayed really, really consistent with the look of his irons, the loft of his wedges, and his bag setup. He’s been easy to work with and only needs one or two visits per year to get squared away.”

Read the full piece here.

Check out the full WITB here. 

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Morning 9: Fowler’s U.S. Open qualifying bid | Qualifying scores | Bryson: Rivalries good for golf

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Good Tuesday morning, golf fans.
1. Fowler’s U.S. Open qualifying bid
AP report…”Already facing a long day, Rickie Fowler found the road even tougher Monday in 36-hole qualifying as he tried to avoid missing the U.S. Open for the first time in 11 years.”
  • “Fowler was among 685 players seeking 54 spots in nine qualifiers across eight states to fill the field for the U.S. Open, which starts June 17 at Torrey Pines in San Diego.”
  • “He played his opening round at Brookside in 1-over 73, which was halted for three hours because of heavy rain and thunder, meaning he likely would need at least a 65 at The Lakes to have any chance.”
  • “Fowler wasn’t going down without a fight. He was 4 under for his round — 3 under for the qualifier — through 13 holes when it was too dark to continue because of the rain delay.”
Full scores, qualifiers here...other notables include Patrick Rodgers, Branden Grace, Bo Hoag, Troy Merritt, John Huh, Sam Ryder, and Akshay Bhatia
2. Premier Golf League slated for 2023?
The BBC’s Ian Carter with the report on the UK-based upstart’s plants to, well, start up…”Detailed plans for a £250m Premier Golf League aimed at revolutionising the professional game are to be revealed later this week.”
  • “BBC Sport has learned that the Formula 1 style global competition is scheduled to begin in January 2023 and would include 18 tournaments targeting the top 48 male players in the world.”
  • “A dozen of those events would be staged in the United States with the others “chasing the sun” around the world. Each competition would be worth $20m (£14m) with $4m going to the winner and last place picking up $150,000.”
  • “By way of comparison, the biggest purse on the PGA Tour for a single event is $2.7m from a $15m prize fund at the Players Championship.”
3. Bryson: Rivalries good for golf
Carlos Monarrez reporting from Rocket Mortgage Classic media day for the Detroit Free Press…”Bryson DeChambeau, at the center of the golf world because of his white-hot rivalry with Brooks Koepka, didn’t want to spend too much time discussing that rivalry Monday when he returned to speak about defending his title at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, July 1-4, at Detroit Golf Club.”
  • “DeChambeau, who will defend his U.S. Open title next week at Torrey Pines in San Diego, said the feud is good for the sport.”
  • “I think a good jesting rivalry is good for the game of golf, nothing too extreme,” he told reporters on media day at Detroit Golf Club. “But at the same point and time that’s all outside of the spectrum of what we’re here for today, and I think the most important thing is to be talking about what Rocket Mortgage is doing for the 313 area and I think the change the course initiative is something that’s bigger than the game of golf, compared to a rivalry.”
4. Armitage!
EuropeanTour.com report…”An emotional Marcus Armitage claimed his maiden European Tour title at the Porsche European Open after a sensational final round at Green Eagle Golf Courses.”
  • “The 33-year-old from England made six birdies and an eagle to race to eight under for the day and nine under for the week.”
  • “At that stage Armitage was four shots clear but he bogeyed the 16th after a misjudged putt from over 100 feet and needed a remarkable chip to save par on the 17th following an overly cautious tee shot”
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5. Costly
Rob Oller voices his opinion for the Columbus Dispatch…”If Rahm had been vaccinated ASAP after his home state of Arizona opened eligibility to all adults on March 24, the 26-year-old Spaniard almost certainly would have avoided testing positive for COVID-19 Saturday at the Memorial Tournament.”
  • “And had he not tested positive, he would not have withdrawn from the Memorial, which he led by six shots with 18 left to play.”
  • “And if he had not withdrawn, Rahm stood a strong chance of leaving Muirfield Village Golf Club with a crystal trophy and $1.675 million.”
  • “It does not take a Fortune 500 company accountant to connect those dots. Get a tiny prick in the arm, avoid the huge hole in the pocket that allowed a cool million-and-a-half to slip through.”
6. Big things ahead for Megha Ganne after impressive U.S. Open showing
Emilia Migliaccio for Golf Channel…”A true class act. Ganne didn’t get frustrated for shooting a higher score than she wanted. She knew the course was bound to get her like it did everyone, but she was composed and motivated to fight the entire day for some birdies, which she finally got on the par-5 17th. She also knew that regardless of the final round results, it would be the week of a lifetime.”
  • “I’m going to remember this for the rest of my life. It’s everything I’ve wanted since I was little, so it’s just the best feeling.”
  • “…I can’t thank all these fans enough. They’ve made my week so much better than it could have been. I just felt like there was so much love and so much support, and all of them are really excited to be out here, which is so great to see because I feel like in a small way, I’m making an impact on the game, which is really cool.”
7. The first major champion from the Philippines
Kent Paisley for Golf Digest…”It was 8 a.m. local time on Monday in the Philippines when Saso won the playoff to claim the title, her first LPGA Tour victory. You can rightfully say that Saso raised a new dawn for the game of golf in her home country. “I’m just thankful that there’s so many people in the Philippines cheering for me,” Saso said. “I don’t know how to thank them. They gave me so much energy. I want to say thank you to everyone.”
  • “Interestingly, too, San Francisco has one of the largest Filipina populations of any city in the U.S., with Saso attracting an impressive following during her week at Olympic Club.”
  • “Pagdanganan wasn’t in the field at Olympic Club but is playing in next week’s LPGA stop in San Francisco and arrived at Olympic Club on Sunday to watch Saso starting on the fifth hole.”
  • “I think it’s not only good for her, but I think it’s good for the Philippines,” Pagdanganan said. “She put us on the radar. What she did was absolutely a great thing, not only for golf but for our country.”
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