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19th Hole

Nelly Korda spends her off time just like us

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Newly minted number one golfer in the world, Nelly Korda, is in action this week at the Amundi Evian Championship in France, her first major under that title.

With a hectic schedule of the Evian, the Olympics, AIG Women’s Open and Solheim Cup down the stretch, Korda stressed the importance of de-compressing and taking her mind off golf when she is not in the heat of the battle.

Video games wouldn’t have been our first guess, but Korda reveled on media day that they are an essential aspect of her off the course routine. “Right now, Call of Duty and Modern Warfare,” Korda mentioned when asked what games she plays. “But when I was a kid, I really liked card games, so I may download one of those. Complete nerd coming out of me right now.”

No judgement here. Korda has displayed an admirable level of comfortability on the biggest stage. “You kind of need a way to escape sometimes, so I was like hmm, may as well try it out.”

Not that we needed one, but the best female golfer in the world just provided a sound justification of why video games aren’t half bad.

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19th Hole

Bryson has simple response to critics of his upcoming Long Drive appearance

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Bryson DeChambeau is getting set for his second Ryder Cup appearance next week and will then tee it up at the Professional Long Driver’s Association World Championship in Nevada a day after the event.

The timing of Bryson’s involvement in the Long Drive contest has courted interest, with those wondering if the 27-year-old could take his eye off the ball at next week’s Ryder Cup.

In a video posted to our Instagram account showing Bryson hitting a monstrous drive that carried 357 yards, some of those critics called into question his Ryder Cup prep, and DeChambeau made sure to let them know that he is fully prepared for Whistling Straits.

 

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A post shared by GolfWRX (@golfwrx)

Responding to a comment that took the assumption that he wasn’t working on his game for next week, Bryson quickly shut them down, saying: “and you don’t think I am? Hmmm way to assume”. Before responding to another user who said they don’t care about swing stats, just that he wins points next week, by saying: “and that’s my goal too”.

 

Some users were also perplexed by the low ‘Smash Factor’ in Bryson’s 357-yard drive. Thankfully the Californian was on-hand to explain why the Smash Factor was just 1.43, saying “The CT is low on purpose so I can hit a lot without it (clubface) deforming.”

CT stands for ‘Characteristic Time’, which is what the game’s governing bodies have used to measure drivers and their ‘spring like’ effect off the face since 2004.

Ahead of the Long Drive event, Bryson has been documenting his progress on his YouTube channel, with the latest episode giving a great insight into his quest for 215mph ball speed, cracking clubheads and managing adrenaline in competition. Check out the video here.

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19th Hole

Fortinet Championship DraftKings Picks

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After the shortest offseason in sports, the PGA Tour kicks off its new 2021-2022 season with the Fortinet Championship in Napa, California. If this tournament sounds unfamiliar, fear not, it will still be held at Silverado Country Club, which has been the host course for the past seven years. It merely received a new title sponsor, as this was primarily the Safeway Open.

While many of the world’s best players will be opting to rest up after a grueling super-season, three of last year’s major champions, Hideki Matsuyama, Jon Rahm, and Phil Mickelson will be in attendance.

As far as the task at hand, Silverado Country Club is a par 72 measuring just 7,123 yards on the scorecard with poa-bent greens and poa-Bermuda fairways. Players will certainly be able to take advantage of the Robert Trent Jones design, as all four par 5s are reachable, zero par 4s measure over 458 yards, water only comes into play twice, and there is not a huge penalty for missing the fairway. For those reasons, I will primarily be looking to attack elite wedge players who thrive in low scoring events.

Let’s dig into the DraftKings slate.

$10,000 range

Kevin Na, $10,000 (15.66%)

At 15.66% Kevin Na, is actually projected to be the lowest owned of the golfers over $10,000. That is not entirely surprising, as this field certainly lacks elite talent and fantasy managers are simply going to gravitate to the players that they feel they can trust.

If fantasy managers can fathom a universe where Jon Rahm doesn’t win this tournament, then they will understand the issue with a $12,100 Rahm at 30% ownership. I am honestly okay with all of the non-Rahm options in this range, but Na would be my preferred choice given his course fit, recent form, and projected ownership.

$9,000 range

Sebastian Munoz, $9,200 (12.75%)

I’m not entirely in love with the $9,000 range either. I think there are a ton of fantastic options in the sevens and eights, but Munoz makes the most sense to me at this ownership. The former Sanderson Farms Championship winner is plenty long off the tee, elite from 100-125 yards, and loves himself a birdie fest.

He is coming off of three top-30 finishes in a row, and the two most recent ones came against stout fields in the FedEx Cup playoffs. Munoz should definitely be able to take advantage of Silverado off the tee and seems an obvious pivot from the Harold Varner chalk.

$8,000 range

Talor Gooch, $8,000 (5.22%)

Gooch is a friend of the column at this point, and while he did not make the cut for my outright selections, he is an absolute must play in DraftKings at this ownership. Apparently, 25% of fantasy managers are choosing to play Mito Pereira instead. Is Mito Pereira five times more likely to outperform Talor Gooch, who made 20 of 26 cuts last season, finished fifth at the Players, 12th at Riviera, and made the cut in every major he played in? This is a fantastic opportunity to fade everyone’s shiny new toy and take an objectively better golfer at one fifth of the ownership.

$7,000 range

Charles Howell III, $7,700 (4.49%)

Similar to Gooch, Charles Howell III also just missed the cut for my outright selections. I didn’t agree with the fact that he was sub-100/1, and an argument could made that he is over-priced in the DraftKings slate as well. I think that’s telling us something. He’s priced up for a reason, and I do believe it might have something to do with the fact that he gained 4.3 strokes ball-striking in his most recent start, good for his best ball-striking week since the Players.

Very sneakily, Charles Howell is plenty long, can dominate with his driver, and is an elite wedge player. Over his last 36 rounds, the three-time PGA Tour winner ranks 32nd in driving distance, third in strokes gained off the tee, and seventh in proximity from 100-125 yards. Sign me up.

$6,000 range

Vaughn Taylor, $6,100 (0.46%)

At near minimum pricing, Vaughn Taylor is grossly mis-priced. There is no logical reason why a proven PGA Tour veteran in solid form is priced next to the likes of Turk Pettit and Max McGreevy. Despite the mis-pricing, the three-time PGA Tour winner is still coming in at sub-one percent ownership, which is hard for me to understand. Taylor has gained over three strokes on approach in four of his last five starts, and he is certainly capable of getting red-hot with the flat-stick as well.

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19th Hole

Lawyer uses Tiger Woods analogy in court…and it does not go down well

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If you love relating golf to all aspects of life, you are not alone. Unfortunately for a golf-loving Kentucky lawyer, a recent Tiger Woods analogy in a court room fell flat.

The case in question featured a man by the name of Maurice Gasaway (named by Sportico) who was convicted of possessing heroin and marijuana. During the jury selection process, the prosecutor attempted to explain the idea of “reasonable doubt” through the lens of a hypothetical golf match with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.

The lawyer stated: “But, who in here believes if I was to go out and play golf with Rory and Tiger, that it’s possible, possible that I could beat them in nine holes? Does everyone agree it’s possible? Anything’s possible. Both their arms could fall off. Okay. It’s possible. Maybe extreme, but it’s possible. Anything could happen, okay.”

He continued, “Is it reasonable to believe that I would beat both of them? No. No, it’s not reasonable. Um, it’s not. If you play golf, you know it’s not reasonable. Does everybody understand the difference between possible and reasonable though? Okay. Now, does everybody agree to hold this man responsible for his actions if I meet my burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt?”

Woefully for the lawyer, the judge ruled that while prosecutors may define to juries what reasonable doubt is not, using hypothetical scenarios is far from ideal.

Judge Taylor ultimately deemed it an incorrect use of the analogy. While we are firm believers that every aspect of life can relate back to golf, this attempt might have been a little ambitious.

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