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19th Hole

Steve Stricker selects his U.S. Ryder Cup Captain’s picks

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On Wednesday morning at 10:00 A.M. ET, team U.S.A. captain Steve Stricker revealed his picks for the upcoming 43rd edition of the Ryder Cup.

Stricker used his six selections on Daniel Berger, Harris English, Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Scottie Scheffler, and Jordan Spieth. They will join Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay, Justin Thomas, and Bryson DeChambeau, who automatically qualified via the Ryder Cup points system to complete Team U.S.A.

European team captain Padraig Harrington has yet to reveal his three selections for his squad. The Europeans who are currently qualified are Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Paul Casey, Matt Fitzpatrick, Lee Westwood, and Shane Lowry.

The European team has won nine of the last twelve Ryder Cups, but team USA has won three of the last five on American soil.

The Ryder Cup begins on Friday, September 24 at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin.

See what our members are saying and have your say on the picks here.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Pingback: Spider-Man’s driver off the deck nearly lands him a spot on the European Ryder Cup team – GolfWRX

  2. GFM?

    Sep 8, 2021 at 8:01 pm

    Thank god they aren’t taking Kisner.

    • ?MFG

      Sep 8, 2021 at 9:27 pm

      Yeah why would the US actually want a guy who is good at Match Play playing in a…Match Play event.

      • Chris

        Sep 9, 2021 at 7:01 pm

        He carried Spieth in those Ryder cups. Who picked the captain?

  3. Paulo

    Sep 8, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    Thank god they aren’t taking Reed

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19th Hole

LPGA Tour graduate hit with 4-shot penalty for having her kid’s club in bag

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When trying to secure your card to become a professional golfer, every single stroke matters.

As reported first by GolfWeek’s Beth Ann Nichols, during the final round of the Copper Rock Championship on the Symetra Tour, Rachel Rohanna reached in her bag to discover her daughter’s 23 inch club. Being the 15th club in her bag, Rachel was forced to call over a rules official and receive the bad news: she had incurred a 4 stroke penalty for the mistake.

Rohanna’s three year old daughter, Gemelia has had to travel with her mom on the Symetra Tour all season. It has been a challenging year for Rachel who is trying to earn back her LPGA Tour card and raise a toddler at the same time.

Thankfully, this story has a happy ending. The loss of $900 due to the penalty didn’t impact Rohanna’s graduation to the LPGA Tour, who finished 10th in the money list for the Symetra Tour ($4,429 clear of 11th), to earn her LPGA card despite the costly penalty.

With the promotion, the 30 year old becomes the first mother to earn her professional card by going through the developmental tour.

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19th Hole

The 2021 ZOZO Championship betting tips & selections

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The PGA Tour will head to Japan this week for just the second time in history to play the ZOZO Championship at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club. The event was played at the course in 2019 but had to move to Las Vegas in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club is a par 70 measuring 7,041 yards and features bentgrass greens. The course has a unique design with five par 3’s and three par 5’s.

The ZOZO Championship is a no-cut event and will feature 78 golfers.

When analyzing the odds board, there doesn’t appear to be a whole lot of value at the top. Both Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele lead the way and are priced in the +600 range. Although both golfers are deserving favorites and more than capable, they are both priced too short for my liking. The field is small and a bit weaker than expected, which has made finding value on the board quite difficult this week. Therefore, I have made a smaller betting card with three selections as follows:

Tommy Fleetwood (+2500): It is common knowledge among PGA Tour fans that Tommy Fleetwood has never won a professional tournament on American soil to this point in his career. Luckily for Tommy, this week’s event will take place in Japan. 

The statistics for Fleetwood aren’t extraordinarily impressive of late, but he has had some solid finishes and seems to be playing better golf. I thought he played very well at the Ryder Cup from tee to green and followed that performance up with a 7th place finish at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. 

When the Englishman is at his best, he is a golfer who can get very hot with the irons and make birdies in bunches. This is a shorter course where he should be able to club down and keep the ball in the fairway. Fleetwood also has familiarity with the course, which most of the field does not and should provide a clear advantage. In 2019, Fleetwood finished in 22nd place at Narashino Country Club.

Statistics can be extremely helpful when making decisions about which golfers to bet, but at times it pays to go with your gut. I have an inkling that Tommy will have a great week in Japan and have a chance to win this week. 

Rickie Fowler (+3000): There is no denying that Rickie Fowler has been extremely inconsistent since his last PGA Tour victory in January of 2019. Last week we saw a glimpse of vintage Rickie en route to his third-place finish at The CJ Cup. It is absolutely fair to expect him to come back down to earth this week and show more of the inconsistency we have grown accustomed to. However, I do think we saw some signs last week that show he may be figuring his golf swing out and making a resurgence.

The most substantial reason why Fowler’s performance may not have been a fluke was his statistical performance from tee to green. An absolutely stacked field made the trip to Las Vegas last week, and Fowler ranked first among the field in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, gaining a whopping 8.9 strokes. He also gained 8.3 strokes on the field in “Fairways Gained”, which should translate quite nicely to what he will need to do this week in Japan. Narashino Country Club is a tight tree-lined golf course that makes accuracy off of the tee essential. Fowler was in total control of the golf ball last week, and I expect that to carry over to the ZOZO Championship. 

There will be skepticism about his ability to actually win when he hasn’t done so in so long, but if there were ever a time to take a chance on Rickie, it is a week after he played his best golf in years and at a course that should perfectly complement his skill set. 

Carlos Ortiz (+6600): Carlos Ortiz really struggled on Thursday last week in Las Vegas but was excellent in the following three rounds and bounced back to finish in 25th place. The turnaround was due to a superb week statistically from tee to green. The 30-year old gained 6.1 strokes on the field in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green for the week. Additionally, he gained 4.6 strokes on approach, which was good for fourth in the field. The only part of his game that was subpar on the week was his putting, where he struggled and lost 3.4 strokes on the field with the flat stick. 

A strong reason to believe in Ortiz’ chances at Narashino Country Club this week is his recent performance in the Japan Olympics. Representing Mexico, Ortiz was in 1st place after round two of the event and looked like a strong challenger for the Gold medal. Although he fell apart on Sunday, he certainly showed enough comfortability playing in Japan to believe he could be a threat once again this week at Narashino Country Club.

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19th Hole

You will be stunned by this statistic from Rory McIlroy’s CJ Cup win

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Rory McIlroy’s win at the CJ Cup was the 20th victory of his career on the PGA Tour, and with the Irishman finishing the event on 25-under par, you’d be forgiven for thinking that all parts of his game were firing in Las Vegas.

However, you will likely be surprised to find that one major department of his game was off all week at the event. Rory’s approach play at the CJ Cup lost the 32-year-old a mighty 3.58 strokes to the field, making his victory all the more stunning.

Per stats guru Justin Ray, that statistic is the lowest ever SG: Approach number of a PGA Tour winner from more than 600 Shot Link measured PGA Tour events across all four rounds.

So how good was McIlroy’s play off the tee and on the greens in Las Vegas? Very.

The Irishman produced his second-best display off the tee as well as his second-best performance on the greens of 2021. McIlroy gained 5.4 strokes off the tee and led the field in putting, gaining six strokes over his competitors.

The last time McIlroy gained more strokes on the greens came back at the Wells Fargo earlier this year, while before that, the only time he has bettered that display on the greens was back in 2018 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

On each of those occasions, McIlroy won, which shows that when Rory is putting well, he’s tough to beat.

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