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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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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

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19th Hole

Check out 14-year-old Bryson on the range discussing his future before rise to stardom

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Videos of today’s stars when junior players are a common theme – look at the pairing of Justin and Jordan and the (almost) hundreds of Tiger movies – and Instagram site Long Drivers recently released a video of a 14-year-old Bryson DeChambeau, just before he made his trip to the World Youth Team Championship.

In the video, Bryson talks positively about his status as the top Californian player in his age group, commenting that it’s “fun for me and I enjoy that reputation” – almost a prophetic statement given his prominence in today’s game.

Playing since before he can remember and winning tournaments since the age of eight, a teenage Bryson looks to secure a place at Stanford and sees the upcoming event as “very serious actually”, again a prophetic vision of the player we see at double that age today.

Bryson’s coach gets a few lines in the short clip and, alongside eulogizing about his talent, states that “he’s getting noticed by a lot of big-time people”.

Check out the video below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Long Drivers (@long.drivers)

Now, as a winner of eight events on the PGA Tour, including the U.S Open, and with a win in Dubai on the European Tour, I guess we can say he has been a world-class player in the making for a very long time.

So close to a hugely publicized ‘match’ with Brooks Koepka, I reckon we can say he’s still getting noticed.

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19th Hole

Bubba Watson reveals he asked ‘the Lord to take him’ during mental health struggles

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Bubba Watson has been dealing with mental health issues originating back in 2017 and recently published his journey in his book Up & Down.

A few years ago, the two-time Masters champ had lost a lot of weight due to a stomach issue which caused his golf game to suffer tremendously. At that time, Bubba had considered retiring from golf, and all of the downtime had caused his mind to take him “down a rabbit hole.”

Fearing he wasn’t good enough and wasn’t well-liked Watson “feared for” his life and described his feelings to CNN’s Patrick Snell as being the “darkest of the dark at that moment.”

“When I looked in a mirror at that moment when I was down to 162 pounds, all I saw was a thin Bubba, a guy losing weight, a guy not going to make it,” Watson explained.

“And so when you think about that moment, those were the darkest hours, and when I think about my tears at that moment, when I think about what I asked the Lord and then it resonated in my head, and it was like a wake-up call.

“It was like a bell went off and said: ‘Wait, if you have 10 minutes left, is this how you’re going to waste your 10 minutes?’ And I was like, ‘No.'”

In that frightening time in his life, Watson relied heavily upon his wife of 17 years and his partner in raising their two adopted children. Angie helped Bubba return to a better place psychologically:

“Being able to be a man and speak to her and tell her my deepest, darkest secrets and let her know what I was going through and let her know that I was scared … that’s a hard thing to do,” Watson recalls.

“I mean, talking to my wife and supposed to be the man of the house … but then thinking about my knees on the floor, when I hit the floor and ask for the Lord to take me, I thought about: ‘Wait, if this is the last 10 minutes of my life, this is the last 30 minutes, the last day, last two weeks, whatever it is, I need to be better. I need to be better for her and be better for my kids.”

Angie convinced Bubba to stick with golf because of all the joy it had brought to his life and knew it could help bring him back to normality.

With help from his family and his faith, Watson seems poised to conquer his struggle with mental health going forward.

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19th Hole

Bryson says Koepka’s treatment of him has been ‘disgusting’; Brooks: ‘I’ve never liked him’

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On October 5th, “The Match” between Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau was announced.

Just a week earlier, the world saw the two hugging it out at Whistling Straits after the United States defeated Europe in the Ryder Cup. It was a great moment for the U.S. team who seemed to bond during the event, but it certainly wasn’t ideal for generating excitement for a Brooks v.s. Bryson match on Friday November 26th.

In a conference call on Monday, Koepka and DeChambeau attempted to re-generate some of the disdain that golf fans had witnessed prior to the pair’s embrace in Wisconsin. Both Brooks and Bryson insist that the hug was “forced”:

“I wouldn’t put much on a forced hug,” Koepka said on the call Monday night.

DeChambeau agreed:

“It was definitely a little forced,” he said. “The team wanted us to do it, and to be honest I was surprised he did it. But I’m a guy that can put things behind me pretty quickly when you apologize and then we can move along. But it definitely felt forced, there wasn’t an apology or anything like that. Until I get an apology for what he’s said and what not, nothing will change.”

Bryson went on to explain why his beef with Brooks is real from his perspective:

“This is all real on my end,” DeChambeau added. “It’s disgusting the way the guy has tried to knock me down. There’s no need for it in the game of golf, he’s just tried to knock me down at every angle, every avenue. For what reason, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because he’s jealous and wants to get a part of that PIP [Player Impact Program] money from the tour. That’s probably a part of it, because it was squashed until that was announced.”

Koepka agrees that the contempt is authentic between the two:

“I’ve said it like 10 different times,” Koepka said. “I’ve never really liked him. I think we played together maybe when he was an amateur at Augusta, that was the only time that I can think of that we ever played [together]. We didn’t get along there, didn’t get along since he got out [on tour], and then he said that stuff to Rick and I just thought it was crap. You don’t go ask my caddie to say something to me. Just come to me. Don’t be a little baby about it. I think he’s learned his lesson.”

Bryson’s first impression of Brooks wasn’t much better:

“My first impression of [Brooks] was always like, he was a little cocky,” DeChambeau said. “A little like, ‘I’m too cool for this game.’ He’s kind of held up to those standards so far.

“For some reason, he doesn’t like me. Whatever, it is what it is,” DeChambeau said. “I’m here to showcase and inspire kids to play a game in a unique way, and apparently he doesn’t like that.”

It is yet to be seen whether the recent comments by the two will generate some more interest in the event. Koepka has missed two cuts recently leading up to “The Match”, and DeChambeau was quick to point that out:

“He’s been lacking a bit recently,” DeChambeau said, referring to Koepka’s two recent missed cuts. “I’m happy for him that he signed with Srixon, wink wink.”

Koepka has already declared himself the winner of the “trash-talking” battle, and seeks bragging rights for a victory on the golf course as well:

“With all that’s gone on the last two years, eventually it was going to come to this,” Koepka said. “That way, somebody will have the bragging rights at the end of this and somebody won’t. I’ve already won the trash-talking point, I think that’s a given. So now it just comes down to playing golf, because obviously no one will [pair] us together. So we’ve got to do it on our own.”

The outcome will finally be determined on Friday November 26th in a 12 hole match in Las Vegas beginning at 4PM E.T.

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