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Morning 9: Herbert hoists first PGA Tour trophy | Meanwhile, under the lights | Checking on tour pro Halloween costumes

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By Ben Alberstadt
For comments—or if you’re looking for a fourth—email me at [email protected].
November 1, 2021
1. Herbert hoists first PGA Tour trophy in Bermuda
Via Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…
Leaderboard: Lucas Herbert (-15), Patrick Reed (-14), Danny Lee (-14), Patrick Rodgers (-13), Scott Stallings (-12), Taylor Pendrith (-12)
  • “Herbert began the final round, which was moved up because of weather, four shots back of Pendrith, the 54-hole leader. As Stallings and Reed made charges from in front, Herbert and Lee each held the lead for stretches on Sunday as Pendrith didn’t card a single birdie. Eventually Stallings’ blistering run fell short and Reed got in the clubhouse at 14 under, leaving the three players in the final group too battle it out. Lee birdied Nos. 15-17 to give himself a shot, but his double-bogey-bogey stretch right before cost him. The long-hitting Pendrith made a costly double on the par-5 penultimate hole. Herbert’s four closing pars, which followed two birdie bombs at Nos. 12 and 14, was just enough to get the job done in blustery conditions.”
2. Meanwhile, under the lights…
BBC report…”England’s Bronte Law secured her maiden Ladies European Tour title with victory at the Dubai Moonlight Classic.”
  • “The 26-year-old produced a impressive final round of 64 to edge a shot clear of Mexico’s Maria Fassi at Emirates Golf Club.”
  • “Law played her last eight holes in six under par thanks to an eagle and four birdies.”
  • “It’s a bit surreal right now,” Law told Sky Sports. “I’m just so happy to win again because it’s been a while.”
  • “Law, from Stockport, last celebrated victory in May 2019 when she won the Pure Silk Championship on the LPGA Tour.”
3. No win, but a card at least
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…“With Lee holding a one-stroke lead, Lee’s week began to unravel at the par-4 12th hole with a poor drive, an awful approach and a three-stroke swing…”
  • “Lee followed that miscue with bogeys at Nos. 13 and 14 and appeared to be rushed throughout the entire meltdown…”
  • “Lee rebounded with birdies at Nos. 15, 16 and 17 to pull within a stroke of Herbert, but his approach at the last hole was wide and he finished tied for second place with Patrick Reed.”
  • “…Lee can take some solace in his finish which was good enough to secure his PGA Tour card after starting this season playing on a medical exemption. The 31-year-old needed a solo third-place finish to earn enough FedExCup points to reclaim his membership.”
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4. Checking on tour pro Halloween costumes
Golfweek’s Adam Schupak rounds up some of the Halloween garb…
  • “Annika Sorenstam/Ben An/Tyrrell Hatton…Looks like they had quite the party at Lake Nona Golf Club in Orlando on Saturday. Annika with the Scooby Doo throwback costume of Velma. We’re not sure who Ben An is supposed to be but exceptional shirt-hoody. As for Hatton, we wouldn’t even know that was him in that get up except for the tag.”
  • “Zac Blair…Zac Blair has been sidelined with injury, which means he’s had plenty of time at home bonding with his young son, Charlie, who is rocking an adorable puppy-dog onesie.”
  • “Jena Sims…Jena Sims, A.K.A. the future Mrs. Brooks Koepka, dunked on Halloween with a strong take on Michael Jordan. The cigar and the snifter were an especially nice touch in portraying THE GOAT.”
  • “Justin Thomas…JT didn’t let us down with a Halloween social media post. He looks ready to post up as Jackie Moon of Semi Pro fame. Will Ferrell approves.”
  • “Tony Finau…With the birth of Sienna-Vie in July, the Finau family is large enough to suit up a starting five, so why not a hoops team for Halloween? They went as the Goon Squad from this year’s sequel to Space Jam. As Finau’s instructor Boyd Summerhays put it, “So good!”
5. An incredible top-60 finish
Golf Digest’s Tod Leonard…”All of the strong work, and the rewards that come with it, seemed to be slipping away for Jim Knous on Sunday in the Butterfield Bermuda Championship. Through nine holes, he was four over par for the day and looking at a worst-case scenario.”
  • “The 31-year-old, playing his last event on a major medical extension, entered the week needing to finish tied for 67th or better to retain conditional status on the PGA Tour for the 2021-22 season. He nearly didn’t make the weekend at Port Royal, but closed with a birdie on Friday to make the cut on the number. A solid third-round 69 put him at T-56, two shots inside the bubble…Then he was decidedly outside after opening with a 39 on Sunday after starting on the 10th hole.”
  • …”In the rain and wind, Knous made three birdies against a bogey on the back nine, including a birdie on his 18th hole, to shoot one-over 72. That put him at one-under total and in a tie for 57th. Those who finished tied for 67th were three over.”
  • “The greatest top-60 of all time,” an ecstatic Knous said after the round. “I’m going to celebrate with my caddie and my friends tonight and then my family when I get home. Then it’s back to work; job’s not done. Obviously conditional status—the ones I get in I have to be ready, and I plan to be ready and go low and have chances.”
6. Winning WITB: Lucas Herbert
Driver: TaylorMade SIM2 (9 degrees set at 8.75)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green
3-wood: TaylorMade SIM (15 degrees set at 15.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana DF 80TX
Irons: TaylorMade P790 UDI, TaylorMade P7TW (3, 4, 6-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: TaylorMade MG3 (50, 54, 60)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Black (50), KBS Hi-Rev 135X Black (54, 60)
Putter: TaylorMade Spider X
Ball: TaylorMade TP5
Grips: Gripmaster Roo
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Greg Norman praises ‘rebel’ players ready to compete in controversial Saudi International

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There has been much speculation as to whether the new Greg Norman-led Asian Tour will be able to snipe some of the world’s best golfers during the 2022 season.

As reported by Golf Digest Australia, it appears Norman is confident in doing just that.

Yesterday, organizers of the Saudi International, which is set to take place at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club from February 3-6, confirmed 25 of the golfers who will be making the trip to Saudi Arabia.

The list of stars is quite long and headlined by Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, and Dustin Johnson. Additionally, many of golf’s European Tour stars will be joining the field, including Adam, Tyrrell Hatton, Xander Schauffele, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen and Paul Casey.

In response to their commitment, Norman praised the “rebel” players for standing up to what he called “anti-competitive threats” in a memo sent to the golfers:

“I want to share my undivided support and endorsement for the stance taken in announcing your participation in the Saudi International,” he wrote.

“You are standing up for your rights, as professional athletes, and for what is right and best for the global development of the sport of golf.

“Without this change, you will never realise your individual and collective value, or elevate the game to the levels it deserves. Simply put, the anticompetitive threats and actions these professional bodies have taken are designed to prevent fair competition, limit the game’s growth, and harm your ability to realise your true value. 

“I wanted to reach out directly to share the respect I have for you and the strength of your actions, and also to voice the level of support you have from so many sectors of the industry, who are greatly encouraged by your leadership and the new horizons in golf’s future.”

The Saudi International will be played directly opposite to a brand new DP World Tour event, the Ras al Khaimah Championship, scheduled to take place in the UAE the same week.

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Golf pioneer Lee Elder passes away at age 87

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One of the pioneers against segregation in golf, Lee Elder, who will be mostly remembered for his appearance as the first black golfer to take part in The Masters, was reported to have died on Sunday, aged 87.

Having moved to Los Angeles at a young age, Elder took jobs at local golf courses before being encouraged and tutored by Joe Louis and Ted Rhodes before making his mark in the United Golf Association Tour for African-American players, at one stage winning 18 of 22 tournaments.

He reached the PGA Tour in 1968, losing a play-off to Jack Nicklaus at Firestone but always faced an uphill battle against the prejudice that existed.

Per Golf Channel’s report, during a tournament in Memphis one of his opponents, Terry Dill, saw a spectator pick his ball up and discard it, only for him to receive death threats at his hotel.

Further to that and similar episodes, at the 1968 Monsanto Open, Pensacola, Elder was amongst many black players forced to change in the car park as members would not allow non-white players in their clubhouse.

Six years later, Elder was to win in Pensacola, paving his way to that first initiation to The Masters, and whilst he received “up to 100 death threats” he confirmed some 40 years later that, “Every green I walked up on, the applause was just tremendous, I mean every one of the people shouted, ‘Go, Lee! Good luck, Lee!’”

In 1979, Elder became the first black player to qualify for the Ryder Cup and became a crusader and spokesman for injustice against racism at golf clubs, as well as speaking out against social discrimination and forming the Lee Elder Scholarship Fund, aiding low-income families seeking a place at college.

Elder eventually became a member of the PGA Champions Tour winning six of his first 22 starts and a total of nine tournaments.
As Tiger Woods won the 1997 Masters, Elder was on hand to witness the cheers. “You would have thought I was winning the golf tournament,” Golf Channel report Elder to have said. “To be there, to see what Tiger did, that meant the world to me.”

Indeed, Tiger himself stated that “I wasn’t the pioneer. Charlie Sifford, Lee Elder and Teddy Rhodes paved the way,” said Woods. “I was thinking about them and what they’ve done for me as I was coming up the 18th fairway. I said a little prayer and a thanks to those guys. They are the ones who did it for me.”

Last April Elder was appointed an honorary starter (alongside Nicklaus and Gary Player) for the 85th Masters declaring that it was ”one of the most emotional experiences that I have ever witnessed or been involved in…..it is certainly something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

Masters chairman Fred Ridley gave Elder the ceremonial first-tee honours while adding that Elder will “make history once more, not with a drive, but with his presence, strength and character.”

Lee Elder is survived by his wife, Sharon, and will surely go down in history as one of the most influential players to break down racial barriers within the sport.

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19th Hole

‘OMG’ – Pro golfers go wild over Tiger Woods’ swing video

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If you are a fan of golf, there’s a good chance you have seen the most recent video of Tiger Woods hitting a golf ball on the range posted to his twitter account yesterday.

As ecstatic as golf fans are about seeing Tiger Woods effortlessly swing a club again, players on Tour seem to be just as fired up about Tiger’s video.

Here we’ve rounded up some of the best tweets from Woods’ fellow PGA Tour players:

The PGA Tour is in a great place, with many young superstars on the rise and interest in the game at all time high. Even still, yesterday was a reminder that nothing moves the needle in the sport of golf like Tiger Woods. If more evidence is needed, the video Woods tweeted currently has 6.8 million views in under 24 hours.

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