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19th Hole

‘To play an event like this is a dream for me’ – Patrick Reed on this week’s Asian Tour event

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One of the main reasons given by players moving from the PGA Tour to the LIV series was to allow more time between events, to be at home more often, and to have the freedom to choose which events to play throughout the season.

In the last week or so, we have seen 11 LIV golfers serve a lawsuit on the PGA Tour and subsequently receive an in-depth reply and denial of charges. Three of the 11 – Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford – have since seen their application for a Temporary Restraining Order denied by the courts, therefore being unable to play in the first (or following) FedEx play-off events, starting on Thursday.

2018 Masters champion, Patrick Reed, has had his many controversies over the years and after agreeing to sign for the LIV series, spoke of how it allowed him more free time.

“On top of it, just the quality of life for us as players now, having less events, being able to spend more time at home with the family,” was an admirable take by Reed.

“If you have kids, being able to spend time with your children, and not sitting there and having to play three, four weeks in a row, then have a week off, and during that week off you’re preparing, trying to get ready for the next week.”

Great, hard to argue with that notion.

Yet, here he is, just a couple of months later, playing the LIV-backed International Series Singapore before taking in a similar event in Korea, just a few days later, surely not giving much time to jet home and spend more time with Justine and the kids.

Having dropped to #46 in the world rankings, and with no OWGR points currently awarded to LIV events, Reed is in danger of slipping out of the top-50 and losing the considerable privileges that come with it – that is if the leading organizations do eventually allow all LIV players to compete.

With the backing of LIV Golf, but not an exclusive event, the Asian Tour events do carry OWGR points. However, as the official world ranking site shows, winning here will not make a tremendous deal of difference to the standings, the eventual champion receiving around 7.5 points compared with 69 points for the winner at St. Jude and nearly 15 at the DP World Tour event in Northern Ireland.

Reed doesn’t see that as an issue, saying that, “World ranking points always help, but at the end of the day, for me, coming over here, I’d heard great things about this place.

“And coming in, I knew I wanted to play a little bit after the last event we played in Bedminster, and it fit the schedule.

“For me, it’s more about travelling and playing golf and trying to grow the game around the world–and not just staying at home and playing at home. I have always loved traveling and playing, so to play an event like this is a dream for me.”

Once out in the mainstream, there was, of course, plenty of social media reaction.

Responding to a tweet by @BunkeredOnline, one user commented, “Wow….that seems strange, given his reasons for joining LIV. “He asserted that being on the road and away from his kids, the possibility that he wasn’t being a good dad, was beginning to affect his play.” Hopefully, sometime in Asia will help with those issues!”

Opinions come and go. What the majority are calling for is the honest answer to why the players are making the choices they are.

With the legal moves in process and still to come, this could get even nastier than it has already.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. gurn

    Aug 12, 2022 at 4:58 pm

    Love you longtime Patreek

  2. Not rick

    Aug 12, 2022 at 11:15 am

    this guy is the biggest full of crap bag when it comes to speaking his truth…

  3. Tony

    Aug 12, 2022 at 4:03 am

    Meow

  4. VL

    Aug 11, 2022 at 7:35 pm

    Another talking point from the regime? Enjoy the extra time home with the family.

  5. Pingback: Billy Horschel goes in hard again on ‘brainwashed’ LIV rebels – GolfWRX

  6. Joe

    Aug 11, 2022 at 9:09 am

    Who cares what that cheat has to say about anything.

    • JoeSchmoeTheIdiot

      Aug 11, 2022 at 9:28 am

      Apparently you do Joe, or you wouldn’t have taken the time to click on a headline about Patrick Reed and then taken even more time to comment. Seems like he’s living rent-free in your empty shell of a brain.

      • Longhorn

        Aug 11, 2022 at 7:52 pm

        You must be Parick Reed’s dad. Oh, wait a minute, he has no relationship with Mom and Dad.

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19th Hole

‘What’s going on?’ – Justin Thomas left frustrated with two officials over ruling at Hero

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During Thursday’s first round of the Hero World Challenge, Justin Thomas called for a rules official and subsequently, a second opinion, on the par-5 9th at Albany Golf Club.

The players were playing lift-clean-and-place, and Thomas’ ball came to rest about 5o yards short of the green in an area where it was difficult to identify if the ball was sitting in the fairway or the rough. The ball had gathered some mud, so if the rules official had decided that his ball was in fact in the rough, he would have to hit a pretty difficult shot given the condition on his golf ball.

“Basically, what’s going on?” Thomas asked the official.

The official told Thomas that the change of color in the grass was indicative of the change of fairway to rough, and therefore he would have to hit his ball as it lied. Thomas argued that the grass was cut to the same length in both spots, therefore the color didn’t matter.

“But you see, what I’m saying, this is also beat down from the carts, but look at how much longer this is than this,” he said before walking over to the thicker grass. “Like see, this is the same height [where his ball was and the apparent fairway.] I totally see it’s down grain and it’s a totally different color, but … the change of the length of grass is just what kind of confused me.”

After relief was denied by the official, “JT” called for a second opinion. While waiting for another official to show up, Thomas was heard saying to his caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay, ““It’s the same exact length, this is not rough.”

When the second rules official came over, he said: “I can see the cutline right here,” and pointed to the different shades of grass that the other official mentioned.

Thomas accepted the decision.

Interestingly, announcer Paul Azinger shared his opinion that the second rules official almost never will disagree with the first rules official’s ruling.

“That second opinion almost never works,” Azinger said to Dan Hicks during the broadcast.

“Really?” Hicks asked.

“Never,” Azinger said. “Very rarely will an official go against another official.”

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19th Hole

Data shows how much more difficult green become as the day progresses

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For many a golf bettor, betting on the first round leader of any tournament revolves around the early starters.

Even a cursory look at this week’s Australian Open shows the morning wave averaging 1.73 shots better than the afternoon players, resulting in 18 early starters finishing in the top-10 by the end of the day, including current leader David Micheluzzi.

However, over on the South African Open, the roles are reversed, with current leader Thirston Lawrence taking up one of 15 places on the front page of leaderboard for the late starters, who shot around half-a-shot less than the morning groups.

Naturally, there are many factors – wind, temperature, dew, grass-types and, potentially, overall quality of the groupings, but these are variables that can change from day to day.

Step in Lou Stagner, data lead of Arccos Golf and all-round numbers guru.

Stagner does not deal in emotion or factors that cannot be measured. It’s facts, figures and that’s your lot!

He will tell you that from the fairway, 80-yards from the pin, professionals simply don’t get as close as many believe:

On Wednesday, the man who once built a Lego model of Augusta #12, tweeted a table showing the variance in putts made by PGA Tour members under morning and afternoon conditions.

Taking stats over 17 years, the table shows an advantage to the early starters, not by much, but enough to consider.

There are plenty of places to take the stats, with a few respondents asking for a table on grass types through the day – Bent v Bermuda v POA – and that will probably turn up on Stanger’s twitter feed soon.

Of course, on a Sunday, later starters have the pressure of trying to win a tournament, which is why we tend to see flashy rounds from those a few off the pace on Payday, but it is enough to consider when trying to get that illusive three-figure first (or second) round leader.

Either way, two-time major champion, and regular tweeter Justin Thomas, decided this was his chance to get in an early excuse when he’s off late in the day.

Make of what you will. Perhaps the stats will one day include how many of these are for par saves against birdie putts, or is that too much?

Either way, Stagner continues to bombard us with stats that delight and entertain, and that can be no bad thing. Unless you are a buddy of Lou’s…

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19th Hole

Cam Smith fumes at ‘pretty s****y’ opening round at Australian Open

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After an incredible week at the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship, Cameron Smith is off to a rough start at the Australian Open. The Champion Golfer of the Year struggled to hit fairways all day long and finished his round at +1 which is eight shots back of first-round leader David Micheluzzi (-7).

Smith, who received a massive ovation from the crowd, was extremely displeased, calling his play “pretty shitty” as he went from his post-round press conference to the practice range. The 29-year-old also said it was “as bad as I’ve played in a long time”.

“I don’t think it was a mixed bag, I think it was all rubbish to be honest,”

“Maybe some delayed tiredness, maybe. I did feel a little bit foggy out there at times, but it’s not really an excuse, it’s my job to do all that stuff.”

Despite the uninspiring round, the world number three still feels as if he can get back into the event and contend.

“It’s not like I don’t know how to play golf, it was just a bit of a bad day.”

“I’ve just got a few things to clean up, I think. Like I said last week [at the Australian PGA Championship], I felt as though the golf got better every day.”

The Aussie is incredible at recovery shots and finding his way out of trouble. But if he wants to be the first player to win the Australian PGA and Australian Open in the same season since 2011, he needs to start putting the ball in the fairway.

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