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Morning 9: Power wins in Bermuda | Ko splits with Foley | Phil on future

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco and Matthew Vincenzi.
For comments: [email protected].
October 31, 2022

Good Monday morning, golf fans, as Seamus Power notched his second win on the PGA Tour over the weekend.

1. Power in Bermuda

AP report…”Seamus Power did enough right and left all the mistakes to PGA TOUR rookie Ben Griffin on Sunday to win the Butterfield Bermuda Championship for his second TOUR title.”

  • “Power took the lead for good with a 25-foot birdie putt at the 14th. A bogey on the final hole gave the Irishman a 1-under 70 and a one-shot victory over Thomas Detry, who earlier had holed a bunker shot on the 18th for birdie and a 67.”
  • “But it was Griffin who had the best chance.”
  • “Just more than a year after Griffin was working as a loan officer, he had a shot at winning on the PGA TOUR and going to the Masters. He started the back nine at Port Royal with back-to-back birdies, putting him at 5 under for the day and with a two-shot lead over Power.”
  • “And then it all fell apart.”
Full piece.

2. Jordan Smith finally nabs his second

BBC report…”England’s Jordan Smith broke down in tears after finishing on 30 under par to win the Portugal Masters and claim his first victory since 2017.”

  • “The 29-year-old triumphed by three shots, having led from the first round at Dom Pedro Victoria.”
  • “It’s just nice to finally get this second win,” said the Wiltshire golfer.
  • “Malaysia’s Gavin Green finished second, with Finn Tapio Pulkkanen five shots further back in third and England’s Eddie Pepperell fourth on 21 under.”
Full piece.

3. R&A chief: “Open not banning anyone”

Golf Digest’s John Huggan…”Along with the other three majors, he has obvious decisions to make when it comes to exemptions and qualifying criteria for the Open.”

  • “We’ll go public in January/February with what we are going to do with regard to LIV golfers,” he says. “But if you want a guide, go back to what I said in July. We’re not banning anyone. We are not going to betray 150 years of history and have the Open not be open. The name says it all. And that’s important. What we will do is ensure that there are appropriate pathways and ways to qualify. I’m looking forward to seeing Cam Smith tee-up around 9:40 a.m. on the first day of the Open next year. The Open needs to set itself aside from what’s going in terms of disagreements and make sure we stay true to our principle, which is to have the best players in the world competing.”
  • “Like it or not though, the opinion of the R&A chief executive is one that carries weight within the seemingly endless debate and controversy caused by well-financed Saudi Arabia’s venture into golf. And yes, Slumbers has a view, one shared by many golfers.”
  • “I worry about some of the discussions going on at the moment,” he says. “I’m not going to go into detail though. It’s not really my responsibility. But I worry about pathways being eroded. And I worry about the loss of values. Why do 99 percent of people play golf? Because they feel it is good for them. They enjoy being with their friends. They enjoy the integrity golf requires. Not many play because they might win a large check. I certainly don’t.
Full piece.

4. Future LIV league plans?

Golfweek’s Adam Woodard…”The main talking points focused around the 12 teams.”

  • “LIV says it’s aiming for a business model would eventually be similar to that of the other major team sports in the United States, such as the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL, and officials hope that franchising its teams will create a revenue stream that the upstart circuit solely funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund currently doesn’t possess.”
  • “Our belief is that, it might not be from the get go, but people understand team sports. They play team sports,” said LIV Golf chief operating officer Atul Khosla. “Yes, they have a favorite player as well, it is no different from anywhere else, but they do relate to being associated with a team. We feel like that trend can continue in golf, as well.”
  • “The concept I understand is new in golf, but the inherent human nature of our aspect of wanting to associate with the team, that is not.”
Full piece.

5. LIV final: DJ, 4Aces roll

AP report…”Dustin Johnson watched the final putt of his season roll in, pumped his right fist and waited for the party to begin.”

  • “Another big celebration. Another big check, too.”
  • “Johnson drove the green on the 370-yard par-4 16th to set up an easy birdie that provided a bit of breathing room, Patrick Reed birdied his last hole to put their squad ahead for good and 4Aces GC captured the season-ending LIV Golf team championship at Trump National Doral on Sunday by 1 shot over Cameron Smith and Punch GC.”
  • “The victory capped a monster earnings year for Johnson, by far the biggest money winner in the first year of LIV. Including his $18 million for winning the season-long individual title, Johnson finished with $35,637,767 in earnings.”
Full piece.

6. Phil on the phuture

Golfweek’s Adam Woodard…”Eternally an optimist, Mickelson looked to the future after Thursday’s round and praised how far the upstart circuit had come over the last eight months since his incendiary comments.”

  • “I’m pretty surprised at how far LIV has come because there was a lot of uncertainty, like who would play in London. You look at the strength of the league now and you have a lot of really strong players and you have a lot of really strong characters in the game,” said Mickelson. “Whether you love them or hate them, there’s a lot of guys here that people want to see.”
  • “The 52-year-old also couldn’t help but mention a desire for more LIV events to go international next season when the series transitions to the 14-event LIV Golf League, going as far as saying, “We’re having a lot of current tournaments on multiple tours coming to us wanting a LIV event.” Does that mean a bridge could be built to cover the widening gap between LIV and the PGA and DP World tours? Time will tell.”
Full piece.

7. Asia Pacific Am

John Huggan for Golf Digest…”Armed with a one-shot lead and with the honor on that penultimate tee, Bo Jin hit the shot you just can’t hit. Short and left of its intended target, the ball was always headed for the inevitable splash landing. Taking his chance next, Harrison Crowe made no such mistake, his tee shot finding the safety of dry land, maybe 30 feet from the pin.”

  • “Double bogey for Jin and par for Crowe duly followed, swapping ownership of the one-shot edge. And when both made par on the 477-yard 18th it was over. The third Australian to win this title, Crowe shot a closing 72, his worst score of the week. But the 13-under-par aggregate with which he started the final round was just enough for the 54-hole leader to get things done. Only Jin, T-3 last year in Dubai and T-8 in 2019, was close. Another Aussie, Jeff Guan, and Ryuta Suzuki tied for third, four shots back.”
Full piece.

8. Ko splits with Foley

Golweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…”Lydia Ko parted ways last month with instructor Sean Foley. The former world No. 1 took to Instagram to make the announcement, noting that they decided to go their own ways as a coach and player for “logistical reasons,” but that Foley will always remain a close friend and mentor.

  • “When I first met Sean, I was in a place where I didn’t have a lot of confidence in myself and in my game,” Ko wrote. “Over the past two years he has helped me evolve as a better player and person. Our time together was full of so much learning, laughter.”
  • Ko, 25, recently won at the BMW Ladies Championship in South Korea for her 18th career title, calling this her most consistent year yet. A two-time winner this season, Ko leads the LPGA in scoring, and she leads the Rolex Player of the Year race with 11 top-5 finishes in 20 starts.
Full Piece.

9. Seamus Power WITB

Driver: Ping G430 LST (9 degrees @9.25)

Shaft: Accra TZ6 Proto 65 M5

3-wood: Ping G430 MAX (15 degrees)

Shaft: ACCRA TZ6 Proto 75 M5

7-wood: Ping G430 MAX (18 degrees @17.75)

Shaft: ACCRA TZ5 Proto 85 M5

Irons: Ping iBlade (4), Ping Blueprint (5-PW)

Shafts: Accra TZ5 1050 M5 (4), Project X 125 6.5

Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 (50-SS, 54-SS, 58-TS)

Shafts: Project X 125 6.5

Putter: Ping PLD3 Mallet

Grip: Ping PP58

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Grips: Golf Pride ZGrip Cord

Full WITB.
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Morning 9: Rory conquers in Dubai | Homa’s comeback win | Reed in fresh rules controversy

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco and Matthew Vincenzi.

For comments: [email protected]

January 30, 2023

Good Monday morning, golf fans. after a weekend in which golf lovers were spoiled with entertainment.

1. Rory wins in Dubai

AP report…”Rory McIlroy overcame a final-round charge from Patrick Reed to win the Dubai Desert Classic in a tense Monday duel between players who were involved in a pre-tournament spat.

  • “World No. 1 McIlroy rolled in a birdie putt from around 15 feet at No. 18 for a 4-under 68 that left him a stroke clear of Reed, who shot 65.”
  • “McIlroy captured the title for the third time and has started a year with a win for the first time in his career.”
  • “It was a battle all day. Honestly it has been a battle all week,” McIlroy said. “I really feel like I haven’t had my best all week, but I managed my game and played really smart.
Full piece.

2. Homa wins Farmer from five back

AP report…”The L.A.-area native came from 5 shots off the lead to win the Farmers Insurance Open by 2 strokes over Keegan Bradley on Saturday at Torrey Pines, where Jon Rahm imploded early and missed a shot at winning his third straight start and moving to No. 1 in the world.”

  • “Homa reeled in Sam Ryder, who was trying for a wire-to-wire win, and then held off Bradley and Collin Morikawa for his sixth PGA Tour victory and fourth in his home state. He took the Genesis at Riviera in 2021 and has won the Fortinet Championship in Napa in consecutive years.”
  • “Homa closed with a 6-under 66 to finish at 13-under 275. He made a 4-foot birdie putt on No. 18 and pumped his right fist before greeting wife Lacey and infant son Cam just off the green.”
Full piece.

3. Reed’s palm tree problem

Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…”Two swings essentially cost Patrick Reed a spot alongside Rory McIlroy in the last group for Monday’s final round of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic.”

  • Both resulted in unplayables, at the sixth and 17th holes, as Reed settled for a 3-under 69 and now find himself in a logjam at 11 under and four shots back of McIlroy.”
  • “A little frustrating,” Reed told reporters afterward. “Felt like I actually hit the ball a little better today. Had one loose swing there on 8 that made me take an unplayable. But then I got on 17, I felt like I hit a perfect drive, looking at the line I was looking at. If anything, I was hoping it might have been a hair more right. I hit it so solid, might just go through [the fairway], next thing you know, we find it in the palm tree.”
  • “Unlike the par-4 eighth hole, where Reed yanked his drive well left and ended up carding double bogey, he appeared to have cut the corner nicely at the dogleg-right, par-4 17th. But what could’ve been a 40-yard pitch or so for his second shot turned into a 50-yard third shot from the rough; television cameras showed Reed’s drive hitting one of a cluster of palm trees and not coming down.”
Full piece.

4. Rough stuff for Rahm

Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…”Starting the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open just two shots back of leader Sam Ryder and playing alongside Ryder in the final threesome, Rahm bogeyed his first hole before adding a costly double bogey at the par-4 fifth and going out in 3-over 39. A bogey to open his back nine then put Rahm six shots off the pace at 6 under, and he went on to shoot 2-over 74 and tie for seventh.”

  • “I got a lot of bad breaks today,” Rahm said.
  • “Rahm’s double came after he yanked his drive well left and then badly missed the green left with his approach shot.”
  • “But that wasn’t even the worst of it.”
  • “Rahm proceeded to hit not one but two chips heavy, leaving both in the rough. His third chip wasn’t great, either, though Rahm saved himself from carding triple by sinking a 9-footer.”
Full piece.

5. Homa’s post-win presser highlights

Assembled by Golf Digest’s Tod Leonard…

  • On how soon the Farmers champ will be changing diapers….“It will happen. The sun will come up tomorrow and my son will need a diaper change many times before that. So I will be changing diapers, I will enjoy every second of it as I always do. It’s going to feel even better than normal. If he screams at me, I will just be smiling ear to ear. Yeah, these tournaments are hard, man, but it puts you in the best mood ever when you come out on top. He can poop away, and I’ll just be here for him.”
  • On the experience of wearing a mic on Friday and speaking to the CBS broadcasters while he played the South’s 13th hole. It was a first for an official PGA Tour event…“I’m very excited about the idea. I’m sure if we could tweet things how other people want to do it, how other players want to do it. If they don’t want to do it, I’ll keep doing it; it didn’t bother me. I thought it was great for the fans to look into, push that envelope for the fans. …
  • “It was great. It was cool to win after doing it. You always hear people say, ‘Oh, Tiger [Woods] would never do this, [Jon] Rahm would never do this, all they care about is winning.’ I get that, but you can do both. It was definitely nice to win doing that yesterday.”
Full piece.

6. Ryder on close call

Kevin Prise for PGATour.com…”It wasn’t the ideal final few holes – Ryder finished par-bogey-par – but he remained optimistic in his post-round comments. He graciously met the media and expressed confidence that he belongs in this position and will return accordingly.”

  • “There was definitely a lot of new pressure, but it was fun,” Ryder said in the Saturday twilight on the Pacific coastline. “I was trying to just enjoy it. It was a good experience for me, and I think it’s only going to feed me. My attitude was that no matter what happens, there are going to be positives to take away.
  • “It’s hard to swallow right now, but that’s what I’m telling myself. I’ll be able to build on that. And I really feel like playing with some of the best players in the world, I hit a lot of really good shots.”
Full Piece.

7. Homa’s secret weapon?

Adam Schupak for Golfweek…”Homa began working with Julie Elion, who is best known in the golf world for working with the likes of Phil Mickelson and helping Jimmy Walker win a major, late last year and the results have been immediate.”

  • “The confidence is becoming more steady. I’ve been working with a sports psychologist, Julie, who has – I mean the last two months have opened my eyes to a lot of things,” he said in his winner’s press conference. “Having a plan each day mentally. I didn’t go into a single round this week thinking about a technical goal or a statistical goal, it was I’m going to learn something today, I’m going to put in place what I’ve been working on, and today that’s what I did. I did a great job of it.”
Full Piece.

8. Lefty aims dig at the Tour in Twitter return

9. Winning WITB: Max Homa

Driver: Titleist TSR3 (10 degrees, A1 SureFit setting)

Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei 1K Black 65 TX

3-wood: Titleist TSR3 (16.5 degrees, C1 SureFit setting)

Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue TR 8 X

7-wood: Titleist TSR2 (21 degrees, C1 SureFit setting)

Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD XC 9 TX

Irons: Titleist T100S (4), T100 (5), Titleist 620 MB (6-9)

Shafts: KBS Tour $-Taper 130 X

Wedges: Vokey Design SM9 (46-10F, 50-12F, 56-14F, 60-04L)

Shafts: KBS TOUR $-Taper 130 X (46), KBS Hi Rev 2.0 125 S (56-60)

Putter: Scotty Cameron T-5.5 prototype

Ball: 2023 Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

Full Piece.
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Tour Rundown: Silverman finds silver lining, Homa claims 6th win, Rory wins in Dubai

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This week’s installment of Tour Rundown was, literally, a weeklong affair. The Korn Ferry Tour concluded its Bahamma Breeze with a Sunday-Wednesday event. The PGA Tour went Wedneday to Saturday, to avoid an NFL playoff conflict. And the DP World Tour, owing to some urgent rains in the desert, was pushed to a Monday finish. In all, eight days of competition are featured below. That, friends, is a record for Tour Rundown. Beginning January 22nd and concluding January 30th, we bring you this week’s elongated Tour Rundown. Let’s have some man-bun fun!

Korn Ferry Tour: Silverman finds silver lining and claims Great Abaco Classic

Canada’s Ben Silverman stood atop the 18th tee with a three-shot advantage over closest pursuer Cody Blick. Let’s amend that to the 72nd tee. After a week’s effort, Silverman was a par-five hole away from claiming his first professional win in six year. Fifteen minutes later, Silverman wrote down a seven on his card, while Blick scratched a four on his. In nearly an eye’s blink, the two were tied and headed for a playoff. What chance did Silverman have?

Plenty, it turns out. The pride of the Maple Leaf gathered himself, kept the ball in play, and made par on the first playoff hole. When Blick found penalty trouble on two occasions, he could find no fewer than seven shots, and the tournament’s trophy belonged to Silverman. The winner admitted that he had gotten into his own head before closing the deal, Thinking that the tournament was his, focus went away and strokes slipped. After all was completed, Silverman had become the first sponsor’s exemptee to win on the Korn Ferry Tour in five year, and he was also the recipient of an honorary membership from the Great Abaco club.

PGA Tour: Homa claims sixth win and stakes claim to California Kid for the 2020s

Tiger Woods has been a front-runner throughout his storied career. Max Homa is a capitalizer. Homa has developed an innate sense for when the leaders are on the ropes, and it is then that he makes a move. Homa has won six times on tour, and five of those six wins have seen him follow a day-three in the 70s with a day-four in the 60s. His other win saw twin 65s on the weekend.

At dawn’s light, chatter around Torrey Pines centered on Jon Rahm winning yet again, or Sam Ryder holding on to win a PGA Tour title, to go with his Canadian and Korn Ferry tour tropies. Both Rahm and Ryder collapsed to 74 and 75 respectively, and the barn door was wide open for an unexpected winner. Collin Morikawa, Sahith Theegala, and Sungjae Im played themselves into the top five, but none could make enough birdies to reach the teens-under-par on the week. Making an impressive move was the ageless Keegan Bradley, who reached 11-deep with four birdies on the inward half. His attempt at a fifth fell short at the closing par-five hole, and it was Homa’s birdies at 16 and 18 that moved him two shots clear of Bradley.

DP World Tour: Rory opens calendar year with win for first time at Dubai

Rory McIlroy claimed a third title at Emirates Golf Club, but he did not make it easy on himself. Borrowing a page from Ben Silverman’s book (see above) McIlroy got into trouble off the 72nd tee at the Dubai Desert Classic. Unlike Silverman, McIlroy was able to lay up, pitch to about 25 feet, and drain the birdie putt for 19-under par. In doing so, he held off the charge of the ersatz Patrick Reed, who reached 18-under with birdie at the last.

McIlroy flirted with water at the last, but his errant drive found the last patch of dry rough. He wisely took his medicine and played to the fairway. His wedge was propre distance, but a bit wide left. His putter was spot on, however, and the last turn of the orb took it to the bottom of the hole, and victory. Lucas Herbert also closed fast, with 66 on day four, to assume the third position on the podium.

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WOTW: Rory McIlroy’s Omega Seamaster Diver 300M in Green Ceramic

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Rory won the Hero Dubai Desert Classic this weekend by one stroke over Patrick Reed. Rory and Reed had a little skirmish earlier in the week on the range but Rory got the final word in with the victory. After the win Rory hoisted the extremely large trophy in the air while wearing his usual Omega Seamaster on his wrist.

WOTW Specs:
Name: Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Co-Axial Master Chronometer
Reference: 210.32.42.20.10.001
Limited: No
Date: 2022
Case: Stainless Steel
Bezel: Green Ceramic
Dial: Green Ceramic
Size: 42mm
Movement: Calibre 8800, 35 Jewels
Power Reserve: 55 Hours
Glass: Saphire Crystal
Waterproof: 300 Meters
Bracelet: Green Rubber Strap
Price: $5,100 (~$5,200)

Rory has been wearing his green Omega Seamaster Diver 300M since The Masters last year. It seems to be his go-to timepiece and has been wearing it almost exclusively since last year. Since the summer of 2022 this green Seamaster has been listed as unavailable on Omega’s website, so it either has a waiting list to get one or has been discontinued.

Omega’s Seamaster is one of the most iconic names in watch history, dating back to 1948. The Seamaster debuted as a celebration for Omega’s 100th anniversary and is the oldest model in the collection. Omega launched the Seamaster Diver 300M in 1993 and the blue colorway instantly became the face of the Seamaster lineup. The case is 42mm and made from stainless steel. The caseback is stainless steel and contains a sapphire crystal display window to view the mechanic movement. On the right side of the case is the traditional screw-down crown and on the upper left side is the helium escape valve. For saturation dives to extreme depths, decompression can cause gasses to build up in the watch and pop the crystal out of place or do other damage to the watch.

Inside this Seamaster is Omega’s Calibre 8800 self-winding, automatic movement featuring Omega’s Co-Axial escapement. The escapement in a watch movement is one of the most important parts and the Co-Axial design helps bring more precision throughout the life of the movement. The 8800 is also very resistant to magnetic fields that can influence the accuracy of the movement. A 55 hour power reserve should be more than enough for most wearers.

The green dial is made from ceramic and matches the ceramic insert on the bezel. The unidirectional ceramic bezel features a diving scale that is finished in white enamel. The hour markers a larger and filled with a luminescent material for a bright glow in low light. The date window sits at 6 o’clock and the whole dial is covered with a scratch resistant sapphire crystal. Holding the Diver 300M on your wrist is a rubber strap in a matching shade of green. The strap comes together with stainless steel pin buckle for easy adjustment over your wetsuit.

Rory’s Seamaster again doesn’t show that you can buy it online any longer, but not sure of its status. The retail price on a green Seamaster is $5,100 if you can maybe find one at your local Omega retailer. If you can’t find one at a retailer you can get them on the secondary market for about $100 over the retail price.

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