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Morning 9: Changes to rules of golf | The Match finalized | Houston Open photos

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco and Matthew Vincenzi.
For comments: [email protected].
November 8, 2022

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans, as the PGA Tour heads to Houston.

1. Changes to the Rules of Golf for 2023

Via the USGA…“The USGA and The R&A have unveiled a regular update to the Rules of Golf as they continue to make the Rules easier to understand and apply. The new Rules will go into effect on January 1, 2023.”

  • “Modifications for Players with Disabilities: The modifications to the Rules for players with disabilities have been made part of the Rules and are in effect for all players who are classified in the categories covered in Rule 25.”
  • “Handicap Usage in Stroke Play: With the continued growth of score-posting technology following the adoption of the World Handicap System™, players are no longer penalized for failing to put their handicap on their scorecard in stroke play. The committee will be responsible for ensuring the accuracy of each player’s handicap.”
  • “Club Damaged During Round: The Rule has been amended to allow a player to replace a club that is damaged during a round, provided the player did not damage it through abuse.
  • Ball Moved by Natural Forces: A new exception provides that a ball at rest must be replaced if it moves to another area of the course or comes to rest out of bounds after being dropped, placed or replaced.”
  • “Back-on-the-Line Relief Procedure: The back-on-the-line relief procedure, often used for penalty area and unplayable ball relief, has been simplified so that the player now drops their ball on the line, and the ball must come to rest within one club-length of where it is dropped.”
Full piece.

2. Match set

Via the Golf Channel digital team…“Tournament organizers announced Monday that Woods will headline the latest installment of The Match, teaming with Rory McIlroy to take on Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas in a 12-hole, under-the-lights showdown in Florida.”

  • “The charity competition will be held at 6 p.m. on Dec. 10 at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Florida. The team event, which will be broadcast on TNT, will benefit Hurricane Ian relief efforts.”
  • “This will be Woods’ third appearance in the Match series, and first since 2020.”
Full piece.

3. Let’s see the plan: PGA Tour motion wants business plan from LIV Golf ‘boss’ Yasir bin Othman Al-Rumayyan

Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…”The motion, which was directed at both Al-Rumayyan and the PIF, was originally filed in the Southern District of New York before attorneys for both the Tour and LIV Golf agreed to transfer it back to Northern California, where LIV Golf and former Tour players (now at three) filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the PGA Tour this summer.”

  • “The subpoenas requested Al-Rumayyan and the PIF – which, according to the motion, owns 85 percent of LIV Golf – provide financial projections and the business plan for LIV as well as any “decision-making relating to LIV” and its “involvement in the recruiting of professional golfers to join LIV.”
  • “Al-Rumayyan and the PIF have claimed “sovereign immunity” under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and have “flatly objected to the Tour’s subpoenas” and have not “produced a single responsive document,” according to the redacted motion.”
Full piece.

4. Hoag Q-School medalist

Colby Powell for Golf Channel…”Heartbreak, jubilation, eagles, doubles and everything in between could be found on the final day of the final stage of Korn Ferry Tour Q-School Monday in Savannah, Georgia.”

  • “The winner would receive fully exempt status on the Korn Ferry Tour for the 2023 season, with finishers 2-10 receiving guaranteed starts in each of the first 12 events and finishers 11-40 receiving guaranteed starts in each of the first eight events.”
  • “Ultimately it was 34-year-old journeyman Bo Hoag who finished one shot ahead of overnight leader Chan Kim to secure medalist honors and the fully exempt status that comes with it.”
Full piece.

5. Willie Mack III

Golfweek’s Adam Schupak…”The 34-year-old APGA Tour Player of the Year and mini-tour legend made an eagle and three birdies in his first seven holes of the final round of Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying School to guarantee starts in the first eight events this season.”

  • “Mack, who started the day T-41 and already had secured conditional status by advancing through the second stage of Q-School for the first, needed to go low on Monday as Nos. 11-40 (and ties) lock-up starts in the first eight events while Nos. 41 and above likely will get some starts depending on one’s final number.”
  • “Mack charged out of the gate hot and parred in the final 11 holes to shoot 5-under 66 and a 72-hole total of 7-under 277 at The Landings in Savannah, Georgia.”
Full piece.

6. Cabrera convicted again

Our Matt Vincenzi…”On Monday, former professional golfer Angel Cabrera was convicted again of assaulting an ex-partner.”

  • Cabrera’s second charge came after another former partner, Micaela Escudero, stepped forward to bring allegations against Cabrera.
  • The 52-year-old has been sentenced to another two years and four months to run concurrently with his first sentence.
  • According to local press, when speaking during the trial, Cabrera said: “Many say prison is bad, but it’s not the case, prison has done me good,”
Full piece.

7. Houston Open photos

  • Check out all of our galleries from Houston here.
Full piece.
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Morning 9: 4-way tie at Hero | Garcia defends Norman | Golfer has nose bitten off

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco and Matthew Vincenzi.

For comments: [email protected]. On Twitter: @benalberstadt

December 2, 2022

Good Friday morning, golf fans, as day two of the Hero gets underway at Albany with a four-way tie at the top.

1. Hovland part of historic tie for lead at Hero

Golfweek’s Adam Schupak…“Hero World Challenge defending champion Viktor Hovland picked up where he left off, shooting 3-under 69 on Thursday at Albany Golf Club to share the opening-round lead with a trio of players. The four-way tie for the lead is the most after any round in tournament history.”

  • On a warm, windswept day, Hovland continued his magic at the drivable par-4 14th, registering his fourth eagle of the hole in five attempts – and noted the one time he didn’t make eagle was a bogey.
  • “That green obviously is not the biggest green, but with how soft it is, if you land it on the green, you can keep it on the green whereas if it was really firm, you kind of have to land it up in the slope and stuff,” said Hovland, who nearly aced the hole.
Full piece.

2. Garcia defends Norman

Golfweek’s Riley Hamel…“Add Sergio Garcia as another player coming to Norman’s rescue. During an interview with the Spanish outlet Marca, Garcia had this to say: “They (Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy) say that Greg Norman has to go; and Monahan has to stay or go? It’s very easy to say those on the other side have to go. And those on your side? There are also people who have done things wrong.”

  • “You have to look at everything. Greg Norman is our CEO and we support him. We all wish we could come to an agreement. There are people who could have done wrong in both places, but it seems that there are only bad guys on one side.”
Full piece.

3. Golfer has nose bitten off in altercation

Again, Golfweek’s Riley Hamel…“Have you ever been upset with your playing partner over not giving you a short putt? Probably. …Have you ever bitten someone’s nose off for it? Probably not…If you have, get help.”

  • “Mark Wells, 51, of Biloxi, Mississippi, got into an altercation with his playing mate after a round of golf and went on to bite the other man’s nose off in a casino parking lot later in the day.
  • Wells was charged with felony mayhem but walked out of jail within an hour of booking after paying 10 percent of his $50,000 bond, WXXV-TV reported.”
  • “According to WXXV-TV, the nose was not found at the scene. The victim was taken to the hospital.”
Full piece.

4. No winter thaw in LIV, Tour tensions?

Gary Smits for Florida Times-Union…”The setting of the RSM Classic, the PGA Tour’s final fall event, has a serenity that can almost dissolve all cares.”

  • But a peaceful setting didn’t necessarily lend itself to thoughts of a peaceful resolution to the PGA Tour vs. LIV war.
  • “I’m not optimistic,” said PGA Tour Policy Board member Charley Hoffman when asked if the upcoming break in golf could give both sides a chance to breathe deep and reflect on any possibility for conciliation. “I don’t see how you partner with them at this point in time. They don’t have a sustainable product.”
  • Kevin Kisner, who will end his current term on the Policy Board at the end of the year, was even more blunt.
  • “No … I don’t think that’s the future,” he said.
Full piece.

5. Here’s how much the TikTok star who hit a golf ball into Grand Canyon will pay

KiMi Robinson for the Arizona Republic…“Sigmond received three federal violation notices – which are tickets issued by law enforcement departments for U.S. agencies such as the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service – and was charged with three Class B misdemeanors as detailed under Title 36 in the Code of Federal Regulations.”

  • “The three charges were for tossing items into the Grand Canyon, littering and creating hazardous conditions with disorderly conduct. She was only cited for disorderly conduct and tossing or throwing items into the canyon, which carry a maximum fine of $5,000 and six months in prison, according to a copy of the written record of the collateral forfeiture agreement that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona provided to The Arizona Republic, part of the USA TODAY Network. Baird said prior to Sigmond’s court date for cases for these, jail time is unlikely. “
  • “Sigmond was ordered to pay a $285 fine, which includes $60 in processing fees. A spokesman for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts confirmed to The Republic that the Central Violations Bureau received two payments of $155 and $130 from Katie Sigmond on Nov. 15.”
Full piece.

6. Tom Kim on meeting Tiger

Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…”But all of that might pale in comparison to his brush this week with Hero World Challenge host Tiger Woods.”

  • “Kim, whose youthful exuberance is infectious, was quick to point out following an opening 69 at Albany that left him tied for the lead with Sepp Straka and Collin Morikawa that, “officially,” he’d met Woods before.”
  • “The first time I actually met him was at the 2020 PGA Championship. I got in the field at Harding Park and I took a picture with him. Obviously the COVID year, so there was no fans to witness it, but it was the first I got to kind of meet him and take a picture but never really got to talk to him,” Kim admitted.
  • “But even a selfie with the 15-time major champion as evidence, that interaction at Harding Park was very much impromptu compared to this week’s introduction.”
Full piece.

7. Ready for the grind

Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…”One hundred players will tee it up this week at LPGA Q-Series, an eight-round grind that begins on Dec. 1 and ends Dec. 11. The first week will be contested at the RTJ Trail at Magnolia Grove in Mobile, Alabama, at the Crossings and Falls courses.”

  • “The field will be cut to top 70 and ties after the first week of competition. The second week of competition will take place at Highland Oaks Golf Course in Dothan, Alabama.”
  • “A total of 45 players will receive LPGA status in 2023. This is the first year that players were required to turn professional before entering Q-Series. A total of six players turned pro for this week: Nataliya Guseva, Minji Kang, Ashley Lau, Heather Lin, Valery Plata and Natthakritta Vongtaveelap.”
Full piece.

8. Why Corey Conners switched drivers for the first time in five years

Our Andrew Tursky writing for PGATour.com…”The Ping G400 LST driver – which was first released to the public in July 2017 – was also in the bag for his 2019 Valero Texas Open victory.”

  • “Conners told GolfWRX.com on Tuesday that he’s been through roughly 10 different G400 LST driver heads throughout his five years playing the model, but he finally found something better. Although he said that his former G400 LST gamer is “maybe even a touch faster” than the new Ping G430 LST driver, he found that the new G430 technology significantly increased consistency on off-center strikes.”
  • “Conners already was known as a straight driver. He ranked 20th in Driving Accuracy last season, but he could further increase that advantage thanks to the new driver.”
  • “At this year’s Presidents Cup, Conners revealed his secrets to success off the tee.”
  • “I think just having good rhythm has always been sort of a hallmark of my game and something that I focus on every week. … That allows me to hit the ball solidly, and usually it results in it going where I am looking,” he said. “I … just take some practice swings, try and feel the body moving in sync, (take) a few practice swings … with my right foot kind of behind me a little bit, feeling the body moving, club staying in front of the body, and that helps with my rhythm, as well.”
Full piece.

9. Hero World Challenge photos

  • Check out our photos from Albany.
Full Piece.
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Club Junkie

Club Junkie Review: Samsung’s Galaxy Watch5 Pro Golf Edition

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Technology has been playing a larger part in golf for years and you can now integrate it like never before. I don’t need to tell you, but Samsung is a world leader in electronics and has been making smart watches for years. The Watch5 Pro Golf Edition is the latest Samsung wearable running Google’s Wear OS operating system and it is more than just a golf watch.

The Watch5 Golf Edition is a full function smartwatch that you can wear every day and use for everything from golf to checking your text messages. For more details on the Golf Edition made sure to check out the Club Junkie podcast below, or on any podcast platform. Just search GolfWRX Radio.

Samsung’s Watch5 Pro Golf Edition has a pretty large 45mm case that is made from titanium for reduced weight without sacrificing any durability. The titanium case is finished in a matte black and has two pushers on the right side to help with navigating the pretty extensive menu options. The case measures about 52mm from lug to lug and stands about 14mm tall, so the fit on smaller wrists could be an issue. I did notice that when wearing a few layers on colder days the extra height did have me adjusting my sleeves to ensure I could swing freely.

The sapphire crystal display is 1.4 inches in diameter, so it should be very scratch resistant, and is protected by a raised titanium bezel. The Super AMOLED display has a 450 x 450 resolution with 321ppi density for clear, crisp graphics. Inside the watch is a dual-core 1.18Ghz Cortex-A55 CPU, 16GB + 1.5GB RAM, and a Mali-G68 GPU to ensure your apps run quickly and efficiently.

I do like that the Watch5 Pro Golf Edition’s white and black rubber strap has a quick release system so you can change it out to match or contrast an outfit. The Golf Edition strap is very supple and conforms to your wrist well, holding it in place during multiple swings.

Out on the course the Watch5 Pro golf Edition is comfortable on the wrist and light enough, ~46g, where it isn’t very noticeable. I don’t usually wear a watch on the course, and it only took a few holes to get used to having it on my left wrist. Wearing a glove on the same hand as the watch doesn’t really change much, depending on the glove. If you have a model that goes a little higher on the wrist you could feel the watch and leather bunch a little bit. Some of my Kirkland Signature gloves would run into the watch case while I didn’t have an issue with my Titleist or Callaway models.

The screen is great in direct sunlight and is just as easy to read in overcast or twilight rounds. The images of holes and text for distances is crisp and has a bright contrast agains the black background. The Watch5 Pro Golf Edition comes with a lifetime membership to Smart Caddie for your use on the course. Smart Caddie was developed by Golfbuddy, who has been making rangefinders and GPS units for years. I didn’t sign up for the Smart Caddie app as I did not buy the watch and have logins for multiple GPS and tracking apps. Smart Caddie looks to be extremely extensive, offering a ton of options beyond just GPS and it is one that works seamlessly with the Galaxy watches.

I ended up using The Grint as it was an app I have used in the past and was already signed up for. Getting to the app to start a round was very simple, needing one swipe up and one tap to start The Grint app. The screen is very smooth and records each swipe and tap with zero issues. I never felt like I was tapping or swiping without the Watch5 Pro acknowledging those movements and navigating the menu as I desired. The GPS worked flawlessly and the distances were accurate and consistent. With The Grint’s app you did have to keep the phone in your pocket or in the cart close enough for the Bluetooth connection. For most that is’t a big deal and the only time I noticed it was when I used my electric cart and drove it well in front of me down the fairway.

Overall the Samsung Watch5 Pro Golf Edition is a great option for golfers who want one device for everyday wear and use on the course. The Watch5 Pro Golf Edition still has all the fitness and health options as well as being able to  connect to your email, text messages, and social media apps. With the Watch5 Pro Golf Edition you won’t have to worry about buying a device just for golf or forgetting to bring your GPS to the course.

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Morning 9: Captain Weir | Homa’s LIV trolling | Norman-Tiger: History of the feud

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco and Matthew Vincenzi.

For comments: [email protected]. On Twitter: @benalberstadt

December 1, 2022

Good Thursday morning, golf fans, as day one of the Hero gets underway at Albany and December is upon us.

1. Captain Weir, officially

Golfweek’s Adam Schupak…“To no surprise, Canadian Mike Weir was officially named captain of the International Team on Tuesday for the 2024 Presidents Cup, which will return to Royal Montreal Golf Club in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, for the first time since 2007.”

  • “Presidents Cup has become such a big part of my career, so to be here in this moment announced as captain of the 2024 International Team is surreal,” said Weir.”
Full piece.

2. Homa’s LIV troll

Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…“Homa was asked Wednesday at the Hero World Challenge if he was offended by the lack of rumors that have linked him to LIV Golf.”

  • “Yeah, yeah, huge insult,” he joked. “No, I guess it would have been cool to be a part of that so I could live the life of, you know, it felt like a reality TV series for a bit.”
  • “Homa went on to explain that, as a joke, he tried to have his name linked to LIV Golf, which has wooed some of the game’s top players away from the PGA Tour with guaranteed contracts and a limited schedule, by tinkering with his Twitter profile.”
  • “Brooks [Koepka] changed his bio and everyone figured out he was going [to LIV],” Homa laughed. “I was like, oh, I’m going to get in on this and see if people catch on, but didn’t realize that my Twitter bio doesn’t get a ton of traction.
Full piece.

3. New LIV location details

Mark Schlabach for ESPN…”The LIV Golf League will play tournaments in Australia, Mexico, Singapore and Spain as part of its 14-event schedule in 2023.”

  • “LIV Golf announced Wednesday that it will stage events at Mayakoba’s El Camaleon Golf Course (Feb. 24-26), Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore (April 28-30) and Real Club Valderrama in Spain (June 30-July 2). LIV Golf had previously announced it would play at The Grange Golf Club in Australia (April 21-23).”
  • “LIV Golf is also expected to return to The Centurion Club outside London, which was the site of its inaugural event in June.”
Full piece.

4. History of Norman-Woods

Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…”In many senses, a friendship of sorts had formed between the two players, who are 21 years apart. But whatever bond there was, it was broken by the latter half of 1996.”

  • “That September, Woods listed Norman’s Shark Shootout on the remainder of his playing schedule, but tournament reps quickly responded, saying that Woods had yet to be invited. When a formal invitation did come, Woods declined it, opting instead to compete the following week in the Australian Open, which Norman also played.”
  • “Woods shot 79 to open that first start Down Under and ended up tied for fifth. Norman then told reporters, “We play very difficult courses here. He got a shock when he shot 79. Perhaps he will appreciate why Australians play so well when they leave home.”
  • “Two years later, at the 1998 Presidents Cup, Woods requested to play Norman in singles.”
Full piece.

5. How is Tiger playing?

Our Jason Daniels…”Although likely to appear in the remaining two events on his 2022 schedule, it’s of massive interest to discover how Tiger was playing before the breaking news of his latest injury?”

  • In an interview with Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis, the five-time Masters champion revealed the answer to be ‘pretty well, thank you!’
  • “I was playing at home quite a bit, playing 18 holes shooting 65s and 64s, and walked one nine holes and shot 5-under, I was playing well,”
  • However, as many have feared, the pressure and toil of a four-day competition might be too much:
  • “But it’s the added load, the back-to-back days, in a tournament situation of four days in a row. My planner just didn’t like it. The only thing I can do for it is to rest it. Obviously scrape it, ice it, stretch it, it just takes time.”
Full piece.

6. Cam fumes at opening Australian Open round

Damien Ractliffe for the Sydney Morning Herald…“Cameron Smith went straight from his post-round press conference to the practise range after a “pretty shitty” first round at the Australian Open, where he finished with a one-over 71.

  • Smith described his round at Victoria was “as bad as I’ve played in a long time”, but said he simply needed to get back to work after a whirlwind two weeks which left him under-prepared for the feature event.
  • “I don’t think it was a mixed bag, I think it was all rubbish to be honest,” Smith said post-round.
  • “That is as bad as I’ve played in a long time. It was pretty shitty. I think the course was pretty difficult, the conditions were pretty difficult, but I need to be better than that.
  • “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.”
Full piece.

7. Rahm on Tiger: He can’t walk any faster

Rex Hoggard for Golf Channel…”Tiger Woods has delicately made his way around Albany this week with a focus on hosting the Hero World Challenge after a bout with plantar fasciitis in his right foot led him to withdraw from the competition. The late WD put the 46-year-old’s season in perspective.

  • “Following multiple procedures on his right leg as he continues to recover from a 2021 car crash, Woods returned to competition this year with mixed results. He managed to play just three events – the Masters, PGA Championship and Open Championship – with the highwater mark coming in his 47th-place finish at Augusta National.”
  • “Woods was paired with Jon Rahm during the final round at this year’s Masters, but it wasn’t the 15-time major champion’s play that stood out for the Spaniard.”
  • “I think the fact that we got put on the clock on [hole No.] 7 and he was somehow trying to speed up, we all looked at the official, like, he can’t walk any faster, let’s be honest. Like he was already doing an amazing job trying to move up and down those hills,” Rahm said Wednesday at the Hero. “We all joked around with the official and then when he turned around, Tiger takes off and I’m looking at my caddie, like, well, this is incredible.”
Full piece.

8. All quiet on the western front

9. Hero World Challenge photos

  • Check out our photos from Albany.
Full Piece.
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