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Morning 9: PIP winners I Player changes LIV tune I Augusta National changes

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco and Matthew Vincenzi.

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

November 23, 2022

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans, and a Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Eat, drink, be merry, and please, count a few blessings tomorrow! We’re grateful to put this little roundup together for you weekday mornings and truly appreciate your readership.

1. Your PIP winner is…

PGATour.com staff report…”Tiger Woods was No. 1 in the 2022 PGA TOUR Player Impact Program (PIP) for the second straight year, the 82-time TOUR winner earning the top impact bonus of $15 million.”

  • “Rory McIlroy, who won the FedExCup for an unprecedented third time, returned to world No. 1, and over the weekend captured the DP World Tour’s Race to Dubai, finished second ($12 million).”
  • “…Jordan Spieth ($9 million), Justin Thomas ($7.5 million), Jon Rahm ($6 million), Scottie Scheffler ($5.5 million), Xander Schauffele ($5 million), Matt Fitzpatrick ($5 million), Will Zalatoris ($5 million) and Tony Finau ($5 million) rounded out the top 10.”
Full piece.

2. What do the stats say

Golf Digest’s Joel Beall…”statistically speaking, the case can be made that 2022 was McIlroy at his peak—and we’re not counting his performances behind the podium as the lead defender for the two tours in their ongoing battle with LIV Golf.”

  • “According to DataGolf, McIlroy’s true strokes gained for 2022 was 2.61, with Scheffler a distant second at 2.23. (Even more remarkably, McIlroy’s number does not factor in his win at the CJ Cup in October.) For context, that number is better than McIlroy’s 2014—a season in which he won two majors and a WGC—which was 2.51. It was also a whopping stroke better than his output from last year (1.56). McIlroy also led the PGA Tour in strokes gained with a 2.12 mark; Matt Fitzpatrick was second at 1.79.”
Full piece.

3. Gary Player changes his tune on LIV — again

Via the Golf Channel digital team…”Speaking two days ago to reporter Mahlatse Mphahlele, Player shared some quick thoughts on the ongoing rift between LIV and the PGA Tour, calling for respect and happiness while asserting that he takes no issue with players who have joined Greg Norman’s startup league.”

  • “I have no objection to people going and playing the LIV tour,” Player said. “I think it is wonderful to give people an opportunity to make some money when they can’t play anymore. Most of them are going out there with a new lease of life, and that is fantastic. But what I don’t like is the war that is happening between LIV and the PGA [Tour]. Golf is too good. Golf gave us our dream to start the tour and play. And so, we must have – the word is respect across the board. We’ve all got to have respect for each other and go on with our own lives. But if you have [membership on] the LIV tour, don’t expect to play and have the facilities of the regular [PGA] Tour. Because they are two different tours.”
  • “I just hope everything works out well and everybody is happy.”
Full piece.

4. Changes to ANGC’s 13th

5. A Tiger Sunday Red Masters shirt at auction

E. Michael Johnson for Golf Digest…“In recent years there has been a spike in interest in Tiger Woods auctioned memorabilia. Most of the items have been golf clubs used by the 15-time major champion. A new lot up for bid by Golden Age Auctions presents a different opportunity, allowing bidders to vie for a vintage Sunday red Nike shirt worn by Woods in the final round of the 2010 Masters.”

  • “The auction, which begins on Tuesday, ends on Saturday, Dec. 10 with a starting bid of $5,000, though the final price is expected to far exceed that (Editor’s Note: Golf Digest has a business relationship with Golden Age Auctions).”
Full piece.

6. Vice Captain Colsaerts

“European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald’s team of assistants is beginning to take shape, with Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts named as his third Vice Captain alongside Thomas Bjorn and Edoardo Molinari.”

  • “Colsaerts has a memorable history with the Ryder Cup, having been part of the 2012 European team that beat the USA at Medinah. He played a pivotal role in that victory on the Friday when he partnered with Lee Westwood to beat Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker in the fourball session – a performance that included eight birdies from Colsaerts.”
  • “After being handed the role, Colsaerts drew on memories from that tournament to explain how he would approach next year’s event. He said: “My first reaction when Luke asked me was sheer joy. Every time I hear the words ‘Ryder Cup’, it takes me back to the edition I played in, how proud I was to wear the European colours and be part of such an unbelievable event. Of course, Luke was in that team too, and when we spoke he mentioned how much he has always loved what the Ryder Cup means to me.”
Full piece.

7. Anna Davis picks a college

Cameron Jourdan for Golfweek…“Anna Davis has decided where she wants to play college golf.”

  • “The 16-year-old who won the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in April announced Monday she has committed to the Auburn women’s golf program via her Instagram account. Davis posted a photo with Tigers’ coach Melissa Luellen and assistant Kim Hall.”
  • “Last week, Davis’ twin brother, Billy, committed to play for the Auburn men….However, whether Davis ever makes it to Auburn remains to be seen. She could turn professional before ever teeing it up for the Tigers. The early signing period for her class is next November.”
Full piece.

8. Tiger and Rory to be hit by Musk’s Twitter purge

Jamie Hall for Bunkered.co.uk…”Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will be the most-affected golfers by Elon Musk’s promised Twitter purge.”

  • “Musk, the new owner of the social media giant, has promised to crack down on fake and spam accounts since forking out $44billion to buy the site earlier this year.”
  • “According to an audit of false accounts carried out by gambling.com using SparkToro software, Woods has the highest number of fake followers, with a massive 2.6million of the accounts following him deemed to be false.”
  • “McIlroy is also followed by a high number of spam accounts on 1.1million, around 100,000 ahead of Ian Poulter.”
Full piece.

9. Wedge Stamping Caviar

Pop open a tin of the finest beluga, GolfWRXers… In all seriousness, it’s less jelly-like substance, more richness of intrigue than salt-cured roe at Wedge Stamping Caviar as we present to you some of the finest instances of hammer-and-stamp work on the PGA Tour.

  • In this initial serving, we’re mining photos from October and November at PGA Tour stops, including the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, the Cadence Bank Houston Open, and the RSM Classic.
  • So grab your mother-of-pearl spoon and dig in — with restraint, please.
Full Piece.
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Tour Photo Galleries

Wedge Stamping Caviar: Have More Fun Edition

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Pop open a tin of the finest beluga, GolfWRXers… In all seriousness, it’s less jelly-like substance, more richness of intrigue than salt-cured roe at Wedge Stamping Caviar as we present to you some of the finest instances of hammer-and-stamp work on the PGA Tour.

In this initial serving, we’re mining photos from October and November at PGA Tour stops, including the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, the Cadence Bank Houston Open, and the RSM Classic.

So grab your mother-of-pearl spoon and dig in — with restraint, please.

The traditional K.I.S.S. stamping on a BV proto: first and last initial, demonstrated here by Andrew Landry. Bonus points for the bounce angle (8) stamp.

When your last name is something imposing/interesting, you’re definitely stamping it on your wedge as Cole Hammer has done here in a “University of Texas” colorway.

Simple, perfect stamping for Xuewen Luo. 

Patrick Cantlay is still rolling with a SM7. Ultimate K.I.S.S. to stick with a previous generation wedge with stamped initials. Bent loft (47 degrees) is a classy touch. 

Excellent #perspective on Kevin Roy’s 54-degree Vokey.

Anytime a custom grind wears off the loft number, it’s caviar. Lovely patina on Woodland’s Wilson, too. 

Another favorite motif: Tiny initials pattern (as demonstrated by Palmer Jackson). 

The Webb Simpson traditional. Maybe the longest-serving stamping on Tour. 

Not a stamping on Akshay Bhatia’s Jaws Raw, but we’ll serve it up anyway for reasons immediately discernible to the seasoned palate. 

 

 

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WOTW: Lydia Ko’s Rolex Yacht-Master 40 in Rose Gold

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Lydia Ko won twice this weekend with her victory at the CME Group Tour Championship that also earned her the 2022 Rolex Player of The Year award. The CME win was her 19th LPGA Tour victory and her third this year. While collecting all of her trophies, Ko was wearing a Rolex Yacht-Master 40 in rose gold.

WOTW Specs
Name: Rolex Yacht-Master 40
Reference: 126655-0002
Limited: No
Date: 2019 – Present
Case: Everose Gold
Bezel: Black Cerachrom Ceramic
Dial: Intense Black
Size: 40mm
Movement: Rolex 3235, 31 Jewels
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Glass: Saphire Crystal Cyclops Lens
Waterproof: 100 Meters
Bracelet: Black Oysterflex Rubber Strap
Price: $28,050 (~$32,000)

The Rolex Yacht-Master was introduced in 1992, and it was the first new model in the Rolex line since the Daytona was launched in 1964. The unconfirmed story of the Yacht-Master was that it was originally intended to be an updated Submariner. Rolex couldn’t make such a large change to the most iconic watch that had ever been produced, so the Yacht-Master was born. Yacht-Masters have always embodied luxury and included a precious metal in the watch. The first Yacht-Masters in 1992 were made from solid yellow gold and a few dial options. The Yacht-Master saw a lot of success, but it really took off in 2012 when the Rolesium, platinum and steel, model with the silver dial was released. Since then the Yacht-Master has been one of the most underrated watches in the Rolex lineup.

Lydia has been wearing this Yacht-Master 40 in Everose gold for a little while now as we saw it on her wrist back in April of 2021. The case is 40mm wide and is made from Rolex’s own 18k Everose gold. Rolex created their own rose gold alloy to ensure that the precious metal could meet their strict quality and durability requirements. Rolex stopped outsourcing and created their own foundry in the early 2000s to make its own gold, rose gold, and platinum for its watches.

The caseback on Ko’s watch is matching Everose gold and screws into the case giving the watch a 100 meter water resistance rating. On the side of the case is a screw down crown that is made from Everose gold and features a Triplock seal waterproof system. On tope of the case is the Yacht-Master’s legendary chunky bidirectional bezel. The bezel itself is made from Everose gold and contains a matte black Cerachrom ceramic insert. The ceramic insert is extremely scratch resistant and won’t fade from long term exposure to saltwater and UV rays.

The raised numerals on the bezel are polished for a contrasting look that is easier to read. A sapphire crystal covers the Intense Black dial and there is a magnifying Cyclops lens covering the date at 3 o’clock. Large Everose gold hour markers surround the dial and are filled with Rolex’s Chromalight luminescent material that glows with more of a blue light. The hour, minute, and second hands are all made from polished Everose gold and filled with the same Chromalight material.

The heart and brain of the Yacht-Master 40 is Rolex’s Calibre 3235 movement that is found in a few other Rolex models. The 3235 is a self-winding movement that uses the blue Parachrom hairspring that keeps accurate time regardless of the temperature and is very shock resistant. Rolex’s designed the Parachrom hairspring in house so they can control the quality and the acceptable tolerance is 0.1 microns, or about 1/1000 of a human hair. The 3235 has up to 70 hours of power reserve and is COSC certified to ensure its accuracy in all conditions.

A black Oysterflex strap holds the watch on the wrist and is far more than just a strip of rubber. Rolex encases flexible titanium and nickel “blades” in a high-performance elastomer. This metal spine adds durability while maintaining the soft comfort you expect from a rubber strap. The underside of the Oysterflex strap has a cushioning system molded into it that can also add stability on the wrist. An Everose gold Oysterlock safety clasp brings the strap together and contains Rolex’s Glidelock extension system to fine tune the fit without the use of any tools.

The Yacht-Master 40 in Everose has become a very popular model and is now hard to find at any Rolex dealer. Many didn’t think that a rose gold watch on a rubber strap would ever be something in high demand but that theory has been proven incorrect. If you can get one of these Yacht-Masters at the $28,050 retail price, then consider yourself lucky. Most will pay around $32,000 on the secondary market to get one on their wrist.

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Morning 9: Leishman on potential Masters ban | Rahm doubles down | Ko nabs big prize

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco and Matthew Vincenzi.
For comments: [email protected].
November 22, 2022

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans, on what is a rare off-week on the PGA Tour.

1. PGA Tour stories of the fall

PGATour.com’s Sean Martin gathers some notable narratives.

  • “The rise of Tom Kim…The celebrations were entertaining. The performances were historic.”
  • “Even though his team lost to the U.S., Tom Kim’s exuberant displays produced many of the highlights from this year’s Presidents Cup. The pinnacle was his putter-slamming celebration after he sank a 10-foot birdie putt to win a tight Saturday afternoon Four-ball match. He set up the winning birdie by striping a 2-iron approach from some 240 yards.”
  • “I was already thinking in the back of my mind, ‘If this goes in, what am I going to do? How am I going to celebrate?'” Kim said.
  • “What did he do for an encore? Win the Shriners Children’s Open in his next start, beating former FedExCup champ Patrick Cantlay in the final round at TPC Summerlin. Kim was just the third player since 1974 to win on TOUR without making a score of bogey or worse, and he’s the first since Tiger Woods to win twice before turning 21. This came after his win in August in the Wyndham Championship, where he became the first player since 1983 (when the TOUR began keeping hole-by-hole records) to win after recording a quadruple-bogey or worse on the opening hole of a tournament.”
Full piece.

2. Steve Williams coming out of retirement, briefly

Evin Priest for Golf Digest…”Steve Williams is coming out of retirement to caddie for Adam Scott in Australia, with the intention of helping the 42-year-old chase an elusive second major championship next year.”

  • “Williams, 58, is most famous for carrying Tiger Woods’ bag from 1999 to 2011, but the New Zealander also looped for Greg Norman, Raymond Floyd and Ian Baker-Finch during his career. Following his split with Woods in 2011 after a partnership that yielded 13 major victories, Williams joined Scott’s team and helped him secure a breakthrough major win at the 2013 Masters.”
Full piece.

3. Rahm doubles down on OWGR comments

Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…”Told Sunday afternoon that he was projected to stay the same, Rahm, who began the year at No. 1, again shrugged. He got around 21.8 points for beating 49 other players, including six of the world’s top 25, in Dubai while Adam Svensson received just over 37 points for his victory at the PGA Tour’s RSM Classic, a full field but with no top-25 players.”

  • “I mean, I beat amazing players today,” Rahm said. “I don’t know if I can add any more to what I said [earlier in the week about the OWGR]. Maybe I was too far back, I don’t know. I’ve gone second, first, fourth, first … and I have not changed my world ranking. I don’t know if that explains what I meant the other day but it should. I feel like it gets to a point where your play should start to be rewarded. … I understand why they did the changes they made where it would be a perfect system and every single field is 150 – I’ll say one more time, we don’t get the same points for our win here, it’s a bit of a joke.”
Full piece.

4. Tom Watson has shoulder replacement surgery following go-kart accident

Golfweek’s Adam Schupak…“World Golf Hall of Fame member Tom Watson will be sidelined for the foreseeable future, wiping out his planned appearance next month in the PNC Championship with son Michael and putting in jeopardy his role as one the first tee starters at the Masters in April.”

  • “The 73-year-old Watson was involved in an accident Monday while riding a go-kart on his Kansas farm. The vehicle rolled over and required left shoulder replacement surgery, which was conducted Friday at Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans.”
Full piece.

5. Leishman accepts Masters days may be over

Mike Hall for Golf Monthly…“Marc Leishman has admitted that his days playing in The Masters could be behind him, but says he accepts it.”

  • “Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age(opens in new tab), Leishman explained that though he would like to compete in the tournament, he can accept the prospect of sitting it out. He said: “That was one of the things I had to weigh up when I did make the move. I’ve played at pretty much all the Majors for the last 12 or 13 years. I’ve had my chances. Obviously, I want to play them, but I’m fine not playing them.”
Full piece.

6. More on the dinner disaster

7. Bale getting around a golf ban

Adam Woodard for Golfweek…”That doesn’t mean Bale’s golf swing is getting stale in the gulf. A golf simulator has reportedly been installed at the team’s luxury hotel.”

  • “We’ve just been in the swimming pool, playing table tennis, pool and golf,” said Bale’s teammate Mark Harris. “Team spirit is great anyway but games like that help you. Gareth’s very good at the golf. I think most of us have had a swing and we had a go after training as we had some spare time.”
Full piece.

8. Svensson’s self reflection

Kevin Prise for PGATour.com…”Adam Svensson lost his PGA TOUR card after the 2019 season, largely tied to struggles on the greens. It might have been the best thing for his career.”

  • “Svensson didn’t expect to finish 167th on the 2019 FedExCup, nor did those around him. Longtime mentor and Golf Canada national team coach Derek Ingram described Svensson as “Canada’s Rory McIlroy possibility” as a junior player. Svensson won nine times in 14 collegiate starts at Division II Barry University and has long been regarded as one of the game’s premier ball-strikers.”
  • “What was holding him back? Svensson earned his first TOUR card on talent alone. In order to return and deliver on his potential, he needed to dig it out of the proverbial dirt.
  • “I’d like to give you a lot sexier of an answer,” said Ingram, “but I think it’s just a complete, utter commitment to seeing how good he could get.”
Full piece.

9. Meanwhile, in the PGA Tour Champions equipment world

Our Andrew Tursky…”Bernhard Langer doesn’t use iron “sets,” per se, because he mostly crafts his bag setup by selecting individual clubs that are tasked with specific jobs and yardages to hit. As such, most of his irons are custom built exactly to his preferences. He uses Adams Idea Pro hybrids, Tour Edge Exotics CBX Forged long irons, Artisan Golf 8-9 irons, and a custom Tour Edge Exotics BL Proto pitching wedge. It’s seriously fascinating to analyze his clubs.”
Full Piece.
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