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Morning 9: Theegala, Hoge win QBE | Tiger of the LPGA? | LIV’s ambitious plan

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco and Matthew Vincenzi.

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

December 12, 2022

Good Monday morning, golf fans, after a busy weekend in the world of golf.

1. QBE: Theegala, Hoge take it

AP report…:Sahith Theegala made a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole Sunday as he and Tom Hoge closed with a 10-under 62 in Four-ball and became the first rookie team to win the QBE Shootout in 11 years.”

  • “Ryan Palmer and Charley Hoffman each missed birdie putts from about 12 feet at Tiburon Golf Club that would have forced a playoff. They had a 65.”
  • “Theegala was coming off a strong PGA TOUR rookie season in which he reached the TOUR Championship and twice had chances to win going to the final hole of tournaments.”
  • “The QBE Shootout is an unofficial event, but it still felt good to win.”
  • “It’s nice to get a taste of victory because it’s so hard out here,” Theegala said.
Full piece.

2. Dunhill: Ockie Strydom breaks through

DP Word Tour report…”Ockie Strydom secured his maiden DP World Tour title in style, producing a back-nine birdie blitz on day four to win the Alfred Dunhill Championship by two shots.”

  • “Overnight co-leader Strydom remained in a share of the lead as he reached the turn on Sunday following a roller-coaster front nine which saw him open with five successive pars before going birdie-bogey-birdie-double bogey from the sixth hole.”
  • “The South African then found his very best form after the turn, reeling off birdies at the tenth, 11th, 13th and 14th to open up a commanding three-shot lead.”
Full piece.

3. LIV hoped to sign top 12 in OWGR?

Joel Beall for Golf Digest…”Confidential documents reviewed by the New York Times reveal a proposal put together by an outside consulting firm set fantastical, and borderline unrealistic, assumptions needed for Saudi Arabia’s LIV Golf to achieve financial success.”

  • “A 2021 plan called “Project Wedge” from the firm McKinsey & Company outlined a number of scenarios for the Saudi Arabian pro golf venture that ultimately launched in June 2022. According to the New York Times, the documents revealed that benchmarks for success the “need to sign each of the world’s top 12 golfers, attract sponsors to an unproven product and land television deals for a sport with declining viewership—all without significant retaliation from the PGA Tour it would be plundering.”
Full piece.

4. Ultimate Tiger Woods Match takeaway

Golf Digest’s Christopher Powers…”He was nowhere near ready, but given the weight of this made-for-TV commitment, Woods sort of “had” to be here. Obviously, the cart was likely the deciding factor in him actually giving it a go, just like it will be at next week’s PNC Championship (well, Charlie dying to play is a big factor, too). But, man, this is a dude in some serious, serious pain. It’s still thrilling to see him peg it in person or on the couch, but you have to wonder if it’s even worth it anymore.”

  • “Yes, there were highlights like the birdie at one, some vintage iron shot-club twirl combos on the par 3s, and he even stepped on a driver on the long-drive hole, coming up just short of Thomas’ nuke. But Woods still couldn’t buy a putt (a common theme as he continues to age) and it all just looked like much more of a struggle than it should be.”
  • “Given how he performed in the three events he actually played in last year and given how he looks now, it’s hard to imagine Tiger completing a 72-hole tournament any time in the near or even semi-distant future. Knowing him, he’ll turn up at Augusta National and try to gut it out, but it’s going to become less and less fun watching him do so in so much pain when the reward might be a top-40 finish.”
Full piece.

5. Tiger Woods of the LPGA?

Cameron Jourdan for Golfweek…”Here’s a great exchange between Homa and Kisner talking about Korda.”

  • Kisner: “I think I called her the Tiger Woods of the LPGA Tour at one point. And then through about seven or eight holes I said she’s hit every shot just like she wants to for eight holes. Like does she hit a bad shot? I have no idea, I’ve never seen her hit a bad shot. We were laughing all day.”
  • Homa: “It was a little bit outrageous.”
  • Kisner: “She drove it down the middle.”
  • Homa: “She drove it down the middle on every hole, she almost hit the pin three times, hit it to like two inches on one par 4, then from way too far that next one, she almost hit the pin.”
Full piece.

6. Newest Champions Tour members

Kevin Prise for PGATour.com…”Richard Green has won three times on the DP World Tour and ranked as high as No. 29 in the world. Just one thing was missing on his resume. He had never played a full season in the United States.”

  • “The 51-year-old Australian made amends at Final Stage of the PGA TOUR Champions Qualifying Tournament. Green carded a four-round total of 18 under at TPC Scottsdale (Champions) to finish four clear of Wes Short, Jr., for medalist honors. With five PGA TOUR Champions cards available at Final Stage, it was more than enough to punch his full-time ticket to the circuit.”
  • “Green and Short join Tim O’Neal, Brian Cooper and David McKenzie as players to earn 2023 PGA TOUR Champions status via Final Stage of Q-School. The top five at Final Stage (no ties) gain access into all open, full-field events on PGA TOUR Champions next season. (Finishers 6-30 and ties earn PGA TOUR Champions Associate Membership, gaining access into weekly event qualifiers).”
Full piece.

7. ICYMI: Charlie Woods is driving it by his dad

Patricia Duffy for Golf Channel…”Well, 13-year-old Charlie Woods has yet to beat his dad in a round of golf, but during The Match on Saturday, Tiger revealed his youngest recently outdrove him for the first time.”

  • “I hate to say it, but I’m going to admit it. He finally did it a few weeks ago,” Woods said while on the course at Pelican Golf Club. “I spun one, he tomahawked one and got me.”
Full piece.

8. Monty: Tiger should have retired

Our Matt Vincenzi…“Colin Montgomerie, who appeared on “The Bunkered Podcast”, revealed that he believes Tiger’s insistence on returning to competitive golf is a mistake. “Monty” said that Woods had a golden opportunity to call it quits at this year’s 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews.

  • “That was the time. Stand on that bridge, start waving, and everyone goes, ‘So, is that it?’ Yeah, it is. It would have been a glorious way to go. The stands were full, the world’s TV cameras – from all continents – were on him, he’s walking up there on his own, tears were in his eyes obviously… you can’t beat that walk. I’ve done it myself. When the stands are full, you cannot beat that walk.”
  • “I was tearful playing with him in 2005 in the third round with the Scottish support. I tell you what, that is a special, special arena. It’s a theatre. That was the time for Tiger to say, ‘Okay, I bow out.’ Why go on? Go out at the top. It’s something that very few can do.”
Full piece.

9 Winning WITB(s)

Sahith Theegala WITB

Driver: Ping G430 LST (10.5 degrees)

Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX 60 TX

Hybrid: Ping G425 (17 degrees @16.5)

Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI Hybrid 95 X

Irons: Ping i210 (3), Ping iBlade (4-7), Ping Blueprint (8-PW)

Shafts: Graphite Design Tour AD DI Hybrid 85 X (3), Project X 6.5 (4-9)

 

Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 (50-12S, 54-12S), Ping Glide 2.0 (58-06TS)

Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Ping TR 1966 Anser 2 prototype

Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Flatso 1.0

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Ping ID-8

Tom Hoge WITB

Driver: Titleist TSi3 (9 degrees)

Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X

3-wood: Titleist TS2 (13.5 degrees)

Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec 8 X

Hybrid: Titleist 913H.d (18 degrees, 0.75 degrees upright lie)

Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 904

Irons: Titleist 620 CB (4), Titleist 620 (5-PW)

Shafts: Project X 6.5

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (46-10F, 52-08F, 56-08M), WedgeWorks Proto (60-T)

Shafts: Project X 6.5 (46), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (52-60)

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X

Grip: SuperStroke

Ball: Titleist Pro V1 Left Dot

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

Full WITB(s).
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Max Homa’s winning WITB: 2023 Farmers Insurance Open

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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

More Max Homa WITBs

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Morning 9: Ryder in front at Torrey | McIlroy-Reed showdown in Dubai? | Anthony Kim return talk

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco and Matthew Vincenzi.

For comments: [email protected]

January 27, 2023

Good Friday morning, golf fans.

1. Ryder leads Farmers by 3

AP report…”Sam Ryder extended his lead to three shots in the Farmers Insurance Open with a 4-under 68 in challenging wind in the second round Thursday on Torrey Pines’ South Course while Jon Rahm had an eagle and three straight birdies late in his 5-under 67 on the easier North Course to get under the cut line.”

  • “Ryder survived both the Santa Ana wind and the tougher South Course with just one bogey to reach 12-under 132 and take a three-stroke lead over Brendan Steele, who shot a 70 on the South Course. Tano Goya was two more shots back after a 67 on the North Course.”
  • “The Santa Ana wind blowing out of the desert and down the mountains raked the course most of the day, with gusts up to 30 mph. It sent leaves, branches and even a tumbleweed onto greens, and cardboard trash cans tumbling down hillsides.”
Full piece.

2. Rahm rallies for Farmers cut

Ryan Young for Yahoo…”For a long time on Thursday, it looked as if Jon Rahm’s hot streak was over.”

  • “Thankfully for the Spaniard, his quest for a third win in three starts is still alive.”
  • “Rahm snuck past the cut on Thursday at the Farmers Insurance Open, thanks largely to a huge eagle on his back nine after struggling through the first round and a half at Torrey Pines in San Diego.”
  • “He’s at 4-under for the week, eight shots back of the lead, with the projected cut at even par.”
Full piece.

3. In Dubai, potential McIlroy-Reed showdown shaping up?

4. Reed-McIlroy frostiness thawing?

James Corrigan for the Telegraph…”Without McIlroy’s generous advice, Reed would have been at Majlis Course six hours before he needed to be.”

  • “I woke up at 5am and was on my way to get a car to get here for my 7.40am tee-off time,” Reed explained. “I hadn’t seen that play had been suspended while they got all the water off the course after the storms. But when we were on steps of the hotel where we are both staying, Rory came up and said ‘you don’t have to go yet, we aren’t playing for a while’. ‘Ok, thanks,’ I said.”
  • “So, I went back to bed. It’s nice to think that this means that it’s all good again between me and Rory, but I was with my caddie and coach at the time, so he might have been telling them. Yet I’ve taken it as a little victory. It was nice to move on from all that today. I’ve seen they’ve labelled it ‘Teegate’, as if it was an assassination or something. It was built out of all proportion.”
Full piece.

5. Talking an Anthony Kim return in the New York Times

Our Matt Vincenzi…Despite having not played in over a decade, the golf world has an obsession with former PGA Tour star, Anthony Kim.

“Kim shined at the 2008 Ryder Cup, earning 2.5 points in the event which was tied for the second-best performance on the U.S. side. “AK” played with Phil Mickelson in fourball and was the first man out in Sunday singles matches where he defeated Sergio Garcia 5&4. At the time of the Ryder Cup, Kim was the number 10 ranked player in the world as a Tour rookie. He went on to win three times on Tour from 2008-2010.”

  • “After a New York Times piece on the fascinating story of Anthony Kim, he’s found himself back in the headlines.”
  • “According to Kim’s former caddie Eric Larson, the now 37-year-old hasn’t ruled out a return to the game. Larson had a recent phone call with Kim and asked if he’d be open to a deal with LIV Golf.”
  • “Larson told the New York Times, “He goes, ‘I don’t know. I really don’t know.’” Larson said. “I said, ‘Come on, man, get the old clubs out. Go out there and have some fun.’ And he starts laughing at me. He goes, ‘That’s what everybody wants me to do!’”
  • “Also in the piece was a quote from AK’s longtime swing coach Adam Schriber who said Kim still has “the same swing you remember”, after playing with him twice over the past two years.”
Full piece.
7. PGA Show

  • Check out all our photos from Orlando, below.
Full Piece.
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Morning 9: Teegate | Rahmpage | JT on Saturday finish | PGA Show

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco and Matthew Vincenzi.

For comments: [email protected]

January 25, 2023

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans. It’s day 1 of the PGA Show in Orlando. Stay tuned to the front page, forums, and our social channels.

1. Teegate

Brian Keogh for the Irish Independent…”Patrick Reed threw a tee at Rory McIlroy in disgust after the world number one appeared to ignore his efforts to say hello at the Emirates Golf Club, according to reports.”

  • “The former Masters champion, who has moved to LIV Golf but continues to play DP World Tour events until an arbitration case being held in the UK in a fortnight decides on the Tour’s ability to suspend the rebels, saluted McIlroy’s caddie Harry Diamond without incident, according to the Spanish golf portal TenGolf.com.”
  • “Reed, whose defamation case against analyst Brandel Chamblee and Golf Channel was dismissed Friday by a federal judge in Florida, then approached McIlroy, who was on his hunkers at the time, looking at the ground.”
  • “Reed stood near McIlroy a few seconds with the intention of saying hello but McIlroy did not even turn his head towards him.”
  • “Reed insisted in saluting McIlroy but after getting no response, he gave up and walked away but not before putting his hand in his pocket and throwing a tee in McIlroy’s direction in disgust.”
Full piece.

2. JT praises Saturday finish

Colby Powell for Golf Channel…”Reviews about a Saturday finish on the PGA Tour are mixed, but Justin Thomas loved the change when it was implemented for the first time at last year’s Farmers Insurance Open.”

  • “It was incredible, I got to watch football on Sunday,” Thomas said. “I was ecstatic about it. Even so much so that I pushed the Tour that we do it during the entire playoffs because I love football and I love watching football.”
  • “While the Tour didn’t suddenly move every early-season tournament to a Saturday finish, the move seems to have stuck at the Farmers, which is played the same week as the NFC and AFC Championship games.”
Full piece.

3. Remembering JD at the Farmers in ’04

Max Schreiber for Golf Channel…”It had been a very bumpy road for Daly since his improbable victory at St. Andrews’ 1995 Open Championship, battling through more divorce and additional alcohol rehab.”

  • “But at the 2004 Buick Invitational, he ended a nine-year winless drought in typical Daly fashion.“
  • “Ranked No. 299 in the world at the beginning of the week, the two-time major champion, despite a final-round 75, found himself in a playoff with Chris Riley and Luke Donald.”
  • “On the first playoff hole, Daly hit a 100-foot bunker shot that landed just feet from the hole and he tapped in for birdie. Riley and Donald then missed both their birdie putts from inside 6 feet and Daly was once again back in the winner’s circle.”
Full piece.

4. Rahm approaching a Woodsian feat

Golfweek’s Adam Woodard…”The 28-year-old has won four of his last six events, including his last two starts on the PGA Tour at last week’s American Express and the season-opening Sentry Tournament of Champions two weeks prior. This week Rahm is in the Farmers Insurance Open field at Torrey Pines in San Diego and is looking for a rare three-peat.”

  • “If Rahm is able to win again, it’ll be the 19th time since 1997 that a player has won three straight Tour starts. But wait, what’s so rare about something that’s already happened 18 times over less than 26 years? According to stats guru Justin Ray, Tiger Woods accounts for 14 of the 18 trifectas.”
Full piece.

5. Enhancements to the PGA Tour’s Betting Integrity Program

PGATour.com staff report…”The PGA TOUR today announced two new agreements that will enhance monitoring capabilities as part of an expanded PGA TOUR Integrity Program. A new partnership with U.S. Integrity, paired with an extension of the TOUR’s existing relationship with Genius Sports, will provide the organization with best-in-class bet monitoring services through 2024.”

  • “U.S. Integrity is proud to partner with the PGA TOUR and assist with maintaining the integrity of its golf competition across the world,” said U.S. Integrity’s CEO and Co-Founder Matthew Holt. “U.S. Integrity’s mission is to provide conflict-free, best-in-class insights and compliance solutions to our clients. We are looking forward to working with the premier golf tour in the world, featuring the biggest names. All our partners are committed to the highest integrity standards, and they are no exception. These types of partnerships help ensure sports betting integrity and strengthen the unique and proprietary anomaly-detection tools we have developed at U.S. Integrity.”
  • “The PGA TOUR Integrity Program, established January 1, 2018, covers all facets of competition and operations on the Tours overseen by the PGA TOUR, including players and their support teams, all tournament staff and volunteers, all PGA TOUR employees and the PGA TOUR Policy Board.”
Full piece.

6. On notice

The AP’s Doug Ferguson…”The 28-year-old Spaniard has won four his last six starts worldwide over the last three months, including his two PGA Tour events this month on courses — Maui mountain, California desert — that couldn’t be more different.”

  • “He won in Spain by six shots and the DP World Tour Championship by two in the fall. He started the new year on the PGA Tour by closing with a 63 to overcome a seven-shot deficit against Collin Morikawa at Kapalua, and then holding off a spirited challenge from Thompson in The American Express.”
  • “Next up is the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, one of his favorite places even before he won the U.S. Open. Rahm won his first PGA Tour event at Torrey in 2017, and twice in the last three years he has missed a playoff by one shot.”
Full piece.

7. PGA Show

Full Piece.
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