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Morning 9: Lydia Ko gets married | RIP Barry Lane | Masters invite madness

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco and Matthew Vincenzi.

For comments: [email protected]

January 3, 2023

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans, as we gear up for an exciting new year in the golf world!

1. R.I.P. Barry Lane

Patricia Duffy for Golf Channel…“Former Ryder Cup player and European golf standout Barry Lane has died, the DP World Tour said in a statement on Sunday. He was 62.”

  • “Lane made 693 starts on the European Tour – now known as the DP World Tour – and is fourth on the tour’s all-time appearance list.”
  • “He took up the game at 14, becoming an assistant professional before joining the tour in 1982….Six years later, in 1988, he would notch his first official win at the Scottish Open at Gleneagles. Four more wins would follow on the European Tour, with an appearance at the 1993 Ryder Cup in the middle. His fifth and final win on tour came at the British Masters in 2004….Lane joined the Legends Tour later in his career, securing eight wins and most recently besting the field at the MCB Tour Championship – Madagascar in 2019.”
Full piece.

2. TOC field, McIlroy skipping

Via the Golf Channel Digital team…“The PGA Tour resumes it’s 2022-23 season with the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Jan. 5-8, in Maui, Hawaii. The field list includes 39 players, including 17 of the top 20 in the Official World Golf Ranking.”

  • “World No. 1 Rory McIlroy will not be competing. Despite this being among the Tour’s designated events, he is skipping the limited-field, no-cut tournament. Players, in accordance with the Tour’s Players Impact Program regulations, are allowed to miss one of the 17 designated events without an excuse.”
  • “McIlroy, who has competed in this tournament only once, tying for fourth in 2019, won three times last season, including the FedExCup title. The Sentry field, however, is open to more than just Tour winners from 2022; winners and those who qualified for the season-ending Tour Championship are eligible.”
Full piece.

3. Scott Stallings just learned about his 2023 Masters invite in the most unusual way

Full piece.

4. Lydia Ko married

Patricia Duffy for Golf Channel…”World No. 1 Lydia Ko is entering 2023 as a married woman!”

  • “The LPGA Star put an exclamation mark on her 2022 by marrying fiancé Jun Chung at the Myeongdong Cathedral in Seoul, South Korea, on December 30. She shared photos of the event on Instagram, along with other top players, friends and family in attendance.”
Full piece.

5. TOC storylines

Via Adam Stanley at PGATour.com…??”The top 30 in the FedExCup were first invited to the Sentry in 2021 in response to the COVID-interrupted 2020 campaign. That path to the Sentry was discontinued last year but now is back in perpetuity as the Sentry becomes the first of the year’s 17 designated events that will promise participation from the game’s top players and elevated purses. The other designated events are the four majors and THE PLAYERS, the three FedExCup Playoffs events, the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play, three player-hosted invitationals (Tiger Woods’ Genesis Invitational, the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard and Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament presented by Workday) and the Waste Management Phoenix Open, RBC Heritage, Wells Fargo Championship and Travelers Championship…

  • “Two of the last three Sentrys were decided in a playoff. Jon Rahm nearly made it three in a row last year, but his eagle try on the 72nd hole just missed… It was a busy end of 2022 for a few guys set to tee it up in Hawaii. This is the first official TOUR event for Max Homa since becoming a father in late October. Mackenzie Hughes and his wife, Jenna, also welcomed a child in early December (their third), while Justin Thomas, Will Zalatoris, Collin Morikawa and Sungjae Im tied the knot… A handful of guys will come into the Sentry Tournament of Champions with some bonus-event momentum. Viktor Hovland successfully defended his title at the Hero World Challenge, while Sahith Theegala and Tom Hoge won the QBE Shootout and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas defeated Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy at the latest edition of The Match.”
Full piece.

6. 54-hole tour granted OWGR points

Our Jason Daniels…“The Gira de Golf Professional de Mexicana has existed since 2017, offering Mexican golfers the chance to progress through the ranks to the PGA Tour Latinoamerica, and has been the source of KFT players such as José de Jesús Rodríguez Martínez, five-time winner on the PGA Latinoamerica circuit and winner of the 2018 United Leasing & Finance Championship on the web.com tour (the predecessor to the KFT). It also assisted the Latino organization through the 2020 pandemic.”

  • “The tour differs from the Greg Norman-led tour with its 36-hole cuts, while offering qualification via a qualifying school to encourage regional players, and culminating its season with a no-cut championship.”
Full piece.
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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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