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Morning 9: Rahm not dwelling on PIF deal | Zhang for Solheim Cup? | Travelers Photos

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco.

For comments: [email protected]

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans, as we gear up for the Travelers Championship.

1. We’re the captain still

Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…”PGA Tour officials intend to tackle a growing narrative that the “framework” agreement the circuit signed with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia two weeks ago is not a takeover of professional golf.”

  • “According to a source familiar with the agreement, who requested anonymity, the deal has built-in safeguards that will ensure the Tour maintains leadership of both the new entity – which will be for-profit and is tentatively called NewCo in the agreement – as well as the PGA Tour.”
  • …”For the Tour, those for-profit assets would include any media rights, sponsorships, the TPC network and any licensing agreements. The board of directors of NewCo will include an executive committee of Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Jimmy Dunne and Ed Herlihy, who are members of the Tour’s policy board and forged the framework agreement with the PIF. The tax-exemption arm of the Tour, including anything “inside the ropes,” will remain autonomous.”
Full piece.

2. Rahm not dwelling on PGA Tour-LIV union

ESPN report…”Jon Rahm still doesn’t know much about the proposed partnership between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, but he knows this much — he’s not dwelling on it…”

  • “I didn’t really talk about [the union] much last week, and I guess I might know more in a few hours once we’re done with the player meeting tonight,” Rahm said. “I don’t think we’re going to get a lot of answers, but I’m going to at least get an idea of where the membership head is at. That’s all I can say. We don’t know anything. I don’t know if the people in charge know much more than we do.
  • “There are so many unanswered questions that at this point I wouldn’t want to waste time thinking about it because there is a lot of what-ifs and unknowns,” he added.
Full piece.

3. In Gee Chun’s internal battle

Nicole Gaddie for Golf Channel…“All my family and friends were in Korea. I felt lonely instead of thankful. I had to take depression medication while on tour,” said Chun.

  • …”She was feeling the effects of becoming a superstar.”
  • “When In Gee wins a big tournament and flies into the airport in Seoul, cameras flash everywhere,” said her coach, Dr. Won Park. “She has to do a lot of interviews at the airport, and she spends about two or three hours until she finally makes it to her car.”
  • “On the streets of Korea, Chun became accustomed to being recognized. As her rockstar status grew, her fans and the Korean media expected results. Chun felt pressure to deliver.”
  • “She grew up from a poor family and needed support from people around her. She knew how precious that help was. She feels all the time that she owes something to everyone,” said Park.
Full piece.

4. Lewis looking at Zhang for Solheim Cup?

Golf Channel’s Max Schreiber…”There was only one way Rose Zhang could become eligible for September’s Solheim Cup in Spain.”

  • “She needed an LPGA win before then, and in her first professional start three weeks ago at the Mizuho Americas Open, the 20-year-old emerged victorious, becoming the first woman to accomplish that feat since Beverly Hanson in 1951.”
  • “That caught the U.S. Solheim Cup captain’s eye.”
  • “I’ve texted with Rose a little bit since her win, just needed her to try some clothes on and stuff like that,” Stacy Lewis told GolfChannel.com at KPMG Women’s PGA media day, June 12. “I was letting her get over last week before I started bugging her. Yeah, the (assistant) captains and I already started talking about (Zhang making the team).”
Full piece.

5. Can your course host a successful modern day U.S. Open?

From Shane Ryan’s superb Golf Digest “guide”…

Who should I give all my tickets to?

  • “Bad: Corporate suits.”
  • “You can’t give your tickets to people who will sit in hospitality tents the whole time, never cheer, drink cocktails with names like “Mortimer’s teawhistle,” and miss all the golf action because they’re deep in conversation about the best way to monetize carbon monoxide poisoning. These people are not the heart and soul of the U.S. Open, and if you overload the place with elites, you’ll lose all your atmosphere.”

“Bad: Ordinary people.”

  • “Have you seen any ordinary people lately? They’re hooting, insensate morons who can only get a dopamine rush by drunkenly shouting the names of food items after a player hits a golf ball. The human animal is a gross, slobbering beast with a penchant for violence, whose elevated brain power has only led him to a rough kind of egotism that funnels toward collective destruction. You absolutely cannot let too many of these boors near the golfers, the same way you wouldn’t let your child inside a gorilla cage at the zoo.”
  • “Good: A mix, but heavily police the proletariat with propaganda and pinkertons.”
  • “The Masters has it right. Rule with an iron fist or invite anarchy. The USGA has been permissive for far too long, and if anyone from that organization is reading this, be in touch, because I have some interesting ideas.”
Full piece.

6. A tale of two post-major starts

Alex Myers for Golf Digest…”The PGA Tour has been jam-packed this season for top players, most notably with two of the new designated events falling the week after a major championship. Rahm drew praise for playing at Hilton Head in April just days after claiming the green jacket. But on Tuesday the only green on his mind were the bright shoes he wore as he got right back to work.”

  • “Oh, way easier, way easier,” Rahm said when asked to compare this week to the one at Harbour Town following his Masters win. “I was pretty drained on that Thursday still when I tee’d up at Harbour Town, and mainly because that week was unique in how demanding it was on the weekend with all the starts and stops and the tough whether. Every time I win it takes a little bit more out of you.”
  • “Rahm didn’t win at the U.S. Open, but he did finish strong with a Sunday 65 at LACC. That vaulted him into the top 10, but he acknowledged that not all high finishes are created equal.”
  • “For the better part of the weekend I was never in contention, so all that stress and intensity that comes with it wasn’t there,” Rahm continued. “Even though I finished great, my round was done at 3 p.m. and I was able to enjoy most of the broadcast like everybody else. That extra energy spent on battling Sunday afternoon at the Open, so energy-wise I’m much better.”
Full Piece.

7. Rahm to Clark: Make sure you celebrate

Paul Higham for Golf Monthly…”…Rahm says that Clark should just enjoy the celebrations that come with winning a first Major and not worry about how he plays this week, as he gave his advice to those who challenged at the US Open who are making the trip.”

  • “A lot of them are already plenty experienced, right? The only one that hasn’t been in that situation was Wyndham,” said Rahm. “After winning I’m pretty sure he doesn’t care how it goes this week.”
  • “It’s so personal. All I could tell him is to enjoy the win as much as possible. You know, if you want to focus and play this week, go ahead, but just take the time to enjoy those moments, just because, you know, they’re not easy to come by.”
  • “So to make sure you celebrate when something like that happens in the present instead of years after when you’ve already – not forgotten, but it’s already passed.”
Full Piece.

8. Harrington on potential Ryder Cup tension

Alex Perry for Bunkered…”It’s been one of the big talking points of the past two years, but Padraig Harrington believes the players will “get over it” should LIV golfers be allowed to make a return to the Ryder Cup fold.”

  • “For a week, you get over it,” he tells bunkered. “Myself and Sergio used to hug at the Ryder Cup. When you are playing you get over these things, and you work through it. You would be surprised – a bit of tension does help, and you want a bit of drive in there. Everything goes out the window at the Ryder Cup to make the best possible team.
  • “All teams have it. Look at the England football team. Most of the players are kicking the hell out of each other in matches two weeks previous, so I don’t see tension being an issue.
Full Piece.

9. Travelers Photos

  • Make sure to check out all of our galleries from this week’s event!
Full Piece.
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Morning 9: Rory: I’m not joining LIV | Masters ratings | Nelly: We just need a stage

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco.

For comments: [email protected]

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans, as we gear up to this week’s RBC Heritage.

1. Rory: I’m not going to LIV

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach…McIlroy said neither he nor his agents have ever discussed a potential deal to lure him to the LIV Golf League, which is being financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).

  • “I honestly don’t know how these things get started,” McIlroy told Golf Channel while on the practice range at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina, the site of this week’s RBC Heritage. “I’ve never been offered a number from LIV, and I’ve never contemplated going to LIV. Again, I think I’ve made it clear over the past two years that I don’t think it’s something for me.
  • “It doesn’t mean that I judge people who have went and played over there. I think one of the things that I have realized over the past two years is that people can make their own decisions for whatever they think is best for themselves, and who are we to judge them for that? But personally, for me, my future is here on the PGA Tour, and it’s never been any different.”
Full piece.

2. Masters ratings down

Yahoo’s Jay Busbee…”Ratings for the full Masters week are now out, and 2024’s version ranks as the lowest since the COVID-impacted years of 2020 and 2021. There was a brief moment when four players shared the lead at the 2024 Masters, but Scottie Scheffler took care of business quickly enough and strolled to what qualifies as an “easy” Masters victory — a four-stroke triumph that wasn’t in doubt for most of the second nine.”

  • “Perhaps as a result, Sunday’s final round averaged 9.59 million viewers on CBS, according to Sports Media Watch, a 22.8% decline from last year’s 12.06 million. Scheffler’s win two years ago averaged 10.17 million viewers. Worth noting: Sunday’s final round was down 20 percent against last year’s victory by Jon Rahm, but last year’s final round fell on Easter Sunday, which created a significantly higher out-of-home percentage of viewers — 21 percent in 2023, as opposed to 9 percent this year.”
Full piece.

3. Chevron gets purse boost

Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…“Chevron’s commitment to the LPGA went a step higher on Tuesday with the announcement of a purse increase to $7.9 million in 2024. The move brings the tour’s first major in line with the purses of other championships. The U.S. Women’s Open purse of $12 million paces the tour, with the KPMG Women’s PGA second at $10 million. The AIG Women’s British Open purse checks in at $9 million while Amundi Evian is $6.5 million.”

  • “Chevron, which moved the event away from Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California, to Texas, last year, has increased the purse by $4.8 million since assuming title sponsorship in 2022. The company has committed to title sponsor the event through 2029.”
Full piece.

4. Shipley on “notegate”

Alex Myers for Golf Digest…”So what was up with “notegate”? During his hilarious spot with McAfee, Shipley reiterated there was no note from Woods, and that he was only looking at the moderator because he was so confused where the question was coming from:

  • “I looked over at the moderator like ‘Who the hell is this guy?'” Shipley says in the clip. “Because it just didn’t happen. I was so confused and so shocked in the moment.”
Full piece.

5. Nelly: We just need a stage

Iain Carter for the BBC…”Korda is the first American to win four consecutive tournaments on the LPGA since Lopez won five straight 46 years ago. This astonishing streak made the then rookie front page material for Sports Illustrated.

  • “Korda’s feats have yet to transcend the golfing village, and perhaps that suits her as she “tries to stay in my bubble”. But the American Solheim Cup player does recognise that more could be done to tell the increasingly compelling story of women’s golf.”
  • “I feel like we just need a stage,” she told reporters here at Carlton Woods just north of Houston. “We need to be put on TV.
  • “I feel like when it’s tape delay, or anything like that, that hurts our game. Women’s sports just needs a stage. If we have a stage we can show up and perform and show people what we’re all about.”
Full piece.

6. Photos from the 2024 RBC Heritage

  • Check out all of our galleries from this week’s event!
Full piece.
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Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2024 RBC Heritage

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GolfWRX is on site this week at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island for the RBC Heritage. Plenty of golfers who competed in the Masters last week will be making the quick turnaround in the Lowcountry of South Carolina as the Heritage is again one of the Tour’s Signature Events.

We have general albums for you to check out, as well as plenty of WITBs — including Justin Thomas and Justin Rose.

We’ll continue to update as more photos flow in from SC.

Check out links to all our photos, below.

General Albums

WITB Albums

Pullout Albums

See what GolfWRXers are saying and join the discussion in the forums.

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Morning 9: Aberg: I want to be No. 1 | Rory’s management blasts ‘fake news’ reports

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco.

For comments: [email protected]

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans, as we look back at the Masters while looking ahead to this week’s RBC Heritage.

1. Shane Ryan: Appreciate Scottie’s greatness

Golf Digest’s Shane Ryan…”This is what’s called generational talent, and we haven’t seen it in almost 20 years. Steve Stricker read the tea leaves when he picked Scheffler for the 2021 Ryder Cup—a decision that was richly rewarded—and starting in 2022, he was off to the races. The only hiccup was a few putting woes last year, but even that only served to highlight how remarkable his ball-striking had become—instead of winning, he was finishing third. When he fixed the putting, with help from a new coach and a bit of equipment advice from Rory McIlroy, he soared yet again to the top of the game, but this time he seemed more indomitable, more inevitable, more brilliant.”

  • “The sustained success of the last three years has officially made him the best professional golfer since Tiger Woods, a conclusion supported by analytics, the eye test, and every other metric you could dream up. With fewer majors, he has nevertheless leaped past Spieth, McIlroy, and Koepka in terms of pure ability. He doesn’t have their legacy, yet, but if we’re talking about peak performance, he’s already surpassed them.”
  • “He’s so much better than everyone else, which is a sentiment that is both commonplace—I saw it on Twitter over and over again—and revelatory. It’s the thing you say because there is nothing else to say. You’re left with the wild truth, which words can describe but never capture.”
Full piece.

2. Aberg: I want to be No. 1

The AFP’s Simon Evans…”The 24-year-old finished second, four strokes behind winner Scottie Scheffler, after carding a final round 69 but he certainly won many admirers among the patrons at Augusta National and beyond.”

  • “And his performance has filled Aberg with self-belief.”
  • “Everyone in my position, they are going to want to be major champions. They are going to want to be world number one, and it’s the same for me, that’s nothing different,” he said.
  • “It has been that way ever since I picked up a golf club, and that hasn’t changed. So I think this week solidifies a lot of those things are there, and we just need to keep doing those things and put ourselves in positions to win tournaments, ” he said.
Full piece.

3. Homa’s honest answer on double bogey

Golf Channel staff report…”But Homa’s tee shot at No. 12 bounded off the putting surface and into a bush. After a healthy search, Homa found his ball and had to take an unplayable lie. He made double bogey, effectively ending his bid at a maiden major title.”

  • “Homa tied for third, seven shots back of Scheffler. Asked about what happened on the fateful 9-iron, Homa offered two replies.”
  • “The honest answer is, it didn’t feel fair. I hit a really good golf shot, and it didn’t feel fair. I’ve seen far worse just roll back down the hill,” he said.
  • “The professional answer is, these things happen.”
Full piece.

4. Harbour Town ahead

RBC Heritage field notes, via Adam Stanley of PGATour.com…”Scottie Scheffler is, for now, set to tee it up at the RBC Heritage. He was clear to say that if his wife, Meredith, would go into labor during the Masters, he would head home to be with her, so it’s safe to assume that same rule will stand at Harbour Town. Scheffler has not shot an over-par round all season and has three victories (and one runner-up). He made his debut at Harbour Town last year and finished T11… Matt Fitzpatrick looks to become the first golfer to go back-to-back at the RBC Heritage since Boo Weekley in 2007-08. Fitzpatrick, a playoff victor last year, has two top-10 finishes this season. He has just one missed cut at Harbour Town over the last six years and he finished fourth in 2021 to go along with two more top-15 results in a three-year span (T14 in 2018 and 2020)…”

  • “Jordan Spieth is hoping to continue his run of fine play at Harbour Town after a playoff loss last season and a playoff win the season prior. Spieth has five top-25 finishes at the RBC Heritage in seven starts… Justin Thomas earned a spot in the field after remaining in the top 30 (he’s No. 30) in the Official World Golf Ranking despite a missed cut at the Masters. Thomas, who finished T25 last season at Harbour Town, has two top 10s on the season… Ludvig Åberg, who is tops in the Aon Next 10, will head to Hilton Head for the first time. Åberg has had a fabulous 2024 campaign thus far with four top 10s (including two runner-up results) and is knocking on the door for a victory… Hideki Matsuyama was the only eligible player who did not commit to the RBC Heritage, while Viktor Hovland – after a missed cut at the Masters – withdrew from the field on Saturday.”
Full piece.

5. Reed’s caddie’s needle

Our Matt Vincenzi…”After a particularly bad drive during his third round on Saturday, Reed’s caddie, Kessler Karain, also his brother-in-law, made a snide but factual comment to Patrick.”

  • “Your driving has cost us a lot this week,” Karain remarked.
  • “Reed didn’t disagree and told reporters after the round that there was nothing good about his round…
  • “A reporter then asked: “It’s a good thing he’s a family member, right?”
  • “Yeah, exactly. I’d probably be dragging him up that last hole,” Reed said. “I swear.Just what you want to hear as you’re looking at the ball in the tree, and he goes, ‘You need to drive it better.’ Thanks, Kessler. I appreciate it. Great words of wisdom. Drive it better.”
  • “This may be the last major for Reed for a while, as the 33-year-old has not been invited nor qualified for next month’s PGA Championship.”
Full piece.

6. LIV wants Hovland next?

Ewan Murray for the Guardian…”Rising speculation that Viktor Hovland will be the next high-profile golfer to be coaxed to the LIV tour will increase the need for Ryder Cup Europe to apply a simple qualification process for golfers on the Saudi Arabian-backed circuit.”

  • “LIV is forging ahead with plans for 2025, which include new events and the recruitment of more players from the PGA and DP World Tours. The rate of turnover is likely to be increased by the number of golfers who had three-year contracts when joining LIV, which will expire at the end of 2024.”
  • “Chatter on the range at the LIV event in Miami this month and again at the Masters largely surrounded Hovland, the world No 6 who starred for Europe in the defeat of the United States in Rome last year. Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton, who also played in that team, have subsequently joined LIV. Hovland missed the cut at the Masters and promptly withdrew from the PGA Tour’s $20m stop in Hilton Head this week.”
Full piece.

7. Rory’s management: LIV reports are ‘fake news’

Brian Keogh for the Irish Independent…”A report that Rory McIlroy was on the verge of an $850million move to LIV Golf has been slammed as “fake news” by his management.

“Fake news. Zero truth,” McIlroy’s manager Sean O’Flaherty said in an email.

London financial paper “City AM” reported today that sources have told them that McIlroy “could” join LIV Golf

The paper reported that “two separate sources have told City AM that they believe a deal is close. It is claimed that LIV Golf chiefs have offered world No2 McIlroy an eye-watering $850m to join, plus around two per cent equity in the competition.”

Full piece.
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