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Morning 9: Scheffler, Schauffele share concerns | Park returning to Tour | Barbasol photos

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco.

For comments: [email protected]

Good Thursday morning, golf fans, as day one of the Scottish Open. gets underway.

1. More takeaways from the Congressional hearing

Assembled by Golf Digest’s Joel Beall…

  • A fiery admission…”Price and Dunne admirably represented the tour, defending the league as best as they could. However, the tour has been adament throughout the past two years that it was operating from a position of power. Dunne countered that sentiment by admitting that “LIV put us on fire” regarding its own actions. That quote will certainly shouted by LIV supporters should the deal ultimately not come to fruition.”
  • The tour has a friend in Senator Ron Johnson…”The Republican from Wisconsin did not so much ask questions of Price and Dunne as he did play devil’s advocate for why the tour had no choice but to explore a partnership with the Saudis. “I don’t see the PGA Tour as doing anything wrong here,” Johnson said in the hearing. “The questions feel like there you did [something] wrong.” Johnson also pushed back against moral entanglements the PGA Tour might have in doing business with the Saudi regime. “Well listen, I have the deepest sympathy for 9/11 families, I understand the issue of sportswashing, I don’t think there’s any—there’s not enough billions of dollars for the Saudis to wash away the stain of the brutal [Jamal] Khashoggi murder,” Johnson said. “But the reality is we all buy oil, we use—we drive cars, we are the ones that are filling up the coffers of the Public Investment Fund.”
  • A senator was unaware PGA Tour China no longer exists…”Everyone at the proceedings had an agenda, although no one’s was more apparent than Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who tried to grill Price about the existence of the tour’s developmental league in China. One problem: Hawley had no idea the league had not been operational since 2019.”
Full piece.

2. Ryan: U.S. Adaptive Open will unbreak your golf heart

Golf Digest’s Shane Ryan…”There are 96 golfers at the Adaptive Open, and 96 stories of almost unbelievable resilience… The problem with that, as with all the redemptive sports stories we’ve seen in our time, is that they take on a kind of sameness; the pattern becomes familiar and we become inured. How many terrible things can happen to people, only for them to discover the strength to carry on in dire circumstances that we’re sure would bury us in clouds of depression and grief and resentment, before you stop being so affected by each one and they fall into a kind of dismissible rote-ness? It doesn’t help, of course, that in an effort to simplify the affecting power, sports media often portrays these stories in the most lachrymose ways, using tropes that can’t help but make you roll your eyes as they try to extract your tears through practiced emotional coercion. It is easy and probably necessary to rebel against the weepy theatrics of TV journalists we won’t name, but the big problem comes down to the old cliché about the baby and the bathwater; the cynicism we have every right to develop also can wipe out what’s moving about the actual story.”

  • …”All I can say is that when you’re here in person, when the stunning spectacle presents itself and you start to fathom the enormity of what they’re doing—when you look out on the 18th green after reading Togisala’s story, and he’s there in the flesh, in his cart, as though reading his story conjured him up—you start to wonder why you’re crying. It isn’t pity, you’ll realize, but rather a kind of awe at how they triumphed by sticking it to the brutal turns of this life, of not simply moving on and continuing to exist until death’s deliverance, but resolutely attacking and succeeding in a display that combines the most radical kind of defiance/acceptance/god-knows-what-else. Then, in the thick of those emotions, you conclude that these are the only kinds of stories that actually matter. And that even though life goes on, and we can’t sit around lost in the pathos of every person who endured, it’s worth doing whatever you can not to become habituated to the stories that delve into the extremes of human suffering.”
Full piece.

3. Scheffler: Lack of clarity is worrisome

Rex Hoggard for Golf Channel…”As Tuesday’s hearing in Washington, D.C., demonstrated, there are few details of the PGA Tour’s framework agreement with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, a fact that irritated some senators and players.”

  • “I just think that yesterday, we didn’t really learn a whole lot. As a player on Tour, we still don’t really have a lot of clarity as to what’s going on and that’s a bit worrisome. They keep saying it’s a player-run organization, and we don’t really have the information that we need,” Scottie Scheffler said Wednesday at the Genesis Scottish Open. “I watched part of [the hearing] yesterday and didn’t learn anything. So, I really don’t know what to say.”
Full piece.

4. Schauffele: Monahan must earn back players trust

Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…”As Tuesday’s hearing in Washington, D.C., demonstrated, there are few details of the PGA Tour’s framework agreement with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, a fact that irritated some senators and players.”

  • “I just think that yesterday, we didn’t really learn a whole lot. As a player on Tour, we still don’t really have a lot of clarity as to what’s going on and that’s a bit worrisome. They keep saying it’s a player-run organization, and we don’t really have the information that we need,” Scottie Scheffler said Wednesday at the Genesis Scottish Open. “I watched part of [the hearing] yesterday and didn’t learn anything. So, I really don’t know what to say.”
Full piece.

5. Jane Park returning to tour

Kent Paisley for Golf Digest…”Two years after LPGA member Jane Park’s daughter, Grace, suffered a tragic health episode resulting in Park stepping away from golf, Park will return July 19-22 to play at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational. It’s Park’s first event since Grace, then 10 months old, suffered a series of undiagnosed brain seizures, resulting in severe brain damage, while Park competed at the 2021 Ascendant LPGA.”

  • “Park, 36, will play with Paula Creamer as her partner at the tour’s team event at Midland Country Club in Midland, Mich.”
Full piece.

6. JT, Spieth acquiring minority stake in Leeds

SkySports report…“Spieth and fellow golf icon Justin Thomas have purchased shares in the 49ers group, subject to EFL checks, and the former is excited about the future of the club.”

  • “Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports News, Spieth said: “Relegation wasn’t ideal, but we got involved with the 49ers group about purchasing a larger share and getting in with them doing things so successfully as they do everywhere they’ve touched.”
Full Piece.

7. Financial boost for women’s golf?

Michael Weston for Golf Monthly…”Women’s golf could benefit from a financial boost following an announcement that the Aramco Team Series presented by Public Investment Fund (PIF) is set to partner with the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute.”

  • Recognising that a significant proportion of global golf fans hold senior management and leadership positions in the corporate sector, the Aramco Team Series has partnered with FII Institute to elevate the tournament to new heights.
  • Alexandra Armas, CEO of the Ladies European Tour, believes the partnership can build on the momentum that has been building in the women’s game.
  • “We are delighted that FII is becoming a strategic partner from the Aramco Team Series – Riyadh onwards, bringing more discussions and investment into women’s golf through this partnership,” she said.
Full Piece.

8. R.I.P.: Brooks, Bryson “feud”

9. Photos from the Barbasol Championship

  • 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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