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Brooks Koepka and Sergio Garcia make significant equipment changes as 2024 Masters looms

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Ahead of the highly anticipated 2024 Masters, some notable LIV golfers have made some changes with their putters.

Brooks Koepka, who’s used a Scotty Cameron Teryllium Tour Newport 2 for the past handful of years, had what looked to be a Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 in the bag this week at LIV Doral.

Koepka has been struggling on the greens this season, but it’s still a bit of a surprise to see him switch to a mallet-style putter so close to the season’s first major.

Koepka finished with -4.4 strokes gained with his new Phantom following a tough week in Miami.

With the poor performance on the greens at Doral, it’s worth monitoring whether or not he switches back to his traditional Scottie Cameron at Augusta.

Sergio Garcia, who lost out in a playoff at LIV Doral, also made a notable putter switch last week.

The Spaniard asked Scotty Cameron to refurbish the 1999 Scotty Cameron Del Mar Prototype he used as a rookie on the PGA Tour. Garcia used the putter when he went head-to-head with Tiger Woods in the 1999 PGA Championship at Medinah as a 19-year-old. He also used the putter in his first Ryder Cup.

The move proved very successful for the Spaniard, with Garcia gaining 7.1 strokes putting in Miami.

Perhaps there is still some magic in that old Scotty Cameron blade for Sergio Garcia with a trip to Augusta National looming.

*Featured image courtesy of LIV Golf*

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Brandel Chamblee has a surprising new take on the PGA Tour-LIV stand-off

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One of the more outspoken analysts throughout the LIV Golf vs. PGA Tour saga has been Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee.

This week, Chamblee reversed course, saying he believes the PGA Tour should strike a deal with Saudi Arabia’s Private Investment Fund (PIF).

“The PGA Tour is in this pickle like it or not, but, do you want to compete with someone who’s not going to go away, who can outspend you”.

“Every move they make that makes their tour better deletes your tour and causes more division within the tour. So the time is now, to Rory’s point about making a deal, I wouldn’t have said that a year ago… but it is the better end of the bargain.”

Chamblee’s new stance seems to be in line with that of Rory McIlroy, who reportedly wanted to rejoin the PGA Tour board with hopes of pushing a deal with the PIF closer to the finish line.

Chamblee will be in the booth for next week’s PGA Championship which has 16 LIV players in the field.

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Xander Schauffele explains free drop ruling during round one of Wells Fargo Championship

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During Thursday’s opening round of the Wells Fargo Championship, Xander Schauffele blasted his tee shot in the woods to the right of the fairway on the par-4 8th hole.

The ball was almost not found, but Xander’s group managed to track it down just before the three-minute time limit was reached.

When the ball was found, it was just beyond the penalty area close to a fence. In the moment, it seemed incredibly unlikely that Schauffele would be able to hit the ball through the trees towards the green.

However, through the woods and above the fairway, there was a hanging wire from a ShotLink tower that Xander claimed was in his way. He was then granted relief, and two club lengths from the spot positioned him all the way out of trouble. He played his ball onto the front of the green and two-putted for par.

Here is the full video of the interaction between Schauffele and the rules official.

After the round, Xander said he “got really lucky.”

“Got really lucky multiple times, on 1 with Wyndham finding it, 2, being able to move the rocks, and 3, the ShotLink tower being in like my only shot line possible. To walk out there with sort of a no breeze 4 with what I thought was almost out was a really good break.”

“Yeah, I hit it in the trees. My ball was probably like a foot, two feet from the fence. If I — ball was here, fence was kind of here, hitting back this direction.

“If I went towards the green, the fence kind of worked this way so I had what I could hit, a 4-iron or something low and just kind of run it through. If it gets stuck, I’ll just kind of hit my next one out. But I brought the rules official in there with me because I was like, you’ve got to be OK with this because this is literally the only shot I can hit.”

“So Austin [Kaiser] and I moved two massive rocks that weren’t embedded and then I got relief out of the junk and then hit a pretty good shot on the green from there. What was a very stressful moment turned into a pretty stressless par.”

Schauffele finished the round at seven under, which gives him a three-shot lead going into Friday’s second round.

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Report: Tiger Woods voted against Rory McIlroy returning to policy board; Will be the only player negotiating directly with Saudis

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According to a report from The Telegraph, the relationship between Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy has soured.

Last week, reports surfaced that McIlroy, who was a member of the PGA Tour policy board during most of the past few years, was looking to rejoin the board, presumably taking Webb Simpson’s seat.

However, on Wednesday, McIlroy revealed that he will not be rejoining the policy board, due to people on the board being “uncomfortable” with that “for some reason.”

The Telegraph has reported that Tiger Woods was among the players who voted against McIlroy returning to the policy board.

The divide is apparently due to McIlroy pushing for the game of golf to unify, whereas Woods, reportedly, believes the PGA Tour is in a fine position where it currently stands.

The Associated Press added another wrinkle to the situation, reporting that Woods is the only player who will be negotiating directly with the Saudis.

The other members of the committee are PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, board chairman Joe Gorder, John W. Henry of Fenway Sports Group, and Joe Ogilvie, who was a former PGA Tour player.

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