Category: The Clubhouse
1621 Club is a semi-private health, social and athletic club in Regina, Saskatchewan. Just so happens they also feature a golf simulator and offer golf specific training programs. As a result, this place was a must see for the boys of Drive The Green!
Those patio lanterns,
they were the stars in the sky,
those patio lanterns,
lighting up our lives
Those patio lanterns…..
Wait that’s the wrong Mitchell……Congratulations go out to Keith not Kim Mitchell this week. Keith Mitchell held off two of golfs hottest players on Sunday to capture the title at the Honda Classic this week. The whole world (myself included) was pulling for a super playoff with potentially 6 players being involved as the final groups teed off on the back nine Sunday.
A couple early low rounds from Lucas Glover and Ryan Palmer set the pace early only to come up a few shots short. K.H Lee, 54-hole leader Wyndham Clark and 56 year old Vijay Singh were eaten up by the Bear Trap. That left Brooks Koepka, Rickie Fowler and Keith Mitchell as the last 3 remaining for a playoff.
But Keith Mitchell playing in a few groups behind the big name superstars made the bear trap look like the easiest holes on your local municipal course including a clutch birdie putt on the 18th hole to win the 2019 Honda Classic. For his trouble Keith took home $1.225 million dollars and a crystal trophy. I am not even going to comment on the trophy this week. As much as getting your first PGA tour win in your 40th start is impressive.
It was Mitchell’s Caddie Crunchy Pete who stole the show Sunday. Whether it was him busting out a compass mid round for whatever reason or his twitter page becoming headline news with the comparisons to the caddy in Happy Gilmore. After seeing that I had to rewind to make sure he had two shoes on. He also won the internet on Sunday when he took a picture of the cheque Keith won and tweeted about not being good at math but what is 10% of this. In case you were wondering he took $125k this week.
The top ten was filled with great story lines, nobodies and guys turning back the clock. It would have been something if after opinionated Brooks mode was engaged earlier this week that Brooks Koepka came out and made a statement and won this tournament, but he will have to settle for a tie for 2nd.
Rickie started the week pretending to poop out a golf ball in a mockery of the new drop rules for the PGA Tour and ended the week by pooping away a chance to win this tournament with one of the worst par 3 displays I have ever seen by a professional golfer ever. Lucas Glover brought home $300K this week and is up to 92nd in the OWGR, let that sink in. Hopefully his wife reads this.
Ryan Palmer had an amazing Sunday to finished T4 with Lucas his 63 was the low round of the day. The Texas swing cannot come soon enough for Palmer. Vijay Singh workout King was right there until he hit it in the water on the 71st hole. I have always disliked Vijay but man was it hard not to root for him on Sunday. Kyoung-Hoon Lee and Wyndham Clark finished tied for 7th. Which is about where you figured they would finish after seeing they were 1st and T2 going into Sunday.
The Sergio Garcia apology tour continued this week with another good showing a T9 finish and a few more autographs and publicity photos taken along the way. Jim Furyk and Jason Kokrak also finished T9 to round out the top 10 this week.
There were 6 Canadians in the field this week and I would say this was a pretty successful week for the contingent from the great white north. Friend of the pod Roger Sloan finished T30 for another respectable week after a T2 in Puerto Rico last week. Keep it up Rog, I am here to caddy whenever you need me.
Nick Taylor also finished T30 this week another solid week for a guy who plays a lot of golf, 11 tournaments so far this year and only 3 missed cuts. Ben Silverman finished T36 which is decent, but you know he was hoping to be a little higher after a hot start and this being one of his home courses that he has had some success on in the past.
Adam Svensson continued his streak of starting tournaments well and having weekends to forget. He was in the hunt this week until a 5 over 75 on Sunday plummeted him to T59. Still a cheque to be cashed, ask CH3 how those can add up.
Drew Nesbitt was the talk of the tournament Thursday when he took off his shirt to reveal the extremely white shirt he had on underneath or atleast that is what it looked like, rolled up his pants and hit a shot out of the water. Then got up and down for par. Unfortunately, Drew was caught in the dreaded MDF finish this week. Finally, Mac Hughes missed the cut this week for his 4th straight missed cut after a T29 at the farmers insurance open. I am sure he will turn it around soon though.
Adam Schenk finished T30 which most of you are thinking “sounds about right” but he was the victim of the stupid caddy standing behind the player as he addresses the ball rule. That cost Schenk a two stroke penalty in the 3rd round. Had he not gotten that penalty he would have been in the final pairing.
Justin Thomas and Gary Woodland had rollercoaster showings this week. A couple of the biggest names in the tournament. Justin Thomas went 68-74-67-71 to finish T30 but there were times he was in the top 5 and times he was dead last on Saturday. He also played through the 2nd round with a dead arm and had a twitter fight with the USGA. What a week. Gary Woodland was in the same boat he needed to birdie the last 2 holes on Friday just to make the cut. Then came out hot on Saturday shooting 66, only to fizzle out on Sunday with a 73 and a T36 finish.
Charl Schwartzel had a very respectable week after struggling for some time lately. Charl finished T16 despite using what may be the ugliest putter in the history of golf. But hey, whatever works I guess. Charl was also involved in a heated argument with a rules official after he was put on the clock at one point this week. He was paired with Ben Crane so I imagine Charl was pleading his case that Crane was the one slowing them down. Either way, Crane and Charl in the same group is going to result in slow play. Throw JB Holmes in there and that tournament is still going on.
Cam Smith hadn’t missed a cut for almost a calendar year and then this week happened. Cheer up lil guy there is always next week to start a new streak.
Finally, the thanks for coming out award this week goes to Alex Cejka. Cejka was DQ’d from the Honda Classic for using an old yardage book that had the larger green diagrams in it. I mean how hard is it to grab a new yardage book you got to think they hand them out when you check in. Anyways that blunder cost him an embarrassing walk off the course mid round and earned him the thanks for coming out award this week.
On To Next Week
Another week in the books, another first time winner on tour and another GD crystal trophy. At least next week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational we will see a legit trophy with Arnie on top and let’s not forget about the sword the winner gets. Maybe Justin Rose will play in this, we know Tiger is out and setting the ground work for a go to excuse down the road. Anyways, whatever happens, I will be back next week to recap it.
JB Slow Plays JT
Another week on the PGA tour, another young stud blowing a big lead on Sunday. Just like Rickie Fowler a few weeks ago, Justin Thomas was up big after the third round. But unlike Rickie, Thomas could not hold off JB Holmes. It wasn’t so much that JB came out on Sunday and won this tournament. It was more that Thomas didn’t have enough rocks in his pockets to keep him steady over putts in the windy conditions Sunday.
But JT’s faults are JB’s gains because JB methodically or is it painstakingly? Or is it slowly? ended up winning by one stroke. It is not too often tour players call out other tour players for on-course antics but that has not been the case for JB this year. His slow play is catching the eye of his peers and let’s make no bones about it – JB is SLOW on the course. There were a few times on Sunday I was left shaking my head and asking what the heck is he doing while the other two playing partners are hitting. He cannot be analyzing things while they are hitting too? There is no way he takes that long there. But I don’t think JB was ever put on the clock on Sunday so I am sure his mentality is if they are not going to warn him, why would he change what he is doing.
While JB and his family were happy with his pace, I am pretty sure the sponsors and companies who pay for ad time on CBS were also happy because of the new feature where they show split screen ads during the play. JB’s long shot preparation allowed for a ton of extra ad time. I could go on about how slow JB is for pages but let’s move on. For his trouble, Holmes took home a shade over $1.3 million dollars and a beer funnel of a trophy. I am starting to wonder when the good trophies are going to start being presented. Anyways, congratulations to JB Holmes on his 5th PGA Tour win and hopefully your 6th win doesn’t include a 9 hour Sunday round.
The rest of the top 10 was a tale of the good, the bad and the ugly. Let’s start with the ugly. I touched on it earlier but JT started the 4th round up by four shots. But a 4 over round of 75 (10 shots worse than round 3) left JT as the bridesmaid this week. There was only one round uglier than JT’s in the top 10 and it was Adam Scott and his 76 to drop him into a tie for 7th. There wasn’t much for really bad rounds but I guess Rory would fall in there because even though he finished tied for 4th, if he could putt it is likely Rory hoisting the beer funnel on Sunday.
While the final group might fool you, there was actually some good golf played on Sunday. Si Woo Kim shot the round of the day with a 5 under 66 to jump 7 spots into solo 3rd place. It is even more amazing considering Si Woo was putting with the pin in from everywhere and a few times it looked like the flag was going to hit him due to the wind. Si Woo is always a feel good story because he has to bank as much money as he can before the army comes calling. It was windy and the big cat Marc Leishman was in the top 5 – surprise, surprise. Likely the most consistent guy of the week was Chuckie MF’ing 3 stix finishing in solo 6th and my dude cashed another big ol cheque, $266k big.
This top 10 was filled with guys you can cheer for. Michael Thompson banked his second straight top 10 with a tie for 7th with Scott. Six people tied for 9th to round out the top 10. Hideki Matsuyama jumped 27 places on Sunday to get into the top 10. The Mexican Bean pole Carlos Ortiz picked up his second top 10 of the season. Kelly Kraft and Vaughan Taylor were also in that 6 way tie although we never saw a shot of theirs all week so who really knows. Jonathan RAM hung around all week to get that $177K payday for 9th and last but certainly not least, DJ quietly banked another top 10 and looks like he is adjusting to golf on this side of the Atlantic again.
It was a quiet week for the Canadians playing in this tournament. Nick Taylor had another respectable performance with a tie for 33rd and it seems like it is only a matter of time before he breaks out. The cut making machine Adam Hadwin made the cut as per usual but crumbled on the weekend to finish 75th. Mac Hughes was also in the tournament but missed the cut.
The other notable finishes that need to be discussed are: Tiger Woods was electrifying the crowds like the Tiger of old on Saturday, but the excuses came out Sunday with the 9 hour round and the cold windy temperatures. Tiger wilted to a very respectable T15 finish. The 15th spot had quite a few notable names in it. Bryson never really got it going but still managed to claw to 15th. Bubba Watson looked poised to potentially repeat then it got windy and Bubba STINKS in the wind. Xander was up there again but inconsistent this week but watch out for this guy this year. Just sayin.
Tony Finau was also in this group and it seems like Tony is always in the 10-30th spot this year. Then there was Beau Hossler and Patrick Rodgers. Arguably the most handsome and ugliest guys on tour. I won’t name names though. Matt Kuchar was in the news again for caving to the shake down his rent-a-caddie put on him this week to the tune of 50K, the good news is Kuchar took home $50,320 for finishing 28th this week (EIS). Phil is just too old to play well for back to back weeks but at least we get to see those thighs he calls calfs on a regular basis with the new shorts rule.
The Genesis Open was the first stop on the Sergio Garcia apology tour. His agent or publicist or someone made him kiss babies, hand out merch to fans and basically be one step away from being fully prepared to be like the guy from the Fyre Festival documentary. Sergio also finished in 37th. Vijay Singh was in this tournament and he missed the cut so maybe the new workout isn’t working for Vijay but I doubt that is going to stop Vijay from going even harder on that workout. Get back to the range Veej.
Finally, we get to the thanks for coming out award for this week. Usually an award reserved for guys hovering around dead last but the display from Jordan Spieth on Sunday locked him into this award. Jordan shot a 10 over 81 with 2 bogeys, a double, a triple, a quad and a 2 hole stretch where he had 7 putts. This award may have never had a better fit. Thanks Jordan.
On To Mexico
Well that wraps up the Genesis Open. The early round delays made for great weekend golf watching with golf basically on all day Saturday and Sunday. However, I am a little disappointed they didn’t bring Clint Eastwood back this week. The slow play of JB Holmes made it feel like Clint was on the call again. Next week we have two tournaments going. The WGC in Mexico where all the big guns are paying and the Puerto Rico Open which will likely lead to a first time winner which is always exciting. My money is on the Italian mob boss Dominic Bozzelli. I’ll be back next week to recap it all.
Lucky Number 44
No matter how fast Phil got that big body moving between the greens and tee boxes on the back nine there just wasn’t enough time to finish the final round on Sunday and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am had to wait until Monday morning to crown its champion. In somewhat of an underwhelming finish, Phil Mickelson captured his 5th win at Pebble Beach and his 44th win of his career. Phil started the day three shots back of 54-hole leader Paul Casey but cruised past him with the low round of the day, while Casey struggled with the cold weather conditions.
It should be mentioned that Paul Casey is now dead to Phil after that stunt of using complete common sense and electing to stop playing in pitch dark conditions instead of finishing the last 2 holes like Phil wanted to do. The 2nd best interaction (see the last paragraph for the first best) on Sunday was when the announcers, Paul Casey, Paul’s caddy, the PGA rules official, Casey’s amateur partner, and everyone in the gallery were commenting how dark it was and Phil walks up to the rules official and says I can see fine. This was after Phil was overheard saying he had 20/80 vision while walking up the 16th fairway.
Anyways, for winning the tournament Phil took home just over $1.3 million and a weirdly shaped crystal trophy. I don’t know what other people think but I think it is high time the PGA tour puts a limit on the crystal trophies. It seems like every second week the winner is hoisting a crystal trophy. Maybe that is why the Players changed its trophy this year, to get away from being just another tournament with a crystal trophy.
I already touched on how Paul Casey sputtered to a solo second finish. Casey is known to have back problems and as the round went on his swing was getting shorter and shorter on Sunday. On hole 16 he barely took the club back. It is no wonder he wanted to get off that course. Guy was seized right up.
Friend of the pod and contender for DTG interview of the year Scott “Scooter” Stallings finished in 3rd place. This has to be a confidence boost for a guy going through some pretty big overhauls to his lifestyle and work regimen. Jason Day was again quietly tied for 4th. This is looking like a year where Jason Day gets a second major if he can stay healthy. Si Woo Kim also finished tied for 4th with Day. Keep cashing those cheques Si Woo because one of these days the army is going to come calling.
Scott Langley finished 6th?? Kevin Streelman, Brian Gay and Lucas Glover all finished tied for 7th -which is pretty amazing considering Lucas was probably beaten within an inch of his life last week #prayforlucas and Brian Gay overcame taking off and putting on his vest every time he shot on Sunday. I mean Gay only shot minus 1 on Sunday so maybe he should have picked one and stuck with it, but still two impressive finishes all things considered.
Max Homa (who was added to this tournament late after some guys dropped out) finished T10 and is likely going to jump up from his 718 OWGR. No word on where Bronel has him. Chris Stroud has back to back top 10s in the last two tournaments. The sky is the limit for this up and coming…….oh he is 37 and been on tour for 12 years? Keep grinding Chris! Scott Piercy is probably kicking himself that he decided to finish 18 in the dark last night. His bogey cost him about $25k on the pay cheque he will be getting. Michael Thompson also finished in that group at T10 after birdieing two of his last 3 holes just to make the cut on Saturday.
There was 8 Canadians in the field this week and it was a bit of a mixed bag for results. Adam Hadwin finished tied for 18th in a week where he is probably left wondering what could have been. Hadwin only had one really good round and the others were pretty average with a pair of 72s and a 70. Nick Taylor finished tied for 28th. I guess he got back to practicing golf and not playing Mario Kart. Ben Silverman ho hummed his way to a T45 finish. Not sure you know this Ben but the $25K you won this week will buy you a pretty sweet fully loaded Honda Odyssey.
Mac Hughes, Adam Svensson, Corey Conners all missed the cut. Conners must be in the low point of his peaks and valleys consistency approach to golf. While Mac and Svensson have been playing a lot of golf lately so they were bound to miss a cut sooner or later. Hopefully all three bounce back in their next tournament. David Hearn and Roger Sloan missed the cut in epic fashion shooting +11 and +13 respectively. How does the saying from The Mighty Ducks go? It’s not worth losing if you don’t lose big? No, that’s not it. Anyways back to the drawing board guys and come out hot next time.
Some of the other notable finishes this week included: A large group of notable guys in 14th place. Jim Furyk turned back the clock for a solid finish this week. Sung Kang might be the world’s best cheater at golf or maybe he is just good at the game- jury is still out. Matt Every and his balaclava finished T14 – try playing golf in Canada Matt. I think it is safe to say Graeme McDowell wishes every event was played at Pebble – the 2010 US Open winner finished T18 which is his best finish in A WHILE (Update: he finished T11 at the RSM Classis).
Matt Kuchar finished tied for 22nd and continues to lead the FedEx cup race. If Kooch holds on to win the Fedex cup, DTG deserves at as much as his caddie got at the Mayakoba classic. Just when you think Jordan Spieth has figured this game out, he goes and shoots a combined 5 over on the weekend to fall all the way to 45th. Dustin Johnson who had to be battling jet lag from a flight he partied the whole way home on after winning in Saudi Arabia also finished 45th. European fan favorite Tommy Fleetwood also finished 45th. Popular spot for some of the games big names this week.
Adam Scott got bit with the dreaded MDF cut this week; I am not sure how it works this week when it was a 3-round cut. However they sorted it out, Scott was on the wrong end. Anders Albertson with another missed cut. Is he playing bad or is the PGA trying to get us to forget about him? Stay woke. The coveted thanks for coming out award goes to Steve Jones. The 60-year-old Jones finished pretty much exactly how you would expect a 60-year-old to finish in a PGA event – dead last and carded an 83 in the second round. A round in the 80s is definitely a way to get noticed for this award.
We’re On To Riviera
I am sure some of you are saying this was a Pro Am and you didn’t mention the amateurs once in the recap. There are two reasons for that: 1. It’s my blog so I can do what I want and 2. There wasn’t much newsworthy stuff out of the amateurs this week. Tony Romo hit a shot from the gallery and then withdrew from the tournament, Bill Murray did Bill Murray things, FOTP David Dube had a respectable showing and some Patriots fan won. The amateur that stole the show was the one in the booth.
Clint Eastwood showed up Sunday and man did he put on a show. (this is best interaction moment I mentioned above) From dragging the Grammy’s on live television, to saying in the nicest way possible there is a snowball’s chance in hell he was waking up to join for the early morning coverage on Monday, to the 35 second time lapse where someone unplugged his power cord and he shut down. Either way, Clint was a hit. Next week the PGA Tour is off to the Genesis Open at Riviera with some big names set to play. Congrats one more time to Phil and I will see you guys next week.
Rickie Finally Conquers
It wouldn’t be a Waste Management Phoenix Open if Rickie Fowler wasn’t in the hunt and he wasn’t trying his best to come up short. And give Rickie credit, he tried his darndest to blow the 4 stroke lead he entered Sunday with. He even mixed in some very creative ways to come back to the field. I do not know how that ball started moving on its own after Rickie placed it and it was stationary for a couple minutes. But it does make me wonder if a ProV1x would have started rolling? If you put that weird triple bogey aside, Rickie managed to hang on and get his 5th PGA tour victory.
Rickie barely beat Brandon Grace by 2 shots after Grace hit it in the water on 17off the tee to ruin any chance he had of putting the pressure on Rickie and probably winning because you just knew Rickie was going to wilt away if it was tight on the last couple holes. BDR (or SDR depending on who you are) took home $1.27 million this week with the win and one of the better trophies for mantle displaying. A nice glass trophy with a real Kachina spin on the design will look great on any mantle.
The weather was something else on Sunday or so the announcers wanted you to think. There was rain yes, but it was off and on. The wind was also a big talking point but after I did the conversion the wind was gusting to the equivalent of a calm southern Saskatchewan afternoon at 24km/h. I will never not get a kick out of the announcers saying how strong the wind is when it is just a regular day here. Never the less, the conditions did make for a weird scoring Sunday in a tournament guys usually lick their chops on when teeing it up on hole one. The top 10 echoes that pretty well.
What a dog’s breakfast of a top 10. There were big guns like Justin Thomas, Matt Kuchar, JoHn Ram, Bubba, Xander and course horse Gary Woodland in there. But you also had Branden Grace, Chez Reavie, Chris Stroud and Sung Jae Im. Which I guess is probably what the PGA wants to see. You wouldn’t know that though given their coverage on Sunday. From what they showed on TV, I figured only 6 players played 18 holes (Rickie, Kuchar, JT, Woodland, Grace, Bubba) and the rest of the field only played 16 because that is all they showed all day. Xander shot the 2nd lowest round of the day (3 under LOL) and jumped 16 spots in the standings to get into the top 10 and no one knew about it. Come on PGA!
It was a tough week for the Canadians this week after some pretty good recent results on tour. PGA journeyman David Hearn was the top finishing Canadian of the week in a tie for 33rd. Hearn was on the first page of the leaderboard after round 1 but fizzled away as the week went on. The cut making machine Adam Hadwin did just that, made the cut but a tournament bookended with 72’s makes it tough to cash a big cheque. Nick Taylor missed the cut by one. It’s a damn shame there isn’t a strokes gained from Mario kart wins stat because then Nick would be raking. Status pending FOTP Mac Hughes also missed the cut after having a good week at Torrey Pines last week. Finally, Blair Hamilton also missed the cut. I don’t know who that is but hard luck Blair, keep on grinding.
Some other notable finishes this week included: Hideki Matsuyama tied for 15th. I throw around the term course horse a lot, but this guy has to be disappointed in a T15 finish considering his dominance in this event over the past few years. Byeong (Ben) An shaved his greasy moustache and finished tied for 20th. I will let the readers decide if that means he should bring it back or leave it gone. Denny McCarthy made headlines a couple days at the WM Phoenix open, not for great play or anything. He was actually given a 2-stroke penalty under the new rules of having his caddy help him line up a shot. The problem was his caddy was nowhere near him when he addressed and hit the ball. The video went viral and had the golf world buzzin. A day later Denny was back in the news when the PGA rescinded the penalty strokes. I guess common sense does prevail sometimes.
As most of the readers will know, I am a big William Horschel fan but that guy wore a GD hoodie on Sunday and I can’t let that slide. Come on William, you are better than that. That is Billy league stuff. In related news, Billy Horschel shot the low round of the day Sunday in said hoodie. College amateur Matt Wolff and his goofy swing finished tied for 50th. It looked like he was going to take this tournament by storm with a 4 under 67 on Thursday. He got worse as the tournament went on, but I’ll give him a pass because he better have been partying all week since he cannot claim any of the prize money anyways.
Cam Champ is really starting to make me look like an idiot. Early on in the silly season I proclaimed him to be the next big thing and since then he has been the definition of mediocre. T67 this week to go along with a T73 and a MC in his last tournaments. Yuck. Anders A. Albertson missed the cut this week. Pretty clever move by the PGA to get the fans off the scent. Stay woke guys, Triple A doesn’t exist.
Other notable guys who missed the cut were Phil Mickelson, hopefully this wipes that smug look off his face and Lucas Glover (November 12, 1979 – February 1, 2019) RIP Lucas. The TFCO award of this week goes to Whee Kim. This course is known for being a track that the players just eat up and Whee managed to shoot 14 over in the two rounds he played which was 27 strokes worse than what Rickie Fowler shot to lead the tournament after 36 holes. Woof.
Wrap It Up
That about wraps up another week in the PGA tour. It should be noted a lot of the big names were playing overseas again the week and my boy DJ got his 20th worldwide win. He beat Haotong Li by 2 strokes to take home a cheque about one third the size of the cheque Rickie cashed. Not sure what the appeal is to play in some of these overseas tourneys if the big money isn’t there. Especially in Saudi Arabia with all the negative press that place is getting. Speaking of negative press, Sergio Garcia had a tough day at the office in that tournament. It started with a temper tantrum in the sand trap and ended with him being disqualified after damaging 5 greens in a row. Not a good look but I would also like to find out who the narcs were.
Coming up this week, we have a fan favorite tournament on the PGA tour – the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am. However, it probably won’t be that fun to be in attendance this week with the forecasted weather. And on the European tour, we got a “it’s 2019 guys” event with the European tour and LPGA teaming up for the ISPS Handa Vic Open where men and women both compete on the same course but not against each other. Baby steps. I will be back next week to recap all of that.
Well it only took 2 weeks for Justin Rose to get accustomed to those new clubs. In only his second tournament after making a questionable decision to change clubs (Insert picture of money truck backing up to his house), Justin won the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. After becoming number one in the world a few weeks ago while not even playing, Rose held off Adam Scott (Yes that is not a typo) by 2 strokes in a tournament that looked a lot closer than it was with Scott birdieing his last 4 holes while Rose had it in cruise control.
Rosie wasn’t only winning a tournament yesterday, he was multitasking as he was also debunking the theory of “look good, feel good, play good”. He definitely did not look good on Sunday with those fresh new sponsor threads and he decided to show them off in the color of peach…..peeyou. For his trouble, Rose took home a shade under $1.3 million and a couple trophies, one that looks like a tree and a surf board. I am really starting to kick myself that I was chirping the barrel trophy from the Safeway open as that is one of the best of the year it seems.
The top ten was filled with high end players this week. Adam Scott turned back the clock and had one of his best weeks since he won the masters. His week was so good it got people talking about how silky his swing is again and not about how he is a bottom 5 putter of all time. He seems to be another guy who is pro-putting with the pin in and it only backfired on him once from 18 inches ha. Talor Gooch, that’s Talor with no Y finished tied for 3rd and has had great start to 2019 with 3 of 5 cuts made and has already made more money than he did all of last year.
Hideki Matsuyama was also tied for 3rd with Talor which isn’t new for him during this stretch of the schedule. However, he did catch the biggest break of the week when he flat our duck hooked a 3 wood and it was left of left into a hazard but managed to “land” just inside the boundaries of the course and he managed to get it up and in for a par. I see you PGA. Tied for 5th was the big rig John Ram, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy. Rahm looked like a guy who was one more missed shot away from murdering someone on Sunday. The known hot head was trying his darndest to keep his cool. Rory on the other hand just needs to put it all together and we will see dominant Rory again. He is getting closer but fizzled on the weekend yet again, but also I could just watch him on the driving range for 8 hours a day every day.
Finally, Jason Day was in that grouping I watched pretty much the entire round on Sunday and kept wondering why they were showing Jason Day then saw he was 5th. What an unmemorable top 5 for team dad bod Jason Day. William “don’t call me Billy” Horschel finished in solo 8th which is nice to see him finding his game. Gary Woodland quietly finished tied for 9th, I don’t even think they showed one shot of his on the weekend. Three others tied for 9th as well. The mannequin boy Cam Smith, PGA Journeyman Scott Brown and soon to be Friend of the Pod Joel Dahmen and his bucket hat rounded out the top 10.
It was another strong week for the Canadian contingent this week. Mac Hughes was the most consistent player in the entire tournament shooting four straight rounds of 70 to finish tied for 29th. Adam Svensson continued his strong play finishing tied for 35th and if it wasn’t for a stumble on Sunday, he could have been much higher up the leaderboard. Nick Taylor probably isn’t happy with his finish but still cashed a check in 43rd and Ben Silverman played with Tiger on Sunday and it looks like he might have been star struck as he shot 75 and fell into a tie for 52nd. The lone Canadian to miss the cut was our boy Roger Sloan but the guy has been grinding for weeks so a missed cut was bound to happen after playing that many tournaments in a row. All in all, a good week for the Canucks.
Some other notable finishes this week were: Tony Finau was one birdie away from his first top 10 finish of the 2019 season instead he finished tied for 13th with a slimmer version of Patrick Reed. Reed made headlines Saturday when Jordan Speith hugged him on the first tee to squash the Ryder Cup beef that may or may not have been a thing. I cannot believe it has taken me this long to mention Tiger Woods. Tiger finished tied for 20th and slowly got better all week. If Tiger can keep building on this, he should definitely be in the hunt come major time. More importantly though, my dude Chucky 3 Stix cashed another cheque. Just under 80K this time. Sung Kang was also in that clump at T20, no word on whether he cheated or not this week.
Jordan Speith looked like he had things figured out after round 1 and then he found out there were 3 more rounds and while he kept making birdies he also had a few large numbers to balance them out. Rickie Fowler pissed off the golf gods with that disgusting untucked bowling shirt on Thursday and he finished T66, don’t try and tell me that is a coincidence. Alex Noren, who lost in a playoff here last year, missed the cut. Fun fact: the low score last year was -10 compared to Justin Rose’s -21 this year. In the bad break of the week, Patrick Cantlay needed a birdie on 18 to make the cut and he hit his approach, it was looking really good, then it hit the pin in the air and spun off the side of the green and Cantlay could not chip it in and ended up missing the cut.
That begs the question, should caddies be tending the flag on makeable approach shots? It might sound meaningless but hitting the pin in the air is much more detrimental than a ball rolling over the cup with no pin in. Bryson if you are reading this, make sure you credit DTG when you do this down the road. Finally, the thanks for coming out award goes to Dicky Werenski who was right in the hunt after Thursday then a Friday round of 80 had him miss the cut by 5 shots.
Wrap It Up
The Farmers Insurance Open did not disappoint in terms of quality golf, that’s for sure. The only thing that could have made it better was if it was night golf. But we got our night golf fix this week with the Omega Dubai Desert Open which was won by none other than Bryson Dechambeau for his 4th win in his last 9 starts. That is a Tiger in his prime like winning percentage. Take that for what you will. Bryson also gave us a new term this week: He was discussing an approach shot with his caddy and they were discussing the air density. I am not even sure how you measure air density let alone how it fluctuates hole to hole or affects a shot. But hey whatever he is doing it is working. This week, the PGA makes one of its more popular stops with the Waste Management Phoenix Open. If it is anything like the golf that went down this week it should make for a good recap article come Monday.
For the second week in a row……Aloha.
The PGA Tour’s Hawaiian swing wrapped up this week and the Sony Open from Waialae Golf Course (shout out to N64) was won by none other than the lovable doofus (or is it cheapskate?) Matt Kuchar. Kuchar made headlines on and off the course this week when word got out that he only paid his “fill-in” caddy $3000 when he won the Mayakoba Classic last November. A tweet went viral when someone said most caddies make 10% of the players take home cheque for the week but that rule probably does not apply when the caddy is essentially a guy off the street. Kuchar came out and said he paid the guy more than 3K for his troubles or maybe it was just when he was on his death bed, he would achieve true enlightenment.
Kuchar Rolls to Victory #2
Anyways, let’s get to the part where Kuchar made headlines on the course. Kooch opened with back to back rounds of 63 then went 66, 66 on the weekend to win in pretty much a runaway. Long-time grease monkey Andrew Putnam from Putnam & Putnam auto sales took time off this week to put a scare in Kuchar early on Sunday but could not keep with Kuchar on the back nine Sunday. Kuchar took home $1.152 million dollars for the win which is surprisingly a smaller winner cut than Kooch’s last win at the Mayakoba Classic. Fun Fact: last year Patton Kizzire won the Mayakoba and the Sony Open and also booked a spot in the Tour Championship. So, it is safe to say Kooch has booked his ticket to the big dance this year after winning the same two events.
Along with the money he took home, Kooch also took home one of the most underwhelming trophies on the schedule. The Sony Open trophy is not as bad as some of the generic jugs out there, but it certainly leaves a lot to be desired trophy-wise. It kind of looks like something someone gets for a lifetime achievement in local real estate but at the end of the day it’s another trophy for Kooch’s case and hopefully he didn’t stiff his caddy this week.
Top 10 Round Up
I touched on Andrew Putnam earlier in the recap but it should also be noted that Putnam got a bee sting on his toe early in the week and STILL managed to get second. What could have been if that bee picked a different toe to die on. Surprise, surprise the big cat Marc Leishman finished T3 in a week where the wind played a factor. I will be honest I was more interested in Marc’s son Harvey losing his tooth he was working on than how well the big cat did because it was a lock he would be high up on the leaderboard. Mr. Inconsistent Corey Conners finished T3 after qualifying Monday. I don’t know much about gambling, but I would say bet the house on Conners finishing well in weeks he qualifies Mondays. Because you know he is feeling it that week.
Chez don’t call me Shey Reavie also finished tied for third but the most amazing thing about Chez this week was that he holed out for eagle 3 times in one round and not one of them was shown on TV. HOW. DOES. THAT. HAPPEN!! Hudson Swafford, the lanky goofball, was also T3. How cool is DL3? Guy is 51 years old and still bombing it and still finishing 7th at PGA Tour events, then after the round just fly fishing in the ocean next to the course. Never change DL3. Who is Brian Stuard? He finished T8, alongside Chuckie 3 Sticks. CH3 has quite a resume at this tournament. He has 10 top 10s, 18 for 18 cuts made and 2.8 million in earnings. Cash another cheque my dude.
Quite a few Canadians went over to Hawaii this week. 8 in total after Corey Conners qualified on Monday and turned that into a 3rd place finish. Friend of the POD Roger Sloan finished tied for 33rd. A very respectable finish and was looking like it was going to be a much better finish until a Sunday stumble dropped him to 33rd. Don’t worry Roger when you get me on the bag, we will work out those hiccups. First round leader Adam Svensson came out of the gates hot shooting a career low 61. However, he then played the next couple rounds like he drove a cart into a lake. The cut making machine Adam Hadwin made a cut but flirted with the Saturday cut until a couple birdies came late in his round and he finished 57th. Mackenzie Hughes was not so lucky as he was claimed by the dreaded Saturday cut. Ben Silverman, David Hearn and Nick Taylor all missed the cut on Friday. But hey, at least Silverman got to enjoy the beach on Thursday with that late tee time.
Some of the other notable finishes at the Sony Open were known-cheater Sung Kang finishing T10, no word on whether he cheated this week or not. Patrick Reed and his see-through pants managed to finish tied for 13th. But come on Patrick, no one wants to see that. Very few people can pull off white pants and you ain’t one of them. Ryan Armour had 52 straight fairways hit streak going into this week, seven fairways away from breaking the record. He missed the fairway on his second hole of the week. Dang, but he still finished T22. Jason Dufner was another one claimed by that dreaded Saturday cut, but he signed a big sponsorship deal with Dude Wipes, so you probably couldn’t wipe the smile off his face.
WTF is going on with Jordan Spieth? Another missed cut and looks nothing at all like a 3-time major winner when he plays these days. Bubba Watson, man just stop playing tourneys in the wind. I am sure that is what his caddy wants to say to him, but Bubba has berated him so many times for suggestions he cannot bring himself to do it. Adam Scott came out this week and said he may skip WGC events this year for his schedule. I got news for Adam, keep playing like you have been and you don’t have to worry about playing in WGC events ever again. It was a good news bad news week for Vijay Singh. Good news is his work out went viral and his lawsuit with the PGA was dropped. The bad news is he stunk at golf this week and likely cannot hang with PGA tour players anymore.
Tough Week for Peter
The coveted thanks for coming out award this week goes to………. Amateur Peter Jung. I don’t care if you are 16 years old or not, you shoot bogey golf on 9 holes in a PGA event you are claiming this prize. Everyone was hoping this would be a real Cinderella story for the youngster but instead it can be summed up in 3 words. Was. Not. Ready.
Well that wraps up another week on the PGA Tour and the end of evening/night golf for the year. It was a week where there was as much stuff happening off the course as on and that is saying something because there was something like 50 hole outs during the tournament this week. But again, congratulations to Kooch and again PGA Tour pros if you want the DTG boys to call you out on a pod cast don’t hesitate to contact us. Look what it has done for Kuchar.
2018 turned out to be a pretty great season on the PGA Tour. There was a nice mix of veterans, established younger players and some interesting rookies every week. Of course, we had Tiger Woods come back and almost win a couple majors then win the Tour Championship. Tiger being back is a big enough story in itself.
Brooks Koepka won 2 major championships, no small feat in this era. Many other players made their mark in some fashion on Tour; whether its Cam Champ blasting drives or the ultra-antagonist Patrick Reed winning a major and then going off the rails or the multiple comeback wins, the season had everything.
So here we are in 2019, could it actually improve from 2018? I think so. Here are my bold (for the most part) predictions for the upcoming year.
Aloha……The PGA tour is back and so are the DTG recaps. It was a long three weeks with no golf and attempts at boycotting soft drinks. The holiday season fell in there as well and all of us at DTG want to wish all of our followers a belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Anyways, let’s get to the tournament.
Xander Comes From Way Back
Xander F*$&@#G Schauffele!! What a Sunday performance by this kid who is bullying himself into the conversation as one of the top young players on tour. Fun Fact: Xander Schauffele has 4 wins in his first 61 starts, Speith, Fowler, Bryson and JT combined for 3 wins in their first 61 starts.
Xander shot a final round 11 under 62 to erase a 5 shot deficit and beat Gary Woodland by 1. I guess that social sciences degree from San Diego State University (Go Aztecs!) taught him how to handle pressure and overcome adversity because some of the shots coming down the stretch reminded me of how Tiger used to dominate a course. The hole out for eagle on 12, the approach on 17 and the power draw to 11 feet for eagle on 18 to name a few. Xander would ultimately miss the putt for eagle but it didn’t matter when Gary Woodland couldn’t get up and down for birdie at the last to force a playoff.
Along with his 4th win, Xander took home $1.3 million dollars and the Whale Tale Trophy. All of this after being snubbed from the Ryder Cup team in favor of Phil Mickelson who didn’t win or even halve a match for the US team but that is a topic for a different day. Xander has won his last two official PGA tour starts and has jumped to 6th in the world. Considering that he started 2018 in 26th, I would say that is a pretty impressive accomplishment. The only thing that might be more impressive is that he got those two wins while playing Callaway Irons.
Flip The Script
As most followers of DTG know, we are big advocates for the “Everything is Scripted” (EIS) theory of life. Well this week on the PGA Tour still followed that theory with the 5-stroke come from behind win. The Universe did however throw us a curve ball because everyone thought Gary Woodland was going to win this tournament for his grandma who passed away Friday night. Our Condolences go out to Gary Woodland’s family. I did think this was going to the be the week he didn’t puke all over himself in the 4th round like he did the previous 6 times he held a lead after 54 holes and to be fair to Gary he still carded a final round 5 under par. He just didn’t expect Xander to go HAM on the Plantation Course at Kapalua.
The Top 10 was filled with top end guys as it should be where the field is only filled with winners from last year. Justin Thomas finished solo third after shooting the second-best round on Sunday. Most of you know I am a big JT guy, but man does he have to stop talking to his ball. First the instant “get in” comment last year when hitting a 3 wood to a drivable par 4 and then saying “Stay left Honey” yesterday when he hit a second shot into a par 5. Guy needs to work on his golf ball talk game.
Rounding Out The Top Ten
Three players tied for 4th: Marc Leishman, who was the top dog in the power rankings because he is a known wind negotiator, lived up to the billing. Dustin Johnson failed to shoot under par in round 2 this week which doesn’t sound like much but considering he hasn’t shot over par at Kapalua in 32 consecutive rounds it is a bit of big deal. DJ still finished in 4th and will probably be back next year to start a new streak.
Rory Mcilroy was also in the cluster at 15 under, this was just another tournament for Rory. Play well enough to get into the final pairing and then turn into a completely different golfer on Sunday. This guy is mind fucked in a big way when it comes to final pairings. Hopefully he can get that monkey off his back and get a win where he doesn’t have to come from behind……..Augusta anyone??
Rounding out the top 10 was Webb Simpson who looks to show everyone last year wasn’t a fluke. Jon Rahm ho hummed his way to a T8 finish. Not much else to say about Jon Rahm this week other than does anyone else find it weird his name is Jon Rahm and the “H” is in Ram and not Jon?
The KING of the silly season Patton Kizzire just doing what he does with another top 10 finish in Hawaii. Although I think I am going to make a sizeable bet saying Patton is not playing at this tournament next year.
And then there was Bryson. Sure, he finished 7th this week but that is not what anyone is talking about. The way he trolled the entire golf world by putting with the pin in the entire tournament or his over exaggerated attempt to drop it from his knee was next level stuff. Then he comes out after the round and stays committed to the troll by saying “guys putting with the pin in makes it easier”. This guy’s personality is the best on tour, there I said it.
Even though this was a smaller field, there was still a few other notable finishes to touch on. Cam Champ showed he can hang with the big boys in his first tournament with a stacked field finishing T11 and if he could just get over his one bad round a tournament this guy is going to have a big 2019. Jason Day finished 13th and is starting to look like the Jason Day of old again. Playing style not physique because that guy is full on team Dad Bod now.Shout out to Chucky 3 sticks for grinding out another 6 figure paycheck to keep building that career earnings total my dude.
There were also a few surprising and not so surprising poor finishes in this tournament. If you told me Satoshi Kodaira and Michael Kim were going to tie for last in this tournament before it started, I probably would have looked at you and said yeah, you are probably right. In fact, the thanks for coming out award this week goes to Michael Kim for his smooth 80 in round three. He and Satoshi both finished 27 shots behind Xander, so it was the 7 over par 80 that tipped the scale in Michael Kim’s favor.
While those two finishes shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone, there were 3 players who stuck out to me with quite surprising finishes. The first was Bubba Watson. A guy who is trying and failing to turn his off-the-course persona around as of late struggled in the wind and finished 31st. Turns out trying to hit 40-yard hooks and slices in 60k winds backfires more than it works.
World number 1 entering the tournament Brooks Koepka looked more like world number 150 this week, never really getting it going. The most surprising finish of the week comes from BWGR (Bronel World Golf Ranking) number 1 Franny Molinari. Mr. Consistency only broke par in one round and finished T27th and yes you readers are correct, the BWGR is a very flawed ranking system.
Bring On 2019
Speaking of world golf rankings, we have a new number one in the world. After Brooks laid an egg at the Sentry tournament of champions and Justin Rose elected not to play, Rosie is your new number one golfer in the world. When are we going to get to see those new Honma’s in action Justin? All in all, a very solid week for the PGA and its return from its Christmas yatus. The Sentry TOC delivered in terms of quality of golf and also the return of evening/night golf. I cannot stress enough how much better it is compared to the mid-afternoon rounds. Congrats to Xander Schauffele on the win and hopefully the Sony Open next week is as exciting to watch.
Well the most hyped round of golf in the history of the sport happened last Friday and I am going to say it: it was a bit of a letdown. The golf portion of the match wasn’t bad even though both Tiger and Phil shot around even par. But this event was made out to be a look behind the curtain into the world of the PGA with everyone being mic’d up. The trash talking was supposed to be next level stuff and the side bets were going to blow everyone’s minds. In reality, I don’t think there was a more awkward conversation in the history of the world than Tiger and Phil’s exchange walking up the fairway on hole 1.
If you missed it, they talked about their kids awkwardly, then moved on, then circled back to the awkward kid stuff because it was the lesser of the awkwardness. The side bets seemed more forced than anything and the trash talking was non-existent. The most surprising thing the mics picked up was the wounded buffalo taking its last breaths just off camera for most of the round. Oh, that was just Phil Mickelson breathing as he gingerly walked a golf course? Yikes….
But anyways, let’s recap what happened. The first hole had an intriguing side bet where Phil said he would birdie the 1st and tiger bet him 200K he wouldn’t. Well, Phil had a chance for birdie but like we would see the rest of the round – both players could not figure out these greens. Phil made par, losing 200K in the process.
Phil drew first blood on the 2nd hole when Tiger lipped out a short part putt. Fast forward through some pretty boring golf for 14 holes (yes, I just skipped 14 holes in my recap – I said it was a letdown). The takeaways from those holes were Phil has never drove the ball better than he did last Friday and Tiger looked more like the 1199th ranked player in the world than the 13th ranked player. Then we came to hole 17 and like I mention almost every week……..
Everything. Is. Scripted.
Tiger Woods chipped in for birdie to halve the match heading into 18. Tiger generously gave Phil a knee knocker for par on the 18th hole to force extra cups. After halving the 1st extra hole they went under the lights on a short par 3 that they would play over and over until they had a winner. It looked like Phil was going to win with par, but he gave Tiger a long par putt because he “didn’t want to win that way” which for 9 million dollars I wouldn’t be complaining how I won. My opponent could have dropped dead on the 2nd tee and I would have been making a bee line for the cheque presentation spot.
Anyways, the match went on for a couple more holes until Phil finally drained a birdie putt to win the match. Seemed like the perfect time for Phil to bust out the classic 3-inch vert, double fist pump celebration but it was just another way “The Match” disappointed. Although, I have a feeling this might spawn a few more matches in the future. Dj vs Brooks? Moliwood? Jordan vs Justin? Either way, they have options. The only question left unanswered is what did Tiger hand that woman in the front row. A room number, his phone number maybe? And should Tiger’s 6 out of 10 girlfriend be worried he is reverting back to his waffle house days?
World Cup of Golf
The Match wasn’t the only golf going on this past weekend. The ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf was played down unda this weekend. You guys know what that means…..the return of watching golf at night! Now I know most of you are asking: “What is the World Cup of Golf?”, and that is a fair question. Apparently it is an event that takes place every two years or sometimes every three years or sometimes every year. That is besides the point, it is a team event tournament that pits countries against each other in 2 rounds of best ball and 2 rounds of alternate shot golf for world golf supremacy; even though a lot of golf’s top stars skip the event.
Fun Fact: it was created by a Canadian way back in 1953 and was called the Canada Cup until 1967. This year’s tournament was won by the team of Thomas Pieters and Thomas Detry from Belgium. Not only do they share a name, they were teammates on the university of Illinois golf team and best friends. Not sure there would be much things better than winning a PGA tour team event with your best buddy. The Tom’s finished 23 under par and 3 shots ahead of second place Australia who were the favorites entering the tournament with the Big Cat Marc Leishman and the Boy Mannequin Cam Smith representing the host country. For winning the World Cup of Golf Tom and Tom took home $1.12 million each and the largest trophy I have ever seen.
With such a small field and being teams of two there is not many noteworthy finishes this week, but I will touch on a few. The Danes seem to like this tournament style. They won the dang thing in 2016 and if it wasn’t for a terrible Friday in absolutely nasty playing conditions, they likely win the thing again this year. Team Europe might want to consider Soren Kjeldsen for a captains pick to pair with Thorbjorn Olesen in two years if they want to retain the Ryder Cup.
One of the hottest golfers in golf and probably a Top 3 player on the DTG Bronel world golf ranking Abraham Ancer put his partner Roberto Diaz and his 742nd world ranking on his back and carried them to a T2 finish. The Canadian team did better than most probably expected. The Canadian cut making machine Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor finished in a tie for 4th. Si Woo Kim and Ben An not only look the same, they play very similar as well. That symmetry helped them finish tied for 6th.
There were a couple teams leaving Australia feeling like they could have done better. England and the USA both were favorites to be in contention this week but known turkeys Tyrell Hatton and Ian Poulter finished 8 strokes back of the winners. And the lovable Doofus Matt Kuchar and Kyle Stanley finished 14 shots back. Got to think both those countries wished they had better players representing them given the options they have.
Now it is time for the thanks for coming out award. I almost want to give it to whoever was handling the payments for the match because that was a complete schmozzle and if I don’t give it to them. Most people will think I will go with the obvious choice (Team Greece) in the World Cup of Golf. I mean they finished +19 and a whopping 42 strokes off the lead, but they weren’t even supposed to play in the tournament. They were a 3rd or 4th alternate and Peter Kamis – the highest ranked Greek player ranked 242nd in the world and he got to pick his partner. I am pretty sure he either picked a close friend or just picked up a stranger on the way to the airport because Alexander Tranacher is ranked 2012th in the world. They shot 87 and 86 in the alternate shot. But you got to think that was too be expected.
So, I am going off the board and giving the thanks for coming out award this week to team Germany. This is a team that features the most successful golfer in the entire tournament – two-time major winner Martin Kaymer. Sure, he has fallen from grace a little bit, but he could pick any German player he wanted. He chose Maximilian Kieffer and they ended up finishing 26th out of 28th and 25 strokes off the lead. But the main reason they get this award is like I said he could have picked any German golfer and he left Bernhard Langer on the table. I don’t care how old Bernhard is, if he is available you beg him to be on that team. That is the move that seals their fate for this illustrious award this week. Come on Martin!
Into the break we go…..
That wraps up the last week of serious golf and what a way to go out. The Tiger and Phil match had some flaws, but it was good for those two to be the guinea pigs because if it was any other two golfers and it went down like it did, that idea would be dead in the water. The World Cup of Golf is what it is, and the big names will likely never all play at the same time. BUT it brought back night golf for a weekend and that is fine by me. Tiger is back in action next week hosting his Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.
Chuckie Three Sticks
Chuckie GD Three Sticks!!!! Show me a better nickname on the PGA Tour, I’ll wait. Once one of the most talked about collegiate golfers in history, Charles Howell III, the 2001 PGA Tour rookie of the year, 18 years ago it seemed like was going to be the next guy to go toe to toe with Tiger. Fast forward to yesterday and Charles Howell III got only his 3rd win on tour. While he might not be a household name like many thought he would be, with this win CH3 ranks 20th on the all-time career earnings list. Which is incredible given he only has three wins and everyone ahead him on the list is a sure-fire golf Hall of Famer.
Getting back to The RSM Classic, the tournament went to a 2-man playoff after Patrick Rodgers shot 61, 62 on the weekend to tie Howell. Chuckie three sticks had three chances to win the tournament with makeable putts. He left the first two short on the amateur side, but they say the third times a charm and CH3 canned one on the 2nd playoff hole to win the tournament. For his troubles Howell took home $1.15 million dollars and the most generic looking golf trophy I have ever seen. Seriously though, I comment a lot on how stupid some of the trophies are, but I would much rather display one of those over something that looks like it was picked up at: insert random trophy store (Bazaar Novelty).
Patrick Rodgers would have set a record for the largest 36-hole deficit overcome if he won this weekend. He was 12 shots back after round 2 on Friday. Rodgers is still looking for his first win on the PGA Tour and what a story would this of been if he completed this come back. But don’t feel too bad for Patrick he still took home just shy of $700K and will be consoled by his actress fiancé.
Close But Not Quite
The Webb Simpson redemption tour of 2018 kept rolling at the RSM classic. Webb finished in solo 3rd, which was his 10th Top 10 finish during the 2018 calendar year. He was also Top 20 in all 4 majors and had a pretty good showing at the Ryder Cup. This is impressive considering how Webb has been all but forgotten since his US Open win.
I am starting to feel bad for the other rookies on the PGA Tour this year, considering the rookie of the year award is already locked up. Cam Champ had another Top 10 this week. I wonder if there will be a week he plays where he does not make the recap. A mediocre Sunday (starting to be a theme) cost Champ a shot at winning or a spot in the playoff.
Course horse Kevin Kisner showed why he is the all-time scoring leader at Sea Island. Another Top 10 finish for the guy who wishes every tournament was played at the Georgia Resort courses.
Rounding out the Top 10 and once again proving the DTG bump is a real thing is Zach Johnson. ZJ became the latest victim of the DTG boys asking what has he done lately? Being out of the winner’s circle since his British open win in 2015. ZJ was a couple uncharacteristic poor wedge shots on the back nine on Sunday away from being in the playoff as well.
Canadians Fare Well
While there was no standout Canadian this week like Hadwin last week, 4 of the 6 Canadians in the field did make the cut. The veteran of the Canadian contingency on tour, David Hearn, had a very respectable week finishing tied for 15th. Corey Conners keeps proving me right, Mr. Inconsistency had one of his good weeks where the mechanics of the swing aligned, and he finished in a tie for 23rd. Not sure a 6-8 week break before he can play again is what Conners wants right now.
Ben Silverman finished T46. A 2 over first round put him a little behind the 8-ball, but he can still go out and buy a fully loaded Kia Sportage with the cheque he cashed this week. Friend of the Pod Roger Sloan made the cut but never really got it going and I have to ask is if he was drinking coke would his game improve? The two not so fortunate Canadians this week were Adam Svensson and Mackenzie Hughes. Svensson missed the cut by 5 shots and Hughes missed by 13 shots. Nothing else to say here other than watch for Hughes popping up again later in the recap (sigh).
There were quite a few notable finishes and storylines from the RSM Classic. Let’s start with the biggest (literally and figuratively) of the week. Jason Gore showed up Thursday and said he is an insurance salesman, but he is here to play golf today. Gore was 1 shot back of the lead after Saturday and threatened to make it back to back weekends of turning back the clock until his final round 2 over round dropped him to 15th. Not surprising but still disappointing because a Top 10 finish would have got him in a few more tournaments in 2019. But I bet every playing partner he had this week feels better about their life insurance premiums moving forward because you know the big man always be sellin.
Graeme McDowell really screwed the DTG content for later in the week. I was planning on having him in the latest where are they now installment but then he goes and finishes T11. Thanks Graeme. Tie for 15th was a hot spot this week. Not only did Gore and Hearn finish there but King of the Silly Season Patton Kizzire, Mr. DQ Matt Every, Richy with a Y Werenski and most surprising of all the field filler who I am still certain is a fake name and person Anders A. Albertson all finished T15. The PGA tour was almost in a bind Sunday. If Triple A would have climbed any higher on the leaderboard they would have had to cut to Anders and it would just be a blank screen.
Fun Fact: there is no Wikipedia page for Anders Albertson. Just sayin.
Ernie Els was in this tournament?……Why? Dru Love finished tied for 54th which is nothing to write home about but the fact he beat his old man Davis Love III by 2 shots is likely going to make for Thanksgiving banter later in the week. To be fair Davis could drop the hammer on him pretty quick if he wanted to. But I am not sure what type of dad DL3 is.
How bad is Wesley Bryan these days? He withdrew this week after 4 straight miss cuts leading into the RSM Classic. His game is starting to make Smylie Kaufman feel good.
Finally, we get to the thanks for coming out award. I was really hoping a Canadian would avoid ever receiving this award but the second round 80 by Mack Hughes takes the cake. Not one birdie and two 7s on the card that day on route to tying for dead last after 2 rounds. There were two other 80s in round 2 but both those players at least mixed in a birdie.
See You Soon
That wraps up the first half of the silly season as the PGA tour heads into a 6 week break before the Hawaii stretch to start off 2019. For a so-called silly season, it was quite entertaining. Multiple tournaments were decided in playoffs. There were a few first-time winners emerge, a few of the studs won and a couple old dogs turned back the clock to win again on the PGA Tour. If the 2019 season is half as exciting as the first 7 weeks were, buckle up because we are in for a wild season.
Kuchar Hears The Critics
Really excited to write this week’s recap because it is official…PGA Tour players listen to and read DTG content! There is no one in the world who can convince me it is a coincidence that the DTG boys mention how Matt Kuchar might be in for a long 10-year sled on the PGA Tour before he gets to the Champions Tour and then he goes out and wins the very next tournament. He definitely read or listened and won to prove us wrong. Case Closed.
If any other PGA Tour players want a pre-tournament critique by the DTG boys to help fill the trophy case, our social media handles are on the website. Feel free to reach out.
Back to the recap of the Mayakoba Classic from El Camaleon Golf Course in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. As I mentioned above Matt Kuchar went wire to wire to capture his 8th career win and his first win in almost 5 years. But Matt wasn’t the only Kuchar to have a good week, as his wife Sybi crossed “being a caddie on the PGA Tour” off her bucket list. Not for Matt, but rather for Zach Johnson. After his regular caddy couldn’t handle the Mexico heat, Sybi stepped in and looped for ZJ for the final four holes. Side note: ZJ was 2 under on those last four holes. Tough to decide who had the better week in the Kuchar household. However, Matt did cash a $1.26 million-dollar cheque and take home some creepy looking chameleon trophy.
Lack of Drama
Another tournament where the leader had a very impressive week with rounds of 64, 64, 65, 69 and did not run away with the tournament. The New Zealander Danny Lee (let that sink in) was one shot back and can look back to the failed up and down on the Par 3 14th in the final round as the reason he didn’t force a playoff.
I was already impressed with JJ Spaun after he took control of the PGA Tour Instagram account on Thursday or Friday and was filming himself biking around the resort and course but then he finished T3 with Richy (with a Y) Werenski. Jim Furyk showed this week he isn’t just a marginal Ryder cup captain, he can still play with his T6 finish.
Cameron Champ continues to turn heads with another solid finish this week at T10. In four tournaments this season, Champ has a win, a T10, and finished no worse than 28th but is probably wondering why/how he is only 2nd in tour driving distance. Rounding out the Top 10 was Canadian Adam Hadwin, who looks to be back in his cut making machine form. I got a feeling it will be another good year for Hadwin this year.
Speaking of Canadians, it was a week of what could have been for Canada on the tour this week. The other 5 Canadians in the tournament missed the cut. BUT, Roger Sloan, Nick Taylor, and Adam Svensson all missed by 1 measly shot. While Taylor and Svensson never really got it going this week. Friend of the Pod Roger Sloan put himself behind the 8 ball on Thursday. Stormed back with a 7 under 64 on Friday and if the cut line didn’t move late on Friday it would have been interesting to see what Roger could have done on the weekend after heating up like that.
Mack Hughes missed the cut by 3 shots and I feel bad, but Corey Conners keeps proving me right as he missed the cut by 5 shots. I fully expect Conners to contend in a tournament again this year but will likely follow that up with a missed cut. Guy is the definition of inconsistent with that swing. Having said that good luck to all the Canadians in their next tournament they play.
There were some good and bad notable finishes to discuss this week. Let’s start with the bad…..Jordan Spieth missed the cut this week. October golf has not been kind to Jordan Spieth with a T55 finish last week and a missed cut this week. He did also just kick all of his entourage out of his mansion in Texas because he fiancé is moving in. I will let the readers decide whether it is that or October golf that is causing his poor finishes. This next one could be good or bad, but I don’t want to meet the person who actually thinks this is good.
Anyways, perennial contender for the mount Rushmore of PGA tour turds Pat Perez finished T6 this week. Harold Varner III also finished in a tie for 6th. Speaking of HV3. If I told you to describe what a guy looks like who was 5’8”, 170, born in Akron, Ohio, has a business degree from East Carolina University and was named Harold Varner the third and you correctly described what he looked like I would give you all the money in my bank account.
Speaking of bank accounts, while Rickie Fowler had a decent finish at T16 he cost DTG member Bronel all the money in his bank account since he guaranteed a top 10 out of Rickie this week. Yikes. Tony Finau was also tied for 16th. Two tournaments in a row now without a top ten for Tony. Are you feeling ok Tony?
Last year’s champ and king of the silly season Patton Kizzire finished T55. Other notable T55 finishes this week were fake PGA Tour player and field filler Anders A. Albertson, FOTP Rory Sabbatini, and front runner for best name on tour, Mexico’s own, Jose de Jesus Rodriquez. The top Mexican this week was Abraham Ancer which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. I challenge the readers to name another Mexican pro golfer after Ancer and JDJR since I mentioned him above.
Finally, we get to the thanks for coming out award of the week. In what was one of the easiest decisions since the inception of the award. Shintaro Ban takes the award home this week after making the cut and finishing dead last this week. While he was only 28 strokes off the lead, which is low for the usual recipient of this award. It was the fact he made an 11 on a par 5 this week in a real tin cup moment after hitting 3 shots out of bounds off the tee that locked him in for the TFCO award.
We’re Off To Georgia
That about wraps up the recap of the Mayakoba Classic. In summary, Matt Kuchar listens to DTG, the chameleon trophy is a little creepy, Cam Champ looks to be the real deal and Pat Perez is a turd.
I wanted to touch on one more puzzling thing this week. Last week I mentioned with Justin Rose’s win he put himself in position to win the Fedex Cup and Race to Dubai in the same year. But word came out yesterday that because of where Haotong Li and Rory Mcilroy finished in the Nedbank Golf Challenge it was now only a two-horse race between between Fran Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood for the race to Dubai. Justin Rose chose not to play this week and basically forfeited any chance at being able to claim both tours top honours. Seems like a very puzzling thing to me considering both tours slow right down in December. So, Rose could have played this week and probably still needed to win next week to have a chance but then could take some time off before the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January.
Anyways, don’t forget to listen to this week’s podcast and I’ll be back next week to recap The RSM Classic.
Bryson Dechambeau Is A Force
What happens in Vegas hopefully doesn’t stay in Vegas. That is what known cool guy off the course, and complete friggin putz on the course Bryson Dechambeau probably thought to himself after winning the Shriners Hospital for Children Open (SHCO) on Sunday. Dechambeau is rising the ranks on the likability scale for his off-course antics. First, he dressed up as Rickie Fowler on Halloween and asking Rickie himself for an autograph. Then, he spent extra time with kids from the Shriners hospital in attendance even before he won. Lastly, he made eagle on 16 and did a fist pump that rivals Tiger’s.
But then you remember his swing, his clubs, his outfits and all the other science gimmicks he tries to incorporate, and you realized you are pissed he won this weekend.
But Bryson won none the less, took home 1.26 million dollars and a crystal jug style trophy that ranks somewhere in the middle of the quality of trophy rankings. With rounds of 66, 66, 65, 66 for a -21 finish you would have thought he ran away with this tournament. But, Patrick Cantlay went toe to toe with Bryson all day Sunday and this tournament was shaping up
to be another playoff finish. Until Cantlay bogeyed two of his last 8 holes to finish one stroke behind Bryson in the end.
Now before you all say Cantlay would have been an out of nowhere winner, he is the defending champion at this tournament. So, it is safe to say he enjoys Las Vegas.
Sam Ryder finished two shots back after shooting a final round 62. What is even more
impressive is he played this round wearing no socks and pants that make Tony Finau’s pants
look long. Come PGA, time to intervene! Guys are getting pretty fast and loose with the dress
code here. I mean I am sure Sam Ryder has been dressing like this for a few years. I guess that is the perks of never contending. Your outfits never get ripped apart by some random Canadian
Golf podcast. Having said that Ryder has two Top 5 finishes this year, so we might get to see
how short these pants will get in the future.
Rickie Fowler finished in a tie for 4th which isn’t bad considering the announcers had written him off early Saturday saying he just didn’t have it this week. Rickie tied for 4th with Abraham Ancer who seems to be heating up again heading into next week’s tournament in his home and native Mexico. And Robert Streb, who I am only mentioning because I picked him in our DTG picks, and helped clinch the week win for me. Way to go Robert!
Who told Ryan Palmer that Las Vegas was in Texas? The Texas course horse had a
great week finishing T7 and Lucas Glover took home 218k for his T7 finish. Is that going to be
enough to keep his wife at bay? Or is she going to point out he shot even par Sunday and left a
lot of money on the table with that score, anyways Pray for Lucas.
Rough Week For Team Canada
There were five Canadians in the field this week. Only one of them made the cut. Nick Taylor
finished T36 and took home 32k and a couple FedEx cup points for his troubles. Mack Hughes
missed the cut by 1 shot. Adam Svensson and Roger Sloan missed by 2 shots. You got to feel for Roger Sloan though. It is tough to compete in a professional golf tournament when his week peaked on Wednesday when he was interviewed by none other than Martin B. Ballgame from DTG (check out this week’s podcast for the interview). Corey Connors missed the cut by 4 shots which is kind of bitter sweet. It’s too bad he missed the cut BUT last week I said his swing was too inconsistent for him to be a constant performer. So, thanks for proving me right Corey and go get’em next tournament.
There were a few other notable finishes this week. Jordan Spieth made his first October start
ever and what did he get for his efforts? A T55 finish and now he is looking up at Tiger Woods in the world golf rankings. The good news is he is getting right back on the donkey in Mexico this week.
Last week’s winner Cameron Champ looked like he was ready to show the world he was
here to be taken seriously being in contention all week. But a Sunday stumble left him in a tie
for 28th . Watch out though because he is going to be tough to beat no matter who is in the field if he puts all aspects of his game together in the same week.
Apparently, Tony Finau was in this tournament. Not too often does he play in a tournament and be completely irrelevant like he was this week. I don’t even think they showed one shot of his on route to a T36.
The Lovable Doofus Matt Kuchar was also in this tournament. Is it just me or is that guy riding off into the sunset already? Fun Fact: Kuchar has not won on the PGA Tour for almost 5 years now and still has a decade before he can play on the Champions Tour. Could be a long 10 years for ol’ Kuuuuuuuuuuuuuccccchhhhhh.
Top 3 turd on tour Kevin Na missed the cut. LOL.
And of course, the thanks for coming out award. At first, I was going to give it Preston Otte who shot a smooth 85 on Day 1 which was 22 shots worse than the best score of the day. He followed that up with a 79 on Friday. But I cannot give him the award because he is the head pro at TPC Summerlin and not a PGA tour professional. So, that means the thanks for coming out award goes to Ryan Blaum who made the cut and finished dead last, 24 strokes behind Bryson Dechambeau.
Will You Accept This Rose?
Another exciting week on the PGA tour this week. Especially with it still being the so-called silly
season. Hate him or love him you got to respect what Bryson has done in the past calendar
year. 4 wins in 2018 is pretty insane. What is even more insane is that Justin Rose won on the
Euro tour this week at the Turkish Airlines Open and with only two tournaments left in the
season Justin Rose has positioned himself to have a real good chance to win the Fedex Cup and the Race to Dubai in the same season. Something that has only been accomplished by one
other person and that was Henrik Stenson in 2013. So if you are having a tough time getting
amped to watch the silly season on the PGA tour wake up early the next two weeks and watch
Justin Rose try and leap frog Moliwood and make history.
In the latest installment of “Where are they now?”, we look at two players who somehow managed to win golf’s oldest major in a time where that tournament was dominated by Tiger and other future hall of fame golfers. From the year 2000-2009, the British Open was won by Tiger three times, Padraig Harrington twice, David Duval and Ernie Els once each. I would wager a substantial amount of money most readers could not remember who the other two winners during that time frame was. Without hopping on the ol google machine, of course. But don’t worry, we have you covered.
First up is the 2003 Open Championship winner…………….Ben Curtis. I know most of you are saying to yourself “WHO?”. But, Ben Curtis is a pretty fascinating story. He was a highly touted amateur golfer who seemed to be heading towards a career of irrelevancy. It took him 3 years to earn his PGA tour card but he accomplished it at the end of the 2002 season. But even to start the 2003 season he struggled. Being more of a field filler than a legitimate threat to win. Until a T13 finish at the Western Open which qualified him for the British open two weeks later.
And. That’s. when. It. All. Changed. Curtis was a 300-1 longshot to win the British Open that week, but everyone loves an underdog story, right? Curtis shot a final round 69 to hold off Thomas Bjorn, Vijay Singh, DL3 and some guy named Tiger woods. With the win Curtis became one of 3 people ever to win a major in their first attempt.
This win also vaulted Curtis from 396th in the world to 35th. The biggest jump ever since they started recording the rankings. He was named 2003 PGA tour rookie of the year for his troubles.
So, then what happened? If I had not done any research, I would have said this is where Curtis faded into oblivion and lost his card but apparently not. He had three more wins on tour (2006 Booz Allen Classic, 2006 84 Lumber Classic, 2012 Valero Texas Open) and was a part of the 2008 Ryder cup team, which was a band of misfits that somehow defeated the heavily favored European team 16.5-11.5. Curtis went 1-1-1 during that event.
After the win in 2012 the wheels started to fall off for Ben Curtis. I guess I was only off by a decade when I figured he started to decline. From everything I have read it seems like the grind of traveling took its toll on Curtis. Leaving his family every week started making him hate the game to the point where he was not cashing cheques and if he wasn’t cashing cheques why leave the family.
So Ben Curtis quit playing golf competitively and decided to set up an academy to teach golf. Not just the fundamentals of the golf swing but to teach young players about how to be a professional golfer and what to expect if they make golf a career. From PGA rookie of the year to leaving the game on his terms to do something he loves. I wouldn’t feel too bad for Ben Curtis if I was you.
Next up is the 2004 Open Championship winner……………..Todd Hamilton. Once again, a resounding “WHO?” is heard. Todd Hamilton turned pro in 1987 but could not qualify for the PGA tour. So, instead of grinding on the mini tours and make little to no money, he went overseas and played on a variety of international tours. He spent most of his time on the Japanese tour and fun fact: he ranks 2nd in all-time money earned for a non-Japanese player on that tour. Although this is impressive it is not why Hamilton makes the list.
For whatever reason in 2003 Todd Hamilton tried for an 8th time to qualify for the PGA Tour and guess what? The 8th time is a charm. After qualifying Hamilton won his first tournament on the PGA tour the 2004 Honda Classic. A fairly notable tournament win for sure, but let’s get to the reason he made this article. Todd Hamilton beat Ernie Els in a 4-hole playoff to win the 2004 British Open. Let that sink in. Els had just won the British 2 years earlier and was playing some of his best golf. The first page of that leaderboard also had FIGJAM (Phil), Westwood, DL3, Goosen, Mike Fuggin Weir, and Tiger woods on it. So, Hamilton didn’t knock off a bunch of scrubs to capture the Claret Jug.
Fun Fact #2: Hamilton has gone on record saying he is aware of 5 people who bet on him to win that week. I wonder what that pay day was? The two wins on tour in 2004 resulted in Todd Hamilton being named PGA Tour rookie of the year, just like Ben Curtis was the year before.
That is where the similarities between Hamilton and Curtis end. Curtis went on to carve a modest career. Hamilton played in 187 more PGA Tour events and missed the cut in 111 of them. Resulting in Hamilton losing his exempt status on the PGA Tour in 2010. Some might think Hamilton’s career was over before it really even got started. Let’s not forget he was 38 when he won that British open and had been playing professionally for 16 years. Others would say it was the perfect ending to a career of plugging away and doing everything he could to make a living playing golf. Hamilton became eligible to play on the Champions tour in 2015 and is still competing at the ripe old age of 53. The real question is will this guy ever stop playing golf.
This crosses off a couple more guys that HAD to be a part of this series. Sooner or later we are going to find some guys who went from moderately successful PGA tour player to gas station attendant. As always if any reader has a guy that comes to mind that should be showcased in this series do not hesitate to reach out to the DTG boys via social media.
Schauffele Tracks Down Finau
Another weekend of late-night PGA tour watching, and it was another tournament that ended in a playoff. It seems like a tournament can only finish one of two ways this year so far, Either a run away or in a playoff. The WGC – HSBC Champions was no different. Xander Schauffele knocked off Tony Finau in a 1-hole playoff to capture his 3rd win on tour in his career and wrap up the Asian swing of the 2018 Schedule. There was nothing special or dominant with how Schauffele maneuvered himself around the Sheshan International Golf Course but he kept himself in the mix all week and when Mr. Top 10 Tony Finau faltered late on Sunday (or Saturday for those watching at home) Schauffele was able to take advantage, cash a cheque for 1.8 million and have some extra carry-on luggage for the flight to Hawaii.
He Did It Again?!!!
Speaking of Mr. Top 10 Tony Finau, when will this guy get a win? At this point it seems like he is trying not to win, just to see how much money he can make and top 10s he can accumulate before actually hoisting a trophy again. Because how can someone play this good for this long and not have a win during this span? This is a serious question that someone needs to explain to me because it boggles my mind that Tony Finau does not have a win in the last 12 months.
Surprise, Surprise Justin Rose finished in the top 5 of another tournament. Is there a more consistent golfer in the world right now? DJ and Brooks might have the sex appeal, but Justin Rose is legit. Fun fact: Going back to July 2017 Justin Rose has finished outside the top 20 four times in tournaments he has played. So, it should be no surprise he finished in solo 3rd place at this tournament and was in contention on Sunday.
Rounding out the top 5 was the “Muffin Man”/ “The Barn Rat”/ the furthest thing from a Thai lady boy; Kiradech Aphibarnrat and a guy most would think was the service manager at their local Chevy dealership if they heard his name; Andrew Putnam. Both those guys were solid all week to finish in a tie for 4th.
This leads us to the other notable finishes at the WGC-HSBC Champions. Keegan Bradley continued his redemption tour to become relevant again with a 6th place finish. I cannot comment on whether he has shed any more weight though. Tommy Fleetwood who is quickly becoming one of, if not the coolest guy on tour (the video of Justin Rose saying Tommy Fleetwood’s name to the beat of 2 Unlimited – no limit is a must find if you haven’t seen it) stumbled on Sunday with a 3 over but still finished in a tie for 7th.
Another guy who finished tied for 7th was Media villain number 1 Patrick Reed. In an effort to keep up his least likable guy on tour persona Fatso brushed off the media who asked him about the Ryder cup this week saying he is only focused on the race to Dubai now. Oh, and he also shot 77 on Sunday to completely fall out of the running for this tournament LOL. In a shocking result, Thomas Pieters didn’t break any clubs this week even though he finished 74 74 on the weekend.
I am sure if someone would have told lone Canadian in the field Adam Hadwin, he would be tied with Dustin Johnson at the end of the tournament he would be pumped. That tie happened, unfortunately it was for 30th place with a four-round total of three over par. Race to Dubai leader Fran Molinari had a disappointing week finishing +7 and in a tie for 43rd.
Rory McIlroy STUNK and cost me the weekly DTG pickem win….but I can’t stay mad at him. Finally, I didn’t think anyone would touch the 34-stroke gap from last week but these tourneys with no cuts can really take a toll on a guy. This week’s thanks for coming out winner is Bowen Xiao who got progressively worse as the tournament went on (76, 79, 80, 82) to finish dead last at +29 and 43 strokes behind the leaders. WOOF
Asia Tour 2018 Complete
That wraps up the Asian swing of the PGA tour and it is the end of night time golf watching for another year. I kind of feel like they ended with the worst tournament the course looked bad in comparison to the last 2 weeks and maybe I just got used to the low scores but this week seemed a little boring even though the big names were playing and two of them went to a playoff. Congratulations go out to Xander Schauffele and I wish I could give Tony Finau something for his efforts, but I can’t. I know Matty B and Bronel will want to give him a made up “Best Dressed” award for the pink hat and shirt combo in round 3 but until he fixes the pants situation that is just another category he is coming up short in.
Champ Hoists the Trophy
Cock-a-doodle-doo. While most of the big names were playing in China there was another tournament being played state side and it had its fair share of story lines. PGA rookie and driving distance sensation Cameron Champ took home the coveted Cock Trophy. Not like the one Danielle Kang kissed last week. This thing is a trophy shaped like a GD rooster or maybe it’s a chicken. It has to be a chicken there is no way Sanderson Farms has built their brand of quality chicken by selling rooster meat. Let’s get back on topic here.
Champ went wire to wire to get his first win on tour. He did it in style as well absolutely crushing the ball off the tee. Averaging 330+ on the measured holes and 308 on all holes. That stat is unheard of. In fact, only one other player has averaged over 330 on measured holes and won a tournament and that guy is Dustin Johnson. So, Cam is in pretty good company. But just when you think Cameron is this one trick pony he goes and one putts the last 6 holes of the tournament to wrap up his first win.
He also hit an early candidate for shot of the year on the 72nd hole. After driving his ball waaaayyyy left he had to hit 165 yard punch shot under and around a tree with what looked like a 6 iron. He kept it about 10 feet off the ground the whole way and it settled about 8 feet from the hole. He then calmly tapped that putt in to win by 4 shots.
In what was an extremely watered-down field there is a few bright spots to touch on. Canadian Corey Connors and his goofy swing finished 4 shots back and in solo 2nd place. I really wish I could say this is a jumping off point for his career but unless he does a swing overhaul I don’t think his swing is consistent enough to be a regular performer on the PGA tour (Feel free to screenshot and rub this in my face when he wins a major or something). Having said that Connors did have a chance on Sunday and was a putt made and a champ putt miss away from being tied going into the 72nd. But a good showing none the less for the Canadian.
Three other Canadians made the cut this week. Nick Taylor finished T26 and Adam Svensson and Ben Silverman finished T39. David Hearn and soon to be FOTP Roger Sloan both missed the cut. But all in all not a bad showing by the Canadians this week on the PGA tour.
Some other notable finishes include DJ Trahan wearing quite possibly the worst outfit in the history of the PGA tour. I will try to do this justice with my description. Picture a pair of baggy khakis right out Hal Sutton’s 90s closet, a greeny grey camo golf shirt, a blue hat, a belt that looked like he wore during his grade 9 goth days and a pair of 50 year old man Nike’s (you know the ones). Look good, feel good, play good. No wonder you shot the 18th worst score of the day Donald Jr. After all that DJ still finished T7. Lucas Glover finished T14 and took home 75K in earnings so that means he likely won’t show up to the next tournament with a black eye from “running into a door”.
Friend of the Pod Rory Sabbatini had me excited early starting off the week hot and looking like he could help me cross off one of my seasons bold predictions, but he cooled off the rest of the way and finished in a tie for 20th. Did anyone else think Carl Pettersson was dead? Or at least a contender for the “where are they now” articles? But turns out he is still on tour and missed the cut this week. Carl struggled this week no doubt, but worst place honors goes to the taco belt wearing trick shot artist Wesley Bryan. A smooth 78, 82 had him take home the Steven Bowditch award this week.
Another playing of the Sanderson Farms Championship is in the books and Cam Champ has a cock trophy on his mantle. I have to say for being the “other” tournament this week. The Sanderson Farms was the more entertaining of the two tournaments. You had a rookie sensation have his coming out party and a Canadian in the mix the entire tournament. Or maybe it was because the Sanderson had guys who have announced for a golf tournament before because the WGC team was a joke I don’t know which UK pub they dragged these guys out of and gave a microphone to but it made it tough to watch. Or maybe it was because I didn’t win the DTG picks again this week for the 2nd week in a row and my go to guys have been stinking up the course lately…I Don’t know. But whatever it was and whichever tournament you watched it was a pretty darn good weekend for golf.
The second leg of the PGA tour’s Asian swing wrapped up late Saturday night for viewers in Canada and the USA. Brooks Koepka did what the big cat Marc Leishman did last week and that is runaway with a tournament which allowed me to get to bed early Saturday night. For his efforts, Koepka won his 12th professional tournament and crossed a 7th country off his list of tournament hosts.
He also took home the CJ Cup trophy which surprisingly is not a cup at all. I was going to rag on the trophy about how can it not be a cup when the tournament is called The CJ Cup. Especially when I got the first glimpse of it and it looked like I couple 9 x 9 pieces of wood glued together and painted but it is actually a pretty cool prize.
The trophy has every player in the fields name engraved in a word search type form (written in Korean) and the winners name is highlighted in gold. Which is pretty cool in my mind compared to some of the trophies out there (cough cough a wooden barrel). Oh, and he also took home 1.7 million for winning.
The cool trophy and the 1.7 mill in the jeans is great, but arguably the most impressive accomplishment Brooks pulled off this week was the wardrobe turnaround. I don’t know who dressed him Thursday, but they need to be fired and that sweater he wore needs to be burned or at least returned to whatever maternity store they got it from. This was an all timer for worst dressed on the PGA tour but good on Brooks, he turned it around and by Sunday was back in his usual slim fit attire to appeal the ladies watching and Bronel.
Close But Not Quite
It is a shame Brooks toyed with the field in the fourth round because it overshadowed a couple major charges and impressive final rounds from Gaaaaaaaarrrrrryyyy Woodland and Ryan Palmer. Woodland was 5 shots back entering Sunday and went out and did his part shooting a 9 under 63, which he probably thought was going to give him a chance when he ended his round. Only to wait an hour or so to find out he was in 2nd and 4 shots behind. Another Top 5 bridesmaid finish for ol Gary.
The Texas Course Horse Ryan Palmer was in a similar situation as Woodland he was sitting 8 shots off the lead and went out and almost tied his personal best round on the PGA tour with a 10 under 62. Only to fall 6 shots short of Koepka. We probably won’t hear much about Palmer until early April now when the PGA tour stops in San Antonio for the Valero Texas open.
There were a couple other notable finishes to briefly touch on this week:
- Rafa Cabrera Bello and his ever-fluctuating style finished T3.
- Canadian Adam Hadwin looks to have righted the ship after missing the cut in his first tournament of the season he bounced back with a T10 finish at The CJ Cup.
- Defending champ Justin Thomas never really got it going this week and finished in a disappointing tie for 36th. 1 stoke better than Web.com tour 2017 money leader Sung-Jae Im and other notable Korean Dong Seop Maeng.
- Jason Dufner’s six fist pumps could only net him a tie for 55th.
- Stewart Cink and his best or worst golfer’s tan depending on how you look at it finished T70 which many would think is a disappointment, but I would imagine Stewart is just fine with it, he has his major win and is now counting down the days until he can rake on the Champions tour (FYI exactly 1600 days until that happens).
- In the thanks for coming out category Hyun-Woo Ryu (no relation to the LA Dodgers Hyun-Jin Ryu) finished dead last and 34 strokes off the lead. THIRTY. FOUR
That about wraps up the CJ Cup recap. Congratulations goes out to Brooks Koepka but I want to finish this recap with something that might be an unpopular opinion but I am going to say it, I wish every tournament was played in the eastern part of Asia because these 2 weeks of watching at night have been a real nice treat. Kids are in bed and the wife isn’t on me to “accomplish” things around the house or “be a good dad” instead of laying on the couch from the hours of 1-4pm Saturday and Sunday. It was nice to just relax and watch some golf before hitting the hay. Would it have been nice to have a competitive round to watch Saturday night….sure, but I don’t want to get greedy.
Here at Drive the Green Golf, we talk about a golfer’s style on the course quite a bit so I thought writing this article would be easy peasy. Boy was I wrong – narrowing it down to 5 was extremely difficult. There are many eligible candidates for this list and personal opinions obviously come into play here as John Daly may make your list but unfortunately isn’t on mine. This is the list of style ON the golf course so without further ado, let’s get into it.
BIG CAT Claws His Way To Victory
Marc Leishman picked up another win on the PGA Tour this past weekend in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. For the big Aussie, it was his 4th PGA Tour win and 9th win overall. The 1st of 3 tournaments during this Asian stretch on tour featured an interesting field led by Justin Thomas. Thomas went on to finish T5 after a couple mediocre rounds on Friday and Saturday.
For Leishman, it was smooth sailing as he only made 4 bogeys all week on his way to finishing 26 under par. He takes home 1.26 million US for the win but said in an interview “I don’t care about fame or fortune”.
The course was soft and played rather easy all week as only 5 players finished over par in a field with no cuts. In addition to that, 9 players were -20 or better for the week. Nationalities from all over the world were represented this week with 8 different countries having players in the top 15. Those countries include Australia, USA, Argentina, India, England, South Africa, Mexico and South Korea.
Leishman takes his talents north now as the Tour heads to South Korea for the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges. Defending champion Justin Thomas leads the field which also features Brooks Koepka, Billy Horschel, Jason Day, Hideki Matsuyama, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Tyrell Hatton and Ian Poulter.
In prepping for Drive the Green Podcasts the boys always get on random tangents and have found ourselves asking what the hell happened to (insert random PGA player)? So, after MattyB declared we needed to up the content count on the website I figured why not write a series of articles tracking down what these once household names, who have fallen off the map, are up to now. I will be getting into some real obscure golfers, but I figured I would start the series with a couple guys who have popped back up in the news recently. Starting with none other than the guy who was pegged to be the next big thing in golf in 2008 in Anthony Kim.
Anthony Kim roared onto the golf scene in 2007 with 4 Top 10 finishes and a T20 at the US Open as a rookie on tour. He followed up his rookie season winning twice in 2008 and had two Top 3 finishes in the final two fedex cup tournaments that year. These efforts leap frogged him to #6 in the Official World Golf Rankings. That September, he was a vital part of the USA recapturing the Ryder Cup going 2-1-1 and beating Ryder Cup legend Sergio Garcia in the singles matches. He went 3-1 in the 2009 Presidents cup cementing himself as a up and coming stalwart for these types of events. In 2010 he won for the third time on tour capping off a pretty impressive 23 month stretch.
That is the Anthony Kim everyone remembers but then, in late 2010, he was hit hard by the injury bug. He tore his Achilles tendon while training and it required surgery that would keep him on the shelf for a year. While rehabbing that injury he herniated a disk in his back that required a spinal fusion. Torn labrum, rotator cuff and hand injuries have resulted in Anthony Kim being forgotten just as quickly as he rose to 6th in the world.
During my research for this article I came across the popular rumor that Anthony Kim took out an insurance policy on his body in case of injury and is getting paid monthly to not play golf because it would void the policy. Anthony Kim, in an interview, doesn’t deny that he has an insurance policy, he definitely does but he denies 100% that is the reason that is keeping him away from the PGA tour. Kim’s answer was that he is still too injured to even think about making a comeback. But I mean he isn’t going to admit on the record he is healthy enough to golf but isn’t because he will lose that guaranteed income. No one would be that stupid. It sounds like he is quite happy living his modest life and collecting his insurance money because like Anthony, said he is “too injured” to play.
For those readers muttering to themselves “who?”, Shaun Micheel won the 2003 PGA championship. (Side note: go check out the 2003 major winners. Talk about a dog’s breakfast of champions. I mean 3 of them could qualify for this series of articles). But, we are focusing on Shaun Micheel in this edition. Micheel was a 10 year veteran of professional golf on various tours before he stepped on the tee at Oak Hill Country Club in August 2003. The guy was a grinder, and little did he know in four short days his life would change for the better and worse. Micheel won the 2003 PGA championship in one of the biggest underdog stories in the history of golf.
After that win, many thought we were witnessing a late bloomer who put in his time grinding it out to finally find success. What we actually got was a guy whose next biggest claim to fame is finishing 2nd to Tiger in a major in 2006 and having to fight a lawsuit with the PGA because he had low testosterone and had to take hormones to remedy it. After that Micheel never captured lightning in a bottle again like that weekend in August of 2003.
While researching I found lots of quotes saying that Shaun Micheel changed after winning that major and not in the way many would think. He put so much pressure on himself to continue winning he went from being a likeable social butterfly on tour to being a guy who played practice rounds by himself late in the day so he wouldn’t have to socialize with anyone. To add insult to injury he suffered multiple shoulder injuries which all but ended his ability to compete on the PGA tour.
Never a long ball hitter with the injuries he couldn’t keep up to young guys coming up. He still plays professional golf but not very often and not on the PGA tour. He bounced around the Euro tour and Web.com tour for the last 15 years never being more than a field filler. Wow that got kind of sad and dark. But, to answer the question of where are they now? Shaun Micheel played in the 2018 PGA Championship and missed the cut. But, he turns the magic number 50 in January 2019 and will be joining the PGA Champions Tour for his rookie season.
Stay Tuned for Part Two
I was really hoping both of these guys would be bagging groceries somewhere when I started doing the research for this article but it turns out one isn’t milking an insurance claim (wink wink) and the other has had a pretty rough stretch of years. But things could potentially look up the in the future with how many wins guys in their early 50s have on the Champions tour.
Like I said above this is only the first installment of a recurring series. So, if any readers have a guy that they have thought what happened to that guy? Reach out to the DTG boys on Social media @mattyballgame5, @DTGharv @DTGBronel or on IG @DriveTheGreenGolf
Dominance Once Again
Another edition of golf’s most famous team event is in the books and Europe has re-captured the Ryder Cup. Le Golf National in France hosted the event and provided an excellent venue for the competition. The course was demanding and required players to be accurate with thick rough and many water hazards lining the fairways. As is the case with most tournaments involving the world’s best players, it came down to putting. Team Europe simply made more of putts, hit more fairways, and played more consistent golf. As a result, they captured their 6th straight title on European soil.
Team USA came out of the gate hot winning 3 of the first 4 fourball matches and jumping out to a quick 3-1 lead on Day 1. The only American duo to lose was that of Tiger and Pat Reed who lost to Tommy Fleetwood and Franky Molinari (later dubbed Moliwood after their 4-0 record together). Unfortunately for Team USA, Europe stormed back and won all 4 afternoon foursome matches in convincing fashion. The most notable being Moliwood beating Spieth and Thomas 5&4.
Day 2 started out with Europe taking control of the event, winning 3 more fourball matches. Reed and Woods were paired together once again and lost to Moliwood again. Reed later came out and said he expected to play with Spieth who he had previous success with. But other sources say Reed insisted on playing with Tiger so who knows what to believe. The afternoon matches were split 2-2 as Tiger was the victim of Moliwood again, this time paired with Bryson DeChambeau who couldn’t find his game whatsoever in France.
It’s Over Folks
With the score at 10-6 for Europe entering Sunday, speculations of another “miracle” comeback were being made. This was not the case this year however. Team USA was front-loaded by Captain Jim Furyk needing early points to have a chance. JT came out with a massive point in his match with Rory, after Rory made a disaster out of the 18th hole. Koepka halved Casey in a great back-and-forth match. Then Webb Simpson beat Justin Rose 3&2 and things were really looking up for the Americans. Finau beat the red-hot Fleetwood 6&4. Then the USA lost 3 matches in which they probably should have won. Tiger (who went 0-4) lost to Big Rig Jon Rahm. DJ lost to Ryder Cup legend Ian Poulter and Spieth got crushed by Thorbjorn Olesen.
Its Go Time in Paris
Now that team Captains Jim Furyk and Thomas Bjorn have made their final selections for their respective squads, the table is set for perhaps the most intriguing Ryder Cup in history. But will it live up to expectations? Will it be close? Vegas seems to think Team USA has the edge despite not being victorious on European soil since 1993. Not only are the rosters littered with young studs ready to make their mark on history, but there’s a few notable veterans trying to not be forgotten.
Tiger in the Spotlight
One player that will obviously never be forgotten is Tiger Woods. He makes his return to the Ryder Cup after missing the previous two. As usual, all eyes will be on his performance this year as he looks to improve on his career 13-17-3 record. He’s 4-1-2 all-time in singles matches so really it’s all about finding a guy to pair with him in the 2 vs 2 matches. Speculation is that it could be the odd swing of Bryson DeChambeau. He’s one of the hottest players on tour and Tiger seems to like him for some reason. Another player he could be paired with is a guy with 11 Top 10’s this season, Tony Finau.
Good Problem to Have?
The problem for team USA isn’t talent, they are loaded in that department. It’s who plays with who that seems to give their squad problems. The obvious pairings based on history/friendships would be Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed and Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson. That leaves the aforementioned Tiger, DeChambeau, Finau and the 4th captains pick; Phil Mickelson. Like Tiger, Phil has fared better in singles play at the Ryder Cup going 8-5-1 while only being 18-20-7 in total. At Hazeltine in 2016 during the USA’s victory, Phil was paired with Fowler twice and went 1-1 and then halved his singles match with the currently struggling Sergio Garcia.
What About Us?
Team Europe doesn’t quite have the talent that the US has but let’s not count them out at all. They have some decisions to be made with pairings as well because of the amount of turnover they’ve had since 2016. They have 8 changes; Danny Willett, Chris Wood, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Andy Sullivan, Matt Fitzpatrick, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Thomas Pieters are all out. The 4 players returning are Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and captain’s picks Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia. The 8 new players are Jon Rahm, Francesco Molinari, Tommy Fleetwood, Alex Noren, Tyrell Hatton, Thorbjorn Olesen and captains’ picks Paul Casey and Ian Poulter.
Questions, Questions, Questions
This leaves Europe some interesting choices to make. Who do they pair with Rory? How will the rookies fare? Only time will tell but I like this team. The new names are all big game players. The guys to worry about are the injured Stenson and Garcia; who hasn’t been himself since the new irons but has a 19-11-7 career record on his resume. One guy they shouldn’t have to worry about is Ian Poulter and his sparkling 12-3 record. Team Europe won’t get the media attention or the respect that the US gets but they will come to play. Vegas has the USA as a 4/6 favourite to retain the cup but I don’t see it that way on Europe’s turf.
PREDICTIONS: Europe wins 15-13 and takes the Cup back. Sergio comes back from the dead and beats Tiger in singles play. Patrick Reed loses all his matches. Noren and Molinari are paired together and go undefeated in 2 matches.
As the 2018 Saskatchewan golf season comes to a close, it is time for the 1st Annual Drive The Green Golf Top 5 Golf Courses in Saskatchewan segment! With a wonderful drought settling in this summer and the beautiful Saskatchewan winds blowing freely, there were ample opportunities to hit the links. As you plan your 2019 golf trips with the boys, lets take a closer look at some courses to keep your eye on……….
Long Time Coming
Five years, Sixty months, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Seventy Six days, Forty Five Thousand and Twenty Four hours, Two Million…….well you get the point. The amount of time since Tiger Woods has last hoisted a trophy on the PGA Tour. However you want to break down the time in between, no one can deny that Sunday was one of the greatest moments in sports history. It was the greatest comeback story of all time.Tiger led wire to wire and looked like the Unbeatable Tiger from the early 2000s while doing it. Tiger. Is. Back.
He was working his tee shots left to right with his smooth cut, controlling his iron distances on approach shots like no one else can, draining long distance putts and walking them in, and leaving the announcers mystified with the shots he can pull off from “impossible” lies (hardly impossible but that is a whole different article). I could go on for pages about Tiger and his comeback, but this article is about recapping the Tour Championship and answering the question I am sure millions of people had yesterday…..“would Tiger have won the Fedex cup if they put the new rules in this year?”
What a Finish
So, let’s breakdown the Tour Championship and Fedex Cup Final Standings:
Where to start, I touched on Tiger above so let’s look at some of the other interesting storylines from the Tour Championship:
Starting from the bottom, Phil Mickelson, I don’t know whether it was the terrible fitting clothes he decided to wear this week or if his game has fallen off a cliff, but this did not look like the Phil Mickelson the fans have been watching for 20+ years. His short game was average, his putting was worse, and he looked terrible while doing it. 9 times out of 10 that is going to lead to a poor finish for ol FIGJAM, but +13, dead last and 24 shots back of Tiger?? WOOF. I hope fans put their money on Tiger for the Thanksgiving Showdown before this week because Tiger is emerging as a real favorite for that event.
Some of the other notable turds this week were Patrick Reed (28th), Kevin Na (25th) and Bubba Watson (29th) but I don’t think there are too many fans upset about those finishes. There were two surprise poor finishes this week. Mr. Top 10 Tony Finau ho hummed his way around the course for a T15 finish. Not bad, but I think most were expecting him to challenge for the FedEx Cup this week. And, in one of the biggest surprises of the week, Brooks Koepka finished T26 after calling his own number before the tournament started after feeling slighted by the media….Whoopsies.
Getting to some of the more positive storylines of the week. If you are listener of the Drive The Green Podcast you know I have a couple players I am quite fond of. So, it was good to see DJ, who was quiet all week, end up in third place even though his putter and putting style changed every round. His solo 3rd finish was enough to get him back to number 1 in the world status.
It was also really fun watching Rory for 3 of the 4 rounds when he looked like he was back to the player who could dominate a tournament. Then the dreaded final pairing on Sunday jinx thing happened and the driver went squiffy. But still a T7 finish for a guy a lot of people are writing off these days.
There was a couple other under the radar good finishes at East Lake this week Webb Simpson and Hideki Matsuyama both finished T4 even though fans got to see a total of 5 of their shots combined on the weekend. Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler left the fans wanting more. Both showed flashes of getting into the mix but then would go backwards for a few holes or a few rounds in Rickie’s case. Sooner or later Rickie has to put 4 rounds together in a major or big pressure tournament right guys? Right??
In a somewhat unrelated topic but if I had a gun to my head and had to pick someone to play East Lake and shoot under par or else I would be killed, I think I would pick Xander Schauffele. He has played in the Tour Championship twice and has a win and a T7 finish. I bet Jim Furyk is wishing he could swap out Phil for Xander heading across the pond this week.
I said all week and in last week’s POD “don’t sleep on Billy Horschel” he has won the Fedex Cup before and is sneakily playing really good golf this year. My only critique of his game besides the clubs he plays. It might be time to go by Bill, Will or William because he should be taken seriously moving forward.
I feel like I am forgetting someone. Oh ya, Justin Rose the number 1 player in the world going into this tournament, the guy every golf fan in the world was cheering for to roll his ankle walking up 18 and having to WD. But it was all for not after giving the fans some hope by bogeying 16 to drop into a tie for 6th. Rose Stepped up to 18 needing to birdie and hit the longest drive of the day, then hit a bit of a knuckle ball 7 iron that looked like it was going into the bunker (a bunker DJ could not get up and down from earlier). But the ball took a bounce that defied the laws of physics and ended up on the green where Rose only needed 2 putts to secure a Fedex cup victory. Rose calmly stepped up and did his best Brian Harman impression lagging the putt to a couple inches, tapped home the birdie, apologized to the cameras because he spoiled the storyline everyone was hoping for and cashed a MF’ing 10-million-dollar cheque.
A Season to Remember
As the PGA Tour season comes to an end this weekend with the TOUR Championship at East Lake GC in Atlanta, many eyes will be on the best golfers in the world. Tiger has returned to the spotlight, young guns are all over the tour, and the Ryder Cup is around the corner. But as the 2018-2019 season caps off, lets not forget about the FANTASTIC season that the Canadians on the PGA Tour put together. While no Canadian was able to walk away with victory, there is plenty to recap.
Breaking Down The Field
This season six Canadians played more than 25 tournaments, one had his season shortened by injury, and the godfather himself got into 6 tournaments himself. Let us take a look at a player by player recap of Team Canada:
Cuts made – 22/25
Top 10’s – 3
Total Money – $1,932,488
FedEx Cup Rank / World Rank – 36 / 57
Breakdown – The head of the Canadian class, Hadwin participated in all four major championships (making the cut in 2 of them), and had 10 Top 25 finishes. The model of consistency, Hadwin was able to make 22 of 25 cuts and collect a shade under $2 million. Big things for to come in 2019.
Cuts made – 17/30
Top 10’s – 2
Total Money – $899,373
FedEx Cup Rank / World Rank – 123 / 273
Breakdown – Taylor started the season on fire with 3 straight Top 25 finishes but cooled off considerably before finishing T8 at the second to last tournament of the regular season, the Wyndham Championship.
Cuts Made – 17 / 28
Top 10’s – 2
Total Money – $793,140
FedEx Cup Rank / World Rank – 136 / 270
Breakdown – Similar to Taylor, Silverman excelled early on with both of his Top 10’s coming in the first 5 tournaments of the season. A mildly consistent season put Silverman just on the edge of the FedEx Cup playoffs and without a full time Tour Card for next season.
Cuts Made – 20 / 28
Top 10’s – 1
Total Money – $728,296
FedEx Cup Rank / World Rank – 130 / 399
Breakdown – It feels like a copy paste recap of both Taylor and Silverman here with Conners who made 8 straight, and 11 of 12, cuts to start the season. Conners season hilight came at the Fort Worth invitational where a Saturday 63 shot him up the leaderboard to a season high T8 finish.
Cuts Made – 11 / 21
Cabot Cliffs – The Experience of a Lifetime
As you step out of the shuttle van at the Cabot Cliffs Golf Course in Inverness, Nova Scotia, you are immediately met with a feeling of wonderful simplicity. The course, which is ranked as Golf Digest #1 in Canada and #9 in the World, is flawless.
The pro shop and concession, two small tents in the middle of a field. The putting green, chipping green, and driving range all nestled together right beside the first fairway. And a lone starter desk. It was perfect.
The day was classic links style. Overcast, windy, and a chance of rain. The first tee was exactly as I had hoped, a beautiful wide open par 5 with lots of room to get that first tee shot out of the way. After that the entire round was a blur of excitement, challenge, and beauty.
The course itself was setup wonderfully. Lots of room to play in the fairways but very strategically placed bunks still offered consequences to wayward tee shots and approaches. The tee boxes, fairways, and greens were immaculate. Finally, the bunkers were filled with not only heavy Nova Scotian sand but also free growing grass and vegetation to offer added difficulty.
Every Hole – Picture Perfect
When it comes to my favorite holes at Cabot Cliffs, every hole was incredible. However, it’s hard not to note:
- The incredible Par 3 16th (used in commercials and all marketing material) with a tee shot from cliff to cliff and a tiny landing area.
- The absolutely gorgeous short Par 4 2nd hole with a steep down hill landing fairway only to go back uphill to the blind green.
Everything about this course was as advertised and as I sat on the lonely couches just off the 18th green overlooking the course and the ocean, the emotions took over. This was probably the greatest day of golf I may ever have.
Thank you Cabot Cliffs.
Who needs rules!
The game of golf is one of the older sports in the world and dates back to the 15th century. Being that old, the rules of golf have obviously been tinkered with and evolved a lot over the years. For the professionals, it is imperative that they know and understand every rule. But for a regular Joe who plays 1-50 times a year at their local course, are the rules really that important? Maybe not. But one thing that is important is how you conduct yourself on the course, better known as your Golf Etiquette.
Whats the difference?
To begin, it has to be noted that there is a HUGE difference between rules and etiquette. Golf etiquette is something that you acquire by playing the game, watching parents or friends, watching the pros or even reading about the do’s and don’ts on the golf course. Everyone playing a round of golf should know the etiquette. These things include repairing divots, ball marks, letting groups through if you’re slow, not stepping in someone’s line on the green, being quiet when someone is hitting, etc.
The rules however, will predominantly be used to determine a player’s score. Penalty strokes and how they are used is a big one. Gimmes, mulligans and things of that nature are other examples. Some people will never take a gimme, other will. And THIS IS FINE. I suggest you discuss the general rules before you tee off and determine a common ground for the group. For the majority of us, picking rules that will speed up play is highly advised. Drop the ball when you go OB, don’t re-tee, take a couple gimmes. However, if you do not establish these “rules” before you tee off, all hell will surely ensue.
Who is the best golfer in the world right now? Some will say Dustin Johnson, he’s the #1 ranked player in the world. But that is just a ranking. If I was asked this question, I would have a very difficult time answering. And it may simply depend on who I think is playing better on the day I was asked. That’s how close it is these days.
Flashback 10 years to June 2008, who is the best player in the world? Well Tiger Woods just beat Rocco Mediate in a playoff to win the US Open, his 14th major championship. The answer was easy, it’s Tiger.
So what is better for the overall state of golf, the 2018 parity or the 2008 dominance?
When Tiger Woods won 14 majors in an 11-year span from 1997-2008, the golf world was in awe. He won the 2000 U.S. Open by 15 shots at Pebble Beach. He had 38 Top 10’s in Majors including 24 Top 3’s. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind who the best golfer in the world was and fans were more than ok with that. He WAS golf. His brand completely took over and revolutionized the game, attracting fans for all backgrounds sports or otherwise. Then personal matters, injuries, and long layoffs from the game happened. Golf ratings were down, the “Tiger Effect” was a real thing and revenues were taking a hit.
Flash back to April 2016 when we first met the Bro Squad. Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, and Smylie Kaufman. Four young, very talented golfers jet setting to the Bahamas for Spring Break. Every guy from 18-45 years old was drooling in envy of #sb2k16.
Then these four party boys had to go and do it again for #sb2k17. It seemed as though nothing could stop these maniacs. They had the friendship, the money, and the skills.
Flash forward to June 2018. Justin Thomas has two wins this season and a short stint as World Number 1. Jordan Spieth is the defending Open Champion and was 3rd at the 2018 Masters. Rickie Fowler was 2nd at the same 2018 Masters and is 13th in Official Money Earnings this season……..
Phil’s US Open Antics Prove Why He Is The GLOAT
When someone says left-handed golfer, who is the first player you think of? If you didn’t answer Phil Mickelson, then you are probably lying. Ok, maybe a bit harsh. However, the numbers are there, the wins are there, the personality is there. We are witnessing history every time this man steps foot on the golf course. Yes folks, we are witnessing the GLOAT (Greatest Lefty Of All Time).
If you are reading this article, there is a pretty good chance you caught a glimpse of what ol’ Lefty got up to this past weekend. Coming in as one of the Vegas favourites to win the tournament, Phil came out with a disappointing 77 on Thursday. Uh oh, a missed cut perhaps. Not so fast, Phil shoots 69 Friday and gets to play the weekend. Paired with Beef Johnston on Saturday, Phil the thrill was all set for his 48th birthday round. Unfortunately for him, the conditions at Shinnecock Hills resembled those of a Wal-Mart parking lot more than a golf course. The “greens” were some sort of weird brown concrete and the pin placements were tougher than that friggin “ant-hill” hole at the local mini-golf course.
Phil was 4 over and looking at a downhill 18 footer for bogey on the 13th green. His putt was a bit hefty however and it was about to go flying down the hill and off the green into an impossible lie. But the GLOAT said “not today, not on my birthday” and hit the still-moving ball back towards the hole. For those new to golf, this is an automatic 2 stroke penalty. Phil would go on to make a 10 and laugh about it with Beef walking off the green. This wasn’t as cool as Roy McAvoy’s 12 at the US Open but it was still a pretty neat 10.
GOOD For Golf
The USGA decided not to DQ him despite his purposeful breaking of the rules. But really, who cares? So what if he hit a moving ball…we’ve all done it. This is one of the top 10 players in golf history (a discussion for another day perhaps), him doing stuff like this is GOOD for golf. John Daly is GOOD for golf. Happy Gilmore is GOOD for golf. Ok you get the point. After his 81 Saturday, Phil came out Sunday and shot 69 and had a blast doing it. There was a fan who was wearing a Donald Duck hat and following Phil around (why wouldn’t you). There are a lot of guys on Tour with no personality (I won’t name names) who would probably think the hat was stupid. Not Phil. Every time he saw this fan, he gave the hat a little rub for luck and had a bunch of fun with it. He’s always having a good time out there; perhaps making some wagers, signing stuff for the kids, laughing with other players etc.