Golf News and Notes

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Golf News and Notes

Tiger to write his own memoir I own and have read almost every book there is on Tiger Woods. There are a couple biographies on him that covered his youth, amateur, and early pro career. I read the book by Hank Haney, and the one by former caddie and best friend, Steve Williams. I read the one titled “His Father’s Son” which speaks a lot about Earl’s life and his relationship with his son. We know a lot about Tiger. We know the clip of him on the Mike Douglas show when he was 3. We know he had posters on his wall of Jack Nicklaus’ accolades and records. We know he was obsessed with the military and honoring his father as a green beret, to the point that he trained with Navy Seals. We know he loves cheeseburgers, the Lakers, and Stanford. But what we don’t know is exactly what goes on in that incredible brain of his. What was he thinking during all those historic moments and shots? What went on during those years of infidelity? How crushed was he when his dad passed away? How bad did that 9 iron hurt when Elin teed off on him on Thanksgiving? Will we learn these things in his autobiography? Maybe not. But I hope so.

Viktor Hovland’s sub 70 streak ends at 19 College teammate Matthew Wolff was getting most of the attention since the pair turned pro. And rightfully so as Wolff broke through with his first win at the 3M Open in July. But Viktor Hovland has been on fire as well. He set the new tour record with 19 consecutive rounds shot in the 60’s. The streak came to an end in the 3rd round of the CJ Cup with a 74. It’s tough to win on tour, but the 2018 U.S. Amateur champ is on his way to a successful career.Bob Estes was the former record holder with 17 straight rounds in the 60’s.

Brooks/Rory Four major championships in 3 years apparently aren’t enough to keep Brooks Koepka’s heart beating. It appears he constantly needs a chip on his shoulder to compete at his highest level, or he needs to create some sort of false motivation. In an age where we complain that athletes always give the same cliché’, watered down responses, I guess it’s refreshing that Brooks calls it like he sees it and usually gives some front page fodder. And journalists do ask dumb questions, and Brooks usually gives equally dumb answers. In a recent statement on whether or not there is a rivalry building between he and Rory McIlroy, Brooks stated that a rivalry is nonexistent because Rory hasn’t won a single major since Brooks has been out on tour. McIlroy won the 2014 British Open and the PGA. Brooks was a rookie on tour in 2014. That’s two majors. Rory did respond to the comment and stated that there is indeed not really a rivalry and that they are friends. Perhaps he should give his friend a sports almanac, or a muzzle.

58 penalty strokes at LPGA Senior Championship The Pete Dye Course at French Lick resort is tough. I played the gorgeous track a few years back at its toughest, from the tips that measure an excruciating 8,000 yards, including a 300 yard par 3. It’s one of the dumber things I’ve done in my life, especially since we played the Donald Ross course that morning. Worn out was an understatement. But I still didn’t have it quite as bad as Lee Ann Walker. Lee Ann participated in the LPGA Senior Championship at French Lick last week. She hadn’t played competitively in quite some time, as her last full season on tour was 2008. So she showed some rust in her opening rounds of 85-74. Take a difficult golf course, add in temps in the high 40’s and low 50’s, and the fact that because she hadn’t teed it up professionally in awhile, she was a little askew with some new rule changes. Add 42 penalty strokes to her 85 to make 127, and 16 more strokes her 74 to give her a 2-day total of 217. Walker was unaware that her caddie could no longer stand behind her to help line her up. Her first round playing partners didn’t notice and did not call her on it. Her second round partners did, and she had to go back and recall each time her caddie lined up and stood there through the first two days. Lesson learned. Golf can be brutal sometimes.

Matt Every Suspended Two-time winner Matt Every has been suspended for 12 weeks after violating the tour’s drug policy. He tested positive for cannabis, a drug that he has a prescription for and is used for mental health issues. In a statement Every mentioned that due to side effects he could not take prescribed pills for his condition. He was also suspended back in 2010 following an arrest for marijuana possession. I know the PGA Tour is years away from adjusting their policy on this, but medical marijuana is doing wonders and I don’t agree with the violation, especially if it’s prescribed by a licensed physician. It’s no different than a player taking a Xanax to calm their nerves before the final round of a tournament. In fact, cannabis is safer.

ZOZO Championship Picks My streak of picking players that withdraw continued at the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges with Brooks Koepka bowing out with a knee injury. He really does wanna be like Tiger! But I picked the winner in Justin Thomas and Kiradech Aphibarnrat gave me a top-10 with a tie for 8th. The tour continues its Asian swing with the inaugural ZOZO Championship outside Tokyo.
Sleeper Rory Sabbatini I’m going with a different Rory here. Sabbatini has not won on tour since 2011 but 2019 was his best season since then, finishing 36th in the FedEx Cup standings and recording six top-10’s. The Narashino Country Club isn’t long, at just a hair over 7,000 yards, but will put a premium on accuracy into the greens.
Will Contend Tony Finau This guy should have a handful of wins by now. He constantly knocks on the door. If he putts well he will blow that door down in Japan. In his last start at Shriners, he led the field in stroked gained tee-to-green.
Winner Jason Day Golf is all about momentum and the hot hand, so I gotta roll with the skins game champ here from Monday. His swing changes are taking shape and he is still one of the best putters in the world.

Enjoy the game and each other,

Written by Seth Zipay – Head Golf Professional
Published by Craig Walton

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