Serenity Now

Serenity Now

You ever play an emergency 9 with the fellas after already playing a round of 18? There’s always that one guy in your group that looks at everyone and yells “E-9?” after the bets have been settled and the sandwiches have been ate. Well Harris English and Kramer Hickok played an E-8 on Sunday to settle the always dramatic and exciting Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut. The 2 combatants traded pars for 7 holes until Harris English finally ran in a 15 footer, that he already saw 3 times in the last 2 hours, to clinch the win. After 6.5 hours in the heat with sore hamstrings, Harris English had his 2nd win of the season and 4th in his career.

Harris English fist pumps as his winning birdie putt falls on the 8th playoff hole at TPC River Highlands.

The 8-hole playoff is second to the 11 holes of sudden death in the 1949 Motor City Open. Cary Middlecoff and Lloyd Mangrum were deemed co-winners due to darkness. I’m not going to tell you about them but I will tell you about someone else you probably hadn’t heard of…Kramer Hickok. As the restless gallery chanted “Kramer, Kramer” if you had dozed off but could faintly hear the TV in the background, you may have pictured Seinfeld’s Cosmo Kramer marching down the fairway in a puke green cardigan with Bob Saccamano looping the bag. But this Kramer is 29 years old, played his college golf as a Texas Longhorn, and you won’t find him firing any Titleists into a whale’s blowhole. Hickok was the 2018 Mackenzie Tour (Canadian) Player of the Year and has a Korn Ferry Tour win under his belt. His only other career top-10 finish was a T-8 at the 2018 Bermuda Championship.  “I now know I belong out here” said Hickok after the playoff. “It was a huge learning experience.”

Texan Kramer hickok made a name for himself on sunday and celebrated his birdie on the 72nd hole of regulation to get into the sudden death playoff.

English and Hickok set TPC River Highlands ablaze with drama, and did it with some Ping equipment in both of their bags. Bubba Watson did the exact opposite with his sticks from Ping. On the 2nd hole Saturday, his drive flew 265 yards and his driver-head flew 20. It snapped at the head and tumbled off the tee box. He still birdied the hole and had a replacement driver brought out to him from the tour van. After making the turn at -3 and sharing the lead at -12 on Sunday, Watson puked all over himself and played his last 5 holes in +6. “I can’t wait to do it again next week” said Bubba with a wry smile. “Putting yourself in position to win. That’s all you can do.” I’m sure the paycheck helps but we could all take a lesson in attitude from these guys. Ping enjoyed another victory on the European Tour as Viktor Hovland became the first Norwegian to win on the respective tour. The Phoenix-based manufacturer continues to be the most popular brand when it comes to full bags among the game’s best players.

WITB – Travelers Championship

Harris English (Winner)

Driver – Ping G400, 9°, Mitsubishi Kuro Kage XD 70 X

3-Wood – Ping G400, 14.5°, Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 7 X

Irons – Ping G410 Crossover, 21°, Fujikura Atmos Black Hybrid 9 X. Ping Blueprint 4-9, True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges – Ping Glide 3.0, 46°, 52°, 56°, Dynamic Golf Tour Issue X100. Ping Glide Forged 60°, Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter – Ping Scottsdale Hohum

Ball – Titleist Pro V1

Kramer Hickok (Runner-up)

Driver – Titleist TSi3, 9°, Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X

3-Wood – Callaway MAVRIK Sub Zero, 15°, Aldila Rogue Black 130 80 TX

Hybrid – Titleist TSi2, 21°, Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 85 X

Irons – Ping iBlade, 4-PW, True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

Wedges – Titleist Vokey SM8, 51°, 55°. Vokey Wedgeworks, 60°, Dynamic Gold S400

Putter – Scotty Cameron by Titleist Phantom X 6

Ball – Titleist Pro V1

Bubba Watson (Tournament favorite, 3-time event winner, back 9 puker)

Driver – Ping G425 LST Pink, 7.5°, Graffaloy Bi-Matrix X Bubba Prototype

3-Wood – Ping G425 Max, 14°, Fujikura Tour Spec Speeder 8.2 X

Irons – Ping S55, 3-PW, True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

Wedges – Ping Glide 2.0, 51°, 55°, 63°, Dynamic Gold X100

Putter – Ping PLD Anser Prototype

Ball – Titleist Pro V1X

*Interesting notes on Bubba’s equipment: He plays the Ping Gold 703 grip, which is midsize, and has 11-15 wraps of tape under his left hand and 11-13 wraps under his right, on each club. It’s been said that his lie angle on his irons is between 4°-6° upright and his faces sit 10° open. The average player would hit those behind them like a boomerang. This is all due to how handsy Bubba is in order to work the ball and how upright and close to it he is at both address and impact. He also employs the Titleist Pro V1X where the more popular model on tour is the Pro V1. The X flies higher from tee to green and spins more.

Viktor Hovland (Winner, BMW International Open)

Driver – Ping G425 LST, 7.75°, Project X HZRDUS RDX Black 60 6.5

3-Wood – Taylormade SIM, 14.5°, Mitsubishi Tensei Blue AV 85 Tour X

Hybrid – Ping G425, 19.5°, Graphite Design DI 85 X

Irons – Ping iBlade 4-6, Ping i59 7-PW, KBS Tour-V 120 X

Wedges – Ping Glide Forged Pro, 52°, 56°, Titleist Vokey SM8 60°, KBS Tour-V 130 X

Putter – Ping PLD DS 72

Ball – Titleist Pro V1

Enjoy the game and each other,

Seth Zipay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.