GolfWRX Morning 9: DeChambeau apologizes | Giving Tom Watson his due | Molinari’s interesting practice

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GolfWRX Morning 9: DeChambeau apologizes | Giving Tom Watson his due | Molinari’s interesting practice

July 31, 2018

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans. Based on your feedback (thanks for the kind words as well!), we’ll be reverting to the ole’ bold n’ bulleted formatting. Also, a PSA for those of you in non-tropical environments: It’s the end of July already. Get out there and play some golf!
GolfWRX Morning 9: DeChambeau apologizes | Giving Tom Watson his due | Molinari’s interesting practice
1. DeChambeau apologizes briefly for brief handshake
Bryson DeChambeau on Instagram: “Tough finish today at the @peo_18, but overall I had a great week in Hamburg. Thank you to Porsche European Open for having me. A terrific golf course with great support from the fans. I apologize to Richard McEvoy and the fans for my brevity on 18. He is a class act, worthy champion and I enjoyed playing with him the past two days.”
Fair enough, DeChambeau has apologized, or at least, he’s used the word “apologize.” While it’s hardly yellow roses and a multi-paragraph handwritten card, it’s a mea culpa nevertheless.
2. Control yourself
Continuing on the same subject, Randall Mell sounded off on Mr. DeChambeau.
“The greatest rivalry in golf is emotion vs. intellect.”
  • “It’s an ongoing battle waged around the world, from scruffy munis in men’s and women’s recreational leagues to the space between the ears of the greatest players who ever teed it up.”
  • “When we see the worst of emotion trump intellect, we tend to remember it a long time.”
  • “Hearing F-bombs, seeing drivers helicoptering into ponds, or wedges snapped across knees, we cringe watching from afar.”
  • Welcome to the highlight reels, Bryson DeChambeau…DeChambeau’s meltdown on the driving range at Carnoustie during The Open was epic. If you haven’t already seen the video, check it out here. It was a rousing reminder that even the world’s best players can feel as if the’re losing their minds trying to fix their swings. DeChambeau looked as if he were going to be fitted for a strait jacket before getting his arms into a green jacket.”
  • “DeChambeau’s collapse at the end of the European Open in Germany Sunday was another reminder.”
  • “The gentleman’s game won’t be so gentlemanly if lowlights trump highlights among the game’s best young players. DeChambeau will figure that out.”
3. Bravo, Tom Watson
John Feinstein dedicates some ink to a subject we ought to have paid more attention to over the weekend: Tom Watson’s Senior Open play.
  • “The reason for his absence was simple-and sad: His wife, Hilary, has been battling cancer. There was no way he was leaving her side during chemo and radiation treatments that began last fall. Only during respites in her treatment-at her urging-did he play.”
  • “A few weeks ago, Hilary Watson completed yet another painful round of chemo, this time in Houston. Still, she wanted her husband to play at St. Andrews, a golf course and a place he loves. It was at St. Andrews three years ago that Watson said farewell to the Open Championship-an event he won five times.”
  • “Remarkably, Watson opened the Senior Open (which he’s won three times) by shooting 69 on Thursday, missing shooting his age by one shot. Then, on Friday, he DID shoot his age-68-and found himself two shots out of the lead after 36 holes.”
  • “Watson went out in 33 on Saturday and actually held the lead at 10 under par. For all golf media’s yammering six days earlier when Tiger Woods briefly led a few miles away at Carnoustie, this would have been a story for the ages-not just because of Watson’s age, but because of the hell he and Hilary have been through since last October, when she was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.”
4. Another sponsor’s exemption for Steph
“Back-to-back” continues to be a theme in Steph Curry’s life. The Golden State Warriors point guard, who won his second NBA title in a row this year, will make his second appearance at the Web.com Tour’s Ellie Mae Classic in August.
  • The Web.com Tour announced today that Curry has accepted a sponsor’s exemption into the event. While he missed the cut, Curry’s performance last year was impressive: he shot two rounds of 74 and finished 148th in the 156-man field at TPC Stonebrae.
  • “The players on the Web.com Tour welcomed me with open arms in 2017, and it was an amazing experience to play with up-and-coming PGA Tour stars inside the ropes at TPC Stonebrae,” Curry said in a statement issued on Monday.
  • “I have been fortunate to be a member of an incredible team in the Golden State Warriors, and I was elated to feel that same level of camaraderie onsite last year. Golf is a game that has provided wonderful experiences in my life, and I am excited to return to the Ellie Mae Classic in August.”
GolfWRX Morning 9: DeChambeau apologizes | Giving Tom Watson his due | Molinari’s interesting practice
5. If it works for him…
Golf Digest’s Sam Weinman discusses Francesco Molinari’s practice methods…”The answer could have been found in the Italian’s work with performance coach Dave Alred, who has stressed to Molinari the value of practice sessions that most closely resemble the strains of competition.”
  • “As Alred relayed to the Wall Street Journal’s Brian Costa, the objective was to force Molinari to practice as if something was at stake. It isn’t enough to mindlessly hit balls at a target, but instead try to execute under a degree of pressure that more closely resembles tournament play. For instance, Costa writes, prior to the start of Molinari’s final round, the golfer was required to make eight 5-foot putts from various parts of the green in as few attempts as possible. He did it in nine.”
  • “I don’t see the point of hitting a golf shot in practice without being accountable, given that every shot in competition, you’re accountable in a round,” Alred told Costa. “As a behavior, it doesn’t make sense to me.”
  • “Alred’s inventive practice routines borrow somewhat from the teachings of Robert Bjork, an influential psychology professor who has championed something known as “interleaving practice.” We’ve discussed this concept before in exploring the optimal ways to groove a golf swing. If the conventional way to practice was to hit ball after ball with one club until you feel like you’ve got it down, Bjork’s interleaving practice says your brain retains information better when it’s forced to adapt from one type of swing to another.”
  • “So rather than hit a bunch of 7-irons in a row, you’d instead bounce from 7-iron to driver to wedge, and then back to 7-iron. That the way we play golf anyway, and in Bjork’s estimation, it’s the way your brain re-calibrates every time it makes a new swing that better ingrains patterns.”
6. Ryder Cup bubble boys
Nick Menta points out that Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau are on the Ryder Cup bubble.
  • “Only two weeks remain before the close of automatic qualifying to make the U.S. Ryder Cup team, with two notable names just outside the cut-off.”
  • “Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson occupy the ninth and 10th spots, respectively, on the U.S. points list.”
  • “The top eight players on the list at the end of the PGA Championship in two weeks guarantee themselves a trip to France this September, as the U.S. team looks to win on European soil for the first time since 1993.”
  • “While still a strong contender for a captain’s pick, DeChambeau would have done a lot to secure his place on team had he put away the European Open this past weekend. Although the event did not award U.S. Ryder Cup points, it would have marked his second worldwide win in as many months. Instead, DeChambeau played his final four holes in 5 over, putting three balls in the water and showing outward signs of frustration during the collapse.”
7. The sendoff it deserves
Derek Lawrenson of the Daily Mail bemoans the end of the Firestone era.
  • “Next year the tournament is moving to the Deep South, and the sweat bath of Memphis, which might make sense to the new sponsor FedEx, whose headquarters are located in Elvis-land. In pure golfing terms, however, it is nothing less than an act of wanton vandalism.”
  • “At least we’re saying so long to Firestone with a tournament to savour. Thank goodness Tiger made it – the world’s top 50 are eligible, and Woods is 50th – for it would have added to the sadness given he owned the place for a decade.”
8. Improvement hacks for the time poor golfer
The good folks at GLT golf put together eight improvement hacks for those of us who are pressed for time (i.e. everyone).
  • A taste…”Game Hack 1 – 20:20 Range Practice…Let us introduce you to 20:20. No, we aren’t talking about vision, although we can see how you’d make that mistake. 20:20 is an easy drill I learned from Motor Learning Expert, Dr. Tim Lee. So, why is it called 20:20? Thought you’d never ask.”
  • “Take 20 golf balls, then allocate 20 minutes. There’s your 20:20. Make each golf ball last 1 minute, which gives you time to have practice swings, pick a target, shot type or even a different club. The actual change you select doesn’t matter too much, but the thinking involved does.”
  • “Physical Hack 1 – Train Your Swing at Home…As analysis tools become more mobile, it’s now obvious that we unconsciously adapt our movement mechanics to suit the lie, slope, wind, desired trajectory, and outcome. This is good for scoring but bad for training a new pattern.”
  • “If you are trying to make a swing change, it’s best to do most of it away from the course without that distracting white object tempting you back into old habits. Training your new move with feedback allows for quality control and no incentive to make your old move.”
9. The curious case of Mr. Jimenez’ sunglasses
Miguel Angel Jimenez–Lacoste polo, bespoke shoes–is always nattily attired. But this, well, Jimenez has either hit upon the future of golf fashion or offered us a sign of the apocalypse. The Spaniard was spotted at the Senior Open (which he won…which begs the question…) rocking sunglasses…under his hat.
GolfWRX Morning 9: DeChambeau apologizes | Giving Tom Watson his due | Molinari’s interesting practice

GolfWRX Morning 9: DeChambeau apologizes | Giving Tom Watson his due | Molinari’s interesting practice

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