Topgolfgears Morning 9: 8 U.S. Ryder Cuppers set | PGA ratings highest since ’09 | Lowry vs. rules official

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GolfWRX Morning 9: 8 U.S. Ryder Cuppers set | PGA ratings highest since ’09 | Lowry vs. rules official
1. U.S. Ryder Cup roster coming into focus
Now that the PGA Championship has wrapped up, eight spots for the 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup team are officially set.
  • Brooks Koepka took over the top spot thanks to his PGA Championship win. Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, and Webb Simpson fill out the remainder of Furyk’s squad.
  • We’d have to assume we’ll see the likes of Spieth and Reed, Koepka and Johnson, and Thomas and Fowler paired together.
  • Jim Furyk will make three captain’s picks following the second FedEx Cup Playoffs event (Dell Technologies Championship). He will make his final pick September 10 after the third Playoffs event (BMW Championship).

For what little it is worth, here are my predictions for the 4 captain’s picks: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Matt Kuchar

2. The ratings are in…
Highest in nine years…Per Sports Media Watch: “Sunday’s final round of the PGA Championship earned a 6.1 overnight rating on CBS, up 69% from last year (3.6), up 56% from 2016 (3.9) and the highest since 2009 (7.5). The previous mark was a 6.0 for the 2014 final round.”
  • “The 6.1 is tied as the highest golf overnight outside of the Masters since the final round of the 2012 U.S. Open (6.6).”
  • “The PGA Championship was the fifth golf telecast in 2018 with at least a 5.0 overnight rating, compared to just one last year. The list includes the third and final rounds of the Masters (5.7 and 8.7) and Woods’ near misses at Tampa Bay (5.1) and the British Open (5.0).


3. Woods remains the reason

As if the data above didn’t make it clear…

An excellent bit from Zak Keefer at USA Today that begins…”It was 15 months ago when Tiger Woods told a police officer he couldn’t bend over and touch his toes. A year ago when he admitted that riding in a golf cart was too darn painful – “the bouncing hurt too much,” he said. As recently as last winter when he didn’t even have anything close to a golf swing.”

  • “Forget winning. Forget competing. The man couldn’t even swing a club…”I didn’t know if I was ever going to play golf again,” Woods said.”
  • “It was all of that, all the demons and the doubt, the scandals and the silence, all of the last 10 years, really, that made a heart-stopping afternoon like Sunday all the more improbable. This is the reason so many people play golf, the reason so many people watch golf. A shootout on a major championship Sunday, the man in red making them roar, sticking irons and burying putts and pumping his fists and sending shockwaves across the golf course as he authors a comeback story even he’s admitted feels like fiction at times.”
4. Lowry calls out official
The CBS telecast focused on the delay Shane Lowry caused by seeking a drop and arguing with officials from Justin Thomas’ perspective, the particularly from Lowry’s point of view are coming out now–namely, he’s calling out an official.
  • Golf Channel’s Will Gray writes…”Lowry was 10 under and four shots behind Brooks Koepka when he stepped to the 16th tee, but he sailed his tee shot on the par-3 well right and behind a TV camera tower. What ensued was a lengthy delay as Lowry consulted with rules officials over whether he was entitled to a free drop and where he might take relief.”
  • “According to Lowry, the two officials failed to render a final decision and left it up to the player as to how to proceed. He eventually opted to play the ball from its original position next to the tower, pitching it into some rough in front of him and eventually making bogey. He also bogeyed the 17th, turning a possible top-5 finish into a tie for 12th.”
  • “I think the referee didn’t have the balls to make a decision there, and if he did I would have had an easier shot,” Lowry . “If you put (European Tour official) John Paramor or any of the good referees out there, and he would have given me full relief. But he wasn’t giving me full relief, he was telling me to drop it in a tree basically.”


GolfWRX Morning 9: 8 U.S. Ryder Cuppers set | PGA ratings highest since ’09 | Lowry vs. rules official
5. Brooks Koepka is really good!
 …in case you were unaware. And as Geoff Shackelford points to the ShotLink data (above), the only “deficiency” in his game (at Bellerive, at least) is his play around the green.
  • And Koepka’s average drive was 25 yards longer than the field average for good measure!
6. Tiger’s putter switch is paying off

While the conclusion should be largely self evident, Golfweek’s David Dusek looks at the data…

  • “Woods made 87.48 percent of his putts from inside 10 feet with his Scotty Cameron putter this year, and with the TaylorMade putter he made 86.63 percent (188 of 217).”
  • “This is the area where Woods has most improved since switching putters. With the Scotty Cameron putter, he made 15.87 percent of all the putts he attempted this year from beyond 10 feet (47 of 296), but with the TaylorMade putter he made 23 percent (26 of 113), including 43 percent from 10 to 15 feet and 44 percent from 15 to 20 feet. It’s a hot streak over a relatively short time, but it’s still impressive.”
  • “The sample size is small, but the numbers so far indicate Woods’ putter switch has been a good move. If he continues to make mid-range putts and can avoid three putts, the TaylorMade Ardmore 3 could be in for a long ride in his bag.”
7. Do major venues matter?

Criticized as a bland, unimpressive track, Bellerive produced the most entertaining major of the year. Is this coincidence? A fluke? Do architecturally rich venues generally produce better tournaments?

A pair of Golf Digesters argued abut the question above…here’s Alex Myers’ take.

  • “Don’t be ridiculous, of course the golf course matters: As the great philosopher/celebrity golfer Yogi Berra once said, I felt like I had déjà vu all over again while watching the 100th PGA Championship. A week after the PGA Tour went to the homogenous Firestone Country Club for the final time, it took on the equally bland Bellerive Country Club for the first time in a decade. And I was surprised to learn Bellerive isn’t French for “dogleg left.”
  • “While the St. Louis course produced a star-studded leader board and a fantastic finish – two things that are easily the most essential to a memorable tournament – the track itself was forgotten as soon as Brooks Koepka put on his cape and flew away. Whereas a great course forges an added layer of connection with golf fans through recognizable holes – and helps build buzz before and during an event (Unlike, “Did you see where Brooks hit his tee shot on… um… that par 4?”) – I’m not sure that even fans who watched all four days could pinpoint any specific holes other than “that one they made drivable a couple rounds and almost got several fans killed.” That was No. 11, by the way. I had to look it up myself.”


8. Vogel’s ludicrous Monday qualifying run continues
  • “The story of T.J. Vogel continues to grow, as on Monday the 27-year-old passed through a PGA Tour Monday qualifier for the eighth(!) time this season.”
  • “It seemed unfathomable when Patrick Reed got through six in 2012, but here we are.
  • “Vogel fired a 5-under 66 in a Wyndham Championship Monday qualifier at Bermuda Run (N.C.) Country Club’s East Course, birdieing his final two holes. That got him in a four-way tie for second. With four total spots up for grabs, he had to survive a 4-for-3 playoff to get through, which he did.”
9. Sorry!
Redditor iBigBoyBrian posted the picture below with the caption…
GolfWRX Morning 9: 8 U.S. Ryder Cuppers set | PGA ratings highest since ’09 | Lowry vs. rules official

GolfWRX Morning 9: 8 U.S. Ryder Cuppers set | PGA ratings highest since ’09 | Lowry vs. rules official

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