Topgolfgears Morning 9: Anonymous pro survey! | How much golf execs make | Fighting for underdog status
1 Anonymous survey time!
Not for you (sorry), but rather, Golf’s famed anonymous survey of PGA pros has made its seasonal return.
While the questions are many and the percentages plenty interesting, here are three of note.
ARE YOU CONCERNED THAT TOUR PLAYERS ARE HITTING THE BALL TOO FAR?
DO YOU FEEL YOUR OWN PACE OF PLAY IS ACCEPTABLE?
WILL TIGER WIN ANOTHER TOUR EVENT?
2. Evian: Torres in front
AP Report on the (mercifully non-deluged) first-round action from France…”Maria Torres, a rookie from Puerto Rico, and Carlota Ciganda of Spain each shot six-under-par 65 on Thursday for a share of the first-round lead at the Evian Championship, the fifth and final major championship on the L.P.G.A. Tour.”
“Ciganda had six birdies and no birdies, while Torres carded an eagle to help offset two bogeys in her round here at the Evian Resort Golf Club.”
“Austin Ernst, an American, had sole possession of third place at five under. So Yeon Ryu of South Korea, Brooke Henderson of Canada and Nasa Hataoka of Japan were a stroke behind Ernst.”
“Inbee Park of South Korea and Georgia Hall of England headlined a group of 10 tied for seventh at three under.”
3. Who’s the real underdog?
Certainly, it’s beneficial for both the U.S. and European sides to arrive in Paris with chips on their collective shoulders. And assuredly, no one–save for Thomas Pieters, perhaps–wants to give the opposite side bulletin board material. Thus, it’s not surprising to hear Patrick Reed say that he and his defending champion U.S. squad are underdogs in this Ryder Cup.
Golfweek’s Brentley Romine writes…”Furyk’s squad also boasts 31 total major championships and have accounted for six of the last eight major titles. There was the Americans’ dominating performance two years ago at Hazeltine, where the U.S. routed the Europeans, 17-11. And Vegas currently has the U.S. as a 1-to-2 favorite to retain the Cup this year.”
“Yet despite all of those things, Patrick Reed says his team is embracing an underdog role as they prepare to compete at Le Golf National.”
“We feel great and we can’t wait to get over there and try to end the drought of not winning overseas,” Reed said Wednesday during a press conference for the Hong Kong Open. “I feel that kind of takes a little bit of pressure off us and puts more pressure on the European team because they’re the ones that have had so much success overseas, that everyone thinks we’re going to come in and they’re going to win the Cup again….So we’re going to go in and feel like we’re the underdogs and try to play the best that we can.”
4. KLM Open: Wu ahead of Wood
First round at the KLM Open…per EuropeanTour.com…”Wu Ashun will take a one-shot lead into the second round of the KLM Open after firing a bogey-free 64 on day one at The Dutch.”
“The Chinese arrived in Spijk off the back of a top ten in Switzerland last week and continued that form with seven birdies to get to seven under.”
“Chris Wood was also blemish-free in carding a 65 in the morning and there was then a group of 13 players two shots off the lead on a very congested leaderboard.”
At the time of this writing, Wu is 5 under through 17 holes in his second round and is in front by three.
5. What people in golf earn
An anonymous pro survey and pay data in one newsletter, oh my!
John Paul Newport, forever of the Wall Street Journal, now contributing to Golf Digest rounds up pay data for our favorite executives.
After a lengthy introduction in which he explains the nature of executive compensation (thanks), Newport reveals Jay Monahan earns just north of $3.6 million and more of the monetary morsels you see in the table above.
6. Spieth on a knife edge
Joel Beall on the vagaries of the game, Jordan Spieth’s proximity to more major championships, and our perception of the boy wonder.
“There is an alternate 2018 timeline for Jordan Spieth. A cosmos featuring the 25-year-old slipping into the green jacket for a second time following the greatest comeback in Masters history. Where he becomes just the third player in the last 35 years to successfully defend the claret jug. Likely the No. 1 in the sport, he heads to East Lake seeking his second FedEx Cup title in four years. A world in which Spieth’s peers aren’t Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson or Brooks Koepka but Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan.”
“Depending on your beliefs in the multiverse, perhaps that realm exists. In the one we actually live in, Spieth’s 2018 is decidedly not that.”
“This Spieth season has been marked by struggle. His earnings were the lowest of his six-year career, and he failed to claim a PGA Tour title for the first time since 2014. (He also had no runner-up finishes, another unwanted first on his résumé.) Spieth did not advance to the Tour Championship, creating the ignominious situation of likely facing fine or suspension for not making the minimum required starts on tour. When he makes his next appearance, he will be outside the OWGR top 10. Spieth did earn an automatic selection to the Ryder Cup, although if the point system was based on his play this year alone, there’s a chance Spieth would not have a ticket to Paris.”
7. For your weekend listening pleasure
Our Michael Williams speaks with Master Putting Instructor Bruce Rearick, who gives his insights on how to make the successful switch from anchored putting–a topic of interest following Keegan Bradley’s non-anchored victory. He also chats with Golf Channel Course Architecture Editor Brad Klein, who, fun fact, when I asked him for advice, once told me a website I created looked like a middle school web design project. I cannot say he was completely off base.
8. Martin Kaymer and the caddie he won two majors with part ways
Martin Kaymer has split with his longtime caddie, Craig Connelly. Connelly confirmed the news on Twitter:.”All good things come to an end.” The Scottish looper was on Kaymer’s bag for his 2010 PGA Championship and 2014 U.S. Open wins. Kaymer has neither commented nor announced a replacement.
9. Ryder Cup garb revealed
Golf Digest’s Brittany Romano with the details on how the U.S. side will be dressing themselves…or being dressed, as the case may be…”Outfitting an entire team of golfers for an international event can be tricky. Not knowing who will make the 2018 Ryder Cup Team and what silhouettes to cater to makes things even more difficult. Willing to accept the challenge for the USA Ryder Cup uniforms, Ralph Lauren curated a patriotic and classic collection that will look good on every player.”
“The U.S. team will show up to Le Golf National wearing white pants for the first days of the competition, Friday and Sunday. The Saturday look includes a high-fashion pinstripe pant that will be a must-see. As always, unpredictable forecasts make layering a necessity. The designers at Ralph Lauren made sure to create thoughtful pieces that not just match but enhance each look. Each item in the Ralph Lauren Ryder Cup Team Collection is versatile, stylish and performance-ready. Check out what the team will be wearing in Paris and where to buy each piece.”
, including the bold pinstripery you see below.