Topgolfgears Morning 9: Bubble boys’ unknown agony | Snedeker parlays 59 to trophy | Golfer’s finger bitten off (by golfer)

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1. Sneds!
If you shoot 59 in one of the four rounds of a PGA Tour event, you should ultimately win the event, no? Fortunately, Brandt Snedeker parlayed his record score into his first win since 2016.
  • “Shooting 59 on Thursday, your expectations go through the roof,” Snedeker said, also expressing pride that he could “cap it off the way we did today, to play pretty much a flawless round of golf.”
  • C.T. Pan’s undoing was also…interesting…AP report: “For a while, it looked like it might come down to a playoff between Pan and Snedeker, who were even at 20 under entering Pan’s final hole.”
  • “But the 26-year-old from Taiwan ran into big trouble: Pan shanked his tee shot out of bounds off a cart path down the right side of the fairway and needed four shots, including the penalty stroke, to reach the green on the par 4.”
  • “Pan said he heard “a couple noises in my head which caused me to hit a bad shot….”It’s my fault. I can learn something from it,” he said. “I only played one bad hole, which is fine. You know, I’ve still got a lot of golf left.”
2. A Norwegian takes the U.S. Am
AP Report on the 20-year-old’s win…”Viktor Hovland’s week at the U.S. Amateur went so well that even when he made rare mistakes with drives into hazards, it didn’t end up hurting him at all.”
  • “Hovland recovered from one to take the lead for good on the fourth hole of the 36-hole final and another to halve the final hole of the morning round and maintain a 4-stroke lead.”
  • “Hovland rolled from there to become the first Norwegian to win the U.S. Amateur, beating UCLA sophomore Devon Bling 6 and 5 on Sunday to cap a dominant week at Pebble Beach.”
  • “I’ve had a lot of tournaments before where I hit the ball really well, but the few times I missed a green or hit a bad shot I haven’t been able to scramble or make putts,” he said. “This week it kind of all came together, which is really cool.”
Really cool, indeed.
3. Bryant’s first W since wife’s death
Cheers to Bart Bryant for his first victory since his wife’s death from cancer in April of 2017. Hard to imagine the ordeal he and his wife went through as she endured treatment for brain cancer while he tried to keep doing his job on the PGA Tour Champions.
  • John Strege writes…”Bryant, 55, holed a 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th green at En-Joie Golf Club in Endicott, N.Y., the difference in his one-stroke victory in the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open.
  • “It’s been a long road in life and and a long road in golf, and the golf just hasn’t been very good. The last three or four months I’ve started to feel I had something, I just wasn’t making the putts. This week I finally made four or five putts over 20 feet or maybe longer. I think that’s what put me over the top. Hopefully it’s going to kick start into better things.”
  • “Cathy Bryant was diagnosed with brain cancer on Mother’s Day, 2016. It claimed her life on April 5, 2017. The 2017 season was the least productive of his PGA Tour Champions career; he failed to post a top 10 in 15 starts.”
4. Getting out of Park at the Brickyard
Soft greens + preferred lies = time to step on the gas. That’s exactly what Sung Hyun Park did, which is fitting, considering the venue
  • Jennifer Meyer of LPGA.com writes…”Park fired a final round 4-under par, 68 to share the lead with Lizette Salas at 23-under to end regulation on Sunday. The two headed to No. 18 for a sudden death playoff.  It took only one hole for the Republic of Korea native to defeat Salas and earn her third victory of the season at the Indy Women in Tech Championship Driven by Group.”
  • “Park, who was the first player to win the Rolex Rookie of the Year and Rolex Player of the Year awards in the same year since Nancy Lopez achieved the feat in 1978, is projected to take over the most prestigious title of them all. The current world No.4 is projected to overtake Ariya Jutanugarn at No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings following her win in Indianapolis. It’s a position Park held once before for a week in November 2017.”
5. The merciless Wyndham
Shane Ryan penned a piece on the under-the-radar drama of the regular season’s final event for the (often unknowing) bubble boys.
  • “And yet, belying the lackluster atmosphere, there are very real, very personal, and very hidden acts of drama playing out on this course. Hurley thought he needed that putt on the ninth hole, and though nobody else realized it, and though you wouldn’t see the shot on TV, the stakes-at least for him-were quite high. He was playing in the last year of a full exemption after winning the 2016 Quicken Loans Invitational, and it had not been a dream season. As you’d expect for someone that far down the points list-he began the week 202nd-his 2018 story is a story of missed cuts.”
  • “Yet, though he didn’t know it at that moment he missed that final birdie putt missed, Hurley was projected to finish 200th in the FedEx Cup standings. If Hurley could finish 200 or better, he would earn a spot in the Web.Com Tour Finals series. From there, he could fight against a field of 150 golfers-75 from the PGA Tour, 75 from the Web.com-for one of 25 PGA Tour cards for next season. But if he stayed at 202 or 201, no such luck.”
  • And on Sergio…”Garcia came close. At 3:40 p.m., with the front nine behind him, the Spaniard was one shot clear of the cut-off. Then he made bogey on three of five holes-betrayal of the driver and the wedge-and he fell back into the shadowlands. The beneficiary was Seamus Power, who missed the cut here on Friday, but who now rose from 126th to 125th. Garcia had a chance to rescue himself, but he needed more than the two birdies he managed coming in. How he felt when he finished 128th is anybody’s guess-he managed to sneak away before any journalist could brave the difficult approach.”
 
 
6. And the analytics suggest…
Rich Hunt is back with his always excellent look at who the U.S. Ryder Cup captain–in this case one Jim Furyk–ought to choose to round out his roster.
Some of Hunt’s Secret Sauce
“There are some simple statistical rules to follow for optimal picks:
  1. Seek out quality performers around the green as it helps most in the Foursome (alternate shot) and individual match play format.
  2. You want birdie makers and quality performers on each of the holes (par-3’s, par-4’s and par-5’s) for the Fourball (best score) format.
  3. Ryder Cup experience doesn’t mean anything if the player is a poor Ryder Cup performer.
  4. All things being equal, take the younger player.
  5. Lean towards the player who fits into both Fourball and Foursome formats over the slightly better player that only fits well into one format.”
Who does this formula point to? Tiger Woods, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Cantlay, and Tony Finau.
7. Ms. Thompson afoul of the rules again
In case you missed it, Lexi Thompson tried to lift and clean her tee ball after it landed in the opposite fairway at the Women in Tech, Saturday. A rules official stepped in and had her replace the ball in its original position–which saved Thompson another penalty stroke for playing her ball out of position.
  • After the round, she didn’t point to spacing out or some mental malfunction, rather (and troublingly) it seems she was unaware of what the preferred lies local rule stipulated…something everyone who has ever played in a soggy club event knows.
  • This may be an unpopular opinion, but Lexi Thompson ought to make the Rules of Golf the final entry on her summer reading list.
8. Golfer has finger bitten off…by another golfer
Honestly, I wasn’t sure where to position this story in today’s M9. In a sense, a golfer biting off another golfer’s finger ought to top all other stories…Anyway, details are scarce, but here’s what Dan Kilbridge from Golfweek wrote.
  • “Things took a barbaric turn Friday night during a fight at Southers Marsh Golf Club in Plymouth, Mass…A 47-year-old man was arrested and charged with mayhem after allegedly biting another man’s finger off during the altercation.”
  • “WCVB reports that after two foursomes got into it on the course. Firefighters arrived to find that one of the men had his finger bitten off down to the knuckle. The rest of his finger was on ice.”
  • Someone please dispatch a reporter to Plymouth to get the full story! But more importantly, sorry about your finger, sir, and here’s hoping it could be reattached.
9. Broken club, busted head
From one bizarre golf injury to another. In case you missed this story in the weekend shuffle, Kevin Stadler smashed his club into the turf at the WinCo Portland Open, and the club head smashed a spectator in the head.
  • ESPN’s Bob Harig writes...”The club broke somewhere near the bottom of the shaft and hit a spectator in the head, causing injuries that required six stitches, according to Orlando Pope, a Web.com Tour rules official who got an explanation from players in the group.’
  • “Stadler ended up missing the cut in the last regular-season event of the Web.com Tour schedule. He was not available for comment.”

GolfWRX Morning 9: Bubble boys’ unknown agony | Snedeker parlays 59 to trophy | Golfer’s finger bitten off (by golfer)

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