Topgolfgears Morning 9: Dirty socks and dreams come true | Plenty to work on for Tiger | 1-foot blood clot

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1.  Dirty socks and dreams come true
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell with this look at Georgia Hall’s Open triumph….”Georgia Hall’s father walked behind his daughter with her golf bag over his shoulder and a lump in his throat.”
  • “A plasterer by trade, he knows what it’s like now to walk through his dream…Actually, his daughter’s dream, too, the one they shared from practically the moment he first stuck a club in her hands in Bournemouth in the south of England.”
  • “Per his daughter’s orders at week’s start, Wayne Hall didn’t show any of the emotions he was feeling while caddying for her Sunday at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. He even choked back the joy in his throat as he watched his daughter wave to all those cheering Brits along the 18th fairway.”
  • “He waited until the last putt fell and the Ricoh Women’s British Open was officially won to allow a tear to fall. They came in a waterfall in the end, when he hugged Sam, his wife and Georgia’s mother.”
  • “We’ve been dreaming this since she was 7 years old, practicing and pretending to knock in putts to win the British Open,” Wayne said after. “And it’s actually happened.”
  • “At journey’s conclusion, Wayne allowed himself another emotion. He laughed. Per his daughter’s other orders, he wore the same pair of dirty socks all four rounds toting her bag. He would finally get to wash them.”

 

2.  Thomas triumphant
AP report...”The 25-year-old never wavered Sunday, beginning the day with a three-shot lead and only making a single bogey. His lead was never lower than two and reached as much as five as he cruised to a 1-under 69, a 15-under total and a four-shot victory at Firestone.”
  • “The win is the third of the season for Thomas, who has nine PGA Tour victories overall. A week after Dustin Johnson became the second player this season to win three PGA Tour events (with Bubba Watson being the other), Thomas joins that group.
  • “This was simply 72 holes of pristine golf for Thomas. He opened the week in 65 and grabbed a share of the lead with a second-round 64. On a more difficult Saturday, he took command with six birdies and a 3-under 67 to move into his three-shot cushion.”
3. Plenty to work on ahead of the PGA for Woods
It wasn’t a great weekend (or final three rounds) for Tiger Woods at Firestone.
had this to say…
  • “The eight-time winner instead went out with an 11-foot birdie putt at 18 Sunday and raised his hat in appreciation. He walked off the green with a big smile on his face, but he never stopped to look back and take it all in.”
  • “Things could have certainly gone better,” Woods said. “But it is what it is and (we’re) on to next week.”
  • “Woods arrived with plenty of optimism. He was short on practice time after a family vacation and didn’t hit as many balls as he normally would the week going into a tournament. But he needed the break after the British Open build-up with the PGA Championship and at least two playoff events on the horizon. He had plenty to feel good about.”
  • “My game’s gotten better and good enough where I feel like I can win again out here on Tour,” Woods said.
  • “His last go-round in Akron was a step back in that regard. Woods never truly looked comfortable for an entire round and shot even-par 280 on the week, including a pair of 3-over 73s on the weekend.”
  • “Everything. Play better,” said caddie Joe LaCava, who was still in good spirits Sunday afternoon. “I think in this particular case, everything can be improved. That’s just a fact. He’d tell you the same thing. Everything needs work right now. But it’s all good.”
  • “Putting wasn’t the problem at Firestone. He wasn’t as sharp with his irons, he didn’t find the fairway as often as he did at Carnoustie and he didn’t have the same prowess with his wedges around the green.”
4. The foot-long blood clot(!)
BBC report…Troy Merritt “said his arm swelled to twice its normal size and turned purple, when his wife told him to get it looked at.”
  • “Surgeons removed the clot which went from his left bicep, through his arm pit and into his left pectoral muscle.”
  • “I’m not in pain, but I can’t move my arm very much,” said the 32-year-old. Merritt – who won the Barbasol Championship two weeks ago, his second PGA Tour title – is scheduled to tee off at 14:51 BST in the final major of the year on Thursday. He is not expected to play in the practice rounds at Bellerive in St Louis, Missouri.”
GolfWRX Morning 9: Dirty socks and dreams come true | Plenty to work on for Tiger | 1-foot blood clot
5. Bad math?
Interesting stuff from Martin Kaufmann as he looks at estimate for the economic impact of a golf tournament in general and the PGA Championship in particular.
  • .”This month’s PGA Championship in St. Louis will generate $102 million in economic benefits for the state of Missouri….Actually, it won’t. But inevitably, many fans watching or reading about the PGA Championship will hear or see that figure thrown about.”
  • “As in every sport these days, big events bring big claims of economic windfalls for the host cities. Tourism officials on Long Island projected the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills would generate $120 million in economic benefit. (Or maybe it was $130 million. Who’s counting?) A similar number was floated by the Angus (Scotland) Council this year with regard to the British Open at Carnoustie. Over the years, the Masters has been said to bring in a comparable nine-figure haul to Augusta, Ga.”
  • “These numbers bubble up from local chambers and tourism bureaus, are touted by local politicians and often are cited by tournament organizers and governing bodies.
  • “The problem is this: These estimates are wildly inflated, according to experts.” The main thing that economists have a problem with is that maybe these economic-impact studies do an OK job measuring gross economic activity, but not net economic activity,” said Victor A. Matheson, a professor of economics at the College of the Holy Cross.””
  • “Matheson, who has researched and written on this subject for two decades, said these studies fail to address the key question: “How much new economic activity is taking place thanks to this event?” The best guess is that it’s a small fraction of the nine-figure estimates widely reported.”
6 The cost of progress?
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard made a good point…”Firestone isn’t the only casualty of next year’s condensed PGA Tour schedule, but it is the toughest change.”
  • “The South Course has been a fixture on Tour since 1976, the year it hosted its first World Series of Golf, and had become the biggest and best small-town event in the game. A classic venue with a cozy feel.”
  • “Next year the World Golf Championship will relocate to Memphis and will be called the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and Firestone will host the Senior Players Championship. It’s not exactly a fair tradeoff, but it is the unfortunate cost of progress.”
7. Harper on Woods
“The Forecaddie was there to take it all in, and he noticed a familiar face towering over the rest of the crowd – five-time NBA champion Ron Harper. A key piece of the Chicago Bulls dynasty, Harper apparently loves golf like former teammate Michael Jordan and has known Woods for years.”
  • “Harper tells The Man Out Front how they first met, and he’s been playing close attention ever since.”
  • “When he first turned pro I was at Michael’s house and Tiger was staying there, so I had a chance to talk to him then,” Harper said. “He had just come out of Stanford, so he was a really great guy then and he’s still the same guy to this day.”
  • “Listen, I’ve been a guy who played hurt, so I know how he feels,” Harper said. “When he’s the best player and you hear all the stories, the main thing I always told him was to do you, have faith in you, just take your time. It’s so gratifying to see him back, to see him playing again. Not just being one of the top players but seeing him pain free again. It’s a great thing for him, it’s great for the sport, and he transcends a lot of energy to what this game is all about.”
8. DJ’s weekend putter switch
An item of note you may have missed: Dustin Johnson isn’t necessarily a frequent putter switcher, but he does seem to change it up at interesting times. Case in point: DJ put a TaylorMade Spider Mini in play Saturday at Firestone.
  • “I felt like even the first two rounds I played OK, but I struggled on the greens a little bit… felt like I was working really hard on the putting and it just wasn’t getting any better, so I switched putters and it worked a little bit.”
  • It worked. He was 10 under for the weekend.
9. Hammer time
The 18-year-old captured the famed Western Amateur in impressive fashion this weekend.
  • Golfweek’s Kevin Casey writes...Hammer beat “Alabama’s Davis Riley, 1 up, in a Saturday afternoon final to capture the Western Amateur. Hammer’s victory makes him the second straight 18-year-old to capture the prestigious amateur title, as Norman Xiong did so in 2017. But those pair make up just two of five 18-year-old winners of the event, with one of the others being Tiger Woods (1994).”
  • “The incoming Texas freshman makes this the second Western Am win for a Longhorn player in five years, as Beau Hossler captured the title in 2014.”
  • Hammer, of Houston, Texas, fired a course record 10-under 61 in the third round of stroke play at Sunset Ridge Country Club in Northfield, Ill., on his way to a 23-under total over 72 holes and co-medalist honors. But once match play started, he was fully tested.

 

GolfWRX Morning 9: Dirty socks and dreams come true | Plenty to work on for Tiger | 1-foot blood clot

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