TOPGOLFGEARS Morning 9: Lexi steps away | Questions for the PGA | 50 best locker rooms

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July 26, 2018
Good Thursday morning, golf fans. .
GolfWRX Morning 9: Lexi steps away | Questions for the PGA | 50 best locker rooms
1. Lexi WDs from British “to work on myself
Lexi Thompson withdrew from the 2018 Women’s British Open Wednesday.
  • She posted the following to Instagram: “It is extremely difficult for me not to play in this prestigious Major, but I realized recently that I need to take some time to work on myself. The events of the past year and a half (on and off the golf course) have taken a tremendous toll on me both mentally and emotionally. I have not truly felt like myself for quite some time.”
  • Thompson added she is “taking this time to recharge my mental batteries, and to focus on myself away from the game of professional golf. Thank you all so much for your continued support.”
  • The harshness of the spotlight is unimaginable for we average folk. Thompson took the ANA penalty last year tough, clearly, and her mother is battling cancer. Still just 23, Thompson has been in the public eye for a decade. Stepping away is more than understandable, and you have to wish her the best.
2. Questions for the incoming PGA CEO
Pete Bevacqua’s successor will have to answer some key questions,
  • “The move comes at a curious time, with the PGA weighing one of its most consequential decisions in its history- from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., to Frisco, Texas-and with Bevacqua barely into a contract extension that was to run through 2024 and paying him more than $1 million annually, according to sources.”
  • “One of the more pressing is that the association’s contract with CBS Sports for broadcast rights to the PGA Championship expires after next year’s tournament. That will be the (at Bethpage Black, in New York) thanks to Bevacqua accommodating the PGA Tour’s wishes to condense its season for a late August conclusion. Without the PGA of America agreeing to move its oldest championship from August, the tour’s grand plan doesn’t materialize.”
  • “Of equal importance is maintaining and improving services to the nearly 29,000 PGA professionals who comprise the largest sports organization in the world.”
3. Ryder Cup shakeup

Time is ticking on the Ryder Cup clock and captain Jim Furyk has some tough decisions to make, .

  • “The eight automatic qualifiers will be set in 2 ½ short weeks, after the PGA Championship, a narrow window that makes at least half of Furyk’s team essentially locks.”
  • “From Brooks Koepka, No. 1 on the U.S. points, to Jordan Spieth, No. 6, there are few, if any, scenarios that could keep that half dozen from qualifying for this year’s matches, even with next week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational (which is worth 1 ½ points for every $1,000 earned) and the PGA (2 points per $1,000) looming.
  • That essentially leaves the final two automatic qualifiers, currently held by Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson, up for grabs. To give an idea of how thin the margins are between the Ryder Cup haves and have nots, Simpson overtook Bryson DeChambeau for the last spot when he tied for 12th at Carnoustie. DeChambeau tied for 51st in Scotland.”
  • Then the real fun of captains picks begins…
4. But what does it mean?
Credit to Geoff Shackelford for looking at the sponsor/ad implications of the highest-rated British Open in years.
  • “Among the markers who spent the most in order to bask in Tiger’s reflected glory were Mercedes-Benz, Geico, Rolex, Pacific Life, Travelers, U.S. Bank, Farmers Insurance, Toyota and Volkswagen. According to estimates, Mercedes racked up some 60.6 million impressions during Sunday’s round, which works out to a very reasonable CPM of $25.60.”
  • “Callaway also got a fair amount of milage from the Open, as the golf gear brand throughout the four-day tourney was featured several times in NBC’s “Playing Through” ad format. Designed to keep viewers plugged into the action on the links while giving the sponsor a chance to shill its wares to a highly-targeted audience of golf enthusiasts, the split-screen execution offered a window on the goings-on in Carnoustie on the left side, while Callaway spokesman Phil Mickelson warned viewers that one of his Chrome Soft balls was about to pass through their living rooms.”


5. Molinari on Molinari
Eduardo Molinari weighed in on his brother’s Open win for   
  • “I started to think he could win it when he got to the turn. The two massive putts in my opinion were the par putts on the 12th and 13th, because he managed to stay tied for the lead. When you play the 14th, nine times out of ten you make a birdie there downwind, and if he did that on Sunday it would have meant he would go one ahead, which of course he did. He was playing well, so I was sure he wouldn’t make any bogeys on the last four holes. That meant everyone had to go and catch him, which is very difficult at Carnoustie.”
  •  “Francesco has always behaved well and been liked by other pros.  He puts in so much hard work that he’s earned the respect of everyone. In the end he deserved what he got a Carnoustie. It’s a privilege to have such a good relationship with Francesco, playing with him in the World Cup of Golf and The Ryder Cup, too. We’ve always been very close and help each other as much as possible. I hope this isn’t a unique win and that there will be more to follow.”
6. Golf’s best locker rooms
You can almost smell the mahogany and aftershave… 
  • Golf Digest, with its unfettered access, has put together a ranking of the 50 best locker rooms in America.
  • Even acknowledging that the list must necessarily be woefully incomplete and subjective, it’s a fun read.
  • No. 1: Seminole…“It is quiet, pleasant and elegant-one of the better places in Florida to change your shoes,” Dan Jenkins wrote in 1965. Not much has changed in more than 50 years. With 30-foot-high wood ceilings, taxidermy on the walls and gold lettering on boards listing winners of the club’s prestigious tournaments, you step back in time here.”
7. Power ranking: Canadian Open edition
Who doesn’t love a little power ranking? If for no other reason than to see how notoriously difficult golf prognostication is..
  • Top 5: Kisner, Koepka, Hoffman, Finau, Johnson
  • Sidebar: I did a bit of research a couple of years back to see how Tour winners generally play in their start prior to a win. The answer: The vast majority either finish top 30 or miss the cut…for what little that may be worth.
8. Random stuff you find on golf courses
…anger management edition. 
  • Hooked on Golf’s Tony Klongbero posted a picture of half of a shaft standing erect in the fairway.
  • “If I pull this shaft out, will the remaining invisible part of the shaft and the club head come out of the ground with it?  I doubt it.”
  • “So what happened here?
  • My guess is some guy snapped.  Maybe he had some problems at work before the round.  Maybe he had some problems with his girlfriend, which his wife found out about.  Maybe he was driving it poorly and went OB right.  Maybe he just 3-jacked the last green. Maybe golf finally won the battle for his sanity.”
  •  Indeed. It’s always interesting to see the results of accident and rage on the links.
9. Gear Dive into “Tour Spec”
What exactly does the term mean?
For your listening pleasure, Johnny Wunder poses that very question to Fujikura Tour Rep Marshall Thompson.

GolfWRX Morning 9: Lexi steps away | Questions for the PGA | 50 best locker rooms

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