GolfWRX Morning 9: The handshake snub heard ’round the world | DJ the honorary Canadian
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1. DeChambeau’s brief handshake
Bryson DeChambeau looked well on his way to capturing the Porsche European Open, Sunday. Instead, he went 5 over for his final four holes and final-round 6-over 78.
DeChambeau’s fall allowed journeyman Richard McEvoy to hoist his first trophy. However, the feel-good story of a long-time pro winning for the first time was unfortunately trumped by something else: an apparent snub from DeChambeau as he exited the 18th green.
DeChambeau later offered this apology via Instagram: I apologize to Richard McEvoy and the fans for my brevity on 18. He is a class act, worthy champion and I enjoyed playing with him the past two days.”
2. Canadian Open
“Johnson birdied all four of the par fives at Glen Abbey Golf Club en route to a 6-under-par 66, and captured his third event of the season by three shots over Whee Kim and Byeong Hun An.
He retained his spot on top of the FedExCup standings with the victory. It was his 19th-career TOUR win, all since 2008. He topped Tiger Woods’ record of 18 in the last decade, and the significance of his accomplishment wasn’t lost on Johnson.”
“Obviously I’m doing something very well,” he said. “To even be mentioned in the same sentence as Tiger means a lot. What he’s done for the game, the things he’s done in the game. No one is ever really going to get to that level.”
“Johnson, who was buoyed by Canadian crowd support all week long – a chant of “Let’s Go DJ” broke out as he was walking to the 18th green – and said he felt like an “honorary Canadian.” The fans even sang a rendition of “O Canada,” the country’s national anthem, at Johnson – who grew up in South Carolina and lives in Florida.”
3. Ariya gets a (big) links win
Keely Levins writes…”It’s created an odd dynamic where anyone on tour could win at any time, while at the same time with so many different winners, it feels nearly impossible to stand out.”
“If there is one player, though, who might rise above the sea of talent and begin to take control, it’s Ariya Jutanugarn. With her one-shot win over Minjee Lee on Sunday at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open, the 22-year-old from Thailand notched her third victory of the year, and the 10th of her career.”
“Jutanugarn closed with a five-under 66 at Gullane Golf Club in East Lothian, Scotland, making just one bogey to six birdies. The win was unexpected for Jutanugarn, as she doesn’t see links golf as a strength.”
“It means a lot to me to win the tournament. I told the caddie this week, you know, what I really want to win on a links course, even one time in my life will be good. So right now my dream come true,” Jutanugarn said. (She won the 2016 Women’s British Open, but it was at Woburn Golf Club, a parkland course.)
4. Most likely to use the claret jug for its intended purpose
AP Report on Jimenez’s Senior British Triumph…”Miguel Angel Jimenez won the Senior British Open on Sunday, edging defending champion Bernhard Langer by one shot.”
“Jimenez dropped only one stroke en route to a final round 3-under 69 and ended on 12-under 276 at the historic Old Course.”
“The Spaniard played the sort of round every professional golfer dreams of on the final day at St. Andrews, and often in unpleasant – occasionally vicious – weather conditions.”
5. How the Italian Golf Federation helped Francesco Molinari
Alistair Tait with a fascinating piece
“Where the Italian system differs from the British and Irish systems is that support carries on into the professional game. Elite amateurs in the British Isles are basically cast out on their own once they jump into the money game. There also isn’t much association between elite amateurs and established professionals.”
“The Italian Golf Federation paid every expense I had when I was an amateur,” Molinari said. “When I turned professional they helped me for the first two years. When they knew I was doing well they stopped the funding to help other players.”
“Molinari benefitted from having former and current tour players to call on for advice. The Italian Federation organizes camps where tour pros and amateurs mix, with the professionals mentoring the youngsters. Indeed, when I sat down with Molinari he’d recently taken part in one such Italian Golf Federation camp where he’d mentored young amateurs.”
“Golf in Italy is quite a small environment,” Molinari said. “If you play decently then you get to know the best professionals when you’re an amateur. You know everybody. It was a really good thing for us to spend time with tour players like Alberto Binaghi and Silvio Grappasonni, because they could tell us how to think on the golf course and how to handle ourselves.”
“What the federation is doing with the amateurs and professionals gives us an advantage over other countries who don’t mix the two. The great thing about Italy is that it is one big happy family where we mix well and support each other.”
6. Tiger’s Firestonian dominance
Tiger Woods has played some decent golf at Firestone Country Club, hasn’t he? David Dusek looks at the numbers ahead of Woods/everyone’s final appearance at Firestone (the tournament is moving to Memphis next year).
“Woods has won eight times and collected three other top-5 finishes. He plays there this week for the first time since 2014.”
“Woods’ first three victories at Firestone – in 1999, 2000 and 2001 – pre-date ShotLink, the PGA Tour’s shot-tracking system, so there are no strokes gained statistics for them. It is known, however, that in those events Woods averaged 302, 320 and 311 yards per tee shot. Also known is that in the 1999 tournament, he hit 74 percent of the greens in regulation, and in 2000 and 2001 he hit 72 percent.”
“Strokes gained tee-to-green compares a player’s performance against the field average in every shot hit from off the putting green. In Woods’ five ShotLink-era wins (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2013), his rank in strokes gained tee-to-green has been third, third, first, second and third. Not too shabby.”
7. Golfers go to sea?
Here’s an interesting one…
“Gene Meehan’s latest venture is Blue World Voyages, a nascent cruise line that plans to carve out a niche serving people with active lifestyles. Blue World plans to place a big emphasis on golf. The company recently signed Hank Haney Golf to create onboard programs and help oversee tournaments at various ports.”
“In November, Blue World Voyages will begin retrofitting a nine-deck, 900-passenger vessel to accommodate 350 passengers. An entire deck will be devoted to sports. That will include two golf simulators, a putting green and pro shop, and a teaching pro from Haney’s staff. The deck also will be outfitted with batting cages, soccer simulators, studios for yoga, spinning and TRX, and other facilities.”
“Despite the onboard amenities, Meehan said Blue Voyage plans to dock for longer periods than is normal in the industry, allowing guests to spend more time on land playing golf, hiking, biking and exploring various destinations.”
Meehan said Blue World would like to have 20 to 30 golfers weekly, with the goal of playing three courses during a seven-day itinerary. Meehan envisions scheduling tournaments in various ports, then inviting the club members back to the ship for a meal.”
8. Trump courses
AP Report…”U.S. President Donald Trump’s family business partially destroyed legally protected sand dunes in Scotland when it built a golf course north of Aberdeen, according to government reports released in response to a freedom of information request.”
“Scottish Natural Heritage, which monitors the country’s sensitive and scientifically important sites, found that construction of Trump International Golf Links Scotland “led to the direct loss” of up to 68 hectares (168 acres) of the 205-hectare Foveran Links site.”
“The damaged and destroyed drifts, one of the best examples of moving sand dunes in Britain, developed over 4,000 years, according to the agency.”
9. DJ the mountie
For your viewing pleasure (no disrespect to my Canadian Morning 9ers).