Morning 9: Does Mell speak for all on slow play? | DeChambeau pledges to pick up pace | Solheim surprise?

By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com; @benalberstadt on Instagram)

August 13, 2019

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans. A few pennies richer, I’m back from a few days in Atlantic City and some serious low-stakes gambling. 
 
I’m considering using this section to bloviate a bit more, because, well, it’s my newsletter. 
1. Mell: Golf must act now to end slow play
Certainly, the Golf Channel staffer speaks for many, so forgive me, Mr. Mell, for quoting at length…
“Slow play isn’t good for DeChambeau’s image, but more importantly, it isn’t good for the game’s. It’s not just media and social critics saying so. It’s the game’s best players. Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott are among the stars fed up with slow play…”
  • “…Yes, it was encouraging to see the PGA Tour respond more than superficially last weekend, with a pledge to “take a deeper look” at the problem and how ShotLink technology may assist. But, like DeChambeau, PGA Tour officials are asking us to have faith in them. The Tour has slow played its slow-play problem for so damn long, faith among players and fans is in short supply.”
  • “…The best way to break the game’s slow-play habit is to teach everyone to play by the same pace-of-play rules with the same penalties.”
  • “…you can’t fine amateurs, but that’s the beauty of this collaboration. It doesn’t matter where you’re playing, the best penalty is to a player’s scorecard. Whether it’s a one-shot or two-shot penalty, there is strong message sent up and down the game’s ranks, for whatever slow-play policy the governing bodies agree upon.”

Full piece.

2. DeChambeau pledges to pick up the pace
Roxanna Scott at Golfweek...”Nearly 72 hours after he was ridiculed and ripped apart on Twitter for his pace of play at the Northern Trust, and about 24 hours after the PGA Tour said it will review its policies on the issue, Bryson DeChambeau vowed that he will play faster.”
“Slow play affects the quality of the game for both players and our fans and I’ve always had the utmost respect for my playing partners, including JT and Tommy,” he wrote on Instagram. “I’m constantly trying to improve and I will do my very best to improve my pace. Golf is my passion and livelihood. It’s my responsibility to help improve the game to be more enjoyable for all. Pace of play has been an issue for golf at all levels for a long time, and I’m committed to being a part of the solution, not the problem. I want to be a good representative of the game and the @PGATour and I looking forward to working with the TOUR and fellow players to find a solution to slow play.”

Full piece.

3. No WD from TW yet
The Striped One is still slated to tee it up Thursday at Medinah…
Details on who’s he’s paired with and what he’s facing via Golfweek’s Bill Speros..
  • “Woods slipped to 38th in the FedEx Cup Standings after missing his WD at the Northern Trust. Only the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup Standings will advance to the Tour Championship next week. Woods won that event last year, ending a 5-year winless drought on the PGA Tour.”
  • “Only 69 players will be competing this week. There is no 36-hole cut. The minimum payout is $18,500. The top 70 players in the FedEx Cup Standings qualify for the BMW, but Kevin Na WD’d on Monday so that he could be with his wife, who is pregnant with their second child.”
  • “Woods begins play Thursday paired with C.T. Pan and Billy Horschel in a featured afternoon pairing that begins play at 12:54 p.m. ET on Thursday and 10:37 a.m. ET on Friday.”

Full piece.

4. Euro Solheim squad set; Pettersen gets picked
Golf Digest’s Keely Levins…”Eight members of the European Solheim Cup team qualified through points, which left four captain’s picks for Catriona Matthew to make on Monday for the event that begins Sept. 13 at Gleneagles in Scotland. The eight players who qualified were Carlota Ciganda, Anne Van Dam (the only rookie on the team), Caroline Hedwall, Charley Hull, Georgia Hall, Azahara Munoz, Caroline Masson and Anna Nordqvist. As expected, two of the captain’s picks were Bronte Law of England and Celine Boutier of France, the only European women to have won LPGA events in 2019. Matthew also selected Jodi Ewart Shadoff, who has played in two Solheim Cups, with a career record of 3-4-0. She is ranked No. 77 in the world and has had four top-10 finishes in 2019.”
  • “Matthew’s final pick was Suzann Pettersen, ranked No. 620 in the world, who has just returned to competitive golf. The last LPGA Tour event Pettersen played before starting her maternity leave was the 2017 CME Group Tour Championship. Pettersen and her husband, Christian Ringvold, announced the birth of their son in August 2018.”
Full piece.
5. Jason Day, Steve Williams split
Evan Priest at the Australian Associated Press…”Jason Day has parted ways with Steve Williams, widely regarded as the world’s most successful caddie, citing a disconnect of “old school and new school”.
  • “Former world No.1 Day and Williams agreed to end their partnership after the Australian missed the cut at the opening PGA Tour play-offs event, The Northern Trust last week.”
  • “Williams, 55, had caddied for Day in six events since June’s US Open and Day missed the cut in two of them, including the British Open, while he secured just one top-10 result.”

Full piece.

Queue that line up for your next letter of resignation! 
6. “America’s St. Andrews”
A bold (if self-serving) claim from one Gil Hanse… 
Here’s his thinking (per Golfweek’s Adam Woodard)
  • “If anywhere is capable of making USGA host-course history, it’s Pinehurst. The scale of the facility makes Pinehurst a perfect host, especially after its 2014 achievement of hosting both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open in back-to-back weeks.”
  • “It’s a town that’s completely committed to golf,” said Hanse. “I think it’s our St. Andrews.”
  • “Hanse will tell you that the most challenging aspect of his latest redesign was “the reverse mindset” of trying to put the landforms of the Carolina sandhills back in place that had become disconnected from the original layout.”
  • “We were oddly qualified to try to recreate nature, even though we prefer to work with nature,” said Hanse. “Changing those gears in our mindset was the most difficult aspect of it. Once we got that moving forward, then it became a little bit easier.”

Full piece. 

7. First Mexican on a Presidents Cup team
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Abraham Ancer’s finish at The Northern Trust locked up a spot on the International Presidents Cup team, meaning he’ll be the first-ever player from Mexico to participate in the biennial matches.”
  • “Ancer holed a 7-foot par putt on the final green to finish the week at 15 under, alone in second place and one shot behind Patrick Reed. After starting the week 10th in the International team standings, he moved all the way up to fifth and is now assured of staying inside the top-8 cutoff after this week’s BMW Championship.”
  • “I didn’t want to leave it to a decision. I wanted to lock it in,” Ancer told reporters. “That was one of my main, main goals for this year. That is something that is going to be an experience that I will never, never forget.”

Full piece.

8. “Part of the game”
That’s how looper Dave McNeilly described his split with Matt Wallace.
  • Per John Haughey at the BBC: “…but the county Antrim man refused to criticise the Englishman on Monday.”
  • “I’m not saying, ‘poor old me. I’ve been scapegoated’,” McNeilly told BBC Sport Northern Ireland.
  • “You have got to take responsibility for your part in it.
  • “The reason why I enjoyed working for Matt Wallace was because of that fire. It’s a caddie’s dream to have a player who is going to give you his all.”

Full piece.

9. Feinstein’s “friendly advice” for Tiger
Tongue-in-cheek headline from Feinstein, of course, because the eminent sportswriter and Woods are anything but amigos…
  • Among the many words he wrote…”I’m here to say I hope you play well this week in Chicago and get to defend your title next week at the Tour Championship in Atlanta. And then I hope you shut it down until next year. If you have to play in your 18-man exhibition in the Bahamas because of contractual obligations, OK, fine.”
  • “But that should be it. Just be captain of the U.S. Presidents Cup team, give someone who might make his Ryder Cup debut a year from now at Whistling Straits your possible playing spot, and practice being a fully involved leader because you’ll need to be that when you are overseeing the U.S. Ryder Cup team in 2022 or 2026. (We all know your BFF Phil Mickelson will captain at Bethpage in 2024).”
  • “Take the time you would be competing to rest. Hang out with your kids. Did I mention rest? You’ve looked creaky and exhausted ever since the win at the Masters-not surprising for someone who is 43 with a surgical back.”
Full piece. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *