Morning 9: Feinstein: Why Tiger shouldn’t pick Tiger | JT the game’s best closer? | Praising Fall golf

By Ben Alberstadt
Email me at ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com and find me at @benalberstadt on Instagram and golfwrxEIC on Twitter.

October 23, 2019

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans. Friendliest of PSAs here to tell you we’re looking for advertisers for 2020. Drop me a line if you’d like to talk about getting your message in front of the 30,000+ daily M9 readers.
 
Also, it’s still astonishes me that 3 people, let alone 30,000 choose to read my roundup every day. Sincere thanks! (and 99% of the credit goes to the writers whose work I feature daily)

 

1. Feinstein: Why Tiger shouldn’t pick Tiger
On the subject of Tiger Woods picking Tiger Woods for the Presidents Cup team, John Feinstein would rather he didn’t.
  • “There’s no doubt the tour would love to see Woods play, and so would the TV networks that will televise the matches in the middle of the night because of the 16-hour time difference between Melbourne and the East Coast of the United States.”
  • “But there are a myriad of reasons Woods shouldn’t name himself. Let’s start with his health-which is always an issue. The week before the matches, Woods is going to play four rounds in the exhibition he and his foundation run in the Bahamas. Then he has to fly across the world to Australia and, if he’s playing, will need to play practice rounds and tee it up as early as Thursday, if he puts himself in the lineup on the first day.”
  • “…There’s also this: If Woods picks Woods, he will have to jump himself over someone who finished ahead of him in the Presidents Cup points standings. Tony Finau, Gary Woodland, Rickie Fowler and Patrick Reed finished ninth through 12th. Woods was 13th.”

Full piece.

2. Is Justin Thomas golf’s best closer? 
A bold claim, indeed, but what does the data say?
  • Golf Digest’s Brian Wacker…”Leading by three helps of course. Justin Thomas had no such advantage at the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges in South Korea after making a mess of the par-5 18th hole at Nine Bridges Golf Club on Saturday. He entered the final round tied with Danny Lee but shot a five-under 67 to win by two.”
  • “The victory was the 11th of the 26-year-old’s career on the PGA Tour and it put him in rare company. Only Tiger and Jack Nicklaus have compiled more Ws by age 27, with 34 (!) and 20, respectively. Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth are next, also with 11.”
  • “…Not lost in Thomas’ latest triumph: He’s now eight for 11 when leading or tied for the lead after 54 holes, which brings to mind a question: Is Thomas the best closer in golf?”

Full piece.

3. LPGA $ up (PGA still 6x richer)
A look at the dollars and cents of it all…
  • AAP report…”Every week brings a sobering reminder of how much more money the men play for on the PGA Tour than the women do on the LPGA Tour….With four tournaments left in the LPGA Tour season, Danielle Kang became the 11th player to break the US$1 million (AU$1.46m) mark.”
  • “The PGA Tour had 112 players earn at least US$1m last season…Already nine players have made at least US$1m through six PGA Tour events this season.”
  • Speaketh the commish…“Not sure if we have closed the gap, even though we are playing for dramatically more money,” Whan said…”When I started, we were playing for just over US$40m (AU$58.4m) and now we’re playing for over US$70m (AU$102.1m).

Full piece.

4. Hideki key?
The International side has been as bad as the Europeans have been good in the other biennial competition. Can Hideki Matsuyama change that?
PGATour.com’s Ben Everill poses an interesting question…”How can you create the best team effort with a partner who you cannot fully understand?”
  • “I don’t know how I would do that. I’ve never thought of that before and would think that is very, very difficult, especially on a tough day,” U.S. team member Justin Thomas said. “On a good day it’s easy because you just stay out of each other’s way and keep making birdies, but when stuff’s going tough, I would have to imagine that’s very difficult.
  • “It would be a lot harder because for me in particular, I kind of feed off of being able to boost my partner up and especially when things aren’t going well, kind of say things to try to motivate him or kind of get together and try to motivate us or get the good momentum going.”
  • “That begs the question: Should one of Ernie Els’ four captains picks be specifically geared towards Matsuyama? Would looking at a Japanese-speaking partner help ensure much-needed points in Foursomes and Four-ball?”
Full piece.
5. Berger battling for Prez Cup spot
A resurgent Daniel Berger has his eyes on catching the eye of the (captain) Tiger.
  • Golfweek’s Forecaddie…”The Man Out Front remembers Berger’s most recent Tour victory at the 2017 FedEx St. Jude Invitational. He had won in each of his first two years on the PGA Tour before his injury. Berger has set his sights on making the U.S. team for the Presidents Cup as a captain’s pick. He played on the victorious 2017 U.S. squad and is convinced (as is TMOF) he can still make a good impression with captain Tiger Woods.”
  • “I’m going to do everything I can,” he said. “I’m playing well. It’s hard to perform when you’re thinking about trying to retain your status. My first few years out here I just didn’t care. I just went and played. Next thing you know, shoot 12 under and you have a chance to win.”
  • “But every week for the last eight months I was going into it thinking, ‘Oh man, if I don’t play well I’m not going to keep my card.’” added Berger. “It’s a terrible place to be in. I feel like a million-pound weight has been lifted off my shoulders.”

Full piece.

6. LPGA Q-Series
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell…”Stanford senior Andrea Lee, No. 1 in Golfweek’s Women’s Collegiate Rankings, is in the field with fellow senior and teammate Albane Valenzuela, who is No. 4. They are among four of the top nine in the collegiate rankings who will be in Pinehurst, N.C., vying for LPGA tour cards over the next two weeks.”
  • “USC junior Jennifer Chang (No. 3) and University of Florida senior Sierra Brooks (No. 9) are also among the 98 players in the field. So is Florida State sophomore Frida Kinhult (No. 35).”
  • “A minimum of the top 45 and ties will earn LPGA status, with everyone else at Pinehurst Resort earning Symetra Tour status.”
  • “The 144-hole event begins Wednesday at Pinehurst No. 6 and continues next week (Oct. 30-Nov. 2) at Pinehurst No. 9 with $150,000 in total prize money at stake.”

Full piece.

7. The King on a stamp
Arnold Palmer will soon be coming to your mail. 
  • Golf Digest’s Brian Wacker...”Given the electronic world we live in, trips to the post office have become less frequent in recent years. But the United States Postal Service is giving us a good reason to make a visit: Arnold Palmer.”
  • “On Tuesday, the USPS announced that it will honor Palmer with a commemorative stamp in 2020…The Forever stamp will feature James Drake’s action photo of Palmer from the 1964 U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club.”

Full piece.

8. Trash talk, please? 
Two takes from Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner on the Japan Skins…
  • “Japan Skins (+3%): Back from a decade-long absence, the skins-game format definitely can be improved – we’ll get to that in a minute – but the fourball was more watchable than last year’s dreadful Tiger-Phil duel. To this observer, at least, there’s still an appetite for these starry, made-for-TV exhibitions, especially on a Monday-Wednesday night during a sleepy part of the season.”
  • “Needling” (-3%): Ah, yes, it’s the most coveted aspect of these exhibitions – the precious moments when buttoned-up pros can start jawing at their opponents, like other jocks. But until these mic’d-up events include Phil Mickelson (he deserves more opportunities), Kevin Kisner, Pat Perez or other famed trash talkers – guys who don’t necessarily have a brand to protect – they’ll continue to be filled with corny one-liners that leave us rolling our eyes.”

Full piece.

9. In praise of autumn golf
To close, our Ryan Barath on the joys of fall golf…
  • “The sun’s orbit, paired with Mother Nature, allows you to stay in your warm bed just that little extra, since you can’t play golf when it’s still dark at 6:30 a.m. The warm, but not too warm, temperatures allow you to pull out your favorite classic cotton golf shirts without fear of the uncomfortable sweaty pits. We can’t forget that it’s also the season for every golfer’s favorite piece of apparel: the quarter zip  (#1/4zipSZN).”
  • “Courses in the fall are often in the best shape (or at least they should be), since player traffic and corporate tournaments are done for the season. As long as warm afternoons are still the norm, firm and fast conditions can be expected.”
  • “Last but not least, the colors-reds, oranges, and yellows-frame the green fairways and dark sand to make them pop in the landscape. Fall is the final chance to get in those last few rounds and create happy thoughts and mental images before the clubs go away for the inevitably cold, dark days of winter.”
Full piece.

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