Morning 9: More takes on Kuchar | Bob Hope saved | Cullan Brown | Lost bag debacle

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

September 10, 2019

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans. From one expert in not being able to stay out of his own way to another: Matt Kuchar, what are you thinking?
1. Against the spirit of the rules?
Scathing stuff from Geoff Shackelford in Golfweek…
First, he puts Matt Kuchar’s waste area management at the European Open in its right context-Kuchar’s recent questionable behavior…
  • “El Tucan technically was not entitled to a normal caddie payday after a big win in Mexico…The pitch mark at the Memorial was his because someone said so, yet a replay said otherwise and a third opinion was asked for to get a better lie…And now coarse waste bunker sand is a loose impediment.”

More from Shackelford…“The newly revised rules opened the door for the latest questionable act of sportsmanship by Matt Kuchar. Players can now move a loose impediment in a bunker. As Kuchar demonstrated, if sand is coarse enough to be a pebble in the eyes of any official, then all of the tiny particles are loose impediments.”

  • “While using the rules of golf to your advantage is wise, it’s confounding to watch someone with a once solid reputation and plenty of cash in the bank to snub his upturned nose at the spirit of the rules. Again. In the same year. On television.”
  • “Kuchar takes well over the time allotted to play a shot while we are watching- television cut away after 40 seconds of Kuchar’s trench dig – and seems to improve his lie in the “waste area.”

Full piece (and arguably the definitive take on Kuch’s pebble picking. 

2. Bob Hope saved
Larry Bohannon at the Palm Springs Desert Sun…”An international blue-chip financial giant will bring its name and its services to the Coachella Valley’s PGA Tour event in January.”
  • “American Express, one of the largest companies in the world and one of the 30 companies listed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, will be the new title sponsor for the 61-year-old desert tour event, The Desert Sun has learned.”
  • “The multi-year sponsorship deal will re-brand the desert event as The American Express. An official announcement is expected Monday morning.”
  • “This is absolutely the best sponsor we could ask for,” said Jeff Sanders of Lagardere Sports, the company that operates the tournament for Desert Classic Charities. “This is the best news we have received since we took over the opportunity to run this event. American Express is an iconic global brand that transcends quality. We could not be more excited.”

Full piece.

3. 2 players, 1 premier team competition in women’s golf, zero clubs
Golf Channel’s Jason Crook...”Both Europe’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff and the United States’ Angel Yin flew to Edinburgh through Dublin over the weekend, but their clubs didn’t make the connection.”
“As Shadoff and Yin began to miss valuable practice time on Monday, players, caddies and even the European social media team turned to Twitter for help.”
“On the bright side, Shadoff did text GolfWeek with renewed hope later in the day, “Apparently there are over 200 bags in Dublin that are meant for Edinburgh. They have sent a plane with just bags on that just landed, so hopefully they are on that.””

Full piece.

4. Grim statistics
Golf Digest’s Joel Beall…”For starters, you’re more likely to lose your card than keep it”
“As a refresher, the top 125 players in the FedEx Cup point standings at the end of the regular season don’t just make the playoffs, they keep their cards for next season. Out of those 300 players, only 42 percent reached the tour’s postseason, and more important, avoided demotion. That means, on average, 21 players from the 50 get full status. (To clarify, the 50 Korn Ferry graduates don’t technically enjoy full status, as they are subject to a priority rank, which comes in play when trying to enter a tournament. Only one player-this year, Scottie Scheffler-is exempt for finishing atop the full-season and the Finals points list.)”
  • “This past season, 19 players were able to make the playoffs, although 20 kept their cards thanks to Martin Trainer’s win at the Puerto Rico Open. Of this 19, only two-Lucas Glover and Sungjae Im-reached East Lake, which comes with its own rewards. Speaking of which …
Full piece. 
5. Cullan Brown: More than just the “Kentucky golfer with bone cancer”
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols with a profile of Brown as he battles osteosarcoma…
  • “The game has never been the be-all-end-all for a man who breathes joy into the world.”
  • “He’s the most beloved kid I’ve ever had,” said Craig, “times 20 probably.”
  • Brown doesn’t need golf to make him happy. Redshirt freshman Jay Kirchdorfer spent the past year trying to be the same.
  • “I really think that’s his secret weapon,” said Kirchdorfer. “We’re all out there getting mad and frustrated. He’s just over there hitting shots, talking about food, looking in the trees for ducks, a deer if he can find one.”
  • “Emma Talley knows that all too well. Brown was looking toward the sky for birds when he caddied for her recently at the LPGA’s stop in Arkansas. He can usually name every plant and animal on property at a golf course, a talent that comes in part from his love of the outdoors coupled with a strong appetite for reading.”

Full piece.

6. 3 from GBR?
Golf Channel’s Nick Menta with welcome news for fans of Great Britain…”Casey is now up 14th in the latest Official World Golf Ranking, making him the third Brit in the top 15 behind No. 4 Justin Rose and No. 13 Tommy Fleetwood.”
  • “Each country can have up to two representatives in the 60-player field, except for those with three or more players inside the world’s top 15, who can send a maximum of four.”
  • “The American men (4), British men (3), and Korean women (4) are the contingents currently projected to send more than two to next summer’s Games in Japan.”

Full piece.

7. Apathy AKA “What gives, BBC?”
Derek Lawrenson at the Daily Mail is none to pleased with the BBC’s lack of coverage of the preeminent women’s team competition…
  • “…For I looked at the schedule that Radio 5 Live have put out on the BBC website for their sports programmes from Friday to Sunday and couldn’t find a mention anywhere.”
  • “Sure, there’s a half-hour preview programme slated for Thursday evening, and fair play to them for that, but when the event actually begins? Zip.”
  • “You know 5 Live, the station that made such a song and dance of the fact they were going to broadcast more live women’s sport this summer than ever before?”
  • “Change the Game, they called it. Yet no live coverage of the Solheim, unarguably one of the biggest women’s events of all.”

Full piece.

8. Letters from the King
The winner of 13 titles worldwide, including the 2006 U.S. Open and three World Golf Championships events, had not won in more than four years. While there were trying times, the Aussie kept at it week after week. His perseverance paid off when he found his form by Lake Tahoe and pulled away for a 5-point win in the Modified Stableford tournament.
  • “Four days later, the victory became even more special….Ogilvy got a letter from Arnold Palmer.”
  • “That was the one that moved me,” Ogilvy said. “All the letters mean so much, but that one, that letter blew me away.”
  • “Well done, Geoff, I know you’ve been struggling. This is a great win. Welcome back. Great to see. Sincerely, Arnold Palmer”

Full piece.

9.. Let’s put an end to this term
A piece at once contentious and eminently sensible from our Ryan Barath suggests defining “women’s golf clubs” (and by extension “senior golf clubs”) is ultimately not helpful and reductive.
  • “Women’s golf clubs” have been around for as long golf clubs have been marketed, and for a period of time, like so many things I’m sure, they had a significant purpose: helping female players find what they needed to hopefully improve their golf games. But in this modern era of club fitting and customization, I think we need to put an end to identifying clubs by sex.
  • “I remember my experience at the Titleist Performance Institute, and one of the first things I was told by my fitter Glenn Mahler was”
  • “I don’t fit clubs based on gender, age, handicap, or physical abilities. I fit clubs for golfers, period-to allow them to achieve their absolute best results”
  • “I believe this is the best way for people to start thinking more about the segments of clubs made for players across the board. Male golfers don’t walk into a big box store and say “I’m looking for men’s clubs,” they say “I’m looking for clubs,” and then they get fit. If a female long drive golfer (yes, I realize it’s a small market segment) walked into most big box stores and asks to try a driver, I’m willing to guess that 90 percent of the time someone is going to give them a very poor fitting club based solely on sex-and that’s wrong.”
Full piece.

 

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