Morning 9: Should we blame Jillian Bourdage? | Major trophy theft? | Woods rode the intramural basketball bench?

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

July 31, 2019

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans. 
1. Should we blame Jillian? 
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols says Jillian Bourdage, the junior golfer in the now-viral clip, shouldn’t be flogged for slow play or held up as an example given the video’s context…
  • “The video highlights a comeback par putt Bourdage deliberated over on the 30th hole of a match that stretched to 36.”
  • “Slow play is a problem in golf. Can’t imagine anyone disputing that. But Bourdage is a 17-year-old Ohio State commit in the early stages of her career. She doesn’t deserve the same level of scrutiny as a professional athlete. She’s ranked 838th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings for goodness sake.”
  • “A few things to consider about the Girls’ Junior finale that make this the perfect storm for slow-play critics…“It was a commercial-free broadcast”…“This was the only match on the course”
Nichols’ point: there was no opportunity to cut away from the watching-paint-dry spectacle and Bourdage and her playing were never out of position and, again, at the time, they were playing on an open course (and thus felt afforded as much time as they wanted over each shot).

Full piece.

2. Monday qualifying is really hard!
Golf Digest’s Alex Myers…”If you don’t follow Monday Q Info on Twitter by now, hopefully, this will provide the impetus to do so. No one tracks the Monday qualifying circuit like this guy, and with the PGA Tour regular season coming to an end, he produced this stunning compilation of results”
  • “Monday Q Info (@acaseofthegolf1) 67-67-67-67-65-68-69-66-69-67-67-68-67-69-69-68-72-68-67-65-66-65-67-68″
  • “If you went to every PGA Mon Q, shot these scores in order…you got into exactly ZERO events.”
  • “To reiterate, the average last-spot score at a Monday qualifier this year was 66.42. And three times, a 64 was needed to grab the last spot. If you shot 65 any of those three days, you were out of luck. Incredible.”

Full piece.

3. Nelly’s major bid
Randall Mell on Nelly Korda’s effort to take the next step in her already impressive career…
  • “She’s looking to win a major, but she understands it’s like a graduate program. There are still lessons to be learned.”
  • “I started playing golf because I wanted to win major championships,” Korda said Tuesday at the AIG Women’s British Open. “I feel like the more experience I get, and the more I’m in contention, and the more I am under pressure in these situations, the more I learn, the more I grow as a player.”
  • “Korda, who just turned 21 on Sunday, broke through to win her first LPGA title at the Swinging Skirts Taiwan Championship last October and won again at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open in February.”
Full piece. 
4. Trophy theft
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell…”If Georgia Hall appeared especially enamored with the silver AIG Women’s Open trophy positioned next to her in a news conference Tuesday at Woburn Golf Club, there was good reason.”
  • “Somebody stole her trophy.”
  • “…The trophy the Englishwoman was presented as winner of last year’s championship was stolen out of her car in London two months ago. It was a replica of the original.”
  • “Smashed my back window, like 12 o’clock in the middle of the afternoon,” Hall said. “I don’t know if they knew it was me or not, because it was in the box and everything. And I had golf clubs as well, and they didn’t take that. A bit strange.”
Full piece. 
5. Barron’s big week
AP report on the Senior Open fifth-place finisher’s impressive showing.
  • …”He flew to Manchester, drove to the Lancashire coast and played with Wes Short Jr. The last time they had played together was nearly seven years ago in the Jacksonville Open, the final event of the year on what is now the Korn Ferry Tour.”
  • “Two days later, Barron finished with three clutch putts at Fairhaven to qualify for the Senior British Open”
  • “The day he turned 50 was the final practice round at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, where Barron and Dicky Pride took 20 pounds off Joe Durant and Scott Parel. The week ended with Barron closing with a 67 in the rain while playing with Colin Montgomerie to tie for fifth.”

Full piece.

6. Tiger the bench jockey? 
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…
  • “During an appearance on the Golf.com Podcast, Woods’ friend and former teammate Notah Begay talked about Woods’ abilities ­- or lack thereof – on the hardwood.”
  • “The golf team had an intramural team at Stanford,” said Begay, who won two state basketball titles while at Albuquerque Academy. “Tiger was on our team. But let me just tell you – let the cat out of the bag – he wasn’t in the starting five. I’m not going to disparage his athletic ability because he’s a great athlete. But I mean, with the likes of Casey Martin, who had a birth defect in his right leg who started ahead of [Tiger], will give you an indication of Tiger’s skills on the court. I’ll just leave it at that.”
Full piece.
7. Morikawa on his sticks 
Collin Morikawa spoke with Andrew Tursky of PGATour.com about his equipment, while the whole of the conversation is interesting, here’s what Morikawa said about his breakfast-inspired wedge adornments.
  • “Your wedge stampings have gone a bit crazy on social media. I guess you’re a big breakfast guy? How did those stampings come about?”
  • “Yeah (laughs), so my girlfriend, we love breakfast and we’ve got a little nicknames for each other. I won’t tell you which one [is mine]… but I’ll tell you her [nickname]; hers is “bacon.” But yeah, we love breakfast. We’re huge foodies. We love going out – and I think that’s what’s great about the PGA TOUR is you get to travel to so many great places and find some really good food. It just happened to be that we wanted to put some breakfast [items on the wedges] and we got some good combinations on there. We forgot some cereal names; I think that might be on a new wedge. But yeah, we do love our food and we definitely can’t get enough.”

Full piece.

8. “An honest mistake”
A day after passportgate, here are a couple of perspectives on Lexi Thompson’s misplaced passport fiasco
  • From an ESPN report “…Her agent, Bobby Kreusler, told Golf Channel it was an “honest mistake” and that Thompson had no idea it would cause such a delay and affect players the way it did.”
  • “She would never have wanted that,” the agent said.
  • “Ryann O’Toole, whose clubs didn’t arrive until Tuesday evening ahead of the Evian, wasn’t happy to lose another day of preparation for a major.”
  • “I don’t know why the driver would agree to accommodate one person knowing it would punish about a third of the field,” O’Toole told Golf Channel. “The driver should have said: ‘Hey, I’ve got to get these clubs to Woburn. If you want the passport, somebody’s going to have to fly there to get it and bring it back.”’

Full piece.

9. Can you use the shadow of the flagstick for alignment?
Handy bit of info from Golf.com’s Rules Guy…
  • “I had a four-foot putt exactly on the line of the flagstick’s shadow, so I left the pin in and made the putt. My playing partner called foul. I know the USGA changed the rule so that it’s the player’s choice whether to leave the stick in or out, but does that still hold when using its shadow as a beacon? -GUY SYKES, VIA E-MAIL”
  • “…the Rules are there to guide us, not hinder us. They are, indeed, a beacon themselves. The sun is out, and a shadow leads the way? To mix a metaphor, the stars have aligned! It’s perfectly legal!..”
Full piece. 

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