Morning 9: USGA mum on anonymous player complaints | Jack speaks | Steve Stricker’s time machine

By Ben Alberstadt (

May 29, 2019

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans.
1. USGA mum (on specific complaints, at least)
Golfweek’s Forecaddie…”Many of the opinions in the lengthy oral survey are legitimate in the face of recent U.S. Open problems, including last year’s repeat at Shinnecock Hills of conditions getting away from the setup team.”
  • “The Forecaddie also read a surprising number of extreme opinions – a majority back Phil Mickelson’s display of unsportsmanlike behavior Saturday at Shinnecock Hills – and was perplexed that players opted to keep their names out of the survey given the USGA’s inability to discipline them.”
  • As for the USGA’s view of the story?...”Player and stakeholder feedback is important to us,” the organization’s spokesperson said in a statement. “We are committed to listen, to engage in a productive dialogue, and to continue to address the themes of the feedback in an effort to improve how we serve the game and those who love it.”
Full piece.
2. $1 million to the USWO winner
…also on the governing body front…
Our Gianni Magliocco…“On Tuesday, the USGA announced that both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open prize purses had been raised by $500,000. For the first time in history, the winner of a women’s major championship will receive a check for $1 million.”
  • “The purse for this year’s U.S. Open is now  $12.5 million, while the U.S. Women’s Open is $5.5 million – both of which are now the largest prize pots in major championship golf.”
Full piece.
3. Nicklaus: TW sealed Masters on 12
Via ESPN’s Bob Harig…
  • “Tiger was smart enough to play the shot that he played. And could play it,” Nicklaus said. “I just knew Tiger was rejuvenated by watching those balls go in the water. Knowing that he was smart enough to do that (hit his tee shot to the middle of the green). He says, ‘I can do this.’ You could just see it on his face.
  • “Tournament over. He was back doing what he used to do.”
  • Jack also stated…“It looked as though Brooks (Koepka) or (Francesco) Molinari might win the golf tournament,” Nicklaus said. “And then when the guys starting filling up Rae’s Creek on the 12th hole, I’m watching them one after another hit the ball right of the bunker, and I said, ‘Really?’ You just can’t hit the ball right of the bunker.”
Full piece.
The Golden Bear also said he believes again Tiger could win 18 majors, and he also thinks Jordan Spieth’s slump is over.
4. Fooch takes leave again
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard on Rose’s tweet announcing the news…
  • “World No. 3 Justin Rose has split with his longtime caddie Mark Fulcher who continues his recovery from heart surgery, but the Englishman left the door open for the two to reunite.”
  • “After an amazing 11 years with [Fulcher], our successful run together has finished for now, as [Fulcher] is required to take an indefinite leave of absence from caddying to focus on his health and well-being,” Rose wrote in a statement released on Twitter. “I also have no doubts that we will stride up a 72nd hole late on a Sunday afternoon together in the future.”
Full piece.
Get well, Fooch! 
5. Stricker sets the time machine to 2006
…to grab a set of irons…
  •’s Andrew Tursky...”Stricker recently won the 2019 Regions Tradition – his first senior major championship victory – using new Titleist 718 AP2 irons. That’s especially noteworthy because Stricker said he had been using Titleist 710 AP2 irons (released in 2009) for “forever” before switching. He was still using the 710 AP2 irons as of the 2019 Valspar Championship”
  • “Despite the success with the new 718 AP2 irons, Stricker wasn’t satisfied with the new head-shaft combination, so he went to use his older KBS Prototype shafts that he had in the Titleist AP2 710s, and simply put those shafts into the new 718 AP2 heads. Except there was a problem; the tips of the shafts were bent. The KBS iron shafts, however, are not easily replaceable; they were one-off prototypes from “6-7 years ago,” according to Stricker.”
  • …and, long story short, Stricker grabbed the 755s from his home office and tossed ’em in the bag.
Full piece.
6. JT returneth for first start since Masters
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…
  • “…A nagging right-wrist injury led to Thomas missing the PGA Championship as well as the Wells Fargo Championship, and last week’s Charles Schwab Challenge.”
  • “It was really hard [not playing],” Thomas said. “Missing Quail Hollow was a no-brainer, I could have played the PGA but I probably would have injured it more and the same with last week. I knew if I gave it another week it was never going to be an issue again so I just let it heal.”
Full piece. 
7. Former NFL Pro Bowler into round of 16 at Four Ball
Golf Digest’s Ryan Herrington…
  • “…what former NFL defensive tackle Kyle Williams is attempting to do this week at Oregon’s Bandon Dunes Resort is no less impressive if it’s not entirely rare. Williams, along with partner Gregory Berthelot, are competing at the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship, and after advancing out of stroke-play qualifying over the weekend as the eight seeds, the duo won their opening-round match on Monday to move to the Round of 16.”
  • “A six-time Pro Bowler with the Buffalo Bills who had 48½ sacks before retiring in December after 13 NFL seasons, Williams helped contribute early in the 4-and-2 victory over collegians Andrew Grayson and Liam Purslowe in the Round of 32. Williams birdied the first and second holes from five and 30 feet on the Old Macdonald course, as the team played the equivalent of five under for the round.”
Full piece.
8. Lexi talks social media break
Via Golf Channel digital…”Honestly, I mean, I love social media in a way that I get to reach out to my fans, give them an inside look of what my training’s like, what my practicing is like, or even my life off the golf course – that I’m a normal 24-year-old girl. I love giving an insight of my life to fans that look up to me or just are interested. So that way, I love social media,” she said.
  • “But the break was definitely needed. I think now I’m just posting and not really looking at the comments and everything. Just trying to look at the positive of everything.
  • “It wasn’t really one thing [that led to the hiatus]. It was just a matter of people not looking so much at the positive that was going on or how hard I was working. I think that’s what people don’t really realize, how much we sacrifice, how much we put into the game as athletes in general. We’re not perfect. We’re human beings, and we’re going to have bad weeks, bad seasons. We’re not robots. They can’t expect that much from us.”
Full piece.
9. Nicklaus’ Rolex to be auctioned
Golf Digest’s Stephen Hennessey…
  • “The original 18-karat gold Rolex Day-Date that Nicklaus owned and worn is being auctioned for charity, with all the proceeds to be given to his Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, according to Nicklaus. According to reports, a similar watch owned by Paul Newman sold for $17.7 million in 2017. Jack’s gold Rolex, which can be seen in most photographs of Jack after 1967, including 12 of his 18 major titles, might fetch a similar amount when it goes up for auction on Dec. 10.”
Full piece.


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