Pagel expressed sympathy for Simpson’s bad luck and then dutifully explained why the rulebook gives a player a one-shot penalty if you’re off the green and no penalty if you’re on it. The latter, the so-called Dustin Johnson Rule of 2016, allows for that fact that you might have already had your hand on a ball on the green, that greens are more closely mown, and that a random outside agency – most notably wind – can move a ball on a green more readily.
“As much as possible, the rulebook tries to keep the question of ‘intent’ out of the discussion, because intention is hard to define,” Pagel said.
One person, for instance, could claim an exemption from a penalty because of intention while another, in those same circumstances, might not. That’s not a level playing field.
Against a field as strong as some majors, Tommy Fleetwood shared the lead after 18 and 36 holes, played in the final group and was still in the mix at The Players Championship until a tee shot into the water on the 17th hole. His three-way tie for fifth was worth 16.53 ranking points.
Earlier that day, Guido Migliozzi won his first European Tour title at the Kenya Open, which until this year was a Challenge Tour event. The strength of its field was slightly weaker than the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship on the Asian Development Tour in January.
Migliozzi received 24 ranking points, the minimum for the European Tour.
Of course this is no laughing matter given the reliance on the OWGR to determine major fields, including two weeks from now when the Masters invites the top 50 not already exempt.
While the technology is still a ways off, the continued goal of the PGA Tour and GolfTV is to “localise” broadcasts so that fans can watch top stars from their country.
Golf TV executives believe the new platform is performing well in its eight markets but acknowledged the need to localise broadcasts.
Australian fans are able to watch golf's major tours live on Fox Sports as well as on Golf TV through personal devices.
Oh to see those numbers…sorry, go on.
Golf TV's future plans are to capture every shot at PGA Tour events and have a bunker-style facility package of live footage for individual countries.
"The vision for us, which is a number of years away, is every shot, of every player, on every hole," Rick Anderson, the PGA Tour's chief media officer, said.
But with PGA Tour fields ranging from 30 to 156 players, how Golf TV will capture every shot is yet to be determined.
"I want to be clear here ... I can't put an exact timeline on it, but we have identified the need to localise the viewing experience," Kaplan said.
I suppose I could see how some golfers are like teams to a fan, but in an individual sport where only one player in the modern game elicits a desire from fans to see every shot he hits, I’m still having a hard time seeing how this is the best use of resources. But maybe international markets may be a different animal and the approach may sell.
Gary Van Sickleat MorningRead.com explains how theValspar Championship managed decent star power despite a tough post-Players date, with 37 top 100 players, including Dustin Johnson.
Johnson played only 20 tournaments in the 2017-18 season. So, he owed the PGA Tour an appearance at an event that he doesn’t regularly play. Johnson chose the Valspar Championship.
“I had a few to pick one, and this fit the best in my schedule,” Johnson said. “Of the courses I had to choose from, I like this [Copperhead Course] the best, if you’re playing well. The golf course is tough, but I feel like my game is in good form, so it’s a good course for me.”
Johnson nearly avoided the Valspar on a technicality. When he won in Mexico, it was the 20th victory of his career. Twenty is the threshold to become a PGA Tour life member, and the strength-of-field rule doesn’t apply to life members, or to players 45 or older.
On a scale of Live Under Par to 10, I’d give the LPGA’s new campaign a 5. It feels a bit dark but understandably serious given the issues motivating the “Drive On” slogan. In the initial roll-out, Drive On is followed by “This is for every girl” in the first phase of the campaign.
LPGA Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez wiped away tears watching, saying the campaign captured a message the tour has struggled to properly tell until now.
“We’re finally telling the story,” she said.
Stacy Lewis, who will be featured in a future spot, believes the campaign will help grow the LPGA’s following.
“I think if somebody that's a dancer can find inspiration in a golfer, we’ve found a new fan,” Lewis said. “That's what I see in the campaign, is pulling more fans in from other areas.”
The launch video and styling feel incredibly familiar, but I can’t quite place where I’ve seen this style of ad before other than to know we’ve all seen something like it before. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!
Even though it’s in December, never too early to start fitting K.J. Choi, Mike Weir and Trevor Immelman for their Presidents Cup Club Car’s to tootle around Royal Melbourne. They join Geoff Ogilvy as captain Ernie Els’ assistant captains.
“I’ve seen what other captains have done in the past,” Els said. “In this instance, I really wanted to try and start a new thinking process around the pairing system. I’m using a lot of data, a lot of science into what we’re going to be doing in December in Australia, and I wanted to get guys who have played a lot of Presidents Cups like myself.”
I believe the science has found that the International team has not won since 1998.
Current top ranked junior Akshay Bhatia is playing this week’s Valspar Championship on the PGA Tour. And despite a sponsor’s invite and his lack of experience in PGA Tour events, is setting lofty goals.
“It’s another tournament to me,” said Bhatia, who received a sponsor’s exemption. “I’m not here to just show up and make the cut. I’m here to win.”
He also reiterated—with a little humor—his desire to turn pro instead of playing college golf.
“I’ve never liked school,” Bhatia said. “I’ve never been very smart. I have the worst attention span when it comes to it. I love being outside, playing golf and competing. So my dad just said, ‘Ya know what, let’s not go to college.’ I said ‘Yeah, that’s fine.’ I’m in eighth grade, of course I’m going to say no to school.”
The USGA is in the final stages of making a hire for a new and senior employee who will oversee and seek to improve the USGA’s relationship with the PGA Tour and the LPGA. A guess is that if you are reading this you will know the person’s name when it is revealed, which should happen well before the Masters.
My concern is there is all this discussion about rules, when we have so many great things happening inside the ropes in our tournaments every single week…we don’t write the rules. We are a partner to the organizations that do but it ends up being a sizable distraction.”
Like a persistent rash, pace of play was again an irritant at the Players Championship. When the first round was called for darkness — despite daylight saving time — Anirban Lahiri still faced a short putt on the final hole. He had to return Friday morning to finish up. The Tour’s invariable stance is to insist there’s nothing to see and that everyone should just move along (at their own pace, of course).
“They don’t do anything about it. It’s become somewhat of an epidemic on Tour,” Rory McIlroy said after his second round, which took more than five hours to complete. “Look, it’s our livelihoods and people are going to take their time, and as the course dries up and gets firmer and gets tougher, guys are going to take their time. But the fact that someone didn’t finish yesterday … I mean, that’s unacceptable.”
“Honestly, I think they should just be a little tougher and start penalizing shots earlier, and that would be an easy way to fix it,” he added.
Even easier? Make executives and players pay to watch golf in person. They’d learn the art of standing around watching others stand around and other tedious acts like not-ready golf.
The conclusions they would reach are summed up in this Tweet from Steve Flesch, who attended last week’s Players:
Spectated for a few hours at the Players today. Fantastic crowds and the course looked impeccable. Surprising though how “slow” the game is to watch live. Glacial is the only word to describe it. Players...we ALL need to do better.
And Roxanna Scottnotes that bids can start at $5000 for a First Augusta National Invitational program, a fantastic publication that has been reproduced and even had a poster made by the Masters out of its cover.
“My ball’s on the fringe, and I was seeing if I was standing in the rough or if I was going to get both feet in the fringe or whatever and the end of my putter just got stuck on my shirt and it moved the ball about a quarter of an inch,” he said after the round. “I thought it might be a penalty, but we called anyways, and if it’s on the green it’s not a penalty. So this is where I’m going to be loud and clear, like we have to get intent into the rules. We have to. Because it’s killing our game when it comes to these kind of things.”
While I understand his point—seemingly arcane rule violations causing the game to look bad—I’m not sure this is one of them? Or close.
For the aficionados of more rough to offset distance advances, this was not a poster child week. McIlroy was 2nd in strokes gained driving even as he was T49 in accuracy, hitting just 33 of 56 fairways.
His putting stats were also a tad misleading, as McIlroy was 45th in Strokes Gained putting, yet was T3 in putts per green in regulation. He hit 58 of 72 greens.
McIlroy gave several post round interviews, though none was as compelling as his Live From appearance. Here is all 15 minutes of it if you missed the show:
Astoundingly, no double bogey was made the entire tournament. While that is definitely not a barometer for architectural merit, the lack of a big number suggests that the cooks, wait staff, busboys, hostesses and even valet parkers in Ponte Vedra have overcooked architect Steve Wenzloff’s effort to inject life into the back nine.
BTW, how amazing is all of this data from ShotLink for the cooks to ponder? An impressive 76% of the field took a go at the green, with 23% successfully hitting the green. It was just a couple of years ago that players and caddies were declaring how no one would bother to go for it, much less keep their ball on the green.
Butch Harmon adapted to the times, watching his star pupils warm-up during all rounds in majors after so many years of being on a plane home by Wednesday night. But the instructor world has changed and now they are expected to hang around until the bitter end. But it seems the legendary instructor has finally seen enough, reducing his teaching work to home in Las Vegas, reports The Forecaddie.
So pros, if you want Butch, head to Vegas.
According to The Forecaddie, Harmon is also saying goodbye to Sky Sports broadcasting work at the 2019 Masters.
Harmon and brother Billy were sensational guests on Gary Williams’ 1 Up podcast recently, and in the show Butch does blurt out a mention of being “burned out” on tour life.
Adam Hayes tried, he really, really tried to talk Jon Rahm out of a 220-yard hooking 8-iron from the 11th hole fairway bunker.
It was a pretty startling moment in the 2019 Players final round picked up by NBC’s Emmy-winning audio team and would have to rank with the all-time great player-caddy discussions that will hopefully not haunt Rahm. Yet it’s tough to look at the circumstances, read Rahm’s post-round remarks in thisWill GrayGolfChannel.com story, and easily visualize how Rahm’s substandard thinking will hurt his ability to win big events.
In the ShotLink era, Jonny Vegas’s absurd putt from the 17th hole’s lower front shelf to the back right location, helping him move to -14 in the 2019 Players, is easily the longest putter ever made there since stats have been kept (2003, Tiger’s better than most putt was in 2001).
Nice use of ShotLink by ShotLink and great reaction from Vegas…
"Both shots I'm just trying to hit the ball into the slope [on the green] and just walk away with a 20-, 25-footer and move on about my business," Woods said after shooting 71 to finish at 141, 3 under par. "The second one I hit too flat and too hot. But the first one from the regular tee and was a good shot, it just flew a little bit too far."