2018 US Open: Did Phil Mickelson Cheat or just Use the Rules of Golf to His Advantage?

Photo Credit: Google Photos.

Photo Credit: Google Photos.

2018 US Open:   Did Phil Mickelson Cheat or just Use the Rules of Golf to His Advantage?

Interesting dialogue during “TV Golf Watching with Andy’s Golf & Travel Diary” during the third round concerning the antics of Phil Mickelson on the 15th green. Did he deserve the ‘10’ recorded on the scorecard or disqualification?

Here are is the dialogue and many interesting points of view:

I don’t think Tiger, Jack, Arnold, or ANYONE has ever intentionally hit a moving golf ball like Phil just did! New era for the game!

A very bizarre moment. It’s like he has a mini meltdown.

If Bones was on the bag, Phil’s 81 would have been a 75!

Had intent, think that is cheating!!!

It was definitely intentional: 1.) he ran to the ball as it was moving; 2.) he admitted in interview it was intention

_FB Cover 640 x 360 GolfwatchingHe knew what he was doing. 2 instead of 4 more. Smart man.

So what. He (intentionally or unintentionally) broke the rules and took a penalty. That’s the game.

Cheating implies the intent to not get caught. There was no chance of that happening.

Twitter is really laying into him. Things happen we’re human. I don’t think it was intentional like some are making it to be.

He admitted it was intentional….said he didn’t want to go “back and forth”…..Heck yes it was intentional

Not a bad move if you are trying to keep your score within reason. Better the known than the unknown.

Well that’s kind of sad

Definitely calculated, definitely intentional, definitely cheating… John Daly never had the intent, only to relieve the pain!

Photo Credit: Google Photos.

Photo Credit: Google Photos.

So much for trying to be understanding…It does appear the intent to cheat was in play

Ended up taking 5 to get down……missed the moving putt, missed the come-backer, tapped in, add 2….not sure how smart that was. I think he could have gotten down in less than 5 from where the moving ball eventually stopped.

Don’t think he was “intentionally cheating’ either. I think he blew a gasket and is now trying to justify taking 5 to get down form the first missed putt. I call this being a Doofus

I’m split on how I feel about what he did. I am not a Phil fan and no one is bigger than the organization but at the same time, most tournaments would have watered the greens last night and there is usually a little collar around them. An impossible golf course isn’t really fun to watch.

I would cover that bet a 100/1 that he could have gotten it down in less than 5 shots that he spent after hitting the moving ball. Be serious. He had a brain cramp and is now trying to act like he is smarter than everyone by saying the 2-shot penalty was the lessor of two evils. PM is a doofus and sanctimonious. He got caught speeding on this one. Golf course is fine.

Photo Credit: Google Photos.

Photo Credit: Google Photos.

Nothing wrong with the course other than the weather & fast fairways & greens. These guys bitch at courses they can’t shoot -10, instead of using their skill & patience. This is a course to test the professional golfer & show how he can adjust & calculate for the weather & course conditions. Not moan & complain like the typical public course hack

How is it “cheating”? Either his emotions took over and he blew up or he was continuously taking advantage of the rules. Cheating is breaking the rules with the intention of not getting caught.

I agree. Though this seemed pretty calculating on his part, he used the rules to save 5 or 6 strokes & stay in the tourney. Sometimes you can use the rules to your advantage but he took the proper strokes & penalty, so he didn’t cheat but it is hard to admit that. If he admits it, everyone will say he cheated, so he is going to take it as it lies.

Breaking the rules is breaking the rules; cheating is when you break the rules knowing that it is to your advantage relative to the field. Something you would do alone and then rationalize and justify that it was the right thing to do! #DQPhilNOW #USOpen

Photo Credit: Google Docs.

Photo Credit: Google Docs.

What is the difference in breaking the rules and getting caught; and breaking the rules and not getting caught? Integrity…

Cheat—verb—act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, especially in a game or examination.

2-shot penalty…no DQ – at this point…doubt they would GO BACK and DQ him at this point…

Twitter reports Phil’s response to people questioning what he did: “Toughen Up”.

Would not upset me if they DQ’d him, but I will take “they won’t”, you have “they will” …IMHO, I thought they had grounds once he admitted his intention to breach the rules.

“Taking advantage of the rules”…..it’s his birthday. We should just move on like he is!

Andy 2008 US Open Tiger Woods PuttI am not a lawyer but it seems to me that the rules make a provision for DQing a player with intent to have advantage when striking a moving ball.

Why not just put rocks on the greens. USGA needs to re-think this debacle. Phil took advantage of the rules. I believe he knows them better than the USGA. He took 2 strokes by rules. Better than 4 more he could have taken. USGA is becoming a joke.

It’s one thing to play it as it lies and utilize knowledge of the rules to your advantage and another thing to intentionally use the rules to lower your score; that’s called cheating!

I don’t think he cheated. He was just pissed. Who cares? He hit a moving ball took two shots and moved on

Isn’t getting the ball in the hole in the fewest strokes possible “using the rules to lower your score”?

I don’t think we need to be discussing this right now… he’s nowhere near contention

I’m not a fan of Phil. I tell you he handled it well. He’s human and nobody knows the true level of his frustration.

His interview was awesome: I’ve wanted to do it many times and I finally did it.

Yeah but it was clearly premeditated… intent… motive was not honorable…. #DQPhilNOW

Those of us who never have known the pressure of these tournaments cannot say what we would do. He used a rule to his advantage. Not illegal! He didn’t cheat IMO. Cheating would be moving a ball to better a shot. Move on people! Phil is a great human being and player of the game

The way they set up US open courses is not as fan friendly, creates many opinions but not as fun to be live as Masters on Sunday with the traditional pins and the boys throwing darts.

AGN always plays tough Thur-Fri and then is set up for scoring for wknd. I think they have figured out how to MASTER the fan experience.

_Key Lime PieIf you’re knowingly going to break the rules Phil, next time just lay your bag down behind the hole. Just fixed your problem!

I think they will soften things up for tomorrow both in texture and areas they put the pins. There were 2-66’s shot out there today. At the Open the greens feed away from the hole, on tour they set the pins where the greens feed to the hole. Tomorrow you’ll see a different course than today!

He took the 2 stroke penalty and moved on. And it has happened just not reported or blatant like Phil. Everything today is caught on camera. I still love Phil.

I thought he threw in the towel.

I thought he demonstrated what the others were feeling.

I think Phil had intent to take advantage by swatting his ball backwards and should be DQ’d as called for in the rules of golf. He could have made a 10 or 12 or who knows what had he finished the hole properly as called for by the rules of golf; i.e. let a moving ball come to a stop and play it as it lies!

Rules 1He used rules to his advantage. It was an unfair pin… Golf is a game you play the game the best way you see fit.. It’s a game. You don’t have to like or agree with it… He took his penalty for his actions… He did not cheat … my opinion.

I don’t think that Phil will be teeing up at Shinnecock on Sunday…..USGA will reconsider after what he admitted in his interview

D Q Phil, huh

We will see. I love the comment, “He lost his mind”

Phil thinks he is summa cum laude…always has to be the smartest guy in the room when he talks. He could have declared the first putt that got away unplayable. Replayed from where he originally putted and probably saved 3 shots or more. Phil’s explanation about how smart he was in “using the rules” to his advantage was BS….his explanation has huge holes in it. Just saying.

Rules 2BS because he could have saved himself 2-3 shots if he knew the Rules as well as he says he does…I call BS on his explanation. Declare the first putt unplayable, putt from original spot……any player that really knows the rules would opt for that 100 times out of 101 rather than what he did.

You do know you may declare you ball “unplayable” anywhere, repeat, anywhere on the golf course…including on the putting green. Would that have not made a lot more sense than the debacle he created, he could have saved 2-3 shots….I don’t call that insane.

Oh this should be good… Mike Davis USGA CEO & John Bodenhamer governance guy … more wind than they thought… the greens just think… the hole location on 15… probably too tough this afternoon… Zinger the golf course got away from you…. is the governance guy his bodyguard or is he going to speak too? The wind (on Long Island mind you) caught you off guard. Yeah Buck asks the Phil question…. DQ him now? Rule 32-7…. BS he did not just stop the ball… what video did you review? Will be no DQ Rule 14-5… bunch of lawyers at the USGA! YES Shinnecock Hills is one of the great golf courses! #DQPhilNOW #USOpen

Rules 3Wind? Who thought there would any wind way out there on the end of Long Island? They have the golf course hooked up to life support now and just hope it can hang on until they get out of there tomorrow and leave Shinnecock to deal with the debacle.

Should be DQ’d on the spot! Total BS. If he has any integrity at all, he’ll WD. They all played the same course, but the later guys played a much tougher course. Yesterday, the early guys had it much tougher. DJ has played in brutal conditions 2 days in a row.

They have 10 years to get prepared for hosting a U.S. Open…they can study weather patterns, prevailing winds, rain averages, everything, everything they need to know about what may happened during the week the event is scheduled. and the USGA can screw it up in a New York heart beat….they need to clean house …..hire some professionals to set up and run the events.

I just hope the golf course gets through the night. It is on life support now.

2018 U.S. Open: “TV Golf Watching with Andy’s Golf & Travel Diary”

 

Round One- Thursday June 14th, 2008

_FB Cover 640 x 360 GolfwatchingNICE Opening FOX Sports!!!

DJ expected, Russell Henley unexpected… co leaders!

Golf course looks great! Nice job Muffy Jennings!

Tiger, TB, B start, 1-under next 8 holes!

Nice shot JT on 12 approach! Nice job FOX Golf with JT & DJ hole-outs!

Now that was a Tiger Royal Straight!

1 Hank HaneyNice feature with Curtis Strange chitchatting with Butch Harmon, 1971 BC Open champion & Tiger’s firsr coach. Hank Haney segment this weekend?

Butch says Tiger is ‘the best player to ever play the game… but Tiger says that it is Jack!

Tiger Woods Admits Jack Nicklaus Forever Better than Me

Ugh oh… Tiger 4 putts from 40 feet DB on 13…

Russell Henley now leading the US Open… but bunkers his approach to par-4 18th after DJ misses a gimmie and bogeys 14…

 

Nice 69 Henley, co-leader in clubhouse with Piercy & Poulter… nice interview with Shane Bacon but how about sharing the bacon and giving a plug for your caddie Todd Gjesvold’s effort?

Tiger Slam- all 4 Majors plus THE PLAYERS Championship  back in 2000 & 2001...   Photo Credit: FOX Sports

Tiger Slam- all 4 Majors plus THE PLAYERS Championship back in 2000 & 2001… Photo Credit: FOX Sports

Official bloodbath in Round 1 US U.S. Open! Top 10 OWGR are a combined 51 over par! Morning feature group of Rory/Spieth/Phil were a combined 25 over par! Nice work FOX Sports!

DJ posts a 1-under par 69 along with Henley, Piercy, and Poulter! JT 4-over 74 and Tiger 8-over 78 including a triple and two DBs… too bad not a Callaway type scoring event with holes 1, 13, & 14 deleted… better scoring than morning feature group… 76+ scoring average for the day… 20 amateurs in the field… best amateur Will Grimmer +2/15; in clubhouse Luis Gagne 73!

LOL Joe Buck, good sign off! Tiger Woods and they go off early tomorrow morning and you can check the USGA website for the time! I think DJ said it was 8:02 in his interview… confirmed it is 8:02!

Inaugural “TV Golf Watching with Andy’s Golf & Travel Diary” a Success!

_GolfwatchingThe inaugural “TV Golf Watching with Andy’s Golf & Travel Diary” was a success! Thank you to all who called in and contributed! Golf on TV is definitely more fun watching with friends no matter where they are around the world!

WOW, did Dustin Johnson make a statement today or what! Dunks one for eagle on the home hole and wins by 6 strokes! Congratulations! I have never been to the FedEx St. Jude Classic but did make it to Memphis, Graceland, Beale Street, & BB King’s way back in 2010! What a tour of Graceland! What a year 2010 was for Andy’s Golf & Travel Diary!

2010 Season: Memphis; Visiting Elvis at Graceland & Beale Street too!

To capture the fun, camaraderie, and entertaining inaugural “TV Golf Watching with Andy’s Golf & Travel Diary” here is the corresponding Facebook log:

FB Post 1Watching the FedEx St. Jude… join me via a free conference call. Let’s talk golf while enjoying the broadcast! Message me for the Dial In number & Access Code

Andy Reistetter Jason Salinas, thanks for your like! r u a golfer? Could use a Texan perspective!

Jason Salinas Used to be an avid golfer and now I just watch mostly.

Andy Reistetter Oops just lost somebody, please call back!

Kay DeMott Johnson still up

Andy Reistetter Great update Kay DeMott! Call in so we can enjoy more!

Andy Reistetter This is fun! For the record Pedro Luis Amengual-Gutierrez was the first to connect! Puerto Rico’s finest golf ambassador!

Andy Reistetter If Byron Bos Man were to call in we would have to start charging a fee! How about a freebie for 10 minutes of your time Bos Man?

Andy Reistetter Byron Bos did you get my text?

Dr. Cary Middlecopp Golf Doctor 1950Byron Bos Andy Reistetter yes I did. Tied up with some other stuff currently. You doing that for US OPEN? I’m in for that

Andy Reistetter Byron Bos YES, let’s do that!! LMK if you got text, current number?

Byron Bos I got the text yep

Andy Reistetter OMG, going ALL the way back to the California 4 some in the early 1980s! We thought Glenn was headed to the tour until that disastrous first hole at Industry Hills on the Eisenhower Course! LOL

California’s CordeValle, the Perfect Weekend Getaway

Andy Reistetter OMG No, Jim Butz passed on??? Say it aint so! Great guy.

Andy Reistetter Dottie Pepper looks great in that Katherine Deen Way attire! Katherine we are doing 30-second promo if you want to call in!

Andy Reistetter We took a poll… it’s okay if Cink comes back & beats DJ… we are all over that Turnberry thing!

Reminiscing about Tom Watson & the 2009 Turnberry Open…

Marlo_Thomas_-_1968Andy Reistetter Would love to see a feature on ‘That Girl!’ 80 years young!

Marlo Thomas on Wikipedia

Andy Reistetter DJ, 3-stroke lead with 3 holes to go! Betting DJ closes this one…

Andy Reistetter DJ was one shot off the lead in the final round of the 2011 British Open at Royal St. George’s when he blew a 2-iron out-of-bounds on a reachable par-5…. remember that???

Andy Reistetter Makes birdie… has come a long, long, long way in 7 years!!!

 

Andy Reistetter “A man that doesn’t look at another woman is pretty much a dead man.”- Lady on the call today… Okay, back to the golf! LOL! What fun!

_1 Andy w Al Geiberger 4-4-11Andy Reistetter Looks like I am dead either way! LOL

Andy Reistetter This is getting weird!!!

Andy Reistetter Al Geiberger, the original ‘Mr. 59. So how many have followed in his footprints on the PGA TOUR???

Andy Reistetter WOW, now that is a way to finish! DJ dunks one for eagle on the home hole! Understandably the winner graphic was a bit late! LOL

Andy Reistetter Love that Dash-Jason Day Father’s Day commercial!

Barbara Helfer Great way to spend the afternoon talking golf, friendship, and life with friends! Thanks for hosting the first golf call! Lisa it was great connecting with you!

160615-jason-dash-day-commercialAndy Reistetter Right on Barbara Helfer! Thank you for joining in on the fun time! You & Lisa Bennett-Fish carried the show! Dustin who? Hope that you can join in for next weekend’s US Open! ‘TV Golf Watching with Andy’s Golf & Travel Diary!’ I think we are on to something new & exciting!

Lisa Bennett-Fish I agree, it was a splendid spiritual pleasure watching St. Jude’s tournament and enjoying rich conversation! Barbra Helfer, it was a pleasure to meet you and once again as always…a blessed visit with you Mr. Andy Reistetter!…Thank you for the invite and look forward to some more SPLENDID telecasting!

That’s all folks!

Call-in next weekend for more ‘TV Golf Watching with Andy’s Golf & Travel Diary’ at Shinnecock Hills and the U.S. Open!

 

 

 

 

Memories of the 2018 PLAYERS Championship Won by Webb Simpson!

Photo Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

WOW. WOW, WOW, what a record-setting THE PLAYERS Championship! What a PLAYERS! Webb Simpson was one of six golfers to shoot an opening 6-under 66 on Thursday.

The 2012 U.S. Open Champion took control of the tournament with a course record tying 63 in Round Two that earned him a 5-stroke lead. But that 63 had a potential of being a 59 with a birdie-birdie finish. Instead Simpson dunked one on the iconic 17th and parred the home hole.

Webb increased his lead to 7-strokes with a Saturday 68 while Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth shot 65 to move up the leaderboard to a T9 position after barely making the cut on the number at 1-under par 143.

83On Sunday Woods made it interesting with a charge that recorded six birdies in the first twelve holes to move within three strokes of Simpson and his lead. However, as in his Saturday 65, he finished over par for the final six holes; three strokes on Sunday, one stroke on Saturday.  Spieth never got it going and finished with a watery snowman eight on the home hole. Simpson played a steady round on Sunday trading off two bogeys with two birdies through fifteen holes. A birdie on No. 16 pretty much sealed the deal. Even after a second shot long into the water and ensuing double bogey on No. 18, Simpson posted a Sunday 73 and a 4-stroke victory over Xander Schauffele, Charl Schwartzel, and Jimmy Walker, all who shot Sunday 67s.

 

In the end it was Webb Simpson posting his 5th PGA TOUR victory, the first since the ‘Anchor ban’ went into effect. Congratulations to 2018 PLAYERS Champion Webb Simpson and caddie Paul Tesori!

Here are some of my Facebook posts for PLAYERS Week in Chronological order with a gallery of 130 pictures below:

It’s PLAYERS Time 2018!!! Enjoy!!! What day you coming out to TPC?

2The party, otherwise known as the 2018 THE PLAYERS Championship, has now begun! First AAGTD assignment? AAGTD? Andy’s Adult Golf & Travel Diary… one heck of an event at the ABC Fine Wine & Spirits! My things have changed since attending my first event back in 2018… new store, lots more vendors and participants, and the outside after event for craft beers, cigars, etc.! Good to see some old friends and some new ones too! See you out on the TPC Stadium Course! TROML Baby!   (Andy Reistetter; Facebook Post with 30 Pics; Wednesday, 5-9-18)

Rickie Even, Phil Even, & Tiger Plus 2 off 7 tee… (Round One, Thursday, 5-10-18)

LOL, followed Tiger & Phil for first 8 holes then cut over to see some actiin on 17 & missed Tiger’s eagle at No. 9. I thought it odd to see Phil hitting Tiger ‘stinger’ shots in front of Tiger. Not very well bt the way, failed to reach the fairway on No. 7 & bunkered left on No. 8. Tiger’s slinger: Phil’s sand slinger!   (Andy Reistetter, Facebook Post with 30 Pics; Thursday, 5-10-18)

64Round 2, off 18 tee (their 9th of the day): Tiger minus one, Phil plus lots, Rickie plus a few… projected cut 77 players at minus one… lots more golf to be played!

Webb Simpson 10- under par through 15 holes today, leading by 6 strokes… thought 2016 was a big scoring year with Jason Day shooting a course record 63 in Round 1 and Rory nearly going one lower in Round 2… c’mon 3-under on the final 3 holes and make that a course record extraoridnaire of 59! Amazing golf!

Another day of watching Tiger, Phil, & Rickie…cut came at minus one… only Tiger playing the weekend… another spectacular day on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass! No 59 or even a course record 62 for Webb Simpson but a 5-stroke lead heading into the weekend!   (Andy Reistetter, Facebook Post with 30 Pics, Friday, 5-11-18)

Will the 2018 PLAYERS end like the 2016 PLAYERS? Webb Simpson (Jason Day) enters the weekend with a big 5-stroke (4-stroke) lead and shoots even par the final two rounds to WIN???

Andy Leopard Tie & ShoesShow time for AGTD on Saturday of the 2018 PLAYERS! Here is my patented way called ‘cascading spectatoring of golf tournaments.!’ Ride my bicycle over to TPC. See the 2:20 pm Chesson Hadley/Charles Howell III pairing tee off. Follow them the first three holes. Stay put atop the flag hillside and watch the 2:30 Patrick Cantlay/Danny Lee pairing play No. 3. Walk with them thru No. 5 green. Stay putt and watch the final 2:40 pm Webb Simpson/Charl Schwartzel pairing approach and walk with them thru the 8th green. Afterwards head over and walk through the 16/17 stadium area of the Stadium Course. Hop on the bike and make the toughest decision of the day. Where to watch the end on Round 3 on NBC? Bogey Grill, Pussers, or Nona Blue??? Oh yeah and say hello to folks I know and some that I do not yet know but know a couple of them will be lifelong friends. Take lots of pictures. Post a Saturday AGTD report! Sleep well and repeat on Sunday! Happy PLAYERS! TROML Baby!

Starting with Noren & JDay, one of these guys could definitely win, JDay having already done so in 2015…

92Definitely the post Players place to be! Nearly a brawl about the Big Screen…. 7 pm moment of clarity… stay on NBC Stanley Cup or switch to Live From The Players on Golf Channel? First time golfers ever dominated hockey players! TROML Baby!

Unbelievable Saturday at THE PLAYERS Championship! Spieth 65, Tiger 65, Webb Simpson 68 with a historic 7-stroke lead over Danny Lee, DJ, JDay, Dufner, Schaufelle, Schwartzel, Jimmy Walker… Spieth, & Tiger: yes, are 11 strokes back BUT only from Simpson… only 4 strokes back of 2nd place & only 8 golfers ahead of them. Play well Webb Simpson but do not look back or come back because the field will run you over! Gonna be a great Players Sunday. Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mommas out there!   (Andy Reistetter, Facebook Post with 30 Pics, Saturday, 5-12-18)

Thinking if Tiger can shoot 62 he may just win this golf tournament. So far so good, 6-under today in 12 holes…. T2 , five strokes back… from cut line to finish line hoisting the PLAYERS Trophy???

Beautiful & inspiring 34th Annual Non-Denominational Church Service on the back lawn of the Clubhouse at 7 am this morning! Hosted by Scott Adams of the NE Florida FCA and Damon Olinto the 2018 Tournament Chairman the service included the Chets Creek Nocatee Worship Team and a special solo by Lindsey Bryant from Crosswater Community Church.

3Ted Scott, Bubba Watson’s caddie shared his story which was very interesting. A collegiate golfer he became interested in Foosball. Ted’s mantra is to “find someone better than you and learn from them.” More than interested in Foosball, Scott became a world champion Foosball player! Having conquered Foosball he went back to golf and turned professional originally as a teaching professional. A sponsor found him and backed him for a while. Then the Web.com tour came through his hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana. Paul Azinger sought him out to learn how to play Foosball and somehow he connected with Bubba and two Masters victories and the rest is history. His conversion story was one of the quiet type. Not able to keep all the rules, he heard a sermon and set up a meeting with the priest a few days later. Once again he simply found someone better than himself and discovered that he is a servant at heart. Scott shared an interesting Bubba story from the week of his first Masters win. Surprisingly the most amazing shot Bubba hit that week, in Ted’s perspective, was not the hooked wedge out of the trees on the 10th hole in the playoff but a recovery shot off the pine straw on No. 10 on Friday.

17Lindsey’s solo echoed Adams’ introduction which set up Scott’s share which led to Pastor Chris Price from Chets Creek Nocatee’s sermon message based on the Bible and Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Additionally, Pastor Price spoke to the only God referenced hero in the Bible—Gideon who did great things through his obedience and trust in the Lord. We can find our own peace in Christ by ridding ourselves of pride and sin. Not an easy task but doable through Christ. A life of love, grace, and peace awaits us! Al-le-lu-ia!   (Andy Reistetter, Facebook Post with 19 Pics, Sunday 5-13-18)

3Enjoyable Sunday morning following Justin Rose and Tony Finau on the first nine holes. Rose started with a birdie on No. 1 but then 3-putted from 30 feet for a par-5 on the second hole, always a major MOJO buster. Finau birdied the 2nd and 3rd holes after bogeying No. 1 but then was even par for the next six holes. Rose bogeyed No. 8 and birdied No. 9 to turn at 1-under for the day. After that I left to go home and watch the rest of PLAYERS Sunday on TV. Of course Rose would go 5-under on the second nine to shoot a Sunday 66 and finish at T23 with only 17 golfers finishing ahead of him. PLAYERS Sunday was off to a good start after the 7am Church Service and a nice walk in the Stadium Park!   (Andy Reistetter, Facebook Post with 30 Pics, Sunday 5-13-18)

 

Congratulations to Rookie Austin Cook, 2017 RSM Classic Champion at Sea Island!

Austin Cook, 2017 RSM Classic Champion! Photo Credit: QCOnline.com

Austin Cook, 2017 RSM Classic Champion! Photo Credit: QCOnline.com

Here comes another one of those young fellows destined for glory on the PGA TOUR!

You have to love Austin Cook’s perseverance, talent, and success! Today and along the way. Solid collegiate career as a Razoeback for the University of Arkansas. Turned pro right after college in 2014. NO GO on the Web.com Tour after finishing T130th in its Qualifying Tournament. Then he went the Monday Qualifying and mini-tour route to success.

The 2017 RSM Classic was only his 14th PGA TOUR event with at least one tournament each of the past five years. He Monday-qualified for the 2014 FedEx St. Jude Classic and finished T13 earning $100K. Then he made six out of seven cuts in 2016 after Monday-qualifying and finishing T11 in the 2015 Shell Houston Open. He made $500K in 2015 and that got him into the Web.com Tour Finals where he finished one out of a tour card for 2016. Persevering to the PGA TOUR  for this 2017-2018 season via finishing 20th on the 2017 Web.com Tour.

Way to go Austin Cook!

The Sea Island Golf Club Defines Southeast Golf!

 

Way to go to you if you get the opportunity to play the Sea Island Golf Club! It is a great golfing experience and as  I wrote about, it defines Southeast Golf!

 

 

 

Web.com Tour Champion Jonathan Byrd & the FINALS 25 Heading to the PGA TOUR!

Jonathan Byrd with the champion's surf board after winning the 2017 Web.com Tour Championship!

Jonathan Byrd with the champion’s surf board after winning the 2017 Web.com Tour Championship!

The next wave of Web.com Tour and Web.com FINALS have come ashore and are heading to the 2017-18 PGA TOUR. The Top 25 from the regular season, led by Brice Garnett, are now joined by another FINALS 25, led by Web.com TOUR Champion Jonathan Byrd and Peter Uihlein who earned $386 more than Byrd in the cumulative four-event playoffs.

Byrd, who won for the first time in 18 Web.com events this year, had missed the last two playoff cuts after finishing T31 in the first event. Playing in nine PGA TOUR events his only Top-10 finish came in July, a T5 at the John Deere Classic. His last of five PGA TOUR wins came at the January 2011 Tournament of Champions, his entry gained by his walk-off ace in the playoff in Las Vegas the Previous October.

Jonathan Byrd, 2017 Web.com Tour Championship Winner!

Jonathan Byrd, 2017 Web.com Tour Championship Winner!

Struggling the last two years, the 39-year old Byrd came into this week tied at No. 66 in the FINALS 25 Rank. Burnt out, his wife Amanda gave him permission to miss the tour championship. That support triggered a change in his mindset and after a Saturday practice round he felt the course matched his game. With his new “be athletic and be aggressive’ attitude he made eight birdies in his first round 7-under 64. He followed that with seven more in Round 2 (65) and eight more in Round 3 (64). All it took in the Monday final round was four in his bogey-free 67 to win by four strokes over Shawn Stefani and Sam Saunders.

Saunders had started the week with a record-setting 59. The Atlantic Beach CC resident and de facto player host followed that with a 66 to lead at the halfway point by two strokes over Julian Etulain (weekend 74-70 to finish T20 and rank 44 in the Finals 25) and four over Byrd. Saunders nemesis was the par-5 18th hole which although he birdied on his way to the 59, he double-bogeyed in Round 2 and bogeyed in Round 3. A par on the last in the final round and a T2 finish will take him back to the PGA TOUR for the fourth year in a row.

Who would catch the next wave to the PGA TOUR?

Who would catch the next wave to the PGA TOUR?

There was excitement all week as to who would make it into the FINALS 25 and who would drop out with a 2017-2018 PGA TOUR card on the line. As many that come into glory the same number fall out. This year the number was five and here are the “5 IN & 5 OUT.”

5 IN:   Jonathan Byrd, from T66 to 2nd,, with the win; Shawn Stefani, from T47 to 7th, with a T2 finish; Matt Jones, from T47 to 17, with a T5 finish; Cameron Tringale, from 49 to 18, with a T5 finish; and Tom Hoge from 31 to 23 with a T12 finish.

5 OUT:   Adam Svensson, from 17 to 26, missing the cut; Ben Crane, from 18 to 27, did not play; Matthew Southgate, from 20 to 28, missing the cut; Cameron Percy, from 25 to 29, finished T20; and Ryo Ishikawa, from22 to 31, finishing T40.

Of course as the action of the tournament came to a climax during the final round there were some who were in, then out, and then back in. Likewise there were some who were out, then in, and then back out.

Approaching his 16th hole of the final round (the 7th), Seamus Power was No. 26, then he bogeyed and ended up No. 25 as the Bubble Boy! Go figure!

Approaching his 16th hole of the final round (the 7th), Seamus Power was No. 26, then he bogeyed and ended up No. 25 as the Bubble Boy! Go figure!

The Bubble Boy was Seamus Power who started at No. 19 on Thursday and finished at No. 25, just $2,688 ahead on No. 26 Adam Svensson. Starting on No. 10, he was near the end of his round playing the par-5 7th where the scoreboard projected his rank as No. 26. Outside a tour card, he needed to get it up-and-down from a tight lie short left of the green. His 40-yard pitch landed a foot short in the front left bunker. After his sand wedge he just missed a 15-footer for par. The bogey seemingly putting his out of reach of a tour card.

Power’s par-par finish seemed to seal his destiny until Matt Harmon, in the 25th slot, came along and three-putted the 18th for a bogey. That knocked him out of the FINALS 25 (ended at No.32) and allowed Power to move into the FINALS 25.

Power dodged another bullet when Roberto Castro came along in second-to-the-last group and nearly drained a 30-foot eagle putt. Castro finished at No. 30.

Jonathon Byrd, by virtue of his Web.com Tour Championship win, and 49 other golfers based on their year-long and/or FINALS play are heading to the PGA TOUR! Congratulations, well done!

Here are the details of all fifty 2017-2018 PGA TOUR members:

The FINAL 5 of the FINALS 25!

The FINAL 5 of the FINALS 25!

The first twenty-five tour cards have already been awarded to the Top-25, the Golden Boys, of the 22-event regular season (in order of finish, then (country, age; Web.com career starts, wins, wins this Web.com season; PGA TOUR starts, wins): 1. Brice Garnett (USA, 34; 104, 2, 2; 75, 0), 2. Sam Ryder (USA, 27; 45, 1, 1; 1, 0), 3. Abraham Ancer (Mexico, 26; 60, 1, 0; 20, 0), 4. Andrew Landry (USA, 30; 53, 2, 1; 19, 0), 5. Stephan Jaegar (Germany, 28; 73, 3, 2; 4, 0), 6. Talor Gooch (USA, 25; 22, 1, 1; 2, 0), 7. Kyle Thompson (USA, 38: 292, 5, 1; 55, 0), 8. Andrew Putnam (USA, 28; 93, 2, 1; 25, 0), 9. Chesson Hadley (USA, 30; 44, 4, 2; 96, 1), 10. Ben Silverman (Canada, 29; 38, 1, 1; 1, 0), 11. Nate Lashley (USA, 34; 50, 1, 1; 1, 0), 12. Adam, Schenk (USA, 25; 48, 1, 1; 0, 0), 13. Andrew Yun (USA, 26; 70, 0, 0; 0, 0), 14. Ted Potter Jr. (USA, 33; 109, 2, 0; 75, 1), 15. Austin Cook (USA, 26; 51, 0, 0; 10, 0), 16. Zecheng ‘Marty’ Dou (China, 20; 24, 1, 1; 3, 0), 17. Conrad Shindler (USA, 29; 25, 1, 1; 2, 0), 18. Aaron Wise (USA, 21; 16, 1, 1; 8, 0), 19. Matt Atkins (USA, 26; 65, 1, 1; 2, 0), 20. Xinjun Zhang (China, 30; 23, 0, 0; 2, 0), 21. Brandon Harkins (USA, 31; 26, 0, 0; 1, 0), 22. Lanto Griffin (USA, 29; 24, 1, 1; 2, 0), 23. Beau Hossler (USA, 22; 14, 0, 0; 12, 0), 24. Ethan Tracy (25, 1, 1; 4, 0), 25. Roberto Diaz (Mexico, 30; 80, 0, 0; 5, 0).

Jonathan Byrd, 2017 Web.com Tour Championship Winner!

Jonathan Byrd, 2017 Web.com Tour Championship Winner!

The second twenty-five FINALS tour cards earned during the four-event playoff that cumulated this week at the Web.com Tour Championship (in order of finish, then (country, PGA TOUR or Web.com) age; Web.com career starts, wins, wins this Web.com season; PGA TOUR starts, wins): 1. Peter Uihlein (USA, PGA TOUR, 28; 5, 1, 1; 30, 0) 2. Jonathan Byrd (USA, Web.com, 39; 69, 2, 1; 366, 5) 3. Nicholas Lindheim (USA, PGA TOUR, 32; 59, 2, 1; 22, 0) 4. Bob Oppenheim (USA, Web.com, 37; 169, 1, 0; 28, 0) 5. Ryan Armour (USA, PGA TOUR, 41; 241, 1, 0; 103, 0) 6. Sam Saunders (USA, PGA TOUR, 30; 83, 0, 0; 98, 0) 7. Shawn Stefani (USA, PGA TOUR, 35; 34, 2, 0; 121, 0) 8. Jonathan Randolph (USA, PGA TOUR, 29; 56, 0, 0; 52, 0) 9. Bronson Burgoon (USA, PGA TOUR, 30; 61, 0, 0; 29, 0) 10. Keith Mitchell (USA, Web.com, 25; 43, 0, 0; 1, 0) 11. Tyler Duncan (USA, Web.com, 34; 30, 0, 0; 1, 0) 12. Denny McCarthy (USA, Web.com, 24; 44, 0, 0; 3, 0) 13. Troy Merritt (USA, PGA TOUR, 31; 71, 1, 0; 155, 1) 14. Tom Lovelady (USA, Web.com, 24; 25, 0, 0; 0, 0) 15. Martin Piller (USA, Web.com, 31; 151, 6, 1; 48, 0) 16. Alex Cejka (Germany, PGA TOUR, 46; 48, 1, 0; 355, 1) 17. Matt Jones (AUS, PGA TOUR, 37; 103, 0, 0; 241, 1) 18. Cameron Tringale (USA, PGA TOUR, 30; 8, 0, 0; 217, 0) 19. Brett Stegmaier (USA, PGA TOUR, 34; 76, 0, 0; 59, 0) 20. Corey Conners (Canada, Web.com, 25; 27, 0; 10, 0) 21. Steve Wheatcroft (USA, PGA TOUR, 39; 145, 2, 0; 150, 0) 22. Chad Collins (USA, PGA TOUR, 39; 150, 2, 0; 180, 0) 23. Tom Hoge (USA, PGA TOUR, 28; 82, 0; 70, 0) 24. Joel Dahmen (USA, PGA TOUR, 29; 53, 0, 0; 17, 0) 25. Seamus Power (Ireland, PGA TOUR, 30; 51, 1, 0; 25, 0).

By the way, the PGA TOUR players dominated in the FINALS 25 by a count of 17 to 8!

It was a fun week at the 2017 Web.com Tour Championship at Atlantic Beach Country Club!

It was a fun week at the 2017 Web.com Tour Championship at Atlantic Beach Country Club!

Byrd Birdies his way to the Third Round Lead at the Web.com Tour Championship!

20170928_110359Jonathan Byrd matched his eight-birdie count performance of Round One, a total of 23 so far against three bogeys in 54 holes, to take the third round lead at 20-under over a cooling off Sam Saunders who shot a 12-under par 59 in Round One.

Byrd, Number 55 on the Web.com Tour in 17 events (T5 in Panama and T8 in Winco final regular season event) and No. 170 on the PGA TOUR in nine events (T5 in John Deere Classic best finish) this year has gone T31, CUT, CUT in the FINALS so far has posted three consistent rounds of 64-65-64 to get to the 20-under mark so desired in Round Two by the newest Mr. 59 Sam Saunders.

After Round Two Saunders shared that his private goal was to get to twenty-under par. A birdie on the last would have done it but instead he recorded a double bogey after taking five strokes to get it in the hole from short of the green with a fluffy lie in the rough.

Sam Saunders in bunker on the 18th in Round 3.

Sam Saunders in bunker on the 18th in Round 3.

In Round Three, a birdie at the last would have gotten him to that 20-under mark. His second shot 7-iron downwind from 198 yards buried in the front right greenside bunker. He blasted out and lipped out the birdie putt from 18-feet. His nemensis reared its ugly head again with another rimmed out short putt resulting in bogey (also on Hole Nos. 7 & 11). With the bogey he fell to two strokes behind Byrd at 18-under par going into Sunday’s final round of the FINALS!

 

Cameron Tringale posted 65-66-65 and at 17-under is three shots back of Byrd in solo third place. Tyler Duncan, Rob Oppenheim, and Bronson Burgoon are tied for fourth place four shots back of Byrd. There are eleven players within six shots of Byrd, with six strokes being the best come-from-behind victory in the 23-year history of the Web.com Tour Championship.

_640 FinalsBesides the championship, there are 25 additional 2017-2018 PGA TOUR cards at stake between the FINALS playoff between PGA TOUR players (Nos. 126-200 on FedExCup Final Points List and Web.com Tour players (Nos. 26-75). Web.com Tour players Nos. 1-25 can play to improve their ranking. Nineteen of the 25 did play, thirteen made the cut and Ben Silverman (No. 10) and Matt Atkins (No. 19) have fared best and are at T8, with a possible record tying comeback victory in the works for Sunday.

Remember when it comes down to the Bubble Boys, those slightly inside the FINALS Top 25 and those slightly outside, it all comes down to the money won in the Web.com Tour Championship. And not just by the players involved but others who may influence the outcome by their finish. The difference between tying for a place and winning it outright can be pivotal. For those higher up on the leaderboard, a place means more money and increased volatility.

A putt made or a putt missed on the last hole can mean someone is in and someone is out!

An elated Sam Saunders after his opening 59 gives him a 3-stroke lead in the 2017 Web.com Tour Championship!

An elated Sam Saunders after his opening 59 gives him a 3-stroke lead in the 2017 Web.com Tour Championship!

Play well all but it would be nice to see Sam Saunders break the 20-under score early in his final round and eagle or birdie the last to win his first big professional event almost to the day a year after his grandfather, our golfing hero, Arnold Palmer passed. Or simply because he is a great guy and the consummate professional golfer!

More below on the projected FINAL 25 standings going into the final round of the FINALS. Looks like the PGA TOUR guys have the lead 14:11 which is pretty much in line with the 75:50 representation in numbers. ALL these guys are good!

The FINALS 25 Projected Rank after three rounds of the Web.com Tour Championship with their FINALS playoff entry criteria (Web.com 26-75 and PGA TOUR 126-200) and their position going into the final round of the FINALS:

  1. Nicholas Lindheim (PGA TOUR- No. 197), T48
  2. Peter Uihlein (PGA TOUR Non-Member Fed Ex Cup Points List), DNP
  3. Jonathan Byrd (Web.com No. 55 and PGA TOUR- No. 170), 1
  4. Rob Oppenheimer (Web.com No. 27), T4
  5. Sam Saunders (PGA TOUR No. 129), 2
  6. Ryan Armour (PGA TOUR No. 159), DNP
  7. Jonathan Randolph (PGA TOUR No. 160), T53
  8. Keith Mitchell (Web.com No. 26), T12
  9. Tyler Duncan (Web.com No. 31), T4
  10. Bronson Burgoon (PGA TOUR Special Medical Exemption), T4
  11. Cameron Tringale (PGA TOUR No. 133), 3
  12. Denny McCarthy (Web.com No. 43), T8
  13. Tom Lovelady (Web.com No. 29), T39
  14. Troy Merritt (PGA TOUR No. 151), T39
  15. Martin Piller (Web.com No. 28), T53
  16. Alex Cejka (PGA TOUR No. 149), DNP
  17. Brett Stegmaier (PGA TOUR No. 181), T64
  18. Corey Conners (Web.com No. 49), CUT
  19. Roberto Castro (PGA TOUR No. 172), 7
  20. Joel Dahmen (PGA TOUR No. 176), CUT
  21. Seamus Power (PGA TOUR No. 130), T53
  22. Matt Harmon (Web.com No. 48), T16
  23. Shawn Stefani (PGA TOUR No. 165), T8
  24. Cameron Percy (PGA TOUR No. 144), T20
  25. Adam Svensson (Web.com No. 66), CUT

Ditto for those on the bubble just outside the FINALS 25:

  1. Chad Collins (PGA TOUR No. 143), T48
  2. Ben Crane (PGA TOUR No. 147), DNP
  3. Matthew Southgate (PGA TOUR Non-Member FedEx Cup Points List)
  4. Steve Wheatcroft (PGA TOUR No. 179), T28
  5. Ryo Ishikawa (PGA TOUR No. 175), T61
The weather held out for Round 3, let's hope the same for the final round on Sunday!

The weather held out for Round 3, let’s hope the same for the final round on Sunday!

Sizzling Sam Saunders Shoots 59 to Lead the 2018 Web.com Tour Championship

One for the record books as Sam Saunders shoots 59 in the first round of the 2017 Web.com Tour Championship!

One for the record books as Sam Saunders shoots 59 in the first round of the 2017 Web.com Tour Championship!

Sizzling Sam Saunders shot a 12-under par 59 to take the lead in the Web.com Tour Championship. More importantly he followed it up with a 5-under par 66 the next morning in Round Two.

Starting on the 10th tee in Round One, the 30-year old grandson of the legendary golfer Arnold Palmer began with three straight birdies and then added ten more to offset one lone bogey on the par-3 16th hole.

Round Two started off slowly with four straight pars, then a birdie, when hardship struck on the par-5 6th hole. A pulled drive left nearly went out of bounds and wound up in a hedge line. Allowed a free drop from a sprinkler drip-line that gave Saunders a swing, he hit wood on his second shot and then chipped out on his third. Faced with a pitch from 123 yards, he executed well and was able to make the downhill 10-footer to save par.

An elated Sam Saunders after his opening 59 gives him a 3-stroke lead in the 2017 Web.com Tour Championship!

An elated Sam Saunders after his opening 59 gives him a 3-stroke lead in the 2017 Web.com Tour Championship!

Calling for his hybrid-two second shot to make the front left greenside bunker on the par-5 7th hole it listened and did. The Atlantic Beach Country Club member and resident, the de facto player host was at 13-under with a three-stroke lead as   he approached the green. After a magnificent fairly long bunker shot to a back left table-top hole location, the man who endeared himself to all of us a little over a year ago by sharing his last phone call with his grandfather, our hero, then made the six-footer for birdie and a four-stroke lead.

Onward Saunders marched, making deuce on the par-3 8th hole, and arriving at the 9th green where he made a 10-footer to seal the 59 deal less than eighteen hours prior.  That par meant only a 3-under 32 on the front nine whereas he posted a 28 with seven birdies the day before after a first nine 31 to become the seventh player in Web.com history to post a round of 59 or better (following Notah Begay 13-under 59 in 1998; Doug Dunakey 11-under 59 also in 1998; Jason Gore 12-under 59 in 2012; Will Wilcox 12-under 59 in 2013; Russell Knox 12-under 59 in 2013; and Stephan Jaeger 23-under 58 in 2016).

Youngster and his father after witnessing Sam Saunders' Round Two 5-under par 66!

Youngster and his father after witnessing Sam Saunders’ Round Two 5-under par 66!

Saunders intensified his pace to break the 36-hole Web.com Tour Championship scoring record of 16-under par 126 with four straight birdies to begin his second nine but hardship appeared again and this time triumphed with a bogey on the 16th and a short game double-bogey on the last with an unpredictable fluffy lie and water long first out of the rough and then out of the greenside bunker. Even with the finish, Saunders posted 59-66=125 to set a new scoring record.

After the round he shared that his private goal was to get to twenty-under par which a birdie on the last would have made possible. In tune with Forrest Gump, he said ‘it happens,’ and the key is to not get mad, to know how to handle it mentally. Asked, with wind and rain predicted on the weekend, if he would take an even par 142, he laughed it off as the insulting thinking that it was. Instead he reiterated the big stage that this Web.com Tour Championship is and that he needs to win a golf tournament. In his own words, if he can win this he is 100% sure he can win on the PGA TOUR.

Sizzling Sam Saunders signing his glove for the youngster!

Sizzling Sam Saunders signing his glove for the youngster!

I agree and I hope he is right! Though being 17-under par and a leader by four strokes, when he finished his Round Two, is a good place to be, being 1-over par for the final four finishing holes is not a good omen. Rather a challenge for Saunders who in his 182nd professional golf tournament, fairly evenly distributed between the Web.com and PGA TOUR, is destined to win many golf tournaments, not just one.

History is on his side if he continues his good play and goes on the win the 2017 Web.com Tour Championship. Champions of this event, the likes of David Duval and Stewart Cink have gone on to win on the PGA TOUR and won a major championship as well.

Back on the 7th green the scoreboard also read that there were 71 players at the time targeted to make the cut at 3-under par. First things first—make the cut, play well on the weekend, win the Web.com Tour Championship and go on to win in your fourth year on the PGA TOUR my good man, the Sizzling Sam Saunders!

More to be revealed in the afternoon wave of Round Two and over the weekend! Who will earn the additional 25 PGA TOUR cards for next season?

More to be revealed in the afternoon wave of Round Two and over the weekend! Who will earn the additional 25 PGA TOUR cards for next season?

Web.com Tour Championship: The Next Wave Indeed!!!

20170928_105625The Web.com Tour Championship, the exciting and concluding fourth playoff event, could not be hosted in a better place. The Atlantic Beach Country Club is only six blocks, less than a half mile, from the beach of its namesake ocean. The new pitch of the Web.com Tour promotion, is “The Next Wave,” and the waves are coming in fast and furious as the stars of tomorrow, and yesterday, compete for the remaining twenty-five 2017-2018 PGA TOUR cards.

Already, there are all sorts of waves and currents starting to flow in Round One, some coming into shore to shore up their tour card for next season and some going out to be lost at sea perhaps for the remainder of their playing career. What’s unique about the Web.com Tour Championship is that it pits Numbers 126-to-200 in FedEx Points on the PGA TOUR against Numbers 1-to-75 on the Money List of the Web.com Tour for an additional twenty-five PGA TOUR cards. Those cards are awarded solely on the basis of money won in the four playoff events. Web.com Tour players with a guaranteed tour card can play to improve their position for vetting into highly desired tour events next season.

20170928_110359The first twenty-five tour cards have already been awarded to the Top-25, the Golden Boys, of the 22-event regular season (in order of finish, then (country, age; Web.com career starts, wins, wins this Web.com season; PGA TOUR starts, wins): 1. Brice Garnett (USA, 34; 104, 2, 2; 75, 0), 2. Sam Ryder (USA, 27; 45, 1, 1; 1, 0), 3. Abraham Ancer (Mexico, 26; 60, 1, 0; 20, 0), 4. Andrew Landry (USA, 30; 53, 2, 1; 19, 0), 5. Stephan Jaegar (Germany, 28; 73, 3, 2; 4, 0), 6. Talor Gooch (USA, 25; 22, 1, 1; 2, 0), 7. Kyle Thompson (USA, 38: 292, 5, 1; 55, 0), 8. Andrew Putnam (USA, 28; 93, 2, 1; 25, 0), 9. Chesson Hadley (USA, 30; 44, 4, 2; 96, 1), 10. Ben Silverman (Canada, 29; 38, 1, 1; 1, 0), 11. Nate Lashley (USA, 34; 50, 1, 1; 1, 0), 12. Adam, Schenk (USA, 25; 48, 1, 1; 0, 0), 13. Andrew Yun (USA, 26; 70, 0, 0; 0, 0), 14. Ted Potter Jr. (USA, 33; 109, 2, 0; 75, 1), 15. Austin Cook (USA, 26; 51, 0, 0; 10, 0), 16. Zecheng ‘Marty’ Dou (China, 20; 24, 1, 1; 3, 0), 17. Conrad Shindler (USA, 29; 25, 1, 1; 2, 0), 18. Aaron Wise (USA, 21; 16, 1, 1; 8, 0), 19. Matt Atkins (USA, 26; 65, 1, 1; 2, 0), 20. Xinjun Zhang (China, 30; 23, 0, 0; 2, 0), 21. Brandon Harkins (USA, 31; 26, 0, 0; 1, 0), 22. Lanto Griffin (USA, 29; 24, 1, 1; 2, 0), 23. Beau Hossler (USA, 22; 14, 0, 0; 12, 0), 24. Ethan Tracy (25, 1, 1; 4, 0), 25. Roberto Diaz (Mexico, 30; 80, 0, 0; 5, 0).

20170928_165029Interestingly, four of the Golden 25 are not here—Gooch (No. 6), Putnam (8), Wise (18), and Hossler (23)—presumably focusing on next week’s 2017-2018 PGA TOUR Season Opener, the Safeway Classic at Silverado in Napa. California. A true wrap-around season! Only two have won previously on the PGA TOUR—Chesson Hadley (2013 Puerto Rico Open) and Ted Potter Jr. (2012 Greenbrier Classic). United States Kyle Thompson is the oldest at age 38 while China’s Zecheng ‘Marty’ Dou is the youngest at age 20.

For the most part, the wave coming ashore for sure, the Golden 25 of the Web.com Tour, is young with little PGA TOUR experience. The opposite is true for the PGA TOUR’s Numbers 126-to-200 trying to stay ashore on the PGA TOUR for another year.

One of the most interesting visuals of the beach is the interaction of the waves coming in, already crested, already shallowed out and flowing gently to the sandy beach. At times they are met by receding waves, yet to fully dissipate, rebounded by the slope of the beach back towards the open ocean. When these two waterflows intersect it is as a zipper is closing with a stream of water shot upwards. Herein you have the competition this week between the aspiring and perspiring, the incoming and the receding the young and the old, and the future and the past of professional golf on the PGA TOUR.

20170928_082338Familiar names in the 2016-2017 PGA TOUR FedExCup Final Points List Numbers 126-to-200 playing this week at Atlantic Beach CC include Sam Saunders (129), Ricky Barnes (139), Chad Collins (143), Matt Jones (152), Jonathan Byrd (170), Ryo Ishikawa (175), Hunter Mahan (182), Stuart Appleby (192), Ken Duke (193), and Angel Cabrera (195).

Familiar names of Numbers 126-to-150 that are in the upper echelon of players with lots of past champions’ status to garner starts next season and that are not playing this week include Jim Furyk (No. 157), Retief Goosen (162), Vijay Singh (178), Davis Love III (185), and Padraig Harrington (200).

 

Other Numbers 126-to-200 more fortunate and otherwise exempt on the PGA TOUR in 2016-2017 include Shane Lowery (No. 127, 2015 WGC- Bridgestone), Billy Hurley III (135, 2016 Quicken Loans National), Graeme McDowell (136, 2016 Mayakoba), Aaron Baddeley (138, 2016 Barbasol), Smylie Kaufman (141, 2015 Shriners in 2015-2016 Season), Brian Stuard (145, 2016 Zurich Classic), Peter Malnati (167, 2015 Sanderson Farms in 2015-2016 Season), Matt Every (168, 2014 and 2015 Arnold Palmer Invitational), Fabian Gomez (171, 2015 FedEx St. Jude and 2016 SONY Open), Greg Chalmers (173, 2016 Barracuda).

Gets complicated really fast, lots of different forces impacting players through other players as well. Just like the beach. Then throw in a hurricane or a Nor’easter and the waters go every which way.

IMG24897Jonathan Byrd is on both lists—No. 55 on the 2017 Web.com Tour Regular Season Final Money List and No. 170 on the 2016-2017 PGA TOUR FedExCup Final Points List. But the goal is to be No. 1 like Brice Garnett was on the regular 2017 Web.com Tour and have exempt status and an invite to the 2018 PLAYERS Championship. The No. 1 money-earner in the 4-evetn Finals will also be entitled to the same niceties!

Surfing safely to shore are the winners of the first three Playoff events—Peter Uihlein won the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Chesson Hadley won the Albertson’s Boise Open, and Nicholas Lindheim won the DAP Championship. Hadley and Lindheim are competing at Atlantic Beach CC this week while Uihlein, eligible via the Non-Member FedExCup Points List is currently No. 14 and competing in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai. There are many oceans in the world of golf!

20170928_165143Bubble Boys come to mind during playoff time. Sometimes bubbles burst and implode, other times, as in the case of regular season Bubble Boy Keith Mitchell, bubbles crystalize into diamond globes to sustain one’s economic future going forward!

Mitchell, a meaningless No, 26 after the regular season has posted two T2 finishes in the playoffs and is now golden at No. 6 in the Finals Money List to become a holder of one of those additional twenty-five PGA TOUR cards to be given out on Sunday afternoon.

The Web.com Tour Championship, an exciting, complicated and serious golfing competition. One thing is for sure–The Next Wave is indeed coming!

Shuai Ming Wong Wins The Junior PLAYERS in 3-Hole Aggregate Playoff!

3Congratulations to Hong Kong’s Shuai Ming Wong for winning the The Junior PLAYERS Championship in a 3-hole aggregate playoff over Logan McAllister (Oklahoma) & Jake Beber-Frankel (Miami). Exciting tournament with McAllister firing a 9-under 63 in Round 2 yesterday to start today’s final round with a 2-stroke lead. He struggled to a 74 today and rimmed out a 8-foot birdie putt on the 54th hole to win. Beber-Frankel shined with a 5-under bogey-free 67 and Wong went 5-under par over his last eleven holes, including a birdie on the home hole.

4All three players found water in the playoff over the Stadium’s ‘Water Closet’ finishing holes (either you flush your iron shots or you get flushed down the leaderboard). Wong found water first, hitting an aggressive iron second shot at the par-5 16th hole after a monstrous drive. It flew the flagstick. His drop was on the green and he two putted for par. Beber-Frankel, with the young Kenny G look, bladed his sand third shot out of a difficult lie in the front bunker on No. 16 into water long. He too dropped on the green but his 2-putt was for bogey. He nearly made up for it but missed a 6-footer for deuce on the island green par-3 17th. McAllister’s water tragedy came on his drive left on the 18th. Tough finish after the 63 and a near-make birdie putt to win in regulation. Wong, staying cool with Lee Trevino-like kibitzing with his gallery buddies between shots, won the playoff with three pars.

7Look for these guys and others from the Junior PLAYERS field to come back as pros in THE PLAYERS Championship in years ahead like the 15 who have already done so previously. It’s only a matter of time until one of the Juniors beats his elders on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass to win THE PLAYERS!

Pictures from the Final Round and Awards Ceremony: