Front 9-Edition 11
1. There are less than 6 months left for players using the anchoring method to putt. Beginning on January 1, 2016, anchoring is officially banned on all professional Tours and R & A and USGA (amateur) events. Most players who have anchored for years have already made the transition to a shorter putter, most notable among those are Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson. Carl Pettersson and Adam Scott continue to cling to their broomsticks after both players tried conventional putting earlier in the year. Scott was nothing short of abysmal when using a short putter for two months and one has to wonder if the former world #1 will ever be the player he was when the rule goes into effect.
2. Add Bubba Watson to the list of people protesting the use of the Confederate flag. Watson bought the “General Lee”, the car that became famous in the TV show The Dukes of Hazzard, in 2012. The car has a Confederate flag painted on its roof which Watson will be now painting over. Said Watson in a Tweet on Friday: “All men ARE created equal, I believe that so I will be painting the American flag over the roof of the General Lee.” When asked about his decision after Friday’s second round of the Greenbrier Classic Watson went on to say that: “the flag is offensive to some people. You know, (there was) enough buzz and I felt it was the right gesture for me to do. I don’t stand for hatred. I think we’re all created equal, like I said in the tweet.”
3. Italian professional, Renato Paratore, shot 1-over 72 in the second round of the Alstom Open de France. Combined with his 7-over par in the first round that would leave the young Italian hopelessly over the cut-line. What was remarkable about his score of 72 however was that he made 18 straight 4’s.
4. Did you know that the PGA Tour presides over not one, but six professional Tours? Those Tours are the Champions Tour for players over 50, the Web.com Tour, which serves as the main training ground for the PGA Tour, and three developmental Tours. Those three are the PGA Tour China, The Mackenzie Tour in Canada and the PGA Tour LatinoAmerica.
5. 29 year old Austrian, Bernd Wiesberger, closed with weekend rounds of 66 and 65 to win the Open de France by 3 shots over England’s James Morrison. Originating in 1906, The Open de France is the oldest National Open in Europe and has a star studded history of winners that include, Norman, Lyle, Faldo and Langer. Wiesberger has recorded several high finishes in 2015 as he continues his climb in the world rankings and this is his 3rd European Tour win.
6. Last week, veteran broadcaster, Peter Oosterhuis, who unexpectedly retired from his announcing duties at CBS in January, announced that he is battling early-onset Alzheimer’s. The affable Englishman who was first diagnosed last July initially discussed his prognosis at a fundraiser for Jim Nantz’s National Alzheimer’s Center in May. Oosterhuis was a mainstay on the European Tour where he won 4 consecutive Order of Merit titles from 1971-1974 and was a member of 6 Ryder Cup teams.
7. At one stage of Sunday’s final round of the Greenbrier Classic there were 23 players within three shots of the lead. At the end of regulation play, four players were tied for the lead at 13-under par; Robert Streb, David Hearn, Danny Lee and Kevin Kisner. The most unlikely member of the 4-man playoff was Streb who had accidently broken his putter on the 9th hole of his final round. Unable to replace a broken club during a round, Streb had been forced to putt with his sand wedge for his final 9 holes. Making one long putt after another, Streb closed with a 4-under par back 9 to make sudden death, but would be eliminated with the luckless Kisner on the first extra hole. This was Kisner’s third playoff loss in the last three months having lost at Harbor Town to Jim Furyk and at The Players Championship to Rickie Fowler. Lee would prevail on the second hole making par to Hearn’s bogie to win for the first time on Tour. When Lee became the youngest player to win the U.S. Amateur Championship in 2008 just after his 18th birthday, much was predicted for the talented New Zealander. Now a seasoned veteran at 24, and a professional for the last 6 years, Lee may be about to fulfill all the promise of his youth.
8. 17 year old star-to-be, Brooke Henderson, was granted a special exemption to play in the Women’s British Open earlier this week. A good finish in the LPGA’s fourth Major of the year and the accompanying prize money would go a long way towards helping Henderson finish the year in the top 40 money list. The Canadian phenom needs to finish in the top 40 to secure exempt status on the LPGA Tour next year.
9. This week’s final words come from Tiger Woods’s agent, Woods’ manager, Mark Steinberg addressing the story that Woods and Jason Dufner’s ex-wife, Amanda had been having an affair. In an e-mail to the Golf Channel, Steinberg wrote that: “The report is categorically false. Absolutely zero truth to that ridiculous rumor.” The story had been printed by the National Enquirer last Wednesday, so its validity would come with considerable skepticism