Each week GOLF senior author Michael Bamberger identifies — and ranks — absolutely the, undeniably, best* issues in golf proper now. This week, he says goodbye to the Florida Swing and hiya to David Leadbetter. (*or not less than mildly fascinating)
7. The Swingers
We doff our cap to Sung Kang and Jason Kokrak. These two fantastic athletes had been the one two golfers to play all 288 holes of the 4 consecutive Florida Swing occasions: Honda, Bay Hill, Gamers, Valspar. However there may be just one Low Florida Swinger, and now the tabulations are in and we will supply our hearty congratulations to Jason, the long-hitting 33-year-old Canadian-born American golfer who’s clearly coming into his prime. Jason, you’re the 2019 Low Florida Swinger, the recent new four-week competitors sponsored by GOLF.com and powered by the PGA Tour.
Authorized requires this subsequent half: to take part, contestants have to be not less than 18 years of age and have performed all 288 holes of the 4 Florida Swing occasions: Honda, Bay Hill, Gamers, Valspar.
Kang and Kokrak, who sit side-by-side in numerous locker rooms, had been the one gamers to do this. Which will get us to their 72-hole scores from the 4 occasions in enjoying order, adopted by their grand totals:
Kokrak: 276, 281, 285, 277 — 1,119
Kang: 282, 280, 285, 282 — 1,129
Each performed properly all by means of the month-long stretch, however in Week IV Kokrak had a T2 end, ending the week a shot behind the winner, Paul Casey. With the stress on, he rose to the event!
Jason, properly achieved, sir. You possibly can anticipate a consultant of GOLF Journal/GOLF.com to fete you with numerous emblems of your Sunshine State successes at an upcoming match. The Masters, ideally.
6. Rory Steps Up
Rory McIlory is married, approaching 30, and one win away from finishing the profession grand slam. (Right here comes Augusta.) He’s additionally changing into an vital voice within the sport. A pair weeks in the past, McIlroy spoke in protection of the USGA, which has develop into golf’s punching bag when what it actually wants is assist and help. This week on the Match Play in Austin, he spoke about unruly followers. For many of the previous 100 years, American golf has had identifiable figures, from Bob Jones to Mickey Wright and Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, who all the time sought to place golf first, by way of how they performed the sport and talked about it. That’s been lacking for about 20 years now. That form of voice, from on excessive, is without doubt one of the issues that made golf completely different from different sports activities. Rory appears to be coming into his personal.
5. Match Play
There may be quite a lot of methods to measure match-play excellence on the PGA Tour, and one of the best ways is to have a look at 72-hole gap PGA Tour occasions that finish in a two-man tie. These develop into, basically, match-play occasions, as they’re settled in sudden loss of life. With that in thoughts, right here, once more, is one other take a look at Tiger’s dominance:
In 1996 Las Vegas, he beat Davis Love on the primary playoff gap;
In 1997, on the Mercedes Championship, he beat Tom Lehman on the primary gap;
In 1998, at Riviera, he misplaced to Billy Mayfair on the primary playoff gap;
In 1999, at a WGC at Valderrama, he beat Miguel Angel Jimenez on the primary playoff gap;
In 2001, at Firestone, he defeated Jim Furyk in a seven-hole sudden-death playoff.
In 2002, on the Tour occasion in Boston, he beat Colin Montgomerie on the third gap;
In 2005, on the Masters, he beat Chris DiMarco on the primary gap;
Later in 2005, at a WGC occasion at Harding Park, he beat John Daly on the second playoff gap;
In 2007, once more at Firestone, he beat Stewart Cink on the fourth gap.
That’s Eight-1, proper there. His playoff win over Rocco Mediate on the 2008 U.S. Open was in the end one other sudden-death playoff win, after they tied in stroke-play after 18 Monday holes. His 2000 win over Bob Might on the PGA Championship was a four-hole combination, so you may go away that off. His playoff win at Torrey Pines in 2006 was over two golfers, in order that’s even more durable.
He had one thing and a greater golf ability was solely a part of it.
four. David Leadbetter Lives!
One of many nice buying pleasures for the previous decade or so has been to examine the fantastic collection of golf duds at your close by Jos. A. Financial institution retail retailer. Simply wanting on the acquainted JAB/DL brand, that includes the famous golf teacher in profile in his trademark plantation hat and outsized sun shades, made you’re feeling you on the follow vary, grooving your transfer. So you may think about the shock when this reporter/style maven was instructed by a retailer supervisor that the Leadbetter line was being discontinued. Abruptly, you feared that this as soon as wildly outstanding teacher, now 66 years outdated, is perhaps beginning to fade away from the worldwide golf stage. After which got here the information: defending Masters champion Patrick Reed, struggling of late, is now working with the Englishman who helped make Nick Faldo a three-time winner at Augusta. (In different style information, at a Florida match, a fellow scribe stated to your correspondent, “I like your shirt – what’s it made from?” “Cotton,” got here the reply.)
three. Presidential Golf Companions
Child Rock is to nation music what Dustin Johnson is to skilled golf: a pure expertise who can do all of it, and a present for making it look simple. It’s no shock that President Trump enjoys enjoying golf with each of them at programs that bear his title. Final weekend, at Trump Worldwide at West Palm Seashore, Child Rock would have seen Trump’s title on Trump’s locker, itemizing him because the 2018 membership champion. Earlier this 12 months, one other clubhouse plaque reportedly listed two golfers as co-champions for 2018, Trump and Ted Advantage, a New York financier, the unique winner of the championship earlier than a abbreviated problem match. However final weekend, when Trump was entertaining Child Rock, the plaque appeared like this:
2. Ye Olde Should-Learn
For these of you who’re followers of the spectacular outdated hyperlinks at Machrihanish, in western Scotland, on the Mull of Kintyre, there’s a new and delightful ebook that covers the golf scene there, by means of portray, prose and poetry, from the 1880s to the 1920s. You might need to get to the membership to search out the ebook, I don’t know. It doesn’t embody a reference to the Paul McCartney people quantity, “Mull of Kintyre.” The video of the tune offers you a way of what Outdated Tom Morris should have discovered there, method again when.
1. Sure, There may be No E
It’s such a pleasurable factor, to see our English language used accurately. Bernhard Langer, for example, upon being requested to establish the best golfer within the historical past of German golf: “It’s I.” Right here’s the Chez Reavie skinny from the PGATour.com’s preview of this 12 months’s Match Play: “Debutant final 12 months took down Jon Rahm however nonetheless couldn’t get out of his group.” What a fantastic and exact sentence.
Michael Bamberger could also be reached at [email protected]