FRIDAY  | APRIL 5, 2019
by John Hawkins

Pro golf’s competitive landscape changes without warning, long before anyone actually notices the difference. Proven players get hot, then disappear for months. Remember Jordan Spieth? A three-time major champion before his 24th birthday, he hasn’t posted a top-20 finish since last August. Brooks Koepka, the ultimate big-game hunter, may continue to light the world on fire, but only on an as-needed basis.

One interesting thing about the recent Florida Swing is that European players won the final three events. Four of the top five spots on the leaderboard at Bay Hill were occupied by Euros, the lone exception being South Korea’s Sungjae Im. And at last week’s WGC Match Play, eight Europeans advanced to the round of 16. Just four Americans made it that far, although two Yanks did meet in Sunday afternoon’s title bout.

 


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by Gary Van Sickle

Another Masters Tournament is just about here. If you can’t play a good game, you at least should be able to talk a good game.

So, step into the 21st century, people, and up your game in the Department of Golf Slang. I’m begging you hacks, please retire those old bromides you still drop at the golf course that haven’t been cool since the '70s, such as: Winner-winner chicken dinner; tweet-tweet (that means something entirely different now, got it?); Army golf – left, right, left, right; and Be the ball, to name a few.

 


For U.S. women, this could be as good as it gets
In Thursday’s Morning Read, Gregory Tatoian asked "where are the American players?" (“From the Morning Read inbox,” April 4). The answer is, they're not here any longer, and we’d better get used to it.

Of the 72 contestants in the Augusta National Women's Amateur, only 31 are represented by our American flag. I haven't gone into the detail, but I suspect a significant number, or maybe even a majority, of the 41 non-Americans in the ANWA are playing for American college programs.

 


4

Number of strokes under par that American Ally McDonald stood Thursday to lead the first round of the ANA Inspiration, the LPGA's first major championship of the year. McDonald, 26, a fourth-year pro out of Mississippi State who is seeking her first LPGA victory, has made only two cuts in five starts this season.

 


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RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

Hawk & Rude: Masters memories, Part 2
Co-hosts John Hawkins and Jeff Rude continue reflecting on the year’s first major championship with thoughts on four of the best: 1995, 1996, 2005 and 2011.


The Grill Room Golf Show
Co-hosts Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph Jr. marvel at the WGC Match Play highlights, notably winner Kevin Kisner. Bubka and Randolph also offer thoughts on this week’s big events and next week’s Masters, plus a feature on the newly renovated Horseshoe Bay Resort in the Texas Hill Country.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

K-Motion will host a webinar to highlight its three-dimensional training for coaches and athletes. The webinar will be held from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. EDT Wednesday, April 10. K-Motion’s Tony Morgan and Joe DiChiaria will join Trillium Rose, the director of instruction at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md., in hosting the event.

 

The Rochester, N.Y., area is gearing up for a golf season that will include a Champions Tour major championship. The KitchenAid Senior PGA will be played at Oak Hill on May 23-26. Meanwhile, the Rochester District Golf Association and its 66 golf courses welcome residents and visitors for the spring season.

 

For a fifth consecutive year, Club Champion has been recognized on Ping’s Top 100 Club Fitters list. Ping salutes club-fitting accuracy for all levels of golfers. Club Champion, headquartered in Willowbrook, Ill., is a club-fitting and club-building company with more than 50 retail outlets nationwide.

 

Organizers of Women’s Golf Day point to this week’s competition in women’s golf as a pivotal point in the game. The ANA Inspiration, the LPGA’s first major championship of the season, is being held during the same week as the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Jordan Mixed Open, which brings two men’s tours and the Ladies European Tour together to compete for the same prize fund. Women’s Golf Day will be June 4.

 

Global Value Commerce, which sells new and used golf gear online, launched its “Add It Up at Augusta Contest” on GlobalGolf.com in honor of next week’s Masters Tournament. From now through April 10, anyone can enter by choosing favorites to win the Masters. A variety of golf prizes will be awarded.

 

Poplar Grove Golf Club in Amherst, Va., announced its 2019 membership plan as the club wraps up a $3 million renovation project. Poplar Grove offers three membership tiers – $150 for singles, $175 for couples and $225 for families – and will waive initiation fees for the first 100 members.

 

Jennifer Kupcho and Dale Douglass were named recipients of the inaugural Hale Irwin Medal, the Colorado Golf Association announced. The award, named in honor of the World Golf Hall of Fame member who grew up in Boulder, recognizes the top golfers in the state. Kupcho is the world’s top-ranked female amateur, and Douglass won three times on the PGA Tour and 11 times on the Senior Tour, including the 1986 U.S. Senior Open. The awards will be presented Nov. 23 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.

 

Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C., improved three spots, to fourth, in the latest top-100 rankings by the North Carolina Golf Panel. Pine Needles, a Donald Ross-designed course in its 91st year, recently underwent a restoration by Kyle Franz. The course will host the U.S. Senior Women's Open on May 16-19.

 


CALENDAR
April 3-6
Women’s amateur: Augusta National Women’s Amateur

Champions Retreat and Augusta (Ga.) National GC

April 4-7
LPGA: ANA Inspiration

Mission Hills CC (Dinah Shore Tournament), Rancho Mirage, Calif.

PGA Tour: Valero Texas Open

TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks), San Antonio

April 5-7
Symetra: Windsor Golf Classic

Windsor (Calif.) GC

April 11-14
PGA Tour: Masters Tournament

Augusta (Ga.) National GC


      
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