FRIDAY  | APRIL 19, 2019
by Dan O’Neill

Isn’t it odd how everything seems different since Tiger Woods won the Masters? Peace is guiding the planets, harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abound.

Television ratings were terrific for Sunday at Augusta; that was a given. Woods is to TV ratings what charcoal lighter fluid is to struggling barbecue pits. When he’s a factor, you go from smoldering briquets to raging fire in no time.

The financial outlook for the golf industry has taken a significant turn north, to be sure. What’s more, stories are suggesting the entire American economy has been positively impacted by Woods’ comeback coronation.

 


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by Ted Bishop

On Sunday night, after Tiger Woods won the Masters, I did something I had never done. After finishing dinner, I grabbed my golf clubs and headed to an indoor golf facility to hit balls. A busy work schedule coupled with bad weather this spring in central Indiana had prevented me from hitting a single shot this year, until Sunday night. Woods gets all of the credit for motivating this 65-year-old man to do such a thing.

I remember Jack Nicklaus’ victory in the 1986 Masters, and it served up similar inspiration and conversation. This Masters was different. In winning his 15th major championship – and first in 11 years – Woods overcame more than any athlete in the history of sports to complete his miraculous comeback. That in itself should be a great shot of adrenalin for golf.

 


Woods isn’t the only one being transformed
I enjoyed reading Mike Purkey’s column (“Woods evolves from winner to winsome,” April 17).

I am one of those golfers who rooted for anybody but Tiger Woods to win a tournament. As I have watched his transformation over the past few years, from all of his problems to open up his personality and become more open to his peers and family, I have become one of his fans.

 


6

Number of birdies that Shane Lowry made, against no bogeys, in shooting 6-under 65 for the first-round lead Thursday at the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

 


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RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

Hawk & Rude: The post-Masters deluge
As one might expect, public reaction to Tiger Woods’ 15th major title has meandered to comical extremes. Co-hosts John Hawkins and Jeff Rude step in to separate fantasy from reality.


Grill Room Golf Show: A Masters to remember
At age 43, Tiger Woods beat the odds to capture his 15th major championship, and first in 11 years. Co-hosts Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph Jr. discuss a historic Masters Tournament, including audio reactions from Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka, Francesco Molinari, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

Lamkin has introduced the Sink Fit putter grip, the manufacturer announced. The model is available in three shapes (skinny pistol, pistol and straight) and two materials (rubber and polyurethane) and a variety of color schemes.

 

Pacific Links International is expanding its U.S. network in a collaboration with four golf courses from the Talamore Golf Group. Talamore Country Club in Ambler, Pa.; Applecross Country Club in Downington, Pa.; and Talamore Golf Resort’s New Course and the Mid South Club, both in Southern Pines, N.C., will offer reciprocal playing opportunities with PLI-affiliated clubs worldwide.

 

An estimated 24.2 million golfers played at least one round in 2018, a slight increase from the 23.8 million who played in 2017, according to the National Golf Foundation, which released its annual report about the industry. Nearly as many people, 23 million, participated in off-course forms of the game at golf-entertainment facilities such as Topgolf. Last year, 434 million rounds were played, which was a 4.8-percent decline from 2017. Those totals were among the highlights of the report, which culls data from across the golf industry.

 

The inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic, the PGA Tour’s inaugural event in Detroit, has landed commitments from some of the game’s top players. Dustin Johnson, who is No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking, has said that he will play in the June 27-30 tournament at Detroit Golf Club. Rickie Fowler will join major champions Jason Dufner, Lucas Glover, Jimmy Walker, Bubba Watson and others at the century-old Donald Ross-designed course.

 


CALENDAR
April 17-20
LPGA: Lotte Championship

Ko Olina GC, Kapolei, Hawaii

April 18-21
Web.com Tour: Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Championship

RTJ Capitol Hill (Senator), Prattville, Ala.

PGA Tour: RBC Heritage

Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Junior boys: Sage Valley Junior Invitational

Sage Valley GC, Graniteville, S.C.

April 19-21
Champions: Mitsubishi Electric Classic

TPC Sugarloaf, Duluth, Ga.


      
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