FRIDAY  | MAY 17, 2019
by Alex Miceli

Brooks Koepka is a gamer. In golf speak, that means he really can golf his ball.

In the 101st PGA Championship, Koepka shot a course-record 7-under 63 on Thursday at Bethpage State Park's Black Course for a one-stroke lead over former U.S. Amateur champion Danny Lee (scores).

None of this should be a surprise. Koepka, the defending PGA champion, predicted Tuesday here that if he did what he was supposed to do this week, then he would be tough to beat and would retain the Wanamaker Trophy.



by Gary Van Sickle

Tiger Woods got Tiger Woods-ed in the 101st PGA Championship’s opening round Thursday.

Tiger Woods-ed? Isn’t that what you call it when the best player in the game shoots a demoralizingly low score in a major championship’s first round? You know, one of those stunning, take-it-deep rounds that leaves the rest of the field reeling and trying not to think, Uh-oh, not again, or, even worse: It’s over. Hand him the trophy, already.

That’s exactly what happened at Bethpage State Park’s Black Course on a second straight sunny day. Except Woods wasn’t the one delivering the ominous news to his intimidated competitors this time. He was on the receiving end, a role reversal usually reserved for “Undercover Boss.”


Long-time golf journalists John Hawkins and Jeff Rude are co-hosts of a weekly podcast, Hawk & Rude, in which they discuss and debate the hottest issues in golf. They also share their takes in this weekly installment.

The feud between TV analyst Brandel Chamblee and defending PGA champ Brooks Koepka has lingered. Do you guys, as longtime journalists who once worked for Golf Channel, have a take?



From classic coastal golf courses that offer some of the most scenic views in the Brunswick Islands to challenging links play designed by the masters, North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands earns its reputation as North Carolina’s Golf Coast with every tee shot, fairway drive and perfectly calculated putt. The North Carolina part of Grand Strand golf, the Brunswick Islands, is home to 567 holes of challenging and rewarding golf gold spread across more than 30 championship courses, all in one amazing destination. Exemplifying coastal golf at its finest, each course offers players a one-of-a-kind experience within a one-of-a-kind destination. Need even more reasons to make Brunswick Islands your golf getaway destination? Check out nine reasons golf in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is a hole in one!


Comparing Woods and Nicklaus ‘grossly unfair’
There has been a great deal of recent discussion among Morning Read enthusiasts about identifying the greatest golfer of all time, with most of it centering on Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. The number of major tournaments, strength of field and equipment have been a part of the banter.

Those of us of a certain age, myself included, might suggest that Ben Hogan should be in the mix. Others might question why Bob Jones, Walter Hagen or Harry Vardon aren’t in the discussion. All of them dominated their eras.



Number of double bogeys that Tiger Woods made in a first-round 2-over 72 in the PGA Championship on Thursday.




Maria Fassi, who won the 2018 Annika Award as the best player in women’s college golf, has received a sponsor exemption into the Evian Championship. The announcement was made by the Annika Foundation, which is World Golf Hall of Fame member Annika Sorenstam’s charitable organization, and the Fred Haskins Commission. Fassi, a senior at Arkansas, is from Pachuca, Mexico. The Evian, one of the LPGA’s five major championships, will be played July 25-28 at Evian Resort Golf Club in France.


Billy Casper Golf will celebrate its one-year anniversary aligned with Topgolf’s Toptracer Range platform this week. The program, which has been branded as Launchbox Golf, will be celebrated today through Sunday at 1757 Golf Club in Dulles, Va.


Golftec will offer special pricing on lessons, swing evaluations and club fitting in honor of Father’s Day. The specials will be available through June 16.


Players who used Lamkin grips claimed three of the top five spots, including the winner, at the Champions Tour’s recent Regions Tradition. The winner played the Deep Etched Pistol Full Cord model.


May 15-17
Symetra: Symetra Classic

River Run CC, Davidson, N.C.

May 16-19
Women’s pro: U.S. Senior Women’s Open

Pine Needles Lodge, Southern Pines, N.C. Knoxville Open

Fox Den CC, Knoxville, Tenn.

PGA Tour: PGA Championship

Bethpage State Park (Black), Farmingdale, N.Y.

May 17-22
Women’s college: NCAA Division I Championship

Blessings GC, Fayetteville, Ark.

12700 Sunrise Valley Dr, Suite 300, Reston, Virginia 20191
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