In this week’s edition, we’re celebrating a new college event, defending a Ryder Cup captain, and challenging a new club length rule.
A full cup. The inaugural Jackson T. Stephens Cup will give some of the nation’s top college golfers a chance to play some of the nation’s best courses, including next week’s host The Alotian Club in Roland, Arkansas (followed by the venerable Seminole Golf Club next year). But for Warren Stephens, the son of the late Augusta National President Jack Stephens, it’s a personal tribute.
The 54-hole event kicks off Monday and will feature some of the best teams in the country, including Florida State’s fourth-ranked men’s team and South Carolina’s women’s team. The field will also include players from some of the country’s military colleges and historically black colleges and universities.
“My father graduated from the Naval Academy. These young men and women don’t have a normal college experience, they are literally preparing to defend our country, ”said Warren Stephens. “Having HBCU players on the field I can’t think of anything to make my dad more proud, exposing these athletes to a top class college golf event is what we’re trying to accomplish.”
This space is normally reserved for the whereabouts of the PGA Tour, but Jack Stephens used to remind his son how the whole game is connected.
“I hope he will be happy with it. He was talking to me about amateur golf and said that you can’t have a good pro game without a good amateur game, which is absolutely true, ”said Warren Stephens.
Quick start. Robert Streb became only the second ShotLink-era player to start a Tour round going 7 under all six holes on Thursday at the CJ Cup and he recorded his career best lap (61) en route to the lead. of the first round. But it was the famous 34-year-old’s response to that record-breaking start that was so in line with the brand.
“It was going really well. Obviously I got a few tight shots and the putts started. I’ve never taken a start like this, so it was kind of fun, ”he said unmoved.
To put “a little fun” in context, he putted 49 feet through his first six holes, including two outside 10 feet (a 12 foot at No. 3 for the Eagle and a 17 feet in fourth), hit five of five fairways and six greens in regulation. So, yes, “a little fun”.
Done cut – did not finish (MDF)
End the blame game. Whispers were inevitable. His choices were wrong. His pairs were imperfect. He was not prepared.
It’s the preestablished life of a losing Ryder Cup captain and Padraig Harrington probably doesn’t spend much time scrolling social media after his team’s historic loss last month at Whistling Straits, but, like that is normally the case, the criticism does not correspond to reality.
“When you think about it, America put in so many more putts than us and got some momentum really early on,” said Rory McIlroy. “I certainly couldn’t sit here and criticize anything that Padraig did. It was up to the players to play better golf and putts and we didn’t.
There is always more to the story when the Ryder Cup is involved, but as McIlroy correctly pointed out, there is a lot to blame for Europeans.
A long discussion. The distance debate has been escalating for years, and the news this week that the USGA / R & A has capped club length (46 inches) was no surprise (well, no surprise to anyone not called Phil Mickelson). But it was an immediate reminder that a storm is brewing.
The Tour quickly adopted the local rule from January 1, which is where things could get tricky. From a USGA / R&A perspective, it’s about making the game sustainable. But for the Tour, their model, their business, is entertainment and fans don’t flock to tournaments to watch a putting contest.
Bryson DeChambeau has made the headlines this year and many of those stories have been driven by how far he hits the golf ball and how he threatens to redefine the game.
The Tour is on board, for now, in large part because, as they stated in their press release, “a very small number of players have used or are currently using clubs over 46. [inches]”, But when / if the new rules start to have an impact on the product, this cooperation will necessarily be tested.
Tweet of the week:
It’s no surprise that Mickelson has pushed back the club’s new length rule given his penchant for experimenting with equipment, but a quick fact-check and his tweet unravel.
“I don’t think it will make a big difference, but I was in all of these meetings when we discussed it for quite a while and I think the majority of players are okay with that,” said Member McIlroy. of the Player Advisory Council last season and the Board of Directors this season.