October 10, 2021
Check out our writers and editors’ unfiltered opinions breaking down the sport’s hottest topics every week and join the entertainment by tweeting us @golf_com. This week we’re discussing Bryson vs. Brooks, a shock to the LPGA Tour, Tiger Woods, and more.
1. The newest chapter in the Bryson Brooks saga was written this week as the rivals attempt to resolve their longstanding feud in the fifth version of the game the day after Thanksgiving. Perhaps appropriately, the event in Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world, will be played over 12 holes at Wynn Golf Club. What is the best scenario for this event to proceed?
It happens! Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka clash in a Vegas Match
Josh Sens, Senior Writer (@joshsens): Brooks overtakes him on every hole, but Bryson beats him in the match, which is cause for annoyance to both of them.
Dylan Dethier, Senior Writer (@dylan_dethier): They all decide to take the match itself very seriously, try seriously to beat each other up and at some point one of them snaps after the other and it leads to a long conversation about how this whole thing is making them all FEEL. And then Phil and Barkley come to post-convo analysis.
Tim Reilly, Director of Social Affairs (@LifeofTimReilly): At best, real life drama breaks out. Much of this “feud” has felt way too constructed in the past few weeks. We need an authentic battle of words to break out to keep this interesting. That being said, I hope that there is an awakening of course designers and owners who tune in to create more 12 hole golf courses. This is the perfect length to meet the needs of hardcore golfers and pique the interest of newbies.
James Colgan, assistant editor (@ jamescolgan26): Best case scenario? We go with less than 50 squiggles. Worst case scenario? The twitching never stops.
2. The shorter length of this match sets it apart from previous iterations. How else would you like event organizers to stir up the Bryson and Brooks showdown?
7 Things You Should Know About Wynn Golf Club, Brooks Koepka vs. Bryson DeChambeau Hosting Course
Sense: Left-handed long drive competition. Arm wrestling. Spelling competition.
Dethier: First, let’s acknowledge that the 12 hole thing (at least!) Is a smart thing to test. Previous editions of the match have … kind of dragged on. But I think Josh is on the right track. Take a bench press on the 8th tee and see what happens?
Reilly: Let Bryson and Brooks choose who is the other guy’s caddies. I saw this from a commenter on Instagram and I love it.
Colgan: I love the ideas above, especially the bank-off. Also give us a Manningcast style broadcast with Tiger Woods. Four hours in his brain would be nothing if they weren’t enlightening.
3 of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur); it will also be renamed the Chevron Championship and receive a 60 percent price increase. While the payouts and engagement are undoubtedly positive, the move will be at least a bit bittersweet, as the event has been in Mission Hills since its inception in 1972 and the winners have been immersed in Poppy’s Pond since 1988. Overall a good move?
The first major of the year gets a big boost in his wallet
Sense: Bad move for anyone who is nostalgic or deeply connected to tradition. But I doubt players will complain. I hope they find a way to prevent the winner from jumping into a pond.
Dethier: TBD. If the Chevron is fully committed to creating an event with the atmosphere and depth of the Mission Hills setup, absolutely. Avoiding ANWA is wise, banning an avid sponsor is crucial, and a raise is a big, big deal. Let’s hope the golf course can adequately present the elite field and let’s hope it stays here.
Reilly: Dylan summed it up well. While it’s always a shame to lose a historical connection to an event, it’s too early to say if this will make a better game in the long run. The LPGA has thought leaders running the show and that’s what they’re trying to do. At the very least, postponing the timing is a wise decision.
Colgan: Tradition is great! Money and attention are greater for women’s football. The big questions certainly concern Chevron’s engagement, but the number of zeros associated with their financial engagement seems like a pretty good sign that they are interested.
4. Harris English revealed on the Fore the People podcast that the grip of his putter, which he had been using since college and had started to “flutter”, needed to be checked by a rules officer prior to his Sunday individual match at the Ryder Cup after apparently someone had reported the possible violation of the rules; the handle was considered non-compliant until Davis Love III saved the day by operating on it. English said: “I’ve worked with it for eight, nine, 10 years, I have no idea how long. Somehow someone thought I’d putt better. I do not know. I have no idea why. “Rules are rules, but does it make sense to have to change / replace an old handle?
How Harris English’s old grip led to a last-minute Ryder Cup rules saga
Sense: If it gives you an advantage, absolutely. Still, I find it hard to imagine how English’s grip gave it an advantage, or how a putter grip would do that, unless it somehow allowed you to stealthily anchor yourself.
Dethier: I would go one step further: let’s void all of his results for the past couple of seasons! Kick him off the tour!
Nope, just kidding. This one fails the common sense test, and English certainly wasn’t sketchy. I do not get it. I also don’t understand what would make someone complain about it. But in the end he coped well, Davis Love III was able to show his knife skills, and we are no worse off.
Reilly: The only thing I can think of is a European fan pointing out in hopes of putting a mental strain on the English game.
Colgan: When I saw this story, I couldn’t help but think of the story of Will Zalatoris ‘putting on the putter, which gave way after years of use and probably hurt Zalatoris’ putting for months. Is it possible that changing the grip of English actually helped? Maybe not, but sometimes it’s a good idea to make a change long before something becomes a problem.
5. This week marked the 25th anniversary of Tiger Woods’ first of 82 PGA Tour wins at the Las Vegas Invitational. Many of Woods’ victories are burned into our memory banks – 1997 Masters, 2000 US Open, 2019 Masters, et al. – but which of Woods’ below-the-radar victories deserves more attention?
Sense: For some reason, his 1997 Cog Hill win comes to mind. Towards the end of his first full year on tour. I’m pretty sure it was this fourth win of the season. They dropped the ropes at 18 and a swarm of spectators stormed after Tiger as he played the final hole. An early sign of madness to come.
Dethier: His final W at the Zozo Championship still doesn’t get enough love. The 2018 Tour Championship was his official return. The Masters 2019 marked the end of his comeback and the culmination of this wonderful new chapter. But the 2019 Zozo confirmed that Masters win was no accident – this cat could still play.
Reilly: Since I’m the homer on Long Island, I have to keep up with Tiger’s 02 US Open win at Bethpage Black. I grew up 15 minutes from Bethpage and when the US Open was announced the whole area was excited. The excitement was to see the world’s best battle for our pride and joy. Bethpage is the epitome of New York, if you will. It lived up to the hype when 155 golfers finished the championship above average. The only player to end under par? Tiger. It was equivalent proof of the greatness of Tiger and Bethpage.
Colgan: A win that deserves more attention from me: his victory at Memorial 2009. That weekend, I saw my brother win a dollar from my grandfather in his bi-annual Tiger Woods vs. the field bet. Andrew picked up Tiger and watched him hit the field with his famous chip-in on Nov.
6. This week we released the results of a survey asking 2,817 golfers questions about their golf spending. Questions asked included how much players spend on clothing, equipment, green fees and golf trips. What part of the game are you most likely to splurge on? Travel, equipment, game improvements, anything else?
The Ultimate Golfer’s Spend Survey: What They Say, Expensive Spending, Expensive Travel, and More
Sense: Travel, and it’s not even close.
Dethier: Dito. Golf is best when it comes to adventure. So take me to a special field and I’ll be a happy golfer.
Reilly: Travel is the only answer. I’m in the process of deciding where to treat myself to a golf trip this winter. Any suggestions?!
Colgan: Travel! (And yes, my latest Pinehurst escapade is still fresh in my mind.)
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