U.S. Open Pool results will be posted in Friday’s newsletter. Sorry for the delay; it’s been a busy couple of days.
Shocking news was broken by No Laying Up on Tuesday, as the 25-year partnership of Phil Mickelson and caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay has ended. Mickelson’s brother Tim will finish out the rest of the year on Phil’s bag. What bag – or booth – Bones will head to remains a mystery. The golf world is left to collectively pour one out for the pairing that brought us a one “veto” rule, regular flag tending from 100 yards, lengthy tee box conversations and much, much more.
From one star to another
On Monday, Tiger Woods announced that he was seeking professional help to deal with his struggles with prescription medication, which he’s used for his insomnia and back problems. It appears that hope for a Tiger return is at an all-time low.
Movin to the Northeast
After a riveting U.S. Open, we are back to the PGA Tour schedule with the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands this week. With the Tour’s new “one in four” rule, which requires players to play in one new event every four years, the Travelers has seen a big bump in field strength with Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Jordan Spieth deciding to add it to their schedule. Along with the world’s third-, fourth- and sixth-ranked players, Justin Thomas and Paul Casey will also be in the field. Full field
A throw of the hat
Last year’s final round saw Scotland’s Russell Knox hold off Jerry Kelly to capture his second career PGA Tour title. Knox’s triumph was thanks to his stellar iron play, which ranked third in strokes gained: approach for the week. Unfortunately for Knox, his win played second fiddle to Jim Furyk, who fired a twelve-under 58 early on Sunday morning to record the lowest round in PGA Tour history and earn a top-five finish.
High praise for Weed’s work
This week’s host course is TPC River Highlands, located in Cromwell, Connecticut. River Highlands was originally constructed in 1928 before undergoing a complete overhaul by Pete Dye in 1982. Bobby Weed did some more work to the course in 1989, adding the drivable par 4 15th. The course draws rave reviews and tips out at just over 6800 yards, which allows all types of players to succeed. Over the years, winners have included bombers such as Bubba Watson, solid all-around players like Kevin Streelman and Russell Knox and even a short game magician like Freddie Jacobson.
Storylines to watch
All of the event's headline players are coming from the U.S. Open with some level of disappointment.
Justin Thomas is coming off his best finish in a major championship (T9) after setting a new single-round scoring record. But Thomas had a tough final round, shooting 75 and never really threatening for the championship. He will head to River Highlands looking for his first win on the U.S. mainland at a course where he finished T3 last year.
Jordan Spieth fired a final-round 68 in tough conditions at Erin Hills but was done in by a struggling putter all week. Spieth hit the ball well enough to contend but his putter left him in a tie for 35th.
Rory McIlroy and Jason Day both missed the cut by a mile last week. Rory has the solace of birdieing four of his final six holes in his first start since The Players Championship.
A horse for the course
The polarizing Bubba Watson will look to rebound from a missed cut at the U.S. Open and improve upon his dismal season at an event he has won twice. Watson’s struggles since switching to the Volvik golf ball have been well documented and at this point look like a terrible business move. Watson has made just over $800,000 in earnings on the season and has plummeted to 40th in the world rankings, his lowest position since the fall of 2010.
Debuting Wyndham Clark
Former Oregon and Oklahoma State star Wyndham Clark will make his professional debut this week after being the No. 1-ranked player in college golf. Clark will attempt to earn his card via seven sponsor’s exemptions and needs to earn 454 FedExCup points in his seven starts to do so. What you can expect from Clark is explosive distance with ball speeds in the 180’s and a strong short game. If his putter gets hot he could contend anywhere.
With a strong field in Connecticut, Paulie has some sound advice as to where to allocate your assets, one of them might be a certain pescatarian. Read ‘em here.
The European Tour is in Munich for the BMW International, where Henrik Stenson will look to defend his title and end his streak of uncharacteristically poor golf. The world’s seventh ranked player has failed to play the weekend in four of last seven events, notching only one top ten in that span. Stenson is joined by other European stars Martin Kaymer and Tommy Fleetwood, who will make the hike to tee it up at the Golfclub München Eichenried just a few days after Erin Hills.
The Honest Abe Shootout
The Web Tour is in Springfield, IL, for the Lincoln Land Championship hosted at Panther Creek Golf Club. Steven Jaeger is back from the U.S. Open and looking for his third win on the season, which would earn him a battlefield promotion to the PGA Tour. The season is past its halfway mark and players will look to begin to secure their spot in the top 25 – which guarantees a PGA Tour card – or at least the top 75, which gives them a shot for a card at the Web.com Tour Finals.
The LPGA heads to Arkansas for the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.
The PGA Tour announces new drug testing rules.