We have jumped into the podcast world! In our inaugural episode, we spoke with Mark Sider (accomplished amateur golfer and founder of Greater Than Sports Drink) about the Masters and the aftermath of Spieth’s back 9 meltdown. Listen here.
On to the next one
While the golf world remains in shock from Spieth’s meltdown at the Masters, the Tour moves on to the RBC Heritage where players will battle for a plaid jacket. World number 1 Jason Day headlines the field at Harbour Town, but the big story is Bryson DeChambeau….
Amateur no more
Golf’s newest touring professional officially ended his decorated amateur career on Tuesday, and after his t21st at last week’s Masters it appears he is ready. The polarizing DeChambeau will join Rickie Fowler as an ambassador for Puma and Cobra Golf, while electing to go with Bridgestone Golf as his ball of choice.
DeChambeau will use his 1st of 8 allowed sponsor exemptions this week to begin his quest to earn full status on the PGA Tour. So what does he need to do to earn full status?
DeChambeau will either have to win in one of his starts or earn enough FedEx Cup points to finish in last year’s top 150, each a tall task given his limited opportunities. If DeChambeau fails to accomplish the aforementioned, the “golf scientist” will have to study up for the Web.com Tour’s Q-School.
Back for redemption
2015’s RBC Heritage was a coming out party for the then 254th-ranked player, Kevin Kisner, who battled down the stretch into a playoff with the eventual champion, Jim Furyk. Kisner, a South Carolina local, has since ascended to 23rd in the world and is one of the favorites this week. Unfortunately, Jim Furyk won’t be back to defend his crown at this year’s championship as he is still recovering from a wrist surgery.
While Furyk is still on the mend, this week will mark the return of PGA Tour vet Jason Bohn, who suffered a major heart attack 7 weeks ago at the Honda Classic.
Luck o’ the logo
An interesting statistic we found while researching the Heritage is that 4 of the past 5 winners have been sponsored by RBC (Furyk ‘15, Kuchar ‘14, McDowell ‘13 & Snedeker ‘11), the event’s title sponsor…
The face we made when we found this stat.
Revered as one of Pete Dye’s best designs, Harbour Town has hosted the Heritage ever since the event’s inception in 1969. Harbour Town is one of the shortest tracks on tour and one of the players’ favorite stops (voted 2nd behind Augusta). The course’s popularity stems from the emphasis its design places on precision. Nearly every hole forces players to shape their tee shots in order to find the right angles to approach Harbour Town’s tiny greens. Look for patient players who sport good iron game to play well this week.
Hardboiled Picks to Click
Stud: Justin Thomas
DraftKings Salary: $8,900
Thomas has proven his ability to navigate tracks that require precision in his young career, as evidenced by his t11th at last year’s Heritage and top 20 finishes at this year’s Honda and Valspar. The budding star was able to make the cut at his first Masters last week and tends to be a birdie machine (with 14 or more birdies in 4 of his past 5 starts).
Value: Ian Poulter
DraftKings Salary: $7,900
While the masses will be flocking to grab the similarly-priced Bryson DeChambeau, a saavy DraftKings player will see Poulter as a low-owned alternative. Poulter made the cut at the Masters and played well in Puerto Rico at the end of March. This veteran also has the patience needed to navigate Dye’s tricky design.
Longshot: Ben Martin
DraftKings Salary: $7,200
The South Carolina native has made the cut in all 3 of his Heritage appearances, highlighted by a 3rd place finish in 2014. Martin is known to be streaky, and with 2 top 20s in his past 4 events, his game could be pointing up.
Impending Jet Lag
The European Tour kicks back up after a few weeks off at the 90th edition of the Spanish Open, hosted at historic Valderrama. The event will draw in a top-flight field, many of whom will be flying in from Augusta, and will be headlined by Spaniards Sergio Garcia (whose foundation is hosting the event), red-hot Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Miguel Angel Jimenez. The strong Spanish contingent will be joined by top 50 Europeans Martin Kaymer, Andy Sullivan, Søren Kjeldsen, Chris Wood and Victor Dubuisson.
CBS under fire
The longstanding CBS network is under fire from almost every media outlet (including this one) for their atrocious coverage of this year’s Masters. Despite having “limited commercial interruption”, CBS failed to show many players in contention besides Jordan Spieth. One example is last year’s PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, Daniel Berger, who ended up being paired with Rory McIlroy and finished t10th but didn’t have a single shot aired during Sunday’s telecast. Beyond the overfocus on Spieth and lack of actual event coverage, CBS failed to use any technology to showcase Augusta’s great undulation changes or even a ProTracer to show players’ shots bending around the course’s famous doglegs. Golfweek’s Martin Kaufman did an excellent job breaking down the coverage (or lack there of) in more detail. Read it here.
Ko back in action
A world-class field will tee it up on the LPGA circuit, trying to stop world number 1 Lydia Ko from winning her 3rd straight tournament in 2016. 14 of the top 20 players will be in action at this week’s LOTTE Championship in Hawaii.
Looking for an alternative to the bench press? Try the Single Arm Landmine Shoulder Press, which will build shoulder strength and rotation safely for a stronger golf game.
Stricker gets the nod as the 2017 Presidents Cup Captain.
Winning the lottery, this journalist’s Monday at Augusta.
Oosthuizen’s Ace called by a Spanish soccer announcer.
DeChambeau’s hidden talent: Carl Spackler.