What We Learned: That a mustache goes a long way

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2012, 3:25 am

Each week, the GolfChannel.com team will offer up thoughts on 'what we learned' from the most recent PGA Tour event. This week, the team ponders the aftermath of Johnson Wagner's victory at the Sony Open in Hawaii.


I learned that if I’m ever going to get this struggling golf game of mine turned in the right direction, there’s only one thing that will serve as a quick fix.

Lessons? Belly putter? New sticks? Nope. I just need to grow some facial hair.

“Fear the Beard” was replaced by “’Stache for Cash” on Sunday, as mustachioed Johnson Wagner became the most prominent man with lip fuzz in the Aloha State since Thomas Magnum.

Of course, I also learned that it pays to be opportunistic. Wagner now owns just nine career top-10 finishes, but three of them are victories. No reason to go incognito with a record like that. – Jason Sobel


I learned that Johnson Wagner's mustache simply frightens me. I hope it doesn't 'haunt me in my dreams.' – Golf Guy


That winning can make even the “BroStache” look good, although Johnson Wagner’s stylish effort at the Sony Open still leaves the three-time Tour winner second in golf’s mustache rankings behind Geoff Ogilvy.

That it’s neither juiced golf balls nor oversized driver heads that lead to low scores. After two record-setting weeks in Hawaii, seems it’s the Kona winds that are to blame for all those red numbers. – Rex Hoggard


Johnson Wagner isn’t who we thought he was.

The man behind the moustache is actually Montford Johnson Wagner.

OK, I probably should have known that, but I didn’t until Golf Channel’s Terry Gannon laid that out with Wagner marching on to the 18th green to close out his victory Sunday at the Sony Open. Given his confident putting stroke, given how his new swing changes are working, Wagner becomes a guy worthy of watching more closely the rest of the year. At 31, he has three PGA Tour titles now. In a golf era that seems wide open, Wagner has to be excited about what’s possible this year. A lot of guys like Wagner must see opportunities that didn’t seem to be there a few years ago. Ryder Cups, majors, World Golf Championship and FedEx Cup successes, they seem more within reach now. – Randall Mell


Movember is not just a month of the year. It's a state of mind. The oft-maligned piece of facial hair appears to have made a comeback on tour.

Johnson Wagner won for the third time on the PGA Tour at the Sony Open, but his first with a mustache. Maybe he's wearing it ironically. Maybe he lost a bet. Whatever the reason, he's going to stick with it for a little while.

One can only hope that 2012 can be the Year of the 'Stache, as opposed to the Year of the Belly Putter. Then again, I'm not sure which looks worse. - Ryan Ballengee


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Garcia (73), Fleetwood (74) off to slow starts at BMW

By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 8:30 pm

PULHEIM, Germany – Sebastien Gros carded a 4-under 68 in windy conditions to lead by one shot after the opening round of the BMW International Open on Thursday.

The Frenchman had four birdies to take the lead before the turn, and a six-footer on the 15th hole moved him two ahead. But a bogey on the next hole left the 28-year-old Gros just one ahead of Jorge Campillo, Scott Jamieson, Aaron Rai and Henric Sturehed.

Sturehed eagled the par-5 No. 13 to take the lead in the morning at the Gut Laerchenhof club.

Christofer Blomstrand, Nico Geyger, Mark Tullo, Victor Perez, David Howell and Nicolai von Dellingshausen are a further stroke back on 2-under 70.

Defending champion Andres Romero was among a large group at 1 under, including 2013 winner Ernie Els and three-time European Tour winner Andy Sullivan.

Romero is bidding to be the first player to retain the title.

Local favorite and 2008 champion Martin Kaymer shot 72, ahead of Sergio Garcia (73) and Tommy Fleetwood (74).

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Ryu thriving again after simple advice from Inbee Park

By Randall MellJune 21, 2018, 7:07 pm

So Yeon Ryu shared Rolex Player of the Year honors last year.

She reigned as world No. 1 for almost five months.

So when she couldn’t keep her momentum going at year’s start, she got frustrated. She wasn’t happy with two top 10s in her first 11 starts.

“I lost a lot of confidence at the beginning of the year,” Ryu said Thursday as she prepared to lead a strong field as the defending champion in Friday’s start of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. “My expectation level was way too high.”

So she sought the counsel of her pal, world No. 1 Inbee Park, who gave her some plain-spoken advice.


Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship


“Get over it,” Park told her. “You know what to do. You’ve done it, so it’s not really a big deal. Don’t worry about it. You were No. 1. You’ve achieved a lot of things as a professional golfer. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.”

Ryu got over it winning the Meijer LPGA Classic last week, the sixth LPGA title of her career, her third in 15 months. She’s feeling good again leading a stellar field this week at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark., a strong tune up before next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the year’s third major championship.

World No. 1 Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn and No. 3 Lexi Thompson are among the top nine players in the world scheduled to compete this week. Twenty-four of the top 30 are in the field.

“When you come to defend your title, you obviously have a lot of pressure, but after I won last week, now I sort of think, maybe I have a chance to defend my title,” Ryu said. “So I've got total confidence, by last week.”

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Watch: Spieth, JT hole bunker shots in back-to-back groups

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 6:57 pm

Jordan Spieth has a thing for holing bunker shots at the Travelers Championship, where he made one in a playoff to win last year.

He did it again in Round 1 at TPC River Highlands, knocking in this shot for eagle at the par-5 sixth to reach 4 under par for the tournament



In the next group, Justin Thomas did the same thing to reach 1 under. Keep an eye out for the best part of this highlight, when Thomas' caddie Jimmy Johnson tries to hand him his putter.

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River Highlands a 'breather' for Zach Johnson (63)

By Will GrayJune 21, 2018, 6:43 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – After enduring the pressure-cooker of the U.S. Open, Zach Johnson was more than happy to drift north to the friendly confines of TPC River Highlands.

Birdies were rare last week at Shinnecock Hills, but they’ll be plentiful all week long at the Travelers Championship. Browned-out and crispy conditions transitioned to lush and verdant, and players can attack flags without fear of turning a possible par into a struggle to avoid triple.

Johnson did just that in the opening round, carding eight birdies against a single bogey to take the early lead with a 7-under 63.

“It’s a different kind of breathing. It’s a different kind of exhaling, if you will, but they’re both good,” Johnson said. “You can put some red on the board here. We know that. We’ve seen it. You can go the other way in a hurry if you press it; it can keep going in the other way. So you kind of have to let it happen. This is one of those courses where you have to let it happen.”


Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


Like many in this week’s field, Johnson took it easy after a grueling major championship, staying away from the course Monday and easing into his prep over the next two days. Those decisions paid off quickly as he rattled off six straight birdies on Nos. 11-16 to take sole possession of the lead.

While Johnson tied for 12th last week at Shinnecock Hills, that was just his second top-15 finish since the Sony Open in January. But the veteran is no stranger to fast starts at TPC River Highlands, having now opened with 65 or better four times in his last eight appearances dating back to 2011.

It’s a course where he continues to have success, even if his past consistency hasn’t lived up to expectations.

“I feel like every time I get here it feels like I should shoot nothing, and it bites me,” Johnson said. “The last couple years I’m like, ‘All right, you can’t have any expectations in that regard. You’ve just got to go out and execute, you know, put the ball in the fairway and you will have opportunities.’”