Feeling Groovy

By July 15, 2009, 4:00 pm
By Apryl DeLancey, GolfWRX.com Writer
The new groove rule: friend or foe? Honestly, the equipment manufacturers should be celebrating this windfall. Theyll have a whole rush of weekend hacks and mid to high handicappers who arent affected by the rule rushing to buy new irons to put in play on January 1, 2010. Seriously. You know what I mean - the everyday golfers that dress like the pros, use the same equipment as the pros, and strive to follow every last letter of the rules of golf to the last detail.
Okay, let me back up a bit for those of you that may have missed all of the commotion about the groove rule. The grooves are currently a square or U shape in the face of the iron and they have sharp edges. The new rule requires that they be smaller and have a rounder edge. Apparently the research shows that the sharper, deeper grooves in clubs produced enough spin for players to be able to control shots from the rough. As if golf wasnt difficult enough they had to sit around and figure out how to make it harder. Seriously? So players have become skilled enough to make the clubs work for them even if they end up in a nasty spot. For shame.
There are Tour pros that favor the new groove rule and welcome the challenge. Since technology makes clubs perform better overall they need more to keep the game interesting. In the past, Jim Furyk and Phil Mickelson supported the change. They are part of the school of thought that the new grooves will bring the need for more skill in the shots that are played in the rough. Basically, driving accuracy will be more important since it will be more difficult to spin the ball out of the rough.
A similar change to make the game more challenging for the pros was proposed a few years back with the tour ball. This ball would not travel as far as those sold to the general public and therefore be more of a challenge to the pros.
The fact is that all manufacturers are not celebrating the new rule that goes into effect on January 1. In fact, Ping was quite vocal in their opposition to the new rule back in 2007 when it was first considered. Although it means they have to change the design of their irons it doesnt make sense for them to be opposed to something that would seemingly make them move more product in a time when sales are down.
Again, the rule will have nearly no effect on 98% of the golf community since they dont play in tournaments that require the regulation. For the everyday hack or weekend golfer, the new rule means about as much as a new cleat regulation in Major League Soccer. However, there are those that play the exact equipment to see how they stack up against the professionals. Others, like me, have a much more relaxed approach to the game and arent interested in making the game harder.
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Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
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Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.

Updated Official World Golf Ranking

There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”