Getty Images

Rosaforte Report: DeChambeau will continue pushing limits

By Tim RosaforteJuly 10, 2018, 11:59 am

Bryson DeChambeau defends a PGA Tour title for the first time in his career this week, and will do so without his trusty "drawing compass” – the same one most high school students leave behind in their geometry classes.

The USGA banned DeChambeau’s measuring device last week, which, ironically, he wasn’t using to read the 12-foot birdie putt that won last year’s John Deere Classic, or the 12-footer he made on the third hole of a playoff to win this year’s Memorial Tournament.

In the wake of the ruling, DeChambeau has gone silent. He plans on making a statement at a Wednesday news conference in Silvis, Ill., deflecting follow-up questions and moving on. With the Open Championship coming up and a genuine chance to make his first Ryder Cup team, DeChambeau is hoping to make his golf speak for him while he sorts out a new invention for his science of green reading.

Leave it to the 24-year-old golf scientist for creating such a bizarre controversy. Known for his single-length irons and sidesaddle putting stroke, DeChambeau pushed the boundaries trying to make up for slightly askew measurements on the Tour’s pin sheets, when breaks didn’t match up to the contours in their yardage books.

“Maybe he outsmarts some of the other guys because he takes a different approach to the game,” said DeChambeau’s manager, Brett Falkoff. “He’s doing it different, his way.”

According to Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of rules, DeChambeau’s manner in this case was addressed in the first part of Rule 14-3a. The rule prohibits a player, during a stipulated round, from using any artificial device or unusual equipment, or using any equipment in an abnormal manner, that “might assist him in making a stroke or in his play”.

The protractor/compass was addressed in what Pagel described as a “general bucket for unusual equipment.” The way Pagel described it, the USGA’s ruling was to assure that skill and judgment are still retained.

It was in a 45-minute phone conversation with John Bodenhamer, the USGA’s senior managing director of championship and governance, that DeChambeau was delivered the decision. It could have been worse had Bodenhamer and his associates ruled that it was a breach of the rules and thus a disqualification after examining the Travelers Championship video that was brought to the attention of the USGA.

“We consider him part of the family,” noted Pagel. By that he was referencing DeChambeau’s 2015 U.S. Amateur victory. In his conversation with the USGA, it was understood that DeChambeau would continue pushing rules’ limits.

“That’s great,” Pagel said. “That’s the level of dialog we want. We love the fact that Bryson is known for innovation and pushing the limits.”

By releasing a statement on July 5, the USGA came out looking like the bad guys. It was actually Tyler Dennis, the Tour’s senior vice president of competitions, that initiated the process by reaching out to the USGA after DeChambeau’s use of a drawing compass was raised by another rules official watching the Travelers on television (DeChambeau finished T-9).

“Like Bryson said, ‘I start playing well and people start noticing different things,’” Falkoff said. Other members of DeChambeau’s team questioned how the use of a range finder or other distance measuring devices in USGA amateur championships is legal while a drawing compass is not. It was also confirmed that DeChambeau had been using the device on and off for two years.

“We kept walking off greens saying, ‘What’s going on, why didn’t it break properly?’” said DeChambeau’s swing coach, Mike Schy. “If you miss a pin placement by 3-4 feet, that can be huge.”

This was the second time DeChambeau pushed the limits with old-school instruments and was overruled. In January 2017, his sidesaddle putter was deemed to be non-conforming.

What will DeChambeau come up with next?  

“He’s working on a couple different things that he can come up with,” said a source close to DeChambeau. “He’s always been an innovator in trying new things … so it’s not going to stop him.”

Getty Images

Paisley (61) leads Web.com Tour Championship

By Associated PressSeptember 20, 2018, 11:56 pm

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Chris Paisley birdied four of the last five holes for a 10-under 61 and the first-round lead Thursday in the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship.

The South African Open winner in January for his first European Tour title, Paisley played the back nine first at Atlantic Beach Country Club, holing a bunker shot for an eagle on the par-5 18th. On the front nine, he birdied the par-3 fifth and finished with three straight birdies.

''I think just all around was really good,'' Paisley said. ''I hit it well off the tee, which gave me a lot of kind of short irons into the greens and opportunities. I hit a lot of really good iron shots close, and then a few other bonus kind of things happened where I holed the bunker shot on 18 and holed a long putt on No. 8.''

The 32-year-old Englishman missed the cuts in the first three Web.com Tour Finals events after getting into the series as a non-member PGA Tour with enough money to have placed in the top 200 in the FedEx Cup. The final card went for $40,625 last year, with Paisley needs to finish in a two-way tie for fourth or better to mathematically have a chance to secure one of the 25 PGA Tour at stake.


Full-field scores from the Web.com Tour Championship


''The nice thing was I won early in the year in Europe,'' said Paisley, a former University of Tennessee player. ''I've got the first two Final series events locked up, I think I'm in those. I'm not guaranteed to be in Dubai yet. But I just thought we have a house over here, my wife's American, my goal is to try to get on the PGA Tour, so it was a perfect opportunity to try and do it.''

Cameron Tringale and Canadian Ben Silverman were two strokes back at 63. Tringale is tied for 83rd in the PGA Tour card race with $2,660, and Silverman is tied for 85th at $2,600.

''I hit a lot of good shots and made some good putts,'' Silverman said. ''Actually, it could have been lower, but I'm not complaining. Missed a couple putts inside 6x feet, but I'm not complaining at all, it was a great round.''

Lucas Glover was at 64 with Ben Crane, Nicholas Lindheim, Matt Every, Trevor Cone, Denny McCarthy, Carlos Ortiz and Jose de Jesus Rodriguez. Carlos Ortiz and Jose de Jesus Rodriguez earned PGA Tour cards as top-25 finishers on the Web.com Tour regular-season money list, and McCarthy has made $75,793 in the first three Finals events to also wrap up a card. In the race for the 25 cards, Lindholm is 19th with $35,836, Every 30th with $25,733, Glover 40th with $17,212, and Cone 59th with $8,162

The series features the top 75 players from the Web.com regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings, and Paisley and other non-members with enough money to have placed in the top 200. The top-25 finishers on the Web.com regular-season money list are competing against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals. The other players are fighting for the 25 cards based on series earnings.

Getty Images

McIlroy likely to join PGA Tour PAC next year

By Rex HoggardSeptember 20, 2018, 11:28 pm

ATLANTA – The upside of the PGA Tour’s sweeping changes to next year’s playoff finale, along with a host of other significant changes to the schedule, seems to be more engagement in circuit policy by top players.

Jordan Spieth served on the player advisory council this season and will begin his three-year term as one of four player directors on the policy board next year, and Justin Thomas also was on this year’s PAC.

Those meetings might become even more high profile next year.


Projected FedExCup standings

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos


“I'm not on the PAC. I'm probably going to join the PAC next year. Nice to sort of know what's going on and give your input and whatever,” Rory McIlroy said following his round on Thursday at the Tour Championship.

McIlroy said he spoke with Tour commissioner Jay Monahan about the transition to a strokes-based format for the Tour Championship starting next year. Given his take on Thursday to the media it must have been an interesting conversation.

“I like it for the FedExCup. I don't necessarily think it should be an official Tour win. I don't know how the World Ranking points are going to work,” said McIlroy, who is tied for fifth after a first-round 67 at East Lake. “There's a lot of stuff that still needs to be figured out. But in terms of deciding the FedExCup, I think it's good.”

Getty Images

Thomas (67) happy to feel no pain in wrist

By Rex HoggardSeptember 20, 2018, 11:03 pm

ATLANTA – When Justin Thomas arrived at East Lake he didn’t have very high expectations.

After injuring his right wrist during the final round of the BMW Championship he spent last week in south Florida getting therapy after being diagnosed with a case of tendinitis and little else.

He said he didn’t hit a full shot last week and didn’t expect much out of his game at the finale, but was pleasantly surprised with his play following an opening 67 that left him tied for fifth place and two strokes off the lead. But most of all he was pleased that he didn’t feel any pain in his wrist.


Projected FedExCup standings

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos


“I thought that I may not be playing very well because of my preparation being able to hit as few balls as I have, but no, in terms of pain, it's not an issue,” he said.

Thomas explained that he tested the wrist earlier this week to be sure he was pain-free and conceded he considered not playing the Tour Championship in order to be as healthy as possible for next week’s Ryder Cup.

“If it would have hurt at all, I wouldn't have played,” said Thomas, who will be a rookie on this year’s U.S. team. “No. 1 most important part is my future and my career. I don't want to do anything that's going to put me out for a while. But to me, second most important is Ryder Cup. I would rather not play this week and play the Ryder Cup and be fresh and make sure I'm going to get as many points for the team as possible.”

Getty Images

Fowler 'pain free' and tied for Tour Championship lead

By Rex HoggardSeptember 20, 2018, 11:01 pm

ATLANTA – The most important member of Team USA at next week’s Ryder Cup may be the team trainer.

Justin Thomas began the season finale nursing a case of tendonitis in his right wrist and Rickie Fowler skipped the first two playoff events after being slowed by a right oblique injury.

Neither player seemed impacted by the injuries on Thursday at the Tour Championship, with Thomas tied for fifth at 3 under and Fowler tied for the lead with Tiger Woods at 5 under par.


Current FedExCup standings

Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos


“I needed the 2 1/2 weeks or so of just sitting around really not doing a whole lot,” said Fowler, who tied for eighth last week at the BMW Championship. “It was definitely the right call. If I would have played through the first or second playoff events, there was really no benefit, especially looking at the ultimate goal being ready for the Ryder Cup and to have a chance to be here at East Lake.”

Being rested and pain-free is a vast improvement over how he felt at the PGA Championship last month, when he underwent therapy before and after each round and had to wear tape just to play.

“It's nice to be back swinging pain-free because I wouldn't have wanted to deal with how it felt during PGA week for a continued amount of time,” said Fowler, who finished his day with a bogey-free closing nine to secure a spot in Friday’s final group with Woods.