By Ben Alberstadt
Email me at ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com and find me at @benalberstadt on Instagram and golfwrxEIC on Twitter.

November 1, 2019

Good Friday morning, golf fans. In non-golf news: Reports suggest it’s November.
 
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1. Fitzpatrick leads, McIlroy lurks
AP report…”Already with three victories and a career-best 17 finishes in the top 10, Rory McIlroy has put himself in position to add to those totals going into the weekend at the HSBC Champions.”
  • “He made a mess of the 16th hole Friday and escaped with bogey after hitting three tee shots (only two of them counted). He bounced back with a 5-iron to 3 feet for eagle on the final hole for a 5-under 67, leaving him one shot behind Matthew Fitzpatrick.”

Full piece.

2. And in Bermuda…
AP report…”Scottie Scheffler closed with a bogey for a 9-under 62 and a one-stroke lead Thursday after the first round of the PGA Tour’s inaugural Bermuda Championship.”
  • “Scheffler played his opening nine at hilly Port Royal Golf Club in 6-under 29, making an eagle on the par-5 17th. He added birdies on Nos. 2, 4, 6 and 7. In position to birdie in for a 59, he parred the par-3 eighth and dropped the stroke on the par-4 ninth.”

Full piece.

3. At the Swinging Skirts
Checking in on the action at the worst tournament name in the history of bad tournament names…
  • AP report…”Mi Jung Hur shot a second consecutive 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead after Friday’s second round of the LPGA Swinging Skirts.”
  • “Hur, who is looking for her third victory this season, is at 12-under 132 overall. Defending champion Nelly Korda (67) was one shot back while trying to win her second LPGA title of the season and third of her career.”
  • “Minjee Lee (67) and In-Kyung Kim (65) are two strokes behind.”

Full piece.

4. Meanwhile, at Pinehurst…
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell on the Q-Series developments...”Yealimi Noh moved closer to realizing the dream that escaped her in a pair of runs at winning LPGA titles as a non-member this summer.”
  • “The good news is that she doesn’t have to win Q-Series this week to gain tour membership. All she has to do is finish among the top 45 and ties in the final stage of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament. That’s looking more than likely with her 3-under 69 Thursday moving her into solo third place through six rounds with just two rounds to go.”
  • “Muni He continued to set the pace at Pinehurst No. 9 in North Carolina, with a 70 moving her to 18 under overall, two shots ahead of Hee Young Park (66) and seven ahead of Noh.”
Full piece.
5. Disrespectful
Rick Young at Score Golf…”I reached­­­ out to the Phoenix-based swing instructor earlier this week and it is clear that Kostis is disheartened by the unceremonious way he and McCord were shown the exit door by Sean McManus. The CBS Sports chairman broke the news to the two eldest members of his golf broadcast team by telling them in separate conversations that their contracts were not being renewed and that the network’s coverage – “stale” is how McManus allegedly described it to the two – was moving in a different direction.”
  • “I’m surprised Gary and I didn’t get the same loyalty other announcers have received who have worked for CBS for a long time,” said Kostis. “That’s my biggest surprise in this whole thing. I wasn’t sure if I was going to work beyond this current television contract (2021) but it would have been nice to have a year to go out and say goodbye to fans, say goodbye to sponsors, friends we’ve met in different locations. I thought it was a little bit disrespectful.”

Full piece.

6. Olympic golf location debate?
Geoff Shackelford writes…”Reuters’ Andrew Both obtained a letter that “well-known” Japanese politician Shigefumi Matsuzawa has written to the IOC calling for the 2020 Olympic golf venue-Kasumigaseki-changed due to the likelihood of deadly heat waves.”
  • “Matsuzawa said his concern was not only for the golfers but for  volunteers and spectators without clubhouse access who, he wrote, would  have nowhere to escape the heat and humidity.” 

Full piece.

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7. Decline of 7,500 in registered golfers in Scotland
Martin Dempster at the Scotsman with the grim news…”Golf club membership in Scotland is continuing to drop, according to an annual survey of the sport across Europe.”
  • “The KPMG’s Golf Participation Report for Europe reveals a loss of 7,521 registered golfers in the sport’s cradle between 2017-18,”
  • “The four per cent drop means there are now 180,281 golfers registered to Scottish golf clubs compared to 187,802 in 2017 and 209,812 in 2014.”

Full piece.

8. “I’ll never get there”
Alex Myers at Golf Digest...”In an on-camera interview with GOLFTV at this week’s WGC-HSBC Champions, McIlroy made it clear he believes he has no chance of reaching Tiger’s 82-win total. That’s right, no chance.”
  • “I’ll never get there,” McIlroy says in the clip. “I’m a realist and I know that 82 PGA TOUR wins is something that in this day and age is probably not going to be surpassed.”

Full piece.

9. 40 percent didn’t vote?
Good spot by Geoff Shackelford from Golf.com’s Anonymous Players poll…
First, the data…
  • “WHO GOT YOUR VOTE FOR 2019 PGA TOUR PLAYER OF THE YEAR?
  • Rory McIlroy: 33%
  • Brooks Koepka: 17%
  • Other: 10%
  • Didn’t vote: 40%”
  • And Shack correctly notes: “While this validates how many likely voted for McIlroy, it also does not do give much power to that whole “voted by his peers” argument.”
Full piece.

 

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