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Monday Morning Caddy - February 26, 2018

Monday, February 26, 2018 9:41:41 AM America/North_Dakota/Center

Justin Thomas Honda Classic

Justin Thomas Wins Again!

With his seventh win in 31 starts (a pretty incredible stat), Justin Thomas moved into the Number 3 spot on the World Golf Rankings with his playoff victory over Luke List at the Honda Classic this weekend.  With his parents waiting greenside, Thomas set himself up for a two-putt birdie, defeating Luke list, who mustered par.


The rise in the rankings now puts Justin Thomas one spot ahead of his good buddy, Jordan Spieth for the first time in history.  Although it seems as though Thomas has larger goals in mind stating, “There’s still two more spots I want to climb.”


The playoff at the Honda Classic marked the seventh playoff in 15 PGA Tour events so far this year.  I don’t know about you, but that’s a stat I can get excited about.


What’s In The Winner’s Bag?

Justin Thomas used Titleist equipment to power him to his eighth victory at the Honda Classic.  He also took home $1,188,000 for the week, which isn’t too bad for a week’s work.  Here’s a list of the gear in Justin Thomas’ bag:

Driver: Titleist 917 D2 w/ Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana BF60 TX Shaft

Fairway Woods: Titleist 912 F2 – 15 Degree and 18 Degree

Irons: Titleist 718 AP2 4 Iron, Titleist 718 MB Irons (5-9)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM6 (46, 52 and 60 Degree), Titleist Vokey SM5 56 Degree

Putter: Scotty Cameron X5 Prototype w/ Superstroke Pistol Grip

Ball: Titleist Pro V1X

Shoe: FootJoy Icon


Tiger Shows Signs of Life at the Honda

Tiger Woods Honda Classic

For the first time in years, Tiger Woods played golf like he wanted to win at the Honda Classic.  After a complex back surgery in April 2017, where he had a disc removed, Tiger showed few signs in his few appearances on the Tour that he’d have a chance of reclaiming his glory days again.


After his showing at the Honda Classic, I think we finally have reason to believe again.  Shooting an even Par 280 for the tourney, good enough for 12th place, Tiger showed that he is strong enough to play championship-quality golf again.


Woods has made it clear that he is building towards the Masters and if he continues playing like he did this weekend, he’s certainly going to give himself a shot.  Jack Nicklaus, for one, thinks it’s likely that Tiger will be in the winner’s circle at a major again.  He said, “His best chances would be at Augusta, followed by the British Open, if he stays healthy. Augusta has all the room in the world to hit it. When he doesn’t, he knows how to get out of trouble. He could win any tournament. He’s a phenomenal golfer and a phenomenal athlete. Whether he can solve the problem between his ears, which I think is where his biggest problem will be, that’s to be seen. He’s fully capable of winning two more majors — if he stays healthy. Winning five more is another question.”


We’ll have to wait and see if Jack’s prediction comes true, but for now, let’s just enjoy the fact that a great comeback story might be in the works.


Jessica Korda Dominates Honda LPGA Thailand

Jessica Korda Honda Thailand

Jessica Korda is now the proud owner of a new tournament record after her scorching win at the Honda LPGA Thailand.  She shot a 25 under 263, which smashed the mark set by Amy Yang of 22 under in 2017.  Korda held off Lexi Thompson and Moriya Jutanugarn for a four-stroke victory.


Korda was clearly excited about the win, saying, "It's an incredible thing to be able to win again. I haven't won in two years. And who knows? It's so hard out here. These girls are so good. I mean, look at the scoreboard. I had to shoot 25 under just to win.”


Congrats to Jessica – 2018 is looking like a good year for her!


Golf Digest Releases Top 100 Courses in the World and the U.S.

Pine Valley Golf Club New Jersey

Looking for a few good courses to play?  Golf Magazine just came out with their Top 100 Courses in the World and the Top 100 Courses in the U.S.  There weren’t too many surprises or shakeups on the list.  Pine Valley in New Jersey took the top spot in the U.S. and in the World.  Check them out and start making your bucket list today.



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Posted in Golf Insider By Sara Rubin

Monday Morning Caddy - August 7, 2017

Monday, August 7, 2017 9:37:56 AM America/North_Dakota/Center

Monday Morning Caddy 080717 

It was a big week in golf and we have got all the news right here for you.  From Hideki Matsuyama's record-tying win at the Bridgestone to the Solheim Cup picks to Steph Curry's professional golf debut - Austad's Monday Morning Caddy has you covered.


Matsuyama Shoots 61 to Win Bridgestone

Hideki Matsuyama 2017 Bridgestone Invitational

If you weren’t watching the final round of the Bridgestone Open yesterday, then you missed out on a pretty incredible round from Hideki Matsuyama.  After what he admitted was a pretty crappy warm up, Matsuyama lit the course on fire with a record-tying 9 under 61 to blow out the competition.  It was the lowest final round score at Firestone Country Club in four decades. 


This is the 25 year old’s second World Golf Championship win and he’s pulled off those victories by a 12 shot margin.  We’ll see if Matsuyama will be able to translate that good mojo into a Major victory at the PGA Championship this week.


What’s in Hideki Matsuyama's Bag:

- Driver: Callaway Great Big Bertha - 9 Degree

- 3 Wood: TaylorMade 2017 M2 - 15 Degree

- Hybrid: Callaway Apex - 18 Degree

- Irons: Srixon Z-965 (4-PW)

- Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 (52, 56, 60)

Putter: TaylorMade TP Collection Mullen Tour Prototype

Ball: New Srixon Z-Star XV


Is There Anything Steph Curry Can’t Do?

Steph Curry Pro Golf Debut 

In case you missed it, two-time Golden State MVP Steph Curry decided to try his hand a some pro golf this past week.  He joined the field for the Web.com Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae and expectations for his performance were subdued at best.  To put it bluntly, no one expected Curry to make the cut in a field of players that are one small notch below the PGA Tour. 

He didn’t make the cut, but what did surprise people is how well Curry played.  Curry shot a salty back to back 74, beating quite a few of the pros.  Steph probably won’t be trading basketballs for golf balls anytime soon, but it’s definitely fun to see him try and cross over.


You Won’t Believe Rory’s Driving Stats from the Bridgestone

While Hideki Matsuyama was busy shooting course records and taking the Bridgestone Championship in style, Rory McIlroy was absolutely crushing his drives all week.  Here are a few stats for you:

- 52 out of 56 tee shots travelled farther than 300 yards
- Average driving distance: 328.7 yards (Jason Day came in 2nd at 319.2 yards)

Obviously driving the ball well is one small part of the game and while Zach Johnson finished 53rd in driving distance, he closed out the tournament 4 shots ahead off McIlroy in 2nd place.  Still – being able to solidly hit the ball 330 yards off the tee isn’t too shabby!


Solheim Cup Picks Finalized

Solheim Cup Picks 2017

The Solheim Cup is right around the corner (August 18-20 in Des Moines) and captains Juli Inkster and Annika Sorenstam finalized their rosters this weekend with some youthful picks.  Both captains seemed to opt for youth vs experience with their picks and we’ll see how that plays out in a few short weeks.  Here are the full rosters:

TEAM USA – Captain Julie Inkster

Lexi Thompson
Stacy Lewis
Gerina Piller
Cristie Kerr
Jessica Korda
Danielle Lang
Michelle Wie
Brittany Lang
Brittany Lincicome
Lizette Salas
Austin Ernst
Angel Yin

TEAM EUROPE – Captain Annika Sorenstam

Carlota Ciganda
Jodi Ewart Shadoff
Georgia Hall
Charley Hull
Karine Icher
Forentyna Parker
Suzann Pettersen
Mel Reid
Anna Nordqvist
Caroline Masson
Emily Kristine Pedersen
Madelene Sagstrom

The Solheim Cup is always a great event with a lot of energy and with so many young golfers, it should be fun to watch!


PGA Championship Favorites

The final Major of the year kicks off on Thursday at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina and it’s shaping up to be a great one!  There are a lot of guys who have been playing some great golf this year and as is the case with any major, this is truly anyone’s game.  As usual, big names like Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jason Day have to be considered favorites, but there are so many other guys who could easily step up and take this thing.  Here are the odds for the top players from GolfOdds.com:

Jordan Spieth 7/1
Rory McIlroy 7/1
Dustin Johnson 9/1
Rickie Fowler 15/1
Jason Day 20/1
Hideki Matsuyama 20/1
Jon Rahm 20/1
Brooks Koepka 25/1
Justin Rose 25/1
Henrik Stenson 25/1
Sergio Garcia 25/1
Adam Scott 30/1
Justin Thomas 30/1
Phil Mickelson 40/1
Matt Kuchar 40/1
Tommy Fleetwood 40/1
Paul Casey 50/1
Alex Noren 50/1
Branden Grace 50/1
Thomas Pieters 50/1
Marc Leishman 50/1
Patrick Reed 60/1
Bubba Watson 60/1
Daniel Berger 60/1
Charley Hoffman 60/1
Louis Oosthuizen 60/1
Ian Poulter 80/1
Rafael Cabrera Bello 80/1
Charl Schwartzel 80/1
Zach Johnson 80/1
Jason Dufner 80/1
Kevin Kisner 80/1
Brandt Snedeker 80/1
Kevin Chappell 80/1
Jimmy Walker 100/1
Lee Westwood 100/1
J.B. Holmes 100/1
Brian Harman 100/1
Shane Lowry 100/1
Francesco Molinari 100/1



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Posted in Golf Insider By Sara Austad

Monday Morning Caddy - September 12, 2016

Monday, September 12, 2016 10:55:00 AM America/North_Dakota/Center

Monday Morning Caddy 091216

It was a big weekend on tour with a lot of excitement at the BMW Championship, the final 30 getting locked in for the FedEx Cup Championship and U.S. Ryder Cup Captain, Davis Love III making three of his four captain's picks.  Here's the inside scoop:


DJ Fore The Win!

Dustin Johnson BMW Championship



Dustin Johnson, playing like a man possessed by a sudden drive to win pulled out some big drives for a big win at the BMW Championship this weekend.  His play was so dominant that there were only two other golfers (Paul Casey and Roberto Castro) that were within 11 strokes of him.  Damp conditions made the course more challenging for golfers who didn't see their drives getting any extra roll.  Fortunately for DJ, that wasn't an issue since most of his drives carried 310+ yards.


Paul Casey made an impressive charge with plenty of birdies and even dropping a 25 foot putt for eagle on 15 to pull within one.  However, Casey's charge was no match for the sheer power of Dustin Johnson, who shrugged off several bad hits to close strong.  Johnson's win at the BMW gives him 3 victories on the season, which ties DJ with Jason Day for the most on tour.  Our bet is that DJ's U.S. Open win and a strong finish will help him lock up PGA Player of the Year.


FedEx Cup Final Set

FedEx Cup


A lot of moving and shaking happened after the BMW, but we have a Top 30 set and the players now have a week of as they get ready to play for that $10 Million check at East Lake Golf Club in Georgia.  Notably, JB Holmes slid into the top 30 and bumped Rickie Fowler out of the final tournament when he drained a short par putt on 18.  Justin Rose also missed the cut and Henrik Stenson took the BMW off and became ineligible to play in the Tour Championship.  Either way, next week's tourney should be a lot of fun to watch.  Here's a full list of the final 30:

1. Dustin Johnson
2. Patrick Reed
3. Adam Scott
4. Jason Day
5. Paul Casey
6. Rory McIlroy
7. Jordan Spieth
8. Russell Knox
9. Emiliano Grillo
10. Jimmy Walker
11. Brandt Snedeker
12. Justin Thomas
13. Phil Mickelson
14. Ryan Moore
15. Kevin Chappell
16. Matt Kuchar
17. Hideki Matsuyama
18. Si Woo Kim
19. Kevin Kisner
20. Gary Woodland
21. Roberto Castro
22. Kevin Na
23. William McGirt
24. Bubba Watson
25. Sean O'Hair
26. Daniel Berger
27. Jason Duffner
28. J.B. Holmes
29. Jhonattan Vegas
30. Charl Schwartzel


Love Makes 3 Ryder Cup Picks

Hazeltine Ryder Cup


The speculation is at least mostly over.  U.S. Ryder Cup Captain, Davis Love III, made 3 of his 4 captain's picks at Hazeltine this morning.  Matt Kuchar, J.B. Holmes and Rickie Fowler have officially been pegged and Love will make his final pick after play at the Tour Championship on September 25.


Holmes is not a surprising pick as he was only two spots away from qualifying automatically.  He's been on a bit of a hot streak lately with a T33 finish at the Deustche Bank and a T4 at the BMW Championship on Sunday.  Matt Kuchar is also a solid pick.  He was the top-finishing American at the Olympics in Rio, winning a bronze medal.  Kuch also has a great reputation on tour and is well-known to be a solid team player.


While it might seem like Rickie Fowler is an obvious pick, it's not a decision I'm 100% on board with.  His play has been streaky at best over the past few months.  He's actually only had one top 10 finish in the past 7 events and even though he held the 54-hole lead at The Barclays, we shot a 74 on Sunday and finished T7.  Most concerning perhaps is Fowler's record in the previous two Ryder Cups.  Despite plenty of chances, Rickie has never won a match at a Ryder Cup and his official record is 0-3-5 all time.  For now, we'll have to wait to see if Rickie is able to step up.



Want to stay up to date with all the latest stories, trends and gossip from the world of golf?  Make sure you sign up for our Austad's Golf Insider Newsletter! 


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Posted in Golf Insider By Sara Austad

Monday Morning Caddy - September 6, 2016

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 9:20:50 AM America/North_Dakota/Center

Monday Morning Caddy 090616


Alright, so technically this would be a Tuesday morning caddy, but I'm hoping you won't fault me too much for slacking off and watching some golf on Labor Day.  Speaking of golf...


Rory Rallies to Win Deutsche Bank

Rory Mcilory Deutsche Champion


3 holes into the 2016 Deutsche Bank Invitational, you would have likely already counted Rory McIlroy out.  He had to nail a 15-footer just to save Triple Bogey.  Three holes in and he was already four over.  However, in a pretty spectacular turn of events, Rory shrugged off his early misses and closed the tournament with a saucy 6-under 65 on Monday to triumph two shots over Paul Casey.  His 6-shot comeback was definitely one that re-solidified Rory as a major threat on the tour.


McIlroy’s victory was also notable because it pushed him past Jordan Spieth in the World Golf Rankings.  McIlroy now ranks 3rd and has pushed Spieth to 4th.  Spieth hasn’t ranked outside the top three since the week before his 2015 Masters victory.  Jason Day currently sits at number one with Dustin Johnson sitting at number two.


Captain Davis Love’s Decision Just Got Harder

Davis Love III


With the 2016 Ryder Cup now just a few weeks away, U.S. Captain Davis Love III’s job just got a whole lot more challenging.  He’s got 4 captain’s picks in his pocket, three of which will be announced after play at the BMW this week.  Unfortunately for him, none of the golfers on his presumable list did anything to really distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack.


Logical picks include guys like Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Ryan Moore, Kevin Chappell, James Hahn and Jim Furyk, but none of these guys did themselves any favors with their play at the Deutsche Bank.  What this means is that play at the BMW this weekend will be even more important.  Along with the aforementioned golfers, keep an eye on Bill Haas, Willie McGirt, Scott Piercy and Tony Finau.  Love has got to find a solid few picks out of these names and here’s hoping that a few of the guys can step up and make his job a bit easier this weekend.


USGA Wants to Simplify Rules

USGA Rules


In a surprise move, the USGA announced last week that they are working to simplify the Rules of Golf so that they are easier to understand.  Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s Senior Director of Rules was quoted by the New York Times as saying, “It’s still going to look like golf, feel like golf, still have the challenge of golf.  We’re going to make it easier for golfers to play by the rules and feel comfortable playing by the rules.”


Here’s my take – I’ll believe it when I see it.  For a long time the USGA and R&A have stifled technology and change in an effort to preserve the history of the game.  Add to that a lot of confusion with all of the “did the ball move?” questions this year and the Dustin Johnson “will they or won’t they penalize” debacle at the U.S. Open (I still think they got away with one when DJ won by 2), and you’ve got a set of rules that in the eyes of the casual observer seem to be arbitrarily applied.  Simplifying the rules could be a big step in the right direction, but we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out.



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Posted in Golf Insider By Sara Austad

Monday Morning Caddy - August 29, 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016 10:17:55 AM America/North_Dakota/Center

Monday Morning Caddy 082916


Well kiddies, the dog days of summer are officially here and in the middle of the sweltering heat, play on the PGA and LPGA Tours continue to entertain.  While you were mowing your lawn or getting the kids ready for school, here's what you missed this weekend:


Reed Emerges Victorious at The Barclays

Patrick Reed Barclays 2016

Patrick Reed’s win at The Barclays this weekend was momentous for a couple of reasons.  First, he overcame a 2-shot deficit early in the round to win the tourney.  Second, the win guaranteed Reed one of the 8 automatic picks for the U.S. Ryder Cup Team.  And third, Reed now holds a slim lead over Jason Day in the Fedex Cup standings.  Even some sloppy play on the back nine, including a bogey on 18 didn’t hold Reed back and he closed the tournament with a one-shot victory over Sean O’Hair and Emiliano Grillo. 


Perhaps more notable, Rickie Fowler, failed yet again to close out a tournament after leading going into Sunday’s rounds.  Fowler will have to hope that Captain Davis Love III has a place for him on the Ryder Cup team as he did not secure an automatic qualification.


8 U.S. Ryder Cup Slots Filled

The 8 automatic spots for the U.S. Ryder Cup team have been officially locked up after play at The Barclays.  Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Jimmy Walker, Brooks Koepka all locked in spots prior to the tourney, but Brandt Snedeker, Zach Johnson and Barclays winner, Patrick Reed all locked in their spots with solid play this past weekend.  Captain Davis Love III will make his 3 captain’s picks on Sept 12, after the BMW Championship.


On the European side, 9 automatic picks have been locked in: Rory McIlroy, Danny Willett, Henrik Stenson, Chris Wood, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Rafa Cabrero Bello, Andy Sullivan, and Matthew Fitzpatrick have all secured spots.  European Captain, Darren Clarke will make his picks on August 29th.


Speaking of Ryder Cup – Scripting Has Been Released

Ralph Lauren has released the looks for the U.S. Ryder Cup team and personally, I think this is going to be one of the more stylish years.  You can tell that the designers at Ralph Lauren, who have styled the U.S. Team for the past three Ryder Cups, paid special mind to include plenty of layering pieces to help players deal with the often tempermental fall weather in Minnesota.  Check it out here:

Ryder Cup 2016 Friday Scripting Looks

Ryder Cup 2016 Friday Scripting Looks from Ralph Lauren


 Ryder Cup 2016 Saturday Scripting Looks

Ryder Cup 2016 Saturday Scripting Looks from Ralph Lauren


Ryder Cup 2016 Sunday Scripting Looks

Ryder Cup 2016 Sunday Scripting Looks from Ralph Lauren


As stylish as these looks are, nothing will really ever top those stunning polos from 1999’s final round.  RIP weird shirts with little frames.  You likely single-handedly inspired the Americans to rally on Sunday.  You are missed.

Ryder Cup 1999 Polos




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Posted in Golf Insider By Sara Austad

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