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Monday Morning Caddy - September 12, 2016

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

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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.

 


  

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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

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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

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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

 

 


  

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

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