1. SuperStroke of luck for Sergio
For all the testing at HQs around the world and back and forths with the Tour trucks sometimes things just fall into your lap, or palms. Sergio Garcia, winner in Dubai last week, has used a SuperStroke putter grip for years. But it was one that he picked up at a Dick’s Sporting Goods store in Texas while shopping with his fiancée (I know, weird) that just felt right and helped him to his victory in the desert.
The 37-year-old told SuperStroke: “It is true! It was in Austin at the beginning of January. I picked that grip because it felt good and I wanted a round one with a weight plug on it. One of the guys in the golf area helped me find the right one, and then he let me put it on myself. The green colour caught my eye, so I went with that one.”
Garcia and his TaylorMade TP Collection Juno putter – and new Mid Slim 2.0 with CounterCore Technology Grip – combined for an average of 1.69 putts and a total of 19 under.
2. Furyk wants winners on his team
You might not like his pre-shot putting routine but, otherwise, Jim Furyk is pretty much as good as it gets. And he’s particularly smart, which is why he hasn’t wasted too much time in improving the Ryder Cup qualification process.
The last time the United States won a Ryder Cup overseas it was Tom Watson in charge at The Belfry in 1993, and Furyk has made some intelligent tweaks to try and avoid the mess of last year when Ryan Moore was named as the final pick during half-time of a Sunday night NFL game. Five days later the matches started at Hazeltine.
So next year Furyk will name three players after the second of the play-off events – now the Dell Technologies Championship – and save number four after the third, the BMW, rather than the Tour Championship.
“It’s obvious that we can’t wait until after the Tour Championship to make a pick,” Furyk said. “We have passports, travel to Europe, and I feel like the timing, we probably want to get it done a little earlier and not put those guys through that at the Tour Championship again.
“I think it’s wise, as well, for the captains to be discussing pairings the night before we leave, rather than who our next captain’s pick is going to be.”
The second change is to adjust the points awarded for a major from two points for every 1,000 earned in a big one to 1.5 – although the winner will still get double.
Previously a fifth place in the Masters might be more valuable than winning a tournament.
“I really value winning,” Furyk added. “I want the guys that hit shots down the stretch, that have the guts, the fortitude, the game to win tournaments.”
3. Adults should know better – Spieth
The easiest way to come across as one of the good guys is to sign a few autographs; the TV cameras and photographers will pick up on it and, by repeating a squiggle every 10 seconds, it is generally accepted as ‘giving something back’.
Of course for any youngster it’s thrilling to get your hero’s squiggle on your cap but there are some very odd people in the line-up and, according to Jordan Spieth, he tends to see the same old faces who are there to make a few dollars with their signed memorabilia.
Last week at Pebble Beach the two-time major winner turned on a few of them he got some colourful language back in return.
“I’m not appreciative of people who travel to benefit off other people’s success,” Spieth said. “These guys have these items that you’ve already seen online, our team keeps track of that kind of stuff, and these guys that just have bags of stuff to benefit from other people’s success when they didn’t do anything themselves.
“Go get a job instead of trying to make money off of the stuff that we have been able to do.”
Yeah, you heard him, go and get a job.
4. ‘You know, this golfer Bernhard Langer’
Two weeks ago we wrote a story about how President Trump gathered together his leaders and told a first-hand story about Bernhard Langer.
To cut a long story short Langer was supposedly told he wouldn’t be able to vote in Florida and that cases like this held Trump back in the election. The German then released a statement saying that he hadn’t had a conversation with the president.
And now Trump, in amongst all his other duties like tweeting, has found time to pick up the phone to Langer.
“We talked on the phone, and he was very clear – if there was anything that hurt me, he apologised,” Langer said. “It was fun talking to him briefly, and I thought that’s a great gesture from him because he’s got a lot of other things to be concerned about, not just, you know, this golfer Bernhard Langer.”
5. Add ‘em up
The way most people think. One birdie – that was good. Two on the trot – that’s me done for the day. Three – this is getting weird. Four – this is getting really, really weird. Five – I’ve just texted everyone in my phone. Six – I’m freaking out now… Seven – I want my mum, I’m really scared… and so on…
On Friday Bernd Wiesberger rattled in nine (NINE!) straight birdies on the trot in Malaysia. It won’t count as a record due to preferred lies, but who cares?
“It felt kind of natural, I hit pretty good shots and really only holed two long ones which were the last birdie of the nine on 15 and about a 20-footer on 11.
“Apart from that I just hit them pretty close and felt like I had a good idea of what the ball was going to do on the green.”
All sounds straightforward, here’s how he did it…
Nine. Straight. Birdies! pic.twitter.com/1O6G7obBE1
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) February 10, 2017
We dive deep into the golf ball roll back plans!