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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Twofer Tuesday: The American Express

Twofer Tuesday leaves sunny Hawaii for the West Coast and the American Express.

Defending champion Si Woo Kim

The American Express is one of those multicourse events, using a grand total of three (the yardages come from pgatour.com and are, as they say, "subject to change"):

  • PGA West (Stadium Course): 7113 yards, par 72
  • La Quinta Country Club: 7060 yards, par 72
  • PGA West (Nicklaus Tournament Course): 7159 yards, par 72

The cut, of course, takes place on Saturday evening after everybody's had a chance to play all three, which does make for an interesting dynamic at this event. The defending champion is Si Woo Kim (who won last year when they only used two of the courses) but I suspect most eyes will be on Jon Rahm, who won this event in 2018, and on Phil Mickelson, who is... well, Phil.

While I usually give reasons for who I pick, they don't seem to be making much of a difference in the performance of my picks lately. As a result, I'll make it short and sweet this week -- I'm simply taking some different picks from normal.

  • I'm picking Corey Conners, who has been scoring pretty well in his last events although he hasn't won lately.
  • And I'm picking Patrick Cantlay, who has only played one event since the Ryder Cup but scored pretty well in that event.

We're still getting primetime golf this week, with GC's coverage beginning at 3pm ET Thursday. However, if you have PGA TOUR LIVE you can see all kinds of coverage -- so many times and groups that I'll just link you to the page with the info. Check the rather large grid at the bottom of the page for the details.

Monday, January 17, 2022

The Limerick Summary: 2022 Sony Open

Winner: Hideki Matsuyama

Around the wider world of golf: The Royal Queensland course in Australia hosted simultaneous men's and women's events this week: Su Oh won the inaugural Karrie Webb Cup at the Fortinet Australian WPGA Championship and, in only his fourth professional start, Jediah Morgan won the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship by a record ELEVEN shots; and Joohyung Kim won the Singapore International on the Asian Tour.

Hideki Matsuyama with Sony Open trophy

My Twofer Tuesday picks are back in 2021 form, it seems. This week's picks were Marc Leishman (T36) and Matt Jones (MC). After grabbing a Top5 last week I have once again picked players with good records at an event and yet didn't even get into contention.

  • Top10s: 5 for 24 (3 Top5, 2 Top10s)
  • Winners: 0 for 12

In some ways the Sony Open was a repeat of last week, in that a couple of players distanced themselves from the field and gave us all a breathtaking Sunday afternoon. Last week it was a tale of two nines as the leader opened a gap between himself and the field during the front nine, only to be chased down in the back nine.

Déjà vu, I guess.

Hideki began his day two back of Russell Henley, only to shoot 32 on the front nine to be five back at the turn. Henley's 6-under 29 made him look unbeatable... until they reached the back nine where Russell shot 36 and Hideki shot 31, sending them to a playoff.

And then, with Russell forced to lay up on the first playoff hole, the par-5 18th, Hideki nailed his 277-yard second to within a yard of the hole. Russell's mis-hit wedge flew the green and he walked off with a bogey. Needless to say, Hideki's eagle was good enough for the win.

Hideki continues to make Japanese history. This win tied him with KJ Choi's eight wins, which is the record for PGA Tour wins by an Asian player. It also gives him the record for the most Limerick Summaries by an Asian player, as KJ won most of his tournaments before my blog existed. Congrats, Hideki, and may you add many more!

He chased Russell Henley all day.
Rewarded with more holes to play
Hideki stepped up,
Hit it close to the cup
And put yet one more title away.

The photo came from this page at pgatour.com.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Learning to Adjust for Parallax (Video)

Parallax is the problem you have lining up your shots because your eyes aren't directly over your aimline. In this short video Mike Malaska explains how your brain learns to adjust for this problem through practice. And since he shows a practice station with some aiming rods set up to show you where the ball should go, I think it's safe to say that he's recommending this setup as a drill to help you learn how to aim properly.

We're expecting a snowstorm early Sunday morning that may take out power lines. So if you don't see a post from me Monday morning, you'll know we either lost power, internet or both and I'll get Monday's post up as soon as possible. I know many of you are dealing with the same problem this time of year, but this is just a head's-up.


Saturday, January 15, 2022

Chris Ryan on Drawing Your Driver (Video)

You knew this was coming, right? In yesterday's post Chris told how to draw irons... but he also said that the driver required a different technique. So of course I had to find out how he hits draws with a driver! It's the same idea as the irons -- change your setup rather than your stance -- but he does adjust for the forward ball position you need to hit a high draw with your driver. Have fun trying it out!


Friday, January 14, 2022

A Different Approach to Drawing Your Iron Shots (Video)

This post is for those of you who struggle with sliced iron shots. You may have tried closing your stance -- a common approach to the problem -- but just ended up hitting bigger slices. Chris Ryan suggests making a setup change that lets you hit a draw from a SQUARE stance. While I don't want you to start twisting your forearms to create a draw -- that can lead to all kinds of problems -- his approach sounds like something worth trying because it eliminates the huge exaggerations that a closed stance can cause in your swing.

If you try this approach, I'd be interested to know how it worked for you because it is definitely a different approach. Let me know in the comments.


Thursday, January 13, 2022

Alistair Davies's Swing Plane Drill (Video)

Everybody swings on a slightly different swing plane. Golf UK Top50 Swing Coach Alistair Davies has a simple drill to help you determine what YOUR correct swing plane is. If the whole idea of swing plane has been driving you nuts, this drill might help you get past all the mind clutter and simply find the plane that feels right to you.

And no, you don't have to try and hit balls teed up on a club shaft. That's just crazy.


Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Annika's Chipping Drill (Video)

A very short post today -- it's Annika's chipping drill that's guaranteed to teach you a descending chipping stroke. And all you need is a tee, so you can do this in a small backyard. Trust me, this will take some practice if you want to do it consistently!