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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: Butterfield Bermuda Championship

Twofer Tuesday leaves the island of Hideki and sets sail for Captain Brian Gay's harbor at Port Royal for the Butterfield Bermuda Championship.

Defending champion Brian Gay

I'm only being a little facetious here, as Brian Gay has plundered the Bermuda event for a couple of years now. Port Royal was once notorious as a pirate paradise and, despite what Disney would have you believe, Captain Jack Sparrow isn't its most prominent visitor -- not since Gay arrived, anyway. The rechristened event has only been played twice now, with Gay posting T3 and a win in his appearances.

But at a par of 71 and a mere 6828 yards, Port Royal GC in Southampton, Bermuda is ripe for a freebooter like Captain Gay. The course favors an accurate driver and a skilled shotmaker.

Alas, Captain Gay's cutlass hasn't been as sharp lately as I would like. And while we all know that golf is no respecter of persons -- nor of what you shot last week or even the last few months, as my recent picks have proven -- I'm looking for some other up-and-coming scourges of the seven seas at Port Royal.

  • My first pick is Matt Fitzpatrick. He won at Valderrama only a couple of weeks ago, another short course that rewards accurate drives and skilled shotmaking. He's had a week to down a few kegs of rum in celebration, so I'm thinking he's ready to raise the old skull and crossbones again.
  • And my other pick is Garrick Higgo. Admittedly he's still a bit inexperienced as a freebooter, and he's been out of form since winning his way onto the Tour back in June, but he's certainly proven himself capable in the last couple of years. I think he's long overdue to take another big prize, so why not reassert himself at the traditional haunt of pirates?

GC's live coverage begins Thursday at 1:30pm ET. Arr, matey, it's time to make that bloody parrot shut up so we can relax and watch some island golf!

Monday, October 25, 2021

The Limerick Summary: 2021 ZOZO Championship

Winner: Hideki Matsuyama

Around the wider world of golf: We saw some records this week. Bernhard Langer became the oldest-ever winner on the Champions Tour at the Dominion Energy Charity Classic; Jin Young Ko made it 200 Korean wins on the LPGA Tour at the BMW Ladies Championship; Jeff Winther won the Mallorca Golf Open on the ET; Luke Brown won the Blair Atholl Championship on the Sunshine Tour; Taehoon Lee won the Hana Bank Invitational on the KPGA; and Ayaka Furue won the Nobuto Group Masters GC Ladies on the JLPGA. [Thanks, IC!]

Hideki Matsuyama with ZOZO trophy

Finally! One of my Twofer Tuesday picks got the message. I had Collin Morikawa (T7) and Harry Higgs (T39). Thank you, Collin!

  • Top10s: 1 for 10 (1 Top10)
  • Winners: 0 for 5

What's old is new again as 2019 returned for a one-time appearance. Just as Tiger won the Masters and the ZOZO that year, Hideki did it this year. That's pretty cool, winning in front of your home country when you're the equivalent of a combination sports legend and rockstar.

And in so doing he became the third history maker this week, as his seven PGA Tour wins is more than the total number of PGA Tour wins by all other Japanese players combined.

Plus he did it in style, eagling the final hole to push his winning margin out to five strokes. This year is one that Japanese fans won't soon forget... and one that may keep Hideki from ever having a normal person's day in his home country ever again.

But that's the price of becoming a legend, I guess.

Of course, Hideki can take some solace in the fact that he also becomes a Limerick Summary legend... and that kind of fame won't ever keep him from having a peaceful meal in a public restaurant. Maybe now he'll be like Tiger and just start his own!

On the wings of an eagle he flew—
As a Masters champ often will do
When his fans cheer him on—
‘Til the field’s hope was gone
And Hideki’s fans’ dreams all came true.

The photo came from this page at golfchannel.com.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Bobby Locke's Putting Technique, Take 2 (Video)

About a week ago I posted Michael Breed's explanation of Bobby Locke's putting stroke. Today I have a much shorter video about the same topic, only this time the explanation comes from Gary Player himself. Player knew Locke and learned directly from him, so comparing his explanation to Breed's should give you a pretty good idea of how Locke worked his putting magic.


Saturday, October 23, 2021

Why Hitting Up with Your Driver Isn't Enough (Video)

Have you tried teeing the ball higher and more forward but you aren't getting the distance -- or accuracy -- you expected? Ali Taylor has a great explanation about the 'magic formula' necessary to get both. This may be a challenging video for many of you to understand, but I promise the effort you put into doing so will be well worth it.


Friday, October 22, 2021

Hitting a 3-wood Off the Deck (Video)

Hitting a 3-wood off a tee isn't so hard. Rick Shiels did this short video on how to hit a 3-wood off the fairway. And since no piece of instruction fits everybody, I'll add another thought after the video that you might find helpful.


At the 1:49 mark Rick shows a position with the sternum, club shaft and clubface all in a line with the ball just in front of it. He's standing with his spine pretty straight and his arms hanging straight down, and that's what creates this straight line.

But suppose you still have a bit of trouble hitting your 3-wood — or any fairway wood, for that matter — off the deck?

This is where you need to think more about ball position. Rick is showing you to set up with your hands just barely behind the ball, which is how you get the ball just in front of the clubface. But if you're still hitting a bit fat behind the ball, set up the same way but change the ball position just slightly so the ball is directly under your hands. That will cause you to hit ever-so-slightly down on the ball. You might not hit the ball quite as high this way but you should hit the ball cleanly and take a small divot just under the ball.

Use whichever method allows you hit your 3-wood best. One of the two should work.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

And the Seniors Went to Virginia

Yes, while the other tours headed to Japan and Korea, the Champions Tour began the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs. In Virginia. In the USA.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson

The Dominion Energy Charity Classic is the first event in the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, and last year it was the site of Phil Mickelson's second Champions Tour victory. He's back to defend this year, looking to win his fourth event in five starts.

Of course, the usual suspects intend to upset his plans. Miguel Angel Jiménez is in arguably the best form entering the playoffs but he's hardly the only man playing well... and as usual, Bernhard Langer is lurking at the top of the Schwab Cup rankings. Phil is in the 26 spot, just under $1.8mil behind him.

I don't think Phil can win the Cup in three events but he can certainly play spoiler for the other guys.

This first playoff event is only three days long, so GC's live coverage window begins Friday at 2pm ET. I'm curious as to whether Phil will commit to play all three Playoff events this year. If he does, we could see some scrambling by the rest of the tour to get that top prize.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Japan for the Men, Korea for the Women

Seems like all the golf is on the other side of the planet this week. While the men tee it up in Japan at the ZOZO, the ladies are teeing it up in Korea at the BMW Ladies Championship.

Defending champion Ha Na Jang

First let's get the venue straight. Originally called Asiad Country Club, it was renamed LPGA International Busan in 2019 when it became the home course for the inaugural BMW. It's a Rees Jones renovation and the first LPGA-certified golf course opened outside the USA.

Next, the inaugural champion is the defending champion. Since the pandemic cancelled this event last year, Ha Na Jang is the only winner of this event so far.

Finally, there are only three events left in the LPGA schedule -- this one, the Pelican Women’s Championship starting November 11 and then the CME Group Tour Championship the following week. Both of those events will be in Florida.

Few of the top Americans in the Race to the CME Globe are in the field -- I think Danielle Kang at #12 is the highest -- but that doesn't mean this is a weak field. There are only three Americans ahead of Kang in the standings but many of the other Americans are there, jockeying for position, and most of the other top players from that part of the world are teeing it up. Trust me, this will be a strong field.

The biggest drawback to this event is that the ZOZO is also being played this week and, as you may expect, the PGA Tour grabbed GC's live coverage window. That means you'll have to catch GC's streaming coverage to watch the event live (it begins tonight — yes, it really is Wednesday this time, IC ;-)  at 11pm ET) or catch tape-delayed coverage at 2pm ET on Thursday. Given how little time the women have left to make the Tour Championship it should be a fun event.