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Home Daily Golf Briefs Daily Pulse for June 5, 2018


Web Street Golf Daily Pulse
VOLUME 8, NUMBER 109                                                       
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

ANY IDEA WHO SAID THIS? “People always kind of scrutinize me saying I'm too technical and what not. It's all just to aid my feel. I am a guy that goes off of feel still, I mean to everybody's surprise probably.” 

BRAIN TEASER: Since 2013, which one of these players has won the most times on the PGA TOUR: Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas or Jason Day?

GLOBAL STRATEGY: The PGA TOUR has a new broadcast partner. Discovery and the TOUR have agreed to work together for the next 12 years starting in 2019. The deal includes global multi-platform live rights, outside the United States, to all PGA TOUR media properties totaling approximately 2,000 hours of content per year, involving the six Tours operating under the PGA TOUR umbrella and nearly 150 tournaments annually. Discovery said it expects to invest more than $2 billion over the course of the alliance.
In addition to live linear rights in 220 markets and territories, the alliance will include the creation of a dedicated, PGA TOUR-branded, OTT video streaming service that will capitalize on Discovery’s direct-to-consumer product and platform expertise. Discovery will broadcast the PGA TOUR on its portfolio of pay-TV and free-to-air channels, digital and short-form platforms, and will work with the PGA TOUR on how to capture all access to the action its extensive non-live and library rights for all media platforms.

“We have been representing our own rights since we were formed as an organization,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner, Jay Monahan. “But we felt like when you look at Discovery, there's several things that attracted us. They are the strongest player internationally when it comes to content, when it comes to distribution, and when it comes to direct-to-consumer experience. As we look back to the acquisition of Eurosport in 2015, the way that they have leveraged the Olympic rights across multiple platforms in Europe, you look at the super fans and the super brands and the content and the fanaticism that they bring to all their channels and to all their content, and we quickly came to the conclusion that this was the perfect partner for us, and we feel like we're going to be the perfect partner for them.

“The world of media is fast-changing, and we feel this is not a rights deal. This is us coming together as partners. We are putting our people who work in this business into this partnership, our resources, our experiences, our content creation. Our team now is going to be a part of the Discovery team, and the Discovery team is going to be a part of the PGA TOUR team, and we're going to go out, and we are going to address on a market-by-market basis.”

The business will be led by Discovery’s Alex Kaplan, President and General Manager of the new Discovery and PGA TOUR venture. Kaplan previously was EVP, Commercial for Eurosport Digital where he helped grow the Eurosport D2C business to over 1 million subscribers.  Prior to joining Discovery, Kaplan was Senior Vice President, Global Media Distribution, for the NBA, responsible for global direct-to-consumer strategy and business operations. Prior to the NBA, Kaplan spent 10 years at DIRECTV/AT&T, where he led the organization responsible for DIRECTV Sports and oversaw Revenue and Entertainment products and services.

David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery, said, “We see ourselves very differently than the rest of media. We're not in the scripted business, we're not in the movie business. We create content that we own globally, and we're aggregating that content in super fan baskets. We've been on the hunt for what do people love, what are they passionate about, and how do we deliver them that content like no one elsewhere everywhere in the world. That's why we did Oprah Winfrey, that's why we did the Scripps transition with Food and HG and Travel and Cooking. We're the only company that owns all of our content, not only globally but on all platforms.

“We got into sports several years ago, and we've had a tremendous amount of success in Europe with Eurosport as the leading pan-European platform. Then we looked around and we saw the Olympics, and we thought, high-quality IP, content that people absolutely love, and we're in the business now where people could watch anything, and so we've started to ask the question, what do we have that people will watch when they could watch anything, and that's how we aggregated this strategy of creating content around passionate fans. There is no sport that's more global than the PGA TOUR. There's no sport that's more loved than the PGA TOUR. There's no sport that's more local than the PGA TOUR. And there's no sport that has a demographic that's voraciously hungry to consume content. 43 weeks a year of content, four days a week, we looked at the fan base, and we said, this is an extraordinary opportunity to build a global platform, an ecosystem around golf that will nourish and excite every golf fan everywhere in the world. There's no question that the PGA TOUR has done a great job, but there are markets that they're not in that we're in, and our singular focus together is going to be to make the talent on the PGA TOUR even more popular, even more recognizable, because that's going to really drive the love of the game and it's going to drive our business.”

IT’S BIGGER THAN YOU THINK: The U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group (The Golf Group) has announced it has reached a historic milestone. In its ongoing battle against fake products, it has seized the 2 millionth counterfeit products since the group was formed more than a decade ago. The landmark seizure was achieved during two successful raids conducted in collaboration with local law enforcement authorities in Dongguan, a major industrial center in Guangdong province, China. 

“The seizure of the 2 millionth piece of counterfeit golf equipment is a validation of our efforts as a group and an inspiration for us to keep fighting to protect the consumers, the brands and the game that is so important to all of us,” said Stephen Gingrich, Vice President of Human Resources, Global Legal Enforcement, at Cleveland Golf Company. “We are proud of what we’ve accomplished but we know there’s still work to do. This is a message to counterfeiters everywhere that we are more committed than ever to putting an end to the production and sale of these fake products. And we are more committed than even to keep golf real.”

The raids were carried out by local government law enforcement authorities in Dongguan and took place in April and May. In total, authorities seized more than 36,000 counterfeit golf products, including grips, club heads and shafts.

“The group has been together for more than a decade and we have made a lot of great progress,” said Kristin Strojan, Legal Counsel Trademark and Brand Protection at TaylorMade Golf Company. “We’re working more closely with authorities every day, finding new ways to identify and shut down counterfeit operations. We know there are still counterfeiters out there but we also know we’re making it a lot harder for them to stay in business. Combine that with our education efforts for consumers and we think we’ve got a winning formula in the battle against fakes.”

WINNER’S CLUBS: Bryson DeChambeau won the 2018 Memorial and an argument can be made that he was average from tee to green. What separated him from the pack was his putting. DeChambeau ranked 25th in strokes gained off the tee, 24th for strokes gained in approach to the green and 26th in strokes gained around the greens at the Memorial. He was 6th in strokes gained putting, his best statistical category by far last week. You have to wonder whether the USGA or R&A really listen to what players have to say after they win.

“The only other time that I putted exceptionally well was the U.S. Amateur and I could probably rival that. I would say I'm putting the best I have in my life,” he said prior to the start of the fourth round. “I'm still fighting through a couple little things here and there on if it's really right or not in regards to swing theory and stuff. But in regards to putting I know it's a hundred percent right on, got to keep going with that, and then just get a little bit better with the ball striking,” he continued. “They have been incredibly instrumental, Sik Golf, to my putting. Being able to utilize the Quintic system has been awesome. It shows us the launch angles. I can be comfortable with how it feels off the face knowing that it's going to roll the same every single time. So having that system, as well as confidence, in their descending loft technology has really helped me to consistently improve over the course of time. And seeing putts going in doesn't hurt at all.”

For what its worth, DeChambeau’s winning tally was exactly the same as it was for Will McGirt in 2016, which was two shots better than Jason Dufner last year at Muirfield Village. This is likely irrelevant data in the minds or eyes of the ruling bodies that have challenges with the distance golf balls travel at the professional level. Nevertheless, while McGirt and DeChambeau shot the same aggregate score, they had different equipment but arrived at the same score! Take a look at what Bryson DeChambeau had in his bag to win the 2018 the Memorial Tournament:

Bryson DeChambeau / 2018 the Memorial Tournament

Driver: KING LTD PRO 8.5*
Fairway Woods: KING LTD 3/4 Fwy; 14.5*, F8+ Baffler 5wd | 17.5*
Irons: COBRA KING ONE Length Utility (4 &5) Forged ONE Length | 6-P
Wedges: COBRA KING V Grind | 50* | KING WideLow Grind 55* and 60*
Putter: Sik Tour Prototype Midsize
Ball: Bridgestone Tour B X

Bryson DeChambeau’s– Numbers for the week:
Eagles: 0
Birdies: 21
Pars: 46
Bogeys: 4
Double Bogeys: 1
Cumulative Score: 273

Jason Dufner / 2017 the Memorial Tournament
Driver: Titleist 917D2 (10.5*)
Fairway Woods: Titleist 915F (21.0*)
Irons: Titleist 716 AP2 4-PW irons
Wedges: Vokey Design SM6 gap (52*) and sand (56*) and prototype lob (60*) wedges
Putter: Scotty Cameron Futura 5S
Ball: New Pro V1x

Jason Dufner’s– Numbers for the week:
Eagles: 2
Birdies: 21
Pars: 38
Bogeys: 10
Double Bogeys: 1
Cumulative Score: 275

Will McGirt / 2016 Memorial.
Driver: TaylorMade M2 (8.5 degrees) with a Fujikura Speeder Evolution 661 X shaft
Fairway Metal: TaylorMade M2, 13 degrees and M1 17 degrees
Irons: Srixon ZU-45 (2-3) and Srixon Z-745 (5-PW).
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 (54, 60 degrees)
Putter: Scotty Cameron by Titleist 009
Golf Ball: Srixon Z-Star

William McGirt’s– Numbers for the week:
Eagles: 1
Birdies: 20
Pars: 44
Bogeys: 7
Double Bogeys: 0
Cumulative Score: 273


KEEP HOPE ALIVE: Jim Crane's Astros won the World Series last fall, a franchise first, and the current team has given us no sustained reason to believe an encore championship parade won't be held. But Houston needs something else from Crane, a self-made can-do billionaire, in the short term and he's all over it. It being saving the Houston Open. READ MORE>>>

TIME IS MONEY? Young Americans Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Cantlay are two of the most fascinating players in golf. One, with his uniquely scientific approach, and the other for the manner in which he has overcome adversity. Paired together in the final group for the Memorial Tournament in Ohio on Sunday, we saw something else they have in common. They’re both so slow as to be all but unwatchable. READ MORE>>>

A DIFFERENT KIND OF ADVERSITY: PGA Tour player Bud Cauley says he’s thankful to be alive after a car accident over the weekend on what he describes as the “scariest night of my life.” Cauley, 28, was riding with three other people in a car involved in an accident late Friday following the second round of the Memorial. Cauley posted a message on Instagram saying he had surgery on Sunday. Even though he missed the cut at the Memorial, Cauley was staying in Ohio for U.S. Open qualifying on Monday. He withdrew from the qualifier, and said in his Instagram post Monday that he had no timetable for returning to the PGA Tour. READ MORE>>>

ANSWERS: “People always kind of scrutinize me saying I'm too technical and what not. It's all just to aid my feel. I am a guy that goes off of feel still, I mean to everybody's surprise probably.” --Bryson DeChambeau.

If you said or guessed (?) Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson or Jason Day you would be correct. Each player has recorded 11 PGA TOUR victories since 2013. Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas each have 8 wins in the same time.