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Home Daily Golf Briefs Daily Pulse for June 13, 2018

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VOLUME 8, NUMBER 115                                                       
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

ANY IDEA WHO SAID THIS? “2004, again, I stayed not too far away from here, probably only just a few miles, but I was north as well. So it makes the traffic so much easier. There are a few guys so far this week have said it's taken them from the hotel 2 1/2 to 3 hours, and, you know, there's a good chance that someone might miss their time. You get a little traffic, you get maybe a little fender bender, it's not inconceivable someone could miss their time.”

BRAIN TEASER: Can you name the oldest incorporated golf club in the United States?

ITS GO TIME! Its a big week in more ways than one. Its THE US Open! It is the USGA’s showcase event and severely dwarfs the Association’s other championships by a country mile. No disrespect intended to the ladies, amateurs or seniors, but this is the one, everyone pays (literally and figuratively) attention to. Therefore, it is the USGA’s moment (annually) to take center stage. It clearly was the lynchpin in leading to a blockbuster deal with Fox to televise its championships. The other 51 weeks of the year, the USGA is in the shadows of the background.

While avid to casual players will watch with interest the playing of the national championship, here are a couple of things to keep in mind as the drama unfolds. In any other sport, officiating its never expected to take center stage. It happens, but the play itself is intended or expected to be the story. In other words the referee or umpire, which is required in order to play the game isn’t expected to rise above it. The idea being much like the 15th century English proverb, “Children should be seen but not heard.” Will that be the case in 2018 with the USGA?

Looking back historically, the USGA has been attacked for its course set up, especially the last time it visited Shinnecock to contest the national championship. In more recent years, a case can be made the USGA has had an identity crisis. Once a faithful defender of old man par, the wining tally has been an absolute assault on him. Brooks Koepka posted -16 last year, Dustin Johnson was -4 in 2015, thanks in part to a penalty administered after his final round. Jordan Spieth won at Chambers Bay (a disaster on a number of levels) shooting -5. Martin Kaymer was victorious at famed (and baked out) Pinehurst shooting -9. So which version of the USGA can we expect in 2018 at Shinnecock?

The world we live in today is focused on attempting to make life easier for the masses. Self-driving cars is one example. Voice recognition for telephones to televisions is a reality today. It’s doubtful when Shinnecock was created in 1891, that anyone was thinking about it hosting a national championship more than 100 years later. Nevertheless, it is, which is impressive on a number of levels. So in a world that is very much about progression, this course will appear much like it originally did but is expected to still hold its own with a select, elite few? Think about that for a few minutes and ask yourself if there is any other example anywhere, where that is still the case today?

Controversy is often a key selling point in maintain or attracting a wider audience. Many “entertainers” have enlisted this as page one in their respective playbooks. After all, some say there is no such thing as bad public relations. Just be sure they spell your name correctly! However, the USGA has self-inflicted controversy more than once in the staging of the national championship. It can be argued its part and parcel of the US Open identity. But does it ever come attached with a price? For many maybe not. But for some it likely does even if they remain silent. A few players are typically outspoken about the conditions, pin placements, etc., that go with a US Open. The media loves to amplify those words to help draw attention to their own respective agendas. But it’s fleeting and often disappears the week after the champion has been crowned.

Technology is likely going to get some airtime this week, especially from the USGA itself. It has historical data to rely on to assist it in making the appropriate decisions to provide the “ultimate test.” Let’s see if they get this one right? Then we can put one in the win column for technology and the ruling body. Maybe the artificial intelligence will rub off and when it comes to the Association’s fascination with equipment restrictions. Then again let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet!

Feel free to keep a few of these things in mind while watch the action from Long Island, NY. Maybe some of you will even maintain your own scorecard when factoring in these thoughts.

A TRIBUTE: The Greenbrier Classic has renamed its name to A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier. “We want the world to know that the military comes first, and our focus is on those men and women above everything else,” said West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. “Our new name reflects our commitment to celebrating and honoring the United States Military with everything we do.

“Our state has more military members per capita than any other state, and those men and women are unbelievably important to us,” said Governor Justice. “This entire tournament is a tremendous way for all West Virginians to show their appreciation.”

SEE YOU NEXT YEAR: The Houston Open will not be on the PGA Tour schedule next season as it prepares for a move to the fall under the guidance of Houston Astros owner Jim Crane. The PGA Tour announced Tuesday that it has a five-year agreement with the Astros Foundation to run the Houston Open starting in the fall of 2019. The date of the tournament was not announced. The prize money will be $7.5 million. The move to the fall opens a spot on next year's schedule for the 3M Championship in Minnesota to move to the PGA Tour. The Minnesota event has been a PGA Tour Champions event since 1993. READ MORE>>>

WEB GEMS:

BACK OFF:  Tiger Woods gave the state of his game a tentative thumbs-up on Tuesday ahead of the U.S. Open, but slammed the door shut on questions about his private life as he prepared for Thursday’s first round. Asked how his life had improved in the ensuing year, Woods curtly dismissed the question in just three words. “It’s gotten better,” he said, making clear again that his new media and fan-friendly persona goes only so far. READ MORE>>>

WHO KNEW? Spieth revealed on Tuesday that he had no idea the United States Golf Association announced in February that the U.S. Open’s Monday playoff had been abandoned in favor of a format that will most likely guarantee a Sunday finish.
“It’s the first I’ve heard of that being an option,” Spieth told a news conference at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, where the year’s second major will begin on Thursday. Of course, the new format is not an option but a rule. READ MORE>>>

A FAN! “It's exciting for me,” Fleetwood said. “I've enjoyed those two US Opens and I think it's an amazing event, but they have not been classic US Opens. But I enjoy a test where it's just grinding away at you all day, you never get to switch off. I do like those type of events.” READ MORE>>> 

ANSWERS: “2004, again, I stayed not too far away from here, probably only just a few miles, but I was north as well. So it makes the traffic so much easier. There are a few guys so far this week have said it's taken them from the hotel 2 1/2 to 3 hours, and, you know, there's a good chance that someone might miss their time. You get a little traffic, you get maybe a little fender bender, it's not inconceivable someone could miss their time.”
--Tiger Woods on the infamous New York traffic.

Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, founded in 1891, is the oldest incorporated golf club in the United States

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IS BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE, BUT IT IS NOT GUARANTEED. THE OPINION EXPRESSED IS THAT OF TERRY MCANDREW AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED A SOLICITATION TO BUY OR SELL SECURITIES IN ANY OF THE COMPANIES DISCUSSED WITHIN THIS NEWSLETTER. CONTENTS OF THIS NEWSLETTER MAY NOT BE REPRINTED OR REBROADCAST WITHOUT THE EXPRESSED WRITTEN CONSENT OF TMAC GOLF