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Home Daily Golf Briefs Daily Pulse for November 20, 2018

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VOLUME 8, NUMBER 227                                                       
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

ANY IDEA WHO SAID THIS? “I don't think there's a secret or there's one single thing that has made a difference to be honest. I think it's the work that I've done through the years. If you want to point out something, I can probably tell you I've been lucky enough or smart enough or whatever you want to say, to take the right decisions at the right time in my career. I was obviously, you know, a good player, a talented player when I was 22 and I turned pro, but I was nowhere near this level. I've just been able to be through the years, to be through up and downs. And yet I think that sometimes for golfers, you don't think enough how important it is to make the right calls and the right decisions at the right time. It's very easy to get emotional with the results and to, you know, to just blame that and change your staff or change clubs. There's so many things that you can change. Yet, I think if I have to point to one thing for me, it was the decision-making and being patient and sticking with the right people, even through difficult times.”

BRAIN TEASER: Can you name Charles Howell III’s last PGA TOUR victory prior to his win at the RSM Classic?

WANNA BET? The PGA TOUR announced that IMG Arena, IMG’s sports betting service and content hub, will distribute official PGA TOUR scoring data for media usage and sports betting purposes. IMG Arena will also have the exclusive right to distribute official data and selected live video of PGA TOUR competitions to international regulated sports betting and gaming markets.

The PGA TOUR’s official data is collected through its proprietary ShotLink system powered by CDW. Utilizing the ShotLink data, IMG Arena is developing a range of golf products that will provide PGA TOUR fans with new ways to enjoy the sport.

The PGA TOUR’s relationship with IMG Arena will support the PGA TOUR’s Integrity Program, which was implemented earlier this year to protect the PGA TOUR from sports betting related corruption. The official data provided by IMG Arena will deliver fans the most timely, accurate and reliable source of information for betting purposes, all verified by the PGA TOUR. Further, IMG Arena, will be responsible for providing security and data protection and ensuring proper controls to prevent the unauthorized use of information by outlets licensing PGA TOUR data.

“The global sports betting market’s access to official data has revolutionized the in-play sports betting experience,” said Freddie Longe, Managing Director at IMG Arena. “We see golf as a sleeping giant. It is one of few major sports that doesn’t yet offer consistent in-play betting markets. The PGA TOUR is an undisputed leader in golf and we feel this long-term partnership will allow us to work hand in hand to grow the game and protect the sport via the launch of a truly innovative digital experience that captures the next generation of sports betting and entertainment.”

“This is a very important step for the PGA TOUR in terms of engaging our fans, serving our players and enhancing our Integrity Program,” reported PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “Creating a bigger, more diverse, more engaged fan base around the world is key to any league’s success, and sports betting is part of how we plan to do that.”

COMING SOON? Danny Willett won the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. It had been 63 events since he last won (The Masters!), which in itself isn’t the longest of droughts in professional golf. Yet, in 32 of those 63 tournaments he either missed the cut or had withdrawn. So much for the glamorous life of a touring professional.

Willett had a bit of a secret weapon in the desert. He used a new Odyssey Prototype putter, called Stroke Lab, which he first put it in the previous week at the Nedbank Challenge. His putter also features a new prototype Odyssey shaft, said to help improve the consistency of the putting stroke. It also features a “revolutionary new weighting system”, according to Odyssey. Its somewhat of a safe bet to suggest the Stroke Lab will be commercially introduced sometime in the near future since Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia are among the players who have already used this prototype shaft on Tour. Willett’s success further validates its performance.

HOW MUCH HAS REALLY CHANGED? Small sample size, yes. But there is always more where this came from. Consider the following in your discussions whether the golf ball travels too far. The Seaside course at the 2018 RSM Classic played to a stroke average of 68.843 over four rounds. In 2017 it was 69.239 and in 2016, it was 68.904.

The winning score in 2018 was 263 (-19), while in 2017 it was 261 (-21) and 2016 it was 265 (-17). In 2018 and 2016 a playoff was required to determine the winner of the tournament. Does any of this add clarity or confusion to the subject? Does recent history suggest action should be considered? You be the judge!

WINNER'S CLUBS: Charles Howell III notched his third career PGA TOUR victory and first since 2007, a span of 11 years, 9 months and 333 starts, coming in his 529th start (third-most before third victory). He represents a role model in persistence. Its also a case of not how you start but rather how you finish. "The way I started today, bogey-double the first two holes, I just honestly thought I had shot myself in the foot again," said Howell. "If you had asked me after that second hole would I be sitting here right now, the answer would be overwhelmingly no. I had a putt in regulation to win and I had a putt in the first playoff hole to win and they both grazed the edges and I thought, man, I've seen this movie before and I know how it ends," he continued. "Winning in the playoff, I actually thought the ball was probably going to lip out on the right side, and as much as it excited me, it shocked me that the ball actually went in the hole. I couldn't believe it did it." Further evidence that winning isn't easy and golf is as much a mental game as it is physical.

"Golf is never about one competitor versus another and it never will be. It's against the player versus himself and versus the golf course. It's just you against you, and as crazy as that sounds, it's the way that it is. What I hate about it is that you can work and work and work and get absolutely no results from that, and I know that there's a lot of industries and a lot of areas where that also applies, but golf for certain. You can speak to any Tour player out here past or current and I think they would tell you the same thing, that you can go down a rabbit hole and work and work and work and literally on the back end nothing came out of it, and I think that's the hardest part to swallow," he said.

"I've often thought one of my flaws is I enjoy practicing and preparing more than playing. That's just who I am. When I've struggled or when I don't play well or don't get the results I always go back to, okay, how do I improve, how do I get better, what do I need to work on. So I actually find a bit of comfort in that and I enjoy that. That's the part I really, really enjoy."

Howell can sit back and enjoy his past struggles and his recent triumph. "Oh, man, it means a lot because I've hung in there. I've had moments where I didn't know if I would ever win again, so it means that I can still do it, that I can still compete out here, you know, with the changing of the competition. I played with Cameron Champ the last two days, the guy hits a 3-iron 290 yards. The game is changing and golf is changing. You know, I'm almost to turn 40, so I've got to hang in there and do my best."

Here is what Charles Howell III had in his bag to win the 2018 RSM Classic:

Driver: Titleist TS3 (10.5)
3-wood: Titleist TS2 (15, 21)
Irons: 718 T-MB 4-iron, 718 AP2 (5-7), 718 CB (8-PW)
Wedges: Vokey Design SM7 gap (52), sand (56) and lob (60
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red mallet
Ball: New Pro V1

Charles Howell III’s– Numbers for the week:  
Eagles: 0
Birdies: 25
Pars: 42
Bogeys: 4
Double Bogeys: 1
Cumulative Score: 263

WEB GEMS:

FOLLOW THE MONEY: Danny Willett intends to focus more on the PGA Tour next year, although he has assured the European Tour he will always remain loyal to the circuit, which made him. READ MORE>>>

TEAM GOLF: The World Cup of Golf appears to have found a home in southeast Melbourne. For the third consecutive time, one of golf’s biggest team events is being played at a famous sandbelt course in the southeastern Australian city. The 28-team tournament, based on the Official World Golf Ranking, begins Thursday at Metropolitan Golf Club, with Denmark returning as the defending champion from nearby Kingston Heath in 2016. READ MORE>>>

ANSWERS:  “I don't think there's a secret or there's one single thing that has made a difference to be honest. I think it's the work that I've done through the years. If you want to point out something, I can probably tell you I've been lucky enough or smart enough or whatever you want to say, to take the right decisions at the right time in my career. I was obviously, you know, a good player, a talented player when I was 22 and I turned pro, but I was nowhere near this level. I've just been able to be through the years, to be through up and downs. And yet I think that sometimes for golfers, you don't think enough how important it is to make the right calls and the right decisions at the right time. It's very easy to get emotional with the results and to, you know, to just blame that and change your staff or change clubs. There's so many things that you can change. Yet, I think if I have to point to one thing for me, it was the decision-making and being patient and sticking with the right people, even through difficult times.”--Francesco Molinari.

Charles Howell III’s last victory, before the 2018 RSM Classic, came at the 2007 Nissan Open.

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