Morning 9: McIlroy starts strong | Sorenstam USWO exemption | Day’s vertigo flare-up

By Fly Pin High |
May 5, 2023
Ben Alberstadt and Gianni Magliocco.

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Golf fans, good morning as the second day of the Wells Fargo Championship begins.

1. McIlroy leads Fleetwood early

Report by AP: “A little break from golf paid off Rory McIlroy.”

  • The world’s third ranked player shot 3-under-68 on Thursday at the Wells Fargo Championship in his first tournament after missing the Masters cut, leaving him behind the first-round leader Tommy Fleetwood by three shots.”
  • Fleetwood’s 6-under-65 was one stroke better that Xander Streelman (Kevin Streelman), Taylor Moore, K.H. Lee and Ryan Palmer are tied for the second place after opening 66s.”

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2. Sorenstam is exempt from USWO

USGA report …” Three-time U.S. Women’s Open Champion Annika Sorenstam of Sweden has accepted a Special Exemption into the 78th U.S. Women’s Open Championship which will be held July 6-9, at Pebble Beach Golf Links.”

  • “Sorenstam won the U.S. Women’s Open Championships in 1995, 1996, and 2006, as well as 7 other major championships, and 72 total LPGA wins in her Hall of Fame Career before retiring from full time professional golf in 2008 She returned to competitive play in 2021 at the 3rd U.S. Senior Women’s Open. She won by 8 shots, securing a place at the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open held at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club where she won the 1996 Women’s Open. “The 2022 U.S. Women’s Open marked Sorenstam’s 16th appearance in the championship and her first in 13 years.”
  • Sorenstam said, “I’m incredibly grateful to USGA for the chance to play in the U.S. Women’s Open this year.” It is a championship which has defined my career. To play in the inaugural one at Pebble Beach with my family will be an experience we will never forget.

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3. Patrick Cantlay’s pace of play solution

Matt Vincenzi Cantlay, our Matt Vincenzi Cantlay, also discussed the backlash he has received for his slow play since the Masters weekend. He offered a solution to the problem:

  • If you wanted to get players to play faster, then you could put up the tees and put in easier hole locations. The greens would also roll at 10mph if that was what you wanted. You would just hope the wind never exceeded 10mph.
  • When you have a really difficult day, the greens will be fast and the holes are located on a lot of slope. It’s going take longer to play.”
  • “But as I’ve already said, the rounds on Tour are taking the same time, and I don’t think that they will set up the course in a manner, as I said, so rounds can go faster.”
  • “PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan stated that Cantlay finished 24 minutes earlier than schedule with his teammate Xander Schieffele at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.”

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4. Rory’s Equipment Changes

Andrew Tursky …”We know that he has been using a Vokey lob-wedge for 2023.

  • This week, he has four TaylorMade MG3 Wedges in his bag (obviously he will only pick one this week), each with a different bounce option.
  • McIlroy worked with TaylorMade for months on the wedge designs. He drew inspiration from the Vokey wedges he has been using and his Mike Taylor designed Nike wedge to create a TaylorMade MG3 lob that suits his eye.
  • He says he will be using the LB08 this week and he enjoys the versatility of a wedge grind for different playing conditions.

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5. Donald considers course changes

Paul Highham, Golf Monthly …” Donald and other European team members will be playing the Italian Open this week at Marco Simone Golf Club. The captain said that he would tighten the fairways in preparation for the Ryder Cup and place a high priority on accuracy. This worked well last time.”

  • Donald said, “We looked at different fairway lines since playing it last season, and brought in a couple of fairways that were a bit tighter.”
  • “The template for European Golf is to have a narrower golf course with a bit more rough. Not greens that are too fast, because that’s what the US guys always use.
  • There’s not much we changed, but we added a few bunkers to improve driving. I think that Europe has some good golf ball drivers.”

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6. Mel Reid Expecting

Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols …”LPGA Mel Reid and his wife Carly announced their pregnancy on social media, Wednesday. The couple got married in April.”

  • “England Reid, 35, has represented Europe at the Solheim Cup four times, most recently in the year 2021.”
  • “Reid competed on the LPGA five times this season, and is currently ranked No. 289th in the world. Carly is the senior social media and PR manager at Betterworks.

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7. Xander’s thoughts on specific events

Max Schreiber Golf Channel’s Max Schreiber The Tour will play its ninth out of 17 designated tournaments this week, with top players competing for lucrative purses. The new structure has led to multiple views.

  • “To be transparent, it’s a mixed-up feeling,” Xander said at Tuesday’s Travelers Championship media day. “Some guys love the format of (the designated event), but others don’t like it as much, feeling that there are fewer opportunities.”
  • The majority of designated events will have limited fields with no cut. This leaves many of the Tour’s lower-level players at the fringes.

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8. Day had vertigo flare-up at Masters

Adam Woodard, Golfweek …”Day finished solo second during the second round of Augusta National. He was in a position to finish within the top 12 over the weekend and punch his ticket for the year 2024.”

  • The vertigo struck on Sunday.
  • Day first experienced vertigo at the 2015 U.S. Open in Chambers Bay. It really kicked me in the butt at Augusta. It was a time when I needed to step back.
  • The 35-year old made four double-bogeys in a five hole stretch, shooting an 8-over-80 and finishing T-39. The 35-year-old was then forced to withdraw from the RBC Heritage in order to perform some tests. This led to a 3-week break.

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9. Wells Fargo photos

  • View all our photos from the event this week!

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The PGA Tour as it looked on the day everything changed

It was a wild 24 hours on the PGA Tour. Here’s what it looked like at the Canadian Open, where there are more questions than answers.
The post Here’s how the PGA Tour looked the day after everything changed appeared first on Golf.

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