Off The Fringe – Scottie vs. LIV

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The last two USGA Opens, the U.S. and U.S. Senior, were won by LIV players, Bryson DeChambeau and Richard Bland and nobody seems to be talking about it. Significant you say? Hank Haney, Tiger Woods coach from 2004 to 2010 when Woods took home trophies in six majors, also claims the “corrupt golf media” is not writing about how much easier it is to win on the PGA Tour after major champions like DeChambeau, Bruce Koepka, Jon Rahm and Dustin Johnson defected to LIV Golf.

From Haney’s posting on X, “Not one member of the Corrupt Golf Media has written an article or talked about how it’s easier than ever to win on the PGA Tour, which is one of the many reasons why they are charter members of the CGM.”

Haney’s potshot at the golf media is just that, a potshot and from what we have seen at least Koepka, Rahm and Johson aren’t playing particularly well, at least in 72 hole full-field events.

The question can be expanded to how would Scottie Scheffler, holder of six wins including the Masters so far this season have done with the LIV players in the field every week? Unknowable of course, but certainly Scheffler’s scoring average of 68.483 through the first 15 tournaments would be hard to beat.

The British Open will be interesting to watch if for no other reason than we again will have the fun of seeing the top players from both tours.

And there’s still no word about the merger of the PGA Tour/DP World Tour and the PIF financed LIV circuit.

What’s with all these sub-60 scores?
A friend asked me what was going on with all the sub-60 rounds being shot on the PGA Tour. He said, “It seems like every week somebody’s shooting 59. Are the courses that easy?”

The courses aren’t getting any easier and in fact the scoring average on Tour has remained almost exactly the same for years at just over 71.0 strokes per round.

What my friend was perhaps reacting to was the 59 by Cameron Young and the Travelers Championship two weeks ago and then Hayden Springer’s 59 (-12) this week in the John Deere Classic.

Sub-60 scores are not all that common. The first was by Al Geiberger back in 1977 and since then it’s happened just 13 more times including Jim Furyk’s 58 in 2016. Some knowledgeable observers think putting is the unsung hero. Springer for example made 111 feet of putts to accomplish his 12 under par, a stat any of us would take.

Short Putts
Clanton Back-to-Back Top Tens

Luke Clanton with a T-2 at the John Deere Classic following the T-10 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic is the first amateur to accomplish that feat since Billy Joe Patton at the 1957 U.S. Open and1958 Masters. Clanton, a junior at Florida State, had a T-41 at the U.S. Open in June. However, he will not be playing in the British Open since the final spot went to C.T. Pan based on world ranking points.
6-foot-9 Longhorn Heading to Open
At 6-foot-9 University of Texas junior Tommy Morrison after his European Amateur Championship win last week will join the game’s elites at Royal Troon for 152nd Open Championship starting July 18. Other stars who have taken home the Euro Am trophy include Sergio Garcia (1995) and Rory McIlroy (2006).
LIVers at Royal Troon
The opportunity to see PGA Tour stars competing against LIV circuit’s best for the final time this season comes at The Open. Many of the best-known LIV players will be there including Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm, and Cameron Smith. Among those LIVers not qualifying are Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Babba Watson and Patrick Reed.

Ed Travis

Ed Travis is a national award winning golf journalist and has carried on a lifelong love affair with the game. His work covering the business of golf, equipment, golf personalities and travel is regularly seen in numerous print and electronic publications. He has competed in tournament golf both as an amateur and senior professional and though his competitive days are behind him, Travis still plays regularly. He and his wife live on a water hazard in suburban Orlando.

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