Monday, November 05, 2018

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That feeling when you leave Las Vegas as a winner. (Getty Images)

Teeing Off


Bryson DeChambeau had the hot hand at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open where he claimed his fifth PGA TOUR title. He woke up Sunday with a share of the 54-hole lead but pulled ahead with a 5-under 66, his third 66 of the week, to end the day with a one-shot lead of the defending champ Patrick Cantlay. DeChambeau took charge after he buried a 58-foot eagle from off the green on No. 16 to take the solo lead. After that he never looked back and was clinical on a finishing stretch that is full of risk with two pars to close it out. Turns out DeChambeau did all of that with an open blister on his right hand after ringing the air horn at a Las Vegas Knights hockey game. "I went a little too hard on the air horn and I ripped part of my hand off," DeChambeau confirmed after lifting the trophy. Luck was still on his side in Las Vegas and in fitting fashion, DeChambeau ended the tournament at 21 under. Blackjack!


After a season that included 10 top-25 finishes, Aaron Wise was named US PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. All he does is win, notching victories at the University of Oregon, on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada, the Tour and on the PGA TOUR after he claimed his first title at the AT and T Byron Nelson.
One trophy certainly could have been two or three with a runner-up finish at the Wells Fargo Championship, the week before his breakthrough win in Dallas, a T6 finish at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and a T5 at THE NORTHERN TRUST.
To cap off his resumé, Wise was the only rookie to make it to the season-ending Tour Championship. He didn’t waste any time continuing his success on the course with a T15 in his first start of the season at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Speaking of rookies … Cameron Champ is the way-too-early leader in the clubhouse for 2018-19 Rookie of the Year after a win at the Sanderson Farms Championship. His distance off the tee brings out the fans but his clutch putting carried him down the stretch. He followed up his win with a T28 finish in Vegas.


When the calendar flips to the New Year, an overhaul to the Rules of Golf will take effect and you better believe DeChambeau is already preparing. He turned heads this week saying that he would putt with the flagstick in whenever he feels it benefits him.
Prior to this change, a player incurred a two-stroke penalty if a ball putted from the green hit the flagstick before going in the hole. The rule change is intended to speed up the game at the amateur level, but as someone who spends countless hours calculating his game, Bryson is ready to use the rule in the pro game.
“All I try to do is use every aspect of the game of golf to my advantage. I try to use the rules to my advantage in, the most positive way possible.”
He’ll avoid the tactic, depending on the material of which the flagsticks are made, such as the U.S. Open where they are metal, but with most of the flagsticks on TOUR primarily made out of fibreglass it’ll be a strategy he uses often.
Be on the lookout for the new method when he tees it up in Kapalua at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, the first US PGA Tour event under the updated rules. Not sure if he needs anymore help after a win in his start of the season. 



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