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Bill Felber
Counting women Cristie Kerr at 2010 LPGA may be in the hunt.
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Brooks like Rory in 2011 is currently holding a 6 stroke lead. History in the making???
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
What Brooks is doing is incredible, but there are really only maybe 12 players out of 170 that are playing well enough to score at Bethpage this week. A bona fide course.
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Jon Cavalier
7 shots. Absurd.
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Jason Baile, PGA
Good evening. Apparently the major record for 36 hole leads is 9 held by Henry Cotton in the Open Championship.
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While his score does not reflect it, Bethpage was set up like a US Open. With its length and narrow corridors it actually sets up for a run away Championship. A long hitter who is hitting his driver on a line is a huge advantage. The downside of lack of width is you lose the creativity of the game. It becomes kind of a dart throwing contest.
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Cotton held a 9 stroke lead after 36, a 10 stroke lead after 54 and then shot a 79 in the final round to win by 5. Great stat Jason!
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Jason Baile, PGA
I’d love to take credit for having it in my memory bank but I heard it on PGA Tour radio after teaching today.
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Jason Baile, PGA
It should be an interesting pairing tomorrow with BK and JS. A battle of will for JS to overcome someone playing like Brooks and try and cut into the lead.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
Still wondering if the course will firm up. Even if it doesn’t rain it’s doubtful.
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Jason Baile, PGA
The question I left with last night was would the lead grow or shrink? I think the “grows” have it in emphatic fashion
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Following a 63 with a 65 is simply remarkable. I would have guess a 68 at best.

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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
Here here. This is planetary good. The greatest players in the world, on form, are bunched at -2 through -5. Then Brooks.
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Jason Baile, PGA
He just beat the GOAT by 17 shots...
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Jason Baile, PGA
While in his group!
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
He’s slaughtering everybody, and Bethpage!
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How do you Brooks proof a course? Take away his woods?
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Jason Baile, PGA
From a coaching perspective... Brooks has a golf swing that functions even better the harder he goes at it. He only has one miss and when he swings harder the miss is harder to hit. Combine that with a very simple putting stroke and a powerful mind and you have a BEAST in majors.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
I hate narrow fairways and rough, but it’s working to control scoring for everyone but one. But you can’t have soft fairways. You have to bring in the through-the-fairway possibility and guesswork.
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Dr. Joe Parent
Interested in Jordan Spieth. He’ll mainlybe playing against himself more than anyone else.
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Just like Bobby Jones said, there is golf and championship golf. He wasn’t necessarily talking about course set-up but it works.
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Jason Baile, PGA
Good point Dr. P. It could be huge for him moving forward to put up a fight.
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Jason Baile, PGA
Jordan shoots 66-67... Brooks shoots 70-70 and we get a playoff!
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From a Golf Course set-up standpoint, does this major make you want to play Bethpage more?
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
Way too early, but if Brooks continues this pace and wins by 8 or more, does it tarnish Bethpage as a major tournament venue? Rightly or wrongly it could put it in the Congressional category.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
Connor, not from a setup perspective at all. But it looks like an amazing piece of land.
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Brooks wants to take that sign home with him right now.
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I don’t know how the course is usually set-up but it seems like the fairways would be twice the size, which would make more sense.
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By the way I was given some set-up news for Pebble Beach- first cut 4” and second cut 6” with tighter fairways than 2000.
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Dr. Joe Parent
Way too early.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
Boooo on Pebble.
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Jason Baile, PGA
Double Booo on Pebble
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I agree
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Jason Baile, PGA
The USGA has got to re-evaluate their course set ups. Other than this “halfway through” look this year, the PGA has done a much better job at getting it right.
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Jason Baile, PGA
Minus BK so far it’s an awesome event and score for a major.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
I agree Jason. I don’t love the setup, but it plays to the kind of course Bethpage is designed to be (for Tour pros).
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Very true/ BK is the outlier right now
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Jason Baile, PGA
I love the look, the architecture, the wispy fescue, the topography. It’s truly a major test. I love the premium on shot making and the patients it requires to win a major.
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Jason Baile, PGA
BK is just screwing it up for everyone right now! Ha!
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
My one criticism is that you can’t punch it onto the greens with one or two exceptions, but again, BP isn’t that course. We’ll be seeing more of that at Pebble next month.
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From an architectural standpoint it’s kind of like drawing a mustache on the Mona Lisa, but these guys are too good to give them strategic width- well if you care about the score that is.
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Dr. Joe Parent
Width is different with today’s balls compared to the movement of balata balls of the past.
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Agreed
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Jason Baile, PGA
100% Dr. P. Combined with firmness of fairways. Firm and wide or narrow and soft... Mother Nature in play always
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My point is these courses were designed with width which would create strategic methods to ply the hole. That strategy has virtually disappeared to target golf in the majors here in the US
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Dr. Joe Parent
Yes. Risk reward options are what make Augusta so great without rough. Those were the days!
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Dr. Joe Parent
For Koepka, I’ve seen a quality that is rare in general and near unbeatable when match with talent and ability. As I described in Zen Golf—Unconditional Confidence.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
The “problem” with Bethpage is that the greens are not a threat. It’s set up to make hitting a high number of green exceedingly difficult, but a player that navigates the ferocity (Koepka) has a chance to make birdies.
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Jason Baile, PGA
Enjoyed it as always. Does the lead grow again or shrink? I’m going with grows by 1. Spieth can’t drive it well enough and Scott can’t putt it well enough for it not to grow again. I hope I’m wrong. @jasonbailepga
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Bill Felber
A nugget to chew on overnight. Koepka's score is 4.3 STD Dev better than the average of those who made the cut. The best in men's major history is Tiger, 4.1 at the 2000 us open. We literally may be watching the best showing ever.
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Dr. Joe Parent
No one going low so far today. Could it be they heard Derek’s comment and made some tougher pin positions?
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Dr. Joe Parent
Sadly, Spieth losing that battle with himself today.
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Jason Baile, PGA
Very much so. I was hoping to see him mount a charge. Could have done wonders for the rest of the year.
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Dale Abraham
Can’t play major golf with a two way miss.
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Dale Abraham
It would be good for the game to have Spieth back to his old self and playing great again.
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Jason Baile, PGA
I agree!
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The only chance of a non-Brooks victory...Someone (DJ) needs to narrow the margin to 5 strokes or less.
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Dale Abraham
Brooks would have to implode then next few holes and tomorrow for that to happen. He’s handling the pressure of being in the lead beautifully. The real tournament is for second place now.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
Brooks did what he needed to do today to make this an interesting tournament but none of the pursuants could capitalize.
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If his lead is 6 or better, which it appears it will be, this is over. I think Brooks has too much steel in his blood to have a collapse. An amazing performance. In an effort to keep scores down the PGA effectively ensured a route.
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Bill Felber
Can't quite declare this over. Still, Sun
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Sorry rout
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Bill Felber
Can't quite declare this over. Still, Sunday continues to look less like the PGA and more like the Koepka Invitational
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Dale Abraham
Definitely an amazing performance. Still 7 shot lead and he didn’t play his best today
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Bill, while that is true. It would take a 63 or better with a massive letdown from Brooks. We just haven’t seen Brooks even shiver under the pressure. Possible yes, probable no.
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Bill Felber
I basically agree.
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I cheer for history- either way Sunday will supply it. Either a champion who has won 4 of the last 8 majors or one of the greatest come from behind victories of all-time
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Bill Felber
In a way Sunday is more about Koepka embellishing his place in history.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
The issue is that there are so few within reasonable striking distance. One of the guys at -5 or -4 needs to shoot 65/66 and Brooks need to card some doubles.
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Bill Felber
Qqzx
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Dr. Joe Parent
After the horseshoe of his comebacker, Koepka left a lot of putts short, some quite a bit short. Of course, no need to charge a putt with that lead.
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Dr. Joe Parent
Koepka’s strength out of the rough is huge advantage. Like Tiger in 2000.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
If Koepka shoots in the red tomorrow it may create a sense of fait accompli among his peers. Tiger level intimidation.
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Dale Abraham
I agree. Even if he shoots even par or slightly over par it will take a record performance to catch him. Also, there aren’t enough competitors close to him for that to be a likely situation. Fairways and greens and he will walk away with his 4th major.
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Dr. Joe Parent
Watching Scott, Johnson, and others all slice into fairway bunker in right of 18, then Koepka lace one down the middle—Pretty impressive.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
Koepka is going to have to develop a serious swing bug overnight to not win. He could 3-wood/driving iron it in tomorrow.
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7 shot lead!!! 7 shot lead!!! I am having a really hard time imagining Brooks blowing that lead. He is just too “Cool Hand Luke.”
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Dr. Joe Parent
Koepka seems to be in what I prescribe as ideal mode — not careful, not careless. Confident and mefhodical.
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How is Brooks not heavily favored going into Pebble Beach and his chance to double up his double? Long, narrow and high rough seem to be his kind of golf.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
He has to be the favorite from now on at every major save the Open. And once he gets some more success on the links, that too.
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Tiger isn’t winning at Pebble folks, I hate to break that to the Tiger lovers out there...ain’t gonna happen. The question is, does he play before Pebble and if so how many times?
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
I said it a while back, but Tiger will be a threat to win every Masters and every Open, and never a favorite on courses where you need to his 300 yard drives into 25 yards wide fairways.
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Bingo- to be honest I never saw him winning another Masters, but I think he could win 3 more Opens. It’s his only shot at Jack. A course he can play with irons!!!
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
Tiger’s advantage is wisdom, patience, strategy, trajectory control and imagination. Links golf rewards these traits. US Opens and most PGA’s will be tests of pure execution and accuracy, and he can’t compete consistently in that arena.
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Then again it is entirely possible that Tiger never wins another major, that we witnessed his last hurrah. For the naysayers consider Ben Hogan. In 1953 he peaked winning the Triple Crown - The Masters, The US Open and the Open...he was on top of the world and yet he never won again. He competed but never won again. I hope this isn’t the case, but I wouldn’t rule it out.
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For the record- I am cheering for history. I want and need more Tiger!
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
Tiger wasn’t right this week. Understandable at 43. But let’s not forget before this tournament he finished 6, 2, 1 and the previous 3 majors.
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As a historian- and I shouldn’t say this...I never cheer for the underdog. I cheer for history and historic moments. Love Rich Beem as a person but I was cheering for Tiger:(
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Jon Cavalier
I cheer for the underdog against the typical favorite. But I cheer for the historically great over everything else.
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Derek- I don’t disagree. In great form and playing great golf. At some point the spigot turns off and the well runs dry.
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Bill Felber
I want to see Koepka lose before I like tiger's chances going forward.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
Connor—everyone except Beem’s family and sponsors were cheering for Tiger, right?!
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How about this question- is Dustin Johnson, the world #1 a one and done??? He gave away three majors and defied the poor rulings to win at Oakmont. He has been in the hunt for majors but just couldn’t close.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
I still think DJ has another major in his future. But you have to wonder what it does to him psychologically to see his close friend completely ice the field in majors. Meanwhile DJ has had a number of huge collapses.
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What Brooks seems to have that the others don’t- is a drive to prove something. These guys make crazy money so you have to have that gear to continue winning majors
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For the coaches out there- if you are a kid out there with hopes of competing on the PGA Tour- What does it take? How much of it is athleticism, technique, mental and work?
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
Good question Connor. I do think every coach in America and probably beyond it teaching smash golf. And why not?
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You have to be long and really long.
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Is the great equalizer shorter courses rather than longer? I have argued that we should stop focusing on the over/under number- who cares what they shoot. Last time I checked the lowest score wins. I am a tad bit disappointed in the PGA going to US Open narrowness.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
I hear you. 520 yard par-4s give the long players a ridiculous advantage. Sub 400-yard par-4s bring the whole field in: one one hand you have players hitting 6-irons vs others hitting wedges, and on the other guys are hitting sand wedge vs guys hitting 60-yard shots. There’s less obvious advantage in the latter scenario.
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Dale Abraham
With the courses set up the way they are, kids have to learn to hit it as far as they can then learn to hit it straight. There aren’t any courses left that favor the short but straight hitter.
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Riviera? But it’s not going to ever hold a major.
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I would like one major to be at 7000 yards to give the field a chance to compete. Trial run for the competition.
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Dale Abraham
Pebble Beach
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Dr. Joe Parent
Dale, your description of kids learning ‘far first, then straight’ is almost word for word Jack Nicklaus describing how he was taught.
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Dr. Joe Parent
And he did ok.
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Dale Abraham
4 holes left for DJ and 4 shots behind...
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3 bogies in a row...if DJ wants his chance he needs to close with birdies
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Now 2 stroke lead
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History is going to be made either way
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
It took about 65 holes but this thing is finally interesting g.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
Koepka’s Terminator mettle is going to be verified or fractured in the next five holes.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
DJ looks calm 😁
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And Koepka flies the green!!!!
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Could be the biggest lead blown in HISTORY!!!
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
Wow! Nerves? Adrenalin? Confusion?
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Swagger is wavering- the good news- you have the lead- balance your mind and play your game.
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Dale Abraham
Looks can be deceiving. He’s got to be feeling differently inside.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
This is epic.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
Guys this is a turning point. Brooks can still prove he’s a closer, but if he doesn’t it changes the outlook of him looking inward and how the rest of the Tour looks at him.
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DJ has him on the ropes with Brooks recording 4 straight bogies. The lead is down to a single stroke and then DJ airmailed the green!!! Wow!
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I REALLY REALLY REALLY WANT A PLAYOFF
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Dale Abraham
What a tournament this is turning out to be.
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Dale Abraham
Tough conditions have made all the difference in the world.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
Then DJ flails to perfect lie approaches. Ugh.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
*two
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The lead seems to be too big to blow. DJ blowing over greens is certainly helping Brooks’ cause. I am growing more and more certain that DJ will go down as the biggest disappointment in talent the the PGA has ever produced
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Wow now I don’t want Koepka to win. It’s a better story if he loses
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
Disappointing given where we were 45 mins ago.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
Connor, is DJ the modern Davis Love III?
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Dale Abraham
Just shows how tough it is out there and the pressure. DJ on top of his game and fell back. Brooks at +3 isn’t a bad round considering all the factors
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Good solid choice by Koepka- that should seal it I would think
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Dr. Joe Parent
Tough conditions, lots of pressure—not a walk in the park. Just how hard it was for DJ bogeying 16&17. Then just 2 shot margin of victory.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
On Friday I questioned whether a Koepka runaway would make Bethpage feel tainted like Congressional in ‘11. No way. The course was half the show this week. Great showing. It tests the pros in the old fashioned way.
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I think DJ will go down as the greatest disappointment in PGA Tour History. He has had so many opportunities to win majors and closed one door. Now that’s one door more than many, but with his talent the World #1 should have 3+ majors
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At least things got interesting. It certainly illustrates how hard it is to win a major. I am happy for Brooks. If he loses that major...wow devastating
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
DJ still will have chances. But yes, he hasn’t shown he has the gene that the greats have.
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Blows the lead at Pebble, OB balls at the Open, bunker mishap at Whistling, 3 putts Chambers on the 72nd... Just shocked how many opportunities he had had. Brooks was bleeding out and DJ bogies the next two holes. Pretty crazy
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
Golf is really hard, but evidence is mounting. Being second or third best isn’t historic.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
Final thoughts: good on Brooks to do what it took to win. He’s becoming an all time great.
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Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
Pebble Beach will be very similar to Bethpage: narrow fairways, heavy rough, modest green contour. Weather will be critical. If it’s windy the winning score could be close to par.
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Brooks looks good for Pebble. With the 4 & 6” cuts I think Tiger is suspect. But you never knoe
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Avatar for Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
As golf media, please resist the temptation to favor DJ, Phil, Tiger or Rory. Brooks is your man until proven otherwise.
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Avatar for Jon Cavalier
Jon Cavalier
Does it matter that Koepka seems to only win majors? If he finishes his career with something like 6 majors and 12 total tour wins, does that make any difference in how we look back at his career? Is it mentioned? Or is it really, truly all about the majors?
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Avatar for Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
Derek Duncan—Feed the Ball
Lastly, Bethpage will be a different course for the Ryder Cup. Much more interesting—wider fairways, lower scoring, more dynamic.
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Avatar for Society of Golf Historians
Society of Golf Historians
Jon- it doesn’t matter a penny! Majors are everything- majors are history unless you win 82 or more PGA Tour wins
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Avatar for Society of Golf Historians
Society of Golf Historians
Bethpage at the Ryder Cup with 50 yard fairways?
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