In today’s PGW Daily Rundown: A lot of players at Wentworth, the site of this week’s European Tour flagship event, had strong emotional reactions to the bombings at nearby Manchester; Callaway introduces irons that employ brand-new technology for them; Ian Poulter is feeling better than he has in years, and the CBS telecast of the Dean & DeLuca Invitational will introduce a new name to their team.
Romo To Make Broadcast Debut at Colonial
CBS has shown in the past that they are not adverse to bringing in celebrities from outside the game of golf to get on their broadcast and give their thoughts.
Just last week, they brought in former president George W. Bush to give his thoughts at the AT&T Byron Nelson. This week, for the Fort Worth tournament, they’re bringing in another Texas celebrity: former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.
This will be Romo’s broadcast debut, as CBS hired Romo in the offseason to work with their #1 NFL broadcast team alongside Jim Nantz.
- Romo sat out nearly the entire 2016 NFL Season recovering from injury.
- The surprising play of new Cowboys starter Dak Prescott kept Romo on the bench when he regained health.
- Romo was not signed or traded during the NFL free agent period, and announced his retirement from football.
- He was quickly scooped up by CBS upon announcing his retirement to work as an analyst during NFL games.
- He will work alongside Nantz on CBS’s No. 1 broadcast team, replacing Phil Simms.
- Romo’s broadcast debut will come this weekend, as CBS is bringing him into the booth at the 18th hole to cover the Dean & DeLuca Invitational, alongside his new partner, Nantz.
- Romo has never worked in TV before, so this will give sports fans an idea of what to expect this fall.
- Romo is one of the better celebrity golfers, as he has a zero handicap. He has attempted on several occasions to qualify for the U.S. Open, including this year. He came closest to actually qualifying in 2010.
“I think he is going to be great. I think we have the next John Madden on our hands.”
-CBS Sports Producer Lance Barrow
Players Share Pain Over Manchester Bombing
In what has been called an act of terrorism, a concert at the United Kingdom’s Manchester Arena left 22 people dead and 59 more injured. Sympathy has come pouring in from all over the world, and the PGA Tour has been no different.
A number of players have taken to Twitter since the incident to share their pain and thoughts. For many on Tour, the tragedy hit close to home.
- English golfers were especially heartbroken over the bombing. Those to comment about it via social media include Luke Donald, Matthew Fitzpatrick, and David Horsey.
- This week’s European Tour event, the BMW Championship, their flagship event, is being contended at nearby Wentworth Club in Surrey.
- Flags at Wentworth were at half-mast yesterday, and no music was played on the range.
- Defending BMW Champion Chris Wood, an Englishman himself, referred to the incident as “horrible” and expressed that the recent birth of his child has given him a different perspective.
“I’ve been here now 21 months from Canada and one of the things that I’ve learnt about the British people, is incredible resilience, and that resilience demands today that we keep calm and carry on. That’s exactly what we’re going to do today and the rest of the week.”
–Keith Pelley, European Tour Chief Executive
Ian Poulter Brings New Attitude to Wentworth, Eyes Open Championship
The past few years have been a struggle for England’s Ian Poulter, but after a recent runner-up finish at THE PLAYERS Championship, he is feeling good about his chances at the European Tour version of THE PLAYERS, the BMW Championship.
Poulter is hoping to parlay a strong showing at Wentworth into an Open Championship invite.
- This will be Poulter’s first appearance at the BMW Championship in three years. He has voluntarily skipped the past two editions.
- He has missed over half his cuts in 13 attempts at Wentworth, with a high finish of T10 in 2012.
- A victory would get Poulter into the top 50 in the world, which he needs to qualify for The Open Championship in July. At world #80, Poulter currently does not qualify. He raised precipitously (#197-#80) with his strong performance at THE PLAYERS.
- Poulter said that he is willing to play the June 5th sectional qualifier if he is not exempt for The Open Championship, although he has not yet said if he definitely would make that attempt. He referred to it as a “last resort”.
- Poulter credits his improved play to, among other things, the removal of several distractions outside golf. He switched management companies and shut down his clothing business.
“I am a much better player when I am feeling happy, confident and less distracted with things on and off the golf course. Simplifying my life makes a massive difference to me. I think we’re there with that and getting things back to basics.”
Savannah, Georgia Picks up Web.com Tour Event
The Savannah, GA – Hilton Head Island, SC area is already known as a golf haven, but now its profile has increased even further. Web.com Tour officials have announced that the Savannah Golf Championship will debut next season.
- A 5-year deal has been agreed upon that will bring the tournament to Deer Creek Golf Course at The Landings Club
- An annual PGA Tour event, the RBC Heritage, is played every April at Harbour Town Golf Links on nearby Hilton Head Island.
- This year’s RBC winner was Wesley Bryan, who finished #1 on last year’s Web.Com Tour money list.
- The course is a 1991 Tom Fazio design. Fazio also headed renovation efforts in 2009.
- The event will occur in late March, and have a field of 156 players. The purse has been set at $550,000.
“We are excited to bring the Web.com Tour to Savannah because we believe in this market. This is a vibrant city that has a strong passion and history with the game of golf, and we look forward to working with the community and local businesses to grow this tournament on and off the course.”
–Dan Glod, Web.com Tour president
Callaway Announces Release of Epic Irons
This week’s PGA Tour event is the Dean & DeLuca Championship, held at Colonial Country Club, which is well-known as a shotmakers course.
It makes sense that Callaway would choose this week to unveil their new set of irons: the Epic and Epic Pro Irons. The world “epic” refers to something that is exceptionally impressive and noteworthy, two words that Calloway hopes many will use to describe their performance with the new irons.
- Callaway implements the same Exo-Cage technology it used in the Great Big Bertha OS irons.
- The purpose of Exo-Cage structure, located at the center of the cavity, is to stiffen the body on impact. This is known as “energy lensing.”
- “Energy lensing” allows the club face to behave more effectively and efficiently, promoting both faster ball speed and distance.
- The irons also helps increase flex on lower hits, a result of a thinner transition area between the face and sole.
- The irons are hyped as allowing much better feel and maneuverability in the iron game.
- Neither model is cheap. Both are retailing at $2,000 for a set of 8 with steel shafts.
- Swapping out the Project X LZ shafts with UST Mamiya Recoil graphite shaft brings the price to $2,240.
“We have not used this technique before, but we had to go to these extremes in order to get the amount of weight movement that we needed in the small format of a ‘Pro’-shaped iron.”
–Alan Hocknell, senior VP of research and development for Callaway