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Golf News Today

For nine years Camilo Villegas never stopped grinding. 

The Colombian saw his game stagnate after a hot rookie start, years of seemingly effortless consistency and four PGA Tour wins. The man beloved for his “Spiderman” green-reading technique and bold apparel had suddenly disappeared from fans’ TV screens. Villegas lost his PGA Tour card and a shoulder surgery made the comeback he was yearning for increasingly difficult. 

If anything were to have deterred Villegas from returning to the winner’s circle, however, it wouldn’t have been ailments or swing troubles. 

In 2020, Villegas and his wife Maria lost their 22-month old daughter, Mia. She fought brain and spine tumors for four long months. The pain of such a tragedy was simply unimaginable for Villegas and his family, but it didn’t stop Villegas from pushing. The memory of Mia propelled him forward. 

“Nine years where you kind of stop believing at times, but I never stopped waking up early and putting in the work,” Villegas said on Sunday at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship. 

Just moments after securing his first PGA Tour victory since the 2014 Wyndham Championship, Villegas’s gaze drifted up to the sky. For the first time since 2015, Villegas will be a full-time PGA Tour member and will play in the 2024 Masters and PGA Championship.

At 41 years old, Villegas might not have totally believed he’d ever reenter the winner’s circle. In August, early retirement didn’t seem out of the picture when he joined Golf Channel’s broadcast as an analyst instead of a contender. But like Villegas said himself, the work never stopped. With the help of swing coach Jose Campra, Villegas overhauled his mechanics and transformed his golf swing back into one that could win on the PGA Tour. 

And Villegas knew exactly who was watching when the result of all of that effort finally came to fruition. 

“What a ride, man. I love this game and this game has given me so many great things. But in the process it kicks your butt. 

“Life has given me so many great things and in the process it kicks my butt too,” Villegas said, his eyes drawn upwards once again. “My little one up there is watching.”

[Source: SI.com]

Golf news next to a golf ball

Less than two months remain until the Dec. 31 deadline for the PGA Tour’s framework agreement with Saudi Arabia’s PIF, but with interest from other investors and reports of delayed negotiations the deal’s conclusion is uncertain. Rory McIlroy, who has been one of the most outspoken members of the PGA Tour throughout the sport’s power struggle, revealed that he is still holding out hope for a partnership with the backers of LIV Golf. 

In an interview on CNBC’s Halftime Report, McIlroy joined the chairman of Fenway Sports Group at Fenway Park to discuss the new Boston Common TGL team. 

Fenway Sports Group had been reported as one of the companies in talks with the PGA Tour for future investment, and during the interview Werner confirmed the interest.

“We’ve had conversations,” Werner said, without providing further detail. 

CNBC's Scott Wapner speculated that the sport could remain divided in a LIV Golf vs. PGA Tour "status quo" if another investor such as Fenway Sports Group stepped in to fund the future of the Tour. He then posed the question to McIlroy: “Is that an environment that you’d prefer over the companies coming together?” 

In response, McIlroy stood firmly in favor of the pro game repairing its current fractures and said the PIF’s involvement is essential to that outcome. 

“No, I would prefer if—I feel like we’ve got a fractured competitive landscape right now. And I would prefer if everyone sort of got back into the same boat. I think that’s the best thing for golf," the four-time major champion said.

“So you know, I would hope when we go through this process, the PIF are the ones that are involved in the framework agreement. Obviously, there’s been other suitors that have been involved and offering their services and their help.

“But hopefully, when this is all said and done, I sincerely hope that the PIF are involved and we can bring the game of golf back together." 

McIlroy has been vocal about his disinterest and distaste for LIV Golf. In July at the Scottish Open he bluntly stated that he’d “rather retire” than play in the 54-hole team-format league. 

But in the months since the framework agreement was announced in June, the Northern Irishman has begun to express support for the PIF’s mission within golf. 

“If the PIF are really interested in golf and they want to get in the system, at least if we provide them a pathway to play within the system and they’re not taking over the sport, it neutralizing any threat of LIV becoming something it hopefully shouldn’t become,” he said on Golf Weekly’s Off the Ball podcast in September. 

McIlroy appears to still be under that impression, even as the possibility of outside investors in the PGA Tour looms. 

“There’s a lot of interest in golf and in professional golf right now,” he said on CNBC. “Golf has never been in a stronger shape or a healthier place.” 

[Source: SI.com]

Golf News Today

The PGA Tour year may be winding to a close, but one thing is just getting started: The TGL. The mixed-reality golf league from TMRW Sports, launched by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, is barreling down the path to its inaugural season, and we learned a lot more about what it’ll look like Tuesday. 

Haven’t you heard? Justin Thomas is now a member of the Atlanta Drive. Not sure what that means? You’re not alone. But Thomas is one of 24 players taking part, who will all be members of the six founding TGL teams, competing in a round-robin slate of matches on Monday and Tuesday nights this spring. You’ll be able to watch it all on ESPN, starting Jan. 9, but what exactly will you be watching? We outline it below. 

TGL Competition Format Explained: 

Triples and Singles — no Doubles

For each match, each TGL team will send three players to SoFi Center in Palm Beach, Fla., a made-for-purpose arena that will fit 1,600 spectators. They’ll begin by playing what TGL is calling “Triples,” a three-man alternate shot competition for the first nine holes of the night. 

After the Triples, the match will pivot to one-on-one. That’s what TGL is calling “Singles.” (Zero points for creativity on the session names.) Individual players from each team will face off against one opponent from the other team on individual holes. 

EXAMPLE: Justin Thomas plays Tiger Woods on the 10th hole. Max Homa plays Rickie Fowler on the 11th hole. Collin Morikawa plays Patrick Cantlay on the 12th hole. Then JT and Tiger kick off the final three holes by playing against each other again. 

For those doing their own math, that’s nine holes of Triples and six holes of Singles, adding up to 15 holes on the night. Not 18. The pace of play should be quick, as the TV window for these matches is just two hours long. This is largely virtual golf as players make their way to the green, so there won’t be time spent walking to wherever their balls end up.

Most points wins

Teams will be competing for points, which are earned in a simple way: by winning holes. If our imaginary team of Woods, Fowler and Cantlay made an alternate-shot birdie on 1 to beat their opponent, and then tie the 2nd hole, they’re up one point. Importantly, up one point does not mean the same as 1 Up. At least, not in the sense we are used to with golf matches. 

Every one of the 15 holes will be played during every match, meaning there are 15 points up for grabs. If a team is four points up with three holes to play, they will not call the match. Rather, they’ll play out those final three holes to see how lopsided the match was. And they need to. The year-end tiebreaker is Total Number of Holes Won. So, TGL scores will look more like baseball scores, if anything. Expect to see a lot of 4-3 ballgames. 

Also, expect a number of the teams and matches to be released soon. We are just two months away from launch week.

True mixed-reality 

You may have heard about the 64-by-46 foot mega simulator screen that players will be hitting into. That’s virtual. But they’ll be hitting from real-life surfaces. Real, shortly mown grass to emulate fairways and tees, as well as real, rough-like, thicker grasses to represent what it’s like when players miss the fairway. There will be real sand from which players will play bunker shots. 

Once players have virtually advanced within about 50 yards of the hole, the short-game area will come to life. Their real golf balls will be placed in the respective spots in the competition area, and 189 actuators and jacks beneath the surface will make every time it is used feel different. Ultimately, the short game area is bigger than four basketball courts and encompasses three putting greens, the slopes of which can be dictated to any degree. 


One of the tastiest aspects of this competition is that we will eventually see overtime. It may not come during the first night, or even the first few, but eventually there will be a 4-4 tie after 15 holes. From there, players will take individual shots into the screen, alternating between the teams like a penalty shootout. The goal: be the first team to win TWO closest-to-the-pin challenges against the other team. 

EXAMPLE: Tiger Woods snipes the green, while Justin Thomas misses the green. That’s ONE for Woods’ team. Then both Max Homa and Rickie Fowler miss the green. Zero points for that. Collin Morikawa’s does what he does best and hits it close against Patrick Cantlay. All tied up. Then Tiger Woods does what Tiger Woods does better than anyone in history and hits it to a foot, claiming that second closest-to challenge from the bunch. Team TW wins. 

Hockey standings 

Okay, but what do they win? The TGL is clearly keen to incorporate concepts that work in other sports. But winning any given TGL match will be worth two points on the year-long standings race, whether it happens in regulation or in overtime, like we referenced above. A loss will be worth nothing, unless it happens in overtime, like we referenced above. Overtime losses, like in hockey, are still worth one point on the year-long race. It may not comfort Justin Thomas in the moment, but it may be the difference between advancing and having your TGL season finish before the playoffs. 

Of the six teams competing, four will advance to the semi-finals matches. From there, the two winning teams will play a best-of-three championship series for the inaugural TGL championship.

[Source: Golf.com]

Golf News

It doesn’t matter, really, how hard brands try to market their long-sleeved, tall-collared, semi-shiny zip-at-the-neck pullovers as activewear, meant for the brisk and rugged outdoor air of a hike or a jog or a long biking excursion. The same thing always happens.

On the webpage for Under Armour’s UA Tech ½ Zip Long Sleeve, which the brand boasts is “our original go-to training gear,” one five-star review remarked as follows: “I bought this to wear to work and it looks sharp.” Another satisfied customer wrote: “Great for taking off the chill in my office when the AC is going full bore.”

Of the Eddie Bauer Men’s Resolution Long-Sleeve ¼-Zip, which boasts moisture-wicking and odor-control technologies as well as UPF 20 sun protection, someone raved: “This long sleeve shirt was a godsend because i can wear it over my professional dress attire for work.” And here’s some feedback left for the Allbirds Men’s Performance Quarter Zip, which promises to “warm up your cold-weather runs with a layer of super-soft merino wool designed to keep you warm and comfy mile after mile”: “Can wear casual or I have worn to meetings.”

In cubicles, in country clubs, even on Wall Street, a quick lap around the floor on a Thursday afternoon can confirm it: The age of the performance quarter-zip as office-appropriate menswear is here. And we’re not talking about the classic thick wool sweater with a zip collar, the kind that’s luxe and traditionally dapper enough to be worn by Tom Wambsgans on “Succession”; we mean its lightweight, synthetic-fiber grandchild. A friendlier — comfy, washable — alternative to the increasingly too-stuffy business suit (rendered all but obsolete in recent years by a generation of sneaker-sporting tech bros), the garment was mostly seen on golf courses just a decade or so ago.

The American office wardrobe has been casualizing for decades, and the pandemic sped up a phenomenon already in progress. But thanks to the new ubiquity of remote and hybrid work, the polyester quarter-zip has established itself as just the latest style to pop out of the driving-range-to-conference-room pipeline.

To witness the quarter-zip’s rise, look no further than the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference — a finance summit held in Idaho each July by private investment firm Allen & Company that has been dubbed “summer camp for billionaires.” Though attendees do participate in outdoor activities at Sun Valley, it’s still a finance conference, an environment where business moguls and tech giants meet and mingle and make first impressions on one another. This year, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Greg Abel, Palantir CEO Alex Karp and Graham Holdings CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy were all spotted sporting one of the few garments that, at present, seems appropriate for both.

Middle managers and entry-level strivers have followed the CEOs’ lead. “Quarter-zip over a collar is the truest form of office drip,” declared New York comedian Nate Stein, who works in finance as a day job. “Office hack: if you show up wearing a peter millar performance quarter-zip, you can leave at 3:30pm and nobody will say anything,” an MBA meme account called Business School Boogaloo recently posted to X (formerly Twitter).

Mark Moran, 32, works in finance in New York City. Even when he was earning his MBA in Virginia a few years ago, quarter-zips were all over campus. “It’s like this aspirational dress code. Because when you think about what a semiretired corporate executive wears, it’s that,” he says. At a previous job in banking, Moran once peeked over a colleague’s shoulder and saw him ordering four identical navy quarter-zips at once. “He only wore quarter-zips.” 

On a Wednesday afternoon earlier this month, Moran took a meeting in Midtown Manhattan with a CEO and a senior banker, who Moran estimated to be in their 40s and 50s, respectively. The CEO’s quarter-zip had his company’s logo on it; the banker’s bore the name of his country club.

Throughout his team’s NBA championship-winning run earlier this year, the historically suit-wearing Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone was photographed in quarter-zips of various colors on the sidelines. In recent years, former Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers made the same adjustment to his game-day look.

At the East Providence, R.I.-based Corporate Gear, the arm of the promotional products company ParsonsKellogg that creates custom-logoed apparel you might get at a team retreat or as a holiday gift, companies’ demand for these kinds of athleisure-style, half- and quarter-zip pullovers has “gone up significantly,” according to McLean Shanley, Corporate Gear’s vice president of sales.

Shanley says that’s because work is now only sometimes synonymous with the office: “The reality is when people aren’t on a call, they may be back into their T-shirt,” Shanley says. “But then maybe they want to step it up, or even show some of their company’s branding when they’re on the call.” At Corporate Gear, the quarter-zip is outselling even the finance- and tech-bro signifier of just a few short years ago: the zip-up vest.

“They’re going to wear it over and over again,” Shanley says of the quarter-zip. Especially if it’s from a household name brand. Which is why some of Corporate Gear’s best sellers are from Nike, Patagonia and, yes, the golf brand Peter Millar. (Marketing copy for the Peter Millar Perth Performance Quarter-Zip: “Four-way stretch, moisture-wicking and easy-care benefits to keep you comfortable far beyond the final green.” A real review: “Great for Spring and Fall and for those cold air conditioned buildings in the Summer!”)

Of course, it’s not the first time a style native to golf has become a staple of the workplace. “Golf has contributed an incredible amount of garments to the history of fashion,” says Deirdre Clemente, a professor of history at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas who specializes in fashion. For starters: “You think of the 1920s, you think of those knickers and patterned sweaters and patterned socks — that’s straight out of golf wear.”

In the early 20th century, golf was gaining popularity in the United States at the same time the knitwear industry was rapidly expanding. Thanks to new technologies in both fabric production and garment-making, the clothing industry grew and began offering new styles that, unlike the stiffer, starchier wool and cotton three-piece suits and corset dresses of the day, could accommodate a hobby that required the use of the whole body.

“The women’s silhouette of the 1920s came from golf, that very long and lean silhouette with a lot of motion in the arms,” Clemente says. “The gussets of sleeves, the wider sleeve hole: Those were so you could swing either a tennis racket or a golf club.”

Saddle Oxford shoes — a menswear staple for much of the 20th century — and Madras shorts were also popularized by golf. But the sport’s best-known contribution to office wear, and the quarter-zip’s most obvious progenitor, may be the short-sleeved, short-placketed golf shirt, sometimes known as the polo shirt. Like the quarter-zip, Clemente explains, it gained traction as a business-casual option in the 1980s and 1990s because it was a washable, low-maintenance garment with an obvious comfort advantage over the traditional office attire of the time. And like the quarter-zip, it also looked just similar enough to fussier styles more traditionally seen at the office to pass a one-glance dress-code inspection.

Will the quarter-zip someday be just a weird relic of the pandemic era, now that some business and tech giants are starting to insist that their employees report to the office five days per week? Clemente doesn’t think so. Business attire continues to converge with out-of-office wear, and as the planet gets warmer, Clemente expects moisture-wicking fabrics to be a permanent fixture in the workplace of the future.

That said, some brands have already caught on and adapted to that future: Rhone, a Connecticut-based activewear brand, calls its polyester quarter-zip — a “perfect midlayer for the office or date night” — the Commuter.

Source [The Washington Post]

Tiger Woods has announced the field for the 2023 Hero World Challenge, but a question remains: will he be among the competitors?

Woods is tournament host for the annual event in the Bahamas, but he is not in the announced field. This year’s event will be Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 in Albany.

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler will be there. Two-time defending champ Viktor Hovland is returning as well. The newcomers include 2023 U.S. Open champ Wyndham Clark and 2023 Open Championship winner Brian Harman.

There are 11 U.S. Ryder Cuppers competing, as well as three from the victorious European side in the 20-man field.

There will be one final tournament exemption announced at a later date, but for now, here’s the field for the 2023 Hero World Challenge.

This is the eighth year for the event in the Bahamas, for its eighth year. Golf Channel will have early-round coverage, with NBC picking it up on the weekend.

Golfers who were in the 2022 field who are not returning this year: Sungjae Im, Jon Rahm, Tom Kim, Billy Horschel, Corey Conners, Shane Lowry, Kevin Kisner, and Tommy Fleetwood.

Check out the full field HERE

[Source: Golf Week]

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