BK resurgent | Bryson & The Rules (Redux) | Another positive COVID-19 test on the LPGA Tour |

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By Ben Alberstadt 

July 31, 2020 

Good Friday morning, golf fans. 
1. BK resurgent

AP report..."The defending champ matched his career best with an 8-under 62 to take a two-stroke lead over Rickie Fowler and Brendon Todd after the first round of the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational."
  • "A week after missing the cut in Minnesota in the 3M Open, Koepka had nine birdies and a bogey on a windy day at TPC Southwind. He credits all his work with coaches Claude Harmon and Pete Cowen rather than how comfortable he is on this course."
  • "It's the first time I feel like I know where my misses are, I know when the club's in the correct spot, I know when the putting stroke's nice," Koepka said. "It's all just the work we've put in over the last three weeks of countless hours of beating balls and on the putting green."

2. Euro: Garcia Rodriguez in front

European Tour report..."Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez remained the man to catch midway through the second round of the 2020 Hero Open at Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club."
  • "The 31-year-old rookie opened with a stunning 62 on Thursday and turned in 35 to reach 11 under for the week."
  • "Birdies at the third and seventh took Garcia Rodriguez clear of the chasing pack before a dropped shot on the eighth left him 11 under for the week...That was two clear of clubhouse leader Alexander Björk, who added a 67 to his opening 68 to post a nine under halfway target."
Full piece.

3. Barracuda: Schenk, Moore lead the Tour's annual Stableford excursion 

AP report..."Ryan Moore curled in a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th for a share of the lead with Adam Schenk on Thursday in the PGA Tour's Barracuda Championship at Tahoe Mountain Club."
  • "Moore and Schenk had 14-point rounds under the modified Stableford scoring system. They each had seven birdies in bogey-free rounds in high altitude on the Old Greenwood Course, the first-time venue after the event was staged for 21 years across the border in Nevada at Montreux Golf & Country Club."
Full piece.

4. Marina Alex positive for COVID-19

And another, AP report...."The LPGA said Marina Alex had no symptoms when she tested positive before leaving for Inverness. Following 10 days of quarantine, she is expected to return next week at the Marathon Classic. The tour said one caddie also tested positive and did not travel. The caddie was scheduled to work only the first event."

5. Bryson & the Rules, redux

Golf Channel's Rex Hoggard..."DeChambeau was trying to close out a solid opening round Thursday at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational when his drive at the par-4 seventh hole sailed left of the fairway and settled into an awful lie next to a tree. After a quick glance at his lie, DeChambeau's busy mind started working."
  • "So, there was discolored dirt and I saw a couple red ants there and I was thinking, hmm, anthill, may get something or whatnot [relief]," said DeChambeau, who was 4 under for the day at the time. "I asked [PGA Tour rules official Ken Tackett] and he was like, well, it's got to be, you know, kind of endangering you. And I was, just an anthill."
  • "A lengthy conversation followed and Tackett eventually denied DeChambeau relief from the anthill. After punching just short of the green, DeChambeau failed to reach the putting surface with his next shot on his way to a double bogey-6."
  • "I'm always going to respect the officials and go, OK, no issue, that's fine," he said. "It didn't help that I had a really, really bad lie, too, I had two twigs lodged in between my ball. Is what it is."

6. Bands & lanyards

Golf Channel's Randall Mell..."Under new LPGA protocols, players get one wristband after arriving at the tournament site and taking a COVID-19 saliva test. They wear it to show their results are "pending," which allows them to be on the property to practice as they await results. They get a different fabric wristband -- or lanyard, if they prefer -- when they return a negative result, which is required before they get clubhouse access. They also get a Tyvek wristband, with a different color every day, that shows they've passed a thermal temperature screening."

7. Day splits with Swatton

Adam Schupak at Golfweek..."Jason Day has parted ways with his longtime swing instructor, Colin Swatton."
  • "The duo first met when Day was 12 years old and attending a boarding school in his native Australia. Swatton became a second father to Day, whose dad had passed away."
  • "It's been a long and successful road working with Col," Day told on Wednesday. "I have just decided I want to make a change and work on my own as it pertains to my golf swing. Col has been way more than just a caddie and coach to me. I am forever grateful for all he has done for my golf and his continued friendship."

8. Duval ESPN lead analyst for PGA Champ

Schupak, again, at Golfweek...."First, Davis Love III announced on Tuesday that he was ending his brief run with CBS Sports beginning at the PGA Championship. Then Kelly Tilghman, the former Golf Channel lead anchor who left the network in 2018 to focus on raising her daughter, tweeted that she would be joining CBS Sports and anchoring its post-game show, The PGA Championship Clubhouse Report, live from TPC Harding Park."
  • "The third shoe dropped with news that David Duval, the former World No. 1, will serve as ESPN's lead analyst in the 18th-hole tower for the network's coverage of the PGA Championship next week alongside Scott Van Pelt."

9. Molinari, Harrington out of PGA Champ

AP report..."Francesco Molinari and Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington have withdrawn from the PGA Championship next week at TPC Harding Park, costing the first major of the year a pair of past major champions."

"Neither gave a reason, and both major champions have not played since the COVID-19 pandemic led to golf being shut down for three months. Molinari is in the process of moving to California."

Other emails from Ishikawa

Aug 5, 2020
Scribes takes on Tiger's presser | New putter? | HV3 | Lanto's story
Aug 4, 2020
Does this PGA Championship deserve an asterisk? | Harding Park history | Tiger update | PGA Champ odds
Aug 3, 2020
Winner, and new world No. 1... | Rounding up other tour action | Tiger arrives at TPC Harding Park
Aug 3, 2020
Justin Thomas' winning WITB | Danielle Kang's winning WITB | Sam Horsfield's winning WITB | How to play golf: Building a bag for your skill level
Jul 31, 2020
BK resurgent | Bryson & The Rules (Redux) | Another positive COVID-19 test on the LPGA Tour |
Jul 30, 2020
No fans at Winged Foot | LPGA return | Gaby Lopez positive for COVID-19 | Koepka could need surgery