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Friday Update - 9/11/18

By: | Fri 09 Nov 2018

As always, it’s been pretty non-stop in the golfing world and this week’s update takes a look at a range of the most interesting talking points. Whether it’s serious stuff or something a little more light-hearted, golf always seems to provide. From Dougherty to Doris, there has most definitely been positive and negative activity taking place in the last week or so, which makes for a great edition of the ‘Friday Update.’

Nick Dougherty Opens Golf Academy at Moor Allerton Golf Club

It seems only right to begin with some news which is frankly brilliant for the amateur game and a step in the right direction when it comes to developing the next generation of superstars. Nick Dougherty, a former European Tour professional who now heads much of Sky Sports’ Golf coverage has officially opened the Yorkshire Golf Academy at Moor Allerton Golf Club in Leeds. The academy is designed to develop the skills of amateur golfers regardless of age or ability and does this by offering tuition programmes and having facilities that are fit for use, all year round. Dougherty spent an afternoon at the club to celebrate the academy’s opening and put on some masterclasses for the local golfing public. Ranging from tee shots to bunker play, the 36-year-old covered it all, in what was a great afternoon for all involved. Any golf enthusiasts will hope that the academy can open doors for many young and exciting golfers to make their way into the professional game and also grow the sport by introducing newcomers to the joys of hitting balls. 

Doris Chen Disqualified for LPGA Q-School

Speaking of golfers breaking into the professional realms of the sport, this seems like a lovely link to move on to some compelling news that has emerged from the LPGA Q-School. For those of you that aren’t aware with the concept of Q-School, it is a way for players to gain their tour cards for the upcoming season when they have missed out on qualifying automatically. It is also a chance for golfers who have not previously played on certain tours to pick up their card. Qualifying formats vary from tour to tour, but for the LPGA Q-School consists of 8 rounds of golf over two weeks. So, now we’ve sorted that bit out, you may be thinking, “OK, but who is Doris Chen?” and more importantly, “why was she disqualified?”

Well, Doris Chen is an American golfer who was attempting to earn a card to compete on the LPGA Tour for the 2018/19 season. She undoubtedly has the talent to do so as she was the NCAA champion back in 2014. However, this year’s Q-School didn’t quite go to plan. Chen was through almost seven rounds of the gruelling test when she hit an erratic drive out-of-bounds on the 17thhole. Miraculously, by the time she reached her ball, it appeared to be in play. Chen proceeded to hit her second shot and did not call a rules official in despite some uncertainty as to how her ball had ended up being playable when it seemed so obviously out-of-bounds. 

To the chase, Chen’s mother was following her daughter’s round and is transpired that she had moved the ball back into play before the golfer made her way down the hole, thus explaining how it appeared in bounds. Chen was then in breach of one of golf’s rules by hitting playing her second shot from that position. Chen maintained that she was not aware that she was in the wrong and described the situation as a “misunderstanding” in her tweet, which can be found below. But following the round, her caddie, Alex Valer, gave a different view which suggested Chen knew what was going on. Either way, Chen was disqualified and this incredibly shambolic situation now seems rather surreal, but that is what makes sport so great, I suppose.

Rumours Suggest Rose’s TaylorMade Romance is Coming to an End

There has been much speculation this week around Justin Rose and a possible new equipment deal with Japanese brand, Honma. The World number one has worked with TaylorMade for the entirety of his professional career and much success has been brought about with the use of their clubs. However, it has been suggested that when Rose’s deal with one of golf’s leading names concludes at the end of 2018, he will look to Honma. This may seem strange to many considering just how well Rose has been playing over the last few years, and perhaps sparks the mentality that ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ mentality. However, if this is true, it is a big opportunity for Honma to conquer new markets and for the former US Open champion to cash in on what have been the best years of his career, so far. The possible deal with Honma could be lucrative and may be out of TaylorMade’s financial capabilities since they are no longer partnered with Adidas, meaning Rose could be significantly more wealthy (in case the recent $10 million isn’t enough) if that is the case. Also, Honma are somewhat of an unknown quantity in Europe and America so this could be a chance for Rose to lead the way in bringing new ideas, concepts and technology to the PGA and European Tour. Overall, I think this would be a pretty slick move for all involved, get in touch and let us know what you think.

Brandon Stone Hole-in-One Challenge

Finally, there has been yet another wonderful video produced by the European Tour’s social media team, recently. This time, it is an epic hole-in-one challenge in which Brandon Stone has 500 balls to make just a single hole-in-one. The challenge takes place on a par-3 at Sun City, home of this week’s European Tour event, the Nedbank Golf Challenge. With an 8 iron in hand, could Stone add to his tally of six aces? Find out below. Enjoy!

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Tags: Update tour rules

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