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By : BGA Proshop


It was an emotionally charged weekend at Bay Hill which started during the week with the memories of Arnold Palmer flowing in from current and former greats. Players proudly wore the Arnold umbrella on their apparel in memory of a man that gave so much back to them and to golf. You only had to watch or listen to every player when they were asked about a memory with Arnie. They all had one, and it wasn’t just a vague passing by, it was a heartfelt moment Arnold Palmer had imprinted on their life. From Rickie’s locker room story with Arnold and Tiger to a personal letter that Bryson DeChambeau received after winning his 1st PGA Tour win only 2 weeks before Arnold Palmers passed away. Arnold created memories that touched people’s soul and as they recalled their memories the emotions were evident. All we know, is that Arnold Palmer was truly a great man and will forever be remembered with such high esteem.

It was Rory that stole the show on the final day. With optimism building during the week that Rory was flirting with the top of the board, many hoped we would see something great from the now 29 year old who was touted as the next Tiger after having his famous Master collapse in 2011 but went on to win the US Open later that year.

In 2014, Rory then went on to WIN The Open Championship and in between continued to rack up wins around the world.

But since Rory switched to Nike on a huge mega millions deal, we have not seen the same Rory become the guy we thought he would be. Whilst there were glimpses here and there, Rory wouldn’t consistently threaten the way that he used to.

With talk even this weekend about his athletic profile and how that could be impeding the touch and feel in his game, Rory went on to prove the doubters wrong. With an -8 closing round which included -5 on the back 9 rallied with birdies on 5 of the last 6 holes. His 100th putt on the 18th green and his 72nd hole was magical with highlights of fist pumps and joy bringing the fans and our TV screens to life.

Post round Rory said “The last time I won was the day that Mr Palmer passed away, so it’s a little bit ironic.” “I wish I walked up that hill to shake his hand.”

World Number 1 in 2015 but now 13th World, McIlroy finished 178th in the Fed Ex Cup rankings in 2017. With injuries and form continually being a concern, we are happy to see a weekend of the Rory of old and with him and Tiger back …… seriously, how great is golf.

This weekend did Bryson DeChambeau no harm with the young up and comer full of highlights during a weekend that was full of stories and interest. With the continued hype of Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson standing on his shoulder, Rory back in form, the emotions of Arnold Palmer’s memories and more, Bryson continued to stay atop of the leader board and finish in outright 2nd place.

With his unique approach to golf using his high level intelligence and putting his physics major to work, DeChambeau’s self-proclaimed Golf Professor title was seen and heard around the world these last 4 days.

Whilst some have jumped on board, many doubters are still out there but the philosophy of single length irons continues to draw discussion and debate. Whilst we all seek consistency, Single Length irons should certainly be worth a try for some.

The only thing we’d say ….. too much physics and over thinking does not help speed of play.

Justin Rose finished top 10 yet again this weekend. Rose finished in 3rd place after finishing Top 5 last week, Rose continued to threaten for another victory this weekend. With one of the smoothest, efficient tempo swings on tour, Justin Rose swing is a thing of beauty. Rose is by far one of the most consistent players on tour and has been for some time.

Rose has now played 5 PGA Tour events this season with one WIN, 2 top 5s and a top 10. He finished top 10 in the Fed Ex Cup rankings in 2017 and 2nd on 3 occasions during the 2017 season on the PGA Tour with one of those events being The Masters.

With The Masters just around the corner, we wouldn’t be surprised if a Rose was on top of the Azaleas.

HE”S BACK!! And this time we are talking Tiger. After a top 3 finish last week, Tiger was floating atop the leader board again this weekend exciting us with phenomenal shots like the Tiger of old. With misses on both Friday and Saturday on the Par 5 16th, vintage Tiger would put his back into it with shots of beauty to set up Eagle opportunities and bring the crowds alive.

Playing with our emotions, Tiger climbed the leader board and after dropping a birdie putt on the 16th we were all getting ready for a strong finish and a red shirt Sunday. But just as quickly, Tiger dropped a shot on 17 while Stenson and DeChambeau continued to stay strong on top and Rory and Rickie continued to climb the leader board. Then on the 18th, Tiger stumped his second shot to set up his birdie finish on a tough Saturday pin placement to once again give us hope.

Enter Sunday and 3 birdies in a 5 hole stretch and unlucky not to have at least one more had us on the edge of our seats. But again a bogey 1 hole later had us back in our chairs wondering if this was the start of a downward spiral and Tiger out of contention yet again. But another 3 birdies in a 4 hole stretch from 10 to 13 had us believing and seeing once again that ‘Tiger is Back’.  6 birdies in a 10 hole stretch placed Tiger 1 off the lead and Tiger looked confident.

A poor tee shot on 14 had him scrambling for Par however and then a wayward tee shot out of bounds on 16 followed by another bogey on 17 all but put him out of contention.

Tiger still finished -10 and top 5 and with the play he has shown over the last 2 weeks, golf is a buzz once again. With record ratings, if he and Rory can excite the world as they once did, no other 2 golfers have moved the registers like those 2 have and golf will be the greatest winner of all.
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