Lower Line: Bryson Ball is entertaining however not new; tip of the cap for Mr. Hatton

Cut Line: Bryson Ball is entertaining but not new; tip of the cap for Mr. Hatton

On this week’s version of Lower Line, we acknowledge that golf has all the time been about distance, welcome a considerably wholesome Brooks Koepka again to the PGA Tour and applaud a profession 12 months throughout the strangest of years.

Made Lower

It’s distance, silly. Bryson DeChambeau’s bench press of the golf world the previous couple of months continues to be a scorching matter, and with Augusta Nationwide looming and the considered the hazard the massive fella might do with a 48-inch driver, DeChambeau stays within the headlines.

Even with out DeChambeau within the subject this week on the CJ Cup, his quest for distance was the excitement with gamers resembling Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy becoming a member of the dialog to be larger, stronger, sooner.

“I’m not far off. It’s actually about messing with some completely different stuff and completely different coaching and explosiveness to have the ability to choose up one thing,” Thomas mentioned. “There’s alternative ways to do it. I imply, absolutely the No. 1 factor is I’m persevering with to remain damage free and I’m persevering with to progress in an excellent course by way of staying wholesome and staying match. But when I can do this whereas incorporating some extra pace, then that’s huge.”

McIlroy additionally appeared to lean towards the Bryson mind-set – with one essential distinction.

“It is the way in which the sport’s going,” McIlroy mentioned. “I received despatched a very good article final weekend, it was within the Wall Road Journal nearly each single sport changing into sooner, longer, stronger, and I do not suppose golf’s any completely different. I am simply attempting to maintain up with the way in which it is going.”

Bryson Ball is entertaining – and perhaps even enlightening – but it surely’s not new.

The 12 months of Tyrrell. Dustin Johnson gained the FedExCup and COVID-19 seemingly gained all the things else in 2020, however Tyrrell Hatton has overcome all of it and extra.

It began the week earlier than the pandemic halted play in March with Hatton’s victory on the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Quarantine didn’t gradual his climb, both, with back-to-back top-10 finishes after the restart. The Englishman added his second victory of the 12 months eventually week’s BMW PGA Championship, the European Tour’s flagship occasion, and he began robust on the CJ Cup regardless of the lengthy flight from London to Las Vegas with a gap 65 and the first-round lead.

Whereas many have struggled with quarantine and the uncertainty of this unusual 12 months, Hatton has pieced collectively a profession 12 months.

“I managed to form of hold my head a bit of bit, though I did get a bit pissed off. That is all the time going to occur with me,” he mentioned following his victory in March at Bay Hill. He was speaking about his eventful ultimate spherical at Arnie’s Place, however the idea has changed into a philosophy that works properly past the confines of the golf course.

Tweet of the week: @maxhoma23 (Max Homa) “I’m the kinda one who brushes my enamel earlier than a Zoom name, simply in case.”

This isn’t golf associated, Homa isn’t even taking part in this week, however Lower Line can relate. The pc digicam doesn’t lie.

Made Lower-Did Not End (MDF)

Brooks is again. Brooks Koepka returned to the PGA Tour this week for the primary time since August when he was benched by damage. On Tuesday, we discovered how severe that damage was.

Koepka defined that he has a tear in the midst of the patellar tendon in his left knee and that he’s been battling the damage for a few 12 months and a half. That damage led to a left hip ailment, a tear in his labrum, that final pressured him to overlook the U.S. Open.

How severe? “It is the entire cause I performed like crap,” mentioned Koepka, who struggled to a gap 74 in Las Vegas.

Koepka mentioned he’s as near 100% wholesome as he’s been in just a few years and he was assured his recreation would shortly come round, however there was additionally a refined warning about his hip, which required a cortisone shot.

“If cortisone would not work and it really will get worse, it is going to be surgical procedure and also you’re out for 9 months,” he mentioned.

Missed Lower

Testing protocols. Dustin Johnson grew to become the 15th PGA Tour participant to check optimistic for COVID-19 when he did so this week, and he was pressured to withdraw from the CJ Cup. It stays unclear if he’ll be capable to play subsequent week’s Zozo Championship.

Whereas the Tour’s testing and protocols have been virtually universally applauded for retaining the circuit from the form of outbreaks which have endured within the NFL and Main League Baseball, having the No. 1 participant on the planet miss at the very least one of many fall’s largest occasions is regarding.

Early within the comeback there have been issues that some gamers and caddies weren’t taking the testing and protocols severely sufficient, which prompted Tour commissioner Jay Monahan to implement a stronger coverage that centered on private duty.

Johnson’s withdrawal was the second consecutive week {that a} top-20 participant was pressured to the sidelines due to a optimistic coronavirus take a look at (No. 17 Tony Finau being the opposite). It’s a far cry from what’s taking place in different sports activities, but it surely ought to function a well timed reminder of how the Tour made it this far.

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