LPGA commissioner Mike Whan makes debut as on-course reporter

Mike Whan isn’t afraid to try something new. It’s part of what has made him such a successful commissioner of the LPGA. He’s also a (...)

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan makes debut as on-course reporter

Mike Whan isn’t afraid to try something new. It’s part of what has made him such a successful commissioner of the LPGA. He’s also a great communicator.

Put those two things together and you have a commissioner working as an on-course reporter in Round 1 of the LPGA Drive On Championship. Added bonus: He has a house at Reynolds Lake Oconee and has played the Great Waters Course numerous times.

The fast-talking Whan proved to be a natural covering the marquee group of Danielle Kang, Stacy Lewis and Mel Reid. Whan said he apologized to all three players in advance because “being quiet and whispering” is not his thing.

Everyone in Whan’s group got off to a solid start, so he can breathe a little easier. Kang, winner of the first Drive On event at Inverness, holds the early lead with Jennifer Song after an opening 7-under 65. Reid carded a 69 while Lewis shot 70.

Whan’s biggest hiccup came on the par-3 17th when Lewis asked him what he’d hit on the 155-yard hole. Whan said “8-iron, but I’d be worried about snapping left.”

LPGA Drive On Championship: Leaderboard

Lewis said he’d no longer be allowed to walk with them using that kind of language.

Whan told viewers that as the former No. 1 walked off the tee box after hitting the green, she said “You know, if I snapped that left I’m coming after you.”

“I was in the cart ready to go,” Whan replied.

The exchange, relayed by Whan, made for good TV, and Lewis ultimately birdied the hole.

Whan even conducted mid-round interviews, asking players what they would do if they were commissioner for an hour.

“Hire Mike Whan back!” said Kang, who looked more nervous than usual with a mic in her face.

While spectators weren’t on land for the event, many did catch the action by boat. Whan said he’d be out there with a dropped anchor for the next three days after this taxing work with Golf Channel.

Karen Stupples inquired about his ride to work this week, and Whan said he had a wakesurf boat that his sons like to use. Whan operated a water taxi service earlier in the week for Maria Fassi, who was headed from the Ritz Carlton to the course.

On the par-5 12th, Whan pointed to a house offline and noted that one of his sons has become a frequent guest there thanks to some wild tee shots.

“He’s getting to know them very well,” Whan said of the owners, “because he’s hit a few out of their backyard in the last year.”

Golf fans got a good dose of Whan’s humor. His familiarity with the course added credibility to his efforts, and he packed in a good deal of information in a short amount of time.

The unscripted, informal, self-deprecating chatter demonstrated another one of Whan’s strengths – building relationships. This time he did it with fans.

Source : Golf Week More   

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Tiger Woods looks rusty in first round of Zozo Championship

Tiger Woods looked at little rusty Thursday at Sherwood Country Club. Woods, who last competed at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot where he (...)

Tiger Woods looks rusty in first round of Zozo Championship

Tiger Woods looked at little rusty Thursday at Sherwood Country Club.

Woods, who last competed at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot where he missed the cut, finished the first round of the Zozo Championship 4-over 76, walking off the course 75th in the 77-player field. Gary Woodland withdrew during the first round.

One of Woods’ most notable struggles in his first start in over a month was finding fairways. Throughout the round, the reigning Zozo champion often veered to the right rough and in one penalty area with his tee shots.

Beginning his day on the 10th hole, Woods did something he’s never done before on his first nine: he made bogey or worse on three par 5s in one round. He bogeyed Nos. 11 and 16 and double-bogeyed No. 13. He had one birdie on the back nine on the par-4 14th after making a 87-foot birdie putt. Woods made the turn at 3 over.

On the front nine, Woods seems to shake off some of the rust. Woods carded a birdie on the par-5 second hole, ending around his par-5 bogey streak and followed it with a bogey on 4. Woods had a missed birdie opportunities on the par-5 fifth and par-4 sixth when his birdie putt missed the hole by five inches on each hole. Woods added on a bogey on No. 8 in which his putt for par stopped on the lip of the cup to finish the front nine 1 over.

Woods tees off his second round Friday at 2:51 p.m. ET alongside Matthew Wolff and Xander Schauffele from the first tee.

Source : Golf Week More   

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