Welcome to The Morning Punch Out, a quick guide for your day in golf.
Here we go.....
She's a two-time major winner, and now she's an 11/2 co-favorite on the Cactus Tour.— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) March 17, 2020
Anna Nordqvist headlines an event that is still set to be played in Phoenix. Full odds here: https://t.co/4wtILxx1wT pic.twitter.com/N565EjlU4w
If you hold a golf tournament, even in these uncertain times, the pros will come. That's what the Cactus Tour, an Arizona-based mini-tour, is finding out this week as several LPGA Tour pros are competing for a $9,800 purse with $2,000 going to the winner at Moon Valley Tournament, which began on Wednesday.
Among those in the field are LPGA Tour pros Anna Nordqvist, Amy Olson, Haley Moore and Cheyenne Woods.
“The only time that we will have more than 10 people together and maybe not even then as some will have gone home, is when I write checks at the end of the deal,” Mike Brown, the owner of the Cactus Tour, told Golfweek.com. “I’ve got parents that are calling me wanting to get their kids over here. They don’t seem to be overly concerned otherwise. These girls are independent contractors. I don’t call any of them. They called me to see if they can play. It’s just that simple.”
“To me, the golf course seems like about the safest place to be,” said Olson. “You’re outside. Even if you’re in a threesome you’re not close to each other. From everything we’ve heard, there are no spectators at these events. It’s kind of like getting together with your friends and playing a money game.”
And, of course, there were betting odds available.
High hotel rates be damned, Rory McIlroy thinks a fall Masters would be a good idea, so who are we to argue with him?
Joining Brad Faxon's SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio show "Just The Fax," McIlroy spoke about his enthusiasm for playing a Masters Tournament regardless of the time of year.
"It gives us some room for maneuvering, depending on what happens over the next few weeks," McIlroy said. "A Masters in the fall, October time, I think it would be pretty cool. It would be a very different look than what you usually see at Augusta. I think it's definitely a possibility if they want to get the 2020 Masters in, I think that could definitely be a possibility. I'm sure they can make it happen if they want it to happen."
As we understand it, ALL courses are currently closed (or recommended by governing bodies/government to close) in:— bunkered (@BunkeredOnline) March 18, 2020
🇪🇸 - 497 courses
🇨🇭 - 114 courses
🇳🇱 - 330 courses
🇮🇹 - 321 courses
🇩🇪 - 1,050 courses
🇦🇹 - 205 courses
🇩🇰 - 346 courses
🇵🇱 - 47 courses
🇳🇴 - 191 courses
According to Bunkered.co.uk, research has shown that more than one-third of all of Europe's golf courses have been closed as the coronavirus pandemic spreads throughout the continent.
"At least 3,185 of Europe's 8,940 courses are currently in lockdown - 35.6%," the story, written by Michael McEwan, read. "Germany accounts for the highest proportion of those, with all 1,050 of its layouts closed."
Bunkered's estimates concluded that over two million golfers in Europe are currently without a golf course at which to play. Aside from Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Spain the Netherlands and Norway have closed all courses, while Denmark, Austria, Belgium and Poland have put severe restrictions on their playability as well.
Justin Thomas was practicing social distancing in a match at Medalist Golf Club on Wednesday by hitting his ball into a penalty area no where near anyone else.
As he captioned the video, when you're one down with two holes to go, you have to go for it. Thomas reported he made an easy birdie, but as he said in the clip, it wasn't so easy to get the mud out of his shorts or from between his toes.