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Missing Links: Players 'Moneyball' approach to improvement, Langer's improbable Ryder Cup bid

By John Strege

Stories of interest you might have missed…

“[Jason] Day said before every tournament, [caddie and coach Col] Swatton hands him a piece of paper that tells him what he has to do to win the event. It summarizes what the winner has done over the years — how many eagles, birdies, bogeys and double bogeys he had, along with averages on the par-3s, par-4s and par-5s,” writes Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal in this column on how golfers increasingly are using a “Moneyball” approach to improve.

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Caddie and coach Col Swatton and Jason Day (Getty Images photo)

Bernhard Langer, 57 next month, no longer plays PGA Tour events save for the Masters, yet Tom Watson, Colin Montgomerie and Tony Jacklin all have said he warrants consideration for a place on the European Ryder Cup team, based on his extraordinary play on the Champions Tour of late. Tom Hayward of Reuters has the story.

“Nobody had ever said that word [choke] before,” NBC’s Johnny Miller said in this Q and A with Bud Shaw of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I’ve always felt how players handle the pressure was the most interesting part of golf…The way Tiger would perform under pressure and how other guys would let tournaments go.”

“It is not unusual to see a photograph of a professional golfer hitting balls on the range in front of a group of interested spectators. But it is unusual when the golfer is a pudgy man in his mid-sixties, and the onlookers include Fred Couples, Ben Crenshaw, Nick Price, and Nick Faldo.” This is the lead to Jeff Neuman’s Wall Street Journal story on the legendary Canadian Moe Norman.

Two weeks before he tees it up in the PGA Championship, club pro Johan Kok played his first round of golf in a week. So it generally goes for club pros, even those good enough to play in a major championship. Columnist Tim Sullivan of the Courier-Journal looks at the PGA Championship from the perspective of the 20 club pros who qualified.

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