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Alex Myers, Golf Digest Senior Writer

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May 17, 2023 9:47 pm

Alex Myers, Golf Digest Senior Writer

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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May 17, 2023 9:47 pm

Alex Myers joined Zach to preview the PGA Championship!

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Yeah kind guys guy win year major Phil Mickelson Alex big

Alex, how you been?

I'm doing great, how are you? I'm doing fantastic, so really when you look back at the Masters, a few things stand out, but a big-time surprise obviously is what Phil Mickelson did accomplish. Now, I haven't seen much of Phil Mickelson since, I'm not gonna lie to you, I have no clue what the heck he's done because he participates in live golf, but what's the vibe with Phil heading into the PGA Championship now? Yeah, I mean look, that was no matter what you think about Phil, that was spectacular what he did over the weekend at Augusta, particularly on Sunday, but you know, that's a course obviously he's had great success through the years, it's a course that rewards having, you know, a lot of local knowledge and everything else, so I don't think this is setting up for him.

I'm with you, I haven't seen much of him at all either since then, that's kind of the problem with some of these guys, they come and go, and you know, I don't think we're getting much, many positive vibes that he's gonna be able to replicate that. That being said, you know, he's proven us all wrong before, but again, I think that was a pretty special one-off moment for him. Also, when you look back at the Masters, we know Rory hasn't won a major since 2014, and it's crazy that it's been that long. I thought that he was gonna go out there and dominate at Augusta, and I was dead wrong, he missed the cut. How much concern is there about Rory entering this week?

Yeah, I mean certainly, you know, not only the missed cut there, then obviously withdrawing from the next event, and you know, costing himself 3 million or whatever it is, the 25% of his PIP bonus, coming back, admitting that maybe, you know, the last year it's finally gotten to him, and then missing, or not playing well, he made the cut, but you know, T47 or something at Quail Hollow, which is a course that he absolutely owns. You know, it's not a big sample size, but certainly something to worry about, and then his comments yesterday, his press conference, you know, he was a little more abrupt than normal with some of these questions, particularly about, you know, anything lib-related or anything about, you know, the future of the game or anything like that. He's kind of, you know, taken on the role of being the tour's spokesperson in the past year, and it looks like he's finally maybe going to cool off on that, and you know, I don't blame him. I mean, he gets asked a lot of the same type of questions every time he does an interview like that, and he kind of has to keep coming up with, you know, these eloquent things that he says, and you know, he's done a great job in that role for the most part, but I think he's kind of tired of it. I think it's, you know, taken a toll on him, and I think that could benefit him down the road.

I don't know if he could flip the switch and, you know, get back on top this week, but it will be interesting to see how he goes forward and if he kind of changes the way he answers some of those questions. Talking Alex Myers right now, we all know what John Rama is capable of. Two-time major champion, hasn't won the PGA Championship yet, is the number one golfer in the world. When you win the Masters, you know how tough it is to win another major that calendar year, but I wouldn't put anything past John Rama right now, Alex Myers. No, without a doubt.

I mean, yeah, I think that's a trap that everybody falls into. Oh, he won the, you know, he can't win the next one. You can't, well, I mean, he's starting from scratch again, and you know, if you had to pick anybody and you, you know, put your life on the line, I don't know how anybody would ever pick against him with the way he's played. I mean, certainly he's having an incredible season. And when you start to talk about winning more than one major in a season, plus all those other wins that he has, we could be looking at a historic season here. So, you know, he said back last fall, if I put decently, I could win nine times in a year. I mean, he's on pace to do that.

So he kind of knew this was coming. You know, again, a chance to win multiple majors. You know, he's got three chances to win multiple majors. I mean, heck, he could win this week and we could be talking about the Grand Slam at the U.S. Open. So I'm with you.

I'm not, I definitely not put anything past him. I'm actually surprised that he's kind of like in the co-favorite status with Scottie Shepler. You know, in those respects to Scottie, he's been otherworldly as well the past couple seasons, but I just think Rahm deserves to be the favorite. And yeah, I mean, he's the guy, he's the guy to beat right now. Now, I make three bets, outright winners each and every major championship. I didn't take John Rahm just because of what we were saying. I'm one of the masters.

If I'm going to take one of the top dogs, then I'll go with the other one in Scottie Sheffler. Okay. Yeah.

Well, that makes sense. To me with Rahm, it's just so hard when you're talking about seven to one odds or whatever it is against, you know, a field of 155 guys. It's tough.

You know, the margins are so small, you could have one bad hole it could cost him the whole tournament. So, you know, I'm not betting on Rahm, but again, if I had to, you know, if I had to pick one person, period, I mean, it's hard not to pick him for sure. Alex Meyers here with Thus. I'm back on the Patrick Cantlie train. I knew it. I knew you were going to say that. So, as I told you before, I bet him each and every major. I didn't bet him for the Masters this year.

I said enough, I'm done. And then he really put the Zach Geld push on. He follows me on Twitter. And then I love Joey LaCava and he hires him as his caddy. So how can I now go against Patrick Cantlie up to fourth in the world? Hey, I don't blame you for that.

That's a lot of good karma right there. And, you know, it's got to happen at one of these points. And obviously, you know, I'm actually not the biggest caddy guy, but I will say I do think it's kind of like that when a team, especially an NFL team, switches a coach.

It doesn't even matter who the coach is. It's just you get that fresh, you know, motivation, fresh set of eyes, fresh perspective, whatever it is. And, you know, we saw what Ted Scott did with Scottie Shepler. We've seen other changes like this work, at least like right away, bones with JT right away.

And now it's kind of cool off. But, you know, yeah, getting Joey LaCava on the bag. I mean, who knows? Maybe that is what it takes for him to not only win a major, but actually contend against a major. I mean, that's just the problem with him. That's why, you know, I know he and Xander are kind of in that same boat. They're right around the same in the world ranking. They have about the same number of wins and everything else.

They're best buddies. I'm going with Xander instead. But it's not that I don't believe in Cantley.

And no, I support that for you. I mean, again, both those guys, it just seems hard to imagine them not winning a major at some point in the next couple years. Nah, it would be nice if Joey tells Patrick to pick up the pace of play because that was so slow. That would be nice. We could use that. Everybody could use that.

Now, my last pick here, and this is my long shot pick. Do you know who Furby is just wondering? The nickname Furby. I don't. I don't know what that means. I have to play you this clip.

I just found this today. This is him talking about a nickname he was called growing up. Listen up. There is another one that is Furby boy. That's the funny one. He started calling me Furby because I was just more and I like talk a lot and say like, I need food, like give me food and those stuff that the Furby do.

They say like, feed me, feed me. That's why I'm going Lockheed Nieman. That's my analysis. Is it a good bet? $30 to win $2,010. I think it's a good bet. I was actually just eyeing him.

I was doing one final run through. I don't think I'm going to bet him to win, but I might but I might bet him top 10 or top 20. I do think it's a good bet.

He's a great player. I think a lot of these live guys are a little underrated right now. I got Cameron Smith at 50 to one last week. I've got DJ at 30. I've got Brooks up near 30.

Those are kind of my three bets I'm starting with. So Nieman, what is he in that 70, 80 to one range? That's, I mean, I think that's pretty good.

I bet I met the masters last year. I've got a lot of faith in that young guy. So Furby, I still don't get it. I don't know anything about it, but Hey, that's, that's good analysis right there. Yeah. When I was doing some of my research, that video just came up and I go, that's absolute golden.

I've never heard that story before. Alex Meyers here with us. You just mentioned Brooks.

Obviously it stunned a lot of people, just crazy to say, because he was so dominant for, for that two, three year run. Is Brooks back? I know it's another live golfer where we look at Brooks and it goes, okay, out of sight, kind of out of mind. I think he is back, but yeah, there is definitely that element to it. And, you know, we were talking about before the masters, like, do these guys still have the competitive edge and everything else?

Obviously they do. They should, they should prove that the masters that being said, you know, if Liv goes on for a few years, will they, will that keep up? He'd be one of the few guys I could think that maybe would be able to, because we, we, we always know how much more importance he put in place on the majors than the regular event. So he was always able to kind of rise to the occasion, the majors, and clearly he did that as a, still kind of stunning that he didn't win except for the fact that it was John Romm chasing him down, but he looked great. He looked healthy. This course is a beast.

It favors a left to right ball flight. He's got that. You know, I think he's, you know, the major guy again. I think he's the guy we're going to be seeing up there on the leaderboard. We can expect to see it, especially when it's at a major where the conditions get tougher, which everybody's kind of expecting this week at Oak Hill. But when you get to Liv golf, and I know this, this may sound like a stupid question, how big of a story is it still? Cause at this point I'm kind of just reached Liv golf fatigue where what happened happened and, you know, those guys are playing the major. So it doesn't really impact a lot of the golf fans because a lot of them are casual golf fans.

Yeah. I mean, I think there was such a bigger buzz a because it was the masters and it was the first major of the year, but B it was that first major with, you know, the full Liv assemble coming back. Um, and now that it happened once and now that, you know, yeah, it was kind of a mixed bag and some guys played poorly, but some guys like Brooks and Phil play great. I think people are kind of, you know, there's not as much mystery around it this week. So, um, uh, yeah, I don't, I don't think that, uh, it's as big of a story anymore. I think we've all seen, you know, there weren't any fistfights at the champions dinner or anything like that. Um, you know, everybody saw the picture today of Phil, you know, glass of red wine in hand, chatting column or college ear off. Um, you know, these guys, these guys are mingling again. Um, you know, there's even rumors today about live hiring someone to try to, you know, make a big piece almost with the tour.

We're gonna have to see what's happening with these, with these things, but definitely it's not as big of a storyline. And, um, I think, you know, we all kind of expect at least those big guns to, to play like they used to. I mean, Cameron Smith is the reigning open champ.

Um, and again, I got him to 50 to one. It just seems nuts to me. I mean, it's not like these guys lost their game or anything.

It's just bizarre. And I guess the next big story just by the coverage this week is how many live golf guys are going to be in the Ryder cup, I guess just, I've seen a lot of stories this week. Yeah.

So that's definitely still the big question. Um, you know, the European side has definitely taken a harsher stance. Uh, I mean, obviously it's tough to take a harsher stance and stripping your captain of his captaincy like they did last year with Henrik Stenson. They bring in Luke Donald, um, obviously, you know, these other stars, Westwood Garcia, they all a polter. They all submitted formal resignation to the European tour now the DP world tour. So they are out of the Ryder cup unless something crazy changes on the American side. However, there's still hints of, you know, it's the PGA of America running. It's not the PGA tour. We know the PGA tour would ban these guys. It's the first chance that they got, but the PGA of America, it's a different story and there's different ways to qualify.

There's points lists. Now again, you'd have to play really well at majors to be up on those, but obviously, you know, Brooks Koepcke with a runner up this year. Um, you know, it's going to be tough if someone actually qualifies through the points for them to keep them off, especially because we all know it waters down the event itself.

I mean, we saw that the president's cup, a lot of, you know, the Aussies and, and some of the, and, you know, DJ and those guys not being there, it just, it makes the event weaker. We all know these guys are capable of playing on the team. So it's going to be very interesting to see as we get closer to September, if the PGA of America comes out and makes any sort of statement or changes anything. Um, because that's, yeah, it's going to make a big, a big difference on, on who makes these rosters, the, the reigning champion, the defending champion, Jordan Spieth. I mean, uh, Justin Thomas, excuse me.

It's crazy. I haven't heard anything about him leading in leading into this one. No, nothing. I mean, other than he hired rows to do his, uh, champions dinner, which, and then apparently he didn't eat it because he's on this crazy diet now. Um, so look, I give him credit. He's obviously willing to try anything to win. He's, you know, you listen to his comments versus Rory McIlroy and there's such a stark contrast. Rory McIlroy McIlroy said, if I don't win again, my career is a success. Justin Thomas is saying, I'm kind of bummed.

I only have two majors and 15 wins by this point in my career, a little different perspective there from those two guys. So I do give JT credit and, um, you know, that he wants to win, you'll do anything to do to win, but yeah, he is just not been winning and he has not been playing well this year. And frankly, he, last year's PGA, I mean, it's about the luckiest win in the history of golf. He was eight shots behind 10 holes to go. He shanked the ball on the, on the front nine. He wasn't even playing well. And then, you know, he made a cup little run. And then obviously we all know what happened to Mito Pereira, uh, just falling apart at the end.

So, um, if it weren't for that, we'd be saying, good Lord, it's a two year winless drought for this guy in the middle of his prime. So yeah, I'm, I'm staying away. I know the odds it's fallen to the point where it's almost tempting me. He's around like 28 to one 30 to one. I think he's a couple of weeks ago. He was down to 14 to one, but yeah, I'm just staying away right now. There's just a lot going on with him. And, um, you know, not a lot of success on the course.

Speed is 45 to one. He's looking for the career grand slam. All he needs is the PGA championship, your evaluation of his game right now.

Yeah. I mean, he, you know, this wrist injury came kind of out of nowhere last week and you knew it had to be serious for him to withdraw from the buyer Nelson, which, you know, for anybody else withdrawing from the buyer Nelson, not a big deal, but that's the, that's the tournament that speak played in as a high schooler. Um, you know, obviously it's his local home tournament.

Um, and so for him to miss that you knew it was kind of a big deal. There were even questions if he was going to attempt to go to Rochester, but he is there. Sounds like he is going to try to tee it up tomorrow, but yeah, his odds plummeted. I believe he was in that 15 to 16 to one range a week or two ago. And now we, like you mentioned all the way down to 45 to one. So clearly the books don't have much faith in him because you know, everybody wants to bet on him.

Um, and the fact that they're laying that number out there makes me think it's probably going to be a short week for, for speech. Unfortunately, on the way out with Alex Meyers, I know we talked about Joey LaCava, uh, going to the bag of Patrick Cantlay for tiger woods. He had successful surgery on the ankle and we know how close Joey and tiger are throughout the years. Uh, so it speaks to this, the state of tiger woods right now. What do you tell golf fans about your expectations moving forward for tiger woods?

Yeah. I don't know how, if you're a tiger woods fan that that would not have been pretty devastating news, obviously the surgery, but, but LaCava leaving. And again, it's not, it's not that, Oh man, tiger needs Joe LaCava. It's that it's a clear sign that, uh, we're not going to see much of tiger. Not that we were seeing much of him anyway in these past couple of years, but to kind of go ahead and, you know, this is the guy who said, I'll wait for 10 years, 20 years or whatever for tiger to come back, which he did.

He did wait through Packers injuries and now he's moving on. Um, which again is obviously the smart move and, you know, it sounds like he got tiger's blessing and he should, but yeah, I think it's a, it's clearly a bad sign. Uh, you know, tiger wanted to at least play in the majors and maybe another event here or there. And, um, you know, maybe with, maybe this will take, apparently this procedure takes away a lot of the pain he'd mentioned at Augusta that he's actually having more pain than previously. And that was kind of a bad sign. So, you know, we're going to have to see I, I, I, but I just can't imagine that he's going to play, um, this season, of course, certainly not at any of the majors.

And, um, again, yeah, saying goodbye to LaCava is long time guy and, you know, not just as caddy, but clearly one of the closest guys in his life, uh, is kind of a sad sign, uh, for, for tiger fans everywhere. Last thing I'll ask Alex Meyers, I give you three picks, give me the two guys you're most confident in and then a fun one. Uh, who would your three picks be? Okay. So I, I did bet that live trio, but again, that was mostly because I got great odds in them. My two big picks. Um, and I won't say Ram. I'm going to say Xander.

Okay. I'm going to say Tony Fino, who has finally started to win and all the advanced stats are there this year. Um, and this is just such a big course. I, I really, I really think it's about time for him as well with, with Xander and Cantley. And then the long shot guy, you already mentioned Neiman. So I'll say, um, well, let's call him by the proper name.

Furby boy. Yeah. I will say Gary Woodland, a former U S open champ. He's played very well at some PGA champs as well. Again, long course, um, left to right ball flight, Peter green.

He's up there with anybody. It's just the putting is, you know, we could probably put as well as Gary Woodland. So, um, I think though, again, if this is really going to be as tough as it, they say, and some player today was at the end saying he could see four under winning. I don't know if I'd go that far, but if it's even six, eight under, um, that, that helps a guy like Gary Woodland, you won't have to make so many birdies.

Um, and he can just kind of rely on this T to green game. So I'm, I'm definitely betting in top 10, not sure about outright, but he'd be the guy in the back of the pack, 80 to one, 90 to one, even a hundred, one, um, that I I'd have confidence in him and seeing his name up on the leaderboard, at least at some point. By the way, my, my source may be wrong here, but did you have closest to the pin at the traveler's media? I did that.

The rumors are true. Uh, I almost don't want to say what club I hit, but I'm telling you, it was the 16th hole there, uh, over the Lake. Uh, it was one 62, but it was dead into the wind. I mean like 15, 20 mile an hour wind and I hit a five iron and I smoked one. And as soon as they hit the green, the Pete, we were the last group. The guy goes, you want to close to the pin?

No, one's even come close today. So I said, woo. And, um, I got this great, uh, replica trophy. I mean, it's like a heavy duty silver trophy traveler's trophy and the kids love it.

I'm letting them alternate who gets it in their room every night. So yeah, it's, uh, I had, it got up to a nice start this year, Zach and your group one, right? No, we didn't win.

Gotcha. Cause my dad was playing in it and he finished second and, and he goes, some guy named Alex Myers was closest to the pin. And, and, and he said that you guys won the entire thing. And I go, Alex Myers, he comes on the show all the time.

He's like a great golf dude. What are you talking about? Some guy named Alex Myers. I was annoyed at him. I had no, well, I appreciate that. I had no idea. Wow. Your dad was there.

That's crazy. There was some group that shot like a 50, you know, there's always one group, right? The guy with the big belly was my father. Well, we, we thought we'd put up a pretty good score, but there's always one or two groups and your dad was one of them that puts up a 50 something and you say, how the heck is that? It was a shot like cheated. Yeah, yeah, probably. No, but no, we, we, unfortunately we didn't, but, uh, I got the closest to the pin and I won some other lottery.

That's what he might've, I won some rap and, uh, they got some, you know, some shop credit as well. So yeah, I made out pretty well that day. Good, good start. I haven't gotten to play much this year, but that was definitely a nice start.

Hopefully not the last trophy I'm holding. I got my big golf trip at the end of next month, but hopefully this is a precursor of things to come with this closest to the pen. Make sure you cover them all throughout the rest of the week and the weekend senior writer golf digest. He of course is Alex Meyers. Alex really appreciate it. Thanks, Zach. Anytime. Take care.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-17 22:52:35 / 2023-05-17 23:03:03 / 10

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