CBS Sports golf commentator Ian Baker-Finch offers a closer look at Billy Hurley III's golf swing.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- The Naval Academy taught Billy Hurley III all he knows about mental toughness.
This season, he’s needed it.
Hurley missed 12 of his first 16 cuts this season, his first on the PGA TOUR after earning his card via the Web.com Tour.
In the Navy, Hurley said one of the biggest challenges was working his way through sleep deprivation. Out here, the challenges are different but the fortitude the same.
“The mental toughness does sort of translate and correlate just from having been in very stressful situations, having been yelled at and forced to do things or forced to memorize things you thought you’d never figure out,” Hurley said.
At last week’s AT&T National, Hurley seemed to figure something out with his game. He tied for fourth in what was easily his best finish of the season.
Now he’s hoping he can carry that momentum to The Greenbrier Classic. Not that it will be an easy task.
“I hit a lot of good shots last week, made a lot of good putts, so you have that in your mind, and that makes it easier to see it and do it again,” Hurley said. “At the same time, sometimes there’s maybe a little more pressure you feel on yourself like I just did it, I should do it again.”
It wouldn’t be the first time Hurley has had success here. Prior to his career in the Navy, he won two straight Virginia State Golf Association championships, one of them in nearby Roanoke, Va.
Note: All times Eastern
Tuesday, July 3
11:30 a.m. -- Scott Stallings
Noon -- Jimmy Walker
12:30 p.m. -- Billy Hurley III
1 p.m. -- Tiger Woods
2 p.m. -- Tom Watson
Wednesday, July 4
After pro-am -- Phil Mickelson
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
ORLANDO, Fla. – Titleist dominates the golf ball market, led by its iconic ProV1. This year, the company is taking a renewed run at the part of the market it doesn’t have.
And by its standards, Titleist is getting a little crazy in the process.
The company launched a revamped line outside the unchanged ProV1 and ProV1x this week at the PGA Merchandise Show, including a pure distance ball and – hold on tight – two offerings in yellow.
The NXT line includes a new NXT Tour and NXT Tour S (for soft), with the latter available in white and yellow. The SoLo is also available in white and yellow.
Titleist has sold yellow balls in Japan for a few years but it hasn’t had such an offering in the U.S. in at least 15 years. The company tested many shades of yellow with customers and the colors used on the NXT Tour S and SoLo are slightly different.
The company’s other new offering is the Velocity, a pure distance ball. A high-speed solid core is enveloped in a NaZ2 cover (two parts zinc, one part sodium) with a 332 icosahedral dimple design. Its price point is between the SoLo and NXT, and available with double-digit orange numerals – 00, 11, 22, 33.
For those not quite ready to go so crazy, the Velocity also is offered with regular 1-4 numbers.
MORE BALLS: Bridgestone is releasing updated versions of its popular B330 series on March 1. The company is heavy into ball fitting, with more than 40,000 fittings in 2011 and hundreds more on-site at the Show this week, and slots customers into one of four B330 models.
The B330, used on the PGA TOUR by Davis Love III, Brandt Snedeker and Fred Couples, is their Tour-style ball for swing speeds of 105 mph or more. The B330-S is a spin model, preferred on TOUR by Matt Kuchar and Billy Hurley III.
For swing speeds under 105, Bridgestone offers the B330RX and B330RX-S (the 330 refers to number of dimples; and all models feature new dual-dimple technology), and the B330RX is offered in white and yellow. Bridgestone estimates that in other models offered in both colors, yellow is preferred 30 percent of the time.
ADAMS MAN: Robert Karlsson, second in a playoff at last year’s FedEx St. Jude Classic, switched allegiances from Titleist to Adams Golf over the offseason. On a trip to the company’s test facility in Dallas, he took an immediate liking to the new Speedline Fast 12 driver. He signed a contract with the company, then later bought Adams Golf stock.
CAR CLUBS: Callaway has touted an allegiance with Lamborghini to develop materials for its drivers, but a new company on the Show floor takes the car relationship even further.
Mercedes AMG Formula One Team (that’s the entire name) has released a complete line of clubs, balls, clothes and accessories, targeting buyers who want the prestige of a racecar team on their golf bag. The prestige comes at a price – a driver’s suggested retail price is $499 and a set of irons with graphite shafts is $1,299.
With the price comes technology inspired by the actual Formula One team. The driver features a “Venturi Channel” on the sole, an aerodynamic cavity that disperses air and increases swing speed.
But make no mistake, the Mercedes AMG Formula One Team buyer wants to show off the name. On the company’s driver, the words “Mercedes AMG” appear six times.
PGATOUR.COM’s countdown of the Top 100 Players to Watch in 2012 begins today.
Each day, we’ll also post a note in TOUR Report with the latest list of players.
That will give you an opportunity to weigh in on how you think those players will perform next year – and whether you think we have them ranked too low or too high. After all, just like snowflakes, no two lists will be the same.
So for the debut of this year’s list, here are Nos. 91-100. Click on each player’s link for his preview page, including this year’s new addition of the Three Wise Men – Chris DiMarco, Arron Oberholser and Craig Perks, who offer their takes on each of the players on the list .
Don’t forget to let us know what you think.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Q-school has plenty of pressure all on its own. Add in winds consistently in the 20-25 mph range -- with gusts as high as 50 -- and scoring has taken on a whole new meaning here in the second round. Case in point: As of this moment, only nine players have recorded rounds in the 60s. Seven more players failed to break 80, including Brendan Pappas, who shot 86 -- currently the highest score in the books Thursday.
As for the leaderboard, there’s still a long way to go here in the second of six rounds at PGA West. Matt Jones, however, was one of those players to break 70, carding a 68 on the Stadium Course to earn a share of the lead at 9 under. Harris English and Will Claxton are also 9 under, but they are still on the golf course.
Some other notable names in the top 25 on the leaderboard: Billy Hurley III, Vaughn Taylor, Jeff Maggert, Dean Wilson, Bob Estes, Troy Merritt, Adam Hadwin and Sam Saunders.