The Pin Sheet – February 5, 2020

Welcome to The Pin Sheet, a quick guide for your day in golf that pairs beautifully with our Clubhouse Newsletter.

Between this daily aggregation and the Newsletter, you’ll find everything you need to know that’s going on in the world of golf to be the most well-informed player in your foursome.

Without further ado, now on the tee…

Today’s Clubhouse Newsletter

Rory To Ascend To No. 1 Without Swinging A Club

One of the quirks of the Official World Golf Rankings is that its two-year rolling average allows big changes to occur within the rankings even when the relevant parties are idle.

This week, that will be the case as Rory McIlroy will overtake Brooks Koepka as the top-ranked player in the world while both are presumably 3,000 miles away from Pebble Beach Golf Links at their respective homes in Jupiter, Florida. 

“I think it’s always cool when you attain that ranking for whether it’s the first time ever or the first time in a while,” McIlroy said at the Farmers Insurance Open last month. “To be the No. 1 at whatever you do is a pretty cool feeling. It’s a very imperfect system. You know, even that is up for debate, you know, whether the players that are at — whatever their ranking are, whether that’s a true reflection of how the players rank in the game right now. 

“Everyone has different opinions on that. I don’t think it irks me or gets me annoyed if I’m not holding that position. I feel like I go about my business and I try to do the right things all the time. If I play well enough for a sustained period of time, hopefully I get there.”

This will be McIlroy’s first stint at World No. 1 since 2015, and his 96th week at the top of the rankings overall, which should he reach 98 weeks will surpass Nick Faldo (97) as the third-longest tenured No. 1 behind only Greg Norman (331) and Tiger Woods (683).

Golfer Makes Two Aces In One Round

Apologies in advance to those who haven’t felt the euphoria watching one of the tee shots find the bottom of the cup, but Gary Choyka cannot relate. 

Choyka had not one, but two aces over the course of a single round of golf at the LPGA International’s Jones Course. 

“You talk about experiences in golf. It has to be one of the best,” Choyka told USA Today.

Choyka hit 7-iron both times, first on the 152-yard par-3 third hole, which played with the wind, and then again on the 162-yard par-3 14th hole, which played into the wind. 

“Golf is such a humbling sport,” Choyka, a retired school teacher and basketball coach from the Philadelphia area who carries a 10.5 handicap index, said.” You have your ups and downs. Fortunately, that day someone was looking down on me.”

He did try his luck at the lottery following his pair of aces. He didn’t win. 

Men And Women Teeing It Up Together

The ISPS Handa Vic Open will once again take place this week, and once again be one of the most interesting golf tournaments on the calendar. The event simultaneously features the European Tour and the LPGA Tour playing the same course at the same time for the same amount of prize money.

The tee time times are staggered with a group of men teeing off, then a group of women, then another group of men, and so on. The event is played across two courses, the Beach and Creek Courses at Victoria Beach Golf Club.

The tournament will air on Golf Channel beginning at 11 p.m. EST on Wednesday. 

DJ, Cantlay Odds-On Favorites At Pebble Beach

Dustin Johnson’s bout with jet lag after flying some 17 hours from Saudi Arabia to Monterey, California has not dissuaded bookmakers from making the two-time winner of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am the betting favorite for the week at 13/2, according to Jeff Sherman, the Las Vegas Westgate SuperBook VP of Risk Management.

Behind him, California native Patrick Cantlay comes in at 12/1, Jason Day and Paul Casey check in at 20/1. Matt Kuchar, Matthew Fitzpatrick, and Brandt Snedeker are 25/1 and defending champion Phil Mickelson is joined by Viktor Hovland and Branden Grace at 30/1.