Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘pga tour’ Category

Tiger’s Triumph

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For golf fans everywhere, it was quite the past several days to witness the triumphant return of Tiger Woods to the top of the leaderboard at this year’s final PGA event, the Tour Championship.

Woods ended up beating Billy Horschel by two strokes with a final round one over par. However, he was 11 under for the tournament and his play on Saturday, especially the front nine, where he scored six birdies in nine holes, was nothing short of spectacular. 

This from a golfer who a year ago self-admittedly didn’t have a swing and wasn’t sure if he’d return to professional golf. Judging from the army of fans following him down the 18th fairway at East Lake, they were glad to see him back.

Now, it’s on to this weekend’s Ryder Cup at Le Golf National just outside Paris. Will the Americans be able to win two in a row? And will Tiger’s contributions in Paris measure up to his singular achievement this weekend?

We’ll find out this Friday!

Written by turbotodd

September 24, 2018 at 9:32 am

Posted in 2018, golf, PGA, pga tour

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Qualcomm Unveils First 5G Antennas

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Happy Monday.

First things first…big congrats to Francesco Molinari, the first-ever Italian to win a golf major, a victory he took in some tight and heated competition at Scotland’s Carnoustie (or “Car-Nas-Ty,” as the track has lovingly come to be called).

Molinari took no bogeys and two birdies in his final round of 69, one which included 25 MPH wind gusts and plenty of pressure.  Well done, sir — viva Italia!

And to better handle all those congratulatory Tweets, texts and phone calls, Qualcomm has been busy on the 5G front.

The Verge is reporting that the company may have cleared one of its first major hurdles in announcing its new QTM052 mmWave antenna modules.

These are the first that have been announced that will enable the high-speed swatch of networking spectrum to work with mobile phones.

According to the report, the tiny antenna array is roughly the size of a penny and features four antennas that accurately point toward the nearest 5G tower, and can also bounce signals off of surrounding surfaces.

It’s so small that it is designed to be able to be embedded into the bezel of a phone. The new devices are intended to be ready for market at the start of next year.

Just in case you’re wondering what 5G means in terms of enhanced speeds, some estimates have indicated it could be as much as 1 gigabit per second, about 50 times that of current mobile speeds.

That’s why you should love these little antennas. 

Written by turbotodd

July 23, 2018 at 9:52 am

Posted in 2018, 5G, pga tour, R&A

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The Masters Moments

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We’re less than 24 hours away from the most eagerly anticipated Masters golf tournament in recent years.

My journey there last year to see it all live and in person was the opportunity of a lifetime, and a memory I’ll cherish forever.

For a rabid golf fan, it’s the planet around which all other competitions orbit.

But you don’t have to go there in person to appreciate the drama and the beauty of Augusta National.

IBM has partnered with The Masters for 20+ years on the technology used to bring the tournament into a digital experience, and each year the capabilities just get more fascinating.

This year, fans will once again be able to follow the action both on the www.masters.com web site as well as via the Masters Tournament app.

What to look out for this year:

  • LIVE simulcast of broadcast coverage Thursday through Sunday
  • Additional live video streams, including of tournament play at Amen Corner and Featured Groups
  • Masters on the Range — watch the warmups!
  • A “Spoiler Free” mode that will allow you to turn off score-related notifications
  • Shot Tracking Feature — A way to follow each shot on the course, following any player and view every shot, in real time. But don’t let your boss see (unless they’re a golf fan!)

IBM is also putting Watson back to work at The Masters, this time with a “My Moments” capability that uses Watson’s AI magic to create a personalized highlight reel.

This new feature can help you catch up on the great shots of the tournament that you might have missed from your favorite players, as well as the most important shots of the day.

How will it work?  IBM’s AI assistant will “watch” all live-stream video, then parse out clips by recognizing the start and end of a player’s shot.

It will identify the player, the hole they’re playing, and then determine how highlight-worthy the shot is by examining three key vectors: The audio track of the crowd, player gestures (fist pumps, hands in the air, facial emotions, etc.), and a transcription of the broadcast commentary (which Watson will then analyze to highlight emotive keywords).

All this will help the Masters digital team move faster and get the best clips to the global golf audience as quickly as possible.

I have a hunch it’s going to be a Masters for the ages…don’t miss a moment of it (or, at least, the key moments)!

You can download the iOS version of The Masters app here and the Android version here.

Written by turbotodd

April 4, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Posted in 2018, golf, PGA, pga tour

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To Mars and Augusta and Back

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SXSW Interactive kicked into high gear over the weekend here in Austin. I won’t be in attendance this year, but Elon Musk made some news over the weekend by suggesting that SpaceX is on track to send his Mars-intended rocket on short trips by 2019.

The target for a cargo mission was 2022.

In a report  from CNBC, Musk also elaborated about what was needed to get things going on the Red Planet: “Mars will need Glass domes, a power station, and an assortment of basic living fundamentals.”

One would presume those fundamentals include at least 2-3 Tesla Model 3s.

‘Cause, you know, you gotta tool around Mars in style.

Back here on planet Earth, a longtime unicorn may very well finally be going public. Dropbox filed an updated IPO prospectus indicating it planned to sell 36 million shares between $16 and $18 a share, according to a report from The New York Times. 

The company is expected to start trading on the Nasdaq next week under the ticker symbol “DBX.”

Finally, golf fans everywhere were treated to a real treat at this weekend’s Valspar Championship.

Tiger Woods was back in contention at a PGA Tour event. He hadn’t won a tournament since 2013, and he still hasn’t. 

But his play on the tough Innisbruck Copperhead Course, home of the golf snakebite, was in top form and he ended up tied for second. Englishman Paul Casey won the tournament, garnering only his second win on the PGA Tour and his first since 2009. Congrats!

So, there were cinderella redux stories all around, and The Masters is only a few weeks away. Might Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods be ready to set the pace once again at Augusta National?

A final round pairing of those two at The National?…well, a fella can always dream.

Written by turbotodd

March 12, 2018 at 9:42 am

Tiger’s Back

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Happy Monday.

It certainly is if you’re a golf fan, and a Tiger Woods fan in particular.

Woods returned to tournament golf for the first time in 300+ days, and after his fourth back surgery back in April of this year, as well as a DUI arrest in May.

Woods’ fans had much to be encouraged by. He turned in a respectable nine under for his own Hero World Challenge tournament in Albany, Bahamas, and was said to be regularly hitting drives 300+ yards (i.e., no back issues were holding back his power).

His long irons were pretty accurate, and his putting aggressive. Not unlike most amateurs, his touch around the greens pitching and chipping was rough around the edges, but even there Tiger turned in some beautiful shots.

Whether or not he’ll be able to keep it up, and whether or not his back will hold up, time will tell. But it was nice to see some of the old Tiger playing among this new generation of golfers, many of whom he inspired to take up the game.

Written by turbotodd

December 4, 2017 at 9:07 am

Posted in 2017, golf, pga tour, tiger woods

Getting Ready For The U.S. Open @ Erin Hills

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The first ever United States Open is being held this Thursday-Sunday at Erin Hills in Erin, Wisconsin.

It’s a good sign that professional players teeing it up at Erin Hills are complaining about the tall fescue grass days before the tournament:

Maintenance crews on Tuesday trimmed the tall fescue along the fairways of four holes at Erin Hills, the site of this year’s United States Open, after several players had criticized the height of the grass. Heavy rain Monday night may have led to the trimming, but some players, most notably Kevin Na, had said the tall grass would lead to unplayable lies.
– via www.nytimes.com

In the same story, Rory McIlroy had this to say:

“These are the widest fairways we’ve ever played in a U.S. Open,” McIlroy said. “We have 60 yards from left line to right line. You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here. If we can’t hit it in that avenue, you may as well pack your bags and go home.”
– via www.nytimes.com

Exactly. If the players aren’t complaining about the course conditions at Erin Hills before the tournament ever begins, as far as I’m concerned, the course conditions are not tough enough. It’s the U.S. Open!

I played Erin Hills last night…on my PSP4…I don’t know how reliable the course layout was, but based on hole #9 (which the New York Times has called a “tiny terror”), it seemed pretty realistic and should pose a tough but “gettable” challenge to the world’s best golfers starting tomorrow.

There’s a great, somewhat heart-wrenching, story-behind-the-story of how Erin Hills came to built upon the obsession of one man. You can read it here.

So who are my picks?

In no particular order, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama, Kevin Kisner, Jordan Spieth, Ricky Fowler, Jon Rahm, Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott, and Justin Rose.

In any case, for me, the U.S. Open is all about the journey, not the destination.

USGA, let that fescue fester!

Written by turbotodd

June 14, 2017 at 11:42 am

Posted in 2017, golf, pga tour, us open

Another Spanish Green Jacket

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If you’re a golf fan of any degree, and you watched the finish of the 2017 Masters in Augusta, Georgia yesterday, you know that once again it was a special Sunday finish for longtime Spanish pro golfer, Sergio Garcia.

Up to yesterday, Garcia had started in 73 major championship tournaments stretching back to 1999, and had never crossed the finish line first.

That all changed in a one-hole sudden death playoff after he, and English golfer and U.S. Open champion Justin Rose, walked the 18th hole for the second time in a day. With Rose’s drive off to the far right side of the 18th fairway and into the pine straw, the green nearly hidden from view, Sergio had his opportunity to strike.

And boy did he, planting his approach inside ten feet of the flag, and eagerly awaiting Rose’s bogey finish before Garcia sank his birdie putt to put an exclamation point on his strong finish.

That it all happened on what would have been the 60th birthday of now deceased Spanish golfer and two-time Masters winner, and Garcia’s idol, Seve Ballasteros …well, it writes itself.

I had occasion to visit Augusta National and the Masters for the first time last week, and as a longtime fan and player of the game of golf, I will only say nothing can prepare you for the real thing.

I’ve watched the tournament on TV and virtually for the better part of 20 years — ever since IBM first started building the Masters Website — and the undulations and diverse topography of the course are something that can only be fully grokked in person. It is, in a word, simply majestic.

And par for the course, IBM continues to partner with Augusta National in order to bring the best of this world-class competition to fans around the world.

This year, we brought Watson along for a tee time — you can read more about Watson’s work behind the scenes here.

In the meantime, congratulations to Sergio, and Viva Espagna!

Another fantastic Masters is in the bag.

Written by turbotodd

April 10, 2017 at 9:04 am

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