LIV GOLF CHICAGO-September 22-24 at Rich Harvest Farms-tickets at (R) The McWethy Cup at Mistwood Golf Club Thursday September 14th, benefitting the veterans of America. Learn more at or call Mistwood-(815)-254-3333

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect at LinkedIn/Facebook/Instagram

Rory Spears with the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Haven Wisconsin.

TODAY WAS LUKE DONALD’S Turn to make his captains picks, for the 2023 Ryder Cup coming up in Italy.

So now the debate is on, who made the better picks. Donald or Team USA Captain Zach Johnson.

Donald’s picks included recent John Deere Champion Sepp Straka, Tommy Fleetwood, Shane Lowery, Justin Rose, Ludvig Aberg, and Nicolai Hojgaard. I know, the last two players are people American fans are saying-Who.

JOHNSON LAST WEEK selected Sam Burns, Rickie Fowler, Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. YES KUDO’S to Johnson for picking Brooks Koepka off the LIV circuit, the but the reigning PGA Champion, his 5th major title. The PGA that runs the Ryder Cup, loves having it’s champion on the Ryder Cup team.

The selection of Thomas really ticked off plenty of American golf fans. Because Thomas hasn’t played well this year, in fact he missed the cut in three of four majors. Thomas had rounds in the 80’s. Thomas missed the Fed Ex Cup Playoff’s, he should have missed the Ryder Cup as well. Defenders of the Thomas pick-are calling Thomas the American version of Europe’s Ian Poulter. Guess what-he isn’t.

BUT WHAT had emerged as another American rout on Euro-soil. Doesn’t seem to be headed that way now. Because this Euro team is really stacking up pretty good. So any Team USA win won’t come easy.

THE TEAM USA WALKER CUP TEAM pulled off a great rally to beat the Great Britain and Ireland squad. Down 3 points headed to the final day, Team USA cut the gap to 1 point, before the singles matches. Which is where lead by World-Am #1 Gordon Sargent Team USA found it’s game and brought home the Walker Cup from the Old Course at St. Andrews. Well played guys.

BUT OFF THE COURSE the controversy was Team USA wearing “W” hats before the matches. Seriously a “W” hat. The hat stood for Walker, as in Walker Cup, not the “W” we see at Wrigley Field. So end of story.

THE B1G TEN or soon to be B1G TEN x2 conference is getting no respect form those who vote on rankings. Because on the men’s side only #9 Illinois is ranked in the top 25. But on the women’s side it’s Northwestern as the only B1G Ten representative in the Top 25. Last year’s champion Illinois is NR. I don’t think the Illini ladies got that bad over the course of summer.

2023 Senior masters award winner Dave Erickson-St. Andrews Golf & Country Club.

THE ILLINOIS PGA honored St. Andrews Golf and Country Club professional Dave Erickson with the 2023 Senior Masters Award.

Erickson says he is transitioning into retirement after 53 years of working in some capacity for the Jemsek family at one location or another.

But the last 32 years Erickson has been at St. Andrews in West Chicago. A few years back before I left for the PGA Show in Orlando, Erickson was kind enough to let me hit his personal Callaway driver.

I knew the new Maverick Driver was good, but I had not yet seen one or hit one in person. So on a 30 degree day in December I stood out on the St. Andrews range hitting balls with Erickson’s driver. I knew then that I would have to get one, and two months later I did get a Maverick. One of the best drivers Callaway has ever made.

Frank Jemsek spoke on behalf Erickson. The IPGA Senior Masters Award is presented to a long standing section professional, for years of service to the game.

GET WELL WISHES to former Wilson Golf staffer and 2019 U.S. Open Champion and all-around good guy Gary Woodland who will undergo brain surgery. Woodland’s surgery includes the removal of a lesion on the side of his brain. Fingers crossed here for a full return to health and golf.

TOM DOAK has been named architect for a new project in Spain, on the site that was previously known as “Valderrama II”. Golfers here in the USA are anxiously awaiting Doaks new projects in Pinehurst NC. Sand Valley Wisconsin, and in Michigan. I am one of those golfers.

THE GOG BLOG returns this week. RS

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About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WCPT AM820 Chicago, he writes for both the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine, and formerly Chicagoland Golf. Rory has played over 525 courses in 39 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, within the golf industry.