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  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
Current Reading
  • Men in Green
    Men in Green
    by Michael Bamberger
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins

    Kindle Edition

  • The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    by Gil Capps
  • Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    by Geo. C. Thomas
  • The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    Treewolf Prod
  • Reminiscences Of The Links
    Reminiscences Of The Links
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast, Richard C. Wolffe, Robert S. Trebus, Stuart F. Wolffe
  • Gleanings from the Wayside
    Gleanings from the Wayside
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast
  • Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    by Darius Oliver
  • Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    by Darius Oliver
Writing And Videos

Golf is not a fair game, so why build a course fair?  PETE DYE



Golf Is Johnny Football's "Constructive Outlet"

I'm not sure if this is a positive development for his quarterbacking (unless you're the tournament director of the American Century Celebrity Championship in Tahoe), but Johnny Football loves his golf more than ever.

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel has moved to a golf course community and has found golf as a "constructive outlet" in his post rehab effort to save his NFL career, reports ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.

Manziel fronted Golf Digest late last year and showed signs of a genuine passion for the game (not to mention being a single digit player).


Great Places In The Game Files: Palatka Golf Club

Longtime readers know my definition of great has little to do with Slope, course rating, clubhouse grandeur or exclusivity. "Great" places in the game serve their community, offer affordable golf and just enough character in the design. The kind of golf courses which, if every city had one, would have the game in a healthier place.

Palatka Golf Club in Palatka, Florida checks off all the boxes. This 1925 Donald Ross course has been on my radar for some time thanks to Chris Tuten, a local in Ponte Vedra who keeps the Titleist guys on tour playing their best. Somewhere along the drive between Orlando and Ponte Vedra southwest of St. Augustine, you head into this rural town only to come upon what looks like uninspired ground dotted with some nice trees and circular bunkers.

Once you get out on the ground and experience what looks like an untouched set of small, clever and crowned Ross greens, it's impossible not to be charmed by the place. I can only imagine it gets more charming as you go around Palatka, the ultimate compliment to an architect.

Throw in its annual hosting of the Florida Azalea Amateur, a refreshed operation thanks to architect Bobby Weed taking over from the city a few years ago, head pro Paul Trettner's welcoming operation and Dana Anderson's maintenance, and Palatka is a reassuring story of how satisfying minimalist golf can be.

Did I mention it's $25, $17 after 2 pm (with or without cart) and $12 with a cart after 4 pm? And annual memberships with unlimited golf are $2400?

I caught the course transitioning from overseeded rye to bermuda along with a few warm days of no irrigation. It still played just fine. Besides, the difficulty of Ross's tiny, crowned greens ensures players of all ability will never get bored. The most fascinating element of this set of greens is just how normal sized they appear from the fairway only to come upon 2000 square feet. You'll see this at Ross's home and inspiration, Royal Dornoch, but to pull off such a look and sensibility takes the touch of an artist.

Below are some cell phone photos, with apologies for not having better visuals to reflect the character of Palatka. However, I shot it as I played in the mid-afternoon and many of the clever subtlties will not show up (there are nicer shots on the course website). So if you're headed to the Fountain of Youth or merely passing through northern Florida, Palatka is a must anyone who loves fun Donald Ross golf at a bargain price.


Video: "What's New With Holly Sonders?"

Since there's no USGA Amateur Four-Ball pre-game show (just this preview clip at from the announcers, thanks reader PG), here's the next best warm-up for today's debut of Fox Sports golf coverage (USGA Four-Ball, 4 pm PT FS1).

From Golf Digest Videos, part of the magazine's 2015 U.S. Open preview coverage.


Tiger: "This three-day window is really hard. I haven't slept." 

Stephen Hennessey with the primary takeaways from Tiger's pre-Players Championship press conference post-break-up with Lindsey Vonn, post-Augusta National chiropractic adjustment and post-passing of his father Earl.

On his current well-being in light of the news:

"Obviously it does affect me. It is tough, there's no doubt. I'm not going to lie about that. It is tough. And on top of that, this time of year is really, really hard on me. This three-day window is really hard. I haven't slept. It's been -- these three days, May 3rd and through the 5th, today, is just brutal on me, and then obviously with what happened on Sunday, it just adds to it."

Also, his medical explanation for the adjustment he made at Augusta to pop the bone back into place:

"I don't know how. It was one of those things where I had it like that and I pushed down on it -- it's just like anything, you crack your back or your neck and it's relief. Before, it was like, man, it's stuck. That's what my wrist felt like, it was stuck, and the wrist wasn't moving, and I could feel it getting tighter and tighter and tighter, so it's like a self-adjustment on your spine. I just did it on my wrist."

As for his golf, Jason Sobel of says the 9-hole practice round wasn't pretty.

Woods looked rusty in his early-morning practice round, enduring a two-way miss that led to a few lost balls.

This will be the first Players Woods has entered on his past-champion status.


"Concerns About Torrey Pines North"

Tod Leonard files a San Diego Union Tribune story on the status of Phil Mickelson's proposed renovation of Torrey Pines North, which has doubled in price.

A Municipal Golf Committee meeting is scheduled Wednesday to consider where the project goes from here.

Try not to cringe when you see what the contractors bid for the work...

When the project was first proposed in 2013, the price tag was $7.8 million. By the time the MSG voted its approval in February 2014 the cost was $9.5 million. The golf department subsequently added work for the addition of a South Course water pump station, which tacked on about $2 million.

Then the bidding process began, and the city received two bids from experienced golf course builders that were far over its budget. Landscapes Unlimited, which did the work on the redesigned South Course in 2001 for about $3.5 million, bid $18.9 million; Wadsworth Construction bid $16.9 million.


Rickie, Poulter Headed To Playoff In Most Overrated Poll

This ought to make the always festive vibe at TPC Sawgrass's range a tad awkward this week. At least, when Rickie and Poulter set foot on the tee with their voting peers.

In a new SI/ anonymous player poll, Fowler and Poulter will be headed to a sudden death playoff to decide the "most overrated" pro golfer division. No other results were released, but this is certainly an attention getter.

Rickie Fowler: 24%
Ian Poulter: 24%
Bubba Watson: 12%

Speaking of Rickie, Michael Bamberger files a stellar SI Golf Plus profile asking the question many have begun to ask about the Fowler mystique.

Rickie Fowler is all about next. The next shot, the next tournament, the next car delivery. Asked in New Orleans about the accident, Fowler said, "It made me smarter about things. But, you know, you can step off a curb and break an ankle. I'm not too safe, by any means. Anything can happen."

It seems contrary to his spirit that Fowler plays a methodical, contemplative, point-to-point sport so well. But he does.

Courtesy of Puma and his talent and those Tiger-era TV contracts, Fowler is private-jet rich. He has earned $16 million on Tour and truckloads more in endorsement deals and through corporate outings. The camera has always sought him out, in part because he's a likable cat with an easy name and a matching demeanor. He's not one for theory. If you want to talk about Plato, go find Ryan Moore. Fowler's Cobra stablemate Lexi Thompson figured out Rickie's appeal after meeting him for the first time several years ago: "He's more fun than a barrel of monkeys."


Video: Discussing What Makes A Great Par 3

We talked about great par-3s today on Morning Drive to prepare you for Players week and what else, talk of the 17th hole.

I hope you'll enjoy this look at some favorites of mine and Charlie Rymer's. The list of notables that didn't make it due to time constraints was long...that's another post for another day.


Finchem Rejects Spieth! Match Play To Stay All Match Play

Thank you Twitterers for not hating the match play idea I floated on Morning Drive: treat 0-3 players as missed cuts who don't get paid and earn no points.

I know the precious Hogans and Nelsons of the PGA Tour would love that more than having to play that "meaningless" Friday match. But something tells me Ian Poulter would turn into Marcel Marceau if faced with losing easy World Ranking Points. Come on Tim, float it at the next players meeting!

Meanwhile, I was heartened to hear the Commissioner did not fall under the all-millennial-ideas-are-good-ideas-spell.  Good on the Commissioner for quickly shooting down Jordan Spieth’s suggestion that the WGC Match Play go to three days of stroke play before going  to the low 16. As Friday’s brouhaha proved, match play is a welcome change and one that puts players in a very different mindset than they are used to.

Nick Menta at with the Commish’s remarks to Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller during Sunday’s telecast.


The TPC's 6th Hole Tree Gets The Ike's Tree Treatment...Kinda

While I was intrigued by Sam Weinman's item on the PGA Tour's new cologne, more comical was news of a the 6th tee's old nemesis getting an almost-but-note-quite-Augusta-like treatment.

While not Ike's Tree in size, scale or historical magnitude, Pete Dye did design around this leaning tower of Ponte Vedra. One which forced low-burning irons off the tee for years, only to succumb to a horticulturalist's death certificate last November as age and liability lawyers loomed.

As you may recall, the Augusta National Golf Club created some very tasteful displays devoted to remembering the tree, and also quietly made some mementos out of the pine for past champions and most likely, members. They've also tried to genetically preserve Ike for future generations. Mercifully, the tour has not (as far as we know) done the same here, but they have made some nice benches out of their fallen friend.

For Immediate Release...

THE PLAYERS unveils memorabilia made from oak removed from Stadium Course’s 6th hole
Two benches, clubhouse “artifact,” commemorative pieces give tree a second life

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (May 4, 2015) – As the world’s best players descend upon Ponte Vedra Beach this week in a quest for the coveted PLAYERS Championship title, they’ll have one less obstacle to navigate on the Stadium Course. In the fall, the overhanging Live Oak to the right of the No. 6 tee box, which impacted tee shots over the years, was removed due to decay and safety concerns. Instead of avoiding the tree, players and TPC Sawgrass visitors can now enjoy it, as the oak was handcrafted into two benches, an “artifact” display and 180 commemorative pieces.

One of the benches made from the oak’s trunk was installed just outside the Players’ Locker Room entry, where it will be accessible to guests during non-tournament weeks, and a framed piece of the tree hangs above it as a reminder of the bench’s origin. The second bench was placed yesterday at the No. 6 tee, giving golfers a place to rest and perhaps contemplate the tree’s longstanding reputation among golfers.

The benches are inscribed with the following: “Growing imperceptibly for decades in this densely wooded area along the coast, a nondescript live oak found notoriety when THE PLAYERS Stadium Course grew around it. For years thereafter, it unwittingly influenced, frustrated and even angered the world’s greatest golfers as they tried to negotiate its overhanging limbs during THE PLAYERS Championship. Sadly, it succumbed to disease and finally had to be taken out of play in November 2014. This bench, made from its trunk, remains in its honor.”

And finally, the oak tree was used to make 180 commemorative pieces, emblazoned with “No. 6.” These items will be distributed to select players and VIPs in the years to come.

When golf course architect Pete Dye originally designed the Stadium Course, he used the Live Oak as a focal point of playing the tee shot on No. 6. Due to the severity of its overhang, the tree wasn’t exactly beloved by PGA TOUR players who participated in THE PLAYERS. In fact, over the past two decades, two-time champion Davis Love III’s standing question to PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem upon his arrival for THE PLAYERS has been, “Has the tree on No. 6 been removed yet?"

And here I thought they arrived and said, "Tim, your hair keeps getting lighter every year! Must be climate change!"


Reminder: Tim Finchem On Feherty

Commissioner Farquaad sits in front of his castle with David Feherty for a not-lively chat that will have sleep sufferers either (A) finding the peace zzzz's they've been longing for, or (B) unable to go to bed with all the jargon bouncing round their brains. Start time is 10 pm ET Monday on Golf Channel to kick off Players week.

I saw an exclusive clip that includes the stalwarts (platform, maximizing brands) and some new ones (selling the real estate on your body). Interestingly, the editor never chose to show us Feherty's face as the Commish peels off the jargon. So I've chosen to just dream of what was going through Feherty's mind.

There is this preview on that is a bit more fun. I also have seen preview clips where drug testing transparency comes up.


The Most Interesting Man Is A Lover, Not A Fighter

Documented before his dust-up with Keegan Bradley, the conversation between Alan Shipnuck and Miguel Angel Jimenez is even more enjoyable following his WGC Match Play run-in.

There are a few TMI moments, naturally.

On losing the Ryder Cup captaincy...

"You understand me, right? O.K. then. The Ryder Cup is decided by the players' clubs, not the captain's English."

He spoke these words last month in the shadow of the Augusta National clubhouse, having just shot a second-round 73 to miss the cut at the Masters. It was a stinging disappointment, given that Jiménez tied for fourth last year—his ninth career top 10 in a major—but he was typically upbeat.

"My score is s---, but I did not play s---. It happens. But my game feels good, I feel good about the rest of this season. The game will come. It always does."

Beneath the famous oak tree at Augusta National he fell into the warm embrace of his sons and his wife and hugs from a dozen well-wishers. Before leaving the grounds Jiménez offered a parting thought:

"I am here with the sun shining, I'm surrounded by friends and family, tonight I will eat good food, drink good wine, smoke a good cigar and make love to my beautiful wife. It's a good life, no?"


The Kids Are Stealing Four-Ball Show...For Now

No one knew what to expect from the first USGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship, but since four-ball is a popular format with the geezers and mid-ams, there was a view that the old guys would rule at Olympic Club.

Through the two stroke play rounds, that's not the case with a pair from Stanford (Viraat Badhwar and Maverick McNealy) trailed by two high schoolers (Sam Burns and Austin Connelly), and yet more college players after that. Well positioned for match play include some non-millennials and the caddy duo from Bandon.

All of the scores from the USGA's site following two rounds at Olympic.

Now the match play begins, with it all resolved by Wednesday.


"Golf pros are like chiropractors.They want you to keep coming back."

Corey Kilgannon with a fun NY Times Sunday profile of golf instructor Mario Calmi from North Woodmere Golf Course, a nine-holer near Kennedy International Airport.

Calmi combines his love of food with his instruction, and as he says it's not for everyone.

“Hey, I’m Italian — we know how to use bricks and tomatoes,” said Mr. Calmi, who keeps a narrow garden along the side of the range to grow his tomatoes, supported with stakes made of — what else — broken golf club shafts.

For the arugula he grows, Mr. Calmi has bottles of olive oil stashed on shelves in his teaching shed next to golf equipment, and a bottle of balsamic vinegar in his golf cart.

“It’s an Italian thing, we do food,” said Mr. Calmi, lighting his charcoal barbecue, another daily ritual, to grill some cheeseburgers. Then he made cappuccinos in the shed, to have with the fresh cannoli he brings daily.

“My students come hungry because they know I’m all about food,” he said. “Teaching golf is like cooking. You can’t learn golf from a recipe. You have to teach by feel. You add a little garlic and you stop and taste it.”

Mr. Calmi charges $100 an hour, or $60 for 30 minutes, which includes a video swing analysis he emails to students immediately after the lesson for further study.

“A lot of my students don’t come back, which is good,” Mr. Calmi said.

“Golf pros are like chiropractors. They want you to keep coming back. But I tell my students, ‘I’m going to teach you so good, you don’t have to come back.’ ”


Win-Win: Rory Wins; Karma Keeps Him From Dull Title Bout

Okay, so he did have to watch the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight on a 19-inch screen with some scribblers and those who don’t dress like them.

Michael Collins with this in the “What Tiger Would Never Do” files—but Rory McIlroy’s match play win has to rank as one of his most impressive given the relentless nature of his opponents over five days. And sitting next to Collins and Roberts for 12 rounds the night before the final day.

Mark Aumann with the round-up of Rory-watches-in-the-media center tweets.

On a day that never got warmer than 56 degrees in San Francisco according to the PGA Tour notes, McIlroy held off Gary Woodland for his 10th PGA Tour win as his 26th birthday approaches. (He joins elite company in the 10 wins or more before 26 category, Tweeted Justin Ray). McIlroy's day started by finishing a food-poisoning-plagued Paul Casey, then beating the always difficult Jim Furyk before dispatching of Woodland.

And while we might kid about skipping out on the fight, McIlroy says he learned a valuable lesson about the experience. From Bob Harig's report:

There had to be some payback for "lowering" himself in such a manner, and McIlroy took whatever good will that brought him and posted an impressive WGC-Cadillac Match Play victory.

"I am a big believer in karma," McIlroy said after dispatching Gary Woodland 4 and 2 in the finals. "Obviously I think I give myself a much better chance of watching it in here than trying to make it to Vegas, that's for sure."

McIlroy might not quite buy the idea that hanging out with a few media types might have rubbed off in a good way.

If you missed the match and need the blow-by-blow, here's's staff blog.

Here is Ron Kroichick's San Francisco Chronicle game story.

And at Jim McCabe says McIlroy surprised many after the round by saying he is playing the next four weeks, then likely off for two weeks prior to Chambers Bay and the U.S. Open.

The highlights:

More important, the league, 245 strong has, a winner and a three-way tie for second.

spiegs.m finished 1st with 430 points. Nice job getting the McIlroy-Furyk side of the bracket, and like everyone else, struggling with the right side.

Oh so close were front9back9, samuelbush007 and billnet52 with 400 points each. I finished 43rd with 180 points, and like most, was derailed by the right side of the bracket.

For your struggles and brilliant handicapping, I have four books to give away. Please email me at the "contact" address atop the site. spiegs.m gets the first pick between Lines of Charm, The Art of Golf Design, Grounds For Golf and Masters Of The Links. Hope you winners like architecture books!

When I've regrouped there will be a post on the PGA Tour's new effort to make fantasy work, launching this week at The Players. Hopefully we'll be able to do a league there and I can come up with some more lucrative prizes.


Don't Try This At Home Video: Bryan Bros Edition

After going all corporate and reality show, nice to see the Bryan Brothers hearkening back to their first album's sound with this stripped down gem that should not be tried at home.



When Is A Tour No Longer Protecting Its Broadcast Partners?

It's very much a first-world media issue and probably not worth a great deal of energy from most of you, but the PGA Tour faces an on-going struggle as they tries to blend into the 21st Century sports landscape. At issue are the rights of fans and media to Tweet, Periscope, Meerkat, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat video from a tournament site.

Longtime readers know I've obeyed this and will continue to as I sign a regulation form for the privilege of a media credential and broadcast partners are paying a premium that makes tournaments tick. However, many, many times it has pained me not to do some short videos early in a tournament week talking up something of note for architecture buffs or handicappers. But the rules are the rules.

Conflicting news this week suggests that as with the tour's policy of not commenting on pending litigation or drug policy violations--except when the situation warrants--the PGA Tour desperately needs to sit down with their broadcast partners to sort out their social media video strategy.

Alan Shipnuck
makes the case at for blogger Stephanie Wei, who lost her credential for the rest of the year upon a violation of the tour video policy. After using Periscope on Monday at Harding Park, Wei got the bad news from the tour. Shipnuck says this followed another violation and warning.

The bigger issue is golf's tradition of resisting progress and making common sense adjustments. As networks and other major leagues rush to embrace social media because of its role in drawing in new fans or engaging old ones like never before, the current policy designed to protect broadcast partners often discourages coverage that would raise awareness of events, create buzz and keep a 21st Century fan engaged.

Shipnuck writes:

Even if Wei broke the Tour’s rules, the real issue is whether those rules make sense anymore. The Tour operates under a very traditional model in which it feels it owns the content (the tournaments and whatever the players do during them) and various rights-holders (Golf Channel, the networks) pay handsomely to borrow that content. But the sports media environment has changed at the speed of light, and fans now demand to be entertained in new and different ways, with video clips the coin of the realm. They expect this at all hours, not just on the limited, rigid broadcast schedules of various television networks.

The irony in all of this Inside Golf kvetching?

The PGA Tour will be encouraging fans to "snap" 10-second video clips this Sunday from The Players. If a member of the media joins in the Snapchat Stories "activation," they'll be in violation of the regulations they signed. Even if they are a precious millennial.


WGC Match Play Saturday: What To Expect

So much those meaningless matches!

The jury is still out on the new look WGC Cadillac Match Play because the trial isn't finished. Certainly some tweaks will be needed but I'd contend something is working to see so much intensity from players.

This one-off playing in San Francisco fortunately or unfortunately lands on one of the biggest sports days in some time, with the Kentucky Derby, NBA and NHL playoffs and the Mayweather-Pacquiao championship bout all grabbing attention. NBC will be carrying the quarterfinal matches in east coast primetime (the only time zone that matters), starting at 7:20 ET. Golf Channel has the early play starting at 3 pm ET.

Jeff Babineau has a nice summary of what to expect in Saturday morning's round of 16.


Merced Match Play Meltdown! Keegan Fumes For His Man! 

We saw how cranky he was yesterday and Keegan Bradley's temper got the best of him in a wickedly entertaining WGC Cadillac Match Play meltdown with opponent Miguel Angel Jimenez. It seems Bradley has just been playing stroke play way too long and forgot that his opponent very much has the right to question a drop. Keegan's caddie didn't see it that way, was told to shut up, and Keegan went ballistic.

From Rex Hoggard's report on Jimenez's 2 up win.

After hitting his drive left of the 18th fairway and over a fence that had been deemed a temporary immovable obstruction, which would allow for a free drop, Bradley consulted with a rules official and was in the process of taking two drops – the first away from the fence and then off a cart path – when Jimenez walked over and insisted he was taking an incorrect drop.

After a heated exchange involving Bradley, his caddie Steve “Pepsi” Hale and the Spaniard, Jimenez told Hale to “shut up” and the situation escalated with Bradley and Jimenez going nose to nose.

“I felt like he was being disrespectful not only to me but my caddie,” Bradley said. “I was kind of standing up for my boy here.”

Unfortunately, Jimenez was well within his rights to question the drop as the PGA Tour's Mark Russell said after the round. And future Ryder Cuppers from Europe now know to get Keegan to unravel.'s Steve Hennessey posts a nice Vine with great audio of the first encounter (also posted below for the ease of the PGA Tour Censorship Department).

A rules official was over with the group as Bradley and his caddie Steve (Pepsi) Hale was explaining their drop -- but Jimenez was not happy. Golf Channel's Steve Sands reported that Jimenez's ball was 40 yards farther down the fairway when Jimenez walked back to Bradley. When Hale said something to Jimenez, it sounded like Jimenez told Hale to "shut up," which prompted Bradley to get in The Mechanic's face.

Bradley kept saying "You need to go back to your ball!" It looked like someone was about to push the other.

Bob Harig says the two lovebirds had another chat in the locker room post-round but no one was allowed to witness. Harig did, however, report this from Bradley's caddie, who didn't like the opponent in the match questioning a drop.

"Keegan was getting a little frustrated with that, and he had a right to be,'' Hale said. "We have a rules official with and he decides to interject himself on the ruling again. He questioned the drop again, questioned the rules official. It's clearly escalating.

"I don't understand why a player wants to interject himself into a situation when a rules official is right there. And he doesn't have to talk to Keegan about it.''

Because it's match play and he's allowed to do that?

Brian Wacker reports that the spat continued in Harding's locker room and shared this from the PGA Tour's Mark Russell:

“These guys are all Type-A personalities and competitors, and there’s a lot on the line, they’ve got a lot of pride and they had a little confrontation out there,” said PGA TOUR Vice President of Rules and Competitions Mark Russell. “It’s not the first time, it won’t be the last. You think one of those guys wants to lose to the other? Absolutely not.

"It doesn’t make it OK. It's a gentleman's game, but from time to time things get heated in this game. It's unfortunate that it happened."

Bradley did apologize for his behavior in some post round reports.This from's report by Josh Berhow:

“It was just a heat-of-the-moment thing," Bradley told reporters afterward. "It was disappointing. I'm pretty bummed out about it. It was just ... I had a ruling and he felt like he needed to intervene and I felt like he was being inappropriate to me and my caddie.

Here is Golf Central's coverage, helmed by Todd Lewis and including the parking lot interview.

Here is the Golf Channel post game chat with Burr, Tilghman, Chamblee and Duval. The nine minutes includes Mark Russell's interview.

After the round Bradley was seen being comforted by his dog, who appeared to have been left in his car by itself. This prompted many on social media to wonder if Bradley had left his "purse dog" in the car during the round.

The PGA Tour posted this part of the telecast:

Enjoy these while you can...first the incident followed by the 18th green handshake.


2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Storylines...

The U.S. Open qualifier storylines are fun, but the inaugural Four-Ball takes things to another level with some of the eclectic teams teeing it up in Saturday and Sunday's stroke play at Olympic Club. 

Golf World's Ron Sirak set the table for this inaugural event that essentially replaces the U.S. Amateur Public Links on the USGA championship schedule. And the rest of us can imagine competitors will be enjoying Bill Burgers as Webb Simpson did Monday.

The low 32 advance to match play starting Monday. Fox Sports 1 carries the final two days of competition May 5th and 6th from 4 to 6:30 PT.

From the USGA, with a few interruptions for other stories written about the competitors.

Oldest Competitors: Robert Polk (59, born 6-18-55), Brady Exber (59, born 3-29-56), Jim Williams (59, born 4-4-56)

Youngest Competitors: Ahmed Ali (15, born 12-22-99), Ashwin Arasu (16, born 1-4-99), Kyosuke Hara (16, 10-24-98), Kyle Suppa (16, 5-13-98)

Average Age of Field: 34.76

Oldest Teams: Iain MacDonald (58) & Robert Valerio (56), Kenneth Bakst (57) & Jonathan Doppelt (54), Robert Polk (59) & Bill Fowler (51)

Youngest Teams: Kyosuke Hara (16) & Kyle Suppa (16), Ashwin Arasu (16) & Sahith Theegala (17), Jacob Huizinga (17) & William Wrigley (17)

Largest Age Difference (Team Members): 36, Oliver Rheinfurth (55) & Marc Reyes (19); 35, Marc Apps (55) & Tyler Apps (20); 35, Michael Board (52) & Drew Jones (17)

U.S. States Represented – There are 42 states and the District of Columbia represented at the 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball: California (30 players), Texas (22), Florida (13), New York (12), Pennsylvania (12), Illinois (10), North Carolina (10), Maryland (9), Arizona (8), New Jersey (8), South Carolina (8), Ohio (7), Alabama (6), Colorado (6), Georgia (6), Nevada (6), Virginia (6), Connecticut (5), Kansas (5), Massachusetts (5), Washington (5), Louisiana (4), Minnesota (4), Oregon (4), Nebraska (3), New Hampshire (3), Oklahoma (3), Utah (3), Wisconsin (3), Hawaii (2), Iowa (2), Maine (2), Michigan (2), Missouri (2), New Mexico (2), Rhode Island (2), Tennessee (2), Arkansas (1), Idaho (1), Indiana (1), Kentucky (1), North Dakota (1) and District of Columbia (2).

International – There are five countries represented at the 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball: United States (248), Canada (4), Australia (1), Germany (1) and Philippines (1).

Some notables in my book are below, but you can read them all here.

Ahmed Ali, 15, of Palo Alto, Calif., & Hussain Ali, 20, of Palo Alto, Calif.
Ahmed Ali, the youngest player in the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball field, and Hussain Ali are one of nine sets of brothers among the 128 teams. Ahmed is a sophomore at Palo Alto High School. The left-hander tied for second at the AJGA Junior All-Star at Innisbrook on Feb. 14-16. Hussain attended Dominican College, an NCAA Division II school in California, in 2013-14.

Marc Apps, 55, of Phoenix, Ariz., & Tyler Apps, 20, of Phoenix, Ariz.
The father-son team will each be competing in their first USGA championship. Marc, a real estate broker, has won four state golf association events. His wife, René, will serve as his caddie. Tyler, a junior on the Grand Canyon University golf team, sank an 80-foot par putt on the second extra hole in a four-team playoff to help the duo advance out of sectional qualifying at Desert Forest Golf Club. Tyler took an unplayable lie and found the green with his third shot, a 200-yard approach from behind a tree.

Ashwin Arasu, 16, of San Diego, Calif., & Sahith Theegala, 17, of Chino Hills, Calif.
Arasu, a junior at Canyon Crest Academy, advanced to the Round of 32 at last year’s U.S. Junior Amateur, losing to eventual runner-up Davis Riley after dramatically chipping in on No. 18 to win his Round-of-64 match with an eagle 3. He competed in the inaugural Drive, Chip & Putt Championship at Augusta National in April 2014. Theegala is a senior at Diamond Bar High who recently decided to enroll at Pepperdine University in 2015-16. Theegala has qualified for match play at the last two U.S. Junior Amateurs (2013, Round of 32 & 2014, Round of 16).

Virhat Badhwar, 19, of Australia, & Maverick McNealy, 19, of Portola Valley, Calif.
Badhwar and McNealy are both sophomores on the Stanford University golf team. Badhwar, who hails from Australia but was born in India, has a pair of top-10 finishes this season and tied for 16th at last year’s Pacific 12 Conference Championship. McNealy has won two college titles this season. He qualified for both the 2014 U.S. Open and 2014 U.S. Amateur. McNealy advanced to match play at two U.S. Junior Amateurs (2012, quarterfinalist & 2013, Round of 32).

Ryan Herrington on McNealy's record-setting performance in the Pac-12 Championships, including a final round 61.

Ken Bakst, 57, of Riverhead, N.Y., & Jonathan Doppelt, 54, of Great Neck, N.Y.
Bakst, who is playing in his 23rd USGA championship, and Doppelt, who is making his 12th USGA championship appearance, are the second-oldest team in the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball field. Bakst won the 1997 U.S. Mid-Amateur by defeating Rick Stimmel, 1 up, in the final. Bakst is a developer and managing member at Friar’s Head, a golf club on Long Island. Doppelt owns a jewelry manufacturing company in Manhattan.

Is there a low super-senior team medal?

Brian Bardier, 46, of Dayville, Conn., & David Jones, 53, of Norwich, Conn.
Bardier and Jones have played golf as a team for 15 years and will be competing in their first USGA championship. Bardier was a volunteer firefighter for nearly 18 years and rose to the rank of lieutenant. Jones is a teacher and three-sport coach at a local elementary school. His right lung was removed in 2002 after he suffered complications from a viral infection.

Todd Burgan, 46, of Knoxville, Tenn., & Tim Jackson, 56, of Memphis, Tenn.
Burgan, a pharmacist at Kroger Company, is playing in his 12th USGA championship. He advanced to the U.S. Mid-Amateur semifinals in 2010 and the quarterfinals in 2009. Jackson has captured two U.S. Mid-Amateur championships (1994, 2001). Jackson, who owns a car wash company, is competing in his 51st USGA championship, including five U.S. Senior Opens. He played on two USA Walker Cup Teams (1995, 1999). The duo has represented Tennessee in three USGA Men’s State Teams.

Kyle Crawford, 26, of Coos Bay, Ore., & Tim Tucker, 46, of Coos Bay, Ore.
Crawford and Tucker are caddies at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, site of this year’s inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship. Crawford graduated from Oregon State University and earned an Evans Scholarship. He has played in several Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) events. Tucker, who has competed in three U.S. Mid-Amateurs, spent four years in the U.S. Air Force and another three years working as a security officer for the U.S. State Department.

Alistair Docherty, 21, of Vancouver, Wash., & Lee Gearhart, 20, of Roseville, Calif.
Docherty and Gearhart are both juniors on the California State University-Chico golf team. Docherty was a first-team Division II All-America selection who finished fifth in the 2014 NCAA Championship. Gearhart, who played at Woodcreek High School and won the 2011 Sacramento City East title, was a 2014 honorable mention All-America selection at Chico State.

Gene Elliott, 51, of West Des Moines, Iowa, & Mike McCoy, 52, of Des Moines, Iowa
Elliott and McCoy led Iowa to a third-place finish in the 2014 USGA Men’s State Team Championship. Elliott is playing in his 21st USGA championship and was a 2006 U.S. Mid-Amateur quarterfinalist. Elliott, who owns a sanitation and street equipment company, had open-heart surgery in 2000. McCoy is playing in his 43rd USGA championship. He won the 2013 Mid-Amateur as the second-oldest champion and was low amateur in the 2014 U.S. Senior Open. McCoy and Elliott are members of the Iowa Golf Association Hall of Fame.

Brady Exber, 59, of Las Vegas, Nev., & Kevin Marsh, 42, of Henderson, Nev.
Exber and Marsh will each be playing in their 18th USGA championship. They have partnered in other events and won three Champions Cup Invitationals. Exber won the 2014 Senior British Amateur Championship and tied for 41st in the 2007 U.S. Senior Open. Marsh, a commercial real estate developer, won the 2005 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.

Jeffrey Fortson, 41, of Palm Desert, Calif., & Michael Walton, 39, of Indian Wells, Calif.
The lives of Fortson and Walton have been connected since their junior golf days. They were the Nos. 1 and 2 golfers on the Palm Desert High School squad. They have caddied for each other and were grouped together (with Jason Day) in 2006 PGA Tour Qualifying School. They were groomsmen at each other’s weddings and their wives teach at the same school. Fortson, a Callaway demonstration day representative, and Walton, who works in real estate, are reinstated amateurs. Walton advanced to match play in the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur and Fortson accomplished the same feat last year.

Here's a nice Larry Bohannan story on these two.

William Gordon, 18, of Davidson, N.C., & Steve Harwell, 52, of Mooresville, N.C.
Gordon and Harwell shot a 9-under 62 in sectional qualifying at Pinehurst’s Pinewild Country Club, just their second time playing as a competitive team. Gordon, who will enroll at Vanderbilt University in 2015-16, is a two-time all-state selection who advanced to the Round of 32 in the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur. Harwell is playing in his 13th USGA championship. He works as a financial professional for New York Life and was inducted into the Guilford College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.

And a nice story on this odd-couple pairing by Bill Kiser.

Kyosuke Hara, 16, of Honolulu, Hawaii, & Kyle Suppa, 16, of Honolulu, Hawaii
Hara and Suppa form the youngest team in the inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship. Hara, who qualified for last year’s U.S. Amateur, is a member of the Monanalua High School team. He has studied karate for seven years and has advanced to black belt. Suppa, who qualified for the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur, is the current Hawaii State Amateur champion and plays for the Punahou School team. He started snow skiing at age 3.

Scott Harvey, 36, of Greensboro, N.C., & Todd Mitchell, 36, of Bloomington, Ill.
Harvey won the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur, which earned him an invitation to the 2015 Masters Tournament. Harvey is a property manager for S&K Triad Properties. His late father, Bill, played in 23 USGA championships. Mitchell was the runner-up to Steve Wilson in the 2008 U.S. Mid-Amateur and is playing in his 20th USGA championship. Mitchell was an all-conference shortstop at Illinois State. He was chosen in the 14th round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the New York Yankees.

Jason Higton, 35, of Fresno, Calif., & Ryan Higton, 32, of Fresno, Calif.
The Higton brothers were both collegiate golfers. Jason, a Johnson & Johnson sales representative, was the 2002 Big West Conference player of the year at the University of the Pacific. He has played in three USGA championships. Ryan, who works as a real estate agent, was a two-time NAIA All-America selection at The Master’s College in California.

Iain MacDonald, 56, of Fullerton, Calif., & Bob Valerio, 58, of Hawthorne, Calif.
MacDonald and Valerio comprise the oldest team in the 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship. MacDonald, who was born in Scotland, is competing in his ninth USGA championship. He works in sales for a publishing company and has survived two strokes. Valerio, who is retired after working for a global security company, played competitively on the junior and collegiate levels before he stopped playing for 10 years. He is competing in his 10th USGA championship.

James Mastaglio, 39, of Garden City, N.Y., & Timothy Schmitt, 44, of Garden City, N.Y.
Mastaglio was an All-Ivy League basketball guard at Princeton University who played on three NCAA Tournament squads. The Tigers won a pair of first-round games, including a 1996 upset of defending champion UCLA. Mastaglio, who works in the hedge-fund industry, is a four-time club champion at Cherry Valley Club. Schmitt has played in two U.S. Amateurs (1997, 2004). His father, John, was the starting center on the New York Jets’ Super Bowl III championship team.

Drew Olson, 32, of Piedmont, Calif., & David Reneker, 46, of Santa Monica, Calif.
Olson and Reneker are both UCLA graduates. Olson is third on UCLA’s all-time passing list and played for the NFL’s Baltimore, Carolina and San Francisco franchises as an undrafted free-agent quarterback. He qualified for the 2012 and 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships. Reneker, who played in the 2009 Mid-Amateur, was a Bruins’ golf team walk-on (teammates were Scott McCarron and Brandt Jobe) and is a three-time club champion at Bel-Air Country Club.

Tim Rosaforte profiled the above team in this week's Golf World.

Marc Reyes, 19, of Philippines, & Oliver Rheinfurth, 55, of Encino, Calif.
The team of Reyes and Rheinfurth features the largest age difference between partners. Reyes, who is 36 years younger, is a native of the Philippines and played at Venice High School and Orange Coast College. Rheinfurth, a dual citizen of Germany and the United States, is the CEO of a finance company. He was a teammate of Corey Pavin’s at UCLA and he has qualified for two U.S. Amateurs.

Andy Sajevic, 24, of Fremont, Neb., & John Sajevic, 58, of Fremont, Neb.
The father-son team, which shot 10-under 62 to earn medalist honors in sectional qualifying, has plenty of USGA championship experience. Andy, a three-time Nebraska State Amateur champion, has competed in two U.S. Amateurs and one U.S. Junior Amateur. He played as a collegian at Charlotte and North Carolina. John, an automotive salesman, has played in 10 USGA championships, including seven USGA Men’s State Teams.

Nathan Smith, 36, of Pittsburgh, Pa., & Todd White, 47, of Spartanburg, S.C.
Smith and White, one of three teams who were fully exempt into the 2015 U.S. Amateur Four Ball Championship, were members of the victorious 2013 USA Walker Cup Team. Smith is a four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion (2003, 2009, 2010, 2012). Smith, an investment advisor, is playing in his 33rd USGA championship. White, a high school history teacher, is playing in his 16th USGA championship. He advanced to the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur semifinals and reached the quarterfinals in 2014.

Jim Williams, 59, of Orinda, Calif., & Scott Williams, 25, of San Francisco, Calif.
The Williamses are one of three father-son teams in the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball field. Jim, a partner in a private equity firm, was a member of the USGA Executive Committee from 2010 through 2012 and worked as a Rules official. Jim, who is a Golden State Warriors minority owner, served on the USGA Championship Committee when the Amateur Four-Ball championships were proposed. Scott, who like his brother and sister, played golf at the University of Pennsylvania, won the 2010 Ivy League individual title and led the Quakers to the league championship in 2012. A Fulbright Scholar, Scott is a project manager for an energy company.

There was also this excellent story from a few months back on Brent Grant (18) doing all the qualifying lifting for his much older partner Bill Walbert (47). David Shefter had it for

The USGA's website devoted to news and scoring for the Four Ball.


Ko Struggles To 75 After Taking Controversial Unplayable

Lydia Ko is donating her earnings in this week's Volunteers of America North Texas Shootout to earthquake relief for Nepal, so her opening 75 no doubt upset someone not used to posting big scores.

And the round came with a controversial drop, as Randall Mell explains.

Ko was 2 under par in her round when she hit her approach shot at the 14th hole long and left. She tried to hit a lob over a tree blocking her route to the green, but her ball caught up in a branch and never came down.

With Hamilton in the tree, Ko asked why they had to free the ball if they were going to take an unplayable.

“We have to identify it,” Hamilton told her.

Shortly after, LPGA rules official Brad Alexander arrived. He told Ko she could take an unplayable lie based on witness accounts of the ball going into the tree. She took a penalty stroke and a drop near the tree. If the ball had been declared lost, Ko would have been required to take a penalty and also return to where she struck the last shot. She would have had to drop and play from there.

Caddie Jason Hamilton's climbing effort, while noble, didn't quiet some grumbling on social media about the attempts to shake the ball loose and the unplayable lie verdict.

The LPGA rules staff held firm to their conclusion according to a statement to

The officials involved in the ruling with Lydia Ko today on the 14th hole referenced Decision 27/12 to support their ruling. Due to the fact that it was roughly a 30-yard shot, the spectators were able to see Lydia’s ball from start to finish and therefore provided indisputable evidence that the ball in the tree was indeed Lydia’s ball. Therefore the ball did not need to be identified as it was never lost. The USGA confirmed that in a situation where observers indisputably saw the player’s ball in motion come to rest in a specific location at which the ball remains visible, the ball has been identified as the player’s ball. Thus, since the ball in the tree was deemed as Lydia's ball, she was then able to proceed under Rule 28 – Ball Unplayable.

Here is the entire sequence: