Twitter: GeoffShac
Writing And Videos
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    by Kevin Cook
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    by Martin Davis
  • A Life Well Played: My Stories
    A Life Well Played: My Stories
    by Arnold Palmer
  • Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    by Kevin Robbins
  • Teeing Off: Players, Techniques, Characters, and Reflections from a Lifetime Inside the Game
    Teeing Off: Players, Techniques, Characters, and Reflections from a Lifetime Inside the Game
    by Ken Bowden

As each year goes by I fear the true sporting spirit of match play is less and less in evidence. We find a growing disposition for play to concentrate on the figures that are registered at a hole rather than on the question of whether the hole is lost or won in a purely friendly match.
TOM SIMPSON

 

   

Thursday
Jul162009

2009 Open Championship Clippings, Round 1 Edition

I think you know what happened, just in case, a few ledes:

Lawrence Donegan in The Guardian:

Miguel Angel Jiménez's rolling putt across Turnberry's 18th green in the evening gave the Spaniard the first-round lead but it could not deny the old warrior Tom Watson another day in the sun.

James Corrigan in the Independent:

For more than six hours the dream was on, the clock was rewound and golf was again basking in its golden age. At the age of 59, Tom Watson was about to become the oldest man in history to lead after the first round of a major. And not any old major but an Open Championship at Turnberry of all things. Nostalgia floated in on the gentle breeze, bringing with it the memories of 1977 and that sunlit duel.

Derek Lawrenson in the Daily Mail:

American legend Tom Watson didn't so much roll back the years as pummel them into submission with a stunning 65 in the first round of The Open.

Mark Reason in the Telegraph:

Ol' Tom Watson just keeps rolling along, as timeless as the Mississippi river. The 59 year-old from Kansas blazed round Turnberry in 65 strokes as the years tumbled back.

Wasn't that the same score Watson shot 32 years ago when he stared down Jack Nicklaus in the famous 'Duel in the Sun'? They say that time and tide wait for no man. They were wrong. The time and tide at Turnberry always wait for Watson.

Doug Ferguson writing for the AP:

Tom Watson, famous for winning the “Duel in the Sun” that forever links him with Turnberry, is at the stage in his career where the British Open should be a ceremonial stroll into the sunset.

This is the era of Tiger Woods. This is the title defense of Padraig Harrington.

Yet at age 59, with wrinkles framing his gap-tooth grin, Watson poured in birdie after birdie, reviving his spiritual connection on Scottish links with a bogey-free round of 5-under 65.

 

Watson

Michael Bamberger on Watson who I forgot also won a Senior Open at Turnberry.

Jack and Barbara — and Watson's current wife, Hilary — were there for the 2003 Senior British Open win, without the bottles of wine, at least for Tom, who doesn't drink these days. This year, it's Hilary and assorted friends. On the bag is Neil Oxman, who first encouraged Bruce Edwards to ask Tom Watson for work way back when in 1973. Watson's been saying the same thing for some years now: as you get older, the things you appreciate are not the things you do for yourself, but the things you do for and with family and real friends.

Jeff Babineau for Golfweek:

Wednesday night, Watson received a text from Barbara Nicklaus, who said she’d seen a flattering picture of Watson’s caddie, Neil Oxman, and wished Watson well. Watson texted back that he misses seeing Jack at the Open, just as the Open will miss Watson when he walks away at age 60 in St. Andrews next July. The way this week has unfolded, though, from solid practice rounds to his opening round magic, Watson said there has been a spiritual sense to it all.

“Just the serenity of it was pretty neat,” he said.

 

Tiger

Thomas Bonk for GolfDigest.com:

In his rush to keep up with Tiger Woods as he left the 18th green Thursday, caddie Steve Williams broke into a brisk trot, pulled off his caddie bib and, in one fluid motion, tossed it backwards to the attendant while knocking his own cap to the ground, never bothering to pick it up.

Woods was going somewhere, anywhere, and he was going fast. Where Woods wasn't going in the first round of the British Open was up the leader board. He opened with a one-over 71, continuing his downward trend of starting a major championship heading in the wrong direction.

See, that's why Stevie normally takes the bib off early!

Damon Hack on Tiger's opening round:

If rust and a cold driver hurt Woods at Augusta National and weather and a cold putter slowed him at the United States Open at Bethpage Black, Woods would have to look hard for an alibi through one round at Turnberry. The wind was down. Birdies and eagles were plentiful. Woods was stuck in neutral.

Art Spander considersthe odds of Woods win now, and other betting options for those who are blessed with the option (that would exclude those of us in the land of the free).

 

Miscellany

Mickey Stafford files several notes, including an item on Watson having little trouble finding his room at Turnberry. It's named after him.

Mark Soltau with the best quotes of the day, including some great stuff from other players about Watson.

Tim Rosaforte on Mark Calcaveccia's Aleve and beer regimen.

Steve Elling on Ben Curtis' love of links golf.

John Hopkins says "Sandy Lyle has hijacked the 138th Open" and demands: Put a sock in it, Sandy, we said. Now we say: please, please put a sock in it, Sandy. Give over. Leave Montgomerie alone. Let's get on with the golf. It is much more interesting than your vendetta.

Jay Coffin on Miguel Angel Jimenez'scigar smoking andon highlightsfrom UK radio's coverage. My favorite:OnBoo Weekley: “Boo Weekley sounds like a newspaper for ghosts. But it’s not, it’s a golfer.”

And Coffin on Sergio tipping his cap to the gallery that was cheering for Watson.

Jay Busbee suggests that we better respect the villainous 16th hole.

Chris Chase on how nice it was to hear Tom Weiskopf's calming presence.

Mickey Stafford on a new rule that forbids patrons from leaving and re-entering on the same day. The R&A says it's to improve traffic, local businesses aren't buying that explanation.

Robert Winder on several topics, including a popular topic: Ian Poulter's outfit backfiring.

Alistair Tait asks, "Where is everybody?" and wonders about the lackluster attendance.

I’ve never experienced a quieter first day of an Open Championship than this one. When Tom Watson walked up the 18th hole, the grandstands were only a quarter full. And it was noon! I know Turnberry is out of the way and there’s a recession, but come on: This is The Open for goodness sake!

And finally, the Jenkins Tweet's of the day (it was a tie!):

 

Thursday
Jul162009

Note To Smugglers: Know What A Handicap Is

Thanks to Putmedownfora6 for this priceless James Tozer story from The Sun detailing Kayti (huh!?) Dryer, who had checked golf clubs and paid a visit to Customs where they asked her what her handicap was.

When she was unable to answer, they seized the clubs and found £83,000 worth of cocaine hidden inside the shafts.

Yesterday the 23-year-old was starting a four-year prison sentence after admitting smuggling the drugs.

Dryer was questioned after her golf bag was X-rayed at Manchester Airport when she got off a flight from the Caribbean in April. She claimed to have taken the clubs on holiday to Montego Bay in Jamaica.

An airport source said: 'When asked about her handicap, she looked blank and asked them to repeat the question. They asked her again, she gave no response.

'She clearly did not know what they were talking about and had no idea it was even a golfing term. It appeared as if she thought they were asking her if she had a disability.'

Traces of cocaine were revealed when Customs officers swabbed her luggage, and when they cut the clubs into pieces they found a 1kg stash.

Thursday
Jul162009

Sandy: Man Up Monty, You Drama Queen!

Just when you thought it was safe to watch some golf and put our little Monty-Lyle drama to rest, it seems Sandy Lyle spoke up after round one. Jenkins Tweets: "This duel could be pistols at sunrise."

From a BBC report:

"We sometimes call him a bit of a drama queen. He's probably milking it a bit," Lyle told BBC Radio 5 Live.

There's a way to ensure the situation will not go away!

The pair are both competing in the 138th Open Championship and 51-year-old Lyle says his attempts to speak with Montgomerie have so far failed.

"He keeps disappearing," said Lyle.

"I've tried to talk to him but I don't think he wants to talk to me right now.

"He's got to get around to it and stop hiding behind the manager and come out and we'll have a talk.

"It's annoying how it's worked out, but he should see that too.

"He's had many years experience with the press and he should be a man about it, we'll get together and sort it out over a few pints at some stage."

Thursday
Jul162009

“Criticizing Tiger Woods is like telling Muhammed Ali how to box or (Roger) Federer how to serve.”

As usual TNT sent some of the highlights from their broadcast. This used to be the worst of Bobby Clampett, but we actually had some very nice commentary today. I was particularly pleased to see surprise analyst Tom Weiskopf who lent his typically relaxed and enjoyable commentary while preventing Curtis Strange from talking even more.

[Tom] Watson on how he feels after his first round 65 at Turnberry, compared to his famous win at the Open in 1977: “The body’s a little bit older, but the enthusiasm out there today was very similar. It was a wonderful day to play, there was very little wind. The course is obviously defenseless, a lot of the scores are going to be under par today because of that. It’s a good beginning round for me and the wind ought to pick up tomorrow afternoon according to the forecast, so she’ll have some teeth tomorrow and I’m looking forward to that.”

Watson on being more competitive against young players on links courses: “I’ve said that (that links courses are the great equalizer) about my ability to play against the kids. I can’t play against the kids at Augusta National, it’s just too soft. The golf course is too soft and too long and I’m hitting the wrong clubs into the holes. But I’ve said on links golf courses I can get it out there and get the ball rolling.”

Watson on adding a sixth Claret Jug trophy to his collection: “I could use one of those. I’m not being greedy, either.”

Alliss on providing analysis on Tiger Woods: “Criticizing Tiger Woods is like telling Muhammed Ali how to box or (Roger) Federer how to serve.”

Thursday
Jul162009

Daly's GF Offers Hints Of Possible Daly Wives Collection

Since platinum blond is the signature method for detection by most American Tour wives/girlfriends/partners/etc..., perhaps John Daly's girlfriend is signaling the next trend for getting noticed: matching outfits. Or perhaps it's the next clothing line, though something tells me Daly Wives Collection won't make the final name cut.

As captured by SI's Bob Martin, among other less disturbing first round images.

Thursday
Jul162009

"Tiger Woods's nasty push into the burn on 16 is one of the worst shots I've seen him hit in a major. Ever."

Alan Shipnuck says that shot and his opening 71 add up to a "pretty ominous sign."

More importantly, Shipnuck notes this about his playing partner:

Round of the day might have been Ryo Ishikawa's 68, accomplished playing in front of his hero Tiger Woods and his nemeses--the hundred or so Japanese reporters that obsessively chronicle his every twitch. For his first spin around a true links course, to say nothing of the holy Open, the kid displayed admirable imagination and tremendous poise. Take that, Rory!

Bob Harig runs though the round highs and lows and the link also features video of Tiger's post round press conference.

For the day, he hit just 8 of 14 fairways, despite using mostly irons off tees. He did hit 12 of 18 greens and needed 30 putts.

Ian Chadband in the Telegraph offers a, uh, more detailed account of the round's saltier moments.

His confidence with the driver seemed so low that he used it just three times and found himself in the rough each time. Yet even his long irons from the tee let him down.

At the third, when he hoiked his drive left, he cried "Godammit!". On the 13th, when he ploughed one into a bank on the right of the fairway, the expletive was shorter and sharper.

Thursday
Jul162009

Watson Seeks To Be Oldest Post Hip Replacement Non-Champions Tour Major Winner

Watson says he's not surprised by his round, which would be consistent with his pre-tournament comments. What makes it even more amazing is that he's just nine months removed form hip replacement surgery performed here in the Home of the Homeless.

Turnberry, Scotland. July, 2009 -- Tom Watson's first round of 65 put him at the top of the leaderboard of the British Open, nine months after he had anterior hip replacement surgery in October, 2008. Watson returned to competitive golf in January, 2009 just three months after the surgery performed by Dr. Joel Matta at the Hip and Pelvis Institute at St John's Health Center in Santa Monica, CA. Watson has participated in several Champions Tour events this year.

Turnberry in 1977 was the site of one of the most momentous duels in major championship golf history. Watson and Jack Nicklaus posted 66s on Saturday that year, then Watson bested Nicklaus by a stroke on Sunday, 65 to 66, to win the Claret Jug, the British Open trophy. Two years earlier Watson won his first Open victory at Carnoustie. He went on to win three more titles at Muirfield, Troon and Birkdale. “It’s good to play in an Open at Turnberry again,” said Watson after he returned to the site of his epic 1977 win. His 65 on Thursday defined how well he has recovered from last October's surgery. The March, 2009 issue of Golf Digest featured Watson's hip replacement surgery

The anterior approach surgery procedure is a technique that minimizes the pain and time from surgery to recovery. The anterior approach allows the surgeon to reach the hip joint from the front of the hip as opposed to the lateral (side), or the posterior (back) approach, both of which can cause significant muscular damage. With the anterior approach the hip can be replaced without detachment of muscle from the pelvis or femur during surgery. By way of this anterior approach the surgeon can simply work through the natural interval between the muscles, rather than detaching them. In this way the gluteal muscles that attach to the pelvis and femur are left undisturbed in the anterior approach. Therefore, these muscles do not require a healing process after the surgery.

The merits of the anterior approach procedure are several: 1) Less muscle trauma for the patient; 2) reduced hospital stay; 3) smaller incision - 4 to 5 inches as opposed to 10 to 12 inches; 4) faster recovery - 2 to 8 weeks as opposed to 2 to 4 months; 5) additional benefits include reduced pain, reduced tissue healing required, reduced risk of dislocation, and a more rapid return to normal activities.

 

Thursday
Jul162009

"Can't you keep your men in order?"

John Hopkins on the Monty-Lyle spat:

To outsiders, the tempest at Turnberry was baffling. "Can't you keep your men in order?" an American visitor asked. To others it was a bit like watching an army advancing on a Scottish castle and the generals turning round and seeing that fighting had broken out in their own ranks.

And love the photo accompanying the piece. Though Monty may not care for that profile view, it is worth it for the look on Lyle's face.

Thursday
Jul162009

Watson Really Doesn't Want To Retire!

In going through Tom Watson's enjoyable interview yesterday, I bypassed his talk of believing he could win. But after a bogey free 65 to take the early lead, I guess I should have paid more attention! Just amazing.

 

Wednesday
Jul152009

Where Are The Clippings?

I figured it was my back going out or the raging ear infection that kept me from compiling daily clippings. After all, early week at the Open usually translates to loads of fun coverage on top of the traditional semi-news, slightly manufactured rows like Monty-Lyle.

But then a friend left a message wondering what percentage of stories I thought were about Tiger (he's not going to be hitting driver much!) or Padraig (he's got it all under control!) or Monty (he's not talking...sort of!). I'm liking 60-20-20 on the percentage breakdown.

And as this person noted--again, my ailments and odd predilection for news about major course setup getting in the way--why isn't anyone writing about the course setup or changes? As usual, we folks at home have to wait for the telecast to gauge just how the course is prepared and how it might play.

Which is odd when you are talking about a course no one has seen since 1994, which has undergone major changes under the R&A's supervision and which early reports suggested could get silly if the wind blows. And it all just happens to be a lot more interesting than most other rota members.

The Golf Channel and their in-studio team along with Frank Nobilo at Turnberry had this angle covered for us in the States by focusing on several key holes and the potential for disaster at No. 16.

Either way, mercifully they tee it up in a few hours at lovely Turnberry. If that doesn't generate some clippings worthy coverage...we're doomed.

Wednesday
Jul152009

Monty: "I've decided to say nothing" but since you asked...

Peter Dixon features Euro Tour chief George O'Grady's overwhelmingly supportive statement on behalf of Monty after Sandy Lyle's remarks and this from Monty.

“I've had time to digest it and I've decided to say nothing,” he said.

You know I respect that. He wants to put this to rest and, wait, what? Oh...

“I don't think his comments warrant comment. I've come here to play golf and have been hit with this. Just because he is disappointed not to be made captain, please don't take it out on me.”

Okay that's it. Controversy ende...what. He talked to Lawrenson too?

'It has to affect whatever friendship we had, doesn't it?' he said. 'I just think it is so sad after I had supported his candidacy to be Ryder Cup captain through the whole process. Why does he feel the need to take it out on me? Is it my fault that the committee decided that they would like a younger man?'

Asked if it had ended any chance of Lyle being a vice-captain, Monty replied: 'I think you know the answer to that one.'

Wednesday
Jul152009

"We enjoyed ourselves on Sunday doing what you do on links courses."

Too often these player diaries read like something dictated to their agent, but Justin Rose not only talks about his links golf preparation, but candidly reveals a split with his coach.

Wednesday
Jul152009

"The board believes this measure will encourage players to play more often"

I'm not usually the cynical type (as you know), but Wednesday's announced change to the Official World Golf Ranking could be seen as timed to be lost in the haze of Open Championship preview stories...well, Tiger Woods preview stories.

Doug Ferguson explains what seems to be an admission that the system so vital to determining major championship fields was seriously flawed.

The formula is based on ranking points earned at each tournament, divided by the number of tournaments played. The value of points are gradually reduced every 13 weeks over a two-year period, with a minimum divisor of 40 tournaments.

That helped Tiger Woods, who doesn’t play 40 times over a two-year period. It hurt players like Singh, who was playing as many as 60 tournaments during that period. Despite winning nine times in 2004, he didn’t overtake Woods at No. 1 until late in the season.

The change is relatively simple.

The maximum divisor will be a player’s most recent 52 tournaments – no matter how many he has played in the two-year period. The board decided on that number because it is the average number of tournaments played by the top 200 players in the world.

The board also was concerned that players were skipping tournaments at key times in the year because a lower divisor might help their ranking when trying to qualify for World Golf Championships and some of the majors.

Wednesday
Jul152009

“She did a horrible job. It’s a really sad thing what her regime did for this great group of unbelievably talented ladies.”

Alan Bastable tracks down The Donald and he has nothing but bad things to say about the Brand Lady. What's astonishing is that we know the ADT story Bastable shares from Donald is true, and yet she kept her job for another 8 months!

“This has nothing to do with her being male or female,” he said. “This has to do with bad business decisions and bad business people and people who were absolutely not equipped to handle that job.”

Trump also refutes the notion that her demise was triggered by the recession.

“A tremendous step backward was taken [by the LPGA] over the past couple of years, and it’s not because of the economy,” Trump said. “What happened was that in bad times, she pushed too hard.”

Wednesday
Jul152009

"So I'm restricted by the rules of the R&A that I can't play anymore after 60 if I don't qualify."

Tom Watson's entire press conference is worth a read, but just a few highlights. Gosh it's nice to read someone who isn't worried about upsetting a manufacturer.

MARTIN PARK: What kind of changes have you seen over the years since you've been coming back here?

TOM WATSON: Well, the changes are directly related to the equipment.

Zing!

I know he's told this tale before, but I still think it's interesting:

I didn't fall in love with links golf, though, until really 1979, honestly. The luck of the bounce and the sideway bounces, I didn't like that. I didn't like it at all, even though I won two Opens before I I told myself in '79 at Royal Lytham, I said, You can't fight this. If you're going to fight this, you're never going to truly be a great success out here at it.

And I took it and I said, Well, you know, you've got to roll with the punches, as they say in boxing. And that's what I did. I didn't play very well in '79, but at least I rolled with the punches finally, and in '80, '82 and '83 I won.

And this is beautiful:

Q. In what ways do you think today's equipment has made it easier to play links golf compared to the 1970s?

TOM WATSON: Just a distance factor, the straightness of the ball. The ball goes through the wind better, just that, which is a lot. If I were commissioner for a day or if were commissioner for ten years, I would do three things; I would roll the golf ball back 10 percent. The golf ball, we've exceeded the distance it should be going. I'd get rid of square grooves, and they're going to do that in the States. And the other thing is I would reduce the size of the head of the driver, say you can't have it 460; you can have it 240 or 250, and that's it.

Has anybody here taken an old persimmon head driver and hit it recently? I couldn't hit the sweet spot if it saved my butt. No way I could hit the sweet spot. They have that big old thing about like that (indicating), and you swing it as hard as you can, and if you mishit it off center it still goes out there. It makes you sloppy. The bigheaded clubs make you a little sloppy.

That's what I would do. But is it going to be done? No. Square grooves, yes. But rolling back the golf ball, probably not. And the bigheaded driver, probably not.

I was intrigued by this because he's actually reminding us that there are ways in which the old grooves made the game a little easier...sometimes.

Q. You referenced square grooves. Greg Norman came in before, and he said that he's looking forward to this tournament, but he's really looking to next year because the square groove rule will be in place, that essentially it will level the playing field. I don't know how much thought you've given to that.

TOM WATSON: It's going to be interesting to see how the square grooves work. I was playing with Brent Snedeker today, and he said, Out of the rough I couldn't hit the ball very far. In fact, I hit it shorter out of the rough from what used to be a flatter lie, with the square grooves. I hit it shorter with a wedge and 9iron, in particular, than off a normal lie. You would think just the opposite; you'd still hit the ball farther.

And now he's playing with the nonsquare grooves and he's hitting the ball kind of the way he thought well, he used to. You get that extra distance from the rough. And a lot of times that was to an advantage.

I remember when square grooves came out, you had an advantage. You hit the ball a little bit in the rough right there you had 178 yards uphill into the wind, you could hit that little flier up there and it was a lot easier shot. You'd say a 6iron flier uphill and it was like a 4iron from the fairway uphill. And that's how we used to have to play.

So there's some guesswork, but we knew it was going to happen. We didn't know how much it was going to happen. It could go you could hit a jumper that went 10 yards farther, you could hit a jumper that goes 30 or 40 yards farther. And how does it know? You don't know.

Love this.

Q. I presume it's health reasons that caused you to play this championship intermittently in the past few years. Have you given any thought to how much longer you might play as a past champion?

TOM WATSON: I'm restricted to age 60, which comes up in September, so I'll be playing St. Andrews. That will be my last Open Championship, unless I play well at St. Andrews or play well here and maybe have a sixth championship under my belt after Sunday. Now, that would be a story, wouldn't it? (Laughter.) You almost had that story last year with Greg Norman.
So I'm restricted by the rules of the R&A that I can't play anymore after 60 if I don't qualify.

Gee, you don't think he's just a tad sour about the whole age limit thing? As he should be.

Wednesday
Jul152009

"We have got fairways that are defined by the width of the bunkers on this golf course. They're not narrow."

Not the most scintillating R&A press conference Wednesday (though we are getting HD next year!), but at least questions were asked...unlike the U.S. Open session this year.

Peter Dawson on the setup:

On the point about the rough, the rough is very heavy here, as it is in all the links courses I've visited recently in Scotland and England; it's been that sort of growing season. We have got fairways that are defined by the width of the bunkers on this golf course. They're not narrow. They haven't been narrowed or widened. We have cut a little bit more semirough and second cut of rough totaling ten metres all together between the two sides of heavy rough. So we do think that the target area from the tee is adequate.

Obviously if we do get very strong winds, which at this time are not forecast, but if we do get very strong winds, that narrows the target. Hitting the fairways is going to be a premium this week. All the players have commented on how good they think the setup is, all the players I've spoken to, anyway. And I think we're very happy with it.

I'm looking forward to the telecast because the aerial flyovers ESPN posted on their preview show sure didn't look wide to me. Maybe the camera subtracts 10 yards of fairway.

Q. A decision about inclusion of golf in the Olympics is due to be made in the autumn, I understand. Is it likely that the scandal which happened yesterday will impact all that?

Are you kidding? Oh sorry, answer please Peter:

PETER DAWSON: Well, we're going to hear about golf in the Olympics and the decision on it, first of all, midAugust, when we'll know if golf is one of the recommended short lists, and then finally in October when it's voted on.

I don't think what Sandy Lyle has said this week will have any bearing on it whatsoever. The IOC are a pretty professional operation.

Alright let's not get carried away.

Q. Just sort of an interest going back to the pairings, how tempted were you to put Monty out with the Woods group and all those cameras?

Oy vey. Sorry, I interrupted again.

PETER DAWSON: As I say, there are many factors you take into account when you do a group.

Wednesday
Jul152009

"Talk about sticky wickets."

Final mop-up of the Lyle-Monty row includes this tough take from Steve Elling on the timing of the story.

Two highly respected European golf writers interviewed Lyle last week at the Scottish Open. During the broad conversation, Lyle made his unflattering characterization of Monty. Afterward, since it was a busy sports week in the U.K., the writers agreed not to publish the story until the British Open began, because they knew it always causes a stir whenever the word "cheating" and golf are associated. Last week, during an important cricket test match, it would have gotten buried in the sports section.

Talk about sticky wickets.

For UK readers, Lawrence Donegan posts the Jakartagate video.

And there was this classic Peter Alliss quote as reported by Mark Reason:

"It's a fact that if you're known as a cheat in golf, golfers ostracise you. You can be a womaniser, you don't pay your taxes, a whiff of BO – but he cheats at golf, oh Colombus, we don't want him in the club."

Wednesday
Jul152009

"Sharply Divided"

My Golf World story on the Sharp Park saga has been posted at GolfDigest.com. I'll take a closer look next week when the Open is behind us. But in the meantime, would love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday
Jul152009

''I shouldn't say this, but I have to be Trump"

Mark Wogenrich profiles Trump National Bedminster on the eve of hosting the boys and girls U.S. Junior Amateur.

Is the place U.S. Open-worthy? You decide.

Trump already has.

''I shouldn't say this, but I have to be Trump,'' he said. ''I know Bethpage [site of this year's U.S. Open] better than anybody. I've played it hundreds and hundreds of times. Honestly, these courses are better. That's not politically correct, but I don't care.''

Hundreds and hundreds of times eh?

Tuesday
Jul142009

XM Radio Open Championship Preview

Peter Kessler has me on his XM radio show Wednesday morning along with others to talk about the Open Championship. I believe you can hear the show at 10 a.m. EST/7 a.m PST by going to PGATour.com and accessing the XM radio link on the homepage.