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

There may possibly be some reader whose golf life has been so insulated and isolated that he or she does not know what is meant by the verb to yip. What it means is to be so overwhelmed by grotesque fear of missing a short putt as to lose control of the putter. That loss of control can take two basic forms: inability to move the putter at all, which was the affliction Ben Hogan suffered at the end of his career; or the putter, as if in the hands of demons, wildly stabs at the ball.
SANDY TATUM ("recovering yipper")

 

  

Wednesday
Aug192009

"Fate of Sharp Park Course In Limbo"

Wayne Freeman's KGO-TV News story on the fate of Sharp Park is worth watching if you have any interest in the fate of the affordable MacKenzie course I profiled for Golf World a few weeks ago.

You'll see the diversity of the paying customers there, the beauty of the place and an unfortunate no-show by the environmentalists who so desperately want it closed (they aren't shy about posting comments on KGO's website, just afraid to say what they feel on camera).

Wednesday
Aug192009

"If he’s not getting what he needs from Haney then he’ll move on, just as he did in dumping Butch."

I think someone with the initials A.S. is going to be hearing from Hank Haney!

After the final round Woods laid all the blame on his putting, which isn’t really Haney’s department. It will be interesting to see what happens with them. Tiger turned to Haney after getting skunked in the majors in 2003. Going oh-fer-’09 will certainly lead to another period of self-examination. Bottom line is Tiger has won the Masters with three different swings. He can be dominant without a swing coach, but he’s a tinkerer who needs to be working on something to stay engaged. If he’s not getting what he needs from Haney then he’ll move on, just as he did in dumping Butch. The name I keep hearing as a would-be successor is Dale Lynch, the low-key Aussie who has worked with Geoff Ogilvy, among many others. But that's just press room conjecture, so take it for what it's worth, which isn't much.

Except for a few text messages.

Tuesday
Aug182009

Rough and the PGA

You may recall that before the PGA I suggested that we would find out this year whether the clever, low rough setup at Southern Hills was an abberation or whether the less nuanced, high-rough hackout nonsense seen at Oak Hill and Oakland Hills was more typical of the modern PGA Championship.

I think Hazeltine provided an answer.

John Huggan fleshes out the complaints of Geoff Ogilvy, first reported in Monday's papers.

Anyway, last week followed the usual pattern and was pretty much summed up by the shots Tiger Woods hit to the last two greens in the final round. Both were beautifully struck and both missed the putting surface by inches. And both left the game's best-ever player, a man possessed of a wondrous touch, playing the same shot every 15-handicapper would attempt: the "hacking hit and hope."

I loved Y.E. Yang's win and it's wonderful for the game. In no way is this meant to take away from his courage down the stretch. But like past high rough majors, this one will always have that taint of "what if" they had simply topped off the rough Wednesday, or even just trimmed it enough on the weekend after it became so obvious that the greenside rough was not adding to the test, but instead, injecting chance. As Huggan writes...

This, folks, is not what golf is supposed to be about. As Ogilvy pointed out in the wake of what was a generally disappointing personal performance, "the difficulty of your shot should be dictated by the position the ball is in, not the lie that the ball is in."

Of course that is a tricky one since you are talking about a course that has almost no strategic reward for being on a particular side of the fairway. Still, Ogilvy's point should guide the PGA when it comes to how they treat their rough. We've seen how Mike Davis and the USGA keep their roughs uniform throughout tournament play just to prevent the lie of the ball becoming such an overriding factor, as it was for Tiger on the last two holes.

More of Ogilvy on the rough and the places where it's length made no sense:

"Some shots that bounce next to the green, yet don't get into a bunker, are in this," he continued, his hands about six inches apart to indicate the depth of the grass. "I think you should have hard shots from good lies, not easy shots from bad lies. So if your greens are not good enough to defend themselves without six inches of rough, then your greens aren't good enough. You don't need six-inch rough at Augusta or Oakmont, although they grow it. You don't need it at Pinehurst or Royal Melbourne or Shinnecock Hills. And if you don't have greens like that, then let the guys make birdies."

The PGA of America seems to acquiesce to Midwest clubs where the hard=good mentality overwhelms all rational decision making. So I suppose in that sense it's a miracle that Haigh was able to pull off what he did at No. 14, where the driveable par-4 setup produced some of the tournament's lone risk-reward decision making.

But I still marvel that a setup as flawless and praised at Southern Hills does not continue to be looked at as a model for the PGA. Particularly as the USGA has shown the last few years that nothing is lost by keeping rough as a 1/2 shot penalty where recovery play is seen as more than acceptable, but in fact, necessary to the overall "test" of golf.

Tuesday
Aug182009

"Of all the people you are going to offer things to, you certainly wouldn't want to approach the ex-partner."

An unbylined Scottish Herald story on a "hapless crook" getting 60 days for trying to sell a set of stolen golf clubs to their owner's estranged wife.

The court was told that the owner of the golf clubs had spoken to his former partner and had mentioned he had been the victim of a crime.

He told her his prized set of clubs had been taken and she was stunned when Hill turned up to try and sell them to her at her market stall.

Hill, 28, of MacDonald Crescent, Blairgowrie, Perthshire, admitted resetting a quantity of household goods, including a lawnmower, at Parkview, Parkhill Road, Blairgowrie, on July 27.

He also admitted that on the same day at East Ward Cottage, Parkhill Road he reset a quantity of power tools, garden equipment and the set of golf clubs.

The total estimated value of the stolen goods was thought to be around £868, although the specific value of the golf clubs was not given in court.

Solicitor Paul Ralph, defending, said: "Of all the people you are going to offer things to, you certainly wouldn't want to approach the ex-partner.

Well, it depends on how the marriage ended! Maybe she would love to buy the clubs, break them into two and then give them back to the ex? I'm just saying...

Tuesday
Aug182009

"The country-club softies who have made a habit of lying down for Woods have collectively done little farming and spent even less time guarding naval installations"

Fun to see that both SI and Golf World's game stories touched on Y.E. Yang's toughness in fending off Tiger Woods.

Jim Moriarty for Golf World:

The son of a farmer and once a sergeant in the South Korean Army, Yang was the only contender who ever wore a uniform or carried a weapon, so you had to figure the son of an American Special Forces officer probably had a pretty good idea all along he wasn't playing Mary Poppins.

Alan Shipnuck for SI Golf Plus, writing about Yang:

A knee injury at 18 ended his heavy-duty weightlifting, and he found his way to a local driving range, where he giddily whacked balls into a net with a baseball grip. Self-taught with instructional videos, Yang was breaking par within three years but his development was slowed when he served almost two years of compulsory military service. (The country-club softies who have made a habit of lying down for Woods have collectively done little farming and spent even less time guarding naval installations.)

And in a non-game story, Tim Rosaforte fleshes out the Yang story. I enjoyed this most:

This time, Montecinos stuck as Yang's caddie. The Buick Invitational was their first tournament. After the AT&T National Pro-Am, Montecinos drove Yang in his Mitsubisi Gallant with 160,000 miles on the odometer from Pebble Beach to LAX in Los Angeles. Along the way, Yang asked Montecinos how much he owed on the clunker and how much on his house. When Montecinos told him $10,000 and $150,000, respectively, Yang made like he was doing two air pushups. "OK, Yang make two million, we pay," Yang said. After winning the Honda he told Montecinos, "See, I told you."

The car was taken care of after the Honda and the mortgage was handled at the PGA. "I don't see much of a barrier; he understands more than he gets credit for," Montecinos said. "I call him Mr. Yang. He calls me Mr. Bean because he says I remind him of the English comic who doesn't speak."

Tuesday
Aug182009

There's No "Mr. and Mrs. Wie" In Team!

Jim Gorant reports that the parents have been told they weren't welcome in the Solheim Cup team and locker rooms.

Tuesday
Aug182009

President's Cup Update And Thought Bubble Help

Brian Wacker sums up the Couples-Norman press conference, which included Couples saying that Lucas Glover and Hunter Mahan are his likely picks, while Norman says Adam Scott isn't even on his radar as a captain's pick.

The story included this photo that really cries out for some thought bubbles for each captain. In lieu of that, captions will do.

Tuesday
Aug182009

Aus Open Officials Confident Daly Too Weak To Repeat Last Year's Camera Chuck

Assured that John Daly's 600 daily calorie intake will sap his strength and prevent a repeat of last year's Durham Bulls tryout Down Under, Golf Australia announced that he will be in the field at New South Wales Golf Club from Dec. 3-6.

Tuesday
Aug182009

"An argument could be made that what the world witnessed Monday was the latest -- and perhaps greatest -- example of the market phenomenon known for a decade as the Tiger Effect."

Spotted by John Strege, this is disturbing on a level I can't even begin to describe. Ty Wenger at TheStreet.com:

Indeed, an argument could be made that what the world witnessed Monday was the latest -- and perhaps greatest -- example of the market phenomenon known for a decade as the Tiger Effect.

One of any number of so-called celebrity market effects, the Tiger Effect has held arguably the most credibility over the course of the past 10 years. (If the golf-obsessive traders of the world are obsessed with any one individual, it is surely Tiger Woods. Just ask their wives.)

Those who doubt the legitimacy of the Tiger Effect need only consider that last June, during the dramatic U.S. Open Monday-afternoon playoff round between Woods and journeyman pro Rocco Mediate, the volume on the New York Stock Exchange dropped from an average of 781.5 million shares, between noon and 4 p.m., to a mere 709.9 million shares traded during the same time period.

So not only does the game lean hard on Tiger to save it from itself, now the markets too?

And we use these markets as a barometer? God help us!

Tuesday
Aug182009

ESTMATED 35.7 MILLION SUFFER THROUGH ALL-OR-PART OF CBS SPORTS’ COVERAGE OF 2009 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP

And survey's report a record spike in DVR sales directly attributed to CBS's promo-cluttered, commercial-heavy, golf-light broadcast.

ESTMATED 35.7 MILLION WATCH ALL-OR-PART OF CBS SPORTS’ COVERAGE OF 2009 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP, UP 88%

An estimated 35.7 million viewers (Persons 2+) watched all-or-part of CBS Sports’ coverage of the 2009 PGA Championship, up +88% from last year, according to Nielsen Media Research. The Network’s coverage of the third and final rounds of this year’s PGA Championship on Saturday, Aug.15 and Sunday, Aug.16 was the most watched since 2002 when 40.8 million watched all-or-part of the PGA Championship. This year’s 35.7 million was up from last year’s 19.0 million, and up +12% from 31.8 million in 2007.

CBS Sports’ final-round coverage was seen in all-or-part by 29.0 million viewers, up +87% from last year’s 15.5 million, and up +14% from 25.5 million in 2007. This year’s 29.0 million viewers was the largest number of viewers to watch all-or-part of CBS Sports’ final-round coverage of the PGA Championship since 30.0 million in 2002.

Tuesday
Aug182009

"It was only a short putt, but I thought Tiger’s early departure was pretty bush."

Alan Shipnuck answers a reader question about Tiger's gamesmanship ploys at Hazeltine, adding a couple more possible incidents to our list.

“Is it just me or did Tiger employ a little bit of gamesmanship in an effort to intimidate Yang? On one hole he was standing in Yang's field of vision while Yang was putting instead of standing behind him. On another occasion Yang missed a putt and was walking up to tap in when Woods walked into his space as if to try to force Yang to mark. I can imagine Tiger's reaction if a playing partner in the last round of a major encroached on his space.”

Good spots, and to that list you can add a couple of times when it seemed like Woods was crowding Yang on the tee box. The most egregious thing I saw came on 17. As soon as Yang’s par putt peeled by the hole Woods stomped off toward the 18th tee. It’s bad form not watch your partner putt out, especially if you’re Tiger, because as soon as he bolted thousands of fans and innumerable jabronis inside the ropes started moving with him even as Yang still faced his bogey try. It was only a short putt, but I thought Tiger’s early departure was pretty bush.

Monday
Aug172009

“When we urged him to go into farming, he would say: ‘I’m not going to live like my father"

There's plenty of great reporting the day after Y.E. Yang's improbable PGA win covering an array of topics.

Rich Lerner talks to Yang's agent Michael Yim and fleshes out quite a bit about the champion's life story, as well as the inevitable talk of cashing in.

I inquired about the size of the windfall that should come to Yang.

“It’s so unfortunate. He won at such a bad time for the economy. The value of his win is way up here,” Yim said, holding his hand as high as he could above his head. “But the market is down here,” and now he bent over and put a hand near the ground. “The challenge for me is going to be to bring that market up to meet this incredible win.”

Larry Dorman considers the ramifications of Yang's win, talking to Ty Votaw and noting this:

Yang, a 37-year-old from Seoul, South Korea, is an appealing character, with a back story tailored to those gauzy Olympic featurettes. A late bloomer from a modest background, Yang taught himself to play starting at age 19, pounding balls at the ubiquitous double-decked driving ranges that dot the landscape in Seoul.

That a golfer could spring from a background so unusual at a relatively advanced age and earn a spot on the PGA Tour is storybook enough. That he could win a regular tour event, as he did in the spring at the Honda Classic, is surprising. That he could do what he did on Sunday has taken surprise to another level of meaning.

James Corrigan writes:

After watching YE Yang lift the Wanamaker Trophy, Joe Steranka, the chief executive of the PGA of America, said: "Earlier this week, I said the addition of golf to the Olympics would be the single biggest thing to accelerate the growth of the game. I stand corrected..." Meanwhile, the Australian major-winner Geoff Ogilvy said: "It's hard for us here in the US to imagine the impact this will have."

Peter Dixon in The Times:

It is estimated that there are about 250 golf courses in Korea, with about three million players. The game is expensive to play and is considered to bestow social status. It is encouraging, however, that Yang and K. J. Choi, the first Korean to win on the PGA Tour in the US, come from humble backgrounds. There is every chance that they will have sparked a boom.

Karen Crouse says the Yang hype is nice, but...

It was, frankly, a little like hearing Alan Shepard lauded for being the first person to walk on the moon. The Neil Armstrong of golf, the Asian who aimed for the moon and reached it over a decade before Yang, was Se Ri Pak. In 1998, Pak, then a 20-year-old rookie on the L.P.G.A. Tour, won four tournaments, including two majors.

An unbylined AP report tells us about Yang's family and their reaction to the win, including quotes from his father who initially did not approve of Y.E.'s desire to play golf.

Yang’s father admits trying to pressure his son to join him in the fields.

“I had no idea what golf was — that’s why I was opposed to golf,” he told The Associated Press during an interview interrupted every few minutes by calls from well-wishers.

But Yang’s mother, Ko Hee-soon, said Yang was always determined to leave their tough life behind.

“When we urged him to go into farming, he would say: ‘I’m not going to live like my father,”’ she recalled, beaming. Ko said they would throw a party to celebrate his victory, which came shortly after sunrise Monday from half a world away in Chaska, Minnesota.

ESPNChicago.com shares this from caddy A.J. Montecinos.

Montecinos, 35, is a Chicago native who first worked with Yang, 37, in 2007. And despite the fact Yang, who is South Korean, doesn't speak fluent English, the pair is communicating very successfully.

"It's not very [difficult]," Montecinos said. "He understands a lot more than we give him credit for.

"He comes up to the ball and says, 'What thinking?' I tell him what I'm thinking, how far it is to the edgey, which is the front edge. He says, '7 ok?' I say, 'Yeah.' He says, 'Windy, where from?' I tell him, and we go."

Mark Reason brings up the delicate subject of Tiger's putting and wonders if perhaps inevitable age is creeping into his stroke.

People have been reluctant to believe this over the years, but Tiger is the greatest of all time because of his putting. He has been a genius on the green. In the final round of the PGA Woods took 33 putts. But it has been noticeable for a couple of years now that Tiger's putting has been ebbing and yesterday we could see the tidemark.

And I don't know how long it'll stay up, but if you want to relive the final hole, this video is posted on YouTube. Note how CBS sets up the dilemma facing Yang on the 18th fairway by going to a graphic on the majors this year. Really gave us a sense of how much the tree would come into play, the magnitude of the shot and the dynamic as the leaders faced the 72nd hole!

 

Monday
Aug172009

CBS Scores Ratings Spike In Spite Of Awful Coverage

Despite relentlessly plugging CBS shows and having almost nothing prepared to tell us more about Y.E. Yang, the network scored the highest PGA ratings since 2002.

RATINGS SOAR AS CBS SPORTS’ COVERAGE OF 2009 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP RANKS AS HIGHEST-RATED FINAL ROUND SINCE 2002

Final Round Rating Up 150% From Last Year

CBS Sports’ final-round coverage of the 2009 PGA Championship on Sunday, Aug. 16, which saw Y.E. Yang overtake Tiger Woods, scored in the ratings by earning an average overnight household rating/share of 7.5/17, up +150%, ranking it the highest-rated final round of the PGA Championship in the metered markets since 2002 when Rich Beem beat Woods (8.0/17).

CBS Sports' final-round coverage of the 2009 PGA Championship was up +150% from 2008’s 3.0/6, and up +10% from 2007’s 6.8/15. Sunday’s final-round rating peaked at an 11.6/24 from 7:00-7:15, PM, ET.

This year’s PGA Championship final round was the second highest-rated of the four majors on Sunday in 2009:

Masters Final Round - 8.8/21 (CBS)
U.S. Open Third Round/Start of Final Round - 5.1/12 (NBC)
British Open - 3.9/12 (ABC)

CBS Sports' third-round coverage of the 2009 PGA Championship on Saturday, Aug. 15 earned an overnight household rating/share in the metered markets of 4.9/13, up +390% from last year’s rain-delay coverage which earned a 1.0/2; and up +7% compared to a 4.6/12 in 2007. Saturday’s third-round rating peaked at 5.6/13 from 6:30-7:00 PM, ET.

This year’s PGA Championship third round was the second highest-rated of the four majors on Saturday in 2009:

Masters Third Round - 5.7/13 (CBS)
U.S. Open Second/Third round - 3.7/9 (NBC)
British Open - 2.4/7 (ABC)

* * * * *

CBS Sports’ two-day average for the 2007 PGA Championship earned an average household overnight rating/share of 6.2/15.

Overall, this year’s 6.2/15 ties with 1999 as the third-highest rating for the PGA Championship two-day average in the metered markets dating back to 1986. This year’s 6.2/15 tied with 1999 (6.2/16) (Tiger’s first PGA Championship win); and trailed 2000’s 8.0/19 (Tiger’s second PGA Championship win) and 2002’s 6.7/15.

This year’s 6.2/15 also is the second-best two-day average for the PGA Championship in the metered markets since a 6.7/15 in 2002.

Sadly, the relentless plugs for the 60 Minutes interview--including the video clip as the leaders were on the dangerous 16th hole--paid off with a ratings bump for the show. Warms my heart that the fourth major continues to serve as a strong lead-in for 60 Minutes.

At Golfweek.com Martin Kaufman notes that "as long as CBS stayed on the air this past weekend, it was certain to post through-the-roof ratings," yet after that flattery, calls the coverage "perfectly serviceable, if unspectacular."

If that's serviceable, we're in trouble.

I'm going to venture to guess that if NBC were handling the PGA, we would have gotten far more on Y.E. Yang. Probably a Tim Rosaforte "tour insider" segment talking to a studio host about the man, all the while adding a bit of dignity to the proceedings by simply having a host to give the announce team time for a bathroom break.

What we got was mostly a lot of Tiger talk with the assumption that Yang would collapse like so many other past challengers, sandwiched into standard tour event faire like FedEx Cup standings, Cialis-sponsored flashbacks and almost no sense of urgency.

And while NBC certainly slips in their share of promos, I'm pretty sure they would not go to a video clip of a convicted dog killer as the two leaders reached a wild, wacky, weird, and dare I say it, the dreaded signature hole.

Monday
Aug172009

Acushnet Wins New Trial, Lawyers Rejoice!

E. Michael Johnson first reported at GolfDigest.com that a federal appeals court tossed the Callaway-ProV1 patent infringement verdict and ordered a new trial on the patent infringement case and rescinded the sales injunction.

David Dawsey posts the decision PDF and offers a few comments.

Monday
Aug172009

"What was up with Steve Williams coming off the 13th tee yesterday?"

I haven't seen anything in the first round of stories about some of the possible gamesmanship and perhaps tension that was part of the Tiger Woods-Y.E. Yang.  Several readers have posted or emailed about this incident on the 13th, including reader Cam:

What was up with Steve Williams coming off the 13th tee yesterday? He was wagging his finger and really speaking his mind to somebody. I couldn't tell if he was trying to pump up Tiger after a good tee shot on the par 3 or was getting on Yang's for some percieved lapse in etiquette.

Anyone know who Stevie was upset with? After all, it's so out of character for him.

There were other awkward moments.

  • On 15 green, Tiger stood in an odd spot between Yang's line and the greenside bunker, prompting CBS's Ian Baker Finch to note the obvious gamesmanship on Tiger's part.
  • After putting out for par, Yang rudely tossed his ball into the grandstand from the green, causing a stir before Tiger's birdie putt. Intentional shot back at Tiger? Me thinks so.
  • On 16 green Yang opted to putt out even though his ball was in Tiger's line, and Tiger was visibly not pleased after walking to the ball and then turning back to his waiting spot.
  • After putting out on 18, several of Stevie's beloved bib stripping fans have emailed to note that he did not shake Yang's hand. Now, the moment was a bit wild and Yang was celebrating. Williams may have congratulated him back by the scorers tent. Hard to really say it was an intentional slight.

Hopefully some of the weeklies will touch on what looked like a bit of tension out there.

Monday
Aug172009

Yang Ball On Ebay...

...not the one you are thinking. You know which one I'm talking about. The ball he tossed in the crowd on 15 after putting out, to the delight of Tiger who still had to putt.

Thanks to reader Morg for this. I think I know what I'm getting Tiger for Christmas, even if the bids start at $4,999.

Monday
Aug172009

"You enhanced our people's morale by winning the major title for the first time as an Asian."

AP's Kwang-Tae Kim tracks down Y.E. Yang's family and reports that the president called Yang. Photos are posted with the story showing billboard photos that have already been erected.

Golf is huge in South Korea, which in recent years has produced a number of top female players. But the top ranks had until now evaded Asia's men.

Even South Korea's president, Lee Myung-bak, watched the tournament live on TV. He later phoned Yang to offer his congratulations.

"I woke up at dawn today to watch the broadcast, and you played in a calm manner," Lee told Yang, according to the president's office. "First of all, you enhanced our people's morale by winning the major title for the first time as an Asian."

Sunday
Aug162009

2009 PGA Championship Clippings: Final Round Whoa Nellie, Y.E. Yang Wins Edition

They'll be slicing and dicing this one for a while.

From Tiger's post round take, to Yang's dynamic personality and epic shot on 18, to the gamesmanship or lack thereof, and to that silly rough around the greens to the CBS exec who insisted on showing us a Michael Vick clip as the leaders reached the terrifying 16th, the 91st PGA that was looking like a typical Tiger coronation turned into one for the ages.

Get ready to scroll and click...

Lede Watch - Reporter Division

Doug Ferguson filing for AP:

In a year of spoilers at the majors, Y.E. Yang was the biggest of all. He toppled the mighty Tiger Woods.

There's also some great video at the link of Yang hoisting his bag before Alex Miceli puts his grubby mitts all over the Wannamaker.

Unbylined from Seoul's Gook-Min Ilbo newspaper:

바람의 아들' 양용은(37.테일러메이드)이 한국인 최초로 메이저골프대회를 제패하며 한국골프의 역사를 새로 썼다.

Now that is one tight lede.

Larry Dorman in the New York Times:

Y. E. Yang, ranked No. 110 in the world, took on No. 1 Tiger Woods and never blinked.

Lawrence Donegan, writing for The Guardian:

The final day of the 2009 US PGA Championship at Hazeltine yesterday provided the epic battle everyone had predicted and a challenger to Tiger Woods that no one could have foreseen.

Mark Lamport-Stokes for Reuters:

South Korean Yang Yong-eun entered territory where no Asian male had gone before when he upstaged Tiger Woods by winning the U.S. PGA Championship by three strokes on Sunday.

Mark Reason in the Telegraph:

Y E Yang became the first Asian man to win a major and he did it by beating Tiger Woods down the stretch. That’s a bit like Manny Pacquiao knocking out Muhammad Ali in the 15th round.

Derek Lawrenson in the Daily Mail:

A major championship year notable for delivering surprise results came up with the biggest of the lot when Korean Y.E Yang beat Tiger Woods to the US PGA title to become the first Asian to win one of the four glittering prizes.

Karl MacGinty in the Belfast Telegraph:

Tiger Woods' search for a 15th major victory will have to go on after world number 110 YE Yang stormed to victory in the 91st US PGA Championship.

James Corrigan in the Independent:

Asian golf was last night celebrating a historic first victory in a male major as YE Yang was crowned the USPGA champion. But for the rest of the world it was the defeat of Tiger Woods, and the destruction of part of his aura, which was sure to attract the more sensational headlines. Believe it, this was also a historic day in the Tiger legend.

And my favorite fittingly comes from the hometown paper. Tad Reeve in the Pioneer Press:

Hazeltine National Golf Club can stop fretting about Dave Hill's cornfield-and-cows crack four decades ago. After Sunday, it will be better known as Tiger Woods' unofficial burial ground.


Lede Watch - Columnist Division

Gary Van Sickle writes for golf.com:

And so ends the Year of the Buzzkill. Korea's Y.E. Yang made sure the major championship season concluded just as it began-in disbelief, disappointment and discombobulation.

Gene Wojciechowski goes all Jack Buck on us for ESPN.com:

I can't believe what I just saw.

I can't believe I just saw Y.E. Yang win the PGA Championship. I can't believe I just saw Tiger Woods lose it.

Peter Dixon for The Times:

It seems churlish to mention it at such a time, but the 2009 season will not go down as a classic in terms of the major championships. What odds would you have got on a fourball made up of Angel Cabrera, Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink and Yang Yong Eun waltzing off with, in order, the Masters, the US Open, the Open and the US PGA Championship? Pretty good ones is the answer.

Bob Harig for ESPN.com:

The lesson is simple. It has just taken a while to grasp. For all of the consternation over the lack of challengers to Tiger Woods, we have failed to look in the proper place.

The biggest threats come from those who are household names only in their own households, who are given odds of prevailing that are longer than Lake Superior, who somehow muster the moxie at the moment when others melt.

John Hopkins, writing for The Times:

The world of golf has turned on its axis as a result of Yang Yong Eun’s stunning victory at Hazeltine.


Y.E. Yang - The Winner

Y.E. Yang's press conference where his personality came out despite the potential for filtering from his agent. And his Honda Classic presser from earlier this year, or as Tiger called it, the win in "West Palm." Still a Buick man at heart.

Steve Elling opens his piece with an early year anecdote about the self-effacing Yang that speaks to his wonderfully original personality.

Michael Buteau on caddie A.J. Montecinos a sobbing Young Ju Yang, wife to the champion.

David Dusek on what's in Yang's bag, including the 19 and 21 degree hybrids which appeared to be oh so handy. Wonder if he clears the trees on 18 with a traditional 3 iron?

Randell Mell writes for GolfChannel.com:

Yang, 37, will forever be South Korea’s version of Francis Ouimet, the former American caddie who took down legendary Brits Harry Vardon and Ted Ray at the 1913 U.S. Open in one of the greatest upsets in history. His victory with Woods in the field at the European Tour’s HSBC Champions Tournament in China in 2006 makes him golf’s only Tiger Tamer.

The SI conglomerate of golfing nation brands debates the impact of Yang's win with guest Ty Votaw,who quietly reminds us that new Kapalua sponsor SBS is going to be pretty happy next January. This was also interesting:

Not sure you can say "Golf in Asia was already big." Maybe so in Japan, where 8 percent of the population plays golf, and maybe in Korea, which has 46 players on the LPGA Tour. But in most other parts of Asia, and especially in China, golf is growing, but not big. In fact, golf in China is considered more of a leisure activity than it is a sport. Y.E. Yang's win and the Olympic news could change that perception overnight.

Tiger Woods - Shocking Runner Up Division

Tiger's press conference where some suggest he's sounding like a man in denial, which I can see. But I also think he's sounding like a real gentleman who declined to blame his win on really chintzy hack-out rough next to the greens.

A Golfweek video package shows what it was like to follow Tiger and Yang in those 15-deep crowds.

Thomas Bonk writes for GolfDigest.com:

His body language spoke volumes. And let's just say the rigid posture, the tight-lipped expression and the straight-ahead look pretty much screamed out loud.

Tiger was not happy and he wasn't going to spend any more time around this place than he needed to -- which would mean, well, no time at all. Woods was going places, fast. The private jet back to Florida was probably already revving its engines on the runway, waiting for him to jump in, plop down in the leather seat, sit back, close his eyes and spend the next several hours thinking about how he had lost the PGA Championship to Y.E. Yang.

Cameron Morfit for golf.com on the post round exit:

After Woods bogeyed the last two holes to lose to Yang by three shots, he met with the media and blamed his faulty putting, then went to the parking lot and hugged his wife, Elin, who handed over their 7-month-old son, Charlie. After a lengthy car-seat transfer from Elin's courtesey Mercedes into Tiger's Buick, Team Tiger's motorcade left Hazeltine.

No truth to the rumor that their headlights were on.

A large crowd watched from a barricade by the parking lot, stunned at what had transpired over the final nine. Yang: 34. Woods: 37. It was as if we were waiting for Tiger to lean out the driver's side window and yelp, "Just kidding!"

Yang shocks Woods! It reads like a headline from The Onion.

Rich Lerner's wrap up essay for Golf Channel:

Over the course of a long career, this was going to happen; he was never going to run the table. He only made it seem that way, to his everlasting credit.

He’s still the surest, safest bet in sports. He’s still well ahead of pace to break Jack Nicklaus' record.

And the next time he takes a two-shot lead into a final round, he’ll be as much of a favorite as he’s always been. But not invincible.


Padraig Harrington - Who Won't Be Selling Wedge Game Videos Anytime Soon

Dave Kindred on the 8 on 8 and the post round discussion that lasted 30 minutes.

Here, someone asked about an eerily similar meltdown just last week when he twice hit shots into the pond by the 16th green at Firestone Country Club, handing that tournament to Woods. "You folks do ask some questions, don't you?" he said. "As I said, these things happen. But I'm not going to mull over them."

Jon Krawcynzki features this bizarro quote about the 8 in his AP story:

“It was a difficult tee shot and it was obviously a difficult second shot after you hit it in the water and pulled it left,” Harrington said. “I had been changing my chipping action a little, and I probably was more into what I was doing rather than trying to get the ball up-and-down, and you know, I hit a bad shot. So these things happen.”

Philip Reid with a Tiger gym sighting and a Q&A with Padraig that is disturbing on a level I can't begin to describe. Favorite hole, the 5th at Pebble Beach!? Never paid a green fee? Dream foursome: Obama, McCain and gulp, Hugh Hefner?


The Others and Miscellaneous Notes, Quotes and Anecdotes

AP Notes on Phil, Glover, qualifiers for next year, Sean O'Hair's super fast round (really) and Jim Furyk.

Peter Dixon on another missed opportunity for Lee Westwood.

Randell Mell on Fred Couples hoping that Amy Mickelson returns to golf at the Presidents Cup.

And because I know CBS just forgot, here are the final Presidents Cup teams on points.

Low club pro Greg Bisconti files his final diary piece for GolfDigest.com and reveals that he had a little speech prepared for a Tiger win. I'm sure CBS would have loved that!

Mark Soltau's lipouts compiles the best quotes of the day.

Weinman and Johnson's birdies and bogeys include this follow up on the Irish Bookmaker Paddy Power:

Bogey: Irish Bookmaker Paddy Power -- The betting agency puts out a press release stating it took a major hit. Not on those who backed Yang (who was 150 to 1 at the start and still 16-1 on Sunday), but because it had offered an early payout option on Woods after he took a four-shot lead after 36 holes. The bookmaker said it lost $2.1 million pounds to those who cashed in early, commenting, "It takes a special kind of dimwit to turn what should have been our best ever golf result into our worst."


The Golf Course

Tad Reeve talks to Hazeltine super Jim Nicoi, who overcame 6 inches of rain in the Friday and Saturday before the tournament and several more scares during the week, including Sean O'Hair Sunday chasing the crew.

David Dusek talks to Geoff Ogilvy who gives the PGA and Hazeltine a big thumb's down for the silly rough around the greens.

Ogilvy said that the 2004 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits was the most enjoyable PGA Championship he's ever played.

"It's probably the least likely place where we play where they could ruin the setup," he said. "There are some very long tees we didn't play last time, but as far as propagating and harvesting absurd rough, which they seem to have done the last two years in the PGA, I just don't think Whistling Straits is a place where they are going to do that. I really enjoyed that PGA, but the others ones have been harder to enjoy because if you miss the green by a foot, you can have nothing."

Come on, Tiger found his ball on 17 and 18 just inches off the fringe!

Andrew Both also featured this from Ogilvy:

"The difficulty of your shot, in my opinion, should be (dictated by) the position it's in, not the lie it's in.

"I don't like how you can hit it in the same spot and one guy's got no chance and the other's perfect.

"Every player in the world comes off and says it's not the way of forwarding golf yet they keep doing it.''

 

Imagery

SI's final round images, GolfDigest.com shares the best of Getty Images. Golfweek's slideshow, minus music I can make fun of.

And finally, Dan Jenkins' Tweet O' The Day and hopefully not his last of 2009...

Sunday
Aug162009

Y.E. Yang Wins The PGA Championship!

Alright, Tiger Woods just said in his post round press conference that his execution was flawless, the putting wasn't. Brandel Chamblee on Golf Channel questioned some of Tiger's strategy and execution, particularly during Saturday's round.

But I'm most impressed with Y.E. Yang's toughness. Did anyone else think he responded like no one else has when some subtle gamesmanship came into the picture?

There was Tiger close-standing him or making sure he was in his vision over back nine putts at 15 and 16, with Yang countering by throwing his ball in the crowd before Tiger putted and then putting out on 16 before Tiger.

For me that was the best part of the day. Oh and the shot on 18 was kind of incredible too.

I can't wait to read some of the inside-the-ropes observations and see what the photographers captured in those epic final moments on 18 (SI's Fred Vuich's shot above left accompanying the first AP story is a nice start).

Your thoughts?

Saturday
Aug152009

2009 PGA Championship Clippings: The Final Round Got A Lot More Interesting Edition

A golf tournament broke out Saturday amidst commercial breaks. So before we get to the scribblers, a word about CBS from new Tweeter Lloyd Cole.

I don't know about the Paddy to win part, but on a day filled with so many holed putts, exciting chip-ins, big charges and a wild mix of old and fresh names coming out of the woods, Saturday's telecast felt like a nice tour event and most definitely not a major. And it's all CBS's doing.

Starting with the Cialis sponsored recap of Rich Beem's 2002 win, the relentless bumpers plugging CBS shows, the seemingly constant commercial breaks on top of breaks just seconds before, a meaningless FedEx Cup points standing list (hey how about that Presidents Cup, oh right...), the awful dentist office music, a tacky Mercedes logo on the leaderboard and Gary McCord lending a Buick Open air to the broadcast, you really get to see why the Lords of Augusta keep these guys on a tight leash. Too bad the PGA of America doesn't get tougher and demand a Players Championship-like presentation, because the quality of the broadcast cheapens the PGA as a major no matter how great a show the players put on.

Okay, now that I got that off my chest...gentlemen, boot your laptops...

Larry Dorman in the New York Times:

A swarm of challengers took aim at Tiger Woods in the third round of the P.G.A. Championship on Saturday, firing at flags and making enough putts and noise to let Woods know they were coming after his four-stroke lead.

Doug Ferguson leads this way: "Tiger Woods is one round away from winning another major, with more company than he wanted.

James Corrigan in the Independent:

So much for this major being over. Somebody forgot to tell Padraig Harrington. Or then again, they probably didn't. The Irishman just chose to ignore all the USPGA obituaries, re-insert those manic eyeballs of his and try for the charge of his life. Harrington picked himself up from the dead men and dared to challenge the immortal.

Lawrence Donegan in the Guardian:

Say what you like about the Hazeltine National golf course, and the critics have been queuing up over the last few days to slate its excessive length and lack of aesthetic appeal, but it sure knows how to serve up a tasty leaderboard to whet the appetite for the final round of a major championship.

Jeff Babineau says:

Strange as this may sound – deep breath, everyone – Tiger Woods may not quite be the lock we all believe he is. Sure, he’s a heavy favorite, but despite his words late Saturday – that his card was “clean” – Woods could not have been very pleased with his performance down the stretch at Hazeltine National. A third-round 71, even considering the wind, unearthed some flaws and accomplished little more than keeping Padraig Harrington and Y.E. Yang at arm’s length.

And this was a wacky revelation:

Ireland’s largest bookmaker, Paddy Power, believed Woods to be such a lock BEFORE he even teed off Saturday that it agreed to pay off all those punters holding Woods win tickets two days early, so that they could “get their cash now and enjoy the rest of the weekend on us!”

Gee, thanks. The pricetag: More than $2 million. Nice gesture, or a Paddy blunder?

Steve Elling looks at Padraig's plight heading into Sunday, and leads with this anecdote:

At that point in their respective careers, Padraig Harrington was 1 up over Tiger Woods, though the ledger has been adjusted somewhat since. He and a fellow amateur named Jody Fanagan teamed to beat Woods and his partner, leading the Great Britian and Ireland to a major upset of the U.S. at the Walker Cup.

But that's not the humorous part, at least not to me. Fanagan owns a chain of funeral homes,so Woods and his partner got body bagged by a policeman's son, Harrington, and a veritable mortician.

"My friend would not be happy with being called a mortician," Harrington laughed.

Thomas Bonk explores the inevitably-nauseating Padraig-Tiger bromance:

Woods has long considered Harrington to be a class act because of his professionalism and work ethic. And Harrington, like Woods, plays through pain, including this week while battling back spasm. You can be sure that Woods also respects Harrington for undertaking something as difficult as making a swing change while at the peak of his game -- because Woods has done the same thing.

Gary Van Sickle on Sunday's potential for excitement:

We don't care who gets it done. We want exactly the same thing that CBS wants — a good show. Tension. Drama. Heroics. A thrilling finish. Can anybody here hang with Tiger?

Harrington sympathizes, to a point. "I get the impression that there's a lot of people who are cheering me on and wanting me to push him (Tiger) along but they still want Tiger to win," he says. "They like the idea of, Let's support the underdog until he catches up, then we'll support Tiger again. That's fine with me. I'll serve my time."

Jon Krawcynski tells us about Y.E. Yang making the final pairing and shares this quote:

“With Woods, he’s won 70 times now, and I’ve won only won once,” Yang said through an interpreter. “So it’s sort of 70-to-1 odds. So I might as well go for broke as well.”

Gene Wojciechowski talks to other players about what Yang faces as Woods' playing partner and reminds us of another Tiger feat on the line Sunday: "No player has ever won at least one major in five consecutive years."

The re-ermergence of Ernie Els at a major inspired several. Scott Michaux on Els' run Saturday:

Els ended up shaving only one shot off of his deficit to Woods, sitting five back and tied for sixth with playing partner Soren Kjeldsen. If Els could have finished the day off with three pars, he would have teed off with Harrington immediately in front of Woods in the final round and given the world No. 1 the chase everyone is hungry to see.

"You could definitely feel that and could feel that there was a real championship going on here and it wasn't a runaway deal," Els said of the mood on the course Saturday before he and several other star challengers stumbled at the end. "It looked like a runaway thing at the end of [Friday] but it looks like the guys are set to really give Tiger a go here and the crowd could really sense that."

Dave Shedloski saw a fiery side to Els not seen in a long time.

Els slapped disgustedly at a sign Saturday after talking to reporters but appeared otherwise calm. He admits composure might be his biggest hurdle -- after his putting. Despite a 68 on Friday, the big South African was candid about nearly losing control after failing to hole short birdie opportunities to start the round.

"I could have been out of here," he said. "I almost lost my head a couple of times, so it's miraculous that I stayed in the process. I don't care how strong you are in the mind ... some of the putts I keep missing, you could be the Man Upstairs and you would be upset."

Bob Harig saw the same fire and notes this about Ernie's improved putting:

The three-time major champion from South Africa, who has won more than 60 times around the world, switched to a Callaway putter that has been made to look and feel like an old model he used when having success in the 1990s.

The switch has given him hope, even if the ball is not disappearing. He ranks 157th on the PGA Tour this year in putting.

David Kindred on Alviro Quiros who CBS showed plenty of...well, putting mostly.

His playing partner Saturday, the American John Rollins, didn't know much more than this about Quiros: "He told me I was likely to see the ball in lies that I didn't know existed." Which is to say Quiros always hits it a long way but only sometimes knows its destination.

Mark Soltau's lipouts include this from Quiros:

"I couldn't say to the media. I enjoy being with my friends and the good weather where I live. I like surfing a little bit. I play soccer, basketball. I mean a little of all. I like sports." -- Quiros, on not wanting to say how he spends his off time, but coming clean anyway

Dan Jenkins was honored Saturday and the AP notes column quoted him:

“Somebody asked me, ‘How long are you going to do this,”’ the 79-year-old said. “I told them I’m not qualified to do anything else. I’ll be here until they carry me out. The message on my tombstone will be, ‘I knew this was coming.”’

David Axelrod and Mandrake the Magician offer their video thoughts and a Sunday preview. Governor William J. Le Petomane Richardson and Lex Luther fire up one more appearance with a downpour in the background and a shout out to the "blogosphere." (A plug would have been nice!).

Lex also interviews Kerry Haigh about his Saturday setup and asks if we'll someday see an 8,000 yard course at a major. Love Haigh's answer: hope not!

Weinman and Johnson's birdie/bogey package includes this tribute to those shrewd fans of the greater St. Paul area.

Bogey: Readers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press -- Saturday's edition included the results to a poll question as to which player would you most like to spend a week with: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, John Daly, Anthony Kim or Sergio Garcia. Hard as it is to believe, Daly won with 42.32 percent of the vote. Woods was second at 32.35 and Garcia, dead last at 3.25 percent. Daly over Woods? Come on, people!

Sunday's tee times, weather permitting because as Rex Hoggard reports there is even a chance for an unusual and very un-Baltusrol like re-pairing if poor weather arrives overnight. It'll be about 75 and no chance of rain here in LA where they'll never bring the PGA again. Just an FYI.

And the last word belongs to Mr. Jenkins: