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Books
  • 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
  • The Golf Book: Twenty Years of the Players, Shots, and Moments That Changed the Game
    The Golf Book: Twenty Years of the Players, Shots, and Moments That Changed the Game
    by Chris Millard
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • The Early Days of Pinehurst
    The Early Days of Pinehurst
    by Chris Buie
  • 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
  • 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
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir
    by Dan Jenkins
Classics
  • 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

There should be names for golf holes, but let them be significant and unique. The plains Indians never named their children until some incident in the child's life suggested fitting one. Frequently the real name waited until the individual was advanced in youth, or even a warrior, as was the case with Plenty Coups and Young Man Afraid of His Horses…there must be some outstanding feature or incident that will give to a hole an individuality that none other may enjoy. A.W. TILLINGHAST

 

    

Thursday
May242007

"The ball is the culprit"

CoreyPaavinwithUSBanktrophy.jpgThanks to reader John for spotting this Gary D'Amato column that I do believe, Wally, warrants a phone call to brother Fletcher to ask, "what gives?"

Then came titanium-headed drivers with lightweight graphite shafts and, most damaging to Pavin, golf balls that launched higher and spun less. Titleist stopped making its high-spin 384 ball after the 1995 season.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Pavin stopped winning.

"The ball is the culprit," he said. "The (new) balls don't spin as much, so therefore they won't curve as much. I had to try to adapt to that and I had a hard time adapting. I'm still working on it.

"Hitting the ball higher, which these balls allow you to do without them curving as much, is a lot of work for me. My bread and butter is a hard little fade and to put the ball up in the air and launch it is a scary thing for me. I'll be getting used to that the rest of my life, probably."

I do feel privileged to have been able to witness Pavin curving the ball around Riviera in the mid-90s.

Just when golfers such as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson started mashing balls out of sight with the new equipment, Pavin went into a tailspin. Sure, he gained a few yards off the tee, but he's still 185th and last on the PGA Tour in average driving distance (257.7 yards) and the gap between him and the bombers has widened while his shot-making skills have been negated.

But look how the game has grown, how rounds bog down while people wait to drive short par-4s and how much money golf course contractors make changing designs!

Thursday
May242007

Kostis: Fed Ex Cup "Failed" In Its Mission

Boy it's getting to where you can't get a positive thought out of Peter Kostis anymore! Peter, you must pick up that positive thinking book you recommended for me, because this kind of criticism is just so called for!

So far this season we have seen Paul Goydos, Charley Hoffman, Aaron Baddeley, Mark Calcavecchia, Boo Weekley and Scott Verplank all win PGA Tour events.

Don't get me wrong, each of these guys can play and deserved to win, but one of the selling points of the FedEx Cup was it would encourage better players to compete more often. It's failed in that mission. The allure of FedEx Cup points has not persuaded the game's best players to adjust their schedules; if anything, they have taken it easy in anticipation of a big push between the PGA Championship, the FedEx Cup playoffs and the Tour Championship itself. And that has opened the door for more and more players to not only get Top 10s, but also compete for wins.

The FedEx Cup has also created a greater separation between the Have's and the Have Not's amongst the tournaments. It was announced in April that the Masters will extend an invitation into the 2008 tournament to all winners of FedEx Cup events starting with this season's Verizon Heritage. Tournaments that are not a part of the FedEx Cup schedule—which is everything after the Tour Championship, which concludes September 16th—won't have that carrot to dangle in front of players who will not have qualified yet.

You know it doesn't bode well for the FedEx Cup when Norman Vincent Kostis is already declaring the FedEx Cup dead on arrival at the halfway point. And of course, his points are absolutely correct. Though they were made by many pundits long before the season even started.

Thursday
May242007

"With that tree in place, we were limited to 2,100 spectators [in the grandstand]."

Thanks to The Big K for this Gerry Dulac story on the distance explosion claiming another victim, albeit one tree, but it is fascinating how these things work.

The fallen tree was the lone sycamore that stood in a cluster of six trees -- known as the Oak Grove -- behind the 18th green and 10th tee. Oakmont president Bill Griffin said the tree was removed to allow for more grandstand space behind the final hole."It was going to be very difficult to build [a grandstand] around that tree to get the seating arrangements around the 18th green," Griffin said. "With that tree in place, we were limited to 2,100 spectators [in the grandstand]."

In the 1994 U.S. Open, Oakmont was able to seat 4,100 people in the grandstands around the 18th hole. But, because of the new back tees at Nos. 10 and 12, a grandstand could not be built on the left side of the 18th green this year.

At a special board of governors meeting May 14, Oakmont officials were not only concerned about fewer seats, but also the perception from television viewers that the tournament had outgrown the historic venue. By removing the tree, an additional 1,000 spectators can be seated around the green.

"We felt it was the right thing to do and we wanted to make sure it had the right look," Griffin said.


Thursday
May242007

McCabe On TPC Boston

The Boston Globe's Jim McCabe files the first review of Gil Hanse and Brad Faxon's TPC Boston redo. Unfortunately, no photos with the story online or at the club's web site.

Dramatic new bunkering with grass that falls back into the sand caught the group's attention at many holes, starting at the first, and a series of "chocolate drops," which are mounds of grass-covered dirt, now lend character to holes. Aesthetically, TPC Boston looks so much better than before that Hanse should be considered a miracle-worker. He has done what any great designer strives to do -- players will not only have to think their way around , they'll have to hit a variety of shots.

Of course, fickle PGA Tour players surely will critique the changes. Those involved are especially eager to hear the reaction to the par-4 fourth, changed from a goofy, dogleg right of 425 yards to a fairly straight and drivable par-4 of 299 yards -- but one that features a green that can't be more than 3,300 square feet and provides demanding shots from just off the green. So, fire away, laddies.

Dramatic, too, are the changes to the par-5 seventh, which now features a cross bunker roughly 140 yards from the green and creative greenside mounding, and to the par-5 18th, to which Hanse has added a strip of rough stretching out from a bunker. The par-3 16th? It is shorter, but now the green sits closer to the pond, so it's a more daunting shot. The par-4 17th? It might just be the best hole on the back nine, a brilliant piece of work that features one large grassy mound on each side of the fairway, but just enough room for those players who feel they can thread a draw between them.

Will some players moan? Sure. It's usually the second order of business at tournaments, after hopping into the courtesy car.

That's one part of the equation that isn't new.

Wednesday
May232007

Euro Tour Commits To Drug Testing

Lewaine Mair reports in the Telegraph that it would have started sooner if not for the PGA Tour "dragging its heels."

 

Wednesday
May232007

"The Overall Distance Standard is essentially the same"

I hate to even point these posts out by Banana and Gap over at GolfDigest.com, but when you insist on ignoring the costs of a technology race acknowledged by virtually every rational person of significance in the game, you do have to wonder.

The latest blog post is in response to Jack Nicklaus's recent remarks to ESPN.com's Gene Wojciechowski:

GOUGE: Sometimes you have an urge to tell someone to shut the frig up. What would we fix about the equipment, precisely, Jack? Reduce clubhead size? Wouldn't get it done because all my understanding of golf club engineering suggests that a smaller clubhead wouldn't revert to pre-1995 performance levels in terms of on-center hit performance. In other words, they wouldn't make drivers less hot than they currently are with one major exception. They'd be less hot for us choppers who hit it all over the face. Roll the ball back? To what, precisely? The Overall Distance Standard is essentially the same, updated based on clubhead speed and test driver specifications since it was established 30 years ago.

Essentially the same? Uh, 296.8 to 320 yards? Sort of like how Gouge (aka Mike Stachura) sports a handicap on the blog of 13.2 but is actually a 10.6, down from 12.7 a year ago.  I guess all numbers are fudgable!

Are balls better than they were 30 years ago? But it's not because the longest balls are going longer, it's because the longest balls can be used to hit finesse shots around the green. Thirty years ago those long balls couldn't do that. There is no question that a lot of rancor could have been avoided if the USGA had not allowed metal drivers. But there is no evidence to suggest the game has been critically damaged by technology. Are some courses too short for elite competitions? Sure. Big deal.

Remember, this is the same guy who said he wouldn't shed any tears if Winged Foot, Augusta and St. Andrews were left behind so that grown men can continue to shop unfettered by regulation.

Is the gap between pro and amateur too friggin' big, to paraphrase Nicklaus? Is the gap between beer league softball and Major League Baseball too big? Hasn't killed participation. Is the gap between Bobby Flay and me grilling turkey burgers on my Char-Broil in the backyard too big? I still do it, and I'm even inspired by him.

Yeah, but you aren't ripping up your backyard every summer to install a new barbeque to keep up with Bobby Flay either!

Are tour players crazy better and super longer than I'll ever be? Sure. But I can still par a hole that they might someday bogey. That's the game. And I'll tell you this: I'm certainly longer than I was 15 years ago. Which makes me no different than Fred Funk. We're playing the same game. They're just better than I am.

It's all about ME and my right to shop!

Wednesday
May232007

Stack and Tilt Follow Up, Vol. 2

vardon1_2.jpgBob Carney expands on the Stack and Tilt cover story with some cool photos of Harry Vardon.

Also, the Golf World story on Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett was in fact posted and contains some interesting anecdotes, including this quote from Jack Nicklaus:  

"I don't believe in a lateral shift," says Nicklaus. "Of course not. I believe in staying on the ball." Asked what he thinks about teachers who advocate a weight shift, he answers, "They don't know how to play."
The story also looks at the Mac O'Grady connection and at Dean Wilson's improvement thanks to Plummer and Bennett (and boy does Wilson have a pure move). Wilson was introduced to the duo by Grant Waite, a super cool guy who let me videotape his swing at Riviera during the L.A. Open when I was in college and who let me walk around with him during a practice round. (Well, it wasn't totally one-sided, he wanted to check his swing on tape!)

I mention this not only because it was something that probably doesn't happen too often today, but also because around the same time the lovely Jodie Mudd complained about me videotaping his swing from outside the ropes. While I was taping! Oh did I have fun showing that to people!

Wednesday
May232007

“This event is even bigger than The Players is in the United States."

Oh Vijay, break out the check book, it's time to give back to the PGA Tour's charity of your choice!

Thanks to Hawkeye for catching this article where Ponte Vedra resident Vijay Singh is talking about the BMW PGA in Europe:

“This event is even bigger than The Players is in the United States. This is a premier event in Europe and whoever wins here has to play good golf. They have made some major changes to the course so you can’t get away with hitting bad shots, and that’s the way it should be.

“The BMW PGA Championship is big and I would like to see a lot more Americans coming over and playing this tournament. I like to play in Europe. I have some good memories here – my son was born here and my career more or less started on The European Tour,” commented Singh on the eve of the first round at Wentworth Club in Surrey.

 

Wednesday
May232007

Only In San Francisco...

Thanks to reader Sean for this Isabel Wade, Jill Lounsbury and Sally Stephens SF Chronicle complaint about San Francisco city golf courses.

They write that the San Francisco city courses are only at 40% of capacity, and therefore they need to be converted into hiking trails. Of course, that's a pretty good number, right? Much more and they'd be a mob scene. To put it another way, the hiking trails they want so badly would lose their appeal at 40% "capacity." No? Anyway...

A 2004 Recreation Assessment Survey conducted by a national consultant for the Recreation and Park Department recommends that the city build 35 more soccer fields to bridge the gap. Recreational needs in San Francisco today are far different than those of 50 years ago, according to the same 2004 study. Survey respondents ranked golf 16th out of 19 on a list of desired types of recreation. In contrast, 76 percent of respondents wanted more hiking trails, followed by more community gardens.

At the same time, a 2003 National Golf Foundation study showed that only 15 percent of golfers in America are minorities and only 23 percent of golfers are women.

 Ah...I knew that was coming.

Golf hardly reflects the diversity of San Francisco compared to many other recreational activities that enjoy broader participation. In addition to hiking trails, city residents want more soccer fields, skate parks, basketball courts, lacrosse fields, dog runs and venues for Tai chi and disc-golf courses. Why aren't the needs of these users being fairly considered?

Venues for Tai chi? Don't they have enough Starbucks already?

There are many creative ideas for the use of one or more golf courses but the only option going to the Board of Supervisors is to lock up four golf courses under lease for 30 years. Sharp Park, the site of both a threatened and an endangered species, could be a wonderful nature center and restored wetland for the Bay Area, with new hiking trails open to all. Lincoln Park, right next door to the Presidio Golf Course, could be changed into a nine-hole course with the other half converted into a golf driving range. This would still leave acres for additional soccer fields, a dog run, hiking trails and perhaps an amazing event venue overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands on what is now the 17th hole.

Oh yeah, the world needs another wedding chapel. Especially one where the weather is so benign and pleasant.

Tuesday
May222007

Olazabal, McGinley To Spend Next 15 Months Being Asked "Will You Play As An Assistant Captain?"

Lawrence Donegan reports the story only a European writer could call news. They even held a press conference for this momentous occasion!

Tuesday
May222007

Stack and Tilt Follow Up, Vol. 1

The original post on Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer's teaching method received all sorts of intriguing comments, including someone signing under Andy's name (and sounding like him!).

After fiddling with the concept on the range a bit Sunday, I have to say I love backswing concept because I've never believed the traditional weight shift was a natural move (nor very easy on the right knee). But as for the downswing, I'm still not clear on what thought or sensation you want to trigger. So I have the same question as reader Mike Uysal, who wrote that Plumber and Bennett...

...advocates upward thrust of the buttock muscles while the arms are swinging down. MY QUESTION IS: As the body stands up through the soda can being crushed with the left leg (right hand player) - are the arms swinging down or is the trunk rotating left and tilting with arms close to the rib cage?

In other words, is it an arm swing or trunk rotation?

Anyone out there understand the question he/we are asking and have a thought? Because Lord knows, we all need more swing thoughts! 

Tuesday
May222007

Ogilvy Golf Digest Interview, Vol 3: "It’s just different."

ogilvy5.jpgGeoff Ogilvy's nuanced take on changes in the game as detailed in his Golf Digest interview with John Huggan:

You’ve criticized what has happened to the modern game. Is it that bad?

It’s just different. There’s a very large percentage of golfers who enjoy the game more with the large clubheads and the balls and all the rest of it. Playing with the old clubs was like driving an old car: They have a bit of charm about them. But it’s still nice to drive a new car with all the bells and whistles.

Is the modern game better or worse as a spectator sport? A lot of people think it’s less interesting to watch than even 10 years ago.

That’s true. But it has more to do with the way golf courses on tour play today rather than the equipment. The equipment is just the catalyst. The trouble is that 99.9 percent of golfers don’t hit the ball like a professional. They don’t want to look for their balls in the rough all day. They play to enjoy the company of friends and watch the ball fly through the air.

Still, I would counter that unregulated changes in the ball have driven the two things Ogilvy hates most: soft conditions (to help hold the harder, less spinnable ball) and high rough/narrow fairways (to try and take driver out of the player's hands).
 

Tuesday
May222007

"Natalie is even prettier on the inside."

topper-gulbis.jpgFrom Steve DiMeglio's USA Today story on what a hot babe fine humanitarian Natalie Gulbis is:

"The calendar is a reflection of my personality — there's a little golf, fitness, casual and swimsuits," she says of her latest calendar. "I think it's important for fans to see a different side of you."

LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens doesn't have a problem with the calendar.
Uh oh, this ought to be good.
"If you're in shape enough and gorgeous enough to do a calendar, in a swimsuit or other outfits, be my guest," Bivens says. "We have a lot of women who are showing that it's OK to be an attractive woman and a world-class athlete at the same time. They are not mutually exclusive.

You'd hope she would stop right there, but no, not our Carolyn!

"And Natalie is even prettier on the inside. The way she conducts herself on the tour, how much she cares and is respectful of her fellow players and the fans, makes her a role model."

I think I can speak for most of us and say, that's why we buy her calendar: her beautiful insides.

Monday
May212007

Oakmont No. 8, Vol. 1

20070522rr_OakmontHole8_230.jpgGerry Dulac look at the buzz surrounding Oakmont's 288-yard No. 8, and I like the USGA's Mike Davis' response to questions about the distance...

"You go back and look at the golden age of architecture and how many par 3s in the 1920s were designed to be long par 3s with drivers in your hands," Davis said. "You won't believe how many courses have 250-yard par 3s back in the 1920s when they were playing with hickories."

Frankly, it's not the most interesting green anyway, so why not spice things up a bit! 

Monday
May212007

Barr On Pittsburgh

If you are going to the U.S. Open at Oakmont, Golf Channel's Adam Barr has a nice rundown of things to know about Pittsburgh, including a homestand at the cool-looking PNC Park.

Monday
May212007

The Value Of The Commissioner?

Mark Heisler penned a typically entertaining Sunday L.A. Times column on David Stern's mind-numbingly poor decision last week to suspend Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw for game 5 of the now complete Suns-Spurs series. In the piece, he questions Stern's ability to lead after this and mentions his salary is $6 million a year. Another NY Times story I found cites it at $3.5 million (but I'm guessing that Heisler has good information that Stern's bonuses and perks take it to $6 million).

finchem.jpgI bring this up because we know Tim Finchem is actually making nearly as much as Stern with his announced extension of 6 years at $4.5 million, not including perks and bonus packages that many believe have it going higher than that).

I'm curious if you think Finchem's worth an amount comparable to Stern who prior to this incident, has struggled with rules changes to make the game more fun to watch but who has made his owners millions and kept the league healthy.  

Finchem has shown a consistent lack of creativity and imagination when it comes to course architecture (look how many lousy TPC's have been built under his watch), history (sayonara Western Open), varied tournament formats (72-hole stroke play every week gets old) and the role that reduced creativity plays in undermining the "product" (leaving equipment governance to the USGA and R&A). 

The FedEx Cup will likely prove to be a dud in terms of making players tee it up more and in creating a compelling playoff scenario with a big, thrilling finish like the LPGA's ADT Championship (but the players may be as much to blame for this).

However, Finchem's never done something as stupid as Stern just did, a move that undermined the credibility of the league and the integrity of the playoffs. Even as pathetic as his stance on drug testing has been, no one can contend that it has hurt the PGA Tour. Yet.

So is Finchem worth $28 million over the next six years?

Monday
May212007

Ogilvy's Golf Digest Interview, Vol. 2

Moving on to the last hole at Winged Foot, I thought this bit from Geoff Ogilvy's Golf Digest Interview with John Huggan was interesting because he downplays the severity of he divot lie in the 18th fairway and emphasizes (as we suspected here last year) that the chip shot on 18 was rather incredible. I also like the sound practical advice about wedge play around the greens from Dale Lynch...

So you posed the finish?

Oh, yes. [Laughs.] I looked at it for a long time. It hit up on the green, and even then I thought it was going to be all right. But then you hear the groans. And it starts trickling back. All week long shots had been taking big bounces up that green. I’m still surprised, given how hard the greens get at the end of a U.S. Open.

When I get to the ball, I realize it’s in a pretty filthy little spot. But then I see that Colin had made 6.

I was thinking if I got up and down for par I wasn’t going to be any worse than second. At that point, all Phil has to do is par the last to win, unless I chip in. But that wasn’t realistic. The reality was that I was 30 yards from the hole, 10 feet below the level of the cup and chipping off a really tight lie. And he’s one shot in front. It still didn’t look great.

I hit a pretty good chip shot, probably the best of my life. It was way better than the one I holed on the previous green.

Did your upbringing in Melbourne help you there? Some people would have putted from where you were.

Two things helped me there.

One, growing up in the Sandbelt, all you have there is tight-lie chips up hills when you miss a green. And that was a very Sandbelt-type shot off a tight lie. So I’m sure there was a level of comfort somewhere at the back of my head, knowing I had done that a thousand times at home.

Two, about three years ago Lynchy [instructor Dale Lynch] decided that my chipping action was poor for that particular type of shot. I did what most people do: I was trying to spin the ball a lot. I was hitting sand wedge and lob wedge from anywhere, taking more and more loft off the club. Before I knew it, I was hitting the shot I should hit, but with the wrong club.

It sounds obvious, but if the shot calls for an 8-iron, you hit an 8-iron; if you need a wedge, you hit a wedge. That helps your technique. For the first 18 months I just couldn’t do it. I was terrible. But I improved. And the reason I worked on it so hard was because of shots like I had at 18. Two and a half years ago I would have hit it a lot lower. So I would have had to really open the face and cut across the ball. Which is risky.

And the club?

I played it with my lob wedge.

You made it look straightforward.

Maybe, but it was a shot I’ve spent maybe five minutes on every day for the last three years. Sixty degrees is a lot of loft. But I played the shot properly with the right height. It came off just like I wanted. Even better, if you can imagine. At that point I was, for want of a better phrase, s----ing myself a bit. There are 10,000 people ’round the green, and it’s the culmination of 72 holes. 

 

Monday
May212007

Seve WD's To Spend More Time At Home Reminiscing About Kiawah In '91

Citing personal reasons...but hey, he opened a spot for Mike Donald who could use a break.

Monday
May212007

DNP's

I'm not sure about Zach Johnson's claim regarding the field in Atlanta, at least based on the DNP's in the FedEx Cup standings...

1 1 Tiger Woods 7 16,716 DNP 3 5
2 2 Phil Mickelson 12 15,818 DNP 2 5
3 3 Vijay Singh 14 13,661 DNP 2 4
4 9 Zach Johnson 12 12,327 1 2 4
5 4 Charles Howell III 14 11,856 CUT 1 5
6 5 Adam Scott 8 8,641 DNP 1 3
7 6 John Rollins 14 8,391 DNP
3
8 7 Luke Donald 12 8,121 DNP
5
9 8 Mark Calcavecchia 13 8,044 DNP 1 4
10 10 Aaron Baddeley 12 7,809 DNP 1 4
11 11 Boo Weekley 15 7,717 CUT 1 3
12 12 Sergio Garcia 9 6,977 DNP
4
13 13 Rory Sabbatini 14 6,672 T24
4
14 18 Henrik Stenson 7 6,618 T9 1 2
15 14 Geoff Ogilvy 11 6,377 DNP
3
16 15 Nick Watney 12 6,140 DNP 1 2
17 16 Steve Stricker 12 6,107 DNP
4
18 17 Robert Allenby 12 6,079 DNP
6
19 19 Scott Verplank 11 5,970 DNP 1 2
20 20 Mark Wilson 12 5,609 DNP 1 1
21 21 Jeff Quinney 13 5,376 DNP
5
22 22 Ken Duke 14 5,308 DNP
4
23 23 Bubba Watson 13 5,281 DNP
4
24 24 Charley Hoffman 15 5,232 CUT 1 1
25 25 Ernie Els 8 5,216 DNP
2
26 26 Paul Goydos 10 5,103 DNP 1 1
27 27 Trevor Immelman 11 5,047 DNP
3
28 28 Brett Wetterich 14 5,016 DNP
3
29 29 Heath Slocum 12 4,898 CUT
3
30 74 Ryuji Imada 16 4,844 2
2
31 30 Anthony Kim 13 4,702 DNP
4
32 31 Jim Furyk 11 4,701 DNP
3
33 34 Stewart Cink 12 4,680 T24
3
34 32 Jose Coceres 6 4,548 DNP
3
35 33 Vaughn Taylor 13 4,524 W/D
3
36 35 Jerry Kelly 13 4,437 DNP
4
37 36 K.J. Choi 14 4,381 DNP
3
38 37 Stuart Appleby 12 4,276 DNP
2
39 39 David Toms 12 4,209 T30
4
40 42 Kevin Sutherland 13 4,136 T16
1
41 38 John Senden 12 4,126 DNP
2
42 60 Camilo Villegas 12 4,031 T3
2
43 40 Justin Rose 6 3,882 DNP
3
44 41 Bart Bryant 13 3,861 CUT
2
45 43 Ian Poulter 10 3,640 DNP
3
46 44 Rocco Mediate 10 3,574 DNP
2
47 45 Lucas Glover 14 3,504 DNP
2
48 46 Brandt Snedeker 15 3,479 DNP
1
49 47 John Mallinger 14 3,423 DNP
2
50 48 Padraig Harrington 9 3,255 DNP
2

 

Monday
May212007

"It's too early to call it a bust, but it's not too early to be concerned about its utter lack of buzz."

Golf.com's Gary Van Sickle gets all curmudgeonly about 2007's disappointments. Two that stood out for his crisp assessments:

10. The FedEx Cup The PGA Tour has tried to force feed us the points standings. The Golf Channel keeps cramming the points list down our throats. Still, no one cares. Nothing seems to be at stake. The race to the FedEx Cup playoffs? Hardly, since 144 players qualify. Which is everybody who is anybody. And why keep track of the points since they're just going to be reset for the playoffs? There is no drama, no interest and no reason to get interested in the FedEx Cup points standings yet. It's too early to call it a bust, but it's not too early to be concerned about its utter lack of buzz.

That's just so wrong. After all, if the playoffs started today, Anders Hansen would not be in them. Gary, you can't buy tension like that!

Moving on, I think this assessment is consistent with what we've seen in the past. Namely, that time tends to put over-the-top course setups into perspective...

3. The Masters It was disappointing that what I've been writing for the last five years was proven correct, that Augusta National with firm and fast conditions and some wind is the toughest golf course in the world. For three days, conditions were so difficult and greens so firm that nobody could make many birdies. Never have so many good shots turned out not so good. As a result, the best players weren't able to separate themselves from the pack. Skill was equalized. It wasn't until Masters officials saw the light and softened the greens for Sunday's final that we began to see the familiar birdies and eagles and hear the familiar roars from Amen Corner. Former chairman Hootie Johnson was right to lengthen and tough the course but went a bit too far. It doesn't need rough — or whatever quaint term they call it — and it doesn't need all those extra trees planted on 7, 11 and 15. For the first time in recent memory, the Masters came close to being boring for three days.