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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
  • Men in Green
    Men in Green
    by Michael Bamberger
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • 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
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins

    Kindle Edition

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

The tournament [The Masters] had one thing going for it -- Bobby Jones. He was its sole raison d'etre. If it was assailable, he was not. Golf genuflected before the name of Bobby Jones. It was as if God put together the tournament. Let no man put asunder.  JIM MURRAY


    

Monday
Aug202007

"The proposed method also takes into account the strong negative relationship that exists between driving accuracy and driving distance."

Thanks to reader Al for this press release that I know you all will understand just as easily as I did.

A New Method for Ranking Total Driving Performance on the PGA Tour
Northeastern University Business School Professors Argue Current Ranking Method Statistically Inaccurate; New Method More Accurate at Capturing Relationship Between Accuracy and Distance

BOSTON, Aug. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Northeastern University's College of Business Administration today announced that three Northeastern professors have devised a new, more statistically accurate and relevant way to rank the Total Driving performance of golfers on the Professional Golf Association Tour (PGA Tour). The new ranking methodology attempts to standardize the differences between driving distance and driving accuracy, as well as account for one factor's influence on the other, enabling a comparison of Total Driving performance to more accurately reflect the true differences between the players.

The table below provides statistics on the top six players under the new "Z" ranking, as well as the top six currently ranked players in the world:

        Player           New Z    PGA Total    Driving   Driving   World
                             Rank      Driving     Distance  Accuracy  Ranking
                                          Ranking(1)   (yds.)     (%)

    Charles Warren        1         1         303.3       66.64     169
    Bubba Watson         2        82         316.2       55.34      87
    J.B. Holmes             3        61         312.4       56.37     125
    Hunter Mahan          4         2         298.6       67.44      48
    Matthew Goggin      5         3         297.4       66.21     157
    Jason Gore             6         5         301.0       62.87     176
    Tiger Woods           30        69         301.9       57.25       1
    Adam Scott             36        71         300.9       57.34       5
    Jim Furyk                51        77         279.3       74.87       2
    Ernie Els                 74       113         298.7       56.33       4
    Phil Mickelson       103       133         299.1       53.88       3
    Padraig Harrington  128       160         294.4       56.22       6

    (1) PGA Total Driving ranking as of August 19, 2007

The PGA Tour currently ranks its players according to their overall Total Driving performance by adding together the individual ranks given to each golfer for their average driving distance and for their driving accuracy percentage. According to Professors Frederick Wiseman, Ph.D., Mohamed Habibullah, Ph.D. and Mustafa Yilmaz, Ph.D., however, this widely used and reported measure is inappropriate because it is based upon the addition of two ranks in which the underlying differences between successive ranks are not equal.

"Both average driving distance and the driving accuracy percentages are ratio-scaled data. What we wish to do is to combine these two measures into a single overall measure of Total Driving performance," says Fred Wiseman, Ph.D., lead author of the study and Professor of Information, Operation and Analysis at the College of Business Administration at Northeastern University. "The measure we propose is based upon two statistically independent standardized z-scores, one for driving distance, and the other for driving accuracy given driving distance."

Standardized z-scores are commonly used in many disciplines for comparing performances when different units of measurement are involved. This evaluation of the total driving rankings of the PGA first appeared in a paper written by these three professors entitled A New Method for Ranking Total Driving Performance on the PGA Tour, which appeared in the Spring 2007 edition of The Sport Journal. The rankings released today are the final rankings based upon regular season play on this year's PGA Tour. In that paper's conclusion, the professors wrote:

"The proposed method for ranking golfers according to their Total Driving skill takes into account the magnitude of the differences that exist between players on each of the two driving dimensions. The current PGA Tour method does not. The proposed method also takes into account the strong negative relationship that exists between driving accuracy and driving distance. This negative relationship is reflected in the new conditional standardized z- score."

These factors resulted in an improved Total Driving Performance Ranking, compared to their PGA Tour ranking, for each of the top six players in the world. Computationally, the proposed method is slightly more involved than other existing methods, but this is not a significant factor today.

About Northeastern University College of Business Administration

Northeastern University College of Business Administration, established in 1922, provides its students - undergraduate, graduate and executive - with the education, tools and experience necessary to launch and accelerate successful business careers. The College credits its success to expert faculty, close partnerships with industry, and its emphasis on rigorous academics combined with experiential learning.

Among many external measures of success, BusinessWeek ranks the College 26th in its "Best Undergraduate B-schools." The College's Bachelor of Science in International Business program is ranked in the U.S. top 15 by U.S. News & World Report. Financial Times ranks the College's Executive MBA program in the US top 50 and U.S. News & World Report ranks the College's part-time MBA program #21 in the country. For more information about Northeastern University College of Business Administration, visit http://cba.neu.edu.

 

Monday
Aug202007

U.S. Amateur...Underway, Sort Of

US-AM_header.jpgFog delay of course. But you can go here for results and to the club's very nice web site for field information and other good stuff.


Monday
Aug202007

"So what's the deal?"

You may recall Tiger's post-PGA comments about his superior conditioning. And now, in light of Tiger passing on this week's inaugural playoff event, Ed Sherman wants to know what the deal is.

Woods, muscles popping out of his red shirt, looks as if he could make a bid to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team in the decathlon, if so inclined.

Yes, contending in a major is taxing, a mental and physical grind, even when the conditions are in the 70s with a nice wind blowing. But runners-up Woody Austin and Ernie Els also endured the pressure, not to mention the heat, and they are playing this week.

The bottom line is Woods would have had nine days off before he had to show up in Westchester, N.Y., for his Barclay's pro-am on Wednesday. That should have been more than enough time for a finely conditioned athlete like Woods to recover.

And even if Woods was a bit tired, so what? This is one tournament where the biggest star most definitely needed to be in the field.


Sunday
Aug192007

IM'ing With The Commissioners, Vol. VI

My sources aren't what they used to be, so it's been hard to obtain instant message conversations between the PGA Tour's Tim Finchem and the LPGA Tour's Carolyn Bivens. Thankfully my NSA mole lifted this chat on the eve of the FedEx Cup. Previous chats are here, here, here, here and here.) 

DaBrandLady:  you there tim?

twfPGATOUR©: Yes, how are you Carolyn?

DaBrandLady:  super duper. haven't seen you online much lately.

twfPGATOUR©: Just returned from a very productive week of meetings and retreats in Colorado. Just me and the Co-COO's, Senior Executive VP's, Executive VP's, Senior VP's  and other potential VP's.

DaBrandLady: wow, that's a big group. you guys must fill up the broadmoor!

DaBrandLady:  tim, u there? it was just a joke...

twfPGATOUR©: Yes I am. I just had to close out something. Craig's List.

DaBrandLady: is stadler complaining again?

twfPGATOUR©: No, something else entirely it's a web site where, well, forget it.
twfPGATOUR©: Say, I think you would have been impressed with the program we had in Colorado. We had several group brand-bonding exercise sessions.

DaBrandLady:  oh, which courses did you guys play?

twfPGATOUR©: No, these were actual seminars structured to educate our executives on brand value building as we leverage equity in the FedEx Cup Playoffs© and beyond.

DaBrandLady: good thinking. you can never do enough brand building as far as i'm concerned.

twfPGATOUR©:  We looked at the entire brand building process, with a focus on verbal and visual identity, monetizing logo graphics and manipulating other imagery aspects essential to classic brand building and upward equity paradigms.

DaBrandLady: fascinating, wish i could have been there!

twfPGATOUR©: I tell you, I feel rejuvenated. It's been a rough few weeks here.

DaBrandLady : oh, yes I've seen all of the fedex cup criticism.

twfPGATOUR©: No, I was referring to something else that came up. It's nothing, just make sure your VP's stay off this Craig's List at work.

DaBrandLady: you know they refuse to monetize that intranet site?

twfPGATOUR©: I know, makes no sense. What's the point of doing something if you can't monetize it?

DaBrandLady: my feelings exactly.

twfPGATOUR©: Wait, what FedEx Cup criticism? I've been looking at PGATOUR.com everyday and the writers there have been very positive. My people say there was more buzz at the PGA Championship about our playoffs than there was about that so-called major.

DaBrandLady: well tim there is some question about the points system and, tiger is skipping round 1, that's kind of unfortunate.

twfPGATOUR©: You aren't going negative on me too, Carolyn?

DaBrandLady: well as you know we had a very successful adt championship under my watch, and all i'm saying is... DaBrandLady: the format has merits...i'm biased of course, since i came up with it.

twfPGATOUR©: I thought the adt concept developed was under Ty's watch?

DaBrandLady: well i did the brand building on it, so in essence, it's mine.

twfPGATOUR©: True, true.
twfPGATOUR©: Well you just watch. My VP of FedEx Point Permutations and Playoff Licensing has crunched the numbers and he's confident it will all play out nicely. And he doesn't go on Craig's List, he swears.

DaBrandLady: huh?

twfPGATOUR©: Long story. Say, I have to run. The Falcon is prepped and fueled, I'm off to NYC for a round of meetings, then up to Westchester. Very exciting times.

DaBrandLady: yes it should be interesting. good luck!

twfPGATOUR©: Thanks Carolyn, enjoy the FedEx Cup Playoffs©!  Give my best to...

DaBrandLady:  he says hi back!


Sunday
Aug192007

Could Snedeker Salvage The FedEx Cup?

snedekerx.jpgAfter winning Greensboro, Brandt Snedeker actually seems to be one of the few players whose life could be impacted by a FedEx Cup run and win:

Snedeker, a 26-year-old Tennessee native and former Vanderbilt player, had the best round of the tournament. He finished at 22-under 266, earned $900,000 — and, perhaps most importantly, jumped 17 spots to No. 9 on the FedEx Cup points list.

"Everything the tour has been telling us, you have a legitimate chance to win the FedEx Cup, (but) you've got to be inside the Top 15," Snedeker said. "That's why I came here — I wanted to get in the Top 15 and give myself a chance. ... I know my game can leave me tomorrow and I can have the shanks. I wanted to go as high as I could."

With most of the elite players yawning at the $10 million annuity given to the FedEx Cup winner, it would seem that a less established player sneaking in to win may be the only hope for some genuine passion and emotion?

I for one would love to see someone like Snedeker make a run, since the annuity would actually mean something to him.

Otherwise, if this is just an extension of the rich-get-richer pyramid scheme where underdogs have no chance to contend, then it'll probably fail.

Sunday
Aug192007

"Golf's Bogeyman"

The LA Times' Paul Lieberman pens a fascinating West Magazine account of David Dilworth's efforts to fight the proposed Pebble Beach Co. expansion, documented over several years of Lieberman's visits to play golf and Dilworth's multi-year effort to battle the creation of an 8th course on the peninsula.

Sunday
Aug192007

"I think Tiger is using Hank more as a sounding board"

The Telegraph's Andrew Both feature this on the Tiger Woods-Hank Haney break up rumors:

To suggest his coach, Hank Haney, is on the way out any time soon would be an exaggeration, but Woods increasingly is working on his own. Haney was not at the PGA and is not expected to be a regular presence at tournaments Woods plays in for the foreseeable future.

One man who has noticed the changes in Woods' swing is Ian Baker-Finch, the 1991 Open champion who is now a commentator with the American CBS network.

"Hank and Tiger are great friends. They continue to talk and Hank is still Tiger's coach in a way, but I think Tiger is using Hank more as a sounding board," Baker-Finch said.

"Tiger is doing a lot of stuff that he used to do and it was obvious the past two weeks that he has changed his swing. Hank's teaching methods certainly helped Tiger gain more power and the ability to shape the ball better, but at the Open he didn't seem to have a go-to shot under pressure.

"Tiger, under pressure, likes to trap the ball by standing closer and more over the ball, with his hands closer to his knees. That allows him to get the shaft on a more upright path and hit better controlled, low-flighted iron shots, and he certainly showed that the last couple of weeks."

 

Saturday
Aug182007

"Tiger's decision to blow it off sends a message to everyone โ€” other players, sponsors, fans โ€” about how unimportant it really is."  **

fedexcuplogo.jpgHere I was going to begin the PGA Tour "Playoffs" with a special watch to see who would be the first to declare the FedEx Cup a "disaster."

Well shoot, they haven't even begun the darn playoffs and already SI's Jim Gorant uses Tiger's absence to pretty much say so, while Sportsline's Steve Elling is even tougher, declaring it the FraudEx Cup.

Gorant writes of Tiger's pass:

The aftermath is nothing short of a disaster. The Tour is attempting to change its entire business model, and this is the first tournament ever in the four-event playoff series. Tiger's decision to blow it off sends a message to everyone — other players, sponsors, fans — about how unimportant it really is. If he returns for the last three weeks and still wins the cup, a distinct possibility, it won't make everything all right. It would only reinforce the original message and exaggerate it. "Told ya it's no biggie to skip the Barclays."
Tiger has begged every columnist in the country to ask: In what other sport can you skip a quarter of the playoffs and still win? If the FedEx Cup survives, which is not a given, the Tour should reconfigure it so that no player can win if he skips a playoff tournament. Otherwise the entire thing stands to become a joke.

The killer is that part of the reason behind the remaking of the schedule was Woods's lobbying for a shorter, more compact season. He was consulted during the planning stages and gave the entire program his approval (although he was and still is unhappy about the $10 million first prize being a deferred payment). To turn his back on it now damages the entire undertaking.

Among Elling's finer points:

After more than a year of incessant self-promotion and endless hype, playing the opening round of the so-called playoffs minus the game's top star is a blow that no amount of creative slant can correct. But that didn't stop the tour from trying.

"We're disappointed that Tiger will not be playing The Barclays next week," said Ty Votaw, an executive vice president with the tour. "It's clear from Tiger's statement he remains focused on winning the FedEx Cup. Whether he can do it will be one of the many exciting things our fans will be following over the next four weeks."

Maybe he meant mini-exciting things.

Spin control? You bet. The first tee ball of the inaugural playoffs just sliced badly out of bounds, into your living room and through your plasma TV screen.

"Any good strategy involves all of the stakeholders buying in," said sports-marketing expert Paul Swangard of the University of Oregon. "Does one infer by his absence that not everybody bought into the idea?"

Seems that way, professor, though Woods indicated he sees value in the ballyhooed new plan and hopes to win the $10 million annuity awarded to the winner, the biggest bonus in pro sports.

And...

Because he's been seeded No. 1 in FedEx points, the first prize remains statistically within his reach, which upon closer examination, is a systemic flaw worth fixing going forward. The tour has been pimping the FedEx Cup for months, to the point where even the true-believers have been rolling their eyes at the overkill. Earlier this month, for example, tour official and cup architect Ric Clarson likened it to the precursor to the biggest sports event of the year.

"I wonder if the members of the Green Bay Packers, when they won the very first Super Bowl in 1967, which wasn't even called the Super Bowl then, realized their place in history," he said. "Thus, we embark on a new era in golf called the FedEx Cup."

More like the FraudEx Cup now that Woods has disembarked. Did Bart Starr skip the first AFC-NFC Championship Game? 

Elling also looks at Tiger's tendency, well, regular habit of entering tournaments at the last second and the ramifications for the PGA Tour and reminds us that Tiger skipped the Nissan Open in part to film FedEx Cup promotional spots. What a high point for all involved.

Saturday
Aug182007

"Yes, I acknowledge that the ability to compress the ball makes a difference in pitching, but the girls should, you would imagine, make up for that with good touch. But they don't."

John Huggan tries to get to the bottom of one of the modern game's great mysteries: why so many of the best female golfers in the world have such lousy short games.
Friday
Aug172007

Rules Of The Game Photo Caption Fun

This accompanies GolfDigest.com's plug for their Saturday rules show done in conjunction with CBS's Bill Macatee and Bobby Clampett. But the photo does not tell us what Macatee is saying...

cbsrules470.jpg

Friday
Aug172007

"But the truth is, I'm just not ready."

Tiger's official explanation for passing up the Barclay's:
I have decided not to play in The Barclays Classic next week at Westchester Country Club. As I have said all along, my intention was to compete in all four PGA Tour Playoff events, including the inaugural Barclays Classic. But the truth is, I'm just not ready.

Playing the last two weeks in the heat and humidity were mentally and physically draining. Although I managed to pull out victories in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship, my body is spent and I need a short break. Major championships are grueling experiences and usually necessitate recovery time.

Ever since turning professional in 1996, my goal has always been the same: To win every event I enter. I've done pretty well, winning 59 times on the PGA Tour. If I don't feel that way prior to a tournament, I won't commit.

This is in no way a knock on Barclays, their new event next week or the new FedEx Cup series, which I fully support. I just hope that this extra week of rest will rejuvenate me for the final three Playoff events and Presidents Cup. It is still my goal to win the FedExCup and I am hopeful this will give me the best opportunity to finish the year strong.

Tiger
Thursday
Aug162007

"Cool Stat Of The Week"

In looking over Brett Avery's Golf World PGA Championship stat package, I loved the "Cool Stat":

Of the field Tiger Woods defeated to win his 13th major championship, 80 players went into the PGA Championship having competed in fewer than 13 majors. Only 50 players at Southern Hills had made the cut in at least 13 majors. And of those, only eight had placed in the top 10 at least 13 times.

If nothing else, check out the stats to see the side-by-side shots of Tiger circa 1998 and Tiger today.  

Thursday
Aug162007

Stack and Tilt Part 2

insl01_stacktilt.jpgHaving toyed with the Stack and Tilt concept a bit more on the range, and having had the privilege of working with Mac O'Grady back when he was still mad at Deane Beman, I now regret my initial remark that this is Mac Made Easy. Several elements are quite different from Mac's teachings, particularly the takeway (was that P2 or P3!?) and some of their thoughts on the role of the right leg. 

Anyway I haven't been able to follow the little community within a community that has developed on the original post here, which is up to 327 comments.

The latest Golf Digest installment's best component is the input from other jealous instructors trying to debunk the potential of Stack and Tilt.

Thursday
Aug162007

Silver Lining In Woods Playoff Pass?

The news that Tiger is skipping the Barclay's may not be all bad, as Jeff Rude notes somewhat intentionally.

Should Woods skip the first playoff event at Westchester (N.Y.) Country Club, it wouldn’t give the initial B-12 shot the Tour’s pet project was looking for and needed. After all, the Tour has used more than $40 million worth of advertising inventory this year to trumpet the new Cup series.

Good news for Woods and the Tour is this: He can still win the FedEx Cup if he misses Week 1. He’ll be the points leader at 100,000 after the reset on Sunday night. Based on Tour computer models, he’ll need to get to about 112,000 to win the Cup. That means he’d probably win the Cup with a victory, a fifth and a 10th in the playoffs. If he skips the opener, he’d just have three weeks to get those points instead of four.

That shouldn’t be too much of a hurdle for him considering the way he’s playing and the fact he has played well at the final three playoff courses. He won last year at the TPC Boston, site of the Week 2 Deutsche Bank Championship; he has won three times at Cog Hill, the BMW Championship venue in Week 3; and he has three seconds at East Lake in Atlanta, site of the Tour Championship grand finale.

Should Woods win the Deutsche Bank and BMW, he would be all but a mathematical lock to win the Cup. And the Tour Championship would become, to the Tour’s dismay, anticlimax.

So see, not playing Westchester is just one less Cup clinching win that would mess up this otherwise wonderfully concocted idea! 

Thursday
Aug162007

Tiger's "Intent" Is To Spend Barclay's Classic Week Studying FedEx Cup Points Permutations...From Home?

Sam Weinman reports that it looks like Tiger Woods is going to pass on the first round of the playoffs. Oh how the Yankees would love to do that!

Thursday
Aug162007

Colt Knost Contemplates Becoming The Next Tom Scherrer

Ron Kroichick reports on the uh, dilemma that the current U.S. Amateur Public Links champion faces...

Knost, unlike so many ambitious young golfers, already has qualified for next year's Masters. He can drive down Magnolia Lane, stay in the Crow's Nest, stroll alongside the azaleas, walk across Hogan Bridge and try to keep his ball out of Rae's Creek.

And he's not sure he will.

Knost, 22, recently completed a standout college career at SMU. He's coming to San Francisco next week for the U.S. Amateur, which begins Monday at the Olympic Club, and soon thereafter, he will travel to Ireland to represent his country in the Walker Cup.

All the while, lingering in the back of Knost's mind - and sometimes in the front - will be Augusta National. He won the U.S. Amateur Public Links last month outside Chicago, landing him a berth in next year's Masters. His name is right there on the tournament's Web site listing 2008 invitees, wedged between Jerry Kelly and two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer.

Here's the caveat: The Public Links champion must remain an amateur to keep his spot in the Masters. All along, Knost planned to turn pro after the Walker Cup in September and pursue his PGA Tour card at qualifying school.

"Everyone who plays golf dreams of playing in the Masters, and now I have a chance," Knost said in a telephone interview. "And playing in the Masters as an amateur would be such a different experience - they treat amateurs extremely well.

"It definitely would be difficult to pass that up. You never know what could happen. I could never make it there again."

History tells Knost few players turn down a Masters invitation - Tom Scherrer, the 1992 U.S. Amateur runner-up, was the last to decline. Scherrer didn't make it to Augusta National until 2001 and he hasn't been back since then (Scherrer now plays on the Nationwide Tour).

Knost recently talked to Phil Mickelson, who praised his talents, encouraged him to turn pro and predicted Knost will qualify for the Masters several times in the future. But therein lies the risk: What if he doesn't make it back? What if his career sputters and skipping the '08 Masters becomes a lifelong regret?

Well, he'd really, really hate Phil Mickelson for starters.

Walker Cup captain Buddy Marucci bluntly told Knost he would be crazy to pass on a whirl around Amen Corner.

I think so too. You all?
 

Wednesday
Aug152007

Tiger Finishes Majors -1

Steve Elling takes his annual look at the players who made all four major cuts and breaks down the numbers.

 For the second time in four years, Woods is the major-championship major domo, unseating Phil Mickelson, who won the honor in 2004 and 2006. Woods was the low man at the Slam events in 2005, but missed the cut at the U.S. Open in '06, his lone weekend off at a major in his 11-year pro career.

There were several statistical oddities this year.

Of the 10 players who made all four majors cuts in 2006, none did likewise this year. In fact, in an eye-popping turnaround of the wrong sort, Australia's Robert Allenby finished seventh among the players who completed all 16 rounds at the '06 majors at a collective 3 over. This year? He shot the highest score of any player who appeared in all four, missing the cut across the board and finishing a collective 45 over in eight rounds.

 Because of difficult conditions at 2007's first two majors -- this year marked the third time in history that winning scores were above par at both the Masters and U.S. Open -- the cumulative numbers skewed inordinately high. Since we began tracking the cumulative Grand Slam winners four years ago, 2007 stands as the first time fewer than 10 players made the cut in all four events.

Check out the story for the list of the elite 10. 

Wednesday
Aug152007

Tilly Illustrated

tilly-illustration.jpgThe Tillinghast Society has launched a new online (PDF) journal devoted to all things Tilly.

Wednesday
Aug152007

WynDham Championship

What do you think? Nice rebranding eh?

First Davis Love, now Boo, Bubba, K.J. and Chris DiMarco WD to rest up for four weeks (if they should be so lucky) of studying points permutations and figuring out how to pay their caddy 10% of deferred compensation.  Joedy McCreary reports.


Wednesday
Aug152007

"Suddenly, he was Steve Martin giving a call to arms in 'Three Amigos:'"

Add Grant Boone to the list of those not quite grasping Woody Austin's various rants from last week's PGA press center:

And Austin is accurate when he suggests that he and lots of his peers have a similar desire to succeed, even if they can't back it up on the course as often as Woods.

Austin backed it up all week. He was the only player to shoot par or better each day. And despite beginning the final round four back of Woods, he actually had a birdie putt at 15 that would've pulled him even. It was only after a hard-fought 67 left him two shots short that Austin finally began to crack. First, he interrupted a reporter's observation that he'd been hard on himself earlier in the week because of missed opportunities:

"I was right, wasn't I?"

Whoa, big fella. After the reporter finished his question, Austin responded specifically to shooting a 70 in the second round to Woods' 63:

"Well, like I said on Friday, you cannot give somebody seven shots, especially someone who happens to be the best player in the world. And I, like I said, I went over his round and over my round, and I outplayed him from tee-to-green."

It was right here that you were telepathically giving Austin the same advice Brian Fantana gave Champ. "Why don't you stop talking for awhile? Maybe sit the next couple of plays out." But Austin kept going:

"I don't think anybody plays any better than I do when I'm on; I know that's crazy, but I think I can hit any shot anybody in the world can hit."

I was with him right up to the point that he talked about being crazy. Woody wasn't done:

"You give anybody who is really good a four-shot lead over you -- I beat him today, but it doesn't matter because he had four shots on me. So, you know, I don't care -- he happens to be the best player in the world, but if you put any great player, any good player with a four-shot cushion, their odds are going to be pretty good. Especially when they happen to be the best."

Suddenly, he was Steve Martin giving a call to arms in "Three Amigos:" "The people of Santo Poco can conquer their own personal El Guapo, who also happens to be the actual El Guapo." And then came a little Yogi Berra from the AFLAC commercial:

"He always says -- what does he always say? He always says, 'I want to be in the last group on Sunday.' If he wants to be there, and I want to be, why do I not want to be there? Why would I want to be somewhere else?"

Beats me. And finally, like a punch-drunk fighter swinging wildly before the inevitable face plant into the canvas, Austin offered this:

"Well, you said in the media, especially on Friday, that he played just an unbelievable round of golf and that he was in total control and that he was just toying with the field. We can go through our rounds. I outplayed him on Friday, but he beat me by seven shots. So, does that mean he's that much better? I don't get it. It just happens that he scored better, and like I said on Friday, can you not throw away that many opportunities when you are trying to win a big golf tournament. He took advantage; I didn't. Does that mean he played better than me or he's better than me? I don't agree with that."