Latest From GolfDigest.com
Latest From The Loop
Twitter
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 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
  • Professional Golf 2014: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2014: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
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
Feedblitz
Enter your Email


Powered by FeedBlitz

Almost without exception the old seaside rabbitty turf has disappeared and been replaced by grasses entirely unsuitable for golf. The turf near the clubhouse is usually worse than that farther away as on most seaside links there still remain a few rabbits on the outskirts of the course.  ALISTER MACKENZIE


    

Thursday
Jun262014

2020 PGA Championship To Harding Park

Looks like Joe Passov beat me to it by about 15 minutes, but here's my GolfDigest.com item for The Loop on Harding Park landing the 2020 PGA Championship.

The decision is a positive for the PGA of America because they are coming west after a 16-year hiatus, but I don't believe the current course, despite it's staggering $23 million PGA Tour Design Services renovation price, is up to the quality standards for a major site.

As I spell out in the item, this also dooms the chances of an international PGA in 2020 to get away from the Tokyo Games. That was always a longshot, but obviously when you weigh Harding Park vs. Royal Melbourne, well, the international option would have been great for fans.

**Story updated with quotes from Sandy Tatum, who spearheaded the renovation of Harding Park over 11 years ago and as you can imagine is delighted with the news.

Wednesday
Jun252014

Three More Pinehurst Postscripts: Resounding Success!

Now that the huge surge in U.S. Women's Open ratings would dispel Donald Trump's erroneous (surprise, surprise) assertion that viewers tuned out the U.S. Open because of the dried out Pinehurst, let's look to some more thoughtful takes on the week.

I'm not sure this will work, but Michael Bamberger files a super postscript in the SI/golf.com Digital thingy that's a pain to read (aren't they all...we must make it hard for readers to read and experience ads!). Essentially, Bamberger touches on Kaymer and Wie's fascinating wins and the huge sucess of back-to-back Opens.

Mercifully, Bill Fields' assessment at GolfDigest.com is easier to access and he makes an interesting point about the importance of Michelle Wie finishing off her win in such strong fashion.

But let's also be honest: We were fortunate to get the sublime performance of Martin Kaymer and the breakthough achievement by Michelle Wie. Had Wie's late blunder at the 16th hole -- What was she thinking not playing a conservative shot to the fairway from that bunker with a three-stroke lead? -- led to an ugly defeat, the mood would have been much different Sunday evening. As it was her strategic error provided only a scare, and golfers will now want to try to duplicate Wie's fantastic birdie putt on No. 17 like they do Payne Stewart's crucial par putt on the 18th in 1999. Forget a statue. Someone should be drawing a painting with a table on top of a turtle's back. That would immortalize Wie's going 72 holes without a three putt with her odd stance on those wacky greens.

Doug Ferguson wrote in his weekly column that "two weeks of U.S. Open golf at Pinehurst No. 2 could not have gone much better. It really was double the pleasure."

Perhaps the most telling statistic was the scoring average in the final round.

For the men it was 72.40. For the women it was 72.39.

Only three men finished 72 holes under par, led by Martin Kaymer and his majestic play. Michelle Wie was the only woman under par.

Don't underestimate the importance of weather. Each week featured one burst of showers overnight, but otherwise scorching weather allowed setup specialists Mike Davis and Ben Kimball confidence that the course would play relatively similarly.

"We got to control the situation," said Davis, the USGA's executive director.

I would also add that the combination of amazing maintenance work by Farren, Robinson, et. al. deserves as much credit as anything, especially for presenting greens with so much turf that two weeks of championship golf was never an issue. Throw in a superb bit of orchestration by the USGA's advance team to put on a fantastic Open operationally and it's hard to imagine things going any better.

The only thing missing? Water trucks to wet down dirt paths, spectator walkways and parking areas. But who would have expected so little rain? Besides, firm, fast and sandy doesn't come without a tiny price to pay.

Wednesday
Jun252014

Tiger's Back At 8:12 ET Thursday...

Tiger tees off at 8:12 ET Thursday with Jordan Spieth and Jason Day in The Quickie. Writers will be Tweeting his round, without violating the rights of PGA Tour right holders by Tweeting play-by-play that the rightsholders are not showing. The sport within the sport!

Assessments of his pro-am round were mostly positive. Doug Ferguson writing for the AP:

He started Wednesday with a pro-am round that was not inspiring except that he showed no indication of pain or any other physical setback. He started by hitting a tee shot on the par-3 10th hole off the bank and into the water. His drive off the 11th hole went right into the hazard.

But it was just a pro-am round, which doesn't mean much. Woods once had beautiful control of his golf ball during a practice round Wednesday at Winged Foot during the 2006 U.S. Open, and he went on to miss the cut for the first time in a major.

"I hit some loose shots today, but I also hit some really good ones," Woods said. "Back feels great, which is a really good sign."

Barry Svrluga noted his rusty beginning but overall positive performance.

He did, though, show frustration when shots went astray. After an errant tee shot at No. 8 – his 17th hole of the day – Woods grimaced and thumped his clubhead into the ground. But he said that even with Congressional’s thick rough, he didn’t have a problem aggressively attacking shots that didn’t find the fairway.

“I went for it today, just to test it and make sure,” Woods said, “and made some pretty good ones, too.”

Helen Ross at PGATour.com writes:

Woods planned to get treatment on his back after the pro-am. As the tournament host, he also had some functions to attend prior to concentrating on the first round.

For what it's worth, a witness to Woods at those post-round functions offered this:

I watched as he sat in a chair for 30 mins for the opening ceremony, immediately off the course from his practice round. When it was his turn to stand up, he labored to stretch and stand and then almost had a limp as he walked to sit back down.

Of course, that could describe most of us after sitting for 30 minutes listening to corporatespeak!

Farrell Evans added this at ESPN.com:

Not surprisingly, Tiger struggled with his driver, a club that has plagued him, perhaps, more than any other the past few years. He hit just two of his first seven fairways, missing mostly to the right.

"My grip got a little bit weak," said Woods, who spent last week with instructor Sean Foley trying to strengthen his grip. "That's one of the reasons I was losing the ball to the right."
At other times, Tiger's approach shots and short game looked sharp.

In Golf World this week, Jaime Diaz assessed Tiger's return and offered this reminder.

Woods is 38, six years removed from his last major victory, and coming off back surgery to relieve a pinched nerve. Even if he were to again climb to No. 1, it wouldn't be with the breathtaking power that marked his prime but with a more professional precision. With much less margin for error, some skeptics -- who also wonder if his appearance at Congressional is really about being a tournament host needing to appease a new sponsor -- question whether Woods has the energy needed to assault the mountain yet again.

All legitimate points. But another that is rarely mentioned -- and could negate them all -- is the state of Woods' most important asset: his mind. No doubt it was in a jumble post-scandal, and my own theory is that Tiger's refusal to depart from the worn-out litany of "reps," "feels" and other jargon when he deigns to discuss his game is designed to avoid addressing the real issue: what's going on between his ears. As a result, a bunch of baggage -- some of it very heavy -- has lingered.

Wednesday
Jun252014

"Technology, progress, call it what you will, has made it harder for the creatives to separate themselves."

It doesn't happen too often but it's always noteworthy when a mainstream publication notes the role of technology in evening out fields, not the usual "fields have never been deeper" line we hear too often.

James Corrigan in The Telegraph, on Tiger's return and the future of golf without Tiger where no great player has been able to separate themselves.

Why? The factors are numerous, some to do with the shameful inaction of the governing bodies, some to do with the nature of golf as sport and the nature of 21st Century fame.

There’s the equipment, the ball, the course design. Technology, progress, call it what you will, has made it harder for the creatives to separate themselves. Golf has always been a sport where any of many can turn up and win on a given week.

Yet this applies now more than ever and it is happening at a time in sport in which celebrity is everything and, in which, only big names sell. Equality sucks.

Tuesday
Jun242014

And Then Phil Gave Barack A Tip...

That's a nod to the late Don Wade's book series and just a joke, as Phil Mickelson only gave President Barack Obama a bunker play tip.

Reports John Strege.

Obama also thanked Phil Mickelson for providing him a tip on bunker play. “I’m pretty sure I can shave at least two or three strokes if I can just get out of the darn sand," he said.

Every member of the U.S. team, including Mickelson and Tiger Woods, were in attendance, as were several members of the International team. Mickelson and his family flew in just for the occasion. Woods is returning to competitive golf on Thursday in the first round of the Quicken Loans National at nearby Congressional Country Club.

The GolfDigest.com Loop item has numerous photos as well, all crying out for thought bubbles.

Jay Coffin notes this about the President's remarks:

On Tuesday, Obama was flanked by Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner, both avid golfers. Obama jokingly introduced them as “two of my favorite golf partners.”

Obama says that he needs strokes from Biden and Boehner when they play, but hopes that the “excellent tip” from Mickelson may help narrow the gap.

Reuters noted the "rare joint appearance" by Boehner and Obama.

Tuesday
Jun242014

Back9 Prez: We're E! To Golf Channel's ABC

Pete Finch talks to Back9Network president Carlos Silva after the announcement of DirecTV deal that will get the golf lifestyle network launched.

One of their three shows planned sounds appealing. Batting .333 isn't all bad.

The three shows that we’ve talked about for the launch are “The Ahmad Rashad Show,” a show called “Ball Hog,” which is about a company that actually dives into the ponds or lakes at golf courses and reclaims golf balls as a business, and another show called “Golf Treasures,” which is a couple of guys who have an auction house that is in the business of acquiring historical golf artifacts.

And regarding Golf Channel, this sounded logical:

Q. Do you view Back9Network as a competitor to Golf Channel?

We really see us as a complement. One of the comparisons I like to use is E! Entertainment at the Oscars. They do the on-ramp and off-ramp to the Oscars, but the live show is on ABC. We feel there are a lot of complements to being that on- and off-ramp to the live game -- being able to feel like you were at Pinehurst even though you may never get to go to a U.S. Open. What’s it like to be at U.S. Open? What’s the town like? What are the restaurants like? What’s the travel like? How are the players getting in and out? Where are they staying? What’s the feeling like when you’re there during tournament week? That’s a lot of what will be on the Back9Network.

Tuesday
Jun242014

Did Rory Orchestrate Lawsuit Filing With GMac's Wedding?

Loving this Team Europe chemistry!

Dearbhail McDonald files another Irish Independent story on the court filings in Rory McIlroy vs. Horizon Sports Management, and now comes the revelation that McIlroy's suit may have been filed on "D-day." That was Graeme McDowell's wedding day, so claim Horizon's lawyers.

Horizon, led by MD Conor Ridge, has claimed that Mr McIlroy issued legal proceedings against the agency in September 2013 to "inflict maximum reputational damage through the media" on Mr Ridge and Colin Morrissey, his trusted lieutenant.

Horizon says Mr McIlroy knew both men were attending 'G-Mac's' September 28, 2013, marriage to Kristin Stape, an American interior designer.

Trial is set for January, though a preliminary hearing may have to take place in a Gleneagles team room for the sake of team unity.

Tuesday
Jun242014

Rory: My Terms "Markedly Inferior" To GMac's

Dearbhail McDonald reports that Rory McIlroy's lawyers have suggested their client was on "markedly inferior" commercial teams with Horizon Sports compared to former big buddy and Horizon shareholder Graeme McDowell, in the beginning of awkward revelations leading up to October's January's trial.

McDonald writes:

The big business divison of the High Court has also heard that Mr McDowell was a shareholder in Dublin based Horizon Sports Management - which is being sued by Mr McIlroy - at a time when the young golfer was considering appointing Horizon as his management.

The "extraordinary revelations" were detailed this afternoon by lawyers for Mr McIlroy who now wants to amend his legal action against Horizon, his former agent.

Tuesday
Jun242014

Hide The China: Prez Cup Teams Descend On The East Wing

David Jackson reports on the U.S. Presidents Cup team coming to the White House to celebrate their win last year with President Barack Obama.

According to the PGA Tour, the turnout for the East Wing cocktails and self-guided tour (4:30) and State Dining Room reception will be robust with only Sammy the Squirrel not on the invite list.

Attending U.S. Team members

Fred Couples, Captain

Jay Haas, Captain's Assistant

Davis Love III, Captain's Assistant

Keegan Bradley

Jason Dufner

Bill Haas

Zach Johnson

Matt Kuchar

Hunter Mahan

Phil Mickelson

Webb Simpson

Brandt Snedeker

Jordan Spieth

Steve Stricker

Tiger Woods

Attending International Team members

Nick Price, Captain

Tony Johnstone, Captain's Assistant

Shigeki Maruyama, Captain's Assistant

Mark McNulty, Captain's Assistant

Angel Cabrera

Jason Day

Brendon de Jonge

Graham DeLaet

Ernie Els

Marc Leishman

Tuesday
Jun242014

Tiger Roundup: Protocols, Playing For The Foundation

Farrell Evans on Tiger's surprising admission that he's playing this week in part because of his foundation.

"If this wasn't the foundation and our impact that we can have with kids, I probably would not have played," Woods said. "Our goal was the British Open."

Woods, who was unable to play in the Masters and the U.S. Open, said he doesn't feel like he's rushing his return after a surgery that many believed might costs him the remainder of the golf season, including the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool and the PGA Championship.

"I healed extremely fast, thanks to my physios and all my nutrition and all the different things that we did and the protocols, and the MRIs and all the different steps that we have done along the way have allowed me to get to this point," he said.

Steve DiMeglio and Reid Cherner sum up Tiger's press conference where he made some surprising admissions (watching more World Cup than golf!) and also about his rehabilitation effort.

"When you get treatment all the time, it's amazing what you can do. And also, nutritionally, making sure I eat perfect. Anti-inflammatory meals, all the different things I needed to do to get back. People take -- it's a normality in other sports. If you play football or hockey or any other sport, this is just common. But I think in the golfing world, looking at most of the physiques, it's not really that common. But having friends who are in other sports, it does help what they went through and what they have done and what their protocols are for their teams. You know, here we are."

Nick Masuda on the progression of Tiger's return to golf.

In terms of the state of his game, Woods revealed that he started hitting his driver "a couple of weeks ago." He has taken in rounds on the course, with the toughest part coming from sitting in the carts, finding himself standing on the back of the cart so he could extend his rounds.

"(I wanted) to knock off the rust on the range, not embarass myself on the golf course," said Woods.

Luke Kerr-Dineen on Nick Faldo suggesting a made cut this week would be a victory.

"I think for the rest of us mere mortals coming off back surgery, just making the cut would be a good goal," said the six-time major champion, speaking at an event for Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky in New York City on Monday. "That's what I'd be focusing on: making the cut this week and trying to improve on that every week after."

Morning Drive coverage of the press conference including all of Tiger’s remarks.

Monday
Jun232014

DirecTV: Back9Network Finally Coming To Televisions, Hiring

Dan Haar reports that Connecticut's state-backed Back9Network has signed a multi-year deal for a channel on DirecTV, immediately hiring 40 people after the deal was signed. The network is hoping to offer an alternative to Golf Channel with an emphasis on lifestyle programming.

Back9 has raised about $30 million, including a controversial state package of $5 million, and has hired some big names, notably Ahmad Rashad as executive producer and host. Although Bosworth and others at the media company had said they could make it work with an online audience only, a national TV contract was widely seen as the sole route to success.

Rashad will host The Ahmad Rashad Show, a "behind the scenes" look at the world of golf, as one of three, half-hour shows at the core of the Back9Network programming.

Pastels with earrings and inanity are back, baby!

Back9 faces a big hurdle with Comcast (owner of Golf Channel) and Time Warner (takeover target of Comcast) in getting the channel in more homes. Haar wrote about this in April, though it seemed a stretch that the Back9's issues highlighted problems with a possible Comcast-Time Warner merger when the network has shown no sign of even being viable. Monday's announcement could change that perception depending on what Back9 is able to produce when it goes to air.

There is also the issue of founder Jamie Bosworth's divorce from his wife who was slated to be a Back9 anchor.  Kevin Rennie reported on the divorce and the potential issues for Back9.

The preening Bosworths have parted. The former Jennifer Lahmers is suing James Bosworth for divorce, according to Connecticut court records. The two were married in Carmel, California on July 2, 2011.

They have maintained a high public profile in Hartford since launching the Back9Network a struggling louche online and cable venture much favored by the Malloy administration. Taxpayers have poured more than $5 million into the startup that has attracted much criticism for its misogynist underscoring. The company raised eyebrows when it hired a former postman, the spouse of Malloy’s chief of staff, after receiving millions in taxpayer funds.

Jennifer Bosworth was a frequent face of the operation. She is seeking temporary alimony as the case proceeds.

Monday
Jun232014

Feds Actually Approached Phil In Boston First

Hardly shocking news in light of recent developments that Dean Foods has been subpoenaed in the probe of Billy Walters and Phil Mickelson's trading.

But the WSJ's Susan Pulliam and Michael Rothfeld also flesh out new details from the seemingly-compromised investigation, including a new first encounter for Mickelson with federal agents. Teterboro was intially reported, now it's Bedford, Mass. The feds like their private airports.

The subpoena to Dean Foods highlights how criminal investigators have shifted their tactics following the disclosure of the probe in media reports last month. Before that, the criminal investigation had been covert and they avoided taking certain actions that might have tipped off the people under scrutiny.

Dean Foods also is doing its own investigation of the matter.

Well that's a load off.

"We are reviewing this matter, and our practice is to offer our full support to any government investigation," the company said in a statement. Shares of Dean Foods traded down 2% at $17.20 in after-hours trading Monday after The Wall Street Journal first reported on the subpoena. The shares had fallen more than 8% at one point in the after-hours session.

None of the men have been charged, and there is no indication charges will be filed. Messrs. Walters, Mickelson and Icahn have denied wrongdoing.

Mr. Mickelson has said he was willing to cooperate with the FBI. He was first approached by agents in September 2013, at an airport in Bedford, Mass., after playing in the Deutsche Bank Championship golf tournament. The Wall Street Journal reported that he was approached again by a pair of agents after finishing a round at an Ohio golf tournament on May 29, the day before news of the investigation became public. He referred them to his lawyer.

The New York Times recently backed off of many assertions in their original reporting, even suggesting that criminal charges were unlikely.

Monday
Jun232014

2022 Ryder Cup "Bidding Process" Requirements Named

The European Tour put out the For Sale sign on the 2022 Ryder Cup and it's great fun to see what they have in mind for the one major event in golf where the highest bidder wins, regardless of locale or course quality.

Bids are due in August, with a chance to beef up the offer in February 2015. A winner will be named in fall, 2015.

From the official Ryder Cup site, notes on the "Bidding Process."

It is expected that bids will be submitted from a wide range of countries whose players are eligible for selection to The European Team and who are sure to benefit in a similar manner to previous host countries from the unique sporting eminence of The Ryder Cup.

That would seem to rule out Dubai, mercifully.

KEY BID CRITERIA FOR THE 2022 RYDER CUP

1.       Demonstrable Government, Political, Institutional and Golfing Community support

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

2.       Commitment to the development of a world-class golf facility (new or existing) to host The 2022 Ryder Cup

God forbid we'd use one that's proven itself worthy, like The Old Course.

3.       Provision of ancillary facilities, suitable access and infrastructure commensurate with the staging of an international sporting event, including proximity to a major international city

4.       Commercial opportunities available to The Ryder Cup

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

5.       Contribution of the Bid Country to the development of golf, for example:
Ø  Legacy
Ø  Contribution to the professional game
Ø  Integration of golf within tourism and business communities
Ø  Development of levels of golf participation
Ø  Professional tournament golf at all levels
Ø  Contribution to The Ryder Cup: eg Player eligibility and participation

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Monday
Jun232014

Karen Paolozzi: Woman Makes Cut In PGA Club Pro!

From an unbylined AP story on Druid Hills assistant pro Karen Paolozzi becoming the second female player to make the cut in the PGA Professional National Championship where University of Toledo coach Jamie Broce holds the second-round lead.

From the story:

“This is exactly what my goal was,” Paolozzi said. “I wanted to make the cut. I wanted to come here and play well. I was a little disappointed after yesterday, but I knew if I put in a solid round today, I had a chance.”

Monday
Jun232014

Ratings: U.S. Women's Open Up 92%!

With the dynamic Michelle Wie leading and so many great possibilities Sunday at the 2014 U.S. Women's Open, NBC scored a nice final round rating even with so many other viewing options and a record viewing audience preparing for the U.S-Portugal game.

From NBC/Golf Channel:

- NBC's coverage of the final round of the U.S. Women's Open drew a 1.67 overnight rating in metered markets, up 92% from a year ago (3-6P; 0.87). This was the highest final round overnight at this event since 2007 (3-6:15P; 1.9).

As Karen Crouse notes in the New York Times, the Wie win is the culmination of an unusual year in which the LPGA's stars have risen to the occasion as the PGA Tour's brightest seem to be struggling in the limelight.

The PGA Tour has been stuck in a rut this year, its tournament results a few bright lights shy of a marquee. Phil Mickelson has failed to record a top-10 finish, Rory McIlroy has not posted a victory (though he did win the European Tour’s flagship event last month) and Tiger Woods has missed the first two majors after back surgery.

But the women have staged stirring duels, with Lexi Thompson holding off Wie in the first major and Wie holding off Lewis in the second. Karrie Webb, a Hall of Famer, has won twice, and the 17-year-old phenom Lydia Ko has won once. Inbee Park, the reigning player of the year, and Lewis have taken turns at No. 1.

We talked Wie on Morning Drive and also the success of the back-to-back Opens for the USGA.

As for future back-to-backs, I nominated Torrey Pines as the perfection place to do this again mostly because of its June climate and tourist-friendly locale.

Monday
Jun232014

Victorian Golfers: Vote Daniel Andrews!

Daniel Andrews is the current leader of the Victorian branch of the Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition in that state, is running to run the place. According to Wikipedia, "Victoria has compulsory voting and uses preferential ballot in single-member seats for the Legislative Assembly, and single transferable vote in multi-member seats for the proportionally represented Legislative Council."

Way above my pay grade, whatever that all means. However, as Ben Hills notes in a profile of Andrews for The Age, the man has his priorities straight. He loves golf and golf architecture.

He claims to be a "golf tragic" and, if anything, this is a massive understatement. He is obsessed and plays every spare minute, even if it's just thumping a few balls at the driving range late at night. And although, with the demands of the campaign, his handicap has slipped from six to a still-respectable 10, he confesses if he wasn't a politician, the job he would most like would be that of Stephen Pitt, the chief executive of Golf Australia.

On his bedside table the day I visit his home are a well-thumbed copy of Charles Macdonald's classic Scotland's Gift: Golf, and Geoff Shackelford's biography of the legendary golf-course architect George Thomas, The Captain. If that's not enough excitement, for light relief there's the fourth volume of Robert Caro's monumental biography of former US president Lyndon Baines Johnson, The Passage of Power.

I've always said, my books make great bedside reading! Better and safer than Ambien.

More importantly, if we are going to start talking about a PGA Championship going overseas in 2020 to avoid the Olympic calendar mess, it sounds like Victoria needs a man like Andrews on its side when the Americans come calling with a major!

Sunday
Jun222014

Roundup: Michelle Wie Wins The U.S. Women's Open

It was a thriller that anyone watching will not soon forget if nothing else for Michelle Wie's sunny (and amazing) attitude after a 16th hole double bogey left her with just a one-stroke lead. Her 8-iron to 17 and ensuing 25-footer for birdie will go down as one of the great recoveries that also capped off a spectacular two weeks at Pinehurst.

Doug Ferguson's game story lede:

Michelle Wie finally delivered a performance worthy of the hype that has been heaped on her since she was a teenager.

Wie bounced back from a late mistake at Pinehurst No. 2 to bury a 25-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole, sending the 24-year-old from Hawaii to her first major championship Sunday, a two-shot victory over Stacy Lewis in the U.S. Women's Open.

Karen Crouse's NY Times story lede:

Michelle Wie’s strategy for the 69th United States Women’s Open was to laugh in the face of disaster. She made it her mantra. When bad shots happen, smile and move on.

And Stuart Hall at USWomensOpen.com:

When Michelle Wie arrived at the 2003 U.S. Women’s Open as a wide-smiling, big-dreaming 13-year-old, one of the first questions posed to her was whether she could win the national championship.

“I guess everyone comes here to win,” she said at the time. Wie tied for 39th that year, but the subsequent years brought disappointments, frustrations and even more questions.
Until Sunday.

Not to be overlooked, Hall also has shout-outs to runner-up Stacy Lewis, third place finisher and new pro from Northern Ireland Stephanie Meadow, and veteran Juli Inkster who gave non-millennials a thrill.

The USGA’s final round photo gallery includes some spectacular images.

The SI/golf.com team kicked around the significance of Wie's win in their Confidential:

LYNCH: Every sports update I heard on my car radio today covered Wie's quest for a major, which is hardly standard practice for a Women's Open. She never really stopped being the face of women's golf, even as she struggled throughout her career. Among the casual fans, she remained the most famous female golfer in the world. Now her game has the stature of her reputation and her brand.

BAMBERGER: Michelle Wie has not won enough to be regarded a superstar. Her power and her ability to hit shots high and low and with fade spin or draw spin, to say nothing of her improved putting, gives her enormous upside. In terms of stature in the game, she's way ahead of Rickie Fowler, but miles behind, say, Inbee Park.

VAN SICKLE: Wie has been the biggest name in women's golf for quite some time, she just hasn't had the wins to go with it. She's definitely the face of American women's golf until she piles up a few more wins, but she's a dream for LPGA marketing.

PASSOV: The only woman that truly moves the needle is Wie, and her win is great for women's golf -- and great for golf, period.

Garry Smits kicks off the inevitable and important remembrances of Wie when she wasn't a U.S. Women's Open champion. These reminders are important for telling the story of who she was, who she became and how she overcame things other child prodigies have not been able to deal with.

Wie signed multi-million dollar deals with Nike and Sony when she turned professional at 16. She didn't need to win to be rich, and she often didn't.

As anyone who has followed her career knows, the next decade was a flurry of meaningless starts in PGA Tour events ("oh, how nice ... Michelle only missed the cut by three"), attempts to make the Masters by playing in the men's Public Links and U.S. Amateur, several brushes with the rules during tournaments, an accusation that her father, B.J., was giving swing advice during a tournament and frequent changes in caddies and management (she's on her ninth caddie).

Wie was fast becoming the poster child for burn-out and her parents the poster children for doing everything wrong in how to handle a prodigy.

But things began settling down.

Who knows what it meant, but Wie did work off of the yardage books of Keegan Bradley and Rickie Fowler, and she thanked them on Twitter after her win. Jason Sobel talked to Bradley about his small role in Wie's win.

“I’m so pumped she’s playing well. I’m happy for her. She deserves it.”

Below is the Twitter conversation between Wie and Bradley during the aftermath of Wie's first major win. She also thanks Rickie Fowler, who apparently helped her as well.

Sobel, Mell and Hoggard with short notes to wrap the week from Pinehurst.

For Twitterers, Wie set new precedents for a major winner Tweeting thanks, photos and news.

This of the trophy is a classic:

 

And a trophy selfie, posted by Golf Channel but re-Tweeted by Wie:



Golf Central's look back at Wie's various career highlights and lowlights is worth a refresher course viewing.

 

The USGA’s YouTube recap is heavy on music and cuts, light on highlights. Foxworthy!

Sunday
Jun222014

Crazy: Streelman Finishes With 7 Birdies To Win Travelers

Yes, his names screams journeyman and the Travelers Championship is not a major, but Kevin Streelman accomplished something pretty spectacular to beat a sneaky-good field in Connecticut while the world was watching USA-Portugal or the exciting conclusion to the U.S. Women's Open.

Brian Wacker with the story of Streelman, who, with wife Courtney, experienced a lifetime's share of stress earlier this year, and also admitted to some rather funny "zone" thoughts during a stunning seven birdie finish that surpassed Mike Souchak’s previous mark of six straight from the 1956 St. Paul Open.

“When you're in the zone like that, when athletes talk about being in the zone, everything is really slow, and it's really clear and concise, and it's very vivid,” said Streelman, who began the day four strokes back and was 2 over through his first seven holes Sunday. “The lines are easy to see. The hole seems to appear bigger. It's almost to a point it doesn't matter how you read the putts because you just know they're going in before you hit them.”

At one point, Streelman had to back off his putt on the 12th hole because he started thinking about the fishing vacation he is taking next week in Flagstaff, Ariz.

He made the putt and followed with six more birdies, then had to wait 45 minutes to see if it would be enough.

The highlights from PGA Tour Entertainment:

Sunday
Jun222014

Photo: The ResetCup Standings Are Everywhere!

I don't get a lot of texted photos from PGA Tour players, but the placement of ResetCup standings in the men's urinal at this week's Travelers Championship could not escape a cell-phone shot from a Top 125er.

While the players might lament this bit of information-sharing over, say, a witty New Yorker cartoon, I take great pleasure in imagining a player heading to the John to do his business in peace only to be confronted with the depressing thought that Kevin Na is 11th in FedExCup points and definitely set to make some major bonus money this year. Nothing like a little incentive!

Sunday
Jun222014

Vijay Singh Loses Key Lawsuit Ruling, World Grieves

We're moving closer to Vijay Singh's inevitable settlement with the PGA Tour and the prospect of Mr. Joy And Happiness taking his road show to the Champions Tour full time, as Alex Miceli reports on Singh having his ability to discover PGA Tour drug program secrets hampered by Judge Eileen Bransten.

Miceli writes:

The 10-page ruling, dated June 12, limits the scope of the discovery only to documents of prior violations that were linked to the use of deer-antler spray or products that contained insulin-like growth factor 1, known as IGF-1.

“We believe the ruling is a partial victory for Mr. Singh,” Jeffery Rosenblum, Singh's co-counsel, said Saturday.

Uh huh.

Page 1 ... 5 6 7 8 9 ... 800 Next 20 Entries »