Dalys Ryder Cup Hopes May be Dashed

By Associated PressAugust 12, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 PGA ChampionshipHAVEN, Wis. -- If this had been match play, John Daly's wild adventure Thursday on the 18th hole at Whistling Straits would have cost him only one hole.
But it was the PGA Championship, and his quadruple-bogey 8 almost certainly cost him more than just four shots to par.
It likely cost him any chance of making his first Ryder Cup team.
Needing a great performance to earn his way onto the team, Daly turned in his worst score of the year -- an 81 that featured three double bogeys and that ugly 8 -- leaving him 16 shots out of the lead and headed for his third weekend off in the majors. Daly was tied for last place with Rory Sabbatini.
'I've got to play some incredible golf tomorrow just to make the cut,' Daly said. 'I've been through worse challenges. Hopefully, I'm up for this one.'
Daly won at Torrey Pines in February for his first U.S. victory in 10 years. He was one putt away from a chance to win two weeks ago at the Buick Open, which moved him up to 20th in the Ryder Cup standings and made him the people's choice to be a captain's pick, if he didn't get into the top 10 and make the team on his own.
It all vanished with a couple of bad swings with a 2-iron, and one disastrous hole.
'(No.) 18 really crushed me,' he said.
On his ninth hole of the opening round, paired with Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh, Daly hit 2-iron off the tee left and into a bunker. He couldn't figure out how to get out, either by going sideways or even backward, so he tried to blast it over a valley into a landing area.
But it came up short, and Daly could only advance it a few yards out of the gnarly grass. He hit his fourth shot into a bunker in such a bad spot that his only option was to play away from the flag, the ball trickling some 70 feet away on a green about the size of a football field.
Three putts later, Daly had an 8 -- and still nine holes to play.
He finished with two double bogeys, both times missing the fairway with a 2-iron, and was dead last among the early starters.
Other players in contention to make the Ryder Cup team took advantage. Scott Verplank (14th in the standings) had a 67, while Chris DiMarco (15th) and Jay Haas (10th) each had 68.
'Some guys on the board are doing good,' Daly said. 'I've got to worry about making the cut, and then try to do something on the weekend.'
Daly's round came one day after U.S. captain Hal Sutton offered strong suggestions that while Daly might be a sentimental favorite, he was more interested in statistics.

And one statistic that has jumped out at Sutton is how guys fare on the par-4s and par-3s, particularly important since power might not be all that important at Oakland Hills for the Ryder Cup next month.
'There are three par-5s at Oakland Hills,' Sutton said on the eve of the PGA. 'There's more par-3s and more par-4s than anything else. And go look at everybody's stats for par-3s and par-4s for the year. You'll find out what I think is important and what's not important.'
Sutton only needed to look at Daly's round on Thursday.
His only two birdies came on the par-5s. He played the par-4s in 11 over par, not the best way to impress the captain.
'Like Hal said, par-3s and par-4s are what he's looking at,' Daly said. 'I really wish he'd say, 'JD is leading the all-around stats on the PGA Tour.''
Daly is the only two-time major winner to have never played in the Ryder Cup, and his popularity with blue-collar fans -- especially those in Detroit -- led several people to believe he would be a logical choice.
But Sutton has been looking for players who desperately want to be on the team, and he was never sold on Daly. Not only did Daly skip qualifying for the U.S. Open -- a major where Ryder Cup points count double -- he was perplexed why Daly chose to skip the International last week.
Those close to Sutton say what really got under his skin was when he asked the top 25 players to be fitted for Ryder Cup uniforms at the Memorial, and despite being reminded, Daly never bothered to show up.
Daly said he wasn't paying attention to the Ryder Cup this week, that he only wanted to play good golf.
'I hadn't even really thought about it,' Daly said. 'The way I'd been playing, I was honestly thinking, 'Hey, I could win this golf tournament.' And I love this course. I'm just trying to do the best I can.'
It wasn't enough on Thursday. Not even close.
Daly said he would love to play on his first Ryder Cup team, 'but I've got to play better than I did today.'
Even that probably won't be enough.
Related Links:
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    Watch: Tiger highlights from Round 2 at Honda

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 23, 2018, 8:12 pm

    Tiger Woods started at even par in Round 2 of the Honda Classic. Friday began with a bogey at the par-4 second, but Woods got that stroke back with a birdie at the par-4 fourth:

    Following four consecutive pars, Woods birdied the par-4 ninth to turn in 1-under 34.

    At 1 under for the tournament, Woods was tied for 10th place, three off the lead, when he began the back nine at PGA National. And the crowd was loving it.

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    Defending champ Fowler misses cut at Honda

    By Ryan LavnerFebruary 23, 2018, 7:14 pm

    PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – The roles might be reversed this weekend for Rickie Fowler.

    Last year, when he won at PGA National, Fowler was greeted behind the 18th green by Justin Thomas, one of his Jupiter neighbors. Thomas had missed the cut in his hometown event but drove back to the tournament to congratulate Fowler on his fourth PGA Tour title.

    It’s Fowler who will be on the sidelines this weekend, after missing the Honda Classic cut following rounds of 71-76.  

    Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

    Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    “I haven’t been swinging it great the last month and a half,” he said afterward. “Obviously playing in the wind, it will pick you apart even more.”

    After a tie for fourth at Kapalua, Fowler has missed two of his last three cuts. In between, at the Phoenix Open, he coughed up the 54-hole lead and tied for 11th.

    Fowler said he’s been struggling with commitment and trust on the course.

    “It’s close,” he said. “Just a little bit off, and the wind is going to make it look like you’re a terrible weekend golfer.”

    Asked if he’d return the favor for Thomas, if he were to go and win, Fowler smiled and said: “Of course.”  

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    Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

    By Tiger TrackerFebruary 23, 2018, 7:00 pm

    Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

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    Cut Line: Woods still eyeing Ryder Cup dual role

    By Rex HoggardFebruary 23, 2018, 6:57 pm

    In this week’s edition, Jack Nicklaus makes the argument, again, for an equipment rollback, Tiger Woods gets halfway to his Ryder Cup goal and Paul Lawrie laments slow play ... in Europe.

    Made Cut

    Captain’s corner. Last week Tiger Woods coyly figured he could do both, play and be a vice captain for this year’s U.S. Ryder Cup team. On Tuesday, he made it halfway to his goal.

    U.S. captain Jim Furyk named Woods and Steve Stricker vice captains for this year’s matches, joining Davis Love III on the team golf cart.

    Whether Woods will be able to pull off the double-header is now largely up to him and how his most recent comeback from injury progresses, but one way or another Furyk wanted Tiger in his team room.

    “What Tiger really has brought to the table for our vice captains is a great knowledge of X's and O's,” Furyk said. “He's done a really good job of pairing players together in foursomes and fourball. When you look at our team room and you look at a lot of the youth that we have in that team room now with the younger players, a lot of them became golf professionals, fell in love with the game of golf because they wanted to emulate Tiger Woods.”

    Woods is currently 104th on the U.S. points list, but the qualification process is designed for volatility, with this year’s majors worth twice as many points. With Tiger’s improved play it’s not out of the question that he gets both, a golf cart and a golf bag, for this year’s matches.

    #MSDStrong. Every week on Tour players, officials and fans come together to support a charity of some sort, but this week’s Honda Classic has a more personal impact for Nicholas Thompson.

    Thompson graduated from nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and last week’s horrific shooting there inspired the former Tour member to work with tournament organizers and find a way to help the victims.

    Officials handed out 1,600 maroon ribbons to volunteers to honor the victims; and Thompson and his wife, who is also a Stoneman Douglas graduate, donated another 500 with the letters “MSD” on them for players, wives and caddies.

    Thompson also planned to donate 3,100 rubber bracelets in exchange for donations to help the victims and their families.

    “I’m not much of a crier, but it was a very, very sad moment,” Thompson told PGATour.com. “To see on TV, the pictures of the school that I went through for four years and the area where it occurred was terrible.”

    The Tour makes an impact on communities every week, but some tournaments are more emotional than others.

    Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

    Golden moment. Jack Nicklaus has never been shy about expressing his thoughts on modern equipment and how far today’s professionals are hitting the golf ball, but this week the Golden Bear revealed just how involved he may be in what is increasingly looking like an equipment rollback of some sort.

    During a recent dinner with USGA CEO Mike Davis, Nicklaus discussed the distance debate.

    “Mike said, ‘We’re getting there. We’re going to get there. I need your help when we get there.'” Nicklaus said. “I said, ‘That’s fine. I’m happy to help you. I’ve only been yelling at you for 40 years.’ 1977 is the first time I went to the USGA.”

    The USGA and R&A are scheduled to release their annual distance report before the end of the month, but after the average driving distance jumped nearly 3 yards last year on Tour – and nearly 7 yards on the Web.com Tour – many within the equipment industry are already bracing for what could be the most profound rollback in decades.

    Stay tuned.

    Geographically undesirable. Although this will likely be the final year the Tour’s Florida swing is undercut by the WGC-Mexico Championship, which will be played next week, the event’s impact on this year’s fields is clear.

    The tee sheet for this week’s Honda Classic, which had become one of the circuit’s deepest stops thanks to an influx of Europeans gearing up for the Masters, includes just three players from the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking, and none from top three. By comparison, only the Sony Open and CareerBuilder Challenge had fewer top players in 2018.

    On Monday at a mandatory meeting, players were given a rough outline of the 2018-19 schedule, which features some dramatic changes including the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players shifting back to March, and numerous sources say the Mexico stop will move to the back end of the West Coast swing and be played after the Genesis Open.

    That should help fields in the Sunshine State regain some luster, but it does nothing to change the fact that this year’s Florida swing is, well, flat.

    Missed Cut

    West Coast woes. Of all the highlights from this year’s West Coast swing, a run that included overtime victories for Patton Kizzire (Sony Open), Jon Rahm (CareerBuilder Challenge), Jason Day (Farmers Insurance Open) and Gary Woodland (Waste Management Phoenix Open), it will be what regularly didn’t happen that Cut Line remembers.

    J.B. Holmes endured the wrath of social media for taking an eternity - it was actually 4 minutes, 10 seconds - to hit his second shot on the 72nd hole at Torrey Pines, but in fairness to Holmes he’s only a small part of a larger problem.

    Without any weather delays, Rounds 1 and 2 were not completed on schedule last week in Los Angeles because of pace of play, and the Tour is even considering a reduction in field size at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open to avoid similar schedule issues.

    But all this seems to miss the point. Smaller fields aren’t the answer; rules that recognize and penalize slow play are the only solution.

    Tweet of the week: @PaulLawriegolf (Paul Lawrie) “Getting pretty fed up playing with guys who cheat the system by playing as slow as they want until referee comes then hit it on the run to make sure they don't get penalized. As soon as ref [is] gone it’s back to taking forever again. We need a better system.”

    It turns out slow play isn’t a uniquely Tour/West Coast issue, as evidenced by the Scot’s tweet on Thursday from the Qatar Masters.