Elway hits the links with the seniors

By Associated PressSeptember 1, 2010, 9:44 pm

DENVER – John Elway pulled an Elway on the Elway hole.

“Seven on 7,” the Hall of Famer said sadly after carding an even-par 72 Wednesday in his first senior golf tournament since turning 50 in June.

Elway’s blunder came about when he played the wrong ball and ended up with a triple-bogey on the par-4 seventh hole at the Green Valley Ranch Golf Club, site of the HealthOne Colorado Senior Open.

Elway hit a TaylorMade Penta 2 ball from the rough only to realize when he reached it again on the fairway that it wasn’t his.

So, he called himself for a two-stroke penalty.

“It was the same exact ball and it was buried. I could barely see the ball and it was a TaylorMade 2, which is what I was hitting,” Elway said. “I didn’t mark the ball. … I just figured it was the same lie, same everything, so I didn’t check it for sure. I was happy to find it, actually.

“And after I hit it and I got up in the grass, I looked at it and I said, ‘Aw, that’s not my ball.’ So, we went 10 yards farther and there was my ball, and it was in much better shape than the one I hit.”

This golf ball is relatively new, so that made it all the odder to Elway that two nearly identical balls would be so close together to trip him up.

“I was a little bit unlucky, but I also should have checked it. It was in a big tuft of grass and I could only see about that much of it,” Elway said, holding his thumb and forefinger to make a hole about the size of a dime. “And it was a TaylorMade with a 2. So, I should have picked it up to make sure it was mine.”

There were only two fans watching, along with an Associated Press reporter and an AP photographer, who were far enough away that Elway and his caddie, Jeff Nickless, could have kept quiet and nobody would have known about the blunder.

Elway did the honorable thing, though, went back and played his ball.

Now, the two-time Super Bowl winner can add “honest golfer” to his resume.

“And I counted my scorecard seven times there because I wanted to make sure I didn’t write down a wrong score, either,” Elway said. “It was disappointing but I was able to come back and I actually played really well. So, it was just a mistake.”

Otherwise, Elway played pretty consistently, never needing a three-putt.

“I was glad I came back after that 7 because it bothered me, razzed me a little bit,” Elway said. “And I actually hit a good shot on the next hole, had about a 6-footer for birdie and I missed it. And I made birdie on the next hole.”

Elway was the low amateur finisher among the group that went off in the morning.

Another round like this and Elway should easily make the cut Friday when the field of 156 amateurs and pros is trimmed to the top 55 scores plus ties.

“My thought was I couldn’t win it today, I could just lose it,” said Elway, who tied for second at a celebrity golf tournament in Nevada in July. “So, I played probably a little bit safer that I probably would if I was chasing somebody.

“If I can play like I did today tomorrow and eliminate the big hole, then maybe I can sneak back into it.”

Aside from working on his golf game, Elway has spent part of his summer dipping his toe back into the NFL with some marketing and corporate projects for the Denver Broncos

It’s the first time he’s been involved with his former team since retiring in 1999 after winning back-to-back Super Bowls. He’ll help them promote their game in London next month against the San Francisco 49ers.

“It’s kind of a perfect situation with what I have going on right now,” Elway said. “So, I’ll go to London with them and kind of see what happens. But it’s nice to just be close, back with the Broncos.”

Elway also has attended a couple of coach Josh McDaniels’ practices this summer. He said he’s impressed with quarterbacks Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow, the former Florida star whose popularity recalls the days of Elway’s arrival in Denver in 1983.

And what does Elway make of Tebowmania?

“Tim’s a popular guy. He won the Heisman his sophomore year in college, and then they won the national title, so we’ve heard about Tim for three years,” Elway said. “I mean, he’s just a popular guy and not only for what he does football-wise but for what type of person he is.

“I think now that we get into the regular season the mania may cool down a little bit and we start talking about wins and losses, and I’m sure Tim’s anxious to get going with the season, too.”

Like many NFL observers, Elway said he’s “curious to see how they’re going to use him in certain situations. But all the young guys will see things turned up a notch once they get into the regular season.”

While Orton has a stranglehold on the starting job, Elway said he believes the Broncos will find ways to get Tebow on the field.

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Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.

Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.

Nathaniel Crosby at the 1983 Bing Crosby Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. Getty Images

Crosby selected as 2019 U.S. Walker Cup captain

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 3:19 pm

The USGA announced that former U.S. Amateur champ Nathaniel Crosby will serve as the American captain for the 2019 Walker Cup, which will be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

Crosby, 56, is the son of entertainment icon and golf enthusiast Bing Crosby. He won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club as a teenager and earned low amateur honors at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He also played in the 1983 Walker Cup, coincidentally held at Royal Liverpool, before embarking on a brief career in professional golf, with his amateur status reinstated in 1994.

"I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup team," Crosby said in a statement. "Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities."

Crosby takes over the captaincy from John "Spider" Miller, who led the U.S. squad both in 2015 and earlier this year, when the Americans cruised to a 19-7 victory at Los Angeles Country Club.

Crosby is a Florida resident and member at Seminole Golf Club, which will host the 2021 matches. While it remains to be seen if he'll be asked back as captain in 2021, each of the last six American captains have led a team on both home and foreign soil.

Started in 1922, the Walker Cup is a 10-man, amateur match play competition pitting the U.S. against Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. team holds a 37-9 all-time lead in the biennial matches but has not won in Europe since 2007.

Rose (62) sets blistering pace in Indonesia

By Associated PressDecember 14, 2017, 3:06 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Justin Rose shot a 10-under 62 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, starting on the back nine at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, had five birdies to go out in 31, then birdied four of five holes midway through his final nine and another birdie on his last hole in the $750,000 tournament.

Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

Gunn Charoenkul (64) was in second place and Kim Giwhan and Phachara Khongwatmai (both 65) were tied for third.

Brandt Snedeker shot 72. Ranked 51st in the world, the American is aiming for a strong finish in Jakarta to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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LaCava: Woods wouldn't talk after H.O.R.S.E. match

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 2:27 pm

The competitive streak within Tiger Woods knows no bounds - even on the basketball court, according to caddie Joe LaCava.

LaCava has been on Woods' bag since 2011, and he recently shared a story on "Inside the Ropes" on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio about a clash between the two men over a seemingly friendly game of H.O.R.S.E. Actually, it turned into nine straight games (and nine straight wins) for LaCava, who exploited a weakness in Woods' on-court strategy while leaning on a mid-length jumper of his own:

"The thing with him was if I missed a shot, which I missed plenty of shots, but if I missed the shot he'd go back down to the 3 (point line) because he liked to make the 3," LaCava said. "But it's harder obviously to make a 3, and I'd go right back to the baseline 12-footer, and he couldn't make it."

It's a short list of people who have beaten Woods nine times in any athletic pursuit, let alone in a row. But for LaCava, the fallout from his afternoon of on-court dominance was less than subtle.

"He did not talk to me the rest of the day," LaCava explained. "I didn't even get the old text, 'Dinner is ready,' because I stay across at the beach house. I didn't even get that text that night. I had to get take-out. He didn't announce he wasn't (talking), he just did it. I'm telling you, nine games in a row. Like I said, he's so competitive, even at something like that."