Furyk chasing FedEx Cup lead in WVa

By Associated PressJuly 29, 2010, 1:08 am

Greenbrier ClassicWHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – Carl Pettersson felt as if someone had turned back the clock when he arrived at West Virginia’s historic Greenbrier resort.

There’s the white facade of the regal hotel, quaint cottages, horses towing carriages along tree-lined streets, and the Sam Snead’s personal playground – the 96-year-old Old White golf course.

“It feels like you’re going back to the ’50s or something when you pull in,” Pettersson said Wednesday. “The golf course is a throwback, I think. This is a hidden gem.”

Pettersson hopes to relive some of his own memories from his Canadian Open win when he tees off Thursday in the Greenbrier Classic.

Pettersson shot 60 in the third round at St. George’s in Toronto last week and came from six strokes down with 11 holes left for his fourth PGA Tour win.

Now comes Old White, which has six par 4s at 405 yards or less and rough that isn’t as thick as St. George’s, leading Pettersson and others to believe the winning score could reach 20 under par or better.

“The momentum is great,” Pettersson said. “But in this game, I know it can change from day to day.”

The field for the Greenbrier Classic isn’t as strong as other tournaments – only three of the top 10 money leaders are entered – and some golfers believe those who aren’t here were reluctant to commit to a new tournament.

Jim Furyk
A win this week at the Greenbrier Classic would put Furyk atop the FedEx Cup rankings. (Getty Images)
That could be a bonus for Jim Furyk, who’s fifth in the FedExCup points standings and with a win could leap past Ernie Els into the top spot with four weeks remaining until the playoffs.

“To win and vault to No. 1 and basically be cemented in one of those top three spots for sure is a bonus,” said Furyk, who won earlier this year at Hilton Head and the Transitions Championship. “It’s a big head start to be seeded well. But first and foremost it would be great to have a three-win season. I’ve never done it.”

The PGA Tour returns to The Greenbrier for the first time since Snead, the resort’s pro for 29 years and its pro emeritus from 1993 until his death in 2002, won the Greenbrier Invitational in 1958.

The resort’s rich golf history dates to when President Woodrow Wilson was one of the first to play Old White when it opened in 1914.

The 1979 Ryder Cup, a Champions Tour event from 1985-87 and the 1994 women’s Solheim Cup were held on the adjacent Greenbrier course.

The resort lost its coveted Mobil five-star rating in 2000. A year ago, West Virginia businessman Jim Justice bought it out of bankruptcy and vowed to restore its shine.

Soon after, PGA Tour official Slugger White, whose friendship with Justice goes back to their boyhood summers playing golf from dawn to dusk in Beckley, called when he heard Justice bought the resort.

“It was really thought of as Emerald City to both of us,” Justice said.

Then the subject of returning professional golf came up. A few months later, the Greenbrier Classic was unveiled, replacing the Buick Open on this year’s schedule.

Justice was only getting started.

He teamed up with former NBA and West Virginia University star Jerry West to open a steakhouse and earlier this month Justice debuted an $80 million underground casino on the property.

This week, besides the $6 million purse and $1.08 million share that goes to the winner, Justice is offering $1 million for any hole-in-one made on the par-3 18th hole, with $750,000 going to charity and players making the ace getting the rest. There would be a maximum of three payouts per round.

In addition, fans carrying hole-in-one tickets on No. 18 will receive $100 for the first ace, $500 for a second one on the same day and $1,000 for a third.

Whether that happens remains to be seen. The 18th green includes a large ridge in the middle that Stuart Appleby compared to a giant boomerang.

It’s one of many undulating putting surfaces that figure to take some golfers on wild rides. The par-3 third green practically disappears from view from the tees.

“No. 3, you could park your car in it and not even see it,” Johnson Wagner said.

Cross bunkers in the fairways also could get in the way of scoring.

Most of the field hadn’t seen the 7,031-yard, par-70 Old White before arriving this week.

“Whoever plays the best is still going to win,” Pettersson said. “I don’t know if it levels the playing field or not. It probably rewards a more aggressive player.”

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.

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Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

 There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.

It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

“The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.

Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

“You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.

Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.

Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.

After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.

Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

“We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

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Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

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.