Monty Looking for Rare Repeat

By Associated PressNovember 15, 2006, 5:00 pm
2006 UBS Hong Kong ChampionshipHONG KONG -- Colin Montgomerie will be looking to accomplish a rare feat at the Hong Kong Open this weekend when he tries to become the first golfer in more than 40 years to win the event in consecutive years.
 
The Scottish Ryder Cup star won here last year with a 9-under 271 after South Africa's James Kingston dropped a double bogey on the final hole to lose his one-stroke lead in the tournament jointly sanctioned by the Asian and European Tours.
 
'I benefited from my fair share of luck on my way to winning last year,' Montgomerie said. 'It was a real honor to see my name go on the trophy alongside names such as Peter Thomson, Tom Watson, my European colleagues Ian Woosnam and Jose Maria Olazabal, and also some of Asia's best players.'
 
The last player to win consecutive Hong Kong Open titles was Taiwan's Hsieh Yung-yo, in 1963 and 1964. The $2 million event -- which begins Thursday -- was first staged in 1959, making it the longest running sporting event here.
 
Defending the title at the par 70 Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling could be difficult for Montgomerie as this year's lineup includes majors winners Retief Goosen and Michael Campbell. Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez, who won the 2004 Open, will be looking to reclaim the title, while three-time Ryder Cup star Paul McGinley of Ireland makes his first appearance here since 2001.
 
'I have successfully defended a few tournaments before and would very much like to do it this time,' Montgomerie said. 'I haven't won for a year now. I want to change that in a hurry and win here just in time for the calendar year. I'm looking forward to trying to do that.'
 
Campbell is coming off a course-record equaling final round at the Sheshan International Golf Club on Sunday to share third place with Goosen at the HSBC Champions.
 
'I am really excited about the three weeks coming up, starting with Hong Kong,' the New Zealander said. 'I played it three or four years ago and finished top 10. My form is good at the moment. I finished second to Goosen a month ago and a top three this week so my form has finally turned the corner.'
 
Goosen said he's expecting some tough competition.
 
'With a European Tour field, it will be tough,' the South African said. 'I understand it's the strongest field they've had here and I'll need to have my A game to do well this week.'
 
India's Jeev Milkha Singh, Asia's top earner with $470,108 hopes to clinch the Asian Order of Merit with another victory after winning the Volvo Masters in Spain last month and the China Open in April.
 
'A good finish would be nice out here, but I'm not going to think too much and concentrate on my game,' he said. 'I never set a target before a tournament but instead I always play my game and take it a step at a time and that is what I will be doing here.'
 
However, Singh said an injured right wrist might hurt his game and prevent him from moving up to the world top-50 rankings.
 
'I've spoken to my doctor and my doctor said I need time off, and that is what I can't do right now,' said Singh, who wants a spot at the Masters next April.
 
Other Asian stars playing this year include South Korea's K.J. Choi, India's Jyoti Randhawa and Thailand's Thaworn Wiratchant, Thongchai Jaidee and Prom Meesawat -- who's ranked second on Asia's Order of Merit with earnings of $351,871.
 
Choi, who finished one shot behind Montgomerie last year, said the Fanling course suits him well.
 
'The tee shot is very important and so is the second shot,' he said. 'But the key is how the player is going to attack the pin. I think the player who has the strong second shot will have the edge.'
 
Related Links:
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  • Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee: