Notes Daly double Vive Van de Velde

By Associated PressJuly 18, 2008, 4:00 pm
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Open ChampionshipSOUTHPORT, England -- John Daly is out of excuses and the British Open after an 89 on Friday left him at 29-over-par for the tournament and a staggering 20 strokes on the wrong side of the cut line.
 
Daly began the week talking about injuries and blasting former coach Butch Harmon, who ended their brief relationship in March after saying Daly was drinking too much and more interested in partying than practicing. Daly said those remarks cost him endorsements and caused him considerable pain.
 
His round Friday included a quintuple-bogey 9 and three doubles. He missed an 18-inch putt at the 18th and was cheered by fans who howled when the Wild Thing was in his prime and pounding tee shots through the wind and into the distance. He walked off the green, stopped to sign an autograph'left-handed, while cradling a cigarette in his right hand'then signed his card and climbed into the back of a waiting car. He declined comment.
 
LINKS TO THE BOOTH: Four straight bogeys late in his round kept Tom Watson from making the cut. He followed his 74 in miserable weather with a 76 in slightly better conditions, missing a weekend tee time by one shot.
 
Next up for Watson is the Senior British Open at Royal Troon, one of five links courses where he won the British Open.
 
But he wont be leaving Royal Birkdale just yet.
 
Watson reluctantly agreed to try broadcasting this weekend and will join ABC Sports as a commentator.
 
They asked me to do it, and I said, I dont want to do that. But on the other hand, the British Open is not a bad place for you to do it, Watson said. You have a chance to play in it, see the golf course, and tell the viewers what you think of a particular shot. I said, You know what? I probably can do that. Let me give it a try. So thats what Im going to do the next couple days.
 
MONTY PLAYS ON: Colin Montgomerie started his round only three shots out of the lead. He finished hoping to make the cut.
 
He made it with one shot to spare, overcoming an atrocious start'two double bogeys and a triple bogey before reaching the seventh tee. The worst of it was No. 5, a triple bogey from the fairway. After an approach into thick grass, Monty not only whiffed with a wedge, the attempt buried the ball even deeper.
 
He took a penalty drop, and it rolled into a divot.
 
I didnt want to go on, he said.
 
But he answered with birdies on his next two holes and wound up with a 75 that at least allowed him to keep playing.
 
Im quite proud that I managed to play the last 12 holes in 2 under feeling the way I did walking off the sixth green, because that wasnt a great feeling, believe me, Montgomerie said.
 
The cut was at 9-over 149, the highest since it was 12-over 154 at Carnoustie in 1999.
 
Among those on their way home were three players from the top 10 in the world'Geoff Ogilvy, Stewart Cink and Vijay Singh.
 
OLYMPIC HELP: Golf has another voice in its campaign to be part of the Olympics'Jack Nicklaus.
 
Ive offered to help where I can, if I can, Nicklaus said Friday during a brief stop at Royal Birkdale. Im doing golf courses around the world. If golf became an Olympic sport, it would get government financing. It would be a big thing in the world of golf to get financing in a lot of places where golf is not played.
 
Nicklaus wasnt even aware that golf executives had put together a plan and met with IOC officials in May. He said he was in his office Monday chatting about golf and the Olympics when an assistant called the PGA Tour to inquire about the chances. Thats when they learned of an announcement Tuesday at the British Open, in which Ty Votaw was chosen to lead the effort.
 
I just told them wherever they need me, Id be happy to help, Nicklaus said. If Im going to one of these countries and they have an IOC guy theyd like to have me talk to, Id be delighted.
 
VERPLANK CARRIES ON:The wife of PGA TOUR rules official Dillard Pruitt died Friday from complications of cystic fibrosis, news that hit Scott Verplank particularly hard after he finished his second round of the British Open.
 
Fran Pruitt, who was 46, and Verplanks wife were sisters.
 
Shes the one who introduced us, he said quietly as he sat in the locker room at Royal Birkdale, so numb over the news that he wasnt the least bit interested in his round of 67 that brought him back into contention, five shots out of the lead.
 
Pruitts death touched many PGA TOUR members.
 
Her husband played on the PGA TOUR from 1988 to 1996 before he decided to become a rules officials. He is the younger brother of Jan Haas, who is married to Champions Tour player Jay Haas. And she set up her little sister, Kim, on a blind date in Dallas with Verplank.
 
Fran Pruitt had been awaiting a double lung transplant and took a turn for the worse earlier this week. Verplank, who brought his son with him to Britain and celebrated Scotties 16th birthday Monday, said he considered withdrawing Thursday, but his wife and Dillard Pruitt insisted he play.
 
My wife said the only good news she had today was getting a text that I was playing good and that someone saw Scottie on TV, Verplank said.
 
VIVE VAN DE VELDE: For the first time since St. Andrews eight years ago, Jean Van de Velde will be playing on the weekend at the British Open. The Frenchman famous for his comical collapse at Carnoustie in 1999 was actually on the leaderboard Friday, just two shots out, until struggling on the back nine.
 
He wound up with a 71 and at 4-over 144 was only five shots out of the lead.
 
I had it going but made a couple of mistakes and paid the price for those, Van de Velde said of his double bogey on the 11th and a triple bogey on the 16th. But Im very happy. If it wasnt for a couple of blemishes, I could have been under par. Its should haves and would haves I guess.
 
No one knows that better than Van de Velde, who should have won the 99 Open if he would have laid up short of Barry Burn on the 18th hole. Then he could have avoided a triple bogey on the final hole and perhaps not lost in a playoff.
 
ROCCO ROCKS: Rocco Mediate keeps delivering big moments in the majors, the latest keeping him in the hunt Friday. After chopping up the par-5 17th for a bogey, his approach to the 18th stopped inches away for a tap-in birdie and a 73.
 
That put him only two shots behind 53-year-old Greg Norman.
 
Mediate was alone in the lead until his 3-wood went well to the right on the tough 11th hole. His chip went sideways, and he wound up with a double bogey. Then came another bogey on the 14th, the bogey on the 17th, and his big finish.
 
I made two bad swings today, and I got what I deserved on those holes, he said of the 11th and 17th. Other than that, I didnt make as many putts today, obviously. I hit the ball a million times better, shot four shots higher. Go figure. Thats how it works in this game.
 
Does he have a better chance trying to catch Norman at Birkdale than Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines?
 
Its still a major, Mediate said. Its still going to be the most exciting thing ever if youre in the hunt. The difference is, you dont have to look him (Woods) in the eye. Id rather him be here than not, to tell you the truth.
 
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  • Open Qualifying Series kicks off with Aussie Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 21, 2017, 4:24 pm

    The 147th Open is nearly eight months away, but there are still major championship berths on the line this week in Australia.

    The Open Qualifying Series kicks off this week, a global stretch of 15 event across 10 different countries that will be responsible for filling 46 spots in next year's field at Carnoustie. The Emirates Australian Open is the first event in the series, and the top three players among the top 10 who are not otherwise exempt will punch their tickets to Scotland.

    In addition to tournament qualifying opportunities, the R&A will also conduct four final qualifying events across Great Britain and Ireland on July 3, where three spots will be available at each site.

    Here's a look at the full roster of tournaments where Open berths will be awarded:

    Emirates Australian Open (Nov. 23-26): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    Joburg Open (Dec. 7-10): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    SMBC Singapore Open (Jan. 18-21): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

    Mizuno Open (May 24-27): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

    HNA Open de France (June 28-July 1): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    The National (June 28-July 1): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

    Dubai Duty Free Irish Open (July 5-8): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    The Greenbrier Classic (July 5-8): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open (July 12-15): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    John Deere Classic (July 12-15): Top player (not otherwise exempt) among top five and ties

    Stock Watch: Lexi, Justin rose or fall this week?

    By Ryan LavnerNovember 21, 2017, 2:36 pm

    Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

    RISING

    Jon Rahm (+9%): Just imagine how good he’ll be in the next few years, when he isn’t playing all of these courses for the first time. With no weaknesses in his game, he’s poised for an even bigger 2018.

    Austin Cook (+7%): From Monday qualifiers to Q-School to close calls on the Web.com, it hasn’t been an easy road to the big leagues. Well, he would have fooled us, because it looked awfully easy as the rookie cruised to a win in just his 14th Tour start.

    Ariya (+6%): Her physical tools are as impressive as any on the LPGA, and if she can shore up her mental game – she crumbled upon reaching world No. 1 – then she’ll become the world-beater we always believed she could be.  

    Tommy Fleetwood (+4%): He ran out of gas in Dubai, but no one played better on the European Tour this year than Fleetwood, Europe’s new No. 1, who has risen from 99th to 18th in the world.   

    Lexi (+1%): She has one million reasons to be pleased with her performance this year … but golf fans are more likely to remember the six runners-up and two careless mistakes (sloppy marking at the ANA and then a yippy 2-footer in the season finale) that cost her a truly spectacular season.


    FALLING

    J-Rose (-1%): Another high finish in Dubai, but his back-nine 38, after surging into the lead, was shocking. It cost him not just the tournament title, but also the season-long race.  

    Hideki (-2%): After getting blown out at the Dunlop Phoenix, he made headlines by saying there’s a “huge gap” between he and winner Brooks Koepka. Maybe something was lost in translation, but Matsuyama being too hard on himself has been a familiar storyline the second half of the year. For his sake, here’s hoping he loosens up.

    Golf-ball showdown (-3%): Recent comments by big-name stars and Mike Davis’ latest salvo about the need for a reduced-flight ball could set up a nasty battle between golf’s governing bodies and manufacturers.

    DL3 (-4%): Boy, the 53-year-old is getting a little too good at rehab – in recent years, he has overcome a neck fusion, foot injury, broken collarbone and displaced thumb. Up next is hip-replacement surgery.

    LPGA Player of the Year (-5%): Sung Hyun Park and So Yeon Ryu tied for the LPGA’s biggest prize, with 162 points. How is there not a tiebreaker in place, whether it’s scoring average or best major performance? Talk about a buzzkill.

    Titleist's Uihlein fires back at Davis over distance

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 21, 2017, 12:59 am

    Consider Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein unmoved by Mike Davis' comments about the evolution of the golf ball – and unhappy.

    In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, the outlet which first published Davis' comments on Sunday, Uihlein took aim at the idea that golf ball distance gains are hurting the sport by providing an additional financial burden to courses.

    "Is there any evidence to support this canard … the trickle-down cost argument?” he wrote (via Golf.com). “Where is the evidence to support the argument that golf course operating costs nationwide are being escalated due to advances in equipment technology?"

    Pointing the blame elsewhere, Uihlein criticized the choices and motivations of modern architects.

    "The only people that seem to be grappling with advances in technology and physical fitness are the short-sighted golf course developers and the supporting golf course architectural community who built too many golf courses where the notion of a 'championship golf course' was brought on line primarily to sell real estate," he wrote.

    The Titleist CEO even went as far as to suggest that Tiger Woods' recent comments that "we need to do something about the golf ball" were motivated by the business interersts of Woods' ball sponsor, Bridgestone.

    "Given Bridgestone’s very small worldwide market share and paltry presence in professional golf, it would seem logical they would have a commercial motive making the case for a reduced distance golf ball," he added.

    Acushnet Holdings, Titleist's parent company, announced in September that Uihlein would be stepping down as the company's CEO at the end of this year but that he will remain on the company's board of directors.

    Class of 2011: The groups before The Group

    By Mercer BaggsNovember 20, 2017, 9:00 pm

    We’ve been grouping things since the beginning, as in The Beginning, when God said this is heaven and this is earth, and you’re fish and you’re fowl.

    God probably wasn’t concerned with marketing strategies at the time and how #beastsoftheearth would look with a hashtag, but humans have evolved into such thinking (or not evolved, depending on your thinking).

    We now have all manner of items lumped into the cute, the catchy and the kitschy. Anything that will capture our attention before the next thing quickly wrests said attention away.

    Modern focus, in a group sense in the golf world, is on the Class of 2011. This isn’t an arbitrary assembly of players based on world ranking or current form. It’s not a Big Pick A Number.

    There’s an actual tie that binds as it takes a specific distinction to be part of the club. It’s a group of 20-somethings who graduated from high school in the aforementioned year, many who have a PGA Tour card, a handful of who have PGA Tour wins, and a couple of who have major titles.

    It’s a deep and talented collective, one for which our knowledge should continue to expand as resumes grow.

    Do any “classes” in golf history compare? Well, it’s not like we’ve long been lumping successful players together based on when they completed their primary education. But there are other notable groups of players, based primarily on birthdate, relative competition and accomplishment.

    Here’s a few on both the men’s and women’s side:

    BORN IN 1912

    Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
    Feb. 4, 1912 Byron Nelson 52 5
    May 27, 1912 Sam Snead 82 7
    Aug. 13, 1912 Ben Hogan 64 9

    Born six months within one another. Only a threesome, but a Hall of Fame trio that combined for 198 PGA Tour wins and 21 majors.


    BORN IN 1949

    Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
    Sept. 4, 1949 Tom Watson 39 8
    Dec. 5, 1949 Lanny Wadkins 21 1
    Dec. 9, 1949 Tom Kite 19 1

    Only 96 days separate these three Hall of Fame players. Extend the reach into March of 1950 and you'll get two-time U.S. Open winner Andy North.


    BORN IN 1955

    Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
    Jan. 30, 1955 Curtis Strange 17 2
    Jan. 30, 1955 Payne Stewart 11 3
    Feb. 10, 1955 Greg Norman 20 2

    Another trio of Hall of Fame players. Strange and Stewart were born on the same day with Norman 11 days later. Fellow PGA Tour winners born in 1955: Scott Simpson, Scott Hoch and Loren Roberts.


    WITHIN A CALENDAR YEAR, 1956-57

    Birthdate Player LPGA wins Major wins
    Feb. 22, 1956 Amy Alcott 29 5
    Oct. 14, 1956 Beth Daniel 33 1
    Oct. 27, 1956 Patty Sheehan 35 6
    Jan. 6, 1957 Nancy Lopez 48 3

    A little arbitrary here, but go with it. Four Hall of Famers on the women's side, all born within one year of each other. That's an average (!) career of 36 tour wins and nearly four majors.


    EUROPE'S BIG 5

    Birthdate Player Euro (PGA Tour) wins Major wins
    April 9, 1957 Seve Ballesteros 50 (9) 5
    July 18, 1957 Nick Faldo 30 (9) 6
    Aug. 27, 1957 Bernhard Langer 42 (3) 2
    Feb. 9, 1958 Sandy Lyle 18 (6) 2
    March 2, 1958 Ian Woosnam 29 (2) 1

    The best 'class' of players Europe has to offer. Five born within a year of one another. Five Hall of Fame members. Five who transformed and globalized European golf.


    WITHIN A CALENDAR YEAR, 1969-70

    Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
    Sept. 12, 1969 Angel Cabrera 3 2
    Oct. 17, 1969 Ernie Els 19 4
    May 12, 1970 Jim Furyk 17 1
    May 12, 1970 Mike Weir 8 1
    June 16, 1970 Phil Mickelson 42 5

    Not a tight-knit group, but a little more global bonding in accordance to the PGA Tour's increased international reach. Add in worldwide wins – in excess of 200 combined – and this group is even more impressive.


    BORN IN 1980

    Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
    Jan. 9, 1980 Sergio Garcia 10 1
    July 16, 1980 Adam Scott 13 1
    July 30, 1980 Justin Rose 8 1

    Could be three future Hall of Fame members here.

    Editor's note: Golf Channel's editorial research unit contributed.