Notes Dream Weaver Big Easy Heats Up

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2007, 4:00 pm
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland -- About a month ago, Drew Weaver was just another face in college golf. One month in Britain changed everything for the junior-to-be at Virginia Tech.
 
He won the British Amateur at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, becoming the first American champion since Jay Sigel in 1979. He played his first professional tournament last week at Loch Lomond, missing the cut in the Scottish Open.
 
Weaver's amateur victory qualified him for the British Open, and he gave it a good run at Carnoustie.
 
Despite three birdies on his first six holes, Weaver made too many bogeys the rest of the way for a 72. He wound up at 6-over 148 to miss the cut, but that might not be the end of his summer.
 
An unknown a month ago, Weaver now should get serious consideration to make the U.S. team for the Walker Cup.
 
'It would mean a lot to me to make the Walker Cup team,' he said.
 
He sure gave U.S. captain Buddy Marucci something to think about. The Walker Cup will be played in early September at Royal County Down in Northern Ireland, and Weaver certainly showed he can handle links courses.
 
Weaver was upset when he walked off the course, making three straight pars when he needed one birdie to keep playing. Tiger Woods was the last American amateur to make the cut in the British Open, and for Weaver to have joined him, it might have been awfully tough to keep him off the Walker Cup team.
 
'I think some people out there were doubting me,' Weaver said. 'But I threw myself in the picture. I played as hard as I could. It's out of my hands.'
 
Whatever happens with the Walker Cup, he has set himself up nicely for next year. Weaver will play in the Masters as the British Amateur champion, and his summer in Britain has done wonders for his confidence.
 
'A couple of times it hit me today, like when I made three birdies in six holes,' he said. 'It made me realize I've got what it takes.'
 
RULING STANDS
The Royal & Ancient Golf Club stood by the rules official who gave Tiger Woods free relief from television cables in the British Open, even though its rules director said Friday he was able to move the cables himself.
 
'We know Alan Holmes got the ruling right,' said David Rickman, rules director of the R&A.
 
Woods' tee shot on the 10th hole Thursday went left into thick rough, resting on a strand of cables. Holmes, the incoming chairman of the R&A rules committee, tried to move the cables but found them to be fixed. In that situation, the player can drop the ball within one club length without penalty.
 
Woods' lie improved dramatically, from thick rough to trampled grass. He hit just short of the green and made an 8-foot par putt.
 
Mark Roe, a former European tour player working for the BBC, said he was able to move the cables a full yard, raising questions whether Woods was given preferential treatment.
 
Rickman said he went to the spot Thursday evening and said he also could move the cables. But he said he it was possible the cables had been snagged in high grass or by the stakes holding the ropes. He also said spectators might have been standing on the section of the cables.
 
'I don't have a clear explanation,' he said. 'Alan confirmed the cables were not readily movable.'
 
TEMPER, TEMPER
Henrik Stenson lost his ball out-of-bounds on the par-3 eighth hole, then he lost his temper.
 
The Swedish star, who won the Accenture Match Play Championship in February, smashed his club into the tee marker. He went on to make triple bogey and shot 40 on the front nine, then ended his round with a bogey on the 18th for a 76.
 
He could have saved his angry for late in the afternoon. The cut fell at 4-over 146, and Stenson missed by one.
 
Ernie Els also was frustrated by his putting, which he said cost him about four or five strokes. After missing a short putt on the ninth hole, the Big Easy let out an expletive loud enough for everyone to hear.
 
And he saved another one, slightly more mild, after a grilling from the media.
 
'That's just the way I felt,' Els said. 'Normally, I keep it all in. But I thought, 'Maybe let me get everything out.' I didn't see too many small kids, so hopefully, they all closed their ears. That's what a major does to you.'
 
Later in the interview, he was asked whether his reaction at No. 9 was a culmination of emotions. Then he was asked if he had heard about Stenson. Then he was asked where his mind was at that moment. Finally, a question about what his coach would have said.
 
'Who gives a (expletive),' Els said. 'Jeez!'
 
SHADES OF '99
Just as they did the last time the Open came to Carnoustie, Paul Lawrie and Justin Leonard nervously watched the day's final group play the 18th hole to learn their fates.
 
The difference is that in 1999, leader Jean Van de Velde made triple-bogey there, opening the door to a four-hole playoff that Lawrie eventually won by making birdies on the final two holes. This time around, both were already at 5-over par 147 and simply hoping to make the cut.
 
The Open field is trimmed to 70 players and ties after the second round, and the only way Lawrie and Leonard would have played on the weekend was for W.J. Lee to make double-bogey and slip into the group at 147. Lee came close, but salvaged a bogey for a round of 73 and a 146 score at the midway, sending both home to watch the rest of the tournament on TV.
 
GOOD BREAK
Tiger Woods wasn't the only player who got a good break on the 10th hole at Carnoustie.
 
Woods' approach was headed for the burn to the right when it rattled into the trees and found land. Jim Furyk's escape was even more fortuitous, as it sailed through the trees and hit the edge of the concrete bridge, bouncing into the cluster of trees.
 
Furyk figured it was wet, and that he would do well to escape with double bogey.
 
'I've never been so happy to see a ball stymied behind a tree,' Furyk said after his 70, which left him four shots behind.
 
Then there was Rich Beem.
 
The former PGA champion was 2 under for the tournament when his ball headed for the burn and wound up at the bottom. He took double bogey, made another double bogey on the 18th and shot 73. Beem wound up seven shots behind.
 
ON THE AIR
The last European to win a major championship was inside the ropes at Carnoustie with golf spikes.
 
And it wasn't Paul Lawrie.
 
Karen Stupples of England, who won the Women's British Open three years ago, is working at the British Open as a radio commentator for BBC Five Live. She was assigned to Phil Mickelson's group Friday.
 
'I can talk endlessly. That's my skill,' Stupples said.
 
Don't get the idea she is hanging up her clubs for a microphone. Stupples recently gave birth to her first child, and will be at St. Andrews for the Women's British Open in two weeks. She already played a Ladies European Tour event a few weeks ago in her first tournament as a major -- 10 weeks after giving birth -- and finished second.
 
Stupples won her only major by starting the final round at Sunningdale with an eagle. On the par-5 second, she holed a 5-iron from 202 yards for a double eagle on the next hole.
 
'I still can't believe I did that,' Stupples said.
 
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    Lesson with Woods fetches $210K for Harvey relief

    By Will GrayDecember 13, 2017, 2:51 pm

    A charity event featuring more than two dozen pro golfers raised more than $1 million for Hurricane Harvey relief, thanks in large part to a hefty price paid for a private lesson with Tiger Woods.

    The pro-am fundraiser was organized by Chris Stroud, winner of the Barracuda Championship this summer, and fellow pro and Houston resident Bobby Gates. It was held at Bluejack National in Montgomery, Texas, about an hour outside Houston and the first Woods-designed course to open in the U.S.

    The big-ticket item on the auction block was a private, two-person lesson with Woods at Bluejack National that sold for a whopping $210,000.

    Other participants included local residents like Stacy Lewis, Patrick Reed and Steve Elkington as well as local celebrities like NBA All-Star Clyde Drexler, Houston Texans quarterback T.J. Yates and Houston Astros owner Jim Crane.

    Stroud was vocal in his efforts to help Houston rebuild in the immediate aftermath of the storm that ravaged the city in August, and he told the Houston Chronicle that he plans to continue fundraising efforts even after eclipsing the event's $1 million goal.

    "This is the best event I have ever been a part of, and this is just a start," Stroud said. "We have a long way to go for recovery to this city, and we want to keep going with this and raise as much as we can and help as many victims as we can."

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    LPGA schedule features 34 events, record purse

    By Randall MellDecember 13, 2017, 2:02 pm

    The LPGA schedule will once again feature 34 events next year with a record $68.75 million in total purses, the tour announced on Wednesday.

    While three events are gone from the 2018 schedule, three new events have been added, with two of those on the West Coast and one in mainland China.

    The season will again start with the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic on Paradise Island (Jan. 25-28) and end with the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Fla., (Nov. 15-18).

    The LPGA played for $65 million in total prize money in 2017.

    An expanded West Coast swing in the front half of the schedule will now include the HUGEL-JTBC Championship in the Los Angeles area April 19-22. The site will be announced at a later date.

    The tour will then make a return to San Francisco’s Lake Merced Golf Club the following week, in a new event sponsored by L&P Cosmetics, a Korean skincare company. Both new West Coast tournaments will be full-field events.

    The tour’s third new event will be played in Shanghai Oct. 18-21 as part of the fall Asian swing. The title sponsor and golf course will be announced at a later date.

    “Perhaps the most important aspect of our schedule is the consistency — continuing to deliver strong playing opportunities both in North America and around the world, while growing overall purse levels every year,” LPGA commissioner Mike Whan said in a statement. “There is simply no better [women’s] tour opportunity in the world, when it comes to purses, global TV coverage or strength of field. It’s an exciting time in women’s golf, with the best players from every corner of the globe competing against each other in virtually every event.”

    While the Evian Championship will again be played in September next year, the tour confirmed its plans to move its fifth major to the summer in 2019, to be part of a European swing, with the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open and the Ricoh Women’s British Open.

    The Manulife LPGA Classic and the Lorena Ochoa Invitational are not returning to the schedule next year. Also, the McKayson New Zealand Women’s Open will not be played next year as it prepares to move to the front of the 2019 schedule, to be paired with the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.

    The U.S. Women’s Open will make its new place earlier in the summer, a permanent move in the tour’s scheduling. It will be played May 31-June 3 at Shoal Creek Golf Club outside Birmingham, Ala. The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (June 28-July 1) will be played at Kemper Lakes Golf Club on the north side of Chicago and the Ricoh Women’s British Open (Aug. 2-5) will be played at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in England.

    For the first time since its inception in 2014, the UL International Crown team event is going overseas, with the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea, scheduled to host the event Oct. 4-7. The KEB Hana Bank Championship will be played in South Korean the following week.

    Here is the LPGA's schedule for 2018:

    Jan. 25-28: Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic; Paradise Island, Bahamas; Purse: $1.4 million

    Feb. 15-18: ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open; Adelaide, Australia; Purse: $1.3 million

    Feb. 21-24: Honda LPGA Thailand; Chonburi, Thailand; Purse: $1.6 million

    March 1-4: HSBC Women's World Championship; Singapore; Purse: $1.5 million

    March 15-18: Bank of Hope Founders Cup; Phoenix, Arizona; Purse: $1.5 million

    March 22-25: Kia Classic; Carlsbad, California; Purse: $1.8 million

    March 29 - April 1: ANA Inspiration; Rancho Mirage, California; Purse: $2.8 million

    April 11-14: LOTTE Championship; Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii; Purse: $2 million

    April 19-22: HUGEL-JTBC Championship; Greater Los Angeles, California; Purse: $1.5 million

    April 26-29: Name to be Announced; San Francisco, California; Purse: $1.5 million

    May 3-6: Volunteers of America LPGA Texas Classic; The Colony, Texas; Purse: $1.3 million

    May 17-20: Kingsmill Championship; Williamsburg, Virginia; Purse: $1.3 million

    May 24-27: LPGA Volvik Championship; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Purse: $1.3 million

    May 31 - June 3: U.S. Women's Open Championship; Shoal Creek, Alabama; Purse: $5 million

    June 8-10: ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer; Galloway, New Jersey; Purse: $1.75 million

    June 14-17: Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Purse: $2 million

    June 22-24: Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G; Rogers, Arkansas; Purse: $2 million

    June 28 - July 1: KPMG Women's PGA Championship; Kildeer, Illinois; Purse: $3.65 million

    July 5-8: Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic; Oneida, Wisconsin; Purse: $2 million

    July 12-15: Marathon Classic presented by Owens-Corning and O-I; Sylvania, Ohio; Purse: $1.6 million

    July 26-29: Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open; East Lothian, Scotland; Purse: $1.5 million

    Aug. 2-5: Ricoh Women's British Open; Lancashire, England; Purse: $3.25 million

    Aug. 16-19: Indy Women in Tech Championship presented by Guggenheim; Indianapolis, Indiana; Purse: $2 million

    Aug. 23-26: CP Women's Open; Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada; Purse: $2.25 million

    Aug. 30 - Sept. 2: Cambia Portland Classic; Portland, Oregon; Purse: $1.3 million

    Sept. 13-16: The Evian Championship; Evian-les-Bains, France; Purse: $3.85 million

    Sept. 27-30: Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Purse: $1.8 million

    Oct. 4-7: UL International Crown; Incheon, Korea; Purse: $1.6 million

    Oct. 11-14: LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship; Incheon, Korea; Purse: $2 million

    Oct. 18-21: Name to be Announced; Shanghai, China; Purse: $2.1 million

    Oct. 25-28: Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship; New Taipei City, Chinese Taipei; Purse: $2.2 million

    Nov. 2-4: TOTO Japan Classic; Shiga, Japan; Purse: $1.5 million

    Nov. 7-10: Blue Bay LPGA; Hainan Island, China; Purse: $2.1 million

    Nov. 15-18: CME Group Tour Championship; Naples, Florida; Purse: $2.5 million

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 4, Jordan Spieth

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 13, 2017, 1:00 pm

    Dismissed because he’s supposedly too short off the tee, or not accurate enough with his irons, or just a streaky putter, Jordan Spieth is almost never the answer to the question of which top player, when he’s at his best, would win in a head-to-head match.

    And yet here he is, at the age of 24, with 11 career wins and three majors, on a pace that compares favorably with the giants of the game. He might not possess the firepower of Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, but since he burst onto the PGA Tour in 2013 he has all that matters – a better résumé.

    Spieth took the next step in his development this year by becoming the Tour’s best iron player – and its most mentally tough.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    Just a great putter? Oh, puhleeze: He won three times despite putting statistics (42nd) that were his worst since his rookie year. Instead, he led the Tour in strokes gained-approach the green and this summer showed the discipline, golf IQ and bounce-back ability that makes him such a unique talent. 

    Even with his putter misbehaving, Spieth closed out the Travelers Championship by holing a bunker shot in the playoff, then, in perhaps an even bigger surprise, perfectly executed the player-caddie celebration, chest-bumping caddie Michael Greller. A few weeks later, sublime iron play carried him into the lead at Royal Birkdale, his first in a major since his epic collapse at the 2016 Masters.

    Once again his trusty putter betrayed him, and by the time he arrived on the 13th tee, he was tied with Matt Kuchar. What happened next was the stuff of legend – a lengthy ruling, gutsy up-and-down, stuffed tee shot and go-get-that putt – that lifted Spieth to his third major title.

    Though he couldn’t complete the career Grand Slam at the PGA, he’ll likely have, oh, another two decades to join golf’s most exclusive club.

    In the barroom debate of best vs. best, you can take the guys with the flair, with the booming tee shots and the sky-high irons. Spieth will just take the trophies.

    THE MAJORS

    Masters Tournament: Return to the 12th; faltering on Sunday (T-11)

    Spieth pars 12, but makes quad on 15

    Spieth takes another gut punch, but still standing

    Article: Spieth splashes to worst Masters finish

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    U.S. Open: 1 over usually good ... not at Erin Hills (T-35)

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    The Open: Unforgettable finish leads to major win No. 3 (1st)

    Spieth survives confusing ordeal on 13

    Photos: Spieth's incredible journey on 13

    Take it, it's yours: Spieth gets claret jug

    Chamblee: Spieth doesn't have 'it' - 'he has it all'

    Article: Spieth silences his doubters - even himself

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    PGA Championship: Career Grand Slam bid comes up well short (T-28)

    Article: Spieth accepts that Grand Slam is off the table


    TWO REGULAR TOUR WINS

    AT&T Pebble Beach

    Article: Spieth rising from 'valley' after Pebble Beach win

    Travelers Championship

    Spieith wins dramatic Travelers in playoff

    Watch: Spieth holes bunker shot, goes nuts


    FUN OUTSIDE OF TOUR LIFE


    PHOTO GALLERIES

    Photos: Jordan Spieth and Annie Verret

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    Photos: Jordan Spieth through the years

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 13, 2017, 12:30 pm