Notes Fowler goes green Harrington hurting

By Associated PressApril 8, 2011, 5:57 am

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Rickie Fowler might have taken the whole Masters green thing a bit too far.

The young player known for his colorful outfits dressed in all green for his first official round in the Masters, nearly blending in with the grass as he made his way around Augusta National.

Fowler wore matching green pants, shirt, belt and hat for his Masters debut, though for a while it looked as if perhaps he should have spent more time on his game than picking out his outfit.

Fowler was 2-over before making birdies on four of the last five holes to finish with a 2-under 70 that put him five strokes off the lead.

 “Definitely a nice way to finish,” said Fowler, who played with leader Rory McIlroy. “I’m looking forward to getting into tomorrow.”

Golf fans can look forward to another fashion statement from Fowler, who said he plans to wear blue with stripes in the second round, green again on Saturday, and his traditional Oklahoma State orange on Sunday.

One thing he won’t be doing is wearing his hat backward. He tried that in the interview room before the tournament, only to be told by a Masters official to turn it around before he answered any questions.

Even a Masters rookie knows to listen when the other people in green speak.

“Around here, it’s forwards,” Fowler said.


CLARK’S PAIN: Tim Clark made it through the Par 3 contest. Then he made it through the first round without embarrassing himself.

Whether he can nurse his ailing elbow through another round, won’t be known until Friday.

“I’m not sure if I can play tomorrow,” Clark said after shooting an opening 1-over 73. “It’s pretty bad.”

The South African has been hurting since returning from Honolulu in January and waking up with a throbbing elbow after his first night at home. A cortisone shot didn’t help and he pulled out of Pebble Beach the next month after trying to swing on the practice range.

The injury has baffled doctors, though Clark said earlier in the week that they now believe it might be caused by a pinched nerve in his neck. He’s taking anti-inflammatory medication, but Clark said it has done little to help the pain.

Clark said he wouldn’t even try to play anywhere else, but attempted to gut it out because this is the Masters. And, while 73 was not the score he was hoping for, it wasn’t as bad as he thought it might have been.

Still, he’s waiting until Friday to decide whether he can go on.

“I’ve still got a chance here,” he said. “But if it gets to a point where I can’t swing, I just can’t swing.”


QUARTERBACK RORY: Rory McIlroy still makes his home in Northern Ireland, but his time in America is starting to turn him into a football fan. He loves the New York Jets, and McIlroy is so intrigued that he even bought a football this week.

McIlroy said he went to the mall Wednesday night to buy a football and tossed it around to kill time.

Someone asked if he knew how to throw a spiral.

“Yeah, it’s the thumb down, isn’t it? I’m still learning,” he replied.

Mark Sanchez can rest easy at the moment.


STAR STRUCK: For once, Ross Fisher didn’t mind having the first tee time.

Fisher, Jonathan Byrd and Sean O’Hair were on hand to watch Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus kick off the Masters on Thursday morning. The two, who have 10 green jackets between them, hit their ceremonial tee shots just after daybreak.

“It was a special treat for the three of us to see two legends like Arnie and Jack get it under way,” Fisher said. “That was pretty special to be here and witness that.”

Palmer, the 81-year-old with four green jackets, hit his shot to the base of the hill in the fairway. Then came Nicklaus, a six-time winner who turned 71 in January. He pounded his tee shot down the middle, some 30 yards past Palmer.

“It’s not often you get two legends of the game standing on the same tee playing in the same group,” Fisher said. “And they showed us that they’ve still got it. Sean thought that Arnie actually knocked it past him on the first hole.”

Fisher got off to a rough start with bogeys on two of his first four holes. But he closed the front nine with four birdies, and finished at 3-under 69.


HARRINGTON HURTING: Padraig Harrington had done everything he could to get ready for the Masters, and then did just a little too much. Just a few minutes into his practice routine Thursday morning, the Irishman was swinging left-handed to loosen up when he tweaked something in his neck. Suddenly, he was not able to move to his right.

And then it was time to tee off. He shot a 77, matching his highest score ever at Augusta.

“I nearly pulled out before I started,” Harrington said. “I wanted to pull out, but I wouldn’t. That’s just not my nature. I would always have a go. But it wasn’t much fun.”

He doesn’t know if he will play Friday, although the three-time major champion suspects he will. Harrington says he has never failed to finish a tournament unless he misses the cut or gets disqualified.

Harrington has coped with the occasional neck pain for the last eight years, although he says he has it under control. As for swinging from the other side, he says he usually does that as part of his warm-up routine.

“I prepared very well. I was in good form. But it was not to be,” Harrington said. “I swing left-handed when I’m warming up before I hit shots. I’ll keep swinging left-handed, but I won’t swing as hard next time.”

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.