Notes Jones to Put Retirement Plans on Hold

By Associated PressSeptember 13, 2005, 4:00 pm
CARMEL, Ind. -- At a time when Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer have tried to figure out how to retire from tournament golf, Rosie Jones thought she had it made.

She has said this would be her final year on the LPGA Tour, and it appeared to be a perfectly scripted farewell. Jones was competitive enough to be runner-up at a major championship and earn a spot on the Solheim Cup, where she went 1-0-2 as the United States won.

But it's no longer that simple.

'I don't know how clean of a break it's going to be,' Jones said as she left Crooked Stick.

Part of the problem is that Jones, 45, tied for 19th in the U.S. Women's Open. The top 20 are exempt from qualifying, so Jones will play next year at Newport Country Club in Rhode Island.

'I'll probably play a few tournaments in the summer to get ready,' Jones said. Then pausing, she added, 'The question is how much am I going to dedicate myself to play.'

She said she now might play 10 times, but not a full schedule. She will not set any goals, such as trying to earn Solheim Cup points or finishing in the top 30 to get into the ADT Championship.

'I'm going to go out slower than I anticipated,' Jones said with a smile.

FAXON ON THE MEND
Brad Faxon won the Buick Championship two weeks ago, and while his plan all along was to have knee surgery at the end of the year, he suddenly found himself facing other opportunities.

He loves Kapalua, home of the winners-only Mercedes Championships. The victory moved him into the top 30 on the money list, and if Faxon held his position the rest of the year, he could have qualified for a World Golf Championship, the Tour Championship and secure a spot in the Masters.

But coming off the course at the Deutsche Bank Championship a week later, it wasn't that simple.

As Faxon peeled off two pair of socks, he told a doctor friend that the bottom of his feet felt numb, and that his quadriceps were tight. This was from torn ligaments in his left knee nearly two years ago.
 
That's why his decision to have season-ending surgery on Tuesday wasn't terrible surprising.

'I am disappointed to have to end my season, but my knee has been bothering me for the better part of the year,' Faxon said in a statement. 'My ultimate goal is to play in the major championships next year and to qualify for the 2006 Ryder Cup, and by having surgery now, I can strive to meet this goal.'
 
MALLON ON THE MEND
The Americans didn't celebrate quite the way they wanted at the Solheim Cup, not after watching Meg Mallon get loaded into an ambulance for what the LPGA Tour initially described as overheating.

Mallon, whose 6-foot par putt on the 16th hole clinched the cup, remained hospitalized Tuesday in Indianapolis while going through a number of tests to determine the cause and treatment.

The tour said her heartbeat was as high as 266 a minute after the closing ceremony Sunday afternoon. It said Mallon was resting comfortably and in good spirits.
 
STATE PRIDE
European players have a flag of their home country on their golf bag at the Solheim Cup, along with the European flag under which they compete -- blue with 12 gold stars in a circle for each country.

In a move the Ryder Cup should consider, the U.S. team showed they also have some diversity. Each bag had the Stars & Stripes, the player's name, and the state flag from their home.

Six players had the California Republic flag and its brown bear -- Juli Inkster, Paula Creamer, Pat Hurst, Christina Kim, Natalie Gulbis and Rosie Jones. Other flags were Florida (Laura Diaz, Cristie Kerr), Texas (Wendy Ward), South Carolina (Beth Daniel), Minnesota (Michele Redman) and Michigan (Meg Mallon).

Inkster used to jokingly disown Creamer for having left Northern California to attend a golf school in Florida, but she let her off the hook during their two matches.

'I've given her enough stick already,' Inkster said.
 
NEXT IN LINE
Greg Johnston has been as much a brother as a caddie for Juli Inkster, on her bag as she captured two U.S. Women's Opens, two LPGA Championships and played her way into the Hall of Fame.

His next job figures to come with more attention.

Johnston will take over as the caddie for Michelle Wie, who many believe will turn pro at the Samsung World Championship next month.

'He's like a brother to me, and I'll always love him,' Inkster told Golfweek magazine. 'It's what he wants to do, and I hope it works out for him.'
 
KATRINA RELIEF
The PGA Tour is stepping up its support of hurricane relief efforts by asking players at the 84 Lumber Classic to donate a portion or all of their tournament earnings to the U.S. Golf Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.

PGA champion Phil Mickelson was quick to reply, saying he would give his earnings or a minimum of $250,000, along with appearing in public service ads to support the fund.

Officials also will collect donations at the tournament, which starts this week, from spectators, volunteers and tournament staff at the Nemacolin Woodlands resort.

Maggie Hardy Magerko, the president and owner of 84 Lumber and the golf resort, will match every dollar up to $500,000. Beyond that, she will donate an amount equal to half the money won by defending champion Vijay Singh and John Daly, both of whom are sponsored by 84 Lumber.

That could put the total contribution at well over $1 million.

'We have several stores in the affected Gulf Coast region and hundreds of associates whose lives were significantly impacted,' Hardy Magerko said. 'Our first order of business was to take care of our associates and their families with shelter, food, clothing and other basic necessities and to get our stores open. Now we want to turn our attention to raising significant funds to assist all of those affected by this unprecedented disaster.'
 
DIVOTS
On his second-to-last day on the job, former LPGA Tour commissioner Ty Votaw received the Patty Berg Award from the LPGA to recognize his contributions to women's golf. ... CBS Sports has signed a new six-year deal giving it the rights to televise the PGA Championship through 2011. ... Lee Trevino returns to the Champions Tour this week in the Constellation Energy Classic. Trevino has not played since January because of back pain. He had minor surgery in May. ... Retief Goosen, the first alternate for the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Hawaii, has decided not to play. He was replaced by Vijay Singh for the Nov. 21-22 event.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
The scoring average at the Canadian Open was 72.533, second only to the U.S. Open (74.166) in degree of difficulty this year on the PGA Tour.

FINAL WORD
'All I know is I have the car pool tomorrow.' --
Juli Inkster, asked about her future on the LPGA Tour.

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.