Notes Mickelson Furyk in favor of Olympics

By Associated PressAugust 5, 2008, 4:00 pm
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2008 US Open 81x90BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. ' If it were up to Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk, golfers would be going for the gold.
 
Having golf an Olympic sport is exponentially more important to the game of golf than the majors, Mickelson said Tuesday from the site of the seasons final major, the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills. The reason for that is it would bring in 168 different countries and their Olympic foundation and all those revenues and that would be going towards the growth of the game.
 
Mickelson said Olympic golf would get increased exposure around the globe, reaching people who may not watch the sport now.
 
The majors are incredibly big as we know, but we still capture the same audience that (is) already interested in the game, he said.
 
PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem, European Tour chief George OGrady, LPGA Tour commissioner Carolyn Bivens, USGA executive director David Fay and Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson met in May with IOC president Jacques Rogge, making the case for golf in the Games.
 
Its for growing the game around the world and something we can all do together, Finchem said at the time. The value for the players is that the more people that play around the world, the more people will be watching. Theyll be paid back eventually.
 
Mickelson said scheduling wouldnt be a problem .
 
Its only once every four years, he said. Its not a big disruption by any means.
 
The earliest that we could see the sport in the Olympics would be 2016. Mickelson and Furyk would both be 46 then, Tiger Woods would be 40.
 
Furyk drew a distinction between pros and amateurs competing.
 
I want to watch the (Olympic sports) where basically professionals arent playing, he said. Where that is the absolute pinnacle of their career and they had to wait four years for this one moment and they go out and they perform ' break a world record, win a gold medal and they were able to perform on the spot.
 
DOWS 50TH
 
Dow Finsterwald, who won the 1958 PGA Championship at Llanerch Country Club in Havertown, Pa., is a guest at Oakland Hills this week for the 90th edition of the major championship.
 
Finsterwalds victory came in the first year the tournament was determined by medal rather than match play.
 
The last three holes, I knew I had a two-shot lead, the 78-year-old said. I didnt step on my big toe and make any bogeys. I parred the last three, nothing heroic.
 
He also was captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup team in 1977, two years before all of Europe was included with the Brits.
 
Finsterwald shot down the theory that the Europeans, who have won five of the last six matches, are so successful because they are all good friends and travel together.
 
They talk about all the camaraderie that the Europeans have, Finsterwald said. I dont know about all this camaraderie stuff. Sure, it helps, but the fact is our guys just need to play better.
 
HOW SOON THEY FORGET
 
On the massive banner in the interview room, 2003 winner Shaun Micheels name is spelled Shaun Michael.
 
WRONG SPORT
 
Joey Harrington hasnt had much success as a quarterback in the NFL, particularly during his years in Detroit.
 
Maybe he should have tried golf.
 
The former Detroit and Miami and current Atlanta Falcons signal-caller had two holes-in-one in a span of two weeks in June at the Druid Hills Golf Club in suburban Atlanta on the 132-yard, par-3 6th.
 
His distant cousin is Padraig Harrington, who won his second consecutive British Open last month at Royal Birkdale. Padraig has discussed the twin aces with his American cousin.
 
I had him over for dinner in Ireland about six weeks ago, Padraig said Tuesday during preparations for the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills ' in suburban Detroit, where the former Lion had few fans. The first question I asked him, Was it a blind par-3? At home when you have a blind par-3, often the caddies stick the golf balls in the hole. So Ive been teasing him about that.
 
QUOTE OF THE DAY
 
Rich Beem held off Tiger Woods by a shot to win the 2002 PGA Championship at Hazeltine. He hasnt won an official tour event since.
 
When a fan called him a legend as he practiced, Beem laughed and said, In my own mind, maybe.
 
DIVOTS
Hunter Mahan, a member of the 156-player field at the PGA Championship, has some experience at Oakland Hills. He advanced to the final of the 2002 U.S. Amateur there before losing 2 and 1 to Ricky Barnes. Theres a chance of thunderstorms each of the first three days of the PGA Championship, with temperatures in the mid-70s to low-80s. Finsterwald reported that he had just spoken to his good friend Arnold Palmer, who received a clean bill of health from the Mayo Clinic this week.
 
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  • If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

    Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

    This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

    “I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


    Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

    In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

    If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

    “He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

    Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

    By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

    Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

    ''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

    The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

    The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


    ''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

    ''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

    First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

    Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

    ''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

    ''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''