Notes Players Cause Ogilvys Gold Shoes

By Associated PressApril 2, 2007, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- When Gary Player won his first Masters title in 1961, someone said he'd never last. All that weightlifting and exercising was going to ruin his career.
 
So much for that.
 
Almost 50 years later, Player is one of the greatest the game has ever seen with nine major titles and the career Grand Slam. And at 71 he's got the body of a man half his age, thanks to 1 1/2 -hour workouts five days a week.
 
'I exercise like a Trojan,' Player said Monday, standing up and slapping his rock-hard stomach for emphasis. 'I want to live a long time. I have 18 grandchildren and probably will end up having about 22, and my greatest joy is doing things with them.
 
'I'd like to live to 100, I certainly would. Because I have such a zest for life.'
 
Player was a fitness fanatic long before it was in vogue. Now that golfers have realized he was onto something -- Tiger Woods is one of the fittest athletes in any sport -- Player wants to tackle the rest of the world.
 
In the United States alone, Player said, 3,500 deaths each day can be traced back to obesity. If people don't start taking better care of themselves, health care costs will continue to skyrocket.
 
'The obesity factor is, in my humble opinion, the biggest single danger to the world today,' he said. 'I want to try and make young guys say, `Look at this guy, 71, he can still play, he can still walk around. You look good.' Because really, this is a very, very serious thing, and it's being overlooked.
 
'They are reducing exercise, they are eating more (junk),' he added. 'If you look at the amount of money it's going to cost countries, it's staggering.'
 
This will be Player's 50th Masters, tying a record set three years ago by Arnold Palmer. Though he's made the cut only four times in the last 20 years, he can still come close to shooting his age occasionally.
 
He'd like to play at least one more year at Augusta National so he can hold the record for most Masters played. He already holds the record for most consecutive British Opens played, at 46.
 
'Possibly next year could be my last,' he said. 'I'm not committing myself. ... I don't want to say it's my last time and then come back. I don't want to do that.
 
'When I say that's my last, please, if I come and tee it up, steal the ball. Take the ball off the first tee and run away with it.'
 
GOTTA BE THE SHOES:
Geoff Ogilvy is moving in on Jesper Parnevik's territory.
 
The U.S. Open champion will be sporting a pair of gold golf shoes for Wednesday's practice round, and will also wear them one other day during the Masters tournament.
 
'Classy gold, if that can be done,' Ogilvy said Monday. 'They are gold-gold, like (sprinter) Michael Johnson-in-Atlanta gold. They are nice. They are good shoes.'
 
But gold? The Australian certainly has style -- staid golfwear isn't his thing -- but his clothes aren't even in the same closet as Parnevik's outlandish garb. Parnevik, of course, is the guy who wears pegged pants, and has outfits in colors and patterns usually found on Garanimals.
 
But when Puma, Ogilvy's sponsor, asked if he'd wear the shoes, Ogilvy said OK. Johan Edfors will wear a similar pair sometime this week.
 
'They are pretty cool,' Ogilvy said. 'When I heard gold shoes, I raised an eyebrow. But actually when I got them, they are pretty sweet. I think they're nice.'
 
Asked how they'd go with a green jacket, Ogilvy smiled.
 
'Anything goes with a green jacket, I think,' he said.
 
JACK OR TIGER?
Asked to name the greatest player in golf history, Gary Player settled for a tie.
 
Jack Nicklaus was a better driver than Tiger Woods, and putted just as well, Player said. He gave Woods the edge with wedges, flop shots, sand shots and chipping. Both are incredibly strong mentally.
 
'It's hard to (pick one) when they played in different eras,' Player said. 'Jack Nicklaus' record is superior at the moment, but if anybody is going to beat it, it's Tiger Woods.'
 
Nicklaus won 18 major championships, including six Masters. But Woods is closing fast. Only 31, he's already won 12 majors, including the last two.
 
GATOR FAN:
One look at Chris DiMarco's golf bag, and it was obvious who he was rooting for in Monday night's NCAA tournament.
 
There was the knit blue-and-orange head cover. There was the leather head cover with 'Gators' in big, bold letters. There was the putter cover with the Gators logo.
 
And in case there was still any doubt, the Florida alum added a new logo to his bag Monday that proclaimed the Gators the 2006 national champions in both football and basketball.
 
The Gators, trying to become the first team since Duke in 1992 to repeat as national champions, played Ohio State on Monday night. In January, Florida upset the Buckeyes for the football title.
 
'Ohio State's a great team,' said DiMarco, who also was wearing an orange shirt. 'The one thing is, our kids are extremely focused. They came back for one reason and one reason only, and that was to win a national title.'
 
Though the game was only two hours away in Atlanta, DiMarco said the 9 p.m. tipoff made it too late for him to attend in person. But he was with the Gators in spirit.
 
When Tiger Woods walked by him, DiMarco asked who he was rooting for. Ohio State, Woods said.
 
'Come on,' DiMarco groaned.
 
'You see this?' DiMarco asked, turning around his golf bag to show off the new logo. 'One day Stanford might be able to get that for you. But right now, no chance.'
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Masters Tournament
     
    Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Getty Images

    Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

    Getty Images

    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    Memo to the golf gods:

    If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

    Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

    It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

    With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

    It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

    We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

    We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

    Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

    We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

    In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

    While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

    Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

    Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

    Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

    While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

    Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

    So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

    Getty Images

    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

    The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

    Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

    "I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

    McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

    But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

    "I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

    Getty Images

    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

    Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

    Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

    Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

    Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x