Notes Rankin Recovering No Age Limit for Monty
But the ABC Sports golf analyst doesn't quite have the strength to go to the British Open next week.
'It's the hardest week I have and the one I love the most,' said Rankin, who was diagnosed with breast cancer two months ago. 'But I'm not quite up to that. I'm trying hard to get to the Women's British Open. Nothing is a definite yet, but it looks very possible.'
Rankin had planned to go to Toledo, Ohio, this weekend for the LPGA Tour event. Her family is talking her out of it, however, not wanting her to return too early and have a setback.
'I think I would be quite capable of sitting and talking for two hours,' she said with a laugh. 'It's the trip that's hard, and that's not an easy place to get to. What I need is my own airplane.'
Then came more laughter.
'Maybe I'll go to the British if Tiger will take me,' she said.
The Women's British Open is Aug. 3-6 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, and Rankin remained optimistic she could make it.
'This has been hard, I must say,' she said. 'But I think I'm well through the worst of it now.'
Colin Montgomerie says he feels 10 years younger than 43 because of his practice routine. Monty has one of the most beautifully repeating swings in golf, a swing that hasn't changed since he was a lad. That means he doesn't spend countless hours on the range finding a fix, which he believes has added longevity to his career.
'I haven't worn out my body bashing balls,' Montgomerie said last week in Ireland. 'Actually, I can prolong my career longer than others because I haven't bashed myself up.'
Monty said he hits about 150 balls during a typical round -- assuming he shoots around 70. He said Sky Sports sent a reporter to count how many balls Vijay Singh hit in a typical day at the U.S. Open.
'Just short of 1,000 in the day,' Montgomerie said. 'That included 400 putts after he finished. He's older than me by four months. But he's unique. He is one end of the scale, and I am the other. That's a 700- or 800-ball difference in a day. You multiply that by six days' play in a week. He does very well.'
Using that math, Carlos Franco is 41 and probably feels 12.
USGA executive director David Fay made it no secret that he would like to see the U.S. Women's Open return to Cherry Hills, and that he expects the Denver club to ask for it again.
If that's the case, expect to see one minor change.
Fay said it struck him watching the Women's Open last year that few of the women -- Sophie Gustafson and Laura Davies being the exception -- tried to reach the par-5 17th green in two. The green is small and guarded by a stream in front.
'When we return, we'd like to see the 17th play different,' Fay said.
He said plans were to build a forward tee that would tempt the women to go for the green. No telling what that would mean for the big-hitting Gustafson, who reached the green one round using a 6-iron.
Padraig Harrington did not take the bait from British reporters last week who asked about the potential of the United States having so many rookies on the Ryder Cup team.
One reporter suggested that the reason Europeans don't know them is they don't have passports, alluding to Euro-bashing that Americans don't travel well.
Your thoughts, Padraig?
'If you live in the States, you don't need a passport to go to the Caribbean. You don't need a passport to go to Canada. You don't need a passport to go to Mexico,' he said. 'You can get a lot of places and go on a lot of holidays and visit a lot of nice places without a passport.'
Then it was suggested they never have been to Europe.
'They are going to look forward to an incredible experience coming to Ireland,' he said, 'and choosing a great country to come to Europe first.'
U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman didn't mince words when asked about John Daly's chance of being picked. 'He really hasn't done anything to warrant a second look at this point,' Lehman said last week in Ireland. Daly is the only double major winner to have never played in the Ryder Cup. ... Catrin Nilsmark will return as European captain, this time for the Junior Solheim Cup team. Her varsity squad won in Sweden and lost at Crooked Stick. ... The winner of the Senior Players Championship this week will get an extra perk -- a spot in the field next year at The Players Championship. The change was approved by the PGA TOUR policy board and is consistent with other senior majors. The leading money winner on the Nationwide Tour from the previous season also will get into The Players Championship. ... Kenny Perry tied for 12th at the Western Open and earned enough money to become the 10th player to surpass $20 million in career earnings. Jack Nicklaus is still stuck on $5.7 million.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Jeff Maggert at the St. Jude Classic and Geoff Ogilvy at the U.S. Open are the only players who have shot over par in the first round and gone on to win on the PGA TOUR this year.
'No. There's another Open.' -- Ben Curtis, asked if he would be playing the B.C. Open, held the same week as the British Open.
Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.
The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.
There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18
Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo
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.
In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.