Notes Scott Not One to Dump Harmon

By Associated PressJuly 14, 2004, 4:00 pm
TROON, Scotland -- Tiger Woods may be having his differences with swing coach Butch Harmon, but Adam Scott isn't.
 
Scott didn't stop with just getting advice on his swing from Harmon. He also got advice on everything from breathing under pressure to picking a new caddie.
 
'Butch is pretty good,' Scott said. 'He reads me pretty well, I think, and he knows when he should butt in and say something.'
 
Scott's swing is almost a replica of the swing Woods built under Harmon. Lately, he's been having more success with it than Woods, winning the Player's Championship earlier this year and the Booz Allen Classic last month.
 
'As long as he still wants to teach me I think I'll be with him until that point,' Scott said. 'He's really helped my golf game. He took me from a pretty average college player to the Players champion. He works hard, makes me work hard and wants to get the results that he believes I can get.'
 
Scott isn't averse to taking some advice from a fellow Australian, too. Greg Norman suggested his former caddie Greg Navarro go to work for Scott, a combination that paid off when Navarro helped make a crucial club selection on the final hole at the Booz-Allen.
 
Norman has also been giving Scott advice on what type of shots need to be played at the British Open.
 
'I think he probably has a pretty good feel for the shots that need to be played and we've just been talking about that this week,' Scott said.
 
PERRY'S STREAK
There was no hotter player than Kenny Perry coming into last year's British Open. He had won three out of the previous four tournaments before finishing eighth at Royal St. George's.
 
He later tied for ninth at the PGA Championship but, since then, hasn't recaptured anything like his 2003 form.
 
'No and I don't think I ever will again,' he said on the eve of the British Open at Troon.
 
'That was a purple patch for me. It was a special time in my life and just everything I did was correct at the time. I putted well, I hit it well. Then I was able to hit the shots when I needed to and was able to win golf tournaments.
 
'But I've never been able to recreate,' said Perry, who missed the cut at both the Masters and the U.S. Open and whose best this year was a tie for third at the Players Championship.
 
'I've been on tour for 18 years now and I've never had a year like that ever.'
 
BEN'S PIGS
Before he became a British Open champion, Ben Curtis was pretty handy with farm animals.
 
Pigs and putts, it turns out, have something in common. They both demand patience and a firm hand.
 
'He was excellent with the pigs,' said Bob Curtis, Ben's father. 'He was patient and he didn't get them excited.'
 
Curtis was in the 4-H Club, and said he used to take pigs to the fair to show them. His technique was pretty simple, much like his approach to golf.
 
'You take a whip or a cane and you beat them with it,' Curtis said. 'There's a judge in the ring and you just try to keep them in the middle portion of the ring and let the judge do the rest.'
 
Curtis didn't take long to become an Open champion, winning last year at Royal St. George's on his first attempt. He wasn't quite as successful when it came to pigs, though his brother once won the grand champion.
 
'No, my pigs were never that good,' he said.
 
A DIFFERENT OPEN
Even before rain soaked the area Tuesday night, officials of the Royal & Ancient weren't all that worried about conditions at Royal Troon getting away from them.
 
The subject of course conditions is a touchy one this year, after many players complained about the rock-hard greens and dried-out fairways on the final day of the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills.
 
'We're very pleased with the setup,' said Peter Dawson, chief executive of the R&A. 'The rain was not unwelcome, and I think it gives you a chance to now prepare the course as we wish right through to Sunday without any fear of it becoming too fiery.'
 
Dawson said crews would have watered the course anyway if it didn't rain. While the greens are among the best he has seen in recent Opens, Dawson said the course will still play fast, even with the rain.
 
'So we've got a good links course, we still think it's going to be fast running,' he said. 'The wind is changing direction daily at the moment. And I think players are beginning to realize that seeing the course one day is not seeing it the whole week.'
 
So far, players like what they have seen.
 
'I would suggest this is certainly one of the fairest courses on the Open roster,' Padraig Harrington said. 'It's a good golf course to play on, one that everybody can compete on.'
 
EARLY TO BED
Brad Faxon usually isn't among those who tee off at dawn during practice rounds, but he felt he had no choice Wednesday. Faxon in the first group off at 6:31 a.m. when the British Open gets under way.
 
'It's that 4 a.m. wake-up call tomorrow,' Faxon said.
 
He played 15 holes and was done by about 9:30 a.m., and Faxon stood in line for a bacon roll at a concession stand behind the 18th green.
 
What would he do the rest of the day?
 
'I don't know,' Faxon said. 'I've never had nine hours to waste.'
 
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.