Notes A Weekend Warriors Nightmare

By Associated PressMarch 22, 2005, 5:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)Mark Hensby had a good reason for not playing the 18th hole last week at Bay Hill after hitting his tee shot out-of-bounds - he was out of balls.
Hensby said his caddie didn't replenish the supply when they resumed the first round Friday morning, with 11 holes still to play. He prefers to use a new ball every third hole, and his caddie usually gives the old ones to kids in the gallery.
'He saw three or four balls in the bag and said, 'That's fine. We've only got 11 holes to play,'' Hensby said. 'I made double bogey on No. 9, so I gave that one away. I hit in the water on 11. He must have given one away somewhere else.'
When they arrived on the par-3 17th, the caddie told him there was only one ball left. His tee shot on the 18th caromed off a cart path and went over the fence.
Hensby plays the Pro V1, so he couldn't borrow one from Mike Weir (Pro V1x) or Andre Stolz (Callaway).
'When I saw the marshals go like this,' he said, motioning left with his arms to indicate OB, 'I put my head down and started walking. What was I going to do? It was embarrassing.'
Hensby walked with his group, shook their hands on the green, went into the scoring trailer and put an 'X' in the box under the 18th hole.
He said he would write tournament host Arnold Palmer a letter to explain what happened.
The stop-and-start week due to the rain delay at Bay Hill almost proved costly to Jonathan Kaye.
He was on the range Sunday morning, getting ready to finish five holes of his third round, and going through his routine or rubbing down the grip of his driver with sand paper.
One problem: Kaye technically was in the middle of his third round.
He summoned a rules official who delivered the bad news. Players cannot alter the characteristics of their clubs during a round, so Kaye had no choice but to take the driver out of his bag, leaving him with 13 clubs.
Kaye hit 3-wood on the par-5 sixth hole, which most players can reach in two. He went into the rough, hacked out and had to hit a utility club toward the green. But he made it through the morning.
'Parred them all,' Kaye said proudly after completing his 68.
Tiger Woods' preparation for the Masters now includes the Tavistock Cup.
Woods will be playing for Isleworth Country Club when it tries to retain its title against Lake Nona, two exclusive clubs in Orlando where several touring professionals live.
The matches will be played at Isleworth the Monday and Tuesday after The Players Championship.
Mark O'Meara returns as captain for Isleworth, and his team features three major champions (O'Meara, Woods and Lee Janzen), along with Stuart Appleby, Robert Allenby, Craig Parry, Scott Hoch, John Cook and Charles Howell III.
Ernie Els is playing captain of Lake Nona, with a squad that includes four major winners (Els, Annika Sorenstam, Retief Goosen and Nick Faldo), joined by Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Trevor Immelman, Justin Rose and Mark McNulty.
Isleworth won last year, 14 1/2-9 1/2, at Lake Nona.
Wally Uihlein, chairman and CEO of the Acushnet Co., is the first head of an equipment company to receive the PGA of America's Distinguished Service Award.
Uihlein will be honored Aug. 10 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center during the PGA Championship at Baltusrol.
'Wally Uihlein's impact upon the business of golf over nearly three decades is a success story that has resulted in serving the needs of players of all abilities,' PGA president Roger Warren said.
Uihlein joined Acushnet in 1976 as a regional salesman for the Titleist division, moving up to national sales manager in one year and eventually landed as chairman and CEO five years ago.
Nick Price doesn't have to look far to find motivation this year. With so many international players doing well, Price has slipped to No. 24 in the Presidents Cup standings.
Majors are important, and Price still believes he can contend. But his priority is returning to Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Virginia in September.
'That's a huge motivating force for me this year, to make it in the top 10,' Price said. 'And if I don't accrue enough, to show (captain) Gary Player that I've played well enough to warrant an invitation.'
Price has played in every Presidents Cup, although his only singles victory came in 1998 against David Duval, the second match of the day that clinched victory for the International team.
'Of any event that I ever played in my life, when I stop playing golf, that will be the one I miss the most,' he said.
David Duval plans to be at Augusta National, but how long he stays depends on his wife, who reached the 32nd week of her pregnancy on Sunday. The baby is due the first part of May, but Duval said the baby likely will come in mid-April. ... The USGA has followed the lead of the International Olympic Committee and the Ladies Golf Union in Britain by allowing transgender athletes to compete in its championships. That would allow Mianne Bagger, a Danish woman born a male, who tried to qualify for the U.S. Women's Open. The USGA policy allows players to compete two years after gender reassignment surgery. ... Green fees are going up at America's most famous public course. According to the Monterey County Herald, a round of golf will cost $425 at Pebble Beach. That computes to $23.61 per hole. ... Coca-Cola has extended its partnership with the PGA Tour through 2010 as the presenting sponsor of the Tour Championship and the official soft drink of the tour.
John Daly has had two of the highest scores in the Bay Hill Invitational - an 18 on the sixth hole in 1998 and an 11 on the 18th hole last week. Both times, he birdied his next hole.
'When they brought out the driver test, somebody told me to take a nap.' - Scott Verplank, who ranked 173rd on the PGA Tour in driving distance.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Ortiz takes Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

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

Former 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 Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted 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.

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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.

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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?

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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."

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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