Notes Weir Back on Track

By Associated PressJanuary 8, 2005, 5:00 pm
04 Mercedes ChampionshipsKAPALUA, Hawaii -- A former Masters champion who is one of the top 10 players in the world ranking, Mike Weir had ample opportunity to rake in some easy money during the silly season.
 
Instead, the 34-year-old Canadian shut it down after the Tour Championship in early November and had one of his longest breaks from golf since he joined the PGA Tour.
 
But this was no vacation.
 
While he did go skiing with his family in Utah, Weir also spent a lot of time with swing coach Mike Wilson in the California desert, tightening a game that he thought was getting away from him last year.
 
``I was getting a little bit of a reverse pivot, and the length of my swing was getting very long,'' Weir said. ``It was causing me some problems, and then I just didn't feel real comfortable with my putting all year. That was the major thing I worked on - more stability with my putting and getting the stroke under control a little bit more.''
 
The putting problems were never more obvious than at the Canadian Open.
 
Weir looked like a shoo-in to become the first Canadian to win his national open in 50 years - on the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Open, no less - until his putting abandoned him the final two rounds. He blew a late lead, missed a 5-foot putt to win in the playoff, and eventually watched Vijay Singh pose with the trophy.
 
``That played on my mind as the weeks went on after the Canadian Open, and I think maybe that played into something in the offseason that, 'Hey, I need to work on my putting,''' he said.
 
The problem with his putting was mainly in the setup. Weir found himself moving around, which led to bad posture. He was four shots behind going into the final round at the Mercedes Championships, getting there with a 63 in the second round. And whatever happens this week, that showed his work already was paying off.
 
``When you're making putts on these greens, I know I'm on the right track,'' he said.
 
CAMPBELL EQUIPMENT
Chad Campbell has a golf bag that looks like it belongs to a PGA Tour rookie or struggling journeyman, not someone who has won each of the last two years.The bag is blank except for his name.
 
Campbell did not renew his equipment deal with Cleveland, and while there was no shortage of offers the last few months, he wants to take his time deciding which way to go. For now, the 30-year-old Texan is playing Ping.
 
``I've had opportunities in the offseason, but I'm going to play with what I
like,'' Campbell said. ``I've played these irons for a long time.''
 
Campbell said he tried three other brands the last few months - he declined to say which, although he had Hogan irons in his bag at the Target World Challenge. He used Ping during his college career at UNLV, and during his successful run through the Hooters and Nationwide tours.
 
There is no rush to have an equipment contract.
 
``Right now, we'll just wait and see,'' he said. ``I'm only worried about playing good golf.''
 
ON THE BAG
Vijay Singh has won twice with his trainer, Joey Diovisalvi, working as his caddie. Singh said there is good karma between the two, but it only lasts so long in the player-caddie relationship.
 
Diovisalvi is a whiz at creating fitness routines. He certainly is strong enough to carry a bag, especially on a mountainous course like the Plantation at Kapalua. But he's not a pro caddie, so Singh does a lot of the leg work.
 
``It gives me a lot better feel of where I need to hit on the greens and where the pin is,'' he said. ``At times when you do that, you get more focused on pin placement, where the trouble is, where you've got to hit it. But it's also a hassle, running around and doing your own yardages. I kind of get tired of it after two weeks. That's why I'm getting my old caddie back.''
 
Diovisalvi also will work next week in the Sony Open, but Paul Tesori will return to caddie in San Diego. Singh already has split with Dave Renwick, the Scot on the bag during his rapid rise to No. 1 in the world.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Mercedes Championships
  • Full Coverage - Mercedes Championships
     
    Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee: