Notes Youth is served Tiger US Open favorite

By Associated PressApril 13, 2011, 4:08 am

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The last four major champions are noteworthy in part because of their passports. It’s the first time since the Masters began in 1934 that four non-American players have won golf’s four biggest events.

It’s also worth paying attention to their birth certificates.

The old man in the group is Graeme McDowell, who was 30 when he won the U.S. Open last summer at Pebble Beach. The last three major champions were all in their 20s – Louis Oosthuizen (27), Martin Kaymer (25) and Charl Schwartzel (26).

It’s the first time since 1997 that three straight major champions were in their 20s, when Tiger Woods won the Masters at 21, Ernie Els won his second U.S. Open at 27 and Justin Leonard won the British Open at 25.

“It’s a bright future, obviously,” said Jason Day, the 23-year-old Australian who tied for second at Augusta. “There’s a lot of good, solid young players coming up now, and it seems every year, they are getting younger.”

Whether the last four majors represent a changing of the guard remains to be seen. Woods showed signs that his game was improving with his tie for fourth at the Masters, while Phil Mickelson won a week earlier at the Houston Open.

The fact the last four major champions captured a Grand Slam event for the first time – the longest streak of first-time major winners in seven years – shows how tough it is to win.

“When Tiger came along, he pretty much changed the game,” Day said. “Everyone turned into athletes. We’re not flag slobs anymore. He has pretty much changed the game for the good.”


NELSON HONORED: Three-time major champion Larry Nelson, who didn’t take up golf until he returned from the Vietnam War, will receive the PGA Distinguished Service Award.

Nelson, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, will be honored Aug. 10 during the PGA Championship. It’s being played at Atlanta Athletic Club, where 30 years ago Nelson won his first major at the PGA. He also won the 1987 PGA Championship at PGA National, and the 1983 U.S. Open at Oakmont.

He also played on three Ryder Cup teams, and went 5-0 as a rookie in 1979 at The Greenbrier.

“It’s quite an honor, and I’m very humbled by it,” Nelson said. “I have been very blessed in my career, and have been fortunate that golf has allowed me to meet many around the world, develop special friendship and serve others.”

What made Nelson such an inspiration was his late start in the game. He spent two years in Vietnam with the Army, and didn’t start playing golf until he was out of the service. He read Ben Hogan’s book, “The Five Fundamentals of Golf,” broke 100 the first time he played and broke 70 for the first time within nine months.

“Larry Nelson is one of golf’s consummate champions, who performed at the highest level on many of the game’s grandest stages and has carried himself with dignity and grace to become one of the sport’s most respected ambassadors,” PGA of America president Allen Wronowski said.

The PGA Distinguished Service Award, which began in 1988, honors outstanding individuals who display leadership and humanitarian qualities, including integrity, sportsmanship and enthusiasm for the game of golf.


ASIAN TOUR ON TV: The Asian Tour has reached broadcasting agreements with Golf Channel that will shows its tournaments in North America, Latin America and Japan.

The addition of those territories will bring the Asian Tour’s dedicated TV programming to 130 countries and more than 420 million households around the world.

“The standard of the Asian Tour has increasingly grown over the years, and we look forward to giving golf fans in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Japan the opportunity to watch Asia’s elite golfers,” Asian Tour chairman Kyi Hla Han said.


ON A ROLL: Camilo Villegas isn’t off a very good start this year. His best finish in nine tournaments is a tie for 35th in the Cadillac Championship. He has missed three cuts, been disqualified from one tournament and withdrew from another.

After starting the year at No. 37 in the world, he already has fallen to No. 50.

Put him in a major championship, though, and the Colombian seems to manage.

Even though he finished last at the Masters, Villegas made the cut for the 12th consecutive major, the longest current streak of those who have played them all. Phil Mickelson has a streak of 13 successive cuts made, although he skipped the 2009 British Open after his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.


U.S. OPEN ODDS: A breathtaking Masters was not even a day old when bookies began compiling odds for the next major.

One website,, has Tiger Woods listed as a 6-to-1 favorite for the U.S. Open, which is still 10 weeks away at Congressional. Woods tied for 19th in the 1997 U.S. Open at Congressional, although he won the AT&T National there two years ago.

Phil Mickelson is the second choice at 10-to-1. Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy were listed at 16-to-1, followed by world No. 1 Martin Kaymer and Luke Donald at 20-to-1.

Winning the Masters has only made Charl Schwartzel a 33-to-1 favorite. Those are the same odds for defending champion Graeme McDowell, who missed the cut at the Masters.


DIVOTS: Tiger Woods has finished no worse than sixth in his last seven trips to the Masters. … Lee Westwood (No. 2) and Ernie Els (No. 14) are the only players in the top 20 in the world who have yet to record a top-10 finish this year. … Rory McIlroy was praised for the gracious manner in which he handled his final-round 80. The 21-year-old continued to show class when he posed for a photo with Charl Schwartzel in the green jacket on their flight to Malaysia. He posted it on Twitter and said, “Glad one of us has a green jacket on!!!” … The top five players who have earned the most world ranking points through the Masters are Schwartzel, Luke Donald, Nick Watney, Martin Kaymer and Mark Wilson. … With his tie for fourth in the Masters, Tiger Woods is leading the U.S. Ryder Cup points list for 2012.


STAT OF THE WEEK: In the last three majors, Rory McIlroy has shot par or better in all but two rounds. The exceptions were an 80 at St. Andrews and the same at Augusta National.


FINAL WORD: “I didn’t think I was going to put on a green jacket before him.” – Masters champion Charl Schwartzel on Ernie Els. Schwartzel was a toddler when his father and Els won a club competition in South Africa.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

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.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

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

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm