Pavin Playing Well in Shinnecock Return

By Associated PressJune 18, 2004, 4:00 pm
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. -- Corey Pavin's greatest moment on a golf course came at Shinnecock Hills nine years ago.
 
There haven't been too many special times since he sealed his win at the 1995 U.S. Open with a dramatic 4-wood on the final hole. He hasn't won a tournament since the Colonial the next year and the last few seasons have been spotty at best as he struggled with his swing.
 
Everything was upbeat again at Shinnecock Hills as Pavin shot a 1-over 71 Friday and was at 2-under 138 after two rounds, four strokes off the lead held by Phil Mickelson and Shigeki Maruyama.
 
'Anytime I come back to a course I've done well on, I have a good feeling about that tournament or that golf course,' the 44-year-old Pavin said. 'It doesn't matter if it's Shinnecock Hills and a U.S. Open or Colonial or Riveria or anywhere else that I've won. I feel good and it's a comfortable golf course and there's a lot to be said for being comfortable on a golf course.'
 
The 5-foot-9 Pavin's hair is shorter and grayer than it was that Sunday in 1995 when he jumped in the air to see how close his shot from 228 yards got. It finished 5 feet from the hole and he would beat Greg Norman by two strokes.
 
'The way to play the golf course hasn't changed tremendously,' he said. 'It's a lot firmer. It's playing a lot faster out there. The course is playing a lot shorter, but that doesn't mean it's playing easier. I think the course was playing easier in '95 than it is now, but we don't have the wind.'
 
Pavin does have some added distance, though.
 
He hit a driver to set up the 4-wood in 1995. On Friday, he hit a 3-wood off the tee and then a 5-iron to set up a two-putt par. He said if he had to hit the shot from 1995 again, he would probably use a 5-wood this time.
 
'I think it's a difference in technology and hopefully my swing is better. That has something to do with it, and maybe I'm in better shape,' he said. 'Add it all up together and maybe it's a club difference.'
 
Pavin won't allow himself to get caught up in being in contention to win a second Open.
 
'I'm not going to think about it a whole lot,' he said. 'I'm going to go out and do what I've been doing the last two days. Just hit every shot as good as I can, focus on each shot and play the most intelligent shot I can at that time, and just see how I am. I don't see any reason to change that.'
 
Pavin, who has been working for the past eight months with swing coach Butch Harmon, said he lost confidence when his swing 'went south.' Is the U.S. Open - and especially a course like Shinnecock with its deep heather and fast greens - the best place to try and find it?
 
'I don't know if this is the place, but any place is the place,' he said. 'I just need to go out and execute and play some golf and that's what I'm trying to do now.'
 
And he's doing with a lot of support from the fans.
 
'I love the fans. They've been fantastic to me,' he said. 'The New York fans are vocal and thank goodness what they're saying to me is good.'
 
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    Watch: Tiger highlights from Round 2 at Honda

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 23, 2018, 8:12 pm

    Tiger Woods started at even par in Round 2 of the Honda Classic. Friday began with a bogey at the par-4 second, but Woods got that stroke back with a birdie at the par-4 fourth:



    Following four consecutive pars, Woods birdied the par-4 ninth to turn in 1-under 34.



    At 1 under for the tournament, Woods was tied for 10th place, three off the lead, when he began the back nine at PGA National. And the crowd is loving it.

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    Defending champ Fowler misses cut at Honda

    By Ryan LavnerFebruary 23, 2018, 7:14 pm

    PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – The roles might be reversed this weekend for Rickie Fowler.

    Last year, when he won at PGA National, Fowler was greeted behind the 18th green by Justin Thomas, one of his Jupiter neighbors. Thomas had missed the cut in his hometown event but drove back to the tournament to congratulate Fowler on his fourth PGA Tour title.

    It’s Fowler who will be on the sidelines this weekend, after missing the Honda Classic cut following rounds of 71-76.  


    Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

    Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos


    “I haven’t been swinging it great the last month and a half,” he said afterward. “Obviously playing in the wind, it will pick you apart even more.”

    After a tie for fourth at Kapalua, Fowler has missed two of his last three cuts. In between, at the Phoenix Open, he coughed up the 54-hole lead and tied for 11th.

    Fowler said he’s been struggling with commitment and trust on the course.

    “It’s close,” he said. “Just a little bit off, and the wind is going to make it look like you’re a terrible weekend golfer.”

    Asked if he’d return the favor for Thomas, if he were to go and win, Fowler smiled and said: “Of course.”  

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    Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

    By Tiger TrackerFebruary 23, 2018, 7:00 pm

    Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.


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    Cut Line: Woods still eyeing Ryder Cup dual role

    By Rex HoggardFebruary 23, 2018, 6:57 pm

    In this week’s edition, Jack Nicklaus makes the argument, again, for an equipment rollback, Tiger Woods gets halfway to his Ryder Cup goal and Paul Lawrie laments slow play ... in Europe.

    Made Cut

    Captain’s corner. Last week Tiger Woods coyly figured he could do both, play and be a vice captain for this year’s U.S. Ryder Cup team. On Tuesday, he made it halfway to his goal.

    U.S. captain Jim Furyk named Woods and Steve Stricker vice captains for this year’s matches, joining Davis Love III on the team golf cart.

    Whether Woods will be able to pull off the double-header is now largely up to him and how his most recent comeback from injury progresses, but one way or another Furyk wanted Tiger in his team room.

    “What Tiger really has brought to the table for our vice captains is a great knowledge of X's and O's,” Furyk said. “He's done a really good job of pairing players together in foursomes and fourball. When you look at our team room and you look at a lot of the youth that we have in that team room now with the younger players, a lot of them became golf professionals, fell in love with the game of golf because they wanted to emulate Tiger Woods.”

    Woods is currently 104th on the U.S. points list, but the qualification process is designed for volatility, with this year’s majors worth twice as many points. With Tiger’s improved play it’s not out of the question that he gets both, a golf cart and a golf bag, for this year’s matches.

    #MSDStrong. Every week on Tour players, officials and fans come together to support a charity of some sort, but this week’s Honda Classic has a more personal impact for Nicholas Thompson.

    Thompson graduated from nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and last week’s horrific shooting there inspired the former Tour member to work with tournament organizers and find a way to help the victims.

    Officials handed out 1,600 maroon ribbons to volunteers to honor the victims; and Thompson and his wife, who is also a Stoneman Douglas graduate, donated another 500 with the letters “MSD” on them for players, wives and caddies.

    Thompson also planned to donate 3,100 rubber bracelets in exchange for donations to help the victims and their families.

    “I’m not much of a crier, but it was a very, very sad moment,” Thompson told PGATour.com. “To see on TV, the pictures of the school that I went through for four years and the area where it occurred was terrible.”

    The Tour makes an impact on communities every week, but some tournaments are more emotional than others.


    Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

    Golden moment. Jack Nicklaus has never been shy about expressing his thoughts on modern equipment and how far today’s professionals are hitting the golf ball, but this week the Golden Bear revealed just how involved he may be in what is increasingly looking like an equipment rollback of some sort.

    During a recent dinner with USGA CEO Mike Davis, Nicklaus discussed the distance debate.

    “Mike said, ‘We’re getting there. We’re going to get there. I need your help when we get there.'” Nicklaus said. “I said, ‘That’s fine. I’m happy to help you. I’ve only been yelling at you for 40 years.’ 1977 is the first time I went to the USGA.”

    The USGA and R&A are scheduled to release their annual distance report before the end of the month, but after the average driving distance jumped nearly 3 yards last year on Tour – and nearly 7 yards on the Web.com Tour – many within the equipment industry are already bracing for what could be the most profound rollback in decades.

    Stay tuned.

    Geographically undesirable. Although this will likely be the final year the Tour’s Florida swing is undercut by the WGC-Mexico Championship, which will be played next week, the event’s impact on this year’s fields is clear.

    The tee sheet for this week’s Honda Classic, which had become one of the circuit’s deepest stops thanks to an influx of Europeans gearing up for the Masters, includes just three players from the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking, and none from top three. By comparison, only the Sony Open and CareerBuilder Challenge had fewer top players in 2018.

    On Monday at a mandatory meeting, players were given a rough outline of the 2018-19 schedule, which features some dramatic changes including the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players shifting back to March, and numerous sources say the Mexico stop will move to the back end of the West Coast swing and be played after the Genesis Open.

    That should help fields in the Sunshine State regain some luster, but it does nothing to change the fact that this year’s Florida swing is, well, flat.


    Missed Cut

    West Coast woes. Of all the highlights from this year’s West Coast swing, a run that included overtime victories for Patton Kizzire (Sony Open), Jon Rahm (CareerBuilder Challenge), Jason Day (Farmers Insurance Open) and Gary Woodland (Waste Management Phoenix Open), it will be what regularly didn’t happen that Cut Line remembers.

    J.B. Holmes endured the wrath of social media for taking an eternity - it was actually 4 minutes, 10 seconds - to hit his second shot on the 72nd hole at Torrey Pines, but in fairness to Holmes he’s only a small part of a larger problem.

    Without any weather delays, Rounds 1 and 2 were not completed on schedule last week in Los Angeles because of pace of play, and the Tour is even considering a reduction in field size at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open to avoid similar schedule issues.

    But all this seems to miss the point. Smaller fields aren’t the answer; rules that recognize and penalize slow play are the only solution.

    Tweet of the week: @PaulLawriegolf (Paul Lawrie) “Getting pretty fed up playing with guys who cheat the system by playing as slow as they want until referee comes then hit it on the run to make sure they don't get penalized. As soon as ref [is] gone it’s back to taking forever again. We need a better system.”

    It turns out slow play isn’t a uniquely Tour/West Coast issue, as evidenced by the Scot’s tweet on Thursday from the Qatar Masters.