Rice a 'hit' in spotlight at Pebble Beach

By Associated PressFebruary 8, 2013, 12:59 am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – The first thing Condoleezza Rice told playing partner Jason Bohn when she walked onto the practice green at picturesque Pebble Beach eased any tension in the group.

''Roll Tide,'' she said.

A smart move for the fellow Alabama fan.

Also maybe the lightest – and least nerve-racking – moment of her opening round Thursday, when the former Secretary of State made her most public outing on the course since becoming the first of two female members at Augusta National.

Rice started strong but was clearly rattled after she hit a woman in the head on an errant approach shot on the sixth hole. She faded before the turn and combined with Bohn for a 2-under 70 in the pro-am portion of the tournament.

''Somebody asked me, 'How did it compare to diplomacy?''' Rice said while walking off the 18th green. ''And I said, 'Well, I know how to do diplomacy, I'm not so sure about the golf course.'''


AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am: Articles, videos and photos


Rice's round started with a flurry and collapsed with a thud.

She chipped within 4 feet on the first and outdrove everybody on the second while hitting from the ladies' tee. Then she rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt, pumping her left arm in celebration. She kept almost everything in the fairway for another three holes.

The shot everybody in the gallery will remember most is the one Rice would rather forget.

Standing on the steep hill for a blind approach shot on the sixth, Rice hit a hybrid that sent the ball into the left side of the gallery about 50 feet away – and nowhere near the green more than 150 feet to the right.

The ball struck a spectator on her forehead, which gushed with blood and sent her to the ground to recover.

The woman wept in pain while her daughter applied towels and medical personnel hustled over. Rice apologized to the woman and had an assistant get her phone number.

The woman was later walking in the gallery when Rice finished on No. 18. She declined to give her name but told The Associated Press she was treated for a bruise and given pain medication. No stitches were needed.

''We didn't talk about it. We tried not to,'' said Rice's caddie, Kathryn Imrie, the assistant women's golf coach at Stanford, where Rice teaches and often mentors and helps recruit student-athletes. ''Obviously, she was really concerned. And for it not to bother her probably would be tough.''

Clearly, it was.

Rice, 58, struggled to find a rhythm the rest of the way. She sprayed shots all over the course and even yelled out ''fore left!'' when the other amateur in the foursome, AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson, hit a wayward drive on the 12th.

''If I were playing with Condi, I'd be thinking right,'' Stephenson quipped, referring to the Republican side of the political spectrum.

Others in the group, which also included Joe Ogilvie, seemed more relaxed on one of golf's most famous courses than the competitive former Secretary of State who served during the administration of former President George W. Bush.

Bohn said he was thrilled when the PGA Tour asked if he wanted to be Rice's partner after Davis Love III dropped out with a neck injury. Bohn said his family and friends were so excited they spent one night writing out a list of questions.

''My next-door neighbors were all involved. And I was like, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa. I can't give you some of the questions,''' he recalled. ''I said, ''I've got to see how it goes. I've got to see how deep we can go into it.'''

The two pros said Rice seemed more interested in talking golf than politics, and she spent most of the 5 1/2-hour round asking questions and looking for advice – maybe even more so once her game spiraled out of control.

''She got a little quick. I told her, 'Your backswing is a lot like diplomacy. They take awhile to get to where you want to go. So just slow it down,''' Ogilvie said.

Imrie said Rice, who began playing golf about 10 years ago and also trains under Eric Eshleman at the Birmingham Country Club, can sometimes play ''too quick.'' She has coached Rice for about 18 months and called her the ''perfect student'' because of her constant dedication to get better.

''She's serious, yeah,'' said Imrie, who was heading to the practice range with Rice after the round. ''That's why she is who she is.''

Rice, wearing a gray Stanford sweater that also had a Pac-12 Conference emblem, rarely took more than 20 seconds to hit after she reached for a club. She has club covers for Stanford (where she teaches), Notre Dame (where she earned her master's degree), Alabama (where she was born) and for Augusta (where she's a member).

''She's had to make quick decisions her whole life,'' said Janice Gistinelli, a friend who walked the course following Rice, whom she met doing interior design work on her home on the Monterey Peninsula.

Besides her political career, Bohn and Ogilvie seemed most interested in Rice's new golf membership.

In a historic change at one of the world's most exclusive golf clubs, Augusta National invited Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore in August to become the first female members since the club was founded in 1932.

Rice, also a member at Shoal Creek and Cypress Point, called the invitation an ''honor'' but said she doesn't view her Augusta membership as any kind of barrier-breaking achievement.

''I'm just trying to play golf, just trying to play golf,'' Rice said. ''They're great places. I'm honored to be a member of all of 'em.''

With at least two more rounds to play in the pro-am, those in her group still have plenty of other questions in mind.

Bohn said he only crossed ''a few'' questions off his list, which he didn't bring with him. He's still interested in her love of sports and her Augusta jacket – right down to where the emblem is placed. Whether Rice answers them before the Masters in two months is another matter.

''Maybe,'' he said, ''She's going to hold it up and say, 'You'll see in April.'''

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia


And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.