Ringing cell phones The Jordan Rules

By Associated PressOctober 9, 2009, 6:34 am
Presidents Cup

SAN FRANCISCO – As incidents go, it was almost comical. And Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker hardly needed any help anyway.

But on a day when almost everything seemed to go bad for Ryo Ishikawa and Geoff Ogilvy, a ringing cell phone and a fan who couldn’t keep his mouth shut added to their misery.

The International team members were already 1-down in their match on the third hole when Ogilvy ran into problems while trying to putt for a par that would have given them a halve. By the time he missed the putt, Woods was apologizing to him even though both he and Stricker were blameless.

“Tiger did a classy thing and apologized for that, not that he had anything to do with it, but we hate to see stuff like that happen,” Stricker said.

What happened was the phone of a course marshal standing near the green started ringing as Ogilvy stood over his putt. When he backed off and then stood over it again, the phone rang again.

The players and their caddies looked into the crowd to see who the offender was, and it turned out to be a marshal. But he apparently was not familiar with how to turn his phone off and it rang several more times before he finally retreated out of sight.

Stricker said he thought it went off seven different times, but Woods held up five fingers to indicate it wasn’t that much. But when Ogilvy went to finally hit the putt, a fan yelled out a reference from the movie “Caddyshack” and he ended up missing it.

“You know the only part that was intentional was the guy yelling out, which was absolutely uncalled for,” Woods said. “And this is not what golf is all about.”

Woods and Stricker went on to beat Ogilvy and Ishikawa 6 and 4 in the alternate shot format, the biggest win by any team on the day.

A NEW ROUTE: The routing at Harding Park changed from when the World Golf Championship was played here in 2005, mainly to make sure that everyone reached the 18th hole, the signature hole with a dramatic tee shot over Lake Merced.

That now plays as No. 15, and it was pivotal for Phil Mickelson, who crushed a tee shot that set up the third straight birdie that gave he and Anthony Kim control of their match.

Mickelson was asked his strategy on playing the hole.

“I approach it similar to whether I’m ahead or behind,” Lefty said. “Basically, I try to tee it really high and rip at it.”

Upon hearing this, Tiger Woods dropped his head and stifled a laugh.

Mickelson said by taking a big cut and going long, it makes the fairway wider. Then he turned to Steve Stricker and asked if that was his strategy on the hole, too.

“I don’t play it that way,” Stricker said.

Woods finally chimed in: “We didn’t play that hole.”

Woods and Stricker closed out their match on the 14th hole, the shortest of the six matches.

JORDAN RULES: Michael Jordan’s role as an unofficial yet official assistant captain continued to be a thorny issue at Harding Park.

The former NBA superstar had a golf cart and a team windbreaker and spent most of the day shuttling between groups to offer words of encouragement, particularly to the younger players.

Asked about Jordan, Couples said he hangs around in the team room with players, acts as a sounding board for some of them, and is a cheerleader. Earlier in the week he played a practice round with them, generating some controversy because he was smoking a cigar on a city course where it is not allowed.

“On the golf course he’s allowed to do a little bit and not trying to do a lot,” Couples said. “So he’s just telling them to relax and have fun and this is what it’s all about. Just like what Greg (Norman) and I do. And I don’t want Greg to think I’ve got two assistants out there. He is out dressed like that because I thought it would be best to keep it from being this show. But everyone knows Michael Jordan, and he’s having a great time.”

SPECIAL GUEST: Among the dignitaries at the Presidents Cup this week was California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, at least according to British Open champion Stewart Cink.

He said on Twitter that the U.S. team asked the former actor about his golf game.

“On his golf game he said, ‘Last time I held a club was in Conan the Barbarian.’ Funny moment,” Cink wrote.

ROCKET SCIENTISTS: Fred Couples has always liked to keep things simple, and his pairings in the Presidents Cup reflect that.

It makes it easier, of course, when you listen to who your top player wants to partner with. Tiger Woods won big with Steve Stricker in the opening alternate ball matches, and they will play again Friday, this time against Geoff Ogilvy and Angel Cabrera.

That Woods and Stricker should be comfortable with each other is no surprise. They were paired together in seven rounds during the PGA Tour playoffs, and they may play together all week here.

Finding Woods a partner he is happy with could be a key to the President’s Cup. In recent team competitions, Woods has clearly been out of sorts with his partner, including his infamous pairing with Mickelson at the Ryder Cup.

“I was comfortable having him as my partner, but I wanted to make sure he was comfortable having me as his partner, just because I didn’t want to feel like he had to hold up my end as well as his end,” Stricker said.

Couples said way too much is made of the way players are paired together because in the end they are all very good players.

“Greg could make my pairings and think he’s doing a horrible job and I can take his and think I’m doing a horrible job; they are still six great teams,” Couples said. “It’s not that difficult.”

IN THE WOODS: Phil Mickelson and Anthony Kim took their first lead on the sixth hole, which played under 400 yards.

With a bogey, no less.

Kim hit his tee shot into the trees, leaving Mickelson no choice but to play toward the fifth fairway. Kim came up short of the green, and Mickelson chipped some 4 feet short of the cup.

The good news for them? Mike Weir and Tim Clark rattled around in the trees, taking four shots to reach the green. From there, Weir missed a 6-foot putt for a double bogey.

“Hopefully, darkness didn’t come before we finished the hole,” Kim said. “We were fortunate.”

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

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.

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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.