Scott's victory a social media, Australian sensation

By Associated PressApril 15, 2013, 1:47 pm

BRISBANE, Australia – The roar that followed Adam Scott's Masters-winning putt at Augusta National could only be heard on the television broadcast so many thousand miles away on Australia's east coast.

But distance doesn't really matter Down Under.

Within seconds of Scott's 12-foot putt finding the cup on the second playoff hole at Augusta, fans who had been awake since dawn Monday and were either on their way – or purposely late – to work did a lot of celebrating on their own.

Commuters cheered on buses, and car horns tooted. Even a radio interview with the prime minister on the national broadcaster was interrupted to give updates on the Masters – well before the result was known.

Golf fans everywhere in this sports-mad country rejoiced.


Coffin: Scott's victory popular the golf world over

'Morning Drive': Norman discusses Scott's win and impact on Australia

77th Masters Tournament: Articles, videos and photos


Shopkeepers at Peregian Beach, near a resort course designed by Adam's father, Phil Scott, spoke of the pride of having a Masters champion from their neck of the woods.

No Australian had ever won the green jacket, although many had come close at Augusta. The 32-year-old Scott tied for second with fellow Australian Jason Day two years ago.

It almost seemed as though it wouldn't happen and Greg Norman, himself on the receiving end of so many painful Masters memories, wondered if the heavens had decreed that an Australian would never win at Augusta.

Scott thought he had the Masters, and his first major title, clinched when he made a 20-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole of regulation and was sitting in the scoring room waiting for Angel Cabrera to finish off his round in the final group Sunday.

But Cabrera produced a great shot of his own, a 7-iron to 3 feet for birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

''The golf gods can't be this cruel to Australia,'' Norman said in a text to friends who were watching nervously.

The preparations for a possible Australian win began overnight Sunday on social media, hours before Scott, Day and fellow Australian Mark Leishman began the day as three of the top five on the leaderboard.

Aussie golf fans even developed their own Twitter hashtag: itsourtime. And Scott obviously thought it was, too.

Tom Watson, who missed the cut at Augusta this year, tweeted: ''You showed great courage Adam ... and resiliency from last year's disappointment at Lytham.'' Scott bogeyed the last four holes last year to lose the British Open by a shot to Ernie Els.

Jarrod Lyle, an Australian golfer recovering from leukemia, posted: ''you (censored) beauty Scotty. Great win well deserved.''

Jessica Korda, a member of the LPGA who won last year's Women's Australian Open, tweeted: ''Adam Scott!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A million girls just fell in love.''

Scott and Day came close to winning in 2011 at Augusta, but were left stranded by South African champion Charl Schwartzel's late run of four consecutive birdies.

Another Australian, 2006 U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, was also in the hunt that year, but finished tied for fourth, four shots behind. Surprisingly, Ogilvy didn't qualify this year.

Norman made an art form out of not winning at Augusta. In 1986, Jack Nicklaus shot a 30 on the back nine to take the green jacket from him. In 1987, Larry Mize chipped in from 140 feet during a playoff to leave Norman second. In 1996, a six-shot lead over Nick Faldo wasn't enough when Norman shot a final-round 78.

In his victory speech Sunday night, Scott was gracious in thanking his mentor: ''Greg Norman has been incredible to me and all the young golfers in Australia. Part of this definitely belongs to him.''

Reached at his home in South Florida, Norman told The Associated Press: ''I'm over the moon. Sitting there watching Adam, I had a tear in my eye. That's what it was all about. It was Adam doing it for himself, and for the country.''

Norman was so nervous watching TV that he said he went to the gym when the final group made the turn. He headed home for the last four holes and was texting with friends as his emotions shifted with every putt.

''I can only imagine how everyone else felt when I was playing,'' Norman said.

Australian politicians quickly got in on the act, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard saying: ''By any measure this is a historic day for Australian sport.'' Sports Minister Kate Lundy said the high-profile win would inspire other Australians to take up the sport as golf returns to the Olympics in Rio in 2016.

Keith Urban, the Nashville-based country music star who grew up in Queensland state not far from Scott, tweeted: ''ADAM SCOTT!!!! You are the man! Congrats mate. -KU.''

A lot of Urban's mates appeared to agree, with nearly 400 congratulatory Scott retweets sent out. A tweet from British boy band One Direction member Niall Horan was retweeted 12,000 times in less than three hours.

''Yeaaahhhh Adam Scott ya legend! Doin it for the Aussies!'' Horan said.

The win seemed to transcend all sports in Australia, with former star cricketer Shane Warne describing Scott's winning putt as ''absolutely awesome.'' Rugby union international Quade Cooper hashtagged ''fistpump'' and said Scott's new piece of wardrobe was the ''coolest green jacket going around.''

There was a minor faux pas Monday from the sport's national governing body, the PGA of Australia. Late in the final round, it sent out a tweet saying: ''We need a mistake from the big hitting Argentine down 13.''

A few minutes later, the PGA was criticized by a California follower: ''Really? #badsportsmanship.''

The PGA of Australia quickly tweeted a reply: ''We shouldn't wish bad luck for anyone and the previous tweet was bad sportsmanship Clearly let our enthusiasm get in the way.''

Cabrera hit into the creek on the 13th and later bogeyed the hole to fall out of the lead.

Social media was set to be the haven for suggestions for next year's Champions Dinner at Augusta, with Scott getting to call the shots on the menu.

Will it be crocodile canapes, emu burgers, kangaroo steaks or even koala-shaped cupcakes for dessert? Whatever, it should probably be pretty interesting after waiting all these years.

Spieth stalls on Moving Day at Australian Open

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 25, 2017, 4:30 am

Moving Day? Not so much for Jordan Spieth in Round 3 of the Emirates Australian Open.

Spieth, the defending champion and also a winner in 2014, continued to struggle with his putter, shooting 1-under 70 on Saturday at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney.

“I was leaving them short yesterday and today it was kind of misreading, over-reading. I missed a lot of putts on the high side – playing wind or more break,” he said. “I just really haven’t found a nice marriage between line and speed to get the ball rolling.”


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


The world No. 2 started the day eight off the pace and was unable to make a charge. He had three birdies and two bogeys, including a 4 at the par-5 finishing hole.

Spieth praised his ball-striking in the wind-swept conditions, but lamented his putting, which has hampered him throughout the week.

“Ball-striking’s been fantastic. Just gotta get the putts to go,” he said.

Spieth, who is scheduled to compete in next week’s Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, is still holding out hope for a third title in four years at this event. He fired a brilliant 63 in very windy conditions to prevail in ’14.

“Tomorrow is forecasted as even windier than today so you can still make up a lot of ground,” he said. “A few years ago I shot a final round that was a nice comeback and anything like that tomorrow can still even be enough to possibly get the job done.”

South Korean LPGA stars lead KLPGA team

By Randall MellNovember 24, 2017, 10:32 pm

South Korea’s LPGA team of all-stars took the early lead Friday on the Korean LPGA Tour in a team event featuring twice as much star power as this year’s Solheim Cup did.

Eight of the world’s top 20 players are teeing it up in the ING Life Champions Trophy/ Inbee Park Invitational in Gyeongju. There were only four players among the top 20 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings when the United States defeated Europe in Des Moines, Iowa.

Park led the LPGA team to a 3 ½-to-2 ½ lead on the first day.

Park, who has been recuperating from a back injury for most of the second half of this season, teamed with Jeongeun Lee5 to defeat Hye Jin Choi and Ji Hyun Kim, 5 and 4, in the lead-off four-ball match.

So Yeon Ryu and Park, former world No. 1s and LPGA Rolex Player of the Year Award winners, will be the marquee pairing on Saturday. They will lead off foursomes against Ji Young Kim and Min Sun Kim.

Nine of the 11 South Koreans who won LPGA events this year are competing. Sung Hyun Park and I.K. Kim are the only two who aren’t.

The fourball results:

LPGA’s Inbee Park/ Jeongeun Lee5 def. Hye Jin Choi/Ji Hyun Kim, 5 and 4.

LPGA’s Mirim Lee/Amy Yang def.  Ji Hyun Oh/Min Sun Kim, 3 and 1.

LPGA’s M.J. Hur/Mi Hyang Lee halved Ji Hyun Kim/Ji Young Kim.

KLPGA’s Ha Na Jang/Sun Woo Bae def. Sei Young Kim/Hyo Joo Kim, 5 and 4.

LPGA’s Na Yeon Choi/Jenny Shin halved Jin Young Ko/Da Yeon Lee

LPGA’s In Gee Chun/Eun Hee Ji halved Jeongeun Lee6/Char Young Kim.

NOTE: The KPGA uses numerals after a player’s name to distinguish players with the exact same name.

 

Cut Line: Lyle faces third bout with cancer

By Rex HoggardNovember 24, 2017, 5:40 pm

In this week’s holiday edition, Cut Line is thankful for the PGA Tour’s continued progress on many fronts and the anticipation that only a Tiger Woods return can generate.

Made Cut

The Fighter. That was the headline of a story Cut Line wrote about Jarrod Lyle following his second bout with cancer a few years ago, so it’s both sad and surreal to see the affable Australian now bracing for a third fight with leukemia.

Lyle is working as an analyst for Channel 7’s coverage of this week’s Emirates Australian Open prior to undergoing another stem cell transplant in December.

“I’ve got a big month coming,” Lyle said. “I’m back into hospital for some really heavy-duty treatment that’s really going to determine how things pan out for me.”

Twice before things have panned out for Lyle. Let’s hope karma has one more fight remaining.

Changing times. Last season the PGA Tour introduced a policy to add to the strength of fields, a measure that had long eluded officials and by most accounts was a success.

This season the circuit has chosen to tackle another long-standing thorn, ridiculously long pro-am rounds. While there seems little the Tour can do to speed up play during pro-am rounds, a new plan called a 9&9 format will at least liven things up for everyone involved.

Essentially, a tournament hosting a pro-am with four amateurs can request the new format, where one professional plays the first nine holes and is replaced by another pro for the second nine.

Professionals will have the option to request 18-hole pro-am rounds, giving players who limit practice rounds to just pro-am days a chance to prepare, but otherwise it allows Tour types to shorten what is an admittedly long day while the amateurs get a chance to meet and play with two pros.

The new measure does nothing about pace of play, but it does freshen up a format that at times can seem tired, and that’s progress.

Tweet of the week: @Love3d (Davis Love III‏) “Thanks to Dr. Flanagan (Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center) for the new hip and great care! Can’t wait to get back to (the PGA Tour).”

Love offered the particularly graphic tweet following hip replacement surgery on Tuesday, a procedure that he admitted he’d delayed because he was “chicken.”

The surgery went well and Love is on pace to return to the Tour sometime next spring. As for the possibility of over-sharing on social media, we’ll leave that to the crowd.


Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Distance control. The Wall Street Journal provided the octagon for the opening blows of a clash that has been looming for a long time.

First, USGA executive director Mike Davis told The Journal that the answer to continued distance gains may be a restricted-flight golf ball with an a la carte rule that would allow different organizations, from the Tour all the way down to private clubs, deciding which ball to use.

“You can’t say you don’t care about distance, because guess what? These courses are expanding and are predicted to continue to expand,” Davis said. “The impact it has had has been horrible.”

A day later, Wally Uihlein, CEO of Acushnet, which includes the Titleist brand, fired back in a letter to The Journal, questioning among other things how distance gains are putting a financial burden on courses.

“The only people that seem to be grappling with advances in technology and physical fitness are the short-sighted golf course developers and the supporting golf course architectural community who built too many golf courses where the notion of a 'championship golf course' was brought on line primarily to sell real estate,” Uihlein wrote.

For anyone paying attention the last few years, this day was inevitable and the likely start of what will be a drawn out and heated process, but Cut Line’s just not sure anyone wins when it’s over.

Tiger, take II. Tiger Woods’ return to competition next week at the Hero World Challenge was always going to generate plenty of speculation, but that hyperbole reached entirely new levels this week as players began giving personal accounts of the new and improved 14-time major champion.

“I did talk to him, and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years,’” Day said as he prepared for the Australian Open. “If he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.”

Rickie Fowler added to the frenzy when he was asked this month if the rumors that Woods is driving the ball by him, by 20 to 30 yards by some reports, are true?

“Oh, yeah,” he told Golf.com. “Way by.”

Add to all this a recent line that surfaced in Las Vegas that Woods is now listed at 20-1 to win a major in 2018, and it seems now may be a good time for a restraint.

Golf is better with Woods, always has been and always will be, but it may be best to allow Tiger time to find out where his body and game are before we declare him back.


Missed Cut

Searching for answers. Twelve months ago, Hideki Matsuyama was virtually unstoppable and, regardless of what the Official World Golf Ranking said, arguably the best player on the planet.

Now a year removed from that lofty position, which featured the Japanese star finishing either first or second in six of his seven starts as the New Year came and went, Matsuyama has faded back to fifth in the world and on Sunday finished fifth, some 10 strokes behind winner Brooks Koepka, at the Dunlop Phoenix.

“That hurt,” Matsuyama told the Japan Times. “I don’t know whether it’s a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well. It seems there are many issues to address.”

Since his last victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Matsuyama has just two top-10 finishes on Tour and he ended his 2016-17 season with a particularly poor performance at the Presidents Cup.

While Matsuyama’s take seems extreme considering his season, there are certainly answers that need answering.

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

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

Updated at 9:50 p.m. ET

Images and footage from Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson's round Friday at Trump National in Jupiter, Fla., alongside President Donald Trump:



Original story:

Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.



Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.