Silence is Golden at 50th Buick Open

By Associated PressJune 27, 2008, 4:00 pm
2006 Buick OpenGRAND BLANC, Mich. -- Detroit Lions quarterback Jon Kitna is used to playing over the roar of an excited crowd.
So when Kitna went to his first PGA TOUR event, he was amazed at the silence.
Its definitely a different way to concentrate, Kitna said Friday at the Buick Open.
At times, the loudest sound at the tournament was the hum of generators.
That seems to be exactly how the players want it.
Jim Furyk told his caddie to quiet the gallery before he teed off at the sixth hole during the second round. A couple holes earlier, Furyk stepped away from a 9-foot putt.
Keep that sign down, Furyk said to a marshal, referring to a QUIET sign used to hush gathered crowds.
Furyk later insisted neither the noise nor visual distraction affected his game.
Ive never really been overly bothered by that, he said. I may ask a marshal to move once in a while, but its more of a precaution.
Players, caddies and marshals frequently ask people to stop walking and talking when a pro is over his ball.
Golf is such a mental game, and you want your mind to be as quiet as possible to hit a good shot, Lee Janzen said. With all the stuff that could possibly not go right, you dont want your mind also thinking about somebody walking behind you.
Silence on the course is simply part of the tradition.
Its always been the etiquette of the game that youre supposed to be quiet when someone else is hitting, Furyk said.
Spectators agreed that keeping quiet isnt a big deal, but Clarkston resident Tom Selhost said when compared to other sports, the lack of noise is a bit surprising.
Ive always thought it was kind of interesting, though, here comes a baseball at 90 mph and theyre trying to hit it and the crowds just going insane, the 66-year-old fan said. And here is a ball sitting still and everyone has to be quiet.
Janzen said that constant noise'like the buzz of the crowd at a ballgame' wouldnt be a problem for golfers.
Unexpected noise, though, is problematic.
It would probably be OK if everybody just talked all the time, Janzen said. But usually most people try to be quiet and then one odd person will start talking.
Marshals try to keep the environment as quiet as possible, taking cell phones and cameras away from fans who sneak them onto the course.
About 400 cell phones and cameras were waiting for their owners early Friday afternoon at the a tent and officials expected twice as many to pile up for Sundays final round.
A few chants occasionally could be heard at the 17th hole, but the green, known for its rowdiness, was quieter than usual Friday.
Its a lot milder because Tigers not here, said marshal Rob Hudson, whos volunteered at the Buick Open for six years. When Tigers here, it just get ridiculous,
Tiger Woods had season-ending knee surgery earlier this week, knocking him out of the Buick Open after playing it eight times since 1997
Usually, people seem to respect the QUIET signs that goes up when a golfer is getting ready to hit a ball.
Youll get the occasional grump who doesnt care, but as a rule, theyre pretty good, Hudson said.
Kitna, who said it was weird to play in such a quiet environment Wednesday at the Buick Pro-Am, said the steady noise at a football game doesnt bother him like a sudden noise on the golf course could get to a professional golfer.
Its so quiet sometimes a little noise can affect you, he said. While with us, its so loud little things dont bother us
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.