Tough Day for Ryder Cup Hopefuls

By Associated PressAugust 18, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 PGA ChampionshipMEDINAH, Ill. -- Scott Verplank knew he needed a good week to make his case for the U.S. Ryder Cup team.
 
He didn't get it. Now, instead of a probability for Ireland, he's no better than a remote possibility.
 
'It's a big deal. It's something that was a goal of mine,' Verplank said after double bogeys on two of his last three holes Friday took him from a weekend tee time to the wrong side of the cut line at the PGA Championship.
 
'I'm disappointed I didn't make a better showing this week.'
 
He's not the only one. The top 10 players in the Ryder Cup rankings after the PGA automatically make the team, and captain Tom Lehman has two additional picks. Five players have already clinched their spots, and Chris DiMarco is a virtual lock.
 
But those remaining four guaranteed spots were very much up for grabs this week. And all the moving and shaking Friday affected far more than the PGA leaderboard.
 
Tim Herron and Davis Love III helped their chances immensely, and J.J. Henry is in good shape. The verdict is still out for Lucas Glover and Stewart Cink, though they at least bought themselves two more days to make good impressions.
 
Three players who were in the top 10 coming into this week may have cost themselves spots on the team. Vaughn Taylor (7th), Zach Johnson (9th) and Brett Wetterich (10th) all missed the cut. So did John Rollins, who was 11th.
 
The Ryder Cup will be held Sept. 22-24 at The K Club, an Arnold Palmer design about 25 miles west of Dublin.
 
'When you're a guy that's somewhere in that selectable area, you think about it,' said Verplank, who began the week 20th in the standings and was a longshot to begin with. 'But I don't think it's dominated my thinking.'
 
Verplank's problem was bad luck. And even worse timing.
 
Every golfer has a week where bad shots find the deepest rough possible or land in a divot. Where any shot in the sand is plugged. Verplank just happened to have that week at the PGA.
 
He had worked himself back to even par -- the cut line -- with birdies on the 14th and 15th holes. But he double bogeyed the par-4 16th and then took a 5 on the par-3 17th.
 
Just like that, his weekend at Medinah -- and maybe a trip to Ireland -- was gone.
 
'I just didn't do anything great,' Verplank said. 'I didn't play very well and got punished whenever I made a mistake. ... I want to play better every time I play. I feel like I wasted my time if I don't come out and play well.'
 
But Verplank wasn't the only one. All Taylor, Johnson and Wetterich had to do was put up decent scores and they likely could have locked up their spots. Instead Taylor blew up with a 78 Friday and was 5-over for the tournament. Wetterich went 76-77, with two quadruple bogeys the first day and a 9 on the par-4 18th Friday.
 
Johnson only missed the cut by a shot. But with so many guys below him in the standings playing well, he could find himself on the bubble.
 
One of those guys who could push Johnson out is Love.
 
Love has been on every Ryder Cup team since 1993, the longest active streak of the Americans. Though he was fourth in the standings when the year began, he had dropped down to 15th and needed a top eight finish here to clinch one of the automatic berths.
 
He's certainly put himself in good position. Love is at 7-under, one stroke behind the leaders.
 
Herron, who was 17th in the rankings, did even better. He closed his round Friday with two birdies, giving him a 5-under 67 -- and a share of the lead.
 
'I think this year I've started playing for points, and it's really been a distraction,' Love said. 'I've enjoyed the last couple of weeks because it's been a challenge to put that out of your head.
 
'Yeah, I've backed myself into a corner,' he added. 'Sometimes you start doing the things you're supposed to be doing a little bit better when you're backed into a corner. ... I'd love to play my way on.'
 
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  • Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee: