Webb on Merion: 'Favorite golf course in the world'

By Associated PressApril 29, 2013, 10:52 pm

ARDMORE, Pa. – Webb Simpson already played for an amateur championship at Merion.

He's ready to win a major there on his next visit.

Simpson is one of the few active PGA Tour members to have played at the suburban Philadelphia course, competing in the 2005 U.S. Amateur. When he returns in June, Simpson wants to defend his U.S. Open Championship.

''I tell people all the time it is my favorite golf course in the world,'' he said Monday. ''What it demands out of the players is so different than most golf courses, and it seems like most golf courses now are evolving to be bombers paradise. Every par 4 is 500 yards, and you hit a driver on every hole. Merion's the opposite.''


Merion Golf Club: Articles, videos and photos

U.S. Open media day


The U.S. Open is set to return in June to Merion Golf Club for the first time since 1981. With good reason. The U.S. Open at Merion will be the shortest course for a major championship in eight years.

The U.S. Open was played at Merion in 1934, 1950, 1971 and 1981. Bobby Jones won the U.S. Amateur in 1930, and tournaments from the Curtis Cup to the Walker Cup have all been played at the course.

With a shorter course, birdies could become more expected over the weekend. USGA executive director Mike Davis said Merion will play at 6,996 yards on the scorecard. The last major course that was under 7,000 yards was Shinnecock Hills for the 2004 U.S. Open, which also played 6,996 yards. Merion will be the shortest since Southern Hills, which was 6,973 in 2001.

''There's going to be more birdies made at this U.S. Open than any we have seen in recent history,'' USGA executive director Mike Davis said. ''There's just some holes out here that lend themselves to it, which is wonderful. Then there's some holes that are very tough. I would contend that you've got this balance of some of the easiest holes for U.S. Opens that you'll see in the modern era, yet at the same time, they have got some tough holes.''

Davis and club officials spoke on a rainy Monday at Merion that certainly didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the return of major golf to the Philadelphia area. Simpson, who Skyped in for the event, had last year's championship trophy by his side.

''It's even more of an honor at a place I love,'' he said. ''I can't wait to get there.''

Simpson emerged last year on a fog-filled final day at The Olympic Club in San Francisco with four birdies around the turn and a tough chip out of a hole to the right of the 18th green that he converted into par for a 2-under 68. He outlasted former U.S. Open champions Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell and finished at 1-over 281.

Aside from the boost in his bank account and Official World Golf Ranking, Simpson has been noticed more because of the win.

''When I used to sign autographs, the kid would ask the mom who I was, and sometimes she would say, 'I don't know who that is,''' he said. ''But now people know who I am more.''

The USGA decided to cut down on tickets because Merion is not a big piece of property like Bethpage Black or Pinehurst. The USGA will take a financial hit compared with other venues, but it felt it was worth it. Merion expected about 25,500 fans during the peak days of the tournament.

''We don't look at this as a one-year financial exercise,'' USGA vice president Tom O'Toole said. ''We look over a period of years, and we're perfectly comfortable that we could come back and have a less financially significant Open.''

Merion's famed wicker basket flagsticks will be in place. So will an increased focus on pace after 14-year-old Guan Tianlang got a one-shot penalty for slow play during the second round of the Masters.

''We want to make sure that the pace-of-play policy is consistent with what the challenge is here at Merion,'' O'Toole said. ''We'll be looking at it closely.''

All eyes will be on Merion, which opened in 1912, for a weekend. Ben Hogan won the second of his four Opens at Merion. Lee Trevino beat Jack Nicklaus in a playoff. History is all around the famed course. It's time to make some more.

''When we closed up in 1981, it's not as if the course didn't play well, but we really thought this was the last time, at least at a national Open Championship, you would ever see Merion played on TV,'' Davis said. ''It had nothing to do with the golf course in terms of how it played, in terms of a test of golf. But it had everything to do with, how do you fit a modern day U.S. Open on this 111 acres?''

Simpson and the rest of the players can't wait to find out.

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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

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

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


President at the Presidents Cup


Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


Cart on the green


Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


Trump golf properties

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers


Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.