Reverence and the irreverent collide at The Open

By Brandel ChambleeJuly 11, 2017, 11:30 am

Long before Donald Trump followed Barack Obama, The Open was the world leader in incongruences, of the irreverent and reverent. It’s as if the docent at the snobby auction house came in half-cocked and filled the room with Ansel Adams and Leroy Neiman. Elysian Fields meets W.C. Fields. One minute you’re sitting there in that anecdotal cacophony, in that half-windsored, winter-weighted sport-coat world and the periphery of gray is suddenly interrupted by a group of men dressed like bunnies, discussing who was the better teacher, Bob Torrance or Pete Cowen.

In 1985, The Open left Scotland for England (it does that every now and then to remind Britain what makes it “Great”) and was played on the southern shore near the Cliffs of Dover at Royal St. George’s. As the championship Sunday was coming to a close, when the only worry was that they might run out of champagne, and the thread of the rich tapestry of The Open was playing out once again, by cracky, a streaker appeared on the 18th green. Give the man credit, streaking in the cold of Scotland has its own shortcomings; one is more apt to be seen in his full potential in warmer climes of Royal St. George’s I’m told … and the sun was out down south.

This man had to be dealt with, but nobody really wanted to put down their shepherd’s pie and do the dirty deed and the bobbies looked reluctant as they circled the naked villain. Tom Kite and Peter Jacobsen were just short of the home hole watching this dance, when Peter (does anyone else recognize the irony of someone with that name taking hold of the situation?!) horizonalized the man and then celebrated as if he had won golf’s oldest championship. I’m told Sandy Lyle later held the claret jug in the spidered light looking royal, if not yet ancient.

Even the name of the trophy suggest confusion. Claret is a dry red wine from the Bordeaux region of France, of left bank and Chateau Lafitte-Rothschild fame, Napoleonic perhaps. A jug is, well something to put Uncle Buck’s homemade hooch in. But give a man a claret Jug, empty even, and he can hardly speak. Unless his name is Justin Leonard.

Long before Leonard had a Sunday that looked like it was authored by St. Paul and won The Open, Bobby Jones played and spoked his way onto the shoulders of the citizens of St. Andrews in that river of tweed behind the home hole at the Old Course. He held his most prized possession, his putter, Calamity Jane, above the fray. Even that scene, as perfect as it was, illustrates the anachronistic contrasts of color, sartorially and personally, present amongst all things Royal and Ancient.

Jones came to The Open in 1921 as a 19-year-old, and after 36 holes was the low amateur in the field. But in the third round, bunkered at 11, he took four to get out and then inexplicably quit. The petulant and irascible young man, when he left for America, left an irreverent impression of disdain behind. He wouldn’t return for five years and when he did he was never beaten again in The Open, winning in 1926, ‘27 and 1930. The compost of contempt that Jones had felt at first blush at the Old Course blossomed into the most florid prose, when later in his career he said, “I could take out of my life everything except my experiences at St. Andrews and I would still have had a rich and full life.”

Like Jones, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus know the sting of humility on links golf. Jack’s first round as a professional in The Open, in 1962, he shot 80, and in the third round of the 1987 Open at Muirfield, he equaled his highest ever round as a professional in a major with 81. Fifteen years later, Woods, also at Muirfield and also in the third round, also shot his worst round in a major – 81. Of which the great commentator Peter Alliss said, “It’s like turning up to hear Pavaroti sing and finding out he has laryngitis.” And yet, both of them completed the career Grand Slam by winning golf’s oldest major championship. Jack at Muirfield in 1966 and Tiger at St. Andrews in 2000.

Nicklaus also chose, as had Arnold Palmer, and later Tom Watson, The Open as the place to retire from major golf. The event meant that much to them, I suspect not only for its history but because those that come out to watch the championship are unlike any other spectator in sport.

Traipsing through the sand dunes, in the worst that Mother Nature can throw at them, they seem to have an inexhaustible zest for life. Jauntily headed to see Phil or Lee or Luke, they’ll stop to look out at a bit of windblown sea and then predict the coming weather with pharmaceutical precision. It is not just rain to them. It is a warm rain or a driving rain or it is a soft rain and why worry because, as they say, most of it ends up as Scotch, anyway.

And if the sun comes out, regardless of temperature, out come the shorts – from younger and skinnier days most likely – and you’ll see legs as white as string cheese and they will walk past men dressed like bunnies. And just when you think you’re at the Piccadilly Circus a positively surreal scene will unfold and there in front of you is nothing impermanent and everything is royal and ancient.

Yep, nobody does the irreverent and reverent like The Open.

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CareerBuilder purse payouts: Rahm wins $1.062 million

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 12:50 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry on the fourth hole of sudden death to win the CareerBuilder Challenger. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out in La Quinta, Calif.:

1 Jon Rahm -22 $1,062,000
2 Andrew Landry -22 $637,200
T3 Adam Hadwin -20 $306,800
T3 John Huh -20 $306,800
T3 Martin Piller -20 $306,800
T6 Kevin Chappell -19 $205,025
T6 Scott Piercy -19 $205,025
T8 Brandon Harkins -18 $171,100
T8 Jason Kokrak -18 $171,100
T8 Sam Saunders -18 $171,100
T11 Harris English -17 $135,700
T11 Seamus Power -17 $135,700
T11 Jhonattan Vegas -17 $135,700
T14 Bud Cauley -16 $106,200
T14 Austin Cook -16 $106,200
T14 Grayson Murray -16 $106,200
T17 Andrew Putnam -15 $88,500
T17 Peter Uihlein -15 $88,500
T17 Aaron Wise -15 $88,500
T20 Ricky Barnes -14 $57,754
T20 Stewart Cink -14 $57,754
T20 Brian Harman -14 $57,754
T20 Beau Hossler -14 $57,754
T20 Charles Howell III -14 $57,754
T20 Zach Johnson -14 $57,754
T20 Ryan Palmer -14 $57,754
T20 Brendan Steele -14 $57,754
T20 Nick Taylor -14 $57,754
T29 Lucas Glover -13 $36,706
T29 Russell Knox -13 $36,706
T29 Nate Lashley -13 $36,706
T29 Tom Lovelady -13 $36,706
T29 Kevin Streelman -13 $36,706
T29 Hudson Swafford -13 $36,706
T29 Richy Werenski -13 $36,706
T36 Jason Dufner -12 $27,189
T36 Derek Fathauer -12 $27,189
T36 James Hahn -12 $27,189
T36 Chez Reavie -12 $27,189
T36 Webb Simpson -12 $27,189
T36 Tyrone Van Aswegen -12 $27,189
T42 Bronson Burgoon -11 $18,983
T42 Ben Crane -11 $18,983
T42 Brian Gay -11 $18,983
T42 Chesson Hadley -11 $18,983
T42 Patton Kizzire -11 $18,983
T42 Hunter Mahan -11 $18,983
T42 Kevin Na -11 $18,983
T42 Rob Oppenheim -11 $18,983
T50 Alex Cejka -10 $14,025
T50 Corey Conners -10 $14,025
T50 Michael Kim -10 $14,025
T50 Kevin Kisner -10 $14,025
T50 Sean O'Hair -10 $14,025
T50 Sam Ryder -10 $14,025
T50 Nick Watney -10 $14,025
T57 Robert Garrigus -9 $13,039
T57 Tom Hoge -9 $13,039
T57 David Lingmerth -9 $13,039
T57 Ben Martin -9 $13,039
T57 Trey Mullinax -9 $13,039
T57 Brett Stegmaier -9 $13,039
T63 Scott Brown -8 $12,449
T63 Wesley Bryan -8 $12,449
T63 Brice Garnett -8 $12,449
T63 Sung Kang -8 $12,449
T67 Talor Gooch -7 $12,095
T67 Tom Whitney -7 $12,095
T69 Matt Every -6 $11,623
T69 Billy Hurley III -6 $11,623
T69 Smylie Kaufman -6 $11,623
T69 Keith Mitchell -6 $11,623
T69 Rory Sabbatini -6 $11,623
T69 Chris Stroud -6 $11,623
75 John Peterson -5 $11,210
76 Abraham Ancer -4 $11,092
77 Ben Silverman 4 $10,974
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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.