Curse of the US Amateur
Tiger Woods won the U.S. Amateur in 1994, 1995 and 1996. This year he lost his swing and his No. 1 world ranking. No tag days for Tiger anytime soon. But by Woods own lofty standards, this has not been a banner year.
In 1997 Matt Kuchar upset Joel Kribel at Cog Hill No. 4 near Chicago and looked to be on his way to long term success on the PGA Tour when he won the 2002 Honda Classic. But this year he has struggled. Currently, Kuchar ranks 146th on the PGA Tour money list. He has missed 15 cuts in 26 events and has just one top 10.
Hank Kuehne succeeded Kuchar in 1998, defeating Tom McKnight in the U.S. Amateur final at Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y.. Kuehne has fared better than Kuchar this season'earning more than $800,000 in 28 events and ranking first on tour in driving distance. But hes still looking for his first official tour victory. Many believe hes overdue.
David Gossett is overdue to make a cut. The 1999 U.S. Amateur champ, like Kuchar, has won on tour thanks to his play at the 2001 John Deere Classic. But Gossett has missed 17 straight cuts this year and failed to break 70 in any of those tournaments.
Its frustrating, Gossett told the News and Record in Greensboro last week. Ive got to admit.
Jeff Quinney was next, in 2000, when he held off James Driscoll at Baltusrol. Quinney hasnt played at all on the big tour this year. On the Nationwide Tour he has missed four cuts in his last six outings.
In 2001 Bubba Dickerson defeated Robert Hamilton, 1-up, at East Lake in Atlanta to win his U.S. Amateur. Dickerson has played in five Nationwide Tour events in 2004 and advanced to the weekend just once.
Similarly, Ricky Barnes, who wowed everybody at Oakland Hills during the 2002 U.S. Amateur, has missed five of seven cuts on the PGA Tour this year where his last start was way back in May.
Nick Flanagan, the 2003 U.S. Amateur winner, has played in 10 tour events this season and missed the cut in nine of them.
What, exactly, is going on here?
Do you believe in curses?
Boston Red Sox fans do.
Since winning the 1918 World Series with Babe Ruth as a team member, the Red Sox have advanced to four World Series. They have lost all four in seven games. Conspiracy theorists have posited the notion that the Red Sox are suffering The Curse of the Bambino, because they sold Ruth to the Yankees after the 1918 season.
Lets hope nothing similarly sinister exists for recent U.S. Amateur champions.
Or as they say in Chicago, where the Cubs are equally frustrated and cursed, lets wait until next year.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.
The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
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.
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
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18