Draws And Slices

By Brian HewittJune 11, 2008, 4:00 pm
If Rich Lerner can write Hooks and Cuts on this website'always a good read, by the way'I can write Draws and Slices.
So, on the eve of the 108th U.S. Open, here goes:
  • Im just wondering if Tiger Woods (tender knee), Adam Scott (tender right pinky finger) or Phil Mickelson (mild food poisoning early in the week)'playing together Thursday and Friday'..Im just wondering if any of them will break 100. I mean, Cmon, Tony Romo needed 84 blows at Torrey Pines South just last week.
  • On Wednesday when I asked USGA course set-up guy Mike Davis, a low-handicapper, if he could break 100 on Torrey Pines South right now, he said, Yeah, I think so. Id be in the 80s. Then he added with a smile, Just dont make me go out and do it right now.
  • The groupings are most interesting if you scrutinize them closely for common denominators'and Im not just talking about Phil, Tiger and Adam. At 7:44 Thursday off the first tee youve got Rickie Fowler, Chris Kirk and Dustin Johnson. Comment: All members of the victorious 2007 U.S. Walker Cup squad. At 8:39 Thursday off the first tee youve got Miguel Angel Jimenez, Boo Weekley, and Shingo Katayama. Comment: None of them have yet mastered the Kings English. At 8:39 Thursday off the 10th tee you have Carl Pettersson, Soren Hanson and Daniel Chopra. Comment: All Scandinavians. At 1:03 Thursday off the first tee you have Trevor Immelman, Zach Johnson and Mike Weir. Comment: Georgia on their minds. At 1:47 Thursday off the first tee you have Bubba Watson, J.B. Holmes and Brett Wetterich. Comment: Fore! At 1:14 Thursday off the 10th tee you have Ian Poulter, Paul Casey and Luke Donald. Comment: God Save The Queen. At 1:47 Thursday off the 10th tee you have Camilo Villegas, Charles Howell and Martin Kaymer. Comment: Not an ounce of body fat between the three of them. At 1:58 Thursday off the 10th tee you have Jeff Quinney, Justin Leonard and Mark OMeara. Comment: All former U.S. Amateur champions.
  • U.S. Senior Open champion Brad Bryant wondered out loud Wednesday why the USGA didnt pair him with his brother Bart. We would have brought at least 15 or 20 more people out there, Brad tongue-in-cheeked. The Bryants, by the way, are the first brother tandem in this event since Jay and Jerry Haas in 2002.
  • About this Slam business: Tiger didnt win The Masters. And Lorena didnt win the McDonalds LPGA last week. But hang on a minute; shouldnt we be giving Masters champion Trevor Immelman a little love here?
  • Trevor Immelman won the U.S. Publinx at Torrey Pines 10 years ago right here at Torrey Pines South. Trevor Immelman almost won last week in Memphis (Justin Leonard beat him in a playoff). Trevor Immelman should be one of the favorites here this week and if he wins, he will be half way to the Grand Slam. No, Immelman said earlier this week, cutting his questioner short, when asked if he had given any thought to the calendar Slam for himself this year. No. I would be the happiest guy on earth if I did it (career Slam) over the span of a career. We can safely say that if I do it this year, I will retire, okay? Theres no chance of that. I havent even for one second thought about that, no.
  • Immelman wasnt shy talking about the toll winning this years Masters took on him in the ensuing weeks. I mean, he said, I was absolutely smoked afterwards.
  • Heres one pairing the USGA missed: K. J. Choi and Jay Choi. Jay Choi is playing in his first U.S. Open and, according to the USGA Player Guide, Suffered burnout and dealt with weight issues after turning pro in 2006 and briefly gave up playing between November 2006 and August 2007.Choi lost 65 pounds The 24-year-old Jay Choi is a former AJGA all-American.
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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.