The Dubliner Act II

By Brian HewittJuly 20, 2008, 4:00 pm
Follow the 137th Open Championship all week on GOLF CHANNEL. Click for our TV schedule!
 
Open ChampionshipThe Champion Golfer of the Year, for the second consecutive Open Championship, is the son of an Irish cop and the pride of Dublin. His name is Padraig Harrington and his smile lit up all of Eire Sunday when he outclassed the field of 156 at Royal Birkdale and outfought the English weather that was dire all week.
 
Another major. Another terrific story.
 
I got my mind in the right place, Harrington said when it was all over. And I struck the ball right out of the middle of the bat all day.
 
To the doubters, and there were more than a few who believed there would be no life after Tiger Woods in major championships, you were wrong.
 
Of course any major with Woods in the field is richer for the presence. And when he comes back from his current enforced layoff due to knee surgery, we will hail his return.
 
But the game of golf, as Greg Norman likes to ceaselessly refer to it, did quite nicely at Birkdale without the worlds No. 1 player. There were so many good, new, fresh stories.
 
The continued insurgence of Anthony Kim. The injured soldiering of Harrington who arrived with a sore wrist. Chris Wood, the 20-year-old English amateur who tied for fifth. Runner-up Ian Poulters gritty Sunday 69.
 
Norman and his new wife, former tennis queen Chris Evert, were fodder for the British tabloids all week. And the 53-year-old Shark actually led by two shots after 54 holes before running out of gas and carding a final round 77.
 
I wouldve have liked to have won, thats for sure, said Norman, who started with three bogeys. But I really dont feel that bad. My legs werent working as well as they should have.
 
How about David Duval? He skied to an 83 in Saturdays gales but closed with a Sunday 71. He has been telling us for months that he is close. Now we have evidence.
 
After 36 holes Duval was tied for fourth. And he offered insight to the TV cameras while standing on the practice ground before teeing off Saturday. Asked about the encouragement he has received from his fellow players on his long trip back from golfing purgatory after he lost his game, he said this:
 
Theres been a tremendous amount of support, actually. This game is quite cut throat. But underneath it all, because of the struggles of the game and the difficulties of the game it seems like everybody faces in way or another, with the exception of Tiger, people understand these struggles and what it takes to get through and battle through it. And I think thats where the support comes from.
 
Norman knew all about this. He has received support from a lot of people in the eight major championships in which he had held at least a share of the lead after 54 holes. He has needed the support because he had converted just one of those opportunities ' the 1986 Open Championship.
 
Watching Norman on the first tee Sunday sent a shiver down my spine. Part of it was excitement at the prospect of seeing history in the making ' the oldest man by more than five years to win a major championship. And part of it was apprehension.
 
Norman has taken his share of hard knocks from the golf gods. More than his share. He had gone away quietly from the games big stages only to be coaxed back to Birkdale. And now there was the scary possibility of another train wreck.
 
Writers root for the story. But another inglorious Sunday for Greg Norman in a major championship, no matter how compelling, was a story this writer wanted no part of. Enough is enough.
 
And, in the end, this was not a meltdown by Norman. Nobody holed out a miracle shot to beat him. He has nothing for which to be ashamed.
 
Harrington, a grinder in the best sense, was the winner. Everybody else was a non-winner. This time, there were no losers.
 
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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

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

    Lexi Thompson:

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    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

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    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

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    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: