Friendship Double-Parked

By Brian HewittJuly 2, 2008, 4:00 pm
If you detected a chill in the Minnesota air last Saturday when Inbee Park and Angela Park played in the same grouping'by the way, theyre not related'it was not just your imagination.
 
Inbee Park would win the U.S. Womens Open the next day. Angela Park would finish in the top three for the second straight year. But afterward Don Brown, Angela Parks coach, said that, sadly, Inbee and Angela are no longer best golfing friends.
 
Seems there was a falling out'between Angelas parents and Inbees parents and it developed into something of a family feud that dragged the daughters into it. What was a very tight relationship between Angela and Inbee has suffered as a result.
 
When I asked Angela Park about this after the tournament, she was clearly uncomfortable with the subject. It has been hard, she said. You never want to lose a friend. I have nothing against Inbee. Were still young.
 
When I asked Angela if their friendship could be restored in the future, she said she hoped so. Lets hope so, too. Both women are just 19 years old.
 
THE WRIGHT CHOICE:
Meanwhile, Mickey Wright, who Ben Hogan once said owned the best golf swing of all time, told me she agrees with NBCs Johnny Miller that Angela Park has the best move in womens golf today.
 
When I asked her to name a few of her other favorite actions, she mentioned world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa and South Korean Mi Hyun Kim.
 
The 5-foot-1 Kim, Wright said, plays clubs that look longer than she is but hits it straight every time and is always aggressive.
 
Overall, Wright told me, her biggest disappointment with women players today is that they dont practice the short game shots enough.
 
Let that be a word to the wise.
 
TIGER AND THE CUP:
Asked earlier this week if he might visit his teammates at the Ryder Cup matches in September to help provide inspiration, Tiger Woods made his position quite clear.
 
Well, Im not part of the team, unfortunately, said Woods, recovering from knee surgery. Because of my procedure, Im not on the team. Its about those 12 guys, its not about me. Im not part of that crew.
 
Fair enough. Woods doesnt want to be a distraction. But Im not ruling out a guest appearance by Woods in the team room Saturday night before the final days singles matches.
 
If he arrives unannounced, it wont be a distraction. And even if its just for a Ping Pong game with rival Phil Mickelson, I dont see any bad karma involved.
 
Meanwhile, Im all for Rocco Mediate, Woody Austin, Kenny Perry, Paul Goydos et al. making the American Ryder Cup squad. Great guys in the team room.
 
I know, I know, nobody makes any putts or stiffs any irons in the team room. But if the Americans are going to lose, Id like to see them do so with a loose bunch of personalities.
 
You never have fun losing. But Ive seen a few American teams (it was a long time ago) that were so uptight about playing the Europeans, they didnt even have fun winning.
 
Woody Austin is self-deprecating. Paul Goydos may be the driest wit on TOUR. Kenny Perry is Aw Shucks. And Rocco is a motormouth.
 
All of which covers up the fact that all of those guys are very good players who have delivered very good stretches of golf this year.
 
ODDS AND ENDS:
When Craig Barlow holed a long putt for eagle on his first hole of the final round of the Buick Open last Sunday it was a really long. The Shotlink measurement was 111 feet and five inches, which made it the longest recorded putt on TOUR this year. The previous longest was a 76-footer by Justin Rose. . . . Kenny Perry now has 11 career wins and seven of them have come in just three events'The Memorial, the Buick Open and the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial..J.B. Holmes carries his tee shots an average of 302.3 yards. Corey Pavins average carry is 233.3.
 
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    Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    Memo to the golf gods:

    If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

    Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

    It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

    With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

    It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

    We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

    We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

    Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.


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    Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

    We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

    In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

    While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

    Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

    Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

    Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

    While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

    Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

    So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

    The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

    Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

    "I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

    McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

    But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

    "I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

    Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

    Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

    Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

    Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x