Match Play Weir Daly and More

By Brian HewittFebruary 25, 2004, 5:00 pm
If anybody had asked me, Id have told them that:
  • The WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship is the golf equivalent of Coastal Carolina having a great shot at knocking off Duke in the first round in the NCAA mens basketball tournament. There are no upsets. Almost anything can happen in the relatively short span of 18 holes. Let me put it another way: Peter OMalley, head-to-head, against Tiger Woods over 72 holes? Woods wins 100 out of 100 times.
  • Thanks for the E-mails on the informal poll question on whos the best lefty in the world right now. The results are still pouring in but theres a pattern. Approximately 85 percent of the respondents are from Canada. Approximately 85 percent of that 85 per cent voted for Mike Weir. Approximately 50 percent of that 85 percent identify themselves as lefthanders. Conclusion: Canadians love Mike Weir almost as much as they love their golf. The positive energy emanating from north of the U.S. border is always a delight.
  • John Daly finishing in the top five for the second week in a row is, to me, almost more surprising than Daly winning the Buick Invitational, his first Tour victory in 10 years. If Daly 'top 10s' in Arizona this week in the Tucson Chrysler Classic, it will mark the first time in his career he achieves that milestone.
  • If I had to choose one player to make a 10-foot putt with my life on the line right now, it would be Mike Weir of Canada.
  • In case you havent noticed, Stuart Appleby is having that breakout year we've all been waiting for from him.
  • Among the names of players behind Thailands Thongchai Jaidee on the current Official World Golf Rankings are: Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Luke Donald, Skip Kendall and Harrison Frazar. One week J.D. the next week Jaidee.
  • Chris Riley is not a surprise any more. He is going to make the U.S. Ryder Cup team. Speaking of which, I am constantly amused at the questions U.S. Ryder Cup captain Hal Sutton gets about possible wild card selections every time somebody plays well. Sutton smartly refuses to rule anybody out. He would be foolish do anything else.
  • If they want it, it can be arranged. The Tavistock Cup, scheduled to be played between members of Lake Nona (Faldo, Els, Goosen et al.) and Isleworth (Appleby, Allenby, OMeara, Hoch et al.) Mar. 29 could spin itself off. How? The members at Whisper Rock Golf Club in Scottsdale include Phil Mickelson, Billy Mayfair, Aaron Baddeley and Tim Herron, just to name a few. We will beat the (bleep) out of them,' says Gary McCord, also a Whisper Rock member.
  • Part of the reason there are no first time winners yet on the PGA Tour is because this is a Ryder Cup year.
  • My two Captains picks if the Ryder Cup was next week: U.S.: Justin Leonard and Jerry Kelly. Europe: Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald.
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  • Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    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

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

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

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.