More Perry Yay or nay
The No. 1 topic from the E-mailers is still Kenny Perry. By a long shot.
Without further ado:
Meg writes: After playing a links-style course in 20-30 mph winds yesterday, I can wholly understand anyone that opts out of that kind of frustration for the relative calm and old-style familiarity of Brown Deer GC. Besides, Kopp's Custard is just down the road and Miller has reintroduced the old formula of Schlitz beer. Yup, I'd go to Milwaukee too.
All good reasons to skip Birkdale for Milwaukee. But not why Perry didnt go to the Open Championship.
John writes: I dont always agree with you but this time you are right on the money. Someone should applaud Ken Perry and say that its nice to see someone put the Ryder Cup (team specific) ahead of other things. I know this was his goal. So why is everyone harping on him. I listened to your buddy Hawkins talk the other night and since when does Perry need Hawkins blessing. He said that he had a problem with Perry opting not to go to the British Open. There are a lot of people who have a problem with Hawkins.
John Hawkins of Golf World is the Angry Golfer. If there arent people who have a problem with him, then hes not doing his job. It reminds of the great Dan Jenkins line when a tournament official told him he had a problem with Jenkins. No, Jenkins is said to have replied, youve got a problem. Ive got a typewriter.
Ron writes: Kenny still has quite a ways to go for POY in my humble opinion. He will not only have to equal or simply surpass Tiger in number of wins, he'll should/need to add quality. Winning events like the John Deere, looking at the strength of field, simply adds to the win total. Piling up wins on one-off weeks (Loch Lomond had a much stronger field), and say, for example, to win this coming week in Milwaukee, does not add up to much. I'm not overlooking the Memorial win (in terms of strength of field), but he still has some distance to go for POY honors.
Just saying its a two man race right now for Player of the Year.
Mike writes: Kenny Perry may be a hero in your mind but by setting up a game plan in the beginning of the year to skip the U.S. Open and the British Open tells me he is content to be a good golfer earning a living rather than being recognized as a great golfer who has tested himself against the best in golfs toughest arenas. By skipping two major tournaments, Kenny is announcing his limitations and saying I am not good enough to compete. I made the Ryder Cup by winning one semi-A tournament and two B-level tournaments. Golf heroes test themselves against the best and they never pass up the opportunity to compete for golfs greatest honors. For you then, a golf hero should be redefined as someone who thrives on playing it safe.
For me a golf hero is a terrific player who considers the life he leads away from the golf course to be more important than the score he shoots on it. Kenny Perry qualifies easily under those criteria.
Bradford writes: The John Deere Classic was just another example of what the Tour looks like without Tiger. The top 20 golfers after Saturday averaged OVER PAR on Sunday. Without Tiger in the field, the formula for winning is: get in contention, shoot par on Sunday and watch everyone else self-destruct. The purses are so large, they dont need to deliver under pressure on Sunday to take home a big check.
Not everyone self-destructed.
Fred writes:The only thing I needed to hear from Kenny Perry about not flying across the Atlantic for the worlds oldest championship was that he had committed to play in Milwaukee prior to qualifying for the Open. If nothing else, the British understand the importance of keeping ones word. Something it seems the good people of our country seem on the verge of forgetting way too often. Some of us still feel that being a considered a gentleman means more than doffing your cap to an appreciative crowd.
Willy writes:How could you even mention that Kenny Perry is up for Player of the Year? All his wins mostly are from weak field and somewhat 2nd tier tournaments. Your golf comments are so ridiculous! Perry also loves to have Milwaukee beers the rest of his life..not the Claret Jug with no beers. Uug.
The Memorial was a strong field. And there is no such thing as an easy win on the PGA TOUR. Too many good players from top to bottom.
Dana writes:I loved the article Making a Race of It and how Kenny Perry has stood up to the criticism that has been sent his way. Kenny should be commended by the media for sticking to his commitments and being a man of integrity. He has clearly stated all season what his goal was and has adamantly stuck by his plan. Many other golfers would have jumped at the chance to play in the Open Championship and easily dismissed a prior commitment to the Milwaukee tournament. I have always been impressed with Kenny, but this simple act of making a commitment and sticking to it shows me and everyone else what type of person he is. With all the recent talk and columns regarding role models in golf, one need look no further than Kenny Perry. Kenny has definitely earned another measure of respect from this fan and I hope for one to see a 4-0-0 performance in Valhalla as a just reward for his actions.
Why not 5-0-0?
Joseph writes:I agree with Mr. Perry's statement that he is a independent contractor and can play or not play when and where he chooses. I am also very thankful that such players as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino and a large number of American players have a broader perspective of their role in not only competing but promoting the game of golf on a world wide stage. Can you imagine Jack Nicklaus stating he will not compete in his countrys Open championship because the course does not suit his game or Tiger not playing in the Open Championship because he dislikes long distance travel. No, Mr. Perry has the right to choose but thank God his playing decisions were not shared by the great American players from the last five decades of golfing history who have inspired millions and have truly grown the game of golf.
Cliff writes: While I understand your point of view regarding Kenny Perry, I would be a little concerned that his game is not being tested at a level that represents anything near the cauldron surrounding the Ryder Cup. If he can make some, in your words Dodgy chip shots coming down the stretch at a lesser event at the John Deere, how is he likely to be prepared for the jump to a Ryder Cup without preparing himself in major competition? Coming from Europe, he's doing a great thing as far as I am concerned; I just hope he opts out of the PGA as well!
Clearly, The Comebacker is in Perrys corner. But Captain Azinger must have winced a little in private at the two aforementioned chip shots. Guarantee you Perry wasnt very happy with them either.
Andrew writes:How can any tournaments, in which Tiger would have played, not be remembered throughout HISTORY, as played without Tiger, due to injury, and therefore IS less meaningful... to whatever extent each golf fan deems it. Only when Tiger is once again unseated as No. 1 and as you said, Tiger can't stay No. 1 forever, will us fans and especially all of Tiger's peers, agree that a Tiger-tournament, played in his absence, for any reason, will have a 100% deserving winner... without the question we will all have until Tiger plays again... would he have won with Tiger in the field? The question about the asterisk may have been raised, even if Tiger hadn't won the U.S. Open. But, the fact that he did, the way he did, leaves the above question begging for me, as I suspect it does for many fans.
I dont see anybody calling Geoff Ogilvy an asterisk U.S. Open champion even though Tiger Woods didnt make the cut in 2006 at Winged Foot and even though Phil Mickelson made a hash of the 72nd hole.
George writes: Are you kidding? What could be worse for the confidence of the U.S. Ryder cup team than having this neurotic, self-loathing, whiner on the team? Hopefully Zinger recognizes that and manages to keep him off the team. Personally I wish the Golf Channel would stop interviewing the guy; he's a terribly negative influence on golfer's swing thoughts! Please reconsider your recommendation.
George was talking about Woody Austin. I disagree. Woody is Woody and has been proven to be a positive influence in the team room.
Dennis writes: Tiger should take all the time needed for a complete recovery, be it 12 or 15 months, and I mean a complete recovery. And then when he comes back, even if he has to sacrifice 20 to 30 yards on his drives, he will be deadly accurate on all his shots, let alone his putting. By God it is scary just to think about it and he might not lose a tournament until he retires. Take your time, Tiger, we will all be the better off for it! God Bless you.
Tiger never losing again? Hadnt thought of that one.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...
Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).
Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.
It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard
On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...
There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.
He sure looks like the real deal, though.
His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.
Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner
Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2
With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.
He picked up one more No. 2, too.
The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.
In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.
Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.
“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”
Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.
Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.
He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.
Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title
Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.
Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.
His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.
“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."
Tom Brady, postgame, on wearing the wrap on his hand: “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that. It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament.”— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) January 22, 2018
Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.
Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.
Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder
Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:
Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)
What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.
Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.
Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.
Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.
Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.
Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:
Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry