No 2 Sergio or Phil

By Brian HewittNovember 14, 2008, 5:00 pm
The Comebacker starts off today on Sergio Garcia, who, for the last six months, has been a one-man hot topic.
Without further ado:

Jim writes: No doubt Sergio is the No. 2 guy in the world. In his defense of supplanting Phil (Mickelson), what has Phil done to keep his spot? Not much. Sergio is the guy that's winning. As far as being No. 1, that will take a major (victory) along with regular wins. But for now he's the real No. 2.
The Comebacker
And as such, Sergio is the best No. 2 never to have won a major. I know that sounds like a cheap shot. And, really, Jims on the money here. Phil should be under the microscope a little more right now than Sergio.

Dave writes: Hopefully, the PGA Tour is not taking the upcoming potential sponsorship problems too lightly. I cannot believe that sponsors like Buick, Wachovia, AT&T and Morgan Stanley are long for the PGA Tour. Others will probably leave also. The Tour is already too elitist ' there are many events that the top players will NEVER play in. That is not good. I hope that the players understand that. Does anyone have the courage to ask Tiger to make an exception or two each year? Maybe it's time to give something back to the Tour. It may be too late. The European Tour has the PGA Tour on its heels. Everyone on the PGA Tour needs to pray that Tiger comes back strong. You're only as strong as your weakest link.
The Comebacker
Dave, you said a mouthful there. The good news for the Tour is that its fully subscribed for 2009 with the possible exception of one Fall Series event. The better news would be a turnaround for the economy. None of the experts Ive heard are predicting that before 2010.

Jim writes: I was pulling hard for Davis Love this past Sunday. He hasn't won for a while, and has gone through some tough physical and personal problems, all without whining about it. Love doesn't generate the excitement of Woods or Mickelson, but to me, his professional, gentlemanly demeanor represents the very essence of the game of golf. (Im) Happy that he got his lifetime exemption; he's a great talent and totally deserves it.
The Comebacker
Well said. You get the sense that Bobby Jones, if he were still alive, would have been a big DL III fan.

Jim writes: Read your comments on Davis Love and I, for one, would love to see him in the Presidents Cup. Can you imagine the feeling that he would have, when reunited with his old golfing partner, Freddy Couples? If anyone deserves a break after some of the problems that they have encountered, I can think of nobody more deserving than Mr. Love.
The Comebacker
More love for Love.

Wichai writes: Two-piece range ball only 0.20 US$/ball. Orange color. Only 150,000 balls available. Minimum order 5,000 balls. CALL NOW.
The Comebacker
I guess my SPAM filters busted.

Sally writes: .Regarding sunflower seeds on the greens. That is also one of my (pet peeves) along with the famous cigarette butts, especially when there are bunkers on some of the holes were they could toss those butts. Who wants to clean up after a health issue like that? Better yet, don't smoke!! Or spit those things around anywhere. I used to be a smoker and not part of the smoker police, but I certainly would never have done that around the green areas. Fred Couples had it right at his course in San Juan Bautista: 'Please....No smoking on this course! It is beautiful and pristine. Let's keep it that way.' Now I have said my piece.
The Comebacker
And somewhere Charlie Sifford is grumbling at the notion of the no smoking on the golf course.

Doug writes: My last peeve: The Golf Channel moving their half hour Golf Central away from 7 p.m. It was a great slot. I've not watched it since it moved to a later time. Doesn't the Channel care if anyone watches it? I know I'm not alone. All my buddies used to watch and none do now. It was (perhaps still is) a great show and I miss it. No way to watch it now that it's in prime time and competing with movies and big time shows.
The Comebacker
Stay tuned.

Howard writes: My 'opposite of pet peeve' about golf: The fact that after 50 years of playing I can still sincerely convince myself that, This round may be the best round of my life every single time I step on the first tee. (It helps that I've never been all that good!).
The Comebacker
The only problem with the glass being half full is when you drink it all up, whats left?

Larry writes: Golf is the greatest game ever. I can't wait to get out and play or watch it on TV. Those little things that happen on the course or comments by commentators are all part of the game. For people to get annoyed I say, get over it! Enjoy the game. And blessed be those who created the Golf Channel. Wow! I'm loving it all.
The Comebacker
For Larry, the glass is completely full.

Kirk writes: The article in our local paper stated that Boo (Weekley) couldn't retire now, that he won't save $8 million due to the impending tax brackets being introduced by President-elect Barack Obama. Give me a break. This clown earns more than most do in a lifetime. I retired and it sure the hell wasn't on $8 million. These pro athletes (if thats what they are called) need to wake up and be thankful for the millions that they earn by playing a game that they enjoy. I wish I could earn millions playing at my local club. Regards, a semi-poor, retired man living on a company pension.
The Comebacker
Just think, Kirk, if Boo gave you a million and me a million, hed still have six million. And his tax bill would be smaller.

Barry writes: I love the sound of the ball in the hole, but the best sound in golf is the crack of the driver on ball from a heavily treed area on a narrow tee box!
The Comebacker
Especially in the titanium era.

Chris writes: The sound of a frosty adult beverage, preferably a Pacifico, hitting a chilled glass at the end of a round (good or bad).
The Comebacker Muy bien. And a large bowl of freshly-baked taco chips next to an equally large bowl of guacamole with kick.

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Park collapses; leaderboard chaos at CME

By Nick MentaNovember 18, 2017, 8:47 pm

Sung-Hyun Park started the day with a three-shot lead and slowly gave it all back over the course of a 3-over 75, leaving the CME Group Tour Championship and a host of season-long prizes up for grabs in Naples. Here’s where things stand through 54 holes at the LPGA finale, where Michelle Wie, Ariya Jutanugarn, Suzann Pettersen and Kim Kaufman share the lead.

Leaderboard: Kaufman (-10), Wie (-10), Jutanugarn (-10), Pettersen (-10), Stacy Lewis (-9), Karine Icher (-9), Austin Ernst (-9), Lexi Thompson (-9), Jessica Korda (-9), Pernilla Lindberg (-9)

What it means: It wasn’t the Saturday she wanted, but Park, who already wrapped up the Rookie of the Year Award, is still in position for the sweep of all sweeps. With a victory Sunday, she would claim the CME Group Tour Championship, the Race to CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, and the money title, as she ascends to No. 1 in the Rolex world ranking. Meanwhile, Thompson, too, could take the $1 million and Player of the Year. As those two battle for season-long prizes, a host of other notable names – Wie, Jutanugarn, Pettersen, Korda, Lewis and Charley Hull (-8) – will fight for the Tour Championship.

Round of the day: Kaufman made four birdies on each side in a bogey-free 8 under-par 64. A lesser-known name on a stacked leaderboard, she seeks her first LPGA victory.

Best of the rest: Amy Yang will start the final round two behind after a 7-under 65. The three-time LPGA Tour winner could pick up her second title of the season after taking the Honda LPGA Thailand in February.

Biggest disappointment: On a day that featured plenty of low scores from plenty of big names, Lydia Ko dropped 11 spots down the leaderboard into a tie for 23rd with a Saturday 72. The former world No. 1 needed two birdies in her last five holes to fight her way back to even par. Winless this season, she’ll start Sunday four back, at 6 under.

Shot of the day: I.K. Kim aced the par-3 12th from 171 yards when her ball landed on the front of the green and tracked all the way to the hole.

Kim, oddly enough, signed her name to a scorecard that featured a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. It was all part of a 1-under 71.

Watch: Pros try to hit 2-yard wide fairway in Dubai

By Grill Room TeamNovember 18, 2017, 5:20 pm

While in Dubai for the DP World Tour Championship, the European Tour prestented a little challenge to Ross Fisher, Richie Ramsay, Nicolas Colsaerts and Soren Kjeldsen. On a stretch of road outside of town, the four players had to try and hit a 2-yard wide fairway. Check out the results.

Rose (65) leads Rahm, Frittelli in Dubai

By Associated PressNovember 18, 2017, 3:24 pm

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Justin Rose will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the season-ending Tour Championship as he attempts to win a third straight title on the European Tour and a second career Race to Dubai crown.

The 37-year-old Rose made a gutsy par save on the final hole after a bogey-free round for a 7-under 65 Saturday and overall 15-under 201.

The Englishman leads South African Dylan Frittelli, who produced the day's best score of 63, and Spain's Jon Rahm, who played in the same group as Rose and matched his 65.

Rose is looking to be Europe's season-ending No. 1 for the second time. His leading rival for the Race to Dubai title, Tommy Fleetwood, is only two shots behind here after a second straight 65 on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates.

Fleetwood did his chances no harm by overcoming a stuttering start before making eight birdies in his final 11 holes to also post a 65. The 26-year-old Englishman was tied for fourth place at 13 under, alongside South African Dean Burmester (65) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67), who closed with five birdies in a row.

''So, last day of the season and I've got a chance to win the Race to Dubai,'' Fleetwood said. ''It's cool.''

DP World Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the DP World Tour Championship

Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the only other player with a chance to win the Race to Dubai title, is tied for 13th on 10 under after a 67.

Fleetwood had a lead of 256,737 points going into the final tournament and needs to equal or better Rose's finishing position to claim the title. If Rose doesn't finish in the top five and Garcia doesn't win, Fleetwood will have done enough.

Rose is hoping to win a third straight tournament after triumphs in China and Turkey.

Rose, who made some long putts for birdies apart from chipping in on the 13th hole, looked to be throwing away his advantage on the par-5 18th, when his second shot fell agonizingly short of the green and into the water hazard. But with his short game in superb condition, the reigning Olympic champion made a difficult up-and-down shot to stay ahead.

''That putt at the last is a big confidence-builder. That broke about 18 inches right-to-left downhill. That's the kind of putt I've been hoping to make. That was a really committed stroke. Hopefully I can build on that tomorrow,'' said Rose. ''I know what I need to do to stay at the top of the leaderboard. If I slip up tomorrow, he's (Fleetwood) right there. He's done everything he needs to do on his end, so it's a lot of fun.''

The last player to win three tournaments in a row on the European Tour was Rory McIlroy, when he won the Open Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone and the PGA Championship in 2014.

Fleetwood was 1 over after seven holes but turned it on with a hat trick of birdies from the eighth, and then four in a row from No. 13.

''I wanted to keep going. Let's bring the tee times forward for tomorrow,'' quipped Fleetwood after closing with a birdie on the 18th. ''Just one of them strange days where nothing was going at all. A couple sloppy pars on the par 5s, and a bad tee shot on fifth and I was 1-over through seven on a day where scoring has been really good ... Ninth and 10th, felt like we had something going ... it was a really good last 11 holes.''

If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

You don’t believe it, though.

She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

“In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.

CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

“I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

“She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

“She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

“Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

“It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

“No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.