Praise Padraig Break Bones

By Brian HewittAugust 15, 2008, 4:00 pm
The Comebacker is all over the map this week, but most roads lead back to Padraig Harrington. I loved the suggestion that if Padraig wins the next two majors we shouldnt call it the Paddy Slam; we should call it The Four Leaf Clover.
Without further ado:
Tony writes: After reading your article about Padraig, I cannot tell you how happy I am for him and the game of golf. What an outstanding individual. I have been impressed with his game for some time; now to find out what outstanding character he has is impressive. Passing up the book payday to help cancer research is heart warming. Could there be something to this 'karma' thing after all? Proud to have a little Irish blood in me.
The Comebacker Harrington has continued to mature on and off the golf course every year since turning professional. There are a few players who would do well to pay attention to this process.

Don writes: Nick (Faldo) is making a huge mistake if he doesn't take Monty. He, along with Seve and Faldo, have been the heart and soul of Euro golf for twenty years.
The Comebacker Couldnt agree more. Interesting isnt it how Monty never won a major or in the States yet managed to be such a stalwart in Ryder Cup play.

Brandt writes: I really think the pair of 66s (by Harrington) on the weekend are the unbelievable story for this PGA. Only (Andres)Romero beat him on Saturday (third round Sunday) and Boo (Weekley) tied him on Sunday. Even with that his was really 132 (strokes) in one day on what many players said was the toughest course of the majors this year. It maybe some time before we see that again. The Americans are going to have their hands full again for the Ryder Cup when they get here in Louisville next month. We can only hope that the four players Azinger picks are playing red hot these next four to six weeks.'
The Comebacker A lot of people have conveniently forgotten that Steve Flesch, who had a top-10 at Oakland Hills, has a lot of Kentucky in him. Dont be surprised if he gets a call as a captains pick. Flesch finished two ahead of the other lefty (Mickelson) at the PGA.

Steve writes: I understand you accumulate points in order to qualify for the Ryder Cup. Having said that, however, having Kenny Perry on the U.S. Ryder Cup team is dead wrong. (He) refused to go compete at the Open Championship (and) did not want to compete at the U.S. Open in order to build his U.S. Ryder Cup points. This guy does not deserve to be on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. We can debate this for months but the facts speak for themselves. Paul Azinger's hands are tied. Too bad!'
The Comebacker You, sir, are dead wrong. There has been no indication that Azinger has a problem with Perrys No. 1 priority in 2008 being making Azingers team.

Andre writes: I find it interesting that in Tiger's absence golf writers and anti-Tiger fans are constantly proclaiming that golf is fine without him. It might be fine, but for me, it just isn't as much fun to watch. Although I will admit if it were Tiger and not Harrington that had pulled off the quad 6s in the final two rounds to win the tournament I probably would be saying how great it was myself. Unfortunately I've decided that Sundays are now a golfing day and not a golf watching day. Kudos to Harrington. Although it is very interesting that in both tournaments the leaders went backwards except Harrington. This is really where Tiger separates himself from the rest of the golfers on Tour. He rarely goes backwards on Sunday. Maybe it's not just the Tiger Pressure that gets to guys like Sergio and Phil. Maybe they're just not clutch players.
The Comebacker Tiger aint coming back any time soon. Time to move on, big fella.

KC writes: I just had a comment on you not being sure if Tiger will play in the Olympics. You should know better than that! Tiger will not allow someone else to win the first golf gold medal. Once that's done youre right, he may never play again. Tiger is all about goals and records. Just like I knew he would win the U.S. Open. I knew he would have to win the first Open on Fathers Day as a father. There is no way Tiger will not grab that first gold. We just have to hope he doesn't play for the Taiwanese team out of respect for his mom.
The Comebacker For starters, I believe Tigers mother, Kultida, is Thai. Second, I still think it will be a cold day in Windermere before winning a gold medal shows up on Tigers radar screen.

Martin writes: Let me get this right, Nancy Lopez has to stop taking a physician-prescribed blood pressure medication to avoid being in violation of the LPGAs drug policy? How stupid is that! I suppose if you are on a drug that keeps you alive when you would otherwise be dead, that constitutes a performance-enhancing effect? It is absurd than any player would have to put their health at risk to play in a tournament.
The Comebacker The people who dont want golf in the Olympics are cheering at Martins e-mail.

Sam writes: It is hard for me to believe that no writer is directing scrutiny towards Phil's caddie, Bones. He was the only person on Earth that could (and should) have slapped Phil silly over club selection at Winged Foot. And we just witnessed nearly the same thing again. It should never have happened. In New York, Bones should have made the highlight films instead of Phil by refusing to hand over the driver.
The Comebacker Bones isnt hitting the shots. Its that simple.

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Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.