Price is Right Say No to Slow

By Brian HewittFebruary 10, 2007, 5:00 pm
Fines, Nick Price says. Fines.
 
The subject is slow play.
 
Fine them, he says. Penalties. Two-shot penalties. A fine. A warning. A fine. And then a penalty. Thats the only way theyre going to stop it.
 
I dont know how theyre going to enforce it, but the only time any guy is going to pay attention is when you penalize him for slow play. Because its such a disease. And there is no way on this earth that three professional golfers should take more than four-fifteen, four-twenty to play 18 holes of golf.
 
Nick Price is right. And he is just fine.
 
Price just turned 50 and figures to be the next big thing on the Champions Tour. Just dont make him wait around to hit his next shot.
 
Its terrible, he says. The problem is that theres only maybe a handful of slow players, certainly on the PGA TOUR, who make everyone elses lives a misery. ... A fast player has to play at the pace of a slow player; a slow player doesnt have to play at the pace of a fast player. Thats whats so one-sided.
 
Nick Price has earned our undivided attention on this subject. He won three major championships on the regular TOUR and twice finished first on the money list. The 63 he shot on Saturday of the 1986 Masters remains tied for the competitive course record at Augusta National.
 
Nick Price swings with a brisk tempo, plays at a brisk pace and talks at a brisk clip.
 
And Nick Price is right.
 
Theres nothing more frustrating, he says, than playing with a guy who pulls the same club out three times, then puts his glove on, then looks at the yardage again, throws the grass up, and asks his caddie 15 questions and then suddenly decides to hit it. You know, theres nothing worse, and those guys should be fined.
 
The good news for Price is that the shop in which he now toils, the Champions Tour, features guys who mostly move slower than they used to but play faster.
 
Slow play is a little like the weather in that a lot of people talk about it and almost no one does anything about it. But that doesnt mean there arent simple remedies that regular players could follow if only they knew about them.
 
The whole key is keeping your group moving. It should be moving at all times. If the guy on the tee stops to tell a story when its his turn, the group stops. As in dead, screeching halt.
 
The answer: Tell your story walking, or tell it when your group is stopped and waiting for the group ahead of you -- which, by the way, is the only time you cant do anything about keeping your group moving.
 
If somebody in your foursome hits a ball in the bushes, make sure at least one of the members of the group goes ahead and hits his or her next shot while the other three are looking. After that players hits, he or she can join the search while one of the others hits next.
 
This way the group keeps moving. Get it? Keep moving.
 
If all four players are looking for the ball at the same time, the group has come to a dead, screeching halt.
 
Similarly, when its your turn, be ready. Almost more important, is knowing when its your turn.
 
How many times do you see all four players reach the green and grow silent? Talk. Somebody call out the order: Ray, your away, Jack your next, then Gene ...
 
Communicate, people.
 
If you are approximately 100 yards from the green on the left side of the fairway and Jack is the same distance on the other side of the fairway, make eye contact and determine which one is going to play next. If you assume hes away and he assumes youre away and you both stand around waiting and staring straight ahead -- yes, it makes a you-know-what out of you and Jack.
 
And how about this suggestion: No golfer, when it becomes his turn to putt, should be allowed to look at the line from both sides of the ball. If you want to check it out from both sides, get a look from one side BEFORE it becomes your turn.
 
This is not rocket science. Nor is it brain surgery. Nor is it, as one announcer once malapropped, Rocket surgery.
 
Its common sense. Its courtesy.
 
Its golf. And it is not meant to be a good walk spoiled by slow play.
 
Theres nothing, Nick Price said the other day, more selfish than a slow golfer.
 
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Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.


Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

“I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

“The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

He's making his first start in the event.

''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

How rare is his missing the cut there?

The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.