The Readers Write I Write Back

By Brian HewittNovember 19, 2007, 5:00 pm
The readers write. And I write back:
E-Mail: John Daly needs to quit smoking, drinking and gambling. A little humble introspection and exercise wouldnt hurt. Golf will take care of itself.
My Reply: Points well-taken. And maybe a little work on the range with Butch Harmon wont hurt either.
E-Mail: Memo to JD: Its over.
My Reply: As John Belushi (Blutarsky) famously said in Animal House: It isnt over until we say its over.
E-Mail: I just realized that in the 49 total combined events of Phil and Vijay, they made less than Tiger did in 16 events.
My Reply: As Phil Mickelson has said over and over: Its Tigers world and Im just living in it.
E-Mail: Given the evolving bureaucratic era of golf, advances in course length and technology, it would be refreshing to have an event'solely for charity and personal pride. Something along the lines: Tiger, Phil, Vijay and Padraig meet for a private dinner'a country/links course is selected at random. They fly out that night for 36 holes'no preparation, no course knowledge, no caddies, no gallery. The event is filmed and runs into four episodes. All net revenues go towards charity. Can you arrange that?
My Reply: This sounds like The Skins Game (only with a better field). Its a noble idea. Good lucking getting Phil, Tiger and Vijay sitting down together at the same table for dinner, though.
E-Mail: Can Paula Creamer challenge to become the top ranked player in the world? It looks like she has everything but length off the tee.
My Reply: Creamer can challenge and she has promised she will get longer off the tee in the off-season. She must be careful. Other players have looked for length trying to get a foothold in the upper echelon. And they have lost their swings and their games along the way.
E-Mail: Brian, you make some interesting points about Phils play, but lets not forget the man has talent, lots of it. And this talent, along with a good work ethic, allows Phil to excel. Its easy to criticize his game and I have heard so many times through the media that he should have done this or that but in the final analysis he is one of the best players ever to take up the game. In baseball the best hitters struggle to get a .350 average. Thats one hit in every three times at bat. Mickelson shot a 79 (in Singapore) and persevered and won (the next week in China). So whats your point? No, hes not Tiger and Im happy about that.
My Reply: My point is that with Phil, more than any other top player, you never know what youre going to get. And by the way, it wasnt a media member who hit that drive on the 72nd hole at Winged Foot in 06.
E-Mail: Daly should go and see a personal trainer or go to the gym. He is a disgraceful looking specimen, not a good advertisement for golf. His career has been (despite his wins) a waste of natural talent. Many touring pros would love to have been blessed with his natural talent. But his style'eating/drinking habits and lack of fitness has counted heavily against him during his career. If it were not for his extraordinary natural flexibility his golf career would have been long over. I dont think Harmon can do much for him.
My Reply: I do. But Daly has to let Harmon help him.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
Related Links:
  • Hewitt: Chills and Spills with Phil The Thrill
  • Hewitt: Daly Looking for Harmon's Help
  • Getty Images

    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

    Getty Images

    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

    Getty Images

    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

    Getty Images

    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.