The Rivalry of the Future

By Brian HewittOctober 18, 2006, 4:00 pm
We think of Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods very much as rivals and contemporaries. Phil was born in 1970, Tiger in 1975.
 
Similarly, moving forward, we will think of Lorena Ochoa and Michelle Wie very much as rivals and contemporaries. Lorena was born in 1981, Michelle in 1989.
 
Palmer was about a decade older than Nicklaus who was about a decade older than Watson. Rivals dont have to have been born in the same year. This isnt age-group tennis.
 
It is not popular to trumpet the Wie cause at the moment because she played poorly in her last two mens events and erratically last week at the LPGAs Samsung World Championship. And its not as if there arent other women players in the mix. Can you say Kerr, Webb, Pressel, Creamer or Gulbis? Can you simply say Annika?
 
For her part, Wie is currently preparing for a different challenge. The deadline on her application for early admission to Stanford University is November 1. According to her father, B.J. Wie, she is grinding over the three essays--two short and one long--that must accompany the application.
 
Wie expects to hear from Stanford, one way or another, by mid-December. If accepted, she will have until May 1 to let Stanford know if she plans to enter school in the fall of 2007. Stanfords decision on Wie will certainly impact Wies schedule for next year.
 
Ochoa, meanwhile, took the measure of Sorenstam Sunday at the Samsung, shooting a final round 65 to Annikas 70 while paired with Sorenstam. The victory was her fifth of the year.
 
Subsequently it was pointed out, most notably by Golfweeks Jim Achenbach, that Ochoas current driving distance average of 270.6 yards was more than double her body weight of 130 pounds.
 
Ochoas current driving distance average is also almost 10 yards higher than it was last year. By way of comparison, Sorenstams driving average has dropped from 263.0 last year to 261.5 in 2006. Ochoa currently ranks fifth in driving distance. Sorenstam is tied for 16th.
 
Maybe the next sponsors exemption offered to a woman to play in a PGA event should go to Ochoa.
 
Ochoa cites increased strength through conditioning for her jump in distance. When I asked Hank Haney, Tiger Woods swing coach, about Ochoa, he said this: Distance in golf is all about speed. Lorena has fast muscles and that makes up for being smaller, simple as that.
 
The compelling rivalry of the moment in womens golf is Ochoa vs. Sorenstam. But ignore Wies gifts at your own peril. She is not playing well right now. But her talent is still enormous and undeniable. If she was a stock, she would be undervalued. A buy and hold.
 
But a lot of people seem to be more than a little worn out by all the Wie hype. Ochoa, on the other hand, has become something of a media darling. And for good reason. Her disposition is as sweet as her game. And shes the hottest player in womens golf right now.
 
Wies best golf might not come until after she finishes college and can devote all her time to golf. But its just a matter of time. And when that time comes, Ochoa, still young, will be waiting.
 
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Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: