Second-Guessing Perry

By Brian HewittJune 4, 2008, 4:00 pm
The second-guessers are still having a field day with Memorial winner Kenny Perrys controversial decision to skip U.S. Open qualifying and remain locked in on making the U.S. Ryder Cup team. But at least one high-ranking USGA official says hes OK with Perrys choice.
 
I actually have no problem with what hes saying, were the words chosen by USGA executive director David Fay. He wants to put himself in the best position to get a spot on the Ryder Cup team..I think he made a well-calculated decision.
 
Fay said he also would not second guess Irishman Darren Clarkes decision to skip the European qualifying for the U.S. Open. Clarke is playing in the Austrian Open this week and said he didnt think hed be able to get to Torrey Pines in time to shake off the jet lag and properly prepare.
 
THE ANTI-PERRY:
Meanwhile Pat Perez, who worked at Torrey Pines as a teenager and has played Torrey Pines South, by his own estimation, approximately 250 times, has emerged as a kind of anti-Perry. Perez was recently quoted as saying hed rather MAKE the U.S. Open than win at Memorial. And he got his wish Monday when he qualified out of the Columbus, Ohio sectional.
 
Asked about Perrys decision, Perez said Perry should have been granted a special exemption for winning Memorial and being ranked No. 27 in the world. Perez blamed the system for Perrys absence and said it was a joke and an embarrassment that Perry wont be at Torrey Pines next week.
 
For his part, Fay makes no apologies for the selection system. But he did inform GOLF CHANNEL there will be renewed USGA discussion about qualification standards later this year.
 
OLLIE ON THE RADAR:
Then theres Ollie Schniederjans who wasnt even born when Perez was picking the range at Torrey Pines. Schniederjans is the 14-year-old high school freshman from Powder Spring, Ga. who fell 14 shots short of advancing out of his sectional Monday in Roswell, Ga. He impressed everybody who watched him.
 
Schniederjans finished third in the recent Georgia state high school championship. Hes mature beyond his years, says Lance Bailey, the pro at Bentwater Golf Club in Acworth, Ga., where Schniederjans family belongs.
 
And hes spooky calm on the golf course, adds Mark Anderson, the pro who taught Schniederjans how to play and still works with him.
 
Bailey said he played regularly with Schniederjans last summer and was amazed at how regularly Schniederjans would hit his 5-iron inside Baileys 8-iron on certain par-4s. Now this year, Bailey says, Im still hitting 8-iron on those holes and Ollies hitting sand wedge.
 
Bailey says the strength of Schniederjans game is with the scoring clubs, especially around the greens. And, yes, there were college coaches watching Schniederjans at Mondays sectional.
 
Jason Bohn, the medalist at Roswell, played in the same pairing as Schniederjans and afterward told reporters Schniederjans had the golf maturity of a 25-year TOUR veteran. Not a 25-year-old, but a 25-year TOUR veteran. Schniederjans scores were 76-72.
 
To put Schniederjans age in perspective, hes four years younger than Michelle Wie. (Doesnt it seem like she was 14 just a few weeks ago?)
 
MICHELLE WIE WATCH:
Wie will attempt to qualify for the U.S. Womens Open Monday at the Woodmont sectional in Maryland where she will have 36 holes to show her sixth-place finish at last weekends womens German Open was no fluke.
 
And already there is yet another mini-controversy surrounding Wie. She will be grouped at Woodmont with Connecticut teaching pro Sue Ginter who, when she found out shed be playing with Wie, told the Hartford Courant she was not happy with her draw because of all the commotion that will be surrounding Wie.
 
Wie will be one of approximately 120, including a large contingent of LPGA players, competing for roughly 35 spots.
 
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    Singh's lawsuit stalls as judge denies motion

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Vijay Singh’s attempts to speed up the proceedings in his ongoing lawsuit against the PGA Tour have been stalled, again.

    Singh – who filed the lawsuit in New York Supreme Court in May 2013 claiming the Tour recklessly administered its anti-doping program when he was suspended, a suspension that was later rescinded – sought to have the circuit sanctioned for what his attorneys argued was a frivolous motion, but judge Eileen Bransten denied the motion earlier this month.

    “While the court is of the position it correctly denied the Tour’s motion to argue, the court does not agree that the motion was filed in bad faith nor that it represents a ‘persistent pattern of repetitive or meritless motions,’” Bransten said.

    It also doesn’t appear likely the case will go to trial any time soon, with Bransten declining Singh’s request for a pretrial conference until a pair of appeals that have been sent to the court’s appellate division have been decided.

    “What really should be done is settle this case,” Bransten said during the hearing, before adding that it is, “unlikely a trail will commence prior to 2019.”

    The Tour’s longstanding policy is not to comment on ongoing litigation, but earlier this month commissioner Jay Monahan was asked about the lawsuit.

    “I'll just say that we're going through the process,” Monahan said. “Once you get into a legal process, and you've been into it as long as we have been into it, I think it's fair to assume that we're going to run it until the end.”

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    Videos and images from Tiger's Tuesday at Torrey

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 23, 2018, 7:45 pm

    Tiger Woods played a nine-hole practice round Tuesday at Torrey Pines South, site of this week's Farmers Insurance Open. Woods is making his first PGA Tour start since missing the cut in this event last year. Here's a look at some images and videos of Tiger, via social media:







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    Power Rankings: 2018 Farmers Insurance Open

    By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:59 pm

    The PGA Tour remains in California this week for the Farmers Insurance Open. A field of 156 players will tackle the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines, with weekend play exclusively on the South Course.

    Be sure to join the all-new Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge - including a new One & Done game offering - to compete for prizes and form your own leagues, and log on to www.playfantasygolf.com to submit your picks for this week's event.

    Jon Rahm won this event last year by three shots over Charles Howell III and C.T. Pan. Here are 10 names to watch in La Jolla:

    1. Jon Rahm: No need to overthink it at the top. Rahm enters as a defending champ for the first time, fresh off a playoff win at the CareerBuilder Challenge that itself was preceded by a runner-up showing at Kapalua. Rahm is perhaps the hottest player in the field, and with a chance to become world No. 1 should be set for another big week.

    2. Jason Day: The Aussie has missed the cut here the last two years, and he hasn't played competitively since November. But he ended a disappointing 2017 on a slight uptick, and his Torrey Pines record includes three straight top-10s from 2013-15 that ended with his victory three years ago.

    3. Justin Rose: Rose ended last year on a tear, with three victories over his final six starts including two in a row in Turkey and China. The former U.S. Open winner has the patience to deal with a brutal layout like the South Course, as evidenced by his fourth-place showing at this event a year ago.

    4. Rickie Fowler: This tournament has become somewhat feast-or-famine for Fowler, who is making his ninth straight start at Torrey Pines. The first four in that run all netted top-20 finishes, including two top-10s, while the last four have led to three missed cuts and a T-61. After a win in the Bahamas and T-4 at Kapalua, it's likely his mini-slump comes to an end.

    5. Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker has become somewhat of a course specialist at Torrey Pines in recent years, with six top-10 finishes over the last eight years including wins in both 2012 and 2016. While he missed much of the second half of 2017 recovering from injury and missed the cut last week, Snedeker is always a threat to contend at this particular event.

    6. Hideki Matsuyama: Matsuyama struggled to find his footing after a near-miss at the PGA Championship, but he appears to be returning to form. The Japanese phenom finished T-4 at Kapalua and has put up solid results in two of his four prior trips to San Diego, including a T-16 finish in his 2014 tournament debut. Matsuyama deserves a look at any event that puts a strong emphasis on ball-striking.

    7. Tony Finau: Finau has the length to handle the difficult demands of the South Course, and his results have gotten progressively better each time around: T-24 in 2015, T-18 in 2016 and T-4 last year. Finau is coming off the best season of his career, one that included a trip to the Tour Championship, and he put together four solid rounds at the Sony Open earlier this month.

    8. Charles Howell III: Howell is no stranger to West Coast golf, and his record at this event since 2013 includes three top-10 finishes highlighted by last year's runner-up showing. Howell chased a T-32 finish in Hawaii with a T-20 finish last week in Palm Springs, his fourth top-20 finish this season.

    9. Marc Leishman: Leishman was twice a runner-up at this event, first in 2010 and again in 2014, and he finished T-20 last year. The Aussie is coming off a season that included two wins, and he has amassed five top-10s in his last eight worldwide starts dating back to the Dell Technologies Championship in September.

    10. Gary Woodland: Woodland played in the final group at this event in 2014 before tying for 10th, and he was one shot off the lead entering the final round in 2016 before Mother Nature blew the entire field sideways. Still, the veteran has three top-20s in his last four trips to San Diego and finished T-7 two weeks ago in Honolulu.

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    Davis on distance: Not 'necessarily good for the game'

    By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:28 pm

    It's a new year, but USGA executive Mike Davis hasn't changed his views on the growing debate over distance.

    Speaking with Matt Adams on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, Davis didn't mince words regarding his perception that increased distance has had a negative impact on the game of golf, and he reiterated that it's a topic that the USGA and R&A plan to jointly address.

    "The issue is complex. It's important, and it's one that we need to, and we will, face straight on," Davis said. "I think on the topic of distance, we've been steadfast to say that we do not think increased distance is necessarily good for the game."

    Davis' comments echoed his thoughts in November, when he stated that the impact of increased distance has been "horrible" for the game. Those comments drew a strong rebuke from Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein, who claimed there was "no evidence" to support Davis' argument.

    That argument, again reiterated Tuesday, centers on the rising costs associated with both acquiring and maintaining increased footprints for courses. Davis claimed that 1 in 4 courses in the U.S. is currently "not making money," and noted that while U.S. Open venues were 6,800-6,900 yards at the start of his USGA tenure, the norm is now closer to 7,400-7,500 yards.

    "You ask yourself, 'What has this done for the game? How has that made the game better?'" Davis said. "I think if we look at it, and as we look to the future, we're asking ourselves, saying, 'We want the game of golf to be fun.' We want it to continue to be challenging and really let your skills dictate what scores you should shoot versus necessarily the equipment.

    "But at the same time, we know there are pressures on golf courses. We know those pressures are going to become more acute."