A Note For Fathers Day

By David Marr IiiJune 13, 2002, 4:00 pm
Dear Dad,
 
Its Wednesday afternoon. Im flying back to Orlando from New York to cover the U.S. Open from the Golf Channel studios. I just spent three days at Bethpage talking to guys and getting some inside info. Ive been to so many U.S. Opens, it feels like its in my DNA, and I hated leaving.
 
I just finished reading an article in Golf Digest. It was a letter Bob Duval wrote to his father, and it hit me pretty hard. Ive had so many emotions swirling around inside this week, I realized this letter would be the best way to release them.
 
Every time I cover a major championship, I feel like I get a chance to visit with you for a short stretch of time. Its bittersweet. Im at an event you loved, but I feel like Im here alone among 40,000 people. I know how much you loved the New York metropolitan area and how proud you were when majors came to your adopted home. I remember the last major you ever attended, the 1997 PGA Championship at Winged Foot. You were so sick, but nothing would have kept you away. I remember Jim Awtrey arranging a cart to help you get around your beloved old club. Just one of the many things friends of the game will do for one another.
 
This Monday I was walking from the putting green to the practice tee. One of the marshals said, Would you like a ride, Mr. Marr? I thanked him and I told him Id walk. It took a couple of steps for me to realize that he hadnt read my badge but had recognized me, and it immediately brought me back to the days when Id follow you around and hear as people would notice you and say nice things about you out of earshot. That always made me proud to be your son.
 
One of your adopted sons, Butch, had dinner on Monday night with your three kids, me, Tony and Liz. It was very special. We laughed and told stories and got on each other and loved each other. It was like the old days. Claude looked after you, you looked after the Harmon boys, and now they look after us. Im sure someday well continue the circle.
 
I was walking in the parking lot yesterday and came upon David Fay. He smiled and said, I wish your dad could see this. He didnt need to say anything more. We both knew you would be so proud. Proud of your friend for having the gumption, tenacity and skill to hold our national championship at this great and challenging venue. Proud that the rest of the USGA would heed Davids advice and that the State of New York, Rees Jones and so many people who love the game would come together and organize the logistics for this event. Proud that a municipal course, like the one you grew up on at Houston's Memorial Park, could test the worlds greatest, and hold its head up. Proud to see your boys at NBC straining to get going, ready to showcase their passion, enthusiasm, care and skill in creating the best broadcasts in the game.
 
I wish you could have seen Tony Marr ragging on Butch about some of his teaching techniques, and Butch giving it right back. I wish you could have seen Liz Marr Hallas gliding through the crowd at Bethpage like you taught her, giggling with Billy Harmon and soaking up the atmosphere. I wish you could have seen the Jenkins' in the media center. Dan is still as crusty as ever, and Sallys still gorgeous, smart and funny.
 
I wish you could see the Harmon boys, all four of them, and their pupils, playing the game the way it should be played. I wish you could see Tiger Woods. You said hed be special, and hes even better than that. I wish you could see some of the updates Ill be doing this week for The Golf Channel. I think that might make you proud, too.
 
Its time again for that special week that you loved for so many years. The week that we would so often spend together. A week that golf families use to celebrate the coming of summer and their love of the game. The week that culminates on Fathers Day. I miss you, dad, and I so wish you could see it all.
 
Then again, perhaps you can.
 
Love,
 
David
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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry