Bloodshot eyes and a final Olympic push

By Doug FergusonOctober 7, 2009, 5:29 am
Presidents Cup

PGA champion Y.E. Yang arrived at the Presidents Cup with a bloodshot right eye. Not streaked with pink, but rather a dark red blot toward the inside corner.

He said it was a blood vein that popped and that it was nothing serious.

Yang also knows how it happened. Attribute it to the price of celebrity from being the guy who took down Tiger Woods.

“Since the PGA Championship, it’s been a tiresome two months,” Yang said. “I’m not saying it was unpleasant – it was very enjoyable – but it was a long, long schedule and I was out of my routine. And that’s why I got a little stressed out. One of my veins popped.”

Yang said it burst about five days ago, and it would take about two weeks to heal.

“It’s getting to where it’s the grossest right now,” he said. “But it will be better.”

As for the biggest change to his routine, Yang would start with Harding Park. He would not have made the International team for the Presidents Cup without winning the PGA Championship; it moved him to No. 9 in the standings in the final week of qualifying.

More changes are ahead.

Yang figures he will be playing more tournaments because of his victory, which translates to longer seasons.

As for the stress?

There is a chance he could get a rematch with Woods because captains can manipulate the pairings. The final day is singles, and putting Woods and Yang together might carry the most appeal.

Yang joked at Hazeltine that he doesn’t want to play Woods again. If it comes to that, he at least has experience.

“I will try to play with a similar strategy, to try to play my own game and I won’t try to force anything,” Yang said. “It’s going to be tough, but I’ll try to keep my calm.”


VILLEGAS EXPERIENCE: Camilo Villegas is making his Presidents Cup debut. He has not played on a team since he was in Florida, and it was inspiring to return to his hotel room and see the uniforms in place.

Just don’t get the idea the Colombian lacks experience in this format.

Being at the Presidents Cup reminds him of his junior days when he played in the South American Championship. He said each country had five players and they played different nations at once – foursomes one day, fourballs another day, followed by singles.

“You could play two matches at the same time,” he said. “So I would be playing Argentina and Brazil one day. It was my favorite event, and I’m very excited to be back doing something similar.

“I love it, man. I love this format,” he said. “I’m just excited to be part of this team.”


YANG AND THE BRUINS: Y.E. Yang spent two days playing The Institute, a hidden gem south of San Jose owned by John Fry and his brothers of Fry’s Electronics. They plan to move the Fry’s.com Open there when the time is right, and they have been inviting PGA Tour players over the last few years to take a look.

Yang was on his way to the course Sunday when he reached into his bag and realized he only had one ball. Staying at the Corde Valle Resort, he went to the pro shop only to discover it didn’t have Taylor Made golf balls. Yang didn’t feel it would be right, even in a private setting, to play something other than what he endorses.

Just his luck, the UCLA golf team was on the course.

Resort workers went to the team and asked if they could use a couple of golf balls. They collected six – all with the UCLA logo – and Yang was set.

Consider him a Bruins fans now. And he certainly caught on to the school spirit. Also playing The Institute that day was Jamie Lovemark, who won an NCAA title playing for Southern Cal.

Yang tossed him one of the balls and smiled. Lovemark tossed it back.


NORMAN’S SCHEDULE: It’s not easy for Greg Norman to handle all his captain’s duties with his right arm in a sling, courtesy of surgery last week on his shoulder. Sure, he could have waited. Then again, he was looking at the bigger picture.

The Shark wants to be ready for his limited winter schedule, which includes the Australian Open the first week of December, followed by the Shark Shootout.

Norman is the host, and he plans to have U.S. captain Fred Couples as his partner.

“We had a good agreement, Freddie and I, so I’m working my way back for the Australian Open and the Shootout,” Norman said. “That’s my schedule. That’s my goal. There’s a lot of rehab to take place between now and then, but I’m pretty confident that I’ll be back hitting balls 10 days before then.”


FINAL OLYMPIC PUSH: Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington and Michelle Wie are going to Copenhagen this week to help golf make its final push to get into the Olympics.

Harrington, Wie, Suzann Pettersen of Norway and 16-year-old British Amateur champion Matteo Manassero of Italy will join golf’s Olympic executive in making the final presentation.

PGA Tour vice president Ty Votaw, who has led golf’s bid along with Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson, said it was important to show that golfers from all parts of the world, both professional and amateur, want golf in the Olympics.

In the most recent presentation in June, Votaw and Dawson were joined by Annika Sorenstam and Colin Montgomerie.

The IOC executive board recommended that golf and rugby sevens be added to the Olympic program in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, which was selected as the host city last week. The full vote on adding sports will be Friday.


DIVOTS: Camilo Villegas had a 2-inch scab below his right elbow, a scratch that was healing, and another wound that could not be shown. With a wistful smile, he confessed: During a trip home to Colombia, while riding his bike, the front tire blew out and Villegas tumbled over the handle bars. … Steve Stricker prepared to hit a 4-iron to the 10th hole, telling Tiger Woods he would hit a high draw and hold it against the wind. After pulling off the shot, Woods excitedly said, “That’s why you’re double comeback-player-of-the year.”


STAT OF THE WEEK: Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh are the only players to have competed in every Presidents Cup. Each has won only one singles match.


FINAL WORD: “When Tiger plays well and the other guy doesn’t, it’s really hard to beat two guys, no matter who they are.” – Fred Couples on Tiger Woods’ team record in the Presidents Cup (10-9-1).

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

Getty Images

Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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Finances


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Reportedly fake TIME covers


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Pros comment on the president

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Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm