Bramlett not a pioneer just wants to be player

By Doug FergusonJanuary 13, 2011, 7:05 pm

2007 Sony OpenHONOLULU – Joseph Bramlett waited for room to open up on the tiny practice range at Waialae Country Club, just like any other PGA Tour player. Typical of most rookies, he felt most comfortable being around players he knew from college and amateur days.

“Every kid like myself grows up wanting to play on the PGA Tour, playing on the biggest stage,” Bramlett said. “This is what I’ve trained for and prepared for my whole life. It’s very exciting for me. I’ve got a lot of opportunities.”

Whatever he gets out of golf, the Stanford graduate already is putting back in before he even turns in a scorecard. In a sport desperate for diversity, he is the first PGA Tour member of black heritage since Tiger Woods turned pro in 1996.

Bramlett doesn’t see himself differently from any other rookie, much less any other player.

Even so, he is willing to embrace the questions that are sure to follow. He had more media duties than any other player on a rain-soaked Wednesday at the Sony Open. And though he is more interested in the scores on his card than the color of his skin, Bramlett believes he can help make a difference.

“I certainly think numbers will help,” Bramlett said. “If you have more fresh and different faces out there … in terms of the public eye, I don’t know how significantly it will change. But I think when you can have little kids growing up and seeing that there is such a diverse group of people on the PGA Tour, it can truly inspire kids to think that, ‘I can do it, too.”’

Bramlett is among 26 rookies who are part of the 144-man field at the Sony Open, which is to begin Thursday depending on the weather. The course was closed Wednesday on the eve of the first full-field event of the PGA Tour season, and with more rain in the forecast, the question was whether the course will drain well enough to play.

Bramlett signed an endorsement deal with Nike. His caddie is A.J. Montecinos, who was on the bag for Y.E. Yang when the South Korean took down Woods at the PGA Championship in 2009 and became the first Asian to win a major.

And he can always lean on Woods, whom he already sees as a mentor.

Bramlett competed in the Junior World Championship with a team sponsored by the Tiger Woods Foundation. As a freshman, he sat in Woods’ living room and listened to stories with the rest of the Stanford golf team when the Cardinal played a tournament at Isleworth. They hooked up again when Woods came to Stanford during the Presidents Cup at Harding Park.

And when Bramlett qualified for the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, he arranged for a practice round with Woods.

“He’s been awesome for me,” Bramlett said. “He’s really just kind of mentored me in ways that truly helped my game and just growing up as a young person.”

Like Woods, Bramlett comes from a multiracial family – his father is black, his mother is white. He was attracted to golf not through social inspiration, but just like so many other players on tour: His father introduced him to the game while growing up in San Jose, Calif.

“I fell in love with the game before I knew who Tiger Woods was,” Bramlett said.

Woods was an influence by winning the Masters in 1997, and Bramlett’s father used to take him to watch Woods at Stanford. And when they finally met, he credits Woods for motivating him to work through injuries.

After he helped Stanford to an NCAA title as a freshman, Bramlett endured two injuries that nearly derailed his career – his right wrist when he slipped on a wet mat in the weight room as a sophomore, and ligament and tendon damage in the same wrist when he fell over the handle bars on his bike as a junior.

“He really just told me that you really just do whatever you have to do to get through it,” Bramlett said. “I think that applies not only to injuries, but to a lot of things in your life.”

Bramlett made it through Q-school on his first try, passing all three stages.

Now comes the hard part.

He finished high enough to make the field at the Sony Open, and he expects to be at Torrey Pines later this month and Pebble Beach. He is still waiting to see if can get in Phoenix and Riviera. Like other rookies, he needs places to play, and he needs to perform well quickly to help his chances the rest of the year.

Along the way, he expects to get plenty of questions about his heritage.

“Do I hope it wouldn’t be an issue? Yes. Will it be? I don’t know,” Bramlett said. “Hopefully, I can leave an impact on the game that can help change things. Tiger had a huge impact, and I’m just one of several kids coming up right now. I think that by the time I’m done and sitting in a rocking chair, that hopefully this game will look a little different.”

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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.

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.


Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


President at the Presidents Cup


Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


Cart on the green


Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


Trump golf properties

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers


Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.