Caddies Giants jerseys in honor of San Francisco

By Doug FergusonOctober 8, 2009, 4:36 am
Presidents Cup

SAN FRANCISCO – The American caddies endeared themselves to the gallery at Harding Park on the final day of practice by wearing San Francisco Giants jerseys with their players’ name stitched on the back.

Fittingly, the caddie for Tiger Woods wore No. 24.

Not surprisingly, Steve Williams had never even heard of a guy named Willie Mays.

“I told you I don’t know him,” Williams said. “Your job is to tell me who he is.”

Williams made no apologies for not being aware of one of baseball’s greatest players.

“That’s probably the one sport I have never followed,” he said. “I don’t watch ESPN, and I don’t know anything about baseball.”

The idea came from John Wood, the caddie for Hunter Mahan who grew up in Sacramento and is a huge Giants fan. Since he couldn’t get them playoff tickets this week, he arranged for the jerseys.

The jerseys will be auctioned off for charity.

Steve Stricker’s caddie wore No. 25 – Barry Bonds – which was a peculiar choice since most didn’t see any similarities between baseball’s all-time home run leader and Stricker, whose game is built around the shortest club in the bag. And it most likely had nothing to do with their personalities.

Even more peculiar was Justin Leonard’s caddie wearing No. 44 – slugger Willie McCovey.

Phil Mickelson’s man went with No. 51 – Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum. Lest anyone forget, Mickelson tried out for a Triple A baseball team as a pitcher in 2003.

“Mickelson thinks he can pitch, but that’s not the case,” Mahan said with a laugh. “They’re both lefties (Mickelson actually throws right), but Phil thinks he can do everything. He can’t pitch for nothing.”

Wood, meanwhile, took No. 22. The caddie has always been a Will Clark fan, and one of the highlights as a caddie came in 2006, when Clark played in the pro-am at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans and Wood caddied for him.

Well, he was supposed to caddie for him. Just his luck, the pro-am was rained out.


O’HAIR’S SHRINKING WALLET: Sean O’Hair apparently didn’t learn his lesson.

He warmed up for the Tour Championship by playing six days with his buddies in Philadelphia, conceding that he lost a lot of money by giving too many strokes to one of the better players.

O’Hair played against Michael Jordan on Monday with a similar result.

“I’ve lost a lot of money to him,” O’Hair said. “I’m probably the only player in the history of golf that it has actually cost money to play in this event.”

O’Hair gave him 12 shots because Jordan claims an 8 handicap, “which was the biggest crock I’ve ever heard in my entire life.”

“He won the bets on the first hole, let’s just put it that way,” O’Hair said. “He’s a good player, though.”

O’Hair considers it money well-spent, considering it meant time spending time with Jordan. The basketball great talked to O’Hair about believing in himself, and carried that into Tuesday’s formal practice round when they bet on various putts O’Hair had to make.

He lost most of those bets, too.

“I would take him over any psychologist,” O’Hair said. “It’s been a lot of fun. To me, it’s worth the money. It’s a memory that I’ll have for the rest of my life, and I’ll be telling my grandkids about it. It’s been a lot of fun the last couple of days.”


BEAM ME UP, SCOTTY: Adam Scott might have been the biggest surprise among captain’s pick as the Australian endures the worst slump of his career, so bad that he didn’t make past the first round of the PGA Tour Playoffs.

If nothing else, he comes to the Presidents Cup prepared.

“I’ve been working my (tail) off for three weeks trying to get my game as good as I possibly can,” Scott said. “And it was solid last week. I wish it was 100 percent this week, but it was really something good to come into here with some solid stuff and not erratic golf like I have been playing.”

Scott played at Turning Stone last week and tied for 35th at 8-under 280. It was his best result on the PGA Tour since a tie for 33rd in the Accenture Match Play Championship – that’s a first-round exit – and the best in stroke play since he was a runner-up at the Sony Open in January. Scott also tied for fourth in the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond this summer.

There was some thinking that Scott being picked would motivate him. He dismissed that quickly.

“I didn’t need a kick in the pants to work hard,” he said. “I’ve never worked harder in my life than this year. But certainly, it gave me a big confidence boost just to get on the team.”


NO AMY: The American wives sat together during the opening ceremony, minus a familiar face.

Amy Mickelson was not at Harding Park as she recovers from breast cancer. It will be the first Presidents Cup she has missed.

Asked if he would appear this week, Mickelson said, “It’s possible, but unlikely.”


LONG TRIP: Ernie Els wins the award for longest trip to Harding Park.

True, Ryo Ishikawa came over from Japan. Els took an even longer route by going from Atlanta (Tour Championship) to Scotland for the Dunhill Championship last week, a tournament that ended on Monday because it was delayed by high wind. Els left Scotland on Monday for Florida to pick up his wife, Liezl, and made it to San Francisco in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.

Els abandoned his foursomes practice round with Adam Scott on the 14th hole.

“Yesterday I was fine,” he said. “Today … we played alternate shot, so it wasn’t too much work for me. I feel a bit down today, a little tired. But I slept a lot. I mean, it was about a 12 1/2 -hour flight. Slept most of the way.”


DIVOTS: Robert Allenby and Vijay Singh have combined to play in 43 team matches at the Presidents Cup. This will be the first time they have played together. … Among those following Tiger Woods’ group during the practice round were the parents of Michelle Wie, who now live in Los Altos as their daughter goes to Stanford. Wie is in Copenhagen until Saturday helping with golf’s bid to get in the Olympics. … Steve Stricker will be Woods’ eighth partner in the Presidents Cup. That list includes John Huston.

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Lesson with Woods fetches $210K for Harvey relief

By Will GrayDecember 13, 2017, 2:51 pm

A charity event featuring more than two dozen pro golfers raised more than $1 million for Hurricane Harvey relief, thanks in large part to a hefty price paid for a private lesson with Tiger Woods.

The pro-am fundraiser was organized by Chris Stroud, winner of the Barracuda Championship this summer, and fellow pro and Houston resident Bobby Gates. It was held at Bluejack National in Montgomery, Texas, about an hour outside Houston and the first Woods-designed course to open in the U.S.

The big-ticket item on the auction block was a private, two-person lesson with Woods at Bluejack National that sold for a whopping $210,000.

Other participants included local residents like Stacy Lewis, Patrick Reed and Steve Elkington as well as local celebrities like NBA All-Star Clyde Drexler, Houston Texans quarterback T.J. Yates and Houston Astros owner Jim Crane.

Stroud was vocal in his efforts to help Houston rebuild in the immediate aftermath of the storm that ravaged the city in August, and he told the Houston Chronicle that he plans to continue fundraising efforts even after eclipsing the event's $1 million goal.

"This is the best event I have ever been a part of, and this is just a start," Stroud said. "We have a long way to go for recovery to this city, and we want to keep going with this and raise as much as we can and help as many victims as we can."

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LPGA schedule features 34 events, record purse

By Randall MellDecember 13, 2017, 2:02 pm

The LPGA schedule will once again feature 34 events next year with a record $68.75 million in total purses, the tour announced on Wednesday.

While three events are gone from the 2018 schedule, three new events have been added, with two of those on the West Coast and one in mainland China.

The season will again start with the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic on Paradise Island (Jan. 25-28) and end with the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Fla., (Nov. 15-18).

The LPGA played for $65 million in total prize money in 2017.

An expanded West Coast swing in the front half of the schedule will now include the HUGEL-JTBC Championship in the Los Angeles area April 19-22. The site will be announced at a later date.

The tour will then make a return to San Francisco’s Lake Merced Golf Club the following week, in a new event sponsored by L&P Cosmetics, a Korean skincare company. Both new West Coast tournaments will be full-field events.

The tour’s third new event will be played in Shanghai Oct. 18-21 as part of the fall Asian swing. The title sponsor and golf course will be announced at a later date.

“Perhaps the most important aspect of our schedule is the consistency — continuing to deliver strong playing opportunities both in North America and around the world, while growing overall purse levels every year,” LPGA commissioner Mike Whan said in a statement. “There is simply no better [women’s] tour opportunity in the world, when it comes to purses, global TV coverage or strength of field. It’s an exciting time in women’s golf, with the best players from every corner of the globe competing against each other in virtually every event.”

While the Evian Championship will again be played in September next year, the tour confirmed its plans to move its fifth major to the summer in 2019, to be part of a European swing, with the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open and the Ricoh Women’s British Open.

The Manulife LPGA Classic and the Lorena Ochoa Invitational are not returning to the schedule next year. Also, the McKayson New Zealand Women’s Open will not be played next year as it prepares to move to the front of the 2019 schedule, to be paired with the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.

The U.S. Women’s Open will make its new place earlier in the summer, a permanent move in the tour’s scheduling. It will be played May 31-June 3 at Shoal Creek Golf Club outside Birmingham, Ala. The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (June 28-July 1) will be played at Kemper Lakes Golf Club on the north side of Chicago and the Ricoh Women’s British Open (Aug. 2-5) will be played at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in England.

For the first time since its inception in 2014, the UL International Crown team event is going overseas, with the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea, scheduled to host the event Oct. 4-7. The KEB Hana Bank Championship will be played in South Korean the following week.

Here is the LPGA's schedule for 2018:

Jan. 25-28: Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic; Paradise Island, Bahamas; Purse: $1.4 million

Feb. 15-18: ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open; Adelaide, Australia; Purse: $1.3 million

Feb. 21-24: Honda LPGA Thailand; Chonburi, Thailand; Purse: $1.6 million

March 1-4: HSBC Women's World Championship; Singapore; Purse: $1.5 million

March 15-18: Bank of Hope Founders Cup; Phoenix, Arizona; Purse: $1.5 million

March 22-25: Kia Classic; Carlsbad, California; Purse: $1.8 million

March 29 - April 1: ANA Inspiration; Rancho Mirage, California; Purse: $2.8 million

April 11-14: LOTTE Championship; Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii; Purse: $2 million

April 19-22: HUGEL-JTBC Championship; Greater Los Angeles, California; Purse: $1.5 million

April 26-29: Name to be Announced; San Francisco, California; Purse: $1.5 million

May 3-6: Volunteers of America LPGA Texas Classic; The Colony, Texas; Purse: $1.3 million

May 17-20: Kingsmill Championship; Williamsburg, Virginia; Purse: $1.3 million

May 24-27: LPGA Volvik Championship; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Purse: $1.3 million

May 31 - June 3: U.S. Women's Open Championship; Shoal Creek, Alabama; Purse: $5 million

June 8-10: ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer; Galloway, New Jersey; Purse: $1.75 million

June 14-17: Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Purse: $2 million

June 22-24: Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G; Rogers, Arkansas; Purse: $2 million

June 28 - July 1: KPMG Women's PGA Championship; Kildeer, Illinois; Purse: $3.65 million

July 5-8: Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic; Oneida, Wisconsin; Purse: $2 million

July 12-15: Marathon Classic presented by Owens-Corning and O-I; Sylvania, Ohio; Purse: $1.6 million

July 26-29: Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open; East Lothian, Scotland; Purse: $1.5 million

Aug. 2-5: Ricoh Women's British Open; Lancashire, England; Purse: $3.25 million

Aug. 16-19: Indy Women in Tech Championship presented by Guggenheim; Indianapolis, Indiana; Purse: $2 million

Aug. 23-26: CP Women's Open; Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada; Purse: $2.25 million

Aug. 30 - Sept. 2: Cambia Portland Classic; Portland, Oregon; Purse: $1.3 million

Sept. 13-16: The Evian Championship; Evian-les-Bains, France; Purse: $3.85 million

Sept. 27-30: Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Purse: $1.8 million

Oct. 4-7: UL International Crown; Incheon, Korea; Purse: $1.6 million

Oct. 11-14: LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship; Incheon, Korea; Purse: $2 million

Oct. 18-21: Name to be Announced; Shanghai, China; Purse: $2.1 million

Oct. 25-28: Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship; New Taipei City, Chinese Taipei; Purse: $2.2 million

Nov. 2-4: TOTO Japan Classic; Shiga, Japan; Purse: $1.5 million

Nov. 7-10: Blue Bay LPGA; Hainan Island, China; Purse: $2.1 million

Nov. 15-18: CME Group Tour Championship; Naples, Florida; Purse: $2.5 million

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 4, Jordan Spieth

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 13, 2017, 1:00 pm

Dismissed because he’s supposedly too short off the tee, or not accurate enough with his irons, or just a streaky putter, Jordan Spieth is almost never the answer to the question of which top player, when he’s at his best, would win in a head-to-head match.

And yet here he is, at the age of 24, with 11 career wins and three majors, on a pace that compares favorably with the giants of the game. He might not possess the firepower of Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, but since he burst onto the PGA Tour in 2013 he has all that matters – a better résumé.

Spieth took the next step in his development this year by becoming the Tour’s best iron player – and its most mentally tough.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Just a great putter? Oh, puhleeze: He won three times despite putting statistics (42nd) that were his worst since his rookie year. Instead, he led the Tour in strokes gained-approach the green and this summer showed the discipline, golf IQ and bounce-back ability that makes him such a unique talent. 

Even with his putter misbehaving, Spieth closed out the Travelers Championship by holing a bunker shot in the playoff, then, in perhaps an even bigger surprise, perfectly executed the player-caddie celebration, chest-bumping caddie Michael Greller. A few weeks later, sublime iron play carried him into the lead at Royal Birkdale, his first in a major since his epic collapse at the 2016 Masters.

Once again his trusty putter betrayed him, and by the time he arrived on the 13th tee, he was tied with Matt Kuchar. What happened next was the stuff of legend – a lengthy ruling, gutsy up-and-down, stuffed tee shot and go-get-that putt – that lifted Spieth to his third major title.

Though he couldn’t complete the career Grand Slam at the PGA, he’ll likely have, oh, another two decades to join golf’s most exclusive club.

In the barroom debate of best vs. best, you can take the guys with the flair, with the booming tee shots and the sky-high irons. Spieth will just take the trophies.

THE MAJORS

Masters Tournament: Return to the 12th; faltering on Sunday (T-11)

Spieth pars 12, but makes quad on 15

Spieth takes another gut punch, but still standing

Article: Spieth splashes to worst Masters finish

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U.S. Open: 1 over usually good ... not at Erin Hills (T-35)

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The Open: Unforgettable finish leads to major win No. 3 (1st)

Spieth survives confusing ordeal on 13

Photos: Spieth's incredible journey on 13

Take it, it's yours: Spieth gets claret jug

Chamblee: Spieth doesn't have 'it' - 'he has it all'

Article: Spieth silences his doubters - even himself

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PGA Championship: Career Grand Slam bid comes up well short (T-28)

Article: Spieth accepts that Grand Slam is off the table


TWO REGULAR TOUR WINS

AT&T Pebble Beach

Article: Spieth rising from 'valley' after Pebble Beach win

Travelers Championship

Spieith wins dramatic Travelers in playoff

Watch: Spieth holes bunker shot, goes nuts


FUN OUTSIDE OF TOUR LIFE


PHOTO GALLERIES

Photos: Jordan Spieth and Annie Verret

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Photos: Jordan Spieth through the years

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 13, 2017, 12:30 pm