Notes: The 'needle' for Stricker; POY race

By Doug FergusonSeptember 20, 2011, 11:28 pm

ATLANTA - Steve Stricker is concerned about losing strength in his left arm, and it didn’t help Tuesday at East Lake that he was hitting balls next to Bubba Watson.

He watched Watson pound one drive so far that it hit the net on the back of the range on the fly.

“If my neck didn’t hurt, I could get that,” Stricker said with a grin.

Stricker withdrew from the BMW Championship last week after two rounds because of neck pain that affected his left arm and made it difficult to hold onto the club. He had a cortisone shot on Monday - his first one—and felt he was fine to play in the Tour Championship.

The shot was between the C6 and C7 vertebrae, and he played nine holes in Wisconsin that afternoon.

“I don’t feel better yet,” said Stricker, who was told it would take three to five days for him to feel a difference.

“The crazy thing is there’s no pain. My neck is a little stiff, that’s all. But there’s just a weak, heavy feeling in my left arm.”

He spent most of his time hitting drivers on the range, with his worst miss being a hard draw for not getting through on his left side. He hit four drives on the 10th tee, taking his hand off the club on one shot that sailed into the right rough.

“I feel it here,” he said, rubbing the back of his left shoulder. “I think it affects my move back to the ball.”

Stricker said he first realized something was wrong with his left arm last December when it collapsed while pulling back his bow while deer hunting. He thought he took care of it through exercise, and he won two more PGA Tour events this year. But he noticed his left arm getting weaker as the season went on.

He has not finished in the top 10 in the six events since winning the John Deere Classic.

“The doctors are moderately concerned this is back again,” Stricker said.

His plan is to have an MRI on Tuesday after the Tour Championship and “come up with a game plan from there.”

Still to come this year is the Presidents Cup on Nov. 17-20. Stricker also had planned to play a Fall Series event to stay sharp.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: It’s difficult enough to find a favorite for PGA Tour player of the year going into the Tour Championship. Keegan Bradley has two wins, including the PGA Championship. Luke Donald is No. 1 in the world. Steve Stricker, Nick Watney, Bubba Watson and Mark Wilson all are going for a third win at East Lake.

“I think a win this week would sway a lot of people’s minds,” Donald said.

Tougher still might be finding the player of the year on the European Tour, although its season still has nearly three months left.

Thomas Bjorn has won two times. Rory McIlroy had a record-setting win at the U.S. Open, while Darren Clarke had a sentimental win at the British Open, his second win of the year. There’s also Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Donald, who has three European Tour wins and is atop the world ranking.

“It’s finding that balance between how important is winning that major compared to the consistency of a year,” Donald said. “What does player of the year stand for? Does it stand for having that one great week in a major, which is extremely important? Of is it weighed by being very consistent week in and week out?

“I don’t know what everyone’s thinking,” he said. “It could a number of different ways.”

Perhaps the real measure is who gets put on the cover of the European Tour media guide for 2012.

“I’m sure they’ll just fill it up with the major trophies again,” Donald said.

BACK TO BERMUDA: The PGA Championship was at Atlanta Athletic Club last month, which should help freshen some memories. Without that tournament, some players at East Lake for the Tour Championship will have gone four months without playing out of Bermuda rough.

Either way, the first three playoff events were played out of a far different grass in northern courses of Plainfield (Barclays), TPC Boston (Deutsche Bank) and the BMW Championship (Cog Hill).

Nick Watney said the biggest adjustment is on getting a flyer out of the rough.

“It’s not a matter of ‘if,’ it’s a matter of how much,” Watney said. “I hit a flyer nine times out of 10. So for me, it’s about trying to play the correct amount of a flyer.”

He did OK the last time, winning a World Golf Championship at Doral.

Dustin Johnson grew up in South Carolina and now lives in South Florida, so he’s accustomed to this strain of golf. That doesn’t make it any easier for him.

“I’ve played it my whole life, but it’s still hard to chip out of,” Johnson said. “It’s just tough to judge chipping.”

DIVOTS: Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Natalie Gulbis will represent the LPGA Tour in the Three-Tour Challenge, to be played Nov. 8 at the Rio Secco in Las Vegas. Teams from the PGA Tour and Champions Tour will be announced later. The PGA Tour (Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Boo Weekley) won last year. … Ernie Els has decided to play the Open in two weeks. Els has a sponsorship deal with SAP, whose founder and chairman, Hasso Plattner, owns Cordevalle. … Matt Kuchar is the only player with a mathematical chance of capturing the $10 million FedEx Cup without winning a tournament all year.

STAT OF THE WEEK: For the second straight year, only one major champion (Keegan Bradley) made it to the Tour Championship.

FINAL WORD: “If you’re not in the top 50 in the world golf ranking, this is the next best thing you can do.” - Charles Howell III, on getting to the Tour Championship. That assures of him of playing three majors and one World Golf Championship event next year.

Getty Images

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


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


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.