Notes OMeara playing despite uncertain future of father

By Doug FergusonJuly 15, 2010, 10:11 pm

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Mark O’Meara didn’t come to the British Open expecting to hit the ball this well. Nor did he expect to feel such a strong sense of peace.

It was hard to tell which was more surprising.

O’Meara wasn’t even sure whether to play at St. Andrews this year because his 81-year-old father, Robert, took a turn for the worse from an infection that his attacking a heart valve. His sisters are with him, and urged O’Meara to join them.

“It was touch and go,” O’Meara said after opening with a 69. “I love my father dearly, and if I get the call, I’ll go home. But I believe my dad would have wanted me to play.”

O’Meara, was in Ireland at the start of last week for the J.P. McManus charity pro-am. When he arrived in St. Andrews on the weekend, he cried when he talked about his Dad. Some 20 years ago, before O’Meara won the claret jug at Royal Birkdale in 1998, they took a golf vacation together to St. Andrews.

“He shot 89, birdied the last hole,” O’Meara said, smiling at the memory. “I filmed his whole round. We hired two local caddies, and couldn’t understand them. I know what this place means to him.”

O’Meara said he is unable to call because the intensive care unit does not have phones in the room, but his father is alert enough to hold his sister’s hand and “I hope he can see what I shot today.”

“I feel very much at peace,” he said. “I’ve got to celebrate my father’s life. I’m can’t say, ‘Woe is me,’ because my father is sick.”

While he is trying to provide inspiration for his father, O’Meara is finding inspiration from the past two Opens – Greg Norman leading after 54 holes at Royal Birkdale, and Tom Watson nearly winning last year at Turnberry.

“If you’re hitting the ball solidly … I know it’s a cliche, but the golf ball doesn’t know how old you are,” he said. “Power helps you around here, but you can play a lot of different shots.”

For that, he pointed to the 348-yard 12th hole. Most players were hitting driver to within 10 yards of the green. O’Meara hit 5-iron to stay short of the bunkers, and he cut a 6-iron into about 10 feet.


WORTH THE TROUBLE: Steven Tiley is trying to get his European Tour card through the developmental Challenge Tour, and he wondered if it was worth even trying to qualify for the British Open.

His manager talked him into it, and it proved to be the right move.

Tiley earned one of three spots out of 94 players in local final qualifying earlier this month, earning his first trip to the British Open since he was an amateur at Royal Troon in 2004. Then, he played without a bogey for a 66.

“I’m pleased I took his advice,” Tiley said.

His professional career has been a bit rocky. Tiley went to college at Georgia State – where he played with Mark F. Haastrup of Denmark – and has been struggling to get by on the Asian Tour and smaller circuits in Europe.

But he won the Egyptian Open last year, and hopes better days are ahead.

“It just happened that a couple of putts dropped and I hit some lovely shots, and you don’t go out thinking that you’re going to play well,” said Tiley, who grew up on links golf at Royal Cinque Port in England. “You just do the same things every day and see what happens.”


EARLY WAKEUP: Paul Lawrie is believed to be the first British Open champion to strike the opening shot of the championship.

The 1999 winner at Carnoustie was in the first group that went off Thursday at 6:30 a.m. The Royal and Ancient noted that Lawrie woke up at 5 a.m. to get ready for the first round. Playing with him was Steve Marino, who awoke a tad earlier.

“I got up at 3:30,” Marino said. “I have a habit of waking up three hours before my tee time. It’s nice to be done with it now. I’ve got the whole day to relax.”

He and Lawrie each shot a 69, which seemed like a reasonable score at the time.


TIGER TALES: The London tabloids were tame when it came to Tiger Woods on the opening day of the British Open.

The papers, which have been avidly chronicling the sex scandal that tarnished Tiger Woods’ reputation, focused more on golf Thursday.

Still, they managed to feature him prominently on the back pages with references to his on-course conduct problems.

“Don’t screw up again, Tiger,” said the headline in The Sun, referring to comments by three-time Open champion Nick Faldo and R&A chief Peter Dawson.

“The world No. 1 has been slammed for turning the air blue, spitting and hurling his clubs around after wayward shots,” the paper said.

The Sun said Woods had not endeared himself to fans at the Old Course by skipping the No. 1 and No. 18 holes during practice.

“He needs to give something back to the sport,” Faldo was quoted as saying. “You give to them and they will give back, simple as that.”

The Daily Mirror also carried Faldo’s comments on Woods under the headline: “Troubled Tiger needs support of the Open crowd, now more than ever.”

The Mirror also ran a story quoting Terry Matthews, owner and chairman of the Celtic Manor resort in Wales that will host the Ryder Cup in October, saying the sex scandal had actually boosted Woods’ level of global fame.

“Those people who didn’t know about him before, know about him now,” Matthews was quoted as saying. “And more people will want to see him play golf. It is better to have coverage, whatever it is for, than no coverage.”

Most British papers focused on Faldo’s prediction that an English golfer will win the Open.

“Faldo: It’s the Brits Who’ll Storm In … Not Tiger,” said the Mirror’s backpage headline, playing off the awful weather conditions that plagued Wednesday’s practice.


ROAD HOLE MISERY: The Old Course didn’t have much bite? Try telling that to Anders Hansen.

The Danish golfer knocked his approach shot at No. 17 – the famed “Road Hole” – into the treacherous pot bunker left of the green. Then it took him four tries to get out, and he wound up taking a quadruple-bogey 8.

With his ball lodged up against the lip, Hansen first attempted to get out going to his left. When that failed, he took two swings straight at the flag, only to be foiled each time. Finally, he turned toward the right – actually facing back toward the tee box – and was able to get the ball onto the green.

A two-putt from there left him shaking his head and putting a snowman on his card.

Hansen, a regular on the European Tour, bounced back with a birdie at the final hole, but he still finished with a 5-over 77 on a day when most players were able to go low because of benign conditions. He’ll need a huge comeback Friday to avoid missing the cut for the fifth time in eight Open appearances.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

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.

Getty Images

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.


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