Notes Tom Watsons lingo Vijay Singhs comeback

By Doug FergusonJuly 28, 2009, 4:00 pm
2006 Buick OpenTom Watson made bogey on the 72nd hole at Turnberry because of his weight.
 
In yet another example of two cultures using the same words with different meanings, Watson spoke all week during the British Open about getting his weight right. To hit the ball the right weight simply means to hit it the right distance.
 
Tiger Woods often talks about distance control. He is seldom heard, if ever, saying weight control. Not so for Watson, a five-time Open champion (and very fit for 59), whose affection for golf in Scotland includes using the proper language in golfs home country.
 
On the eve of the tournament: With the rookies out there that havent played this before the most important thing in golf has always been (to) hit the ball the right weight, hit the ball the right distance.
 
On his shot to the 18th in the first round: I had over 200 yards and hit 7-iron. The most important thing about doing it well is hitting it the right weight. Just hitting it the right distance. Can you judge how far to hit? If youre short and long all the time, either youre not hitting the ball solidly or you dont have the feel for it.
 
On his three-putt bogey from the back of the ninth green in the third round: I knew I had to lay off the wedge, I just couldnt lay off of it enough to get the right weight to it.
 
And his 8-iron to the 18th on Sunday in regulation that went over the green: It was a tough day to play. Its a difficult golf course, crosswinds, getting the right weight, which I prided myself in. I just didnt do it in the last hole.
 
For most Americans, it was a curious term. In Scotland, it is simply part of the golf vernacular.
 
John Huggan, once a top Scottish amateur who now writes for Golf World, hit a woeful putt at Gullane No. 1 the day after the British Open and said sarcastically, Except for the line and the weight, it was a great putt.
 
After a week listening to Watson, it made perfect sense.
 

 
MAJOR CUTS: The pressure is on Kevin Sutherland at the PGA Championship.
 
Sutherland is eligible for all four majors for only the second time in his 22 years as a pro, yet hes among only 15 players who made the cut in the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open.
 
That list doesnt include Tiger Woods, who left Turnberry early; and Phil Mickelson, who didnt play the British Open.
 
Masters champion Angel Cabrera is the only player to win a major and make the cut in the other two ' Lucas Glover didnt qualify for the Masters and missed the cut at the British Open, while Stewart Cink missed the cut at the Masters.
 
None of the 15 have lit it up at each major. The consistency award probably would go to Ross Fisher of England. He finished under par at the Masters (T30) and the U.S. Open (5th), and was leading early in the final round of the British Open before the quadruple-bogey 8 on the fifth hole sent him to a 75 and a tied for 13th.
 
The 15 players to make the cut in all three majors: Sutherland, Cabrera, Fisher, Kenny Perry, Steve Stricker, Sean OHair, Jim Furyk, Camilo Villegas, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Vijay Singh, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Andres Romero.
 
The more dubious list is for those who have yet to make a cut in all three majors. That would be Briny Baird, D.J. Trahan, Brandt Snedeker, Michael Campbell and Alvaro Quiros.
 
But at least they qualified for all three. Scott Verplank and Woody Austin, members of the last Presidents Cup team, have yet to play in any major this year.
 

 
SINGHS PROGRESS: Vijay Singh concedes that he came back too early from knee surgery earlier this year.
 
Singh played at Kapalua before having surgery to repair a torn meniscus, returning a month later for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, where he missed the cut. He missed the cut the next week, too, and did not record a top 10 finish until he closed with a 67 to sneak into a tie for ninth at The Players Championship.
 
The 46-year-old Fijian has yet to seriously contend on the back nine this year, with only three top 10s.
 
I just started playing a little too soon and it kind of put me back quite a bit, Singh said last week in a conference call. Instead of taking two months off, I took a month-and-a-half off, and going to the range created a lot of bad habits for my golf swing. And it took two or three months to get out of it, because every time you get out of something, you develop something new.
 
Not that hes terribly concerned.
 
A year ago, Singh didnt win until the Bridgestone Invitational in early August, then he won the first two tournaments in the PGA Tour Playoffs to essentially wrap up the FedEx Cup.
 
My golf game is coming around, Singh said. I have two weeks to practice, and I cant wait to get out there and do it again.
 

 
NAME GAME: Sean OHair became a father for the third time after the U.S. Open when his wife gave birth to a son, Grady Quinn, a name that has no particular significance.
 
Not so with the other two children, Molly and Luke, and it amazes OHair to talk about it.
 
When Jackie was pregnant, she had a dream with Molly written on the wall in purple, OHair said. And she looks just like Jackie.
 
Luke comes from his father-in-law, Steve Lucas, whose surname became his nickname in college.
 
He looks like Steves mother, OHair said. No one else in the family has red hair. Its weird.
 
As for Grady Quinn?
 
Pulled that one out of the air, OHair said. But he looks like me when I was that age. G.Q. Maybe thats it. Hes a handsome devil, just like his dad.
 

 
DIVOTS: According to the Official World Golf Ranking formula, the Texas Open had a slightly weaker field moving to May than it did when it was part of the Fall Series last year. U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover has not sorted out his silly-season schedule, but it will not include the World Cup or the HSBC Champions, both of them played in China. Teams are starting to come together for the World Cup, with Rory McIlroy-Graeme McDowell (Northern Ireland), Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher (England) and Rory Sabbatini and Richard Sterne (South Africa) among those committed. Nick Watney has agreed to play for the United States, although he hasnt announced his partner.
 

 
STAT OF THE WEEK: Of the top 10 players in career PGA Tour earnings, Kenny Perry is the only one without a major.
 

 
FINAL WORD: I dont know how long the FedEx Cup is going to go on for. If its a thing thats going to be around forever, then its probably one of the biggest successes of my career. ' Vijay Singh, who won the FedEx Cup last year.
 
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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


    Masters victory


    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


    Man of the people


    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


    Departure from TaylorMade


    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


    Victory at Valderrama


    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.