Rucker singing for PGA Tour charity

By Doug FergusonFebruary 10, 2011, 5:06 am

2007 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmPEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Darius Rucker has been involved with golf and charity for years, starting with his former band, Hootie and the Blowfish, staging a tournament with several PGA Tour players the Monday after the Masters.

So when the Tour asked him to get involved with its charity campaign, he didn’t hesitate.

In an agreement with record company Capitol Nashville, Rucker has produced a song named after the tour’s campaign – “Together, Anything’s Possible” – which can be downloaded from iTunes with all proceeds going to PGA Tour Charities.

“Golf is my thing. It’s the only real hobby I have,” Rucker said Wednesday at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, where he was invited to play in the celebrity shootout. “When the PGA Tour called and asked me to do a song, that was a no-brainer for me. I was really honored that they would ask me to do it.

“I told them I would write as many songs as they needed until they got happy.”

How many songs did he end up writing?

“One,” he said with a laugh.

He said the Tour asked him to incorporate the slogan into the song, and Rucker decided to make it the title.

“I wanted to write a song that says what it’s about,” he said. “It’s about helping people. And I’m one of those cheesy, corny guys. I believe that if we get together as people, we can do anything.”

As for his golf?

Rucker says he plays off a 12 handicap, but it’s not from a lack of trying. He mostly plays at home in South Carolina, with Bull’s Bay his primary course. His best score was an even-par 72, which came with some clutch play. He was 1 under for his round until taking a double bogey on the 17th hole, only to make a long putt for birdie on the 18th.

His best memory of Pebble Beach is playing the 18th, no matter what score he makes.

“That hole is just magic for me,” he said. “I always say how much I love South Carolina and golfing in South Carolina. We got holes on the ocean, but nothing like that.”

HARRINGTON AND WEATHER: Padraig Harrington grew up in enough cold, windy conditions in Ireland that it shaped him as a player. He is comfortable taking more club for shorter shots, and is able to feel when weather requires various shots.

That helped him win his first major at the Carnoustie in the 2007 British Open.

Going out to No. 1 for the four-hole playoff, clouds began to gather and Harrington could feel the temperature drop. From 166 yards in the fairway, he opted for one more club and hit a 7-iron into 6 feet for birdie. Sergio Garcia came up well short and into a bunker, then failed to save par to fall two shots behind. The Spaniard never caught up.

“I took extra club and I was committed to it,” Harrington said. “I could see where someone might say, ‘You might need one extra club.’ But I knew it.”
This is one of the PGA Tour events where the players aren’t always the biggest stars.

And it’s not just the antics of Bill Murray, George Lopez or Ray Romano, or football players such as Drew Brees and Tony Romo, all of whom will be featured prominently on the Saturday telecast. That’s a tradition at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Not to be ignored is the heavyweights from the financial world.

Paul Goydos was paired one year with the CEO of Hertz, and soon thereafter had a hat and bag deal with the car rental company. Phil Mickelson is playing with Tim Flynn, the chairman of KPMG, one of his sponsors.

“I don’t think anybody teeing off at the AT&T Pro-Am this week as an amateur has been dragged in off the street,” said Padraig Harrington, who is playing with Irish businessman J.P. McManus. “There are a lot of people who seriously achieved in their own field. A lot of times, it’s not the professional players who are the ones to be listened to. It’s the amateur players that are the ones to be listened to. There a lot of things to be gleaned in a week like this.”

Paul Goydos recalls his rookie year getting paired with Donald Trump. He asked Paul Spengler, now the executive vice president at Pebble Beach Co., why an unheralded rookie would be partners with someone like Trump.

“I said, ‘He should’ve been with Payne Stewart or something,”’ Goydos said. “He said, ‘If we pair him with Payne Stewart, it’s Payne Stewart’s group. If we pair him with you, it’s Donald Trump’s group.”’

And it was the Donald’s show. Trump made a hole-in-one on the 12th hole at Spyglass.
Two weeks into his new job as Ryder Cup captain, Davis Love III is not looking at any players with an eye toward the 2012 matches at Medinah. He’s still thinking only about his own game.

That doesn’t mean the Ryder Cup is forgotten by everyone.

“Trust me, the PGA of America is thinking about it,” Love said. “They think about it every day.”

Love said he already has received two e-mails related to the Ryder Cup. His wife, Robin, already has made decisions related to the Ryder Cup hotel and the clubhouse at Medinah.

Love said he has a meeting with the PGA of America to determine a timeline for the big decisions, but for now, it’s about golf. The only team he is interested in this year is the Presidents Cup team in Australia. Even so, it’s already been an eye-opener.

“Everybody says, ‘Why do they pick the captain so soon? Because there’s a lot to get done,” Love said. “Sure, 20 years ago you could do it in six months. But now it’s a big job.”

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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.

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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.

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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