Course profile The Ritz-Carton Golf Club at Dove Mountain - COPIED - COPIED

By Erik PetersonFebruary 24, 2009, 5:00 pm
tiger at ritz
 
When the 64 best golfers in the world tee it up at this weeks WGC Accenture Match Play Championship outside Tucson, Ariz. all eyes will be on Tiger Woods and his surgically repaired knee. Flying below the radar, however, is the golf course itself. But, at 7,800 yards it's anything but timid.
 
After two years at the Gallery at Dove Mountain, the event has moved next door to the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club. Opened in January 2009, it was designed by Jack Nicklaus specifically for this event. I caught up with executive tournament director Wade Dunagan, who offered exclusive insight on how this course sets up for Tiger and the rest of the field.
 
GolfChannel.com: How are the course conditions?
Wade Dunagan: The course is in prime competition condition. The temperature is supposed to be in the mid-80s which is just typical winter weather here in Arizona (laughs).
 
GC.com: We know the course is long. Will it play the full 7,800 yards?
WD: From the middle of the tee boxes the course is 7,500 yards. Tip to tip its 7,800. It will be somewhere between those two numbers. The heat is going to dry out the fairways, though, and players will get some roll.
 
GC.com: What about the elevation? How much of a factor does it play?
WD: Were at 2,800 feet. It makes the course play about 5% shorter than it would at sea level.
 
GC.com: How fast are the greens?
WD: Theyre going to be rolling 10.5 to 11 [on the stimp meter].
 
GC.com: Why is this course good for match play?
WD: Every hole is strong. Plus, the course was designed, specifically, to host this event. Everything from its ability to host big galleries to the risk-reward holes... It was all designed with match play in mind.
 
GC.com: What about the par 5s?
WD: Three par 5s are reachable. Id consider the 635-yard 11th to be a three-shotter, but now that I've said that Im sure someone will prove me wrong.
 
GC.com: What are the key holes?
WD: No. 5 is a long, well-designed par-4 that will test if players are into the rhythm of their rounds yet. For the other four I think Nos. 13-16 are pivotal holes because of their location in the match, but also from a design standpoint. They are going to be really terrific.
 
GC.com: Which hole do you see having the most drama?
WD: 15. It's a drivable par-4 which is interesting in and of itself. Add to it its location in the match, and it has even more possibility for drama. The average match goes 16.1 holes. You'll see matches literally won and lost on this hole.
 
GC.com: The course has large greens. Whats protecting them?
WD: Well, the rough around the greens is very difficult. Youre not going to see a lot of chipping; this rye grass is just too sticky. Youll probably see more explosion shots than anything.
 
GC.com: Do you think well we see a lot of birdies?
WD: The course is difficult enough that par will be a good score on most holes. Controlling second shots into these greens will be critical in setting up birdie putts. If you miss it on the wrong level youll have a difficult two putt. They are the best players in the world though, arent they?

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.