A Decision And a Career
Davis and Dru are in Orlando this weekend playing together in a golf tournament ' the MBNA WorldPoints Father/Son Challenge. Dru became 12 years old on Friday, the age limit for the tournament. It will be his first chance to experience golf on a big-time scale, albeit only in a glorified exhibition.
Davis conceded that he, like any father, has talked to Dru a little bit about Davis' chosen career and some of the advantages and disadvantages of this life. But such discussions have been superfluous, very general. After all, Dru is still trying to figure out how to get into AJGA (American Junior Golf Assn.) tournaments now, not considering what course he wants his life to take when he is 25.
But Dru already has expressed an interest in someday becoming a professional golfer. Davis has downplayed talk of an eventual career for Dru ' after all, hes still a kid, and trying to keep him balanced between school and other activities and golf ' were more worried about trying to keep him away from Nintendo than getting him out on the course.
Of course. But Davis concedes that Dru is quickly coming to an age when some decisions should be made. Loves trainer, Randy Myers, has pointed out that Morgan Pressel - the 17-year-old who has dominated the amateur ranks and is likely to get through Q-school - started working out when she was 12. So, Davis says, its really not too early to get them pointed in the right direction.
And the right direction is whether to concentrate on golf, or to concentrate on some other activity. Love says it makes not the slightest difference to him.
Hes about to the point where he has to decide, you know, I want high school golf to be my goal, and then college golf, and then amateur golf, PGA Tour, says Davis. That kind of stuff.
Hes getting close to that. My dad made me make kind of a how hard are you going to work decision when I was 12 or 13.
A lot of youngsters are already knee-deep into golf by the time they are 12. Greg Norman didnt get involved in golf until he was at the rather advanced age of 16, but Davis realizes that he was a real anomaly. If Dru has hopes of one day being a professional, now is the time to say so. If he only wants go play golf as a hobby ' and Davis is perfectly OK with that, he says ' then that should be understood, also.
Love looks back to when he was about this age, 12, and his late father ' who was a professional golf instructor ' had similar questions for his son. Do what you really want to do, but if you decide you want to do this as a career, if you want to explore what this is all about, then its about time for us to get started working toward that end.
I dont know if hes quite as ready for it as I was, said Davis. But no, I certainly wouldnt discourage it (the hopes of a PGA Tour career). Its strictly whatever he wants to do with his life.
Loves daughter Lexie, who is 18 now, has made up her mind about what activity she wants to pursue. She decided long ago she wanted to pursue horsemanship, and that was never something we planned on doing, Davis said. But thats what she loved, and thats what she found out she was good at ... she loves it.
The life of, say, a professional accountant doesnt begin until college is finished, perhaps 22 or 23. Unfortunately for Davis and numerous other parents, the life of a professional golfer begins much younger. By the time a child has reached 13, 14 at the oldest, he or she has to decide.
Dru will have to decide, too, whether he really wants this lifestyle. If he decides he wants to pursue some other dream, Davis is totally OK with that. Davis and Dru are at the Father-Son golf tournament, but the Father-Son relationship is much more important to dad than forcing a career upon son.
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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm
Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:
Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff
Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.
While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.
Watching Andrew Landry and Jon Rahm in playoff. Walking off tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me ? Talking at all. ?— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.
0 words— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The issue is I don’t want to make you a bit relaxed or comfortable. High pressure, good.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you watch the end of the NFL games yesterday ? Enough said.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
I didn’t say you couldn’t be friends and competitive. But in a playoff, 1 tiny mistake and you lose, and that devastated me. Friends before and after, competitors during play.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you win ? It’s all about surviving the competition to test yourself.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.
Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over
The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.
As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.
Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.
And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.
And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.
McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.
The Ryder Cup topped his list.
Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.
When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.
“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”
McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.
Or similar assertions from TV analysts.
“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”
European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.
And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.
The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.
Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.
And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.
Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.
The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.
The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.
More bulletin board material, too.
Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.
Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions
Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.
The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.
It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.
The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.
“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”
Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.