Elk Doesnt Sneeze at 95 PGA

By George WhiteAugust 13, 2003, 4:00 pm
2003 PGA ChampionshipIf not for the allergies oh, how those allergies have short-circuited what at times has looked like a great career.
 
Steve Elkington is allergic to grass. That would be OK if your sport of choice were, say, basketball or auto racing. Unfortunately, its golf, and unless you are going to spend a whole lot of time in the bunkers, you are going to have to live with grass.
 
Elkington never has learned how to live comfortably with it. But hes learned to co-exist through medication, never more successfully than at the PGA Championship in 1995.
 
That was the year that he won the tournament, outlasting Brit Colin Montgomerie in a playoff. A 20-foot putt was the dagger, applied by Elkington just minutes after Monty had faced a putt of near-identical length in the same area of the same green. That one was in regulation and meant Elkington would be required to go into a playoff to get the win.
 
In 95 when I won the PGA, Id won early in the year at the Tournament of Champions, said Elkington, and I finished about third (actually tied for fifth) in the Masters, and I had a good chance to win the British.
 
And I was full of confidence. Id won, and Id been close. And I strolled into the PGA knowing the course real well. And the confidence level was high. Its hard to play with a lot of confidence in the majors, but I was able to do it because I had a good record up to that point.
 
With the simplest of swings and a near-magical putting stroke, Elk should have been one of the worlds top-rated players most of his career. Alas, frequent allergic reactions and back problems made it comfortable to compete only part of the time.
 
But in 1995, Elkington was in that slot, that groove. At Riviera Country Club near Los Angeles, he excelled on the final day with a 64. Pair that with a couple of 68s and throw in a 67, and you have a champions score.
 
Except for one man ' Montgomerie.
 
Elkington had it won on the 72nd hole, having already finished, with only Monty still having an outside chance. Montgomerie was facing a lengthy putt, and Elkington was a very interested observer from his seat in front of a television set.
 
And ' Montgomerie made it!
 
His looked like about half a cup, and it crept in the side door, said Elkington. So when the two came back around to 18 on the first playoff hole, Elkington was ready.
 
As fate would have it, Elkingtons putt was in practically in the same position as Montgomeries had been. When I looked at the line, I could just see what I saw on TV 20 minutes ago with his putt, Elkington said. I almost visualized that thing running up the same line.
 
Give Elkington a line that he has already seen, and you know what is going to happen. Statistics show that during this PGA Championship, he tied for first in putting. And sure enough ' the ball rolled straight and true, right into the heart of the cup.
 
The thing I couldnt get out of my mind on the back nine was that if I win this tournament, Im going to go down in history, said Elkington. In the playoff, one of us is going to be in history ' and the other isnt. That is a neat feeling.
 
So, despite his many problems with allergies, Elkington had his major. The grass may at times force him inside, but it can never force him to give up his trophy.
 
Related Links:
  • 2003 PGA Championship Home
  • PGA Championship Leaderboard
  • More News from the 2003 PGA Championship
  • More Drive Through History
  • History of Golf Home Page
  • Getty Images

    The Social: G.O.A.T., after G.O.A.T., after G.O.A.T.

    By Jason CrookJanuary 23, 2018, 6:00 pm

    Tom Brady compares himself to Tiger Woods, who coincidentally is returning to the PGA Tour this week, Jordan Spieth hangs out with some decent company and kids these days ruffle some feathers with their friendships.

    All that and more in this week's edition of The Social.

    Well, it’s finally Farmers Insurance Open week and Woods has been spotted practicing for his official return to the PGA Tour on Thursday.

    Some thought this day might never come after a 2017 filled with mostly downs for the 14-time major champ.

    But as he has taught the golf world time and time again, you just can't count Tiger out.

    So even as Jon Rahm attempts to overtake Dustin Johnson for No. 1 in the world this week at Torrey Pines, all eyes will be on one of the greatest we've ever seen do it, even if that guy is ranked No. 647 in the world.

    Speaking of greatness …

    There’s not many who can just offhandedly compare themselves to Tiger, but if anyone gets a pass, it’s Tom Brady.

    The 40-year-old New England Patriots quarterback led his team back to the Super Bowl for the second straight year despite playing the AFC title game with a cut on his throwing hand.

    When asked about it after the Patriots come-from-behind victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady answered, “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that. It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament.”

    So there you have it. A 40-year-old Brady is winning AFC Championships with his C game. Good luck, Eagles; you’re going to need it.

    Also, if for some reason you wanted an update on Justin Thomas' life, it's still awesome:

    Yeah, that's last year's PGA Tour Player of the Year hanging with Cy Young winner Cory Kluber in a suite at the Patriots game and teasing us with a possible #SB2K18 cameo.

    Curtis Strange likes his competitive golf straight up, hold the friendliness.

    This, according to Curtis Strange.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ took to Twitter during the CareerBuilder Challenge to vent his frustration regarding the constant chit-chat and friendliness between Rahm and Andrew Landry:

    This, of course, makes sense in theory. But good luck watching golf – or really any sport – from here on out. Sure there will be a few old school guys who buck the trend here and there, but for the most part, it’s really hard to share a private jet/dinners/vacations/(insert awesome thing here) with someone, and then completely turn off the friendship coming down the stretch of a big tournament.

    Damn millennials. They ruin everything.

    By now you've all seen that poor Philadelphia Eagles fan who lost his battle with a subway station pillar (from multiple angles), so instead here is a video of a man attempting to stand on an egg. Bet you can't guess how that goes.

    Tony's gonna stand on an egg

    A post shared by theCHIVE (@thechive) on

    Seriously if you haven't seen the video of that Eagles fan, here's your last chance in this column. You'll be glad you did.

    Jordan Spieth, Michael Phelps and Bryce Harper walk on to a golf course … there’s no punchline, that actually happened last week in Las Vegas.

    Was the whole thing just a big advertisement for Spieth’s new Under Armour shoe? You bet.

    But that doesn’t make the optics of three of the biggest superstar athletes on the planet teeing it up for a round any less awesome.

    Off to the next. #Spieth2 #TEAMUA

    A post shared by Under Armour Golf (@uagolf) on

    The trio has three major wins, five All Star Game appearances and 28 Olympic medals between them, and there they were over the weekend just fake laughing for the camera and driving around individual golf carts with their own personalized logos on them.

    Just guys being dudes. Nothing better than that.

    Matt Kuchar. Still good at golf. Still overly polite. This according to European Tour pro Eddie Pepperell who had the privilege of hitting on the range next to Kuuuuuch in Abu Dhabi last week.

    That image is burned into your brain forever now, thanks Eddie. From now on when you think of Kuchar you're going to think of those Sketches ads and "oopsies."

    Which, I suppose is better than a, "Did you get that?"

    Blayne Barber's caddie, Cory Gilmer, collapsed and hit his head while at a restaurant at the Sony Open and has been mostly unconscious in the neurological intensive care unit ever since.

    The outpouring of love and support from the golf community has been overwhelming on social media, and a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with the mounting medical costs for Gilmer and his family.

    Check out the link below for more info or to donate to a worthy cause:

    Getty Images

    Top-ranked amateur wins LAAC, earns Masters invite

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 23, 2018, 5:38 pm

    Joaquin Niemann walked Augusta National Golf Club as a patron last year. He’ll be a competitor in 2018.

    Niemann, the top-ranked amateur in the world, shot 8-under 63 Tuesday at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Santiago, Chile, to win the Latin America Amateur Championship.

    And with the title, both redemption and an invitation to the Masters Tournament.


    Full-field scores from the Latin America Amateur Championship


    Niemann finished runner-up in last year’s LAAC to fellow Chilean Toto Gana. He followed Gana around Augusta grounds, watching as his best friend played two rounds before missing the cut.

    Niemann, who was going to turn professional had he not won this week, started the final round one back of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz. Niemann was sluggish from the start on Tuesday, but then drove the 313-yard, par-4 eighth and made the eagle putt. That sparked a run of five birdies over his next six holes.

    Niemann was bogey-free in the final round and finished five shots clear of Ortiz, at 11 under.

    Getty Images

    Judges Panel, Host Announced for Wilson Golf's "Driver vs. Driver 2," Premiering This Fall on Golf Channel

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsJanuary 23, 2018, 4:15 pm

    ‘Driver vs. Driver 2 Presented by Wilson Currently in Production; Sports Broadcaster Melanie Collins Returns to Host

    Morning Drive: Driver vs. Driver 2 Judges Announced

    Golf Channel and Wilson Golf announced today the panel of judges and host for the second season of Driver vs. Driver, the innovative television series that follows aspiring golf equipment designers as they compete for the opportunity to have their driver idea or concept transformed into the next great golf driver from Wilson. The show is currently in production and will premiere this fall.

    Joining judge Tim Clarke, President of Wilson Golf, are two newcomers to the series: 9-time National Hockey League (NHL) All-Star and current NHL on NBC hockey analyst Jeremy Roenick – an avid golfer with a single digit handicap and a self-described golf equipment junkie; and PGA Professional, golf coach, equipment reviewer and social media influencer Rick Shiels.

    “Golf is a big passion of mine, and personally I enjoy learning about new equipment and concepts,” said Roenick. “To be able to see this side of the business in how equipment is developed first-hand is fascinating. Being a part of the process in reviewing driver concepts and narrowing them down to an ultimate winning driver that will be sold across the country is a tremendous honor.” 

    “Jeremy, as an avid golfer, and Rick, as a coach, equipment reviewer and golf professional, bring incredible, real world insights and different perspectives to the show and this process,” said Clarke. “I’m excited to work alongside these two judges to push the boundaries of innovation and bring a next-generation driver to golfers around the world.”

    Sports broadcaster Melanie Collins returns as the host of Driver vs. Driver 2. Currently a sideline reporter for CBS Sports’ college football and basketball coverage, Collins hosted the inaugural season in 2016 and formerly co-hosted Golf Channel’s competition series, Big Break.

    Production for Driver vs. Driver 2 began in the fall of 2017 and will continue through the summer, including this week at the PGA Merchandise Show. The series is being produced by Golf Channel, whose portfolio of original productions include interview series Feherty hosted by Emmy-nominated sports personality David Feherty, high-quality instruction shows School of Golf, Golf Channel Academy and Playing Lessons and a slate of award-winning films.

    Getty Images

    Tiger Tracker: Farmers Insurance Open

    By Tiger TrackerJanuary 23, 2018, 4:00 pm

    Tiger Woods is competing in a full-field event for the first time in nearly a year. We're tracking him at this week's Farmers Insurance Open. (Note: Tweets read, in order, left to right)