Micheel Remains Grounded a Year Later

By George WhiteJuly 13, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 PGA ChampionshipOn the 72nd and final hole, suddenly there it was. A 7-iron from 175 yards, slightly into the wind. The final round of the 2003 PGA Championship. Shaun Micheel absolutely having to hit a good shot to quell pesky Chad Campbell.
Micheel put a good swing on it, and it arched perfectly through the blue sky, rolling to a stop just two inches away from the cup. The unthinkable had finally become thinkable ' Micheel had won a major, the PGA Championship.
It was really the first time that I could actually take a deep breath and only think about what my future might mean and how I can improve and become a consistent player on the Tour, said Micheel.
Micheel and perhaps the best field in golf will be there again when the PGA Championship is played Aug. 12-15. Its played this year at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisc. But it will have to go some to beat what happened at Oak Hill.
I think it was just my time, he says. Everything was lined up and the putter was hot and that's ultimately what carried me through.
Micheel really hasnt had much time to savor his victory. He had his first child, a son, born last November, and he has spent much of this year being a new father. As a result he hasnt been overly successful professionally, but he has learned personally what a joy life is when you become a parent.
Being home with my family has probably been one of the most important things, said Micheel.
Careers change on the basis of majors won, and Micheel doesnt think he is an exception. The PGA was a landmark moment in his 35-year-old life.
I think it's every player's dream to win a golf tournament, said Micheel. Obviously everyone rates their careers differently, some on major championships and players like myself, I am happy to contend each and every week and try to improve that way.
I think professionally for me it really changed my career because it changed my life - it gave me an opportunity to not have to send in my Q-School application like I have been doing over the last four, five years. This is my seventh year on the tour; I have been exempt now for five straight years.
Micheel has had a journeymans career. Hes banged around on the mini-tours and Nationwide Tour as well as the PGA Tour. Little doubt that when he finally won the big one, then, he hardly knew what was expected.
I think we are our own worst critics at times, he began. Undoubtedly when I won I felt a little bit pressure over the next few months that I needed to try and showcase my talent or to try to compete each and every single week, and it's difficult to do. There's very few of us that are able to do that.
Hopefully one day I will be able to kind of figure that all out and be able to be on the leaderboard every single week, but until then it's still a learning experience for me.
But he cant deny that he learned a lifes worth of experience that Sunday in August. Even now he learns when he views it again.
When I went back and watched that video of the final round, I walked the same pace, he says.
When I refer to my mental game, I refer to just trusting myself. I don't have a mental coach, I don't work with a sports psychologist, I just try to maintain the same routine, the same speed, the same thoughts and just really not get too emotional about anything that's going on out there. Comfort with your surroundings certainly helps that, and I think that I've achieved that part.
And, hes become Shaun Micheel, golfer, as well as Shaun Micheel, average joe.
I'm certainly comfortable out here now, Micheel says. The last couple of years I've really learned how to play, how to handle poor shots, how to handle crowds per se. I haven't really had to deal with too much media up until a couple weeks ago.
I was still just another top-125 player, so things have changed a little bit in that respect. I'm pretty happy really with the way my game has progressed over the last few years. I think my mental game has certainly benefited from just being out here, and I've finally gotten over the hump of handling all the stuff that goes on outside the ropes.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - PGA Championship
  • Glorious Last Shot - Micheel Wins the PGA
  • Getty Images

    Singh's lawsuit stalls as judge denies motion

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Vijay Singh’s attempts to speed up the proceedings in his ongoing lawsuit against the PGA Tour have been stalled, again.

    Singh – who filed the lawsuit in New York Supreme Court in May 2013 claiming the Tour recklessly administered its anti-doping program when he was suspended, a suspension that was later rescinded – sought to have the circuit sanctioned for what his attorneys argued was a frivolous motion, but judge Eileen Bransten denied the motion earlier this month.

    “While the court is of the position it correctly denied the Tour’s motion to argue, the court does not agree that the motion was filed in bad faith nor that it represents a ‘persistent pattern of repetitive or meritless motions,’” Bransten said.

    It also doesn’t appear likely the case will go to trial any time soon, with Bransten declining Singh’s request for a pretrial conference until a pair of appeals that have been sent to the court’s appellate division have been decided.

    “What really should be done is settle this case,” Bransten said during the hearing, before adding that it is, “unlikely a trail will commence prior to 2019.”

    The Tour’s longstanding policy is not to comment on ongoing litigation, but earlier this month commissioner Jay Monahan was asked about the lawsuit.

    “I'll just say that we're going through the process,” Monahan said. “Once you get into a legal process, and you've been into it as long as we have been into it, I think it's fair to assume that we're going to run it until the end.”

    Getty Images

    Videos and images from Tiger's Tuesday at Torrey

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 23, 2018, 7:45 pm

    Tiger Woods played a nine-hole practice round Tuesday at Torrey Pines South, site of this week's Farmers Insurance Open. Woods is making his first PGA Tour start since missing the cut in this event last year. Here's a look at some images and videos of Tiger, via social media:

    Getty Images

    Power Rankings: 2018 Farmers Insurance Open

    By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:59 pm

    The PGA Tour remains in California this week for the Farmers Insurance Open. A field of 156 players will tackle the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines, with weekend play exclusively on the South Course.

    Be sure to join the all-new Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge - including a new One & Done game offering - to compete for prizes and form your own leagues, and log on to www.playfantasygolf.com to submit your picks for this week's event.

    Jon Rahm won this event last year by three shots over Charles Howell III and C.T. Pan. Here are 10 names to watch in La Jolla:

    1. Jon Rahm: No need to overthink it at the top. Rahm enters as a defending champ for the first time, fresh off a playoff win at the CareerBuilder Challenge that itself was preceded by a runner-up showing at Kapalua. Rahm is perhaps the hottest player in the field, and with a chance to become world No. 1 should be set for another big week.

    2. Jason Day: The Aussie has missed the cut here the last two years, and he hasn't played competitively since November. But he ended a disappointing 2017 on a slight uptick, and his Torrey Pines record includes three straight top-10s from 2013-15 that ended with his victory three years ago.

    3. Justin Rose: Rose ended last year on a tear, with three victories over his final six starts including two in a row in Turkey and China. The former U.S. Open winner has the patience to deal with a brutal layout like the South Course, as evidenced by his fourth-place showing at this event a year ago.

    4. Rickie Fowler: This tournament has become somewhat feast-or-famine for Fowler, who is making his ninth straight start at Torrey Pines. The first four in that run all netted top-20 finishes, including two top-10s, while the last four have led to three missed cuts and a T-61. After a win in the Bahamas and T-4 at Kapalua, it's likely his mini-slump comes to an end.

    5. Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker has become somewhat of a course specialist at Torrey Pines in recent years, with six top-10 finishes over the last eight years including wins in both 2012 and 2016. While he missed much of the second half of 2017 recovering from injury and missed the cut last week, Snedeker is always a threat to contend at this particular event.

    6. Hideki Matsuyama: Matsuyama struggled to find his footing after a near-miss at the PGA Championship, but he appears to be returning to form. The Japanese phenom finished T-4 at Kapalua and has put up solid results in two of his four prior trips to San Diego, including a T-16 finish in his 2014 tournament debut. Matsuyama deserves a look at any event that puts a strong emphasis on ball-striking.

    7. Tony Finau: Finau has the length to handle the difficult demands of the South Course, and his results have gotten progressively better each time around: T-24 in 2015, T-18 in 2016 and T-4 last year. Finau is coming off the best season of his career, one that included a trip to the Tour Championship, and he put together four solid rounds at the Sony Open earlier this month.

    8. Charles Howell III: Howell is no stranger to West Coast golf, and his record at this event since 2013 includes three top-10 finishes highlighted by last year's runner-up showing. Howell chased a T-32 finish in Hawaii with a T-20 finish last week in Palm Springs, his fourth top-20 finish this season.

    9. Marc Leishman: Leishman was twice a runner-up at this event, first in 2010 and again in 2014, and he finished T-20 last year. The Aussie is coming off a season that included two wins, and he has amassed five top-10s in his last eight worldwide starts dating back to the Dell Technologies Championship in September.

    10. Gary Woodland: Woodland played in the final group at this event in 2014 before tying for 10th, and he was one shot off the lead entering the final round in 2016 before Mother Nature blew the entire field sideways. Still, the veteran has three top-20s in his last four trips to San Diego and finished T-7 two weeks ago in Honolulu.

    Getty Images

    Davis on distance: Not 'necessarily good for the game'

    By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:28 pm

    It's a new year, but USGA executive Mike Davis hasn't changed his views on the growing debate over distance.

    Speaking with Matt Adams on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, Davis didn't mince words regarding his perception that increased distance has had a negative impact on the game of golf, and he reiterated that it's a topic that the USGA and R&A plan to jointly address.

    "The issue is complex. It's important, and it's one that we need to, and we will, face straight on," Davis said. "I think on the topic of distance, we've been steadfast to say that we do not think increased distance is necessarily good for the game."

    Davis' comments echoed his thoughts in November, when he stated that the impact of increased distance has been "horrible" for the game. Those comments drew a strong rebuke from Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein, who claimed there was "no evidence" to support Davis' argument.

    That argument, again reiterated Tuesday, centers on the rising costs associated with both acquiring and maintaining increased footprints for courses. Davis claimed that 1 in 4 courses in the U.S. is currently "not making money," and noted that while U.S. Open venues were 6,800-6,900 yards at the start of his USGA tenure, the norm is now closer to 7,400-7,500 yards.

    "You ask yourself, 'What has this done for the game? How has that made the game better?'" Davis said. "I think if we look at it, and as we look to the future, we're asking ourselves, saying, 'We want the game of golf to be fun.' We want it to continue to be challenging and really let your skills dictate what scores you should shoot versus necessarily the equipment.

    "But at the same time, we know there are pressures on golf courses. We know those pressures are going to become more acute."