Old Man Irwin Leads Young Mans Open

By George WhiteJune 14, 2001, 4:00 pm
TULSA, OKLA. - The young guys all came to the U.S. Open brandishing their various tour cards ' U.S., European, Japanese, etc. Hale Irwin came brandishing something he thinks is just as important ' his AARP card.

Irwin shot a 3-under-par 67 in the first round at Southern Hills before play was suspended late Thursday. He's tied with the European Tours Retief Goosen, who was 3-under through just seven holes when the downpours began.
Irwin, playing his round in the morning, finished with a magnificent 2-iron to the 18th green that rolled to inside of three feet. The 56-year-old sank the birdie putt, then gave a little warning to his younger rivals. Watch out for the old folks, sonny.

Its not how far you hit the ball, but how do you control what you have and manage what you have? Irwin said.
And Im not looking at the statistics and saying, Yes, Im leading in driving. Its more important to me to ask, What did you shoot? And by doing that, I think it keeps things in perspective. Rather than getting hung up on all the hype and glitter, lets just get out there and play golf.
Defending champion Tiger Woods suffered a double bogey on No. 9 to drop his score to 3-over-par on the difficult Southern Hills course. He faces a six-footer for par on the 10th when play resumes at 7 a.m. Central time. Japans Toshimitsu Izawa is one off the pace at 2-under after four holes, standing alone in third place.
Loren Roberts, a youngster in comparison at almost 46, played beside Irwin and carded a 1-under 69. Irwin is great, he said, because he never puts himself in spots that he cant get out of.
Hes a control player, and this course lends itself to someone who keeps the ball in control, said Roberts. He putted extremely well today. I would say thats what youve got to do. But he had some great iron shots.
Irwin, after great years on the Senior Tour in 1997, 98 and 99, has tailed off somewhat the last couple of years. But he always has been an effective player in the Open, making the cut and finishing in a tie for 27th last year. He made the field this year by virtue of his U.S. Senior Open win last year.
He began by making bogey on the first two holes. But he birdied No. 3 with a 20-foot putt after hitting the approach shot out of the first cut of the rough. He then got back to even par after hitting a punch 7-iron to within two feet, and he was off and running.
Age, said Irwin, doesnt mean a whole lot in golf. I think we try to make it something thats bigger than we will let it be, he said. And I guess what Im saying is, if you keep your thoughts in a positive manner, if you dont accept the words, I cant do it, then you certainly can extend your career.
Just because you turn 40 or 45 or 50, thats a number. If youve taken care of yourself, you still have your skills, your nerves havent gone, you still can do this ' if you work at it. But it does not come without some sacrifice. It does not come without some effort. Its just not an automatic, like it might have been when youre 20 years old.
Roberts said the conditions Thursday definitely favored players who can control the flight of the ball.
Obviously, youve got to put the ball in the fairway here, he said. I think this is a golf course that is fair for everybody in the field. You can be a shorter control player or a longer player, and still be able to play this course.
The worlds No. 2 player, Phil Mickelson, was one of those who finished in the morning. He shot even-par 70 and said he did nothing that stood out.
Theres nothing in particular that I did exceptionally today, he said. Ive played well and Ive been playing well. I kept the ball in play and havent made too many mistakes. Ive been able to feel very comfortable on the greens. Ive been putting well.
Second-round play will not finish for everyone until Saturday morning. The cut will be made and then the third round will resume. Good weather is forecasted Friday and for the remainder of the week, with the championship back on schedule Saturday afternoon.
Full-field scores from the 101st U.S. Open
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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

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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

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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)