Padraigs Party at Tigers Only Temporary
Unofficially, it was monumental to the Irishman. What has to get your attention is the strength of the field ' 16 of the top players in the world. The fact that Harrington was a long way from his home, whipping up on players who were near their home bases. And the fact that he beat Tiger Woods in Tigers own tournament. It certainly was more telling than the BMW Asian Open, the first tournament on the 2003 European Tour which Harrington won last month.
He isnt yet Tiger ' is anyone? But he certainly is No. 2 in the world right now, in December of 2002. Say what you want about Phil Mickelson or Ernie Els, but this is the hottest player on the planet at the moment. Yes, I suppose that includes even Tiger. What he did was most impressive ' hes been traveling half a world away from Dublin and hes still doing it, playing on unfamiliar grasses, and going up against guys ' good guys - who play in this environment every day.
Tiger was there, Mickelson was there, so was Jim Furyk and Vijay Singh and Colin Montgomerie and Davis Love. Chris DiMarco teed it up, so did Retief Goosen, David Toms, Nick Price and Bernhard Langer. This guy played them all, one by one, and none of this two-man team stuff. And, after four days and 72 holes, he simply beat them.
Silly season? Yes. But for one week at least, this was the best of the 'sillies.'
It is only silly when you are at the end of the field, said Harrington. He admitted that there isnt a lot of pressure down at the bottom, where you are guaranteed a lot of money regardless of where you finish.
Up around the top, though, there is a lot of pressure. For one, you know that, sooner or later, youre going to have to face a Tiger run. And for another, the money at that end is enough to make you choke if you are at all inclined toward that end.
It is not silly for me or, I think, anybody who is in contention, Harrington said. A million dollars, you certainly are very aware of what you are playing for. It does make it a little bit interesting. Winning a million dollars is winning the lottery in Ireland. It is a lot of money at home.
The most money he played for in Europe last summer was for about $550,000, excepting the British Open, which was in the ballpark of a million dollars. Sundays win at Tigers tournament in California was for $1 million, which is $500,000 more than was Woods got for second place.
The United States, for sure, holds a special allure. And it isnt solely for the money, though there isnt any doubt he could fatten up more quickly over here.
I do like playing in the States particularly, Padraig said. I like the speed of the greens. They are a bit quicker than they are in Europe. I do enjoy coming over here.
American pros can rest a little easier, though. Hes still going to play the majority of his golf in Europe. In the climate of world golf nowadays, you dont have to concentrate just on America. You can play eight or nine times in America, what with the three majors in the States, three World Golf Championships, the Tournament Players Championship and a couple of special invitations. Why limit yourself to playing fulltime in this country?
If I came over here and played substantially more tournaments, I wouldnt have time to play everywhere else, and there is so much good golf to be played around the world, he said by way of explanation. So, ultimately, I would love to play more here, but it is very hard to fit in.
Langer says the times are changing in the golf world, so much so that it is possible for a talented player such as Harrington to play the world over and still be able to make his home in Dublin.
When I was his age, I had to come here and play (to challenge the best in the world), said the German, who now makes his home in South Florida. He does not necessarily have to do that. He will play against the best players seven or 10 times per year. If that is his goal, then that is fine.
Harrington can play Woods 11 of 12 times a year, counting the four majors, three WGC events, a couple of other times in the U.S. on sponsor invites, and a couple of times in Europe. That certainly should give an accurate barometer of the 31-year-old Irishmans skills.
He is already gone from home about half the year, and he thinks that is plenty, thank you.
I love home and that is a big problem, said Padraig. I could come here and play comfortably.
You have heard before from Europeans, Oh, the culture is so different over in the States. I actually enjoy coming to the States. I really like it and have been welcomed by the players. I have had very good experiences here.
I could play here and enjoy it, but the problem is, I like playing around the world. I like experiencing different cultures and different things. It is good to go play in Asia, the golf courses are fantastic in Australia. (But) if I committed to here, it would limit everything else.
So Harrington will continue to do it his way. No sense in limiting yourself when you can dip into purses from all over the globe. A little here, a little there or a lot here, a lot there. A million dollars or a million pounds, this man is going to make an awfully lot of jack before he is finished.
Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball
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.’’
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
Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.
The major championships I'm certainly proud of, but Barbara, the kids and my grandkids are the best things to ever happen to me. From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving! pic.twitter.com/wkma1Q9LlK— Jack Nicklaus (@jacknicklaus) November 23, 2017
GC Tiger Tracker:
Mixing Thanksgiving and waiting for a week from today. pic.twitter.com/u9m9WxQNYx— GC Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) November 23, 2017
Happy thanksgiving to everyone! Hope you have a wonderful day with family and friends. #Thankful— Steve Stricker (@stevestricker) November 23, 2017
Was reading about Thanksgiving. Originally they ate waterfowl, venison, ham, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin, and squash. Seems a bit tastier than Turkey!— Frank Nobilo (@FrankNobiloGC) November 23, 2017
Literally food for thought.
Tyrone Van Aswegen:
Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017
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.
Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan
Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.
Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.
Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:
“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”
Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.
“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”
Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.
“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”
Best Greg story: coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes “Yep, caddied for her, her, her and her” Legend— Matthew Galloway (@matthewgalloway) November 23, 2017
In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.
“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”
Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.
“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”
The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time Tour caddie, Greg Sheridan. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP pic.twitter.com/QKy0YdK249— LPGA (@LPGA) November 22, 2017
Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.
“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.
Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:
Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:
Sad to hear the passning of Greg Sheridan. This photo brings back many memories. Always respected his caddy skills and devotion to womens golf. @natalie_gulbis @LPGA #RIPGreg pic.twitter.com/lHU3Ixz9Vk— Annika Sorenstam (@ANNIKA59) November 23, 2017
LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:
Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:
Professional caddies are often overlooked and underrated. But they're just as often the unsung MVP of a player's success. We just lost a great one. RIP Greg Sheridan. He was the 1st to welcome me to my LPGA assignment years ago. He will be missed eternally.— Jerry Foltz (@JerryFoltzGC) November 22, 2017
Rest with the Angels now, Greg Sheridan. ❤️— Christina Kim (@TheChristinaKim) November 22, 2017
LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:
RIP Greg Sheridan. One of the most successful and great caddies of World Golf, period.— Shaun Clews (@shaunclews1973) November 22, 2017
LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:
Sad to here that long time tour caddy Greg Sheridan has passed away! RIP Greg, you will be missed. — Jonny Scott (@stixy76) November 22, 2017
LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:
The world is a sadder place today without our buddy Greg Sheridan, a caddy and a friend for lifetimes...Godspeed buddy— Kevin Casas (@TheKevinCasas) November 23, 2017
LPGA pro Jennie Lee:
So sad to hear the news of long time LPGA caddie Greg Sheridan. I️ remember sitting next to him on the plane from Walmart to the US Open one year and he gave me the best words of wisdom on player/caddie chemistry. He will be missed greatly. Thinking of you @natalie_gulbis ❤️— Jennie Lee (@JennieLeeGolf) November 23, 2017