Pardon Me But I Was Wondering Where You Got Your Information

By George WhiteJuly 23, 2001, 4:00 pm
Just a few thoughts on things overheard while watching the telecast of the British Open:
 
David Duval finally quieted all those critics who called him the best player never to win a major.
 
Critics? What critics? Didnt they call him the BEST player never to win a major?
 
How many professionals are there playing golf today ' perhaps 400 who are candidates for the title? And how many major winners are there ' perhaps 40? Excuse me, but what is so bad about being the best out of those other 360?

What they probably should write to keep fragile ears from mistaking them is, Players who are most likely to break through to a major. But as it is, some pompous sort is always making it out to be some kind of negative label. Isnt it much better than, Worst player never to have won a major?
 
Boy, this Colin Montgomery sure can play links golf. But he should be a master at it ' after all, he was raised on links at Royal Troon in Scotland.
 
Pardon?
 
Colin Montgomerie was raised in Scotland exactly three years of his life. That was from the time of his birth to three years of age, when the family moved to Leeds, England, a considerable distance from the coast where links courses are found. He attended a boarding school in Yorkshire. His father was an executive for a biscuit company.
 
When father James retired, he became the secretary of Royal Troon. But Colin had left the family by then for college in the United States. Just because you were born in Scotland and raised in northern England doesnt mean you are proficient in links golf.
 
What a brave shot that was! He had to go between two bunkers and avoid the heather to get it on the green!
 
The man speaking forgot the meaning of the word brave. I know what he means ' that it was adroitly played and the golfer had to avoid a hazard to get the ball where he wanted it. But please dont use the word brave. That meaning is entirely different ' something akin to taking the shot while afraid of being bludgeoned if it didnt pan out.
 
The guys over here, after all, have a distinct advantage when it comes to links golf. After all, it is what most of them have become accustomed to playing all their lives.
 
How many Americans have won the British Open that past 30 years? Twelve. The Yanks have won it a total of 16 times in those 30. How many British have won? Three.
 
Nick Faldo, born and raised in a decidedly non-links area near London, won three times. Sandy Lyle, who played a little links golf while growing up near Shrewsbury ' not near the coast, incidentally ' won once. Paul Lawrie, who was raised and still lives near Aberdeen, Scotland, is the only man who played links golf with regularity.
 
The British Open the past 30 years has been won by Australians, Spanish, Zimbabweans, and Americans, but just one person who truly knew what links golf was all about. And Lawrie won at Carnoustie, where the waist-high rough beside the extremely narrow fairways was most un-linkslike.
 
The European Tour doesnt play links courses on its schedule ' big money has lured the tournaments to parkland courses like the K Club in Ireland, Slaley Hall, Wentworth and Woburn in England, Celtic Manor in Wales and Loch Lomond in Scotland. Search the roster and you will find nary a links ' not St. Andrews nor Lytham or Sandwich or Troon.
 
Playing a links course has become a once-a-year thing for EVERYONE ' and thats at the British Open. The European Tour does have an advantage in that those players are already accustomed to the sleeping schedule, and the grasses on the greens. But the advantage in playing the links courses? Forget it.
 
These fans are the most knowledgeable of those at any major.
 
This one might be foremost among my pet peeves. British Open fans are among the most reserved, perhaps. Perhaps they look more the part more than any other fans ' any person named Nigel who smokes a curved pipe and wears a funny hat just looks like he must be a golf fan.
 
But how do you get only golf fans when its possible to go up to the gates, buy a ticket and walk right in? Augusta has a waiting list for tickets which has been holding since the 70s. The U.S. Open and the PGA both sell week-long badges which are sold out many weeks prior to the tournament. At the British Open, you can hike on over to the course on a whim and saunter in.
 
How does one ascertain which are the most knowledgeable golf fans? Ive seen some very knowledgeable people at the British Open, but I also have seen many who just wanted to check out all the ruckus. This stuff about which tournament has the most knowledgeable fans is utter nonsense.
 
Just a few thoughts.
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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

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

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

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.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

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.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

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.