Tough Times for Crenshaw

By George WhiteJune 26, 2003, 4:00 pm
TOLEDO, Ohio -- Ben Crenshaw won two Masters Tournaments and a total of 19 times on the regular tour, but he has found the play on the Champions Tour surprisingly rough for him.
 
Crenshaw is hampered somewhat because he is a late father who has three young daughters, the oldest 15 years of age, and he has said that he intends to do all the fatherly things, at the expense of practicing if need be. But more than that, he says its a little baffling to him that he has not been able to play better. His best finish this year is a tie for 20th and his scoring average is 73.46.
 
I need to start playing better, said Crenshaw. I want to try to be competitive as long as I can. If I dont soon start seeing some results, I may have to go about things in different ways.
 
I think people underestimate some of the guys out here. Most of the guys play really well and are sharp, playing mostly every week.
 
WINDS WREAK HAVOC
 
How difficult a day was it? You got a 20-mile-an-hour wind blowing, a 2-club wind blowing right-to-left ' more so than what people are thinking, said Fuzzy Zoeller.
 
Im sure you will see a lot of shots coming out of the rough ' the guys are misjudging the winds. Its difficult.
 
PASSIVE PLAY, POOR PERFORMANCE
 
Arnold Palmer finished double-bogey and bogey to shoot an 8-over 79. The 73-year-old legend was 3-over after 14 holes but tentative play at the end of his round was his ruin.
 
I hit one of my big tee shots (on his 17th) that I havent hit in a long time, he said. I was going to give it a shot at going up over the trees and try to get it on the front edge of the green and changed my mind because ' I tried to lay up and hit a bad shot, which is not my style, as you know.
 
I never laid up successfully in my life.
 
CLASS DUNCE GETS GEOGRAPHY LESSON
 
Television analyst Gary McCord was at his all-time best when he discussed the par-5 eighth hole ' his 17th.
 
I did a dumb and dumber, he said. I tried to get a 5-wood up by the green, and I didnt realize it was a peninsula over here by North Korea that you couldnt get close to. So I kept chipping around and finally bogeyed the hole ' and I was right in front of the green.
 
Thats why I am in the stupid box right here.'
 
ACE OF CLUBS
 
Amateur Randy Reznicek aced the 168-yard 13th with a 7-iron.
 
It was my first hole-in-one, said Reznicek. First hole-in-one ever. As a young man, I worked at a night-lighted par-3 golf course ' 18 par-3s. Some days Id go around that thing six or seven times ' never made any. What an experience.
 
I was just telling my wife and all my friends ' you know Im an amateur, I just wanted to come here and have a good time. Stay relaxed if I could, hit some good shots, shoot a respectable score ' Im capable of making the cut, but I didnt want to put too much pressure on myself. That ball went in the hole and Im going to have fun.
 
He opened in 79.
 
HENNING UNDERGOES CHEMOTHERAPY
 
Harold Henning is undergoing preventive chemotherapy treatment for a cancerous tumor at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital. The tumor has been removed and chemo is now being applied to the area which was infected.
 
THOMPSON WITHDRAWS
 
Leonard Thompson withdrew Thursday, complaining of cold chills and dizziness. He had completed six holes of the first round and stood at 5-over par when he dropped out.
 
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    Stock Watch: Strange grumpy; Tiger Time again?

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 1:00 pm

    Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

    RISING

    Jon Rahm (+9%): This should put his whirlwind 17 months in the proper context: Rahm (38) has earned four worldwide titles in 25 fewer starts – or a full season quicker – than Jordan Spieth (63). This kid is special.

    Tommy Fleetwood (+7%): Putting on a stripe show in windy conditions, the Englishman defended his title in Abu Dhabi (thanks to a back-nine 30) and capped a 52-week period in which he won three times, contended in majors and WGCs, and soared inside the top 15 in the world.

    Sergio (+3%): Some wholesale equipment changes require months of adjustments. In Garcia’s case, it didn’t even take one start, as the new Callaway staffer dusted the field by five shots in Singapore.

    Rory (+2%): Sure, it was a deflating Sunday finish, as he shot his worst round of the week and got whipped by Fleetwood, but big picture he looked refreshed and built some momentum for the rest of his pre-Masters slate. That’s progress.

    Ken Duke (+1%): Looking ahead to the senior circuit, Duke, 48, still needs a place to play for the next few years. Hopefully a few sponsors saw what happened in Palm Springs, because his decision to sub in for an injured Corey Pavin for the second and third rounds – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard – was as selfless as it gets.


    FALLING

    Austin Cook (-1%): The 54-hole leader in the desert, he closed with 75 – the worst score of anyone inside the top 40. Oy.

    Phil (-2%): All of that pre-tournament optimism was tempered by the reality of his first missed cut to start the new year since 2009. Now ranked 45th in the world, his position inside the top 50 – a spot he’s occupied every week since November 1993 – is now in jeopardy.

    Careful What You Wish For (-3%): Today’s young players might (foolishly) wish they could have faced Woods in his prime, but they’ll at least get a sense this week of the spectacle he creates. Playing his first Tour event in a year, and following an encouraging warmup in the Bahamas, his mere presence at Torrey is sure to leave everyone else to grind in obscurity.

    Curtis Strange (-5%): The two-time U.S. Open champ took exception with the chummy nature of the CareerBuilder playoff, with Rahm and Andrew Landry chatting between shots. “Are you kidding me?” Strange tweeted. “Talking at all?” The quality of golf was superb, so clearly they didn’t need to give each other the silent treatment to summon their best.

    Brooks Koepka (-8%): A bummer, the 27-year-old heading to the DL just as he was starting to come into his own. The partially torn tendon in his left wrist is expected to knock him out of action until the Masters, but who knows how long it’ll take him to return to game shape.

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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.