Where Golf is Simply a Game

By George WhiteSeptember 18, 2005, 4:00 pm
Retief Goosen was just making a joke, nothing more. But he was asked about his International team that will participate in the Presidents Cup this week, and he couldnt help but notice a remarkable difference between his bunch and the team that represents Europe in the Ryder Cup.
 
Well, we lose against America, so we must be really bad! he said, smiling all the while at his rarely revealed sense of humor.
 
The U.S. plays a big match every year, either the Ryder Cup against Europe in the even years or the Presidents Cup against the rest of the world (Europe excluded) in the odd years. America has been quite successfully in the Presidents, running up a record of three wins, one loss and one tie. But in the Ryder Cup, the Americans have had a tough time the past 20 years, winning against Europe just three times, losing six times, and tying one.
 
At least one American sees good things ahead in the Presidents, though, and it came from seeing the U.S. prevail in the womens Solheim Cup two weeks ago.
 
I was pumped up by the Solheim Cup, said Presidents Cup member Chris DiMarco. I was proud of them.
 
Nancy Lopez and I are great friends. I was so happy for her, and the way the women showed their spirit and how they played their hearts out, it was good for golf.
 
Jim Furyk, for one, doesnt see a whole lot of similarities in the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup. The Ryder Cup, he says, is so tense, so pressure-packed, that it actually is just like playing one more major tournament. The Presidents Cup is much more what golf was meant to be back when golf was just ' well, a game.
 
The Presidents Cup, quite honestly, is more fun, said Furyk.
 
Actually my first Ryder Cup, I didn't know a lot of the other team. There were some guys on the European team I had never seen play, never seen hit a golf shot. Now because of the World Golf Championships and a lot of the Europeans coming over here, we're friendly with those teams.
 
But there isn't a guy on the international squad that doesn't play - rarely is there a guy that doesn't play in the United States pretty regularly. Vijay (Singh) is a neighbor. I practice on the same tee box with him at home day in and day out.
 
And after you play a round with your buddy
 
Although it's intense and it's a pride issue, you want to go out and play as well as you can and play well for your country. It tends to have a little bit more of a shake- your-hand afterwards, and you don't hear too many bitter things happening in the Presidents Cup like there has been in the history of the Ryder Cup.
 
Some observers ' and even some players ' have tried to lump the two events into one. The Presidents Cup is the Ryder Cup is the Presidents Cup. But there really is a difference, says Furyk.
 
They are two separate events, he insists. I think Ernie (Els) and Vijay and Michael Campbell and those guys weren't on the team last year - we were playing the European team.
 
I think too much is being made trying to compare the two events. Time will eventually give the Presidents Cup a little bit of tradition and history. You know, ultimately I guess it's like everything else; everyone wants to beat the United States. We're a target every year instead of every other year.
 
And when October rolls around, every year the United States has been through the grinder. It would be nice if the PGA of America and the PGA Tour would get together and consolidate the three teams - U.S., Europe and the Internationals - but of course they wont.
 
There is simply too much money to be made in the Ryder Cup, and the PGA of America and the European PGA would never give that up. And the PGA Tour isnt so holy, either ' you can bet that if the Presidents Cup ever gets to be as big as the Ryder Cup, the tour isnt going to give that up, either. There are millions to be made on each event, and the two entities arent about to surrender either, even if golf itself is the loser.
 
So, the players will go on competing in both, different - or similar - that they are.
 
I enjoy both events, says Furyk, but they are separate and different. They are run by two different governing bodies. The points are accumulated two totally different ways. I have no problem with separating them and them being two different events.
 
I enjoy both aspects and both parts, but they are different. And the Presidents Cup, I think our team has probably played better historically in that because we've been a little bit more loose and because we've had more fun.
 
Email your thoughts to George White
Getty Images

Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia


And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.