After Further Review: Timing is Everything

By Randall MellApril 28, 2014, 5:50 am

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on the fortuitous timing the LPGA has enjoyed this month, Seung-Yul Noh's bid to match a record that has stood for 40 years, and the role of fun in growing the game of golf, 

Timing never seemed to be the LPGA’s forte. Too often, an LPGA major, or a good women’s story, was overshadowed by a better story in the men’s game, typically a Tiger Woods story. Or some dramatic LPGA finish happened to come on tape delay.

But timing has made this an April to remember for the LPGA. It isn’t just Lexi Thompson opening the month beating Michelle Wie in a Sunday duel at the Kraft Nabisco, or Wie coming from four shots back in the final round last week to win in her Hawaiian home town, or 17-year-old Lydia Ko coming from behind to beat Stacy Lewis on Sunday at the Swinging Skirts Classic in San Francisco. It’s those stories coming in West Coast finishes that give the women prime-time East Coast TV windows. It’s no Tiger Woods shadow falling over them. In fact, there hasn’t really been a PGA Tour story to trump any of them.

I don’t know who is in charge of timing at the LPGA offices, but he/she ought to get a raise.  - Randall Mell

The most amazing thing I saw written this weekend was this, in Ryan Lavner's article after Saturday's third round of the Zurich Classic:

"If he (Seung-Yul Noh) wins in bogey-free fashion, he’d be the first since Lee Trevino in 1974."

What? No one has won a PGA Tour event without making a bogey since Trevino at the 1974 New Orleans Open? (Wow, there's a coincidence.) Trevino shot 21 under that year to stroll to an eight-shot win over Ben Crenshaw and Bobby Cole at Lakewood Country Club. Noh's Sunday bid to match the Merry Mex didn't even last a hole, as he bogeyed No. 1. But that didn't stop him from winning the tournament. And now a lot more people know who Seung-Yul Noh is than did a week ago. And while PGA Tour first-time winners often fade back into obscurity as quickly as they escaped it, I don't think that's going to be the case with Noh, who has won on other tours. And maybe, just maybe, someday he'll make another run at Trevino's mark. After all, records are made to be broken, right? - Al Tays

I went to one of those indoor golf facilities with a few buddies this weekend. We had a blast trying to tame Kiawah's Ocean Course, but it was clear golf nuts like us weren't in the majority of the clientele. When a guy hitting shots in the next simulator over asked me about the difference between two clubs, it took me a minute to realize he literally didn't know a driver from a wedge. And yet, there he was, having a brutal time trying to muscle shots toward the screen -- and smiling the entire time. During an era when so many industry leaders have prioritized growing the game, I can't find any better advertisement for it than a fun, casual setting like this where neophyte golfers can get bit by the bug in a hurry. I'm all for new ideas, whether they include 15-inch holes or combining soccer with golf, but nothing grows the game better than fun. And nowhere are new golfers having more fun learning to play the game than in this type of environment. - Jason Sobel

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Watch: Tiger birdies 3 of 4, then goes OB

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 18, 2018, 8:30 pm

Starting Sunday five off the lead, Tiger Woods teed off in his final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a laced 2-iron and a par at No. 1.

Woods hit the green at the par-3 second but left himself a 50-foot birdie putt and a 6-footer to save par, which he walked in.

A two-putt 4 at the par-5 fourth gave Woods his first birdie of the day and moved him to 8 under for the week. Apparently energized, Tiger pulled driver at the short par-4 fifth and unleashed this violent swing.

A pitch from the thick rough hit a sprinkler head and stopped on the apron, leading to this birdie try, which fortunately hit the pin but unfortunately didn't fall.

Looking to pick up another stroke - or two - at the par-5 sixth, Woods took his drive 317 yards over the water and hit this second shot from 227 yards to 13 feet, leading to another two-putt birdie when his eagle try burned the right edge.

Returning to his trusty 2-iron, Tiger found the fairway at the par-4 eighth and then threw this dart from 176 yards to 6 feet and rolled in his third birdie putt of the day to move to 10 under.

His momentum was slowed by his first bogey of the day at No. 9, the product of an errant drive and its ensuing complications. As a result, Woods made the turn 2 under on his round, 9 under for the week, and still five off the lead, like when he started the day.

But Woods wouldn't wait long to make up for his mistake, immediately responding with another flagged iron and another birdie at No. 10.

He continued his assault on Bay Hill's par-5s at the 12th, getting up and down from the sand for a birdie-4 that moved him to 11 under par, just two off the lead.

And with this roll at 13 giving him his third birdie in four holes, the charge was officially on, with Woods just one back.

Just when it looked like Woods was primed for a late run at his 80th PGA Tour victory, Woods stepped to the tee at the par-5 16th, where he had missed wide right three days in a row, and sniped his drive out of bounds into a backyard miles left.

He made 4 on his second ball for a bogey-6 to drop back to 11 under, three behind.

(More coming...)

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 18, 2018, 5:00 pm

Tiger Woods will start Sunday five off the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. How will he follow up last week's runner-up? We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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McIlroy: Time for Tour to limit alcohol sales on course

By Ryan LavnerMarch 18, 2018, 1:50 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy suggested Saturday that the PGA Tour might need to consider curbing alcohol sales to stop some of the abusive fan behavior that has become more prevalent at events.

McIlroy said that a fan repeatedly yelled his wife’s name (Erica) during the third round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

“I was going to go over and have a chat with him,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something, because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

“I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I’m all for that, but sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy, it can get a little much.”

This isn’t the first time that McIlroy has voiced concerns about fan behavior on Tour. Last month at Riviera, he said the rowdy spectators probably cost Tiger Woods a half-shot a round, and after two days in his featured group he had a splitting headache.

A week later, at the Honda Classic, Justin Thomas had a fan removed late in the final round.

McIlroy believes the issue is part of a larger problem, as more events try to replicate the success of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which has one of the liveliest atmospheres on Tour.

“It’s great for that tournament, it’s great for us, but golf is different than a football game, and there’s etiquette involved and you don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out,” he said. “You want people to enjoy themselves, have a good day.”

As for a solution, well, McIlroy isn’t quite sure.

“It used to be you bring beers onto the course or buy beers, but not liquor,” he said. “And now it seems like everyone’s walking around with a cocktail. I don’t know whether (the solution) is to go back to letting people walking around with beers in their hands. That’s fine, but I don’t know.”

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Confident Lincicome lurking after 54 holes at Founders

By Randy SmithMarch 18, 2018, 2:45 am

PHOENIX – Brittany Lincicome is farther back than she wanted to be going into Sunday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she’s in a good place.

She’s keeping the momentum of her season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic victory going this year.

Her confidence is high.

“Last year, I won in the Bahamas, but then I didn't do anything after that,” Lincicome said. “I don't even know if I had a top 10 after my win in the Bahamas. Obviously, this year, I want to be more consistent.”

Lincicome followed up her victory in the Bahamas this year with a tie for seventh in her next start at the Honda LPGA Thailand. And now she’s right back on another leaderboard with the year’s first major championship just two weeks away. She is, by the way, a two-time winner at the ANA Inspiration.

Missy Pederson, Lincicome’s caddie, is helping her player keep that momentum going with more focus on honing in the scoring clubs.

“One of our major goals is being more consistent,” Pederson said. “She’s so talented, a once in a generation talent. I’m just trying to help out in how to best approach every golf course.”

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Pederson has helped Lincicome identify the clubs they’re likely to attack most with on the particular course they are playing that week, to spend more time working with those clubs in practice. It’s building confidence.

“I know the more greens we hit, and the more chances we give ourselves, the more our chances are to be in contention,” Pederson said. “Britt is not big into stats or details, so I have to figure out how to best consolidate that information, to get us exactly where we need to be.”

Lincicome’s growing comfort with clubs she can attack with is helping her confidence through a round.

“I’ve most noticed consistency in her mental game, being able to handle some of the hiccups that happen over the course of a round,” Pederson said. “Whereas before, something might get under her skin, where she might say, `That’s what always happens,’ now, it’s, `All right, I know I’m good enough to get this back.’ I try to get her in positions to hit the clubs we are really hitting well right now.”

That’s leading to a lot more birdies, fewer bogeys and more appearances on leaderboards in the start to this year.