After Further Review: Anchoring snafu; Poulter primed for Ryder Cup

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds:

On anchoring confusion...

Well that didn’t take long.

In just the second PGA Tour event since the anchoring ban took effect, Zac Blair was questioned by officials Sunday about whether he anchored the butt end of his fairway wood against his belly while chipping to the 71st hole at the Sony Open. Replays brought into question whether the club was pressed against his belly. The replay clearly showed the club pushing into his shirt, but there was no way to know if the club was actually braced against his body, as his shirt was tucked loosely into his pants.

And that’s the potential problem with this rule. There’s going to be no way of knowing definitively if a club’s actually anchored to a player’s body, especially when players are in sweaters and jackets in cool weather.

Blair, who was in contention, told Golf Channel’s Steve Burkowski that he didn’t even know what rules officials were asking about after the round. He said he wasn’t anchoring, and there’s no reason to doubt him, but this rule is going to create suspicion, often unfairly, especially if players continue to use long putters, with their top hand slightly away from their chests, as opposed to anchored to their chests. At the British Open, who’s going to know if the butt end of a long putter is only pressed into a player’s jacket and not into his chest? We expect players will abide, but it’s human nature to be suspicious. If somebody’s going to wonder about Blair in a golf shirt in Hawaii’s warmth, suspicion is likely to rear its head more than once this PGA Tour season. – Randall Mell


On Europe's match-play dominance ...

The biennial thorn in the U.S. Ryder Cup team’s side seems intent to reprise his role as European hero later this year if this week’s EurAsia Cup in Kuala Lumpur was any indication.

Although most of European captain Darren Clarke’s top players are content skipping the second-tier team event that pits a team from the Continent against Asia’s top players, Poulter made the trip undoubtedly looking to impress this year’s captain.

The plan worked, with Poulter – along with Lee Westwood – delivering a point on all three days of play to help lift the European team to a commanding 18 1/2 to 5 1/2 victory. – Rex Hoggard


On Luke Donald ...

Through 15 holes Sunday, Luke Donald looked as if he was going to record his first PGA Tour top-10 since last June. He had made four straight birdies from Nos. 11-14 and was 4 under on his round. Unfortunately, bogeys at 16 and 17 dropped him all the way down to T-28.

Sunday’s result comes just one week after the former world No. 1 publicly admitted that he considered quitting the game altogether last year. Donald has just one worldwide top-10 since the Travelers last summer – which allowed him to qualify for the Open Championship – and he managed to submarine a chance to build momentum on an easy track at Waialae.

Sure, he’s struggling with his swing and juggling instructors, but he certainly tapped into something for a brief, beautiful stretch on the back nine Sunday. Sometimes, these things are just as mental as they are technical. And, clearly, Donald is having doubts. He admitted as much. – Nick Menta


On veteran success ...

Perhaps we should slow down on all of this young gun discussion. Sure, the future generation of PGA Tour stars continue to make names for themselves in front of our eyes, but this week in Hawaii we saw that the ... more seasoned guys still have some game. 

First it was Vijay Singh, who like Davis Love III continues to play a full slate of events after age 50 thanks to his life member status. The big Fijian opened the Sony Open with a sizzling 63, briefly flirting with becoming the oldest winner in Tour history at age 52. Then there was Fred Funk, who at 59 years young became the oldest to make the cut in tournament history. Funk has always been able to play within his means - even well beyond the usual prime years on Tour - and the former Players champ again turned back the clock with a surprisingly strong effort this week in Honolulu. 

It may still be a young man's game, but clearly there are also a few members of the old guard who can still hold their own. – Will Gray

Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


President at the Presidents Cup


Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


Cart on the green


Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


Trump golf properties

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers


Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.