After Further Review: Race to a Slam

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 23, 2017, 9:50 pm

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

On the three-way chase for a career Grand Slam:

With three players now one leg away from the career Grand Slam, expect Jordan Spieth to be the first of the trio to round the bases.

Spieth might not win next month at Quail Hollow, but he’s ideally positioned to lift the Wanamaker Trophy sooner rather than later and clearly is able to conjure magic on a major stage. Phil Mickelson’s window to win the U.S. Open has likely closed, while the lengthy lead-up to the Masters doesn’t help Rory McIlroy’s cause.

The PGA’s position on the calendar, whether in May or August, should shorten the amount of time that Spieth has to focus on leg No. 4 and could ultimately help his cause.

Only five players have ever won the career Grand Slam, and none have accomplished the feat since Tiger Woods captured the claret jug at St. Andrews in 2000. But Spieth slayed a number of demons with his ability to rebound down the stretch at Royal Birkdale, and it’s likely that he won’t be stuck on three career majors for very long. – Will Gray

On doubling down on Spieth:

I hate being “that guy.” Despise it. But I didn’t think Jordan Spieth was going to win major No. 3 so quickly. And now that he has, I think he can win up to eight majors, instead of the six that I thought he’d win about four short days ago.

Whenever someone does something spectacular, human nature is for us to think that it was the latest and greatest and that it’s the harbinger of more spectacular things to come. But it’s impossible to watch what Spieth did here at Royal Birkdale and think that he won’t win at least a couple more claret jugs.

The guts, the shots, the putts, the sheer ability to will the ball into the hole? It was special. Spieth is special. He’s no Tiger Woods, but he’s much better than I thought he was. And I already thought he was great. – Jay Coffin

On the absence of much wind:

The silence was deafening. Late Sunday at Royal Birkdale only the sound of an occasional gust off the Irish Sea and the steady beat of rain could be heard.

There was no handwringing from the social masses over the outcome or a scoreboard riddled with red numbers. On Saturday, Brendan Grace shattered golf’s version of the four-minute mile when he became the first to shoot 62 in a men’s major. Silence. A day later Jordan Spieth won the claret jug with a 12-under total, the lowest winning tally at Birkdale in more than a half-century. Silence.

Without wind, without rain, without a helping hand from Mother Nature, the layout was there for the taking, and no one seemed to mind. That’s a vastly different take than how the golf world reacted when Brooks Koepka won last month’s U.S. Open with a 16-under total.

Play at the game’s top level is such that without the elements there’s not much officials can do to defend par, and its time to recognize this fact on both sides of the transatlantic divide. – Rex Hoggard

On Greller's importance to Spieth:

It’s time to give Michael Greller his due.

Jordan Spieth’s caddie has never played as important a role as he did Sunday at Royal Birkdale, keeping his boss from another major meltdown. The former middle-school teacher is the perfect blend of motivator and soother, and he has proved an ideal fit for Spieth, who can run hot at times.

The best caddies know what to say and when to say it, and Greller struck the right tone on the first, seventh and 13th holes, giving Spieth a boost when he needed it most. As Spieth said Sunday night, holding the claret jug: “This is as much Mike’s as it is mine.” – Ryan Lavner

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.