Cow-clad Feng moo-ves to top of leaderboard

By Randall MellJuly 13, 2017, 11:02 pm

BEDMINSTER, N.J. – Shanshan Feng separated herself in more ways than one Thursday at the U.S. Women’s Open.

First, there was her score.

A 6-under-par 66 moved her to the top of the leaderboard at Trump National Golf Club, a shot ahead of Amy Yang through the morning wave.

And then there were Feng’s spotted-cow print shorts and matching shirt sleeves.

They’re the newest ensemble in her spotted-cow print collection specially made for her by Pro Simon, a Taiwanese company.

“The cow outfit has become one of my signatures, so when I'm wearing the cow pants, people recognize me more,” Feng said. “I think that's good, to bring out your personality. And also tell people what the difference is between you and the other players.”

Her spotted-cow print pants were a huge hit in England when Feng wore them at the Ricoh Women’s British Open last year.

“I like wearing the cow pants, because I stand out on the course, and people can spot me from, like, really far away,” Feng said.

Feng was asked if her scoring average is better when she’s decked out in her spotted-cow attire.

“Somebody has to calculate that,” Feng said. “Maybe, because more people are supporting me with the cow pants, so maybe that makes me feel more excited and maybe play better.

U.S. Women’s Open: Articles, photos and videos

Feng, China’s first major champion and Olympic medalist in golf, was at her charming best Thursday after taking the early lead. She typically manages to make reporters laugh when she makes a media center appearance.

When Feng met China’s president in an official governmental reception for Olympic medal winners last year, she created a stir flirting with her country’s president.

When President Xi Jinping greeted Feng, she told him he was handsome.

“He was shocked,” Feng said about it later. “And then he shook my hand one more time.”

Gary Gilchrist, Feng’s swing coach, said Feng’s swing is among the most dependable in the game. She prefers a straight ball as her stock ball flight, over a draw or fade.

“Her swing is very, very consistent,” Feng said. “She doesn’t put too much spin on the ball. Her fundamentals really don’t change. They are there. It’s like a Rolls-Royce. The great thing about a Rolls-Royce is that it starts every time. It’s dependable.

“And the thing is, when she’s off, people get so concerned, but she doesn’t even worry about it. She knows, `That’s the game.’ She understands. She looks at people and tells them, `You are out of your mind if you think you are going to play great every week.’”

Gilchrist said another advantage Feng enjoys is that she doesn’t have to practice a lot to keep her swing in shape. In fact, he says she rarely ever practices after a round, and it helps keep her game fresh.

While a lot of players took off last week, following the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, Feng flew to China to play the Kumho Tires Ladies Open.

“It was my sponsor's tournament, and I felt like it was my responsibility,” Feng said. “And I really wanted to see my family and all my friends back home.”

The reward for going proved greater than Feng expected.

“It was such a warmup for this week, because that course was so narrow,” she said. “I had to hit my drivers and my irons really, really straight. That was one of the keys why I actually played well today, because I left myself birdie chances on most of the holes. I feel great.”

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.