Cut Line: Tiger's back in the news

By Rex HoggardApril 21, 2017, 6:57 pm

Tiger Woods faces six months of recovery following his fourth back procedure in three years, Wesley Bryan gets 51 weeks of Masters tune up thanks to his RBC Heritage heroics, and Lydia Ko fires her ninth caddie in just over three seasons. It’s golf by the numbers in this week’s edition of Cut Line.

Made Cut

Bryan’s best trick. When Cut Line asked Wesley Bryan about his chances to play this year’s Masters following his tie for fourth place at the Genesis Open in February his answer was surprisingly measured.

“All that stuff works it way out,” said the Augusta, Ga., native. “It would be super special, but I know I’m going to get there at some point.”

The former trick shot specialist didn’t make it into the field at what is essentially his hometown event, but his prediction that he would eventually earn a start at the Masters played out on Sunday at the RBC Heritage, where he finished a stroke ahead of Luke Donald for his first PGA Tour victory.

“This is the best-case scenario winning this week, now I've got 51 weeks to get ready for Augusta in my own city,” Bryan said.

Sometimes the reward is worth the wait.

Tweet of the week: @wesleybryangolf (Wesley Bryan) “Celebration dinner! @TacoBell”

Bryan’s dining choices for his post-Heritage victory probably resonated with every college student ever, and it also frames an interesting conversation. If he were to win the ’18 Masters would the ’19 Champions Dinner include Chalupa Supremes for everyone?

Tough Walker. On Wednesday at the Valero Texas Open, Jimmy Walker told reporters he has tested positive for Lyme disease, which includes bouts of fatigue among the symptoms.

The ’16 PGA champion said he’s been slowed by the disease since last November and initially thought he was suffering from mononucleosis.

“Basically feels like you got the flu. No strength, just got nothing,” Walker said. “And it comes and goes in waves. You never know when it's going to pop up.”

Although Walker said he’s working with doctors to come up with a treatment plan, he already seems to be on the road to recovery following rounds of 70-69 that left him tied for fourth place at TPC San Antonio.

NOLA renewed. Friday marked the grand opening of Bayou Oaks Golf Course in New Orleans’ City Park, a 7,300-yard, par-72 course designed by Rees Jones.

The new layout – which was funded by Louisiana, FEMA and the Bayou District Foundation, which will operate the course – has been years in the making and includes parts of the old East and West golf courses.

Modeled after the East Lake project in Atlanta, a portion of the proceeds from the facility will go to support the Bayou District Foundation's education initiatives in a nearby mixed-income community.

The final piece of the puzzle for officials will be to lure the Zurich Classic away from TPC Louisiana, where it’s been played since 2005, and back to City Park, where the old News Orleans Open was played from 1938 to ’62.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Tough gig. There are two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired, but Lydia Ko seems to have taken that axiom a bit far.

Ko dismissed her caddie Gary Matthews following a tie for second place at the LPGA’s Lotte Championship after just nine events with the veteran looper.

In just over three years, Ko has gone through nine caddies.

“I wish her the best, but she’s gone through so many caddies, she needs to wake up on caddie-player relationships,” Matthews told Golf Digest. “Otherwise she’ll just keep doing it.”

Ko’s manager with IMG Michael Yim said the split was a “personality difference,” but after working her way through the caddie yard it might be the 19-year-old who needs the personality adjustment.

Missed Cut

Long-term fix. On Tuesday Tiger Woods said he has good days and bad days. Whether Wednesday qualifies as the former or the latter only time will tell.

The 14-time major champion announced via his website on Thursday that he had an anterior lumbar interbody fusion, his fourth back surgery since April 2014. Recovery can take six months, according to the announcement, which essentially ends another season for Woods, who made just a single Tour start in 2017.

Woods’ manager Mark Steinberg told that the fusion surgery is “dramatically different” from the other procedures he’s had in the past and that the focus now is on “quality of life and a healthy, active lifestyle.”

Where golf is on that list will depend on another extended recovery, but if history is any guide it’s safe to say Woods’ best years are firmly behind him.

Davis Love III won the 2015 Wyndham Championship after having neck surgery in ’13 and Rocco Mediate has won three times on the PGA Tour Champions after having similar procedures, but competitive relevance and prolonged health issues are very much mutually exclusive. Woods may one day return to the Tour, but it’s become increasingly clear he won’t be the same player he once was.

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


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


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.