Davies has 'no room for error' to make HOF induction

By Randall MellJuly 10, 2015, 7:36 pm

LANCASTER, Pa. – Laura Davies is feeling pressure after assuring Friday that she will make the cut at the U.S. Women’s Open.

Yeah, the test Lancaster Country Club offers has something to do with that, but it’s mostly the pressure she’s feeling to get to St. Andrews in Scotland in time for Monday’s World Golf Hall of Fame induction. She’s being inducted in the ceremony that begins at 6 p.m. local time in Scotland.

“If everything goes to plan, I should land in Edinburgh at 1 o'clock, and then I've got to drive to Dundee to the hotel, check in the hotel, have a shower,” Davies said. “That should take me to round about 4 o'clock, at which stage I can have a couple of pints of cider and get on the bus to the Hall of Fame thing. There is no room for error.”

Davies said she has videotaped an acceptance speech just in case the U.S. Women’s Open finish is bumped to Monday or there are flight delays.

The Hall of Fame Induction is planned at the University of St. Andrews, just a few blocks from the Old Course. David Graham, Mark O’Meara and the late A.W. Tillinghast also are being inducted.

Davies is flying British Airways out of Philadelphia Sunday at 10 p.m. ET, direct to London with a connection to Edinburgh. She said she’s feeling pressure even if she makes it to St. Andrews on time. She’s not comfortable giving speeches.

“I'm dyslexic, so I can't read off the [teleprompter],” Davies said. “They were going to make me write a speech, but that would be a fiasco if I tried to read. So that is not happening. I'm just going to write six or seven main points down, and then I'll talk about those main points.”

Davies is thrilled to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. She has been sitting on the doorstep of the points-based LPGA Hall of Fame for more than a decade. Her last LPGA title was the Wegmans Rochester International in 2001. It left her two points shy of qualifying for the LPGA Hall of Fame. She has 25 points. With a major championship worth two points, she could make her trip to Scotland a heck of a party by winning the U.S. Women’s Open. She would be celebrating entry into a pair of Hall of Fames.

Davies has won more than 80 titles worldwide, 45 of them Ladies European Tour events and 20 of them LPGA titles. She has won four major championships, including the 1987 U.S. Women’s Open.

For years Davies insisted she didn’t want to make it into the World Golf Hall of Fame by a vote, or make it into the LPGA Hall of Fame through a Veterans Category nomination. She wanted to earn her way. She said the World Golf Hall of Fame’s adoption of new criteria with minimum standards last year satisfies her. The World Golf Hall of Fame now requires a player to have won at least 15 tour titles or two majors to be eligible for a vote.

“It was like a popularity contest before,” Davies said. “You got voted in. I didn't want that. When they put the two majors and a certain amount of tournaments, then it became a criteria, and I met the criteria. So then I said yes immediately ... I was absolutely delighted. It's one of the highlights of my career without a doubt.”

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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.