Fore Things: Thomas expects to win ... every time

By Jay CoffinJanuary 9, 2017, 1:01 am

KAPALUA, Hawaii – Justin Thomas won the SBS Tournament of Champions to collect his third PGA Tour victory and he is the first to win twice on Tour this season. It got close down the stretch with Hideki Matsuyama but Thomas essentially sealed the deal with a laser approach into the 17th green. Here are a few takeaways from Sunday at Kapalua:

• Justin Thomas was not kidding when he said earlier in the week that he no longer shows up to events just to collect nice finishes. When he shows up he now expects to win. Every time.

This victory was impressive from beginning to end and seems like a bit of a breakthrough even though he had won twice before.

Thomas is the first player since Tiger Woods in 2013 to win two of his first four events of the season and he’s one of four players in the last 10 years with at least three Tour victories before age 24 (Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Rory McIlroy). The victory will vault him to No. 12 in the world ranking.  

“Changes things going forward because I know I’m coming back here next year, so I couldn’t be more excited about that,” he said. “I stumbled more than I would have liked to on some of those holes but I think it really shows where my game is at right now. I had some woes there the second part of the nine, but I stuck it out to still get it done.”

• Hideki Matsuyama, take a bow. He got to within a shot of Thomas after the 15th hole but just couldn’t hang on and finished second place by three shots.

Golf is hard, but Matsuyama has made it look easy lately. In his last six events he has four victories and two second-place finishes. Both those runner-up performances, oddly enough, were to Thomas.

“The results have been there these past couple of months, so in that respect, yes, I am looking forward to another good year,” he said.

• Jordan Spieth is already onto Waialae. He made more birdies than anyone else in the field this week but he couldn’t avoid a couple big numbers that truly prevented him from contending. Still he shot a final-round 65 to vault up into a third-place tie.

Two years ago Spieth finished second at Kapalua, went to the Sony Open and missed the cut. Last year he skipped Sony because he had a more rigorous schedule overseas but he’ll be back this year and feels great about his chances.

“(Caddie) Michael (Greller) has told me for the last couple years….‘Waialae is one of the best courses on Tour for you,’” Spieth said Sunday. “‘It’s almost like your Hilton Head, your Colonial, you have to kind of strike it around both ways and playing in the wind,’ and we feel like that kind of plays to our strength, kind of trickier reads on the greens.”

Dustin Johnson was quiet all week and then popped up into a sixth-place tied after a final-round 69 in which he hit all 18 greens in regulation.

The reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year won the weather-plagued event here in 2013 and has four top-10 finishes in six appearances, but this seems like a place where Johnson should win almost every year because of his prodigious length.

This year, however, it was the putter that kept him from a better result.

“I lipped out maybe 12 or 13 putts at least,” he said. “Like pretty bad lip-outs. But overall I’m happy with the way I played. I thought I played really well. You know, just missed a lot of putts.”

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.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: