Highlights: Bubba's surprise visit to 'Morning Drive'

By Ryan LavnerApril 15, 2014, 1:03 pm

Some surprises are better than others – like Bubba Watson unexpectedly arriving in the Golf Channel parking lot, ready to hop on “Morning Drive.”

That’s what happened Tuesday, as the newly crowned Masters champion arrived on set wearing his green jacket, green Masters tie and white Augusta National dress shirt – the same outfit, he said, that he wore last week at the Champions Dinner. This was his one and only media appearance before heading to The Greenbrier for a family vacation.

For about a half hour, Watson discussed everything from how he “blacked out” on the second nine to how he didn’t notice Jordan Spieth’s boiling frustration to how he’s better equipped to deal with major No. 2. 

Here are some of the highlights:

• Much was made of Watson’s mammoth drive Sunday on 13, but the former University of Georgia player said that he’d hit wedge into that green before, back in college. “This time I hit sand wedge, though,” he said, “so I guess I’ve improved a little bit.”

• Watson always had a dream to walk up the 18th fairway high-fiving fans, but was advised by caddie Ted Scott to “make sure you get this victory first.” Bubba settled for high-fives around 18 after holing out and hugging his family behind the green.

• Watson on his birdie attempt on 18, which he could four-putt and still win: “I told (Scott) to read it, because I couldn’t see anything right now.”

• When asked how his young son, Caleb, has turned him into a different man, Watson joked: “I don’t know if I’m a man yet – I still cry a lot. I need to be more manly about that, I guess.”

• Watson won’t go on a media tour after this Masters victory. Instead, he and his family are heading to The Greenbrier for a vacation, and they plan on hosting a party on Friday. He also hopes to take his green jacket to the Florida Panhandle, where he grew up, and maybe throw out the first pitch for the minor-league team in Pensacola.

• What Watson thought as he watched the kids compete in the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship prior to the Masters: “This is an inspiration. The game of golf, it grew on Sunday. It grew when these kids were there. … It’s going to grow more when families get involved, when parents spend more time with their child (on the course). It’s going to grow y’all closer together. The game is frustrating, but they’re learning together.”

• On whether he wants Caleb, 2, to someday compete in the Drive, Chip & Putt: “I would love it. That’d definitely be better than me winning again. It’d be an honor and privilege for my kid to perform there.”

• Some have criticized runner-up Jordan Spieth for his behavior during the final round. Watson, however, said he didn’t notice: “I didn’t have any idea any of that was going on. I don’t think he was immature. Who doesn’t get mad? He’s 20 years old, trying to win. He just gets excited. He’s going to improve on it. It didn’t bother me at all. I love the kid to death. It’s one of those things where he’s trying to win a green jacket.”

• Watson says he gets “overwhelmed” when people praise him: “The first time I won (the Masters), it was overwhelming. It might not seem like it, but I shy from (praise). It really gets under my skin and I don’t know how to deal with it. But the steps I’ve made in my life, I’ll handle it a little better. I still might not play good golf, but I think my emotions will be a lot better; my drive is a lot different now. Everything is different in my life, and it’s going in a direction that I want it to go in.”

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 GolfChannel.com.

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: