Marker Knox clips McIlroy on Saturday at the Masters

By Jay CoffinApril 12, 2014, 6:29 pm

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Rory McIlroy went from Masters contention, to being clipped by a noncompeting marker in the span of 24 hours.

It’s not as bad as it sounds.

This marker is not just your ordinary marker. This is Jeff Knox, Augusta National’s official marker. He is the marker of all markers. The 51-year-old is an Augusta National club member who holds the course-record, an 11-under-par 61 from the member tees. He will beat you and not feel badly about it.

To brush up on marker duties, when there are an odd number of players that make the cut at the Masters, Augusta National calls on Knox to fill the spot in the first pairing. A marker keeps the professional’s scorecard and helps keep the pace of play at a normal rate.

After the 3 hour, 15 minute round with McIlroy was over the scores read McIlroy 71, Knox 70. And that was with a two-shot swing on 18 when Knox made bogey to McIlroy’s birdie.

“I thought he was going to be nice and three-putt the last and we would have a halve, but he beat me by one,” Rory laughed.

Knox, who did not speak to reporters on Saturday, was first called upon in 2002 to play with Craig Stadler. On that day he holed out a wedge shot for eagle on the par-5 eighth hole.

Two years ago he played with Kelly Kraft, who was the reigning U.S. Amateur champion at the time. Last year he played with Keegan Bradley and Bubba Watson. He’s played with Sergio Garcia in the past.


Masters Tournament: Articles, videos and photos


The best Knox story being tossed around Augusta National Saturday was that he once was a marker for Miguel Angel Jimenez. On that day, the story goes, Jimenez piped a drive down the middle of the first fairway. Knox stood up and did the same. Once Jimenez noticed how far Knox hit the ball he looked at Knox, pointed his finger, and blurted out a funny, “no, no, no.”

“I’ve played in a good bit of competition, of course, but nothing like this,” Knox told reporters two years ago. “The first couple of holes is a little nerve-racking. The first shot on No. 1, definitely. You just want to elevate the ball, that’s my goal. Get it off the tee.”

Well, that wasn’t a problem on this perfect Georgia day.

Knox made birdie on the par-5 15th hole after hitting a beautifully executed chip shot to about 4 feet. He made the putt. On the par-3 16th hole Knox hit his tee shot to about 8 feet, but he missed the birdie putt.

McIlroy finished birdie, birdie on the last two holes to shoot 71 and Knox made bogey for his 70 when he hit his approach into the greenside bunker and failed to get up and down.

“He obviously knows this place so well and gets it around,” McIlroy said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone putt the greens as well and he does around here. He was really impressive. I was thinking of maybe getting him to read a few of my putts out there.

“He played just like he should be playing in the Masters.”

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: