McNealy's college career ends quietly at NCAAs

By Ryan LavnerMay 29, 2017, 1:10 am

SUGAR GROVE, Ill. – Maverick McNealy’s college career ended quietly Sunday, with few fans left at Rich Harvest Farms and the top teams back at their hotel and the leader 17 shots ahead.

For the third consecutive year, No. 2-ranked Stanford failed to survive the 54-hole cut at the NCAA Championship. It was the final chapter of McNealy’s fascinating career, as he rose from overlooked No. 5 man to Player of the Year to, now, the will-he-or-won’t-he? star who earlier this week won the Hogan Award as the nation’s top amateur and college player.

“I couldn’t have imagined a better four years,” McNealy said. “Very mixed emotions. I’m sad it’s all over but excited for whatever comes next.”

Most immediately, McNealy will play in the Palmer Cup and then turn his attention to the U.S. and British opens, for which he is exempt by virtue of winning the McCormack Medal. He is expected to remain an amateur through at least the Walker Cup in September, and he says that he still has not decided if he will turn pro.

NCAA Division I National Championships: Articles and videos

“I think the decision will become more and more clear the closer I get to it,” he said.

For now, McNealy and his teammates are left to ponder why they’re leaving another NCAAs early.

McNealy, who entered nationals with four consecutive top-7 finishes, shot rounds of 76-71-74 to tie for 76th. It remains the only hole in his otherwise spectacular résumé – he finished outside the top 35 individually all four years at NCAAs.

Stanford, meanwhile, finished 20th in the team race, eight shots behind UCF for the 15th spot. No Cardinal player finished 54 holes under par; Isaiah Salinda was T-44 at even par.

“It’s tough because the last few years we’ve had good teams that have come to nationals and not played well, and that’s a fact,” Stanford coach Conrad Ray said. “So we’re going to have to go back to campus and think about that and figure out if we do anything different with preparation or mental approach.

“I do think the nature of the games we have, they’re really analytical, really bright, really smart guys, and they work hard. But I think sometimes there’s a little bit of going down the double-black diamond at NCAAs, and you’ve got to let it go and not control it so much.”

McNealy will go down as one of the most successful players in program history, his 11 career titles tied for the most all time with Tiger Woods (two years) and Patrick Rodgers (three).

Even more than McNealy’s on-course success, Ray said that his star “epitomizes doing things the right way” – even in the middle of his disappointing finish, McNealy walked over to Rich Harvest Farms owner Jerry Rich on the 15th hole Sunday just to thank him for hosting the 156 players this week.

“He’s been an amazing kid to coach, an absolute role model in every sense of the world, a student-athlete through and through, and he’s definitely left his mark on our program,” Ray said. “I’d be blessed if I was able to find another guy like him.”

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: