Spieth uses birdie run, good breaks for 65

By Rex HoggardAugust 25, 2017, 10:57 pm

OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. – What was starting to look like a mundane round for Jordan Spieth at The Northern Trust turned quickly when he rolled in 52 feet of birdie putts on his way to five consecutive birdies starting at the 10th hole.

Although it matched the longest birdie streak of Spieth’s PGA Tour career, and moved him into a share of the lead at 6 under, it wasn’t the key to his round.

“Going [Nos.] 15 through 18 in [even par] with the positions I was in, was a steal. That was more important than the five birdies,” said Spieth, who finished with a 66 for a share of the lead. “I felt like I stole some strokes and got some good breaks coming in.”

Fresh off his five consecutive birdies, Spieth allowed himself to go after a “sucker pin” at No. 15 and was lucky to escape with a bogey when his tee shot at the par 3 stopped just short of rolling into a water hazard.

At the next hole Spieth missed his drive in the right rough but rolled in a 41-footer for birdie, the longest putt at the 16th this week. He found a bunker at the par-3 17th but scrambled for par and two-putted for a closing par after hitting into a fairway bunker off the tee.

The Northern Trust: Articles, video and photos

FedExCup standings entering the playoffs

That grinding finish set the stage for a high-power showdown between Spieth, world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, Jhonattan Vegas and Rickie Fowler, who are all tied at 6 under.

“No surprise those guys are towards the top,” Spieth said. “Rickie has been playing awesome. DJ has been trying to get his groove back, but for him it wasn't far off. It just needed to click. He seemed to be kind of using a couple different putters. Found one that's working well for him.”

Spieth knows a thing or two about how finicky a putter can be, even a putter as consistent as the 24-year-old’s. After a less-than-stellar day on the greens on Thursday when he opened with a 69, Spieth arrived three hours before his tee time on Friday to work on his alignment.

It’s been a common drill this summer.

“Alignment for me has been the thing that's been more important. My speed's still been pretty good this year,” he said.

Spieth rolled in 147 feet of putts on Day 2, including a 29-footer at No. 2, a 23-footer at the 12th hole and his bomb at the 16th hole, all for birdies.

Although statistically he’s been among the Tour’s best putters this season, it has been a strangely inconsistent year on the greens for Spieth. Friday at Glen Oaks was more of the same.

“On 9, I had just a standard, as-easy-a-putt as it gets. And I was so tentative to start the round today, left it short,” said Spieth, who made the turn at even par for the day. “Finally on 10, one you need to be tentative with, I hit it with perfect speed and it just dived in the center of the hole. Once that lid came off, made one at 11.

“It's just been a bit streaky, and I got on the good side of the streak on the back nine today.

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: