Major Debate - Rory or Matteo

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 19, 2011, 10:04 pm

Rory McIlroy, 21, and Matteo Manassero, 18, already have multiple wins on either the PGA or European Tours. Rex Hoggard and Jay Coffin debate which rising star will be the first to hoist a major championship trophy.

By REX HOGGARD

As debates go, this one may end up caught in a “taste great, less filling” loop. Rory McIlroy will crack the Grand Slam ceiling before Matteo Manassero, but it will feel like the beginning of the conversation not the end.

Despite Manassero’s victory on Sunday in Asia, his second European Tour title at the tender age of 17, the Italian trails McIlroy in two key major championship categories.

At 21, the Northern Irishman has a wealth of major experience, both favorable and otherwise. He’s been in the Sunday hunt in four of the last six majors, has missed just two Grand Slam cuts in 10 attempts and he already has a mini-major on his resume (2010 Quail Hollow Championship).

McIlroy also fits the modern major champion prototype, crazy long off the tee with a 300-yard average in limited Tour events this year, compared to Manassero’s pedestrian 268-yard average.

Golf’s rules makers can wring their hands all they want, the modern professional game is about power and McIlroy has plenty of it. Manassero may “grow into” a longer game, but he’s not there yet.

No, McIlroy hoists Grand Slam glory first. Who wins the most majors in their careers? Now that’s another question.

By JAY COFFIN

Rory McIlroy is the easy answer, but Matteo Manassero is the correct answer. McIlroy has built up too much major championship scar tissue to win a major over the next couple years. Manassero has none.

Sure, McIlroy has more major experience but how much is it going to help him if there have been more disappointments than successes? He’s had three top-3 finishes at majors, but the 2010 PGA Championship was the only time he was seriously in contention in that trio of events.

Lee Westwood, Paul Casey and Ian Poulter have not won majors, so why do so many assume that McIlroy is going to win at least a handful? Why do so many think that McIlroy will end up closer to Nick Faldo than he will Sergio Garcia?

McIlroy, 21, is a great player and hits the ball a long way but his short game is not particularly sharp in times of need.

Manassero, 18, is a great player who does not hit the ball a long way, but he knows how to get the ball in the hole, a trait that will serve him well in majors for the next two decades.

If lack of distance is the only downside for a teen that can easily find another 25 yards distance once his body fully develops, I’ll take it.

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: