Which non-major event would you most like to win

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 10, 2011, 6:38 pm

If you were a professional player which non-major event would you most like to win? Jason Sobel and Randall Mell weigh in with their opinions.

By JASON SOBEL

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – I’m about to pull off a big-time okey-doke on my opponent, the esteemed Mr. Mell.

If this was match play, he’d be safely on the green in two, while I was apparently stymied in the woods. Well, I’m about to wedge one right into the cup to win this hole.

He probably thinks he’s being smart in choosing the so-called “fifth major” as the non-major he would most like to win. And he is. But not smart enough.

I’m thinking more big picture instead. That’s why instead of choosing a title at The Players Championship, I’ll take one at the Ryder Cup instead. While my opponent in this Punch Shot can celebrate his $1.7 million paycheck with his caddie, swing coach, mental guru, agent, manager, wife, 2.3 kids and all six nannies, I’ll be spraying champagne with my 11 teammates in celebration of a week we’ll never forget.

And hey, it’s not like I’ve got anything against money. If I had to choose an individual event, I think I’d go with the Tour Championship at venerable East Lake Golf Club, which usually comes with a hefty FedEx Cup payday, too.

Sorry, Randy. I win this one. Don’t worry, though. I’ll let you have a sip of my champagne.

By RANDALL MELL

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Sorry, Mr. Sobel, but you are more than stymied in the woods in this match-play format.

Pick up your ball and advance to the next tee, I mean, next question.

You may think you are being clever giving the Ryder Cup as your answer, but you’ve lost the hole before you’ve begun. You’ve violated the Rules of Golf revealing your answer to me before you’ve played. You’ve violated Rule 8-1 for “giving advice” on strategy, but I admire the bold play anyway.

Give me The Players Championship crystal trophy.

The Players is not a major, and it shouldn’t be. Jeff Sluman, in his plain spoken manner, summed it up best. “When you go to Denny’s and order the Grand Slam breakfast, they don’t give you five things, do they?” Sluman once said. “They give you four.”

History won’t allow the official designation as a fifth major, but in nearly every other way, The Players feels like a major. The field, even minus Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy, is the deepest in golf so far this year.

The TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course may be contrived, but it’s a magnificent contrivance that separates the best ball strikers.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

 

 

Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.

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Wie takes shot at LPGA dress code in crop top

By Grill Room TeamDecember 10, 2017, 5:33 pm

The new LPGA dress code got mixed reviews when it was announced in July, and Michelle Wie is taking full advantage of her offseason with no restrictions.

The 28-year-old former U.S. Women's Open champion is keeping her game sharp while back in her home state of Hawaii, but couldn't help taking a shot at the rules while doing it, posting a photo to Instagram of her playing golf in a crop top with the caption, "Offseason = No dress code fine."

Offseason = No dress code fines #croptopdroptop

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Wie isn't the first to voice her displeasure with the rules. Lexi Thompson posted a similar photo and caption to Instagram shortly after the policy was announced.