Beth Daniel Hints Retirement May Be Near

By Golf Channel NewsroomJuly 8, 2004, 4:00 pm
NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario -- Beth Daniel has far greater concerns than defending her title at the Canadian Women's Open this week. Frustrated by her performance this year, the 47-year-old Hall of Famer is contemplating the possibility of retiring at the end of this season, her 26th as a professional.
'This year has just not been good at all,' Daniel said Wednesday. 'And it would be very, very easy for me to walk away from it at the end of this year if I continue playing this way.'
Daniel's comments came during a news conference attended by just four reporters, perhaps a sign of how far she's fallen.
The Canadian Open is scheduled to begin at the Legends on the Niagara course on Thursday.
While Daniel remains candid, this is not the same confident person that punched the air in victory following a final-hole birdie putt to win last year's Canadian Open at Vancouver, British Columbia, and, at 46, become the oldest woman to win an LPGA Tour event.
The win - the 33rd of her career - capped a strong season in which she had eight top-10 finishes.
But last year's success is a distant memory for Daniel, who has not finished better than a tie for 22nd in the 10 tournaments she's entered this season. And it's no fun being ranked 57th on the money list with just over $103,000.
'As long as I felt like I could really compete out there, I would stay,' Daniel said. 'But, you know, if I finish even 50th on the money list, then it's not worth it for me. You know, `I've had my career, give somebody else a chance.'
'I have a nice home in Florida. I have no problem staying at home and just enjoying things.'
Asked if this Canadian Open might be her last, Daniel said: 'I can't answer that.'
Smiling, she added, 'Who knows, maybe I'll win this year and I'll come back.'
Daniel is part of a patchwork field - minus top players such as Annika Sorenstam and Grace Park - that's vying for a share of the $1.3 million purse and taking on an unknown, 3-year-old course.
With its wide-open fairways and large, undulating greens that offer a wide array of challenging pin placements, Legends stresses accuracy on approach-shot and putting.
The field is led by U.S. Women's Open champion Meg Mallon and features only 11 of the top 20 players on the season's money list.
Other notables competing include Cristie Kerr, Se Ri Pak, Lorena Ochoa, and Paula Creamer, who finished tied with Michelle Wie as the low amateur at the Women's Open.
Then there's Aree and Naree Song, the 18-year-old Thai-born twin sisters, who are competing together in an LPGA event for only the second time after participating in the Sybase Classic in May. Aree is a tour rookie, who ranks 20th on the money list, while Naree is a member of the Futures Tour.
There's also a 19-member Canadian contingent, led by Lorie Kane, that's attempting to end a 31-year drought since the last Canadian - Jocelyne Bourassa - won the event in its first year.
Daniel's concerns about her game come at a time when there appears to be a resurgence among the tour's more experienced players, and follows Mallon's impressive victory last weekend.
The 41-year-old Mallon discounted questions about age being an issue.
'The golf course does not know my age,' she said. 'I don't know what 41 feels like because it doesn't feel any different than when I was 28, except that I have an awful lot of history behind me.'
Daniel said she's already broached the subject of retirement to some former players, such as Donna Caponi and Judy Rankin.
'I asked them, 'When did you know?' And for every one of them it's different,' Daniel said. 'I think it will be different for me, too. I'm not really the retiring type. Just one day, I'll probably walk away and that will be it.'
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Ortiz takes Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

Former Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Tour Player of the Year.

McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

Memo to the golf gods:

If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.

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Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

"I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

"I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x