Green Strange Elected into World Golf Hall of Fame

By Golf Channel NewsroomApril 18, 2007, 4:00 pm
SAVANNAH, Ga. -- It almost became a rite of spring for Curtis Strange and Hubert Green, two players with Hall of Fame credentials and blunt opinions who kept watching their peers get one of the highest honors in golf.
'I never really thought much about the Hall of Fame until Hubert would call me every year about this time and say, 'Did you get the call?'' Strange said. 'And I would say, 'No. You?''
The call finally arrived for both Wednesday.
Strange, the dominant American golfer of the 1980s whose career was defined by his consecutive U.S. Open victories, was elected through the PGA TOUR ballot with 70 percent of the vote, easily getting the required 65 percent.
Green won 19 times and two majors, no victory more memorable than the 1977 U.S. Open at Southern Hills when he was told of a death threat on the back nine of the final round and handled it with fearless tenacity.
'On 15, I hit my second shot in the back of the green; the pin was in the front,' Green recalled. 'I got over the putt and I'm thinking, 'Am I supposed to be shot?' Hit the putt. Didn't hear anything. I said, 'Chicken.' Didn't say it too loud.'
He was selected through the Veteran's Category.
That brings total membership in the World Golf Hall of Fame to 114. Se Ri Pak has qualified through the LPGA Tour and will become eligible when she plays her 10th tournament this year, giving her the required 10 years on tour. The World Golf Hall of Fame will announce other selections through either the Veteran's Category or Lifetime Achievement this summer.
The induction ceremony is Nov. 12 at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla.
No one was elected from the International ballot. If no one receives the necessary 65 percent, the highest vote-getter is elected provided he gets at least 50 percent. Jumbo Ozaki of Japan got 46 percent of the vote, followed by Jose Maria Olazabal (43 percent) and Sandy Lyle (37 percent).
From the PGA Tour ballot, Craig Wood had 57 percent of the vote. Lanny Wadkins had 50 percent.
The 52-year-old Strange won 17 times on the PGA TOUR. While some of his peers (Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite) won more often, Strange was considered the best American in a decade when global stars emerged like Greg Norman, Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo.
Strange beat Faldo in an 18-hole playoff at The Country Club in 1988 to win the U.S. Open for his first major. A year later at Oak Hill, he became the first player since Ben Hogan (1950-51) to win back-to-back U.S. Open titles. Sixteen of his victories came in the 1980s, when Strange won the money title three times and in 1988 became the first player to crack the $1 million mark.
He also played on five Ryder Cup teams and was the U.S. captain in 2002, when he and Sam Torrance helped restore sportsmanship and the proper spirit to matches that had gotten ugly at Brookline, then postponed a year because of the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks.
'We don't ever sit back and reflect on what you've done or what you hope to do,' Strange said. 'That's not in our nature. We're always trying to go forward. I think now we can possibly sit back and enjoy it a little bit. It's certainly a wonderful feeling. To think about being involved in an organization that goes back to the greats we grew up idolizing ... it's quite overwhelming.'
Green, who overcame oral cancer four years ago, won 19 times on the PGA TOUR, all but three of them in the 1970s. His final victory was the 1985 PGA Championship at Cherry Hills, where he defeated Lee Trevino by two shots.
A third major eluded him in 1978 at the Masters, when Gary Player closed with a 64 to make up a three-shot deficit. Needing a birdie to force a playoff, Green hit an 8-iron to 3 feet on the final hole. He missed the putt when he heard a radio announcer.
'Anything you've done is all part of your career,' Green said. 'It's not good all the time. Different folks might think about the putt I missed at Augusta. Some folks might think it's the win at the Open with the death threat, or beating Trevino in the PGA.'
Asked what he was most proud of in his career, the 60-year-old Green replied, 'Getting in the Hall of Fame.'
'It's a nice, quiet feeling of success,' he said. 'When you're out hitting golf balls, trying to improve your game, you don't know how well you've done. To be involved in this organization is the pinnacle of life. I'm not sure if I'm qualified, but they're letting me in now, so the hell with everybody else.'
The room erupted in laughter. It was the kind of talk for which Green and Strange were known. They didn't sugarcoat anything, no matter how many people they might have offended.
'Honestly, I never thought much about the Hall of Fame other than this time of the year when Hubert would say something to me,' Strange said. 'But it's a vote. You know that. There's enough stories in other sports. It did cross my mind, and it's hard for me to answer.'
Green said his father taught him to be a straight shooter in words and deeds.
'If someone asked me what I thought about a golf course, I told them,' he said. 'Do you want me to lie. You ask a question and I think you would expect the truth. I always thought that was more important than being a politician. All we can do is play golf.'
As Hall of Fame members, each now has his own vote.
'I'm going to vote Curtis off,' Green said with a laugh.
Continue for the complete PGA TOUR and International ballots.
PGA TOUR Ballot (92% returned)
Curtis Strange (70 percent)
Craig Wood (57 percent)
Hubert Green (52 percent) * selected in the Veterans category in 2007
Lanny Wadkins (50 percent)
Denny Shute (31 percent)
Doug Ford (30 percent)
Bob Charles (23 percent)
Tony Lema (23 percent)
Ken Venturi (23 percent)
Mark O'Meara (19 percent)
Macdonald Smith (18 percent)
Fred Couples (17 percent)
Davis Love III (16 percent)
Miller Barber (13 percent)
Don January (13 percent)
Fuzzy Zoeller (13 percent)
Dave Stockton (9 percent)
Harold Jug McSpaden (7 percent)
John Daly (2 percent)
David Toms (1 percent)
International Ballot 91% returned)
Masashi Jumbo Ozaki (46 percent)
Jose Maria Olazabal (43 percent)
Sandy Lyle (37 percent)
Colin Montgomerie (27 percent)
Graham Marsh (20 percent)
Christy OConnor, Sr. (19 percent)
Ian Woosnam (19 percent)
Peter Alliss (18 percent)
Kel Nagle (16 percent)
Norman Von Nida (10 percent)
Max Faulkner (6 percent)
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Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

“I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

“The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

He's making his first start in the event.

''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

How rare is his missing the cut there?

The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.