Strange Speaks on Ryder Cup
Strange said that he and European captain Sam Torrance have discussed at length the importance of not repeating any unsportsman-like instances, such as the one that transpired on the 17th green Sunday in 1999 at Brookline when the U.S. Team rushed the green upon Justin Leonard's 45-foot Cup-clinching putt.
'Sam and I have talked a lot about, you know, respect and etiquette for each other as players,' said Strange. 'That's something Sam and I are going to stress to our team. Just because, you know, we have a very special sport here and we think a lot of it. And we think a lot of the Ryder Cup, but we don't want to do anything to hurt either one. It's as simple as that.'
The Ryder Cup won't be the first time Strange and Torrance will do battle. Wednesday, Strange disclosed that he and his counterpart would have a friendly battle in a Shell's Wonderful World of Golf match to be contested in Rhode Island on June 19th, the Tuesday before the Buick Classic.
Strange also said he will be playing in this year's Benson & Hedges International Open, to be held at The Belfry, May 10-13.
'I think somewhere during (Ryder Cup) week it might help that I know the golf course,' Strange said. 'It's been a long time since I played (the course), I just think, somewhere during the week, it might help.'
Strange has also listened to advice from past Cup captains such as Tom Kite, Lanny Wadkins and Tom Watson.
'It wouldn't be smart for me not to because there's so much resource for me to talk to about anything about the Ryder Cup,' Strange said.
Due to his responsibilities as Ryder Cup captain, Strange is not a fulltime member on the PGA Tour for the first time since 1977. The five-time Ryder Cup team member (6-12-2 career record) said he needed to put the majority of his time and energy into his captaincy.
'It's a long process. It really is,' he said of preparing for the event. 'It's a lot more than I ever anticipated, but it's been fun, too. It's certainly an eye-opener.'
In terms of his team, Strange said he supports Tiger Woods' decision to play in the Trophee Lancome, held in France the week prior to the Ryder Cup. Strange said, depending upon the player, 'it can be advantageous to play the week before.'
And though he stated there would be no opportunity to get the team together as a group beforehand, Strange said he had no pre-conceived notions of how he would fill his team - veterans or rookies - with his two-wildcard selections.
'Everybody is on the list. I have not eliminated one person, as far as who might be an option,' Strange said. 'Everybody has to do this for the first time and to see somebody's eyes, you know, whoever the first-timer on our team, or two or three of the them, can you imagine their eyes when they get over to The Belfry and see all of these people and see all the atmosphere?
'There's a lot of adrenaline going through the body - the flag, the Star-Spangled Banner, all that stuff. It's a very unique, nice feeling.'
Full Coverage of the 34th Ryder Cup Matches
McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School
One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.
McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.
It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.
McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).
Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).
Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.
Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award
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.
Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4
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
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."
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.