Whaley Praises Wies Mind Techniques

By Golf Channel NewsroomJanuary 20, 2004, 5:00 pm
Once every 50 years, is the way that Suzy Whaley describes it. She says that Michelle Wie is a physical specimen unlike any other in golf today, a female golfer that seemingly comes along only once every half-century.
 
Whaley is the head professional at Blue Fox Run Golf Club in Avon, Conn. Shes also a teaching professional. And she also became only the second woman in 58 years ' following Annika Sorenstam ' to play in a PGA Tour event when she played in the Greater Hartford Open last year. Incidentally, she qualified for that event by winning her PGA of America sectional event ' the first woman in 58 years to qualify for a PGA Tour event.
 
Appearing Monday night with host Kelly Tilghman on the Golf Channels Academy Live, Whaley discussed the ways in which she diffused the tension which threatened to grab her at the GHO. And she marveled at the abilities of Wie, the 14-year-old Hawaiian who missed the cut by just one shot when she shot 72-68 last week in the Hawaiian Open.
 
I never would have believed ' never! ' that anyone who was female could have played as well as she did last week, said Whaley. It was tremendous ' and to be just 14 ' and without any look of fear whatsoever. To do it ' and she belonged out there without any issue. It was truly amazing. It was fun to watch!
 
Suzy Whaley and Kelly Tilghman on Academy LiveWhaley agreed that it takes a strong head on ones shoulders to shake the fears of playing in a PGA Tour event ' especially a woman playing on the tour for the first time. She went to University of North Carolinas mental coach Bob Rotella for help in the mental game, which to her was almost as difficult a task in preparing for her awesome assignment as preparing for the physical game.
 
What I do is take three basic steps ' I worked on my focus, what I could do with visualization, pre-shot routine, what I could do to make sure that each and every shot, I was in the present. I was there during that shot, and I didnt have to think about it when it was done, she said.
 
I worked on tension management, which was controlling the amount of tension I was feeling the entire round, and I did that for certain exercises and certain drills and for breathing techniques; and I worked on my decision-making
 
'I think thats what Michelle did so well ' she hit shots that she knew shed hit before. She didnt try anything that she didnt know what to do. She stayed within herself and played HER game, which made her play well.
 
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you watch Wie play, Tilghman asked Whaley? One of the things is her strength.
 
A strong left leg at impact, said Whaley. The strength that is in her lower body, as well as in her upper body ' there are very few females that have that kind of strength. I think to be able to hold the impact position as long as she can is very unusual for a female.
 
Whaley dissected Wies swing in a video which depicted the 14-year-old launching a driver.
 
Swing analysis of Michelle Wie on Academy LiveHer posture really impresses me ' shes 6 feet tall, and very straight in the back area, Whaley said as she watched the video. And just excellent position with her arms. Strong left arm to start this golf swing. Her feet are a little further than shoulder-width apart, but that OK - shes hitting a driver in this frame.
 
As she takes the club back, what is so incredibly impressive is her lower body is still under her ' what I mean by that is that both knees are still flexed, straight left arm, you can see the L that her wrist hinge has made for her. And from the L position, she actually rotates to the top of her backswing instead of lifts; her shoulder turn is just massive. Her coil is just huge!
 
And when she starts to go down in her golf swing, she steps into that left side. There is no throw from the top in Michelles golf swing. Both knees are moving in the same direction. And her left side is straight and firm.
 
Whaley wondered at the positions into which Wie coiled her body. Her flexibility is unreal! she said.
 
Shes the real deal.

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:

Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''


Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday.