Wittenberg Signs with Callaway
'It's a great thrill for me to be associated with Callaway Golf,' said Wittenberg, who turned professional following the U.S. Open and signed with IMG. 'I have played Callaway equipment for most of my life and have had great success with it. It's a company that is synonymous with cutting edge technology in golf clubs and golf balls, and I am amazed by the expertise and professionalism of the Callaway Golf tour staff. I look forward to a great partnership both on and off the golf course.'
Wittenberg has already compiled some major highlights at golf's biggest events, including an impressive tie for 13th finish at the 2004 Masters, which was the best Masters finish by an amateur in 41 years and gives him an invitation to play in next year's event. Additionally, Wittenberg was the only golfer in the field to improve his score each day, shooting rounds of 76-72-71-67, and his final round included a back nine score of 31- the lowest Sunday back nine total by an amateur in tournament history.
He backed up his Masters debut with an impressive showing at the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills last month, shooting rounds of 71-71 to easily make the cut and finished at 296, the second-best total by an amateur.
A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Wittenberg recently earned All-American honors during his freshman year at Oklahoma State University. Prior to turning professional, Wittenberg was the No. 1 ranked amateur for almost a year and joined Tiger Woods as the only other player to achieve the No. 1 amateur ranking prior to entering college.
In 2003, while only 18 years old, Wittenberg dominated amateur golf. He finished runner-up at the U.S. Amateur at Oakmont Country Club, where he lost in a sudden death play-off. He was selected as a member of the 2003 Walker Cup team and was the youngest participant on either side.
Prior to joining the Walker Cup Team, Wittenberg won the prestigious Porter Cup, where he set a tournament record by finishing at 14-under-par 266. Wittenberg also won the Southern Amateur and the Terra Cotta Amateur last year.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.
The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18