Backspin Highlighting 2010 - COPIED

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 21, 2010, 9:28 am



Geoff Ogilvy

JANUARY:

The residual from Tiger Woods' Thanksgiving 2009 crash spilled over into 2010 and dominated most of the year. The first month of the year consisted mainly of questions: Where was he? When would he return? Exactly how many mistresses did he have?

Geoff Ogilvy, finally gave us some golf to talk about when he defended his title at the season-opening SBS Championship.

                                                                       
Twenty-two years after father Jay did the same, Bill Haas won the Bob Hope Classic.
                                                              
                                                                        

 


Tiger Woods

FEBRUARY:

One of the hottest topics early in the 2010 golf season was the grooves debate. Players like Phil Mickelson and John Daly used Ping wedges which had square grooves – illegal by U.S. Golf Association standards, save for that particular brand. Scott McCarron went so far as to call the use of such wedges 'cheating.'


While that fire eventually died down, the Tiger Woods saga was just heating up. Woods made his first televised appearance since his scandal broke the previous November, on Feb. 19, before a hand-selected audience in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

 



Ernie Els

MARCH:

Ernie Els ended a two-year winless drought on the PGA Tour by capturing both the WGC-CA Championship and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.


A Jacksonville newspaper revealed John Daly's lengthy Tour rap sheet, which included a list of transgressions longer than Rapunzel's hair.

On the Tiger front, Woods announced he would return to competition at the Masters Tournament. He also gave his first interview of the year to Golf Channel's. Kelly Tilghman.

 




Phil Mickelson

APRIL:

Tiger Woods faced a packed press room at Augusta National and then tied for fourth at the Masters Tournament.
He followed that, however, with a missed cut at Quail Hollow.

Yani Tseng won her second career major championship at the Kraft Nabisco.

Phil Mickelson earned his third career green jacket by making birdie on four of his final seven holes, including the shot of the year – his second to the par-5 13th – en route to a three-stroke triumph over Lee Westwood.

 



Lorena Ochoa

MAY:

Lorena Ochoa, who announced her retirement in April, played her final event as a full-time LPGA member, finishing sixth at the Tres Marias Championship in Mexico.


Erica Blasberg, a 25-year-old LPGA professional, was found dead in her Nevada home May 9. Her death was later ruled a suicide.

Tiger Woods withdrew from The Players Championship due to an injured neck and split with coach Hank Haney.                                                                        Japanese sensation Ryo Ishikawa fired a 12-under 58 to win on the Japan PGA Tour.

 


Graeme McDowell

JUNE:

Lee Westwood earned his first PGA Tour win since 1998 when Robert Garrigus blew a three-stroke lead on the final hole of the FedEx St. Jude.

One week later, Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell captured the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach when Dustin Johnson blew a three-stroke lead in the final round. McDowell finished at even-par, with Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson all coming up short.

Cristie Kerr won the LPGA Championship by 12 strokes for her second career major title.

 


Paula Creamer

JULY:

Paula Creamer became a first-time major champion, overcoming an injured thumb and a beast of a course in Oakmont to defeat Suzann Pettersen and Na Yeon Choi by four strokes at the U.S. Women's Open.


Louis Oosthuizen routed the field at the Open Championship at St. Andrews. The 27-year-old South African won the men's third major of the season by seven strokes.

Leading into the Open, Paul Goydos shot 12-under 59 in the first round of the John Deere Classic. He eventually finished second to Steve Stricker.

 



Dustin Johnson

AUGUST:

Dustin Johnson unwittingly grounded his club in a bunker on the 72nd hole of the PGA Championship. His bogey-5 was turned into a 7 and he missed a playoff by those two strokes. Germany's Martin Kaymer won the three-hole aggregate playoff over Bubba Watson.


Yani Tseng won her second major of the season at the Women's British Open.

Stuart Appleby became the second player of 2010 to shoot 59 on Tour, doing so in the final round to win the Greenbrier Classic.

 



Jim Furyk

SEPTEMBER:

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin filled out his team by using his wild-card selections on Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler, Stewart Cink and Zach Johnson.

Woods, who was officially divorced from Elin Nordegren the previous month, committed to instructor Sean Foley; though, he didn't qualify for the FedEx Cup finale in Atlanta.

Jim Furyk punctuated a thrilling FedEx Cup – and wrapped up P.O.Y. honors – with a $10 million-winning bunker shot on the final hole of the Tour Championship.

 


Ryder Cup

OCTOBER:

Led by captain Colin Montgomerie, Europe won back the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in Wales, defeating the U.S., 14 1/2-13 1/2. The competition was plagued by rain, controversy
and a Monday finish, but concluded in dramatic fashion.

Jonathan Byrd made a hole-in-one on the fourth hole of sudden death to win the Justin Timberlake SHO.

Matteo Manassero, who in April became the youngest player to make the cut at the Masters, became the youngest player to win on the European Tour at 17 years, 188 days.

 



Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood

NOVEMBER:

It officially happened on Oct. 31, but Lee Westwood teed it up in November's WGC-HSBC Champions as the No. 1 player in the world, ending Tiger Woods' run of 281 consecutive weeks atop the rankings.


Rory McIlroy and Martin Kaymer announced that they would give up their PGA Tour memberships in 2011. Louis Oosthuizen said he would accept his Tour membership.

Robert Garrigus rebounded from a devastating defeat in May to win the PGA Tour season finale at Disney World.

 



Joseph Bramlett

DECEMBER:

Graeme McDowell put the finishing touches on a spectacular season by holing a pair of 20-foot birdie putts to win the Chevron World Challenge, and in the process deny Tiger Woods his first victory in over a year.


Maria Hjorth ended the LPGA season by winning the Tour Championship. Yani Tseng was crowned Player of the Year.

Joseph Bramlett, 22, became the first player of African-American heritage to earn his PGA Tour card since Woods, tying for 16th at Q-School.

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Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"


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The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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LPGA lists April date for new LA event

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.