Big News and Bad News

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 13, 2008, 4:00 pm
In Backspin, GolfChannel.com takes a look back on the biggest stories from the past week in golf ' with a spin.
 
SCRAMBLING SEVE: Amid a week's worth of news reports discussing his health, Seve Ballesteros announced on Sunday that doctors had indeed found a brain tumor. The Spanish legend will undergo further tests this week so doctors will know how to proceed with his condition.
 
BackspinSupport for Ballesteros has already begun pouring in from all over the world, and rightfully so. One of the most charismatic golfers to ever play the game, Seve is now starting to see how his style of play endeared him to golf fans the world over. And like always, it's too bad that it takes news like this for the love and respect to really bubble up.
 

A COUPLE OF THOUGHTS: Next year's U.S. Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples said in a press conference that he would like to include basketball legend Michael Jordan and comedian Robin Williams as part of his team. Couples wants Jordan, a six-time NBA champion, to add inspiration, while Williams would add some levity during the evenings.
 
BackspinPerhaps International captain Greg Norman could counter with Canadian comedians Dan Aykroyd, Jim Carrey or Mike Myers on the funny side. And maybe some cricket or rugby legend (wed list some, but we dont know of any) to stoke competitive fires. This is the difference between the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup: the former doesnt take itself as seriously. And this is why Couples is the perfect Presidents Cup captain.
 

TIGER'S PEBBLE BEACH: Tiger Woods announced this past week that he is designing a course 70 miles south of San Diego. Woods says the course, called Punta Brava, has 17 greens or tees on the water, with eight shots played over water. The price tag on this development is roughly $100 million and will include the golf course, a hotel, some villas and 40 estate lots where the price tag starts at $3 million and goes to $12 million.
 
BackspinWere sure the course will be strikingly beautiful, but just having Tigers name on the design will truly make it shine. Tiger is definitely golfs golden child. Not only does he make a fortune on and off the course; he makes others tons of money simply by association.
 

BLIND AMBITION TOUR: The European Tour unveiled its 2009 schedule, introducing the highly anticipated Race to Dubai. The schedule includes more than two dozen countries on five continents, has more tournaments than there are weeks in the year, and culminates with a $20 million destination in Dubai.
 
BackspinThe top 60 on the money list qualify for the season-ending Dubai World Championship, which offers a $10 million purse for the tournament, along with a $10 million bonus for the top 15 on the money list. You have to be a member, however, in order to qualify ' and being a member now means competing in 12 European Tour events on the season, not 11. The Race to Dubai will certainly have intrigue and possibly more excitement than the FedEx Cup, but there is one thing it wont have: Tiger Woods.
 

GEORGIA ON MY MIND: Zach Johnson played a nearly flawless final round, posting a 6-under 64 to win the Valero Texas Open by two shots over a trio of players. It was Johnson's fourth career PGA Tour title.
 
BackspinThe victory also happened to be Johnson's first outside of Georgia. After a tough year in which the former Masters champion had just one top-10 to his credit, were pretty certain he could have won on Mars and been just as happy. Two states down and just 48 to go. Well, actually a lot less seeing as how we don't think the Tour will ever stage an Alaskan Open.
 

FINAL CURTAIN: The Champions Tour played the season's final major of the year and D.A. Weibring was the last man standing, winning the Senior Players Championship by a stroke over Fred Funk and by two over Nick Price, Jeff Sluman and Ben Crenshaw.
 
Backspin The 55-year-old Weibring made no apologies for the win, despite believing that the crowd in Maryland had other players in mind to win the title, saying, I know the people here wanted Nick Price to win and they wanted Fred Funk. I understood that. The $390,000 first-place check ' the biggest payday of his career ' no doubt took some of the sting out of feeling slighted.
 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Madrid, Spain made a bid to host the 2018 Ryder Cup Tiger Woods AT&T National may be headed to Aronimink Golf Club in suburban Philadelphia for 2010 and 2011 Tigers caddie, Steve Williams, will debut as a TV analyst during the Kiwi Challenge in his native New Zealand In-Kyung Kim held on to win the Longs Drugs Challenge, her first career LPGA Tour title Charl Schwartzel won the Madrid Masters. Coincidentally, the South African's only other victory on tour came in Spain, at last year's Spanish Open.
 
BackspinSergio Garcia will be 38 years old by that time. Think hell have a major by then? Members at Aronimink are to vote Oct. 15 on whether to accept the proposal Williams as a member of the media? Thats less believable than a player winning a major on a broken leg This win for Kim is no fluke as the 20-year-old South Korean already has six top-10 finishes this year, including a tie for third at the U.S. Womens Open Unfortunately for Schwartzel, the big news out of Madrid all week was the health of a local golfing hero.
 

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage ' Valero Texas Open
  • Full Coverage ' Senior Players Championship
  • Full Coverage ' Longs Drugs Challenge
  • Full Coverage ' Madrid Masters
  • Full Coverage ' WNB Golf Classic
  • More Headlines
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.