College Adviser: No Publinx, no problem

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 13, 2013, 6:11 pm

The U.S. Amateur Public Links will not be played after 2014, which has created considerable consternation amongst a golf community that likely doesn’t know who played in last year’s men’s final. (Answer: T.J. Vogel over Kevin Aylwin, in a rout.)

Bad p.r. or not, the USGA correctly determined that the Publinx no longer served its original purpose, which was to offer a landing spot for golfers who were not members of USGA clubs. That changed in 1979.

And so, too, has the amateur landscape.

In recent years the Publinx has been dominated by college players, many of whom have gone on to successful pro careers, while others simply became a useless bit of trivia for dimpleheads. Since 2000, only four men (Brad Benjamin, Colt Knost, Casey Watabu, Brandt Snedeker) have won the event while not still enrolled in college – and those players had graduated only a few months prior. 

The truth is, the Publinx had become just another big-time amateur event in a summer full of them.

In a three-month span, elite amateurs can pick and choose their schedule with such premier events as the Western Amateur, Sunnehanna Amateur, Northeast Amateur, Porter Cup, Sahalee Players, Dogwood Invitational and Pacific Northwest Amateur.

In this crowded landscape, the Publinx’s demise simply makes the U.S. Amateur that much more prestigious. At least the casual fan has a chance of remembering those winners.

Here’s what else happened this week on campus:

• As predicted here, the Amer Ari Invitational came down to a playoff between top-10 teams UCLA and Washington, with the Bruins prevailing in sudden death for their second team title of the season. Auburn senior Dominic Bozzelli captured medalist honors, finishing at 11-under 205 for the All-American’s third career individual title.

• On Sunday, Florida State and sophomore Daniel Berger rolled into rival Gainesville and captured the SunTrust Gator Invitational for the first time since 1981. The Seminoles won by 15 shots at Mark Bostick Golf Course, with host Florida finishing in fourth, 19 shots behind. The Gators struggled with reigning Publinx winner T.J. Vogel (sports hernia) and Tyler McCumber (flu-like symptoms) still on the mend.

• Iowa State’s Scott Fernandez, ranked 10th in the nation by Golfstat, tied for third at this week’s UTSA Invitational. The sophomore has now finished in the top 3 in each of the four tournaments he has played this season. 

• Washington sophomore Cheng-Tsung Pan remains the No. 1 player in Golfstat’s individual rankings, followed by UCLA senior Pontus Widegren, Cal sophomore Michael Kim, Washington junior Trevor Simsby and Kent State junior Corey Conners. Alabama sophomore Justin Thomas, the reigning NCAA Player of the Year, is ninth.

Here are the top 10 men’s teams in the country, as ranked by Golfstat (click here for the full rankings): 

1. California: The Golden Bears, who won their first five events of the season, make their next start at the Feb. 20-22 John Burns Intercollegiate.

2. UCLA: The Bruins jumped from fourth to second after their most impressive performance to date, a playoff victory over Washington at the Amer Ari Invitational, which boasted seven of the top 15 (and nine of the top 25) teams in the country. Senior Pontus Widegren led UCLA with a T-4 finish.

3. Texas: The Longhorns dropped a spot in the rankings after a fourth-place showing in Hawaii, but should be encouraged by the T-4s posted by Cody Gribble and freshman Brandon Stone. 

4. Washington: Rose three spots in the rankings, even though the Huskies didn’t get the win at the Amer Ari. Washington had three players in the top 10, led by Trevor Simsby’s T-2, and world No. 1 amateur Chris Williams finished in a share of 20th.

5. New Mexico: The Lobos, who won their spring opener in Arizona, return to action at next week’s John Burns Intercollegiate.

6. Alabama: The Crimson Tide’s spring season gets under way Sunday, at the Puerto Rico Classic.

7. Florida: The Gators suffered the biggest fall of the week after a disappointing fourth-place finish at their home tournament, after which head coach Buddy Alexander sighed, “We didn’t have anything this week.' 

8. Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets held tight in the standings despite a mediocre performance in Hawaii, where only one player, Anders Albertson (T-10), finished in the top 10. 

9. Georgia: The Bulldogs leapfrogged USC without hitting a shot. They begin their spring season Sunday at the Puerto Rico Classic. 

10. USC: The Trojans rallied after a dismal first day at the Amer Ari to finish in a tie for fourth there. Anthony Paolucci led USC with a T-10 finish individually. 

Bradley, wife welcome baby boy, already rocking Patriots gear

By Grill Room TeamNovember 20, 2017, 6:40 pm

Keegan Bradley and his wife Jillian announced on social media that they welcomed a baby boy, Logan James Bradley, to the world last week.

The Bradleys both posted photos on Instagram over the weekend, introducing their healthy newborn baby, who was (not-surprisingly) already decked out in head-to-toe New England Patriots gear.

Bradley, 31, grew up in New England and is not shy about showing his support for the area's sports teams.

Logan James Bradley 11/13/17 He’s changed @jillian_bradley and my life forever. We couldn’t be happier #gopats #dab

A post shared by Keegan Bradley (@keeganbradley1) on

A big congratulations is in order for the new parents.

And all you other adorable kids of PGA Tour golfers, you've officially been put on notice. You've got some new competition.

Country music star Owen to play in event

By Will GrayNovember 20, 2017, 6:19 pm

Country music star and avid amateur golfer Jake Owen has accepted a sponsor invitation to play in the 2018 Nashville Golf Open on the Tour.

Owen, 36, has sold millions of albums while becoming one of the top male singers in the country genre. He has also been frequently spotted on the links, teeing it up last week alongside host Davis Love III in the RSM Classic pro-am and participating each of the last three years as the celebrity partner for Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Owen will now try his hand in competition against some of the game's rising stars at the May 24-27 event, held in his hometown and benefitting the charitable foundation of PGA Tour pro Brandt Snedeker.

"I am truly honored to have this opportunity to play golf with guys whose work ethic I admire so much, like my buddy Brandt Snedeker," Owen said in a release. "I know how hard everyone works to get to play in these ( Tour) tournaments. I'm really grateful, and I can't wait for this week in May 2018 to get here."

Owen will be following in the footsteps of NBA superstar Steph Curry, who played on a sponsor invite earlier this year at the's Ellie Mae Classic and, while missing the cut, largely exceeded expectations. Curry is currently listed as a 0.8 handicap, while Owen played at Pebble Beach in February as a 3 handicap.

Like Curry, Owen will play via an "unrestricted" sponsor invite and will retain his amateur status.

Jeremy Roenick uses golf clubs to catch rattlesnake

By Jason CrookNovember 20, 2017, 6:00 pm

Jeremy Roenick has never seemed to be afraid of much, whether it was another guy breaking his jaw on the hockey rink or an alligator interrupting his golf game.

The retired American hockey legend who currently works as an NBC Sports analyst was at it again over the weekend, coming across a rattlesnake in Arizona and just casually using a couple of golf clubs to catch it before grabbing it with his bare hands and showing it off for the camera.

The person recording can be heard calling Roenick "psycho" and "nuts" several times before the snake is thrown off the property.

That person is not wrong.

What's in the bag: RSM Classic winner Cook

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 20, 2017, 3:52 pm

PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook earned his first Tour title at the RSM Classic. Take a look inside his bag.

Driver: Ping G400 (8.5 degrees adjusted to 9.2), with Fujikura Speeder Evolution 661X shaft

Fairway wood: Ping G400 (13 degrees), with Fujikura Motore VC 7.0 shaft

Hybrids: Ping G400 (19, 22 degrees), with Matrix Altus Red X shafts

Irons: Ping S55 (5-PW), with KBS Tour S shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (50, 56, 60) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts

Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne

Ball: Titleist Pro V1