Six inducted into Golf Hall of Fame

By Randall MellMay 8, 2012, 1:29 am

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – If laughs were birdies, the World Golf Hall of Fame’s 2012 class might have set some scoring records during Monday’s induction ceremony.

With Dan Jenkins and Peter Alliss delivering brilliant speeches that rivaled stand-up comic acts, the night ranked as one of the most entertaining in this Hall’s history.

Phil Mickelson was no slouch, showing off his clever storytelling abilities, and Sandy Lyle and Hollis Stacy delivered poignant moments.

Nights like this can sometimes drag, but not this one, not with Alliss making sure nobody will ever forget his appearance. He pulled off the trickiest of closing statements. He somehow managed to leave the audience roaring in approval as he thrust his middle finger to the heavens as an exclamation point to one last story.

Here are highlights of the five inductees’ speeches in the order they appeared:

Dan Jenkins and tombstones . . .

Jenkins, the author/writer, wowed the audience with statistics.

He reviewed all 141 names in the Hall of Fame and came up with these stats: “I have known 95 of these people when they were living. I've written stories about 73 of them. I've had cocktails and drinks with 47 of them, and I played golf with 24 of them. So I want somebody else to try and go up against that record.”

Jenkins set a lively tone with some terrific lines.

“I am particularly pleased to be taken in as a vertical human,” he said.

Jenkins joins Bernard Darwin and Herbert Warren Wind as the only writers in the Hall of Fame. Darwin and Wind were both inducted posthumously. Jenkins said he knows what his tombstone will say when he passes: “I knew this would happen.”

Jenkins has covered 211 major championships.

“As for all those majors I've covered, it's obviously a record that'll never be broken, because one day there's not going to be any more magazines and newspapers, and, for that matter, there's not going to be any more people. There's just going to be vampires and text messages and some voice saying, `turn left now.’

Sandy Lyle and dead Scots . . .

Lyle recalled the hard climb that came before he broke through to win the British Open in 1985, before he became the first international player to win The Players Championship in '87 and before he became the first British winner of the Masters in '88.

“I remember winning Tour school,” Lyle said. “It doubled my bank balance to about 300 pounds.”

Lyle is the 11th Scot to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, the first who wasn’t inducted posthumously.

“At least I’m alive,” Lyle said.

Hollis Stacy’s love story . . .

Her induction was a love story. She recounted her love of family and her love of the game.

“There were never enough hours in the day, enough days in the week, enough weeks in the year to play golf,” Stacy said.

One of 10 children growing up in Savannah, Ga., Stacy won 18 LPGA titles and four majors. She was delighted to have 30 family and friends in attendance, including six of her siblings and her 84-year-old mother, Tillie. She lost her father and a brother, but her sister, Martha Leach, presented her. Leach won the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, making them the second sisters to win U.S. Golf Association events.

“I had some great teachers, but the intangible that separated me was growing up in a large family,” Stacy said. “My nine brothers and sisters were my biggest fans, my fiercest competitors and my best friends. I learned to live in chaos and handle things that weren’t in my control . . . I dedicate everything I’ve done to my family.”

Peter Alliss and Mrs. Weymouth . . . 

Alliss rivaled Jenkins with his comic timing.

His closing won’t soon be forgotten, ending with a crude gesture to the heavens that brought the house down as an exclamation point to his final story.

Alliss, the Englishman who played in eight Ryder Cups before becoming a popular BBC commentator, told the story of the stern education he received from Mrs. Violet Weymouth, a chunky Welsh headmistress at Crosby House.

“You didn’t mess about with Mrs. Weymouth, I can tell you that,” Alliss said. “I remember the last report she sent back to my parents, and it went something like this:  `Peter does have a brain, but he's rather loathe to use it.  His only interests appear to be the game of golf and Violet Pretty,’ a girl I liked. 'I fear for his future' were the last words she wrote on my report.”

Alliss closed saying if there is a heaven, and his parents are looking down, he hopes they’re pleased.

“And Mrs. Weymouth, if you’re there . . .”

Alliss didn’t finish the sentence, instead, thrusting his middle finger skyward.

Phil Mickelson and  . . .

Mickelson poked fun at a few folks, including himself.

He told the story of how he developed his competitive skills and his girth while working as a range picker as a kid.

“I would have putting matches with the other coworkers, and we would putt for a soda and a candy bar,” Mickelson said. “Unfortunately I was somewhat successful.”

Mickelson shared loving stories about his wife, Amy, and his three children and how they’ve come to mark time with memories of their children at majors. He also gave special thanks to Steve Loy, his agent, and his long-time caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay.

“He's a great caddie,” Mickelson said. “He's a most loyal friend.  In the mid '90s we were playing a tournament in Las Vegas and there was an earthquake at 2 in the morning.  The chandelier was swaying from side to side hitting the ceiling.  His roommate told me the next day that Bones leaped out of bed, grabbed the clubs and ran outside.  He didn't want anything to fall on them and hurt them.”

Cut Line: Lyle faces third bout with cancer

By Rex HoggardNovember 24, 2017, 5:40 pm

In this week’s holiday edition, Cut Line is thankful for the PGA Tour’s continued progress on many fronts and the anticipation that only a Tiger Woods return can generate.

Made Cut

The Fighter. That was the headline of a story Cut Line wrote about Jarrod Lyle following his second bout with cancer a few years ago, so it’s both sad and surreal to see the affable Australian now bracing for a third fight with leukemia.

Lyle is working as an analyst for Channel 7’s coverage of this week’s Emirates Australian Open prior to undergoing another stem cell transplant in December.

“I’ve got a big month coming,” Lyle said. “I’m back into hospital for some really heavy-duty treatment that’s really going to determine how things pan out for me.”

Twice before things have panned out for Lyle. Let’s hope karma has one more fight remaining.

Changing times. Last season the PGA Tour introduced a policy to add to the strength of fields, a measure that had long eluded officials and by most accounts was a success.

This season the circuit has chosen to tackle another long-standing thorn, ridiculously long pro-am rounds. While there seems little the Tour can do to speed up play during pro-am rounds, a new plan called a 9&9 format will at least liven things up for everyone involved.

Essentially, a tournament hosting a pro-am with four amateurs can request the new format, where one professional plays the first nine holes and is replaced by another pro for the second nine.

Professionals will have the option to request 18-hole pro-am rounds, giving players who limit practice rounds to just pro-am days a chance to prepare, but otherwise it allows Tour types to shorten what is an admittedly long day while the amateurs get a chance to meet and play with two pros.

The new measure does nothing about pace of play, but it does freshen up a format that at times can seem tired, and that’s progress.

Tweet of the week: @Love3d (Davis Love III‏) “Thanks to Dr. Flanagan (Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center) for the new hip and great care! Can’t wait to get back to (the PGA Tour).”

Love offered the particularly graphic tweet following hip replacement surgery on Tuesday, a procedure that he admitted he’d delayed because he was “chicken.”

The surgery went well and Love is on pace to return to the Tour sometime next spring. As for the possibility of over-sharing on social media, we’ll leave that to the crowd.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Distance control. The Wall Street Journal provided the octagon for the opening blows of a clash that has been looming for a long time.

First, USGA executive director Mike Davis told The Journal that the answer to continued distance gains may be a restricted-flight golf ball with an a la carte rule that would allow different organizations, from the Tour all the way down to private clubs, deciding which ball to use.

“You can’t say you don’t care about distance, because guess what? These courses are expanding and are predicted to continue to expand,” Davis said. “The impact it has had has been horrible.”

A day later, Wally Uihlein, CEO of Acushnet, which includes the Titleist brand, fired back in a letter to The Journal, questioning among other things how distance gains are putting a financial burden on courses.

“The only people that seem to be grappling with advances in technology and physical fitness are the short-sighted golf course developers and the supporting golf course architectural community who built too many golf courses where the notion of a 'championship golf course' was brought on line primarily to sell real estate,” Uihlein wrote.

For anyone paying attention the last few years, this day was inevitable and the likely start of what will be a drawn out and heated process, but Cut Line’s just not sure anyone wins when it’s over.

Tiger, take II. Tiger Woods’ return to competition next week at the Hero World Challenge was always going to generate plenty of speculation, but that hyperbole reached entirely new levels this week as players began giving personal accounts of the new and improved 14-time major champion.

“I did talk to him, and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years,’” Day said as he prepared for the Australian Open. “If he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.”

Rickie Fowler added to the frenzy when he was asked this month if the rumors that Woods is driving the ball by him, by 20 to 30 yards by some reports, are true?

“Oh, yeah,” he told “Way by.”

Add to all this a recent line that surfaced in Las Vegas that Woods is now listed at 20-1 to win a major in 2018, and it seems now may be a good time for a restraint.

Golf is better with Woods, always has been and always will be, but it may be best to allow Tiger time to find out where his body and game are before we declare him back.

Missed Cut

Searching for answers. Twelve months ago, Hideki Matsuyama was virtually unstoppable and, regardless of what the Official World Golf Ranking said, arguably the best player on the planet.

Now a year removed from that lofty position, which featured the Japanese star finishing either first or second in six of his seven starts as the New Year came and went, Matsuyama has faded back to fifth in the world and on Sunday finished fifth, some 10 strokes behind winner Brooks Koepka, at the Dunlop Phoenix.

“That hurt,” Matsuyama told the Japan Times. “I don’t know whether it’s a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well. It seems there are many issues to address.”

Since his last victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Matsuyama has just two top-10 finishes on Tour and he ended his 2016-17 season with a particularly poor performance at the Presidents Cup.

While Matsuyama’s take seems extreme considering his season, there are certainly answers that need answering.

Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET

An Instagram user known as hwalks posted photos to her account that included images of Tiger Woods, President Trump and Dustin Johnson Friday at Trump National, as well as video of Woods' swing.

Here are some other social media posts that have surfaced:

Original story:

Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''

Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.