Heart Warming

By Mercer BaggsMarch 9, 2009, 4:00 pm

WINNING ISN'T EVERYTHING: Erik Compton closed in 2-over 72 to finish at 3 over, and in a tie for 44th. The two-time heart transplant recipient will play in this week's opposite-field event in Puerto Rico and then again at Bay Hill.
Backspin Compton opened with back-to-back 69s to get within five of the 36-hole lead. The coolest part of his week, however, was having John Paul George, who is 4'1' and has a condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, meaning the left side of the heart hasnt formed properly, walk as his standard bearer in Round 2. George, who was never supposed to be born, is now 14. On the final hole Friday, Compton asked George to touch his putter for good luck. He then rolled in a 20-footer for birdie. This is the best day of my life, George said afterwards.

SILLY TIGER: Tiger Woods committed to play in this week's WGC-CA Championship at Doral. It will be his first stroke-play event since undergoing knee surgery last year. Tiger had until 5 p.m. ET Friday to officially enter the field. He made his announcement a little after 2 p.m. on his Web site.
Backspin For some reason Tiger gets a kick out of not letting people know his schedule until just about the last minute, even if it's rather obvious (like he wasn't going to play a tournament he's won six times, on a course on which he's won four times). He probably plays games with Elin all the time. Tiger: Guess who I saw at Perkins today? Elin: I don't know. Tiger: Well guess. Elin: I really don't know and don't care, I've been taking care of two kids today and I'm too tired to guess. Tiger: Well then I'm not going to tell you and you'll never know.

Y.E.S.: Y.E. Yang, ranked 460th entering the week, captured the Honda Classic, parring the final hole for a one-shot victory over John Rollins. The win earned him a two-year PGA Tour exemption, a check for $1,008,000, a spot in this weeks CA Championship at Doral, plus an invitation to next months Masters.
Backspin If I turned a street corner and got punched in the stomach by Don Rickles, I'd have sooner seen that coming than Y.E. Yang winning this week.

SOCKS AND SHOES REQUIRED: It was a tough week for the notable names at PGA National. Sergio Garcia, Davis Love and Ernie Els made the cut, but never factored. Camilo Villegas, Justin Rose and Stuart Appleby (a former champion) missed the cut.
Backspin Meanwhile, the final leaderboard went as follows: Y.E. Yang, John Rollins, Ben Crane, Jeff Klauk, Robert Allenby, Scott Piercey, etc., etc., etc. If you're one of those people who loves non-Tiger golf because it opens up the field for everyone ... boy, did you have a doozy this week.

SPECIAL DEDICATION: Robert Allenby was just one off the lead entering the final round at PGA National, but shot 2-over 72 to fall into a tie for seventh. Allenby remains winless on the PGA Tour since 2001.
Backspin A victory for Allenby would not only be beneficial to his confidence, but therepuetic to his soul. Allenby's mother died of lung and kidney cancer in January. Even before she passed away, the Australian's been looking for that one win to dedicate to her. He's playing well at the moment ... he just needs to find a way to control his emotions on Sunday.

WE CAN SEE AUGUSTA FROM HERE: The Honda Classic officially kicked off the Florida Swing, as well as the march to the Masters Tournament. Four tournaments in Florida, one in Texas (and one in Puerto Rico, too), and then the big one in Georgia.
Backspin There are 13 weeks, once the PGA Tour season begins, before the world's best reach Augusta. It's almost intolerable. It's like putting a pony in my shed in September and telling my daughters they can't ride it until Christmas. That's not going to work out too well for the girls or the pony.

CLUTCH SPELLED S-H-I-N: Jiyai Shin earned her fourth LPGA title in eight months, beating a solid field at the HSBC Women's Champions. Shin, the reigning Women's British Open champion, shot a Sunday 66 for a two-stroke win over Katherine Hull.
Backspin Shin apparently is known as the 'Final-Round Queen' in South Korea. Last year, she closed in 66 to win the British, 67 to capture the Mizuno Classic, and was the low woman in the final round of the ADT Championship playoffs. And she's only 20.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Eduardo Romero won the Champions Tour's Toshiba Classic. ... Steve Alker captured the Nationwide Tour's New Zealand PGA. ...Thirty-seven spouses and significant others of Tour pros played a nine-hole, four-woman scramble in the PGA Tour Wives Classic.
Backspin In doing so, Romero kept Mark O'Meara winless on the senior circuit. ... Alker, a native Kiwi, shot 67-67 over the weekend for the win. ... The ladies raised over $100,000 for charity, while the men had to wear pink-trimmed caddie bibs.

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage 'Honda Classic
  • Full Coverage 'HSBC Women's Champions
  • Complete News Headlines
  • 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.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.