Miller talks Tiger, Phil and Rory's chances at Olympic

By Randall MellMay 24, 2012, 5:00 pm

Nobody knows Olympic Club better than NBC analyst Johnny Miller.

In a conference call Thursday, Miller was asked about a wide range of topics in preparation for Olympic’s hosting of the U.S. Open in three weeks, including his assessment of the chances of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy, the three biggest names in golf today.

Miller grew up playing Olympic, his home course.

Here’s Miller on today’s triumvirate:

On Woods – “The one thing about Tiger, he knows Olympic Club, and it wouldn’t surprise me, if he can somehow get his game together . . . It fell apart at the Masters after winning Bay Hill, which was a shock to me. You could never say nerves ever had anything to do with anything his whole career, and all of a sudden at the Masters, he fell apart because of nerves, first time in his career. I don’t know what to think of Tiger Woods at the Open. I don’t know if that was something where he’ll learn from Augusta, or if that is just something he can’t control.”

On Mickelson – “The factor has been his driver. He has almost won the Open despite his crazy driving of the ball. If he would have driven the ball well in any one of those five runner-ups, he would have won at least one Open, and probably two or three Opens. You remember at Winged Foot, he hit like three fairways the whole last round and almost won the dang thing. The guy’s like a magician . . .

“This is going to be one of the hardest driving courses in the history of modern Opens . . . The thing I do like about Phil is his little, high draw really sets up great for a lot of the approach shots to the greens, but that being said, Olympic is a precision course . . . . So, he’s going to have to change his aggressive style of play and make it fit Olympic Club, otherwise, he won’t have a chance of contending.”

On McIlroy – “Last year, Congressional was a good course, but it was almost like a Tour course. This is a whole different ballgame. They are back to more being at a U.S. Open. He won in a more non-traditional U.S. Open setup, in my opinion. Now, we are going to get back to where, I believe, it’s not going to be so much fun and games out there. It’s going to be hard work. I think it’s a sterner test. I might be wrong, but probably 3, 4, 5 under par will win the championship, and there might be only three, four or five guys under par . . . So Rory basically won waltzing around like it was no big deal, and I just don’t see Olympic Club, with its hilly lies and tiny greens, I don’t see that being something easy for anyone going around. Rory is a good pick, by the way.”

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.