Monday qualifier Wheatcroft grabs Houston lead

By Will GrayMarch 29, 2013, 11:21 pm

After a second consecutive round of 5-under 67, Steve Wheatcroft finds himself in an unfamiliar position – atop the leaderboard at a PGA Tour event. Here's the scoop heading into the third round at the Shell Houston Open, where Wheatcroft holds a one-shot lead over a pair of golfers:

The leaderboard: Steve Wheatcroft (-10), D.A. Points (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brian Davis (-7), Stewart Cink (-7), Bill Haas (-6), Angel Cabrera (-6)

What it means: Having only even gained entry into this week's field through a Monday qualifier, Wheatcroft now finds himself in sole possession of the overnight lead on the PGA Tour for the first time in his career. While many of the bigger names like Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy struggled to make the cut, the veteran of the Web.com Tour appeared at ease while carding a bogey-free 67 Friday. 

Round of the day: Still seeking his first win since the 2009 Open Championship, Cink carded a 6-under 66 Friday, the lowest round of the day. The Georgia Tech alum notched three straight birdies from holes 4-6 and added three more on the back nine, completing his second round without a bogey.

Best of the rest: Though he still missed the cut, Peter Tomasulo deserves credit for an impressive turnaround. After a lackluster 82 Thursday, Tomasulo was a whopping 15 shots better during the third round, one of just three players (along with Wheatcroft and Josh Teater) to card a 5-under 67 Friday.

Biggest disappointment: In need of a strong finish to secure an invitation to the Masters, Geoff Ogilvy fell apart Friday. The Aussie shot a 7-over 79 in the second round, including a quadruple-bogey 7 on the par-3 seventh hole, and missed the cut by a wide margin. Though he is currently No. 50 in the world rankings, the missed cut will likely drop him outside the top 50 and deny him a return trip to Augusta.

Main storyline heading into Saturday: Can the unknowns stay out in front? Of the top five players on the leaderboard, three are seeking their first career PGA Tour win, while Points has only one win to his credit and Cink has not hoisted a trophy in nearly four years. Strong players loom just a few shots off the lead, though, including Haas and Dustin Johnson, who is 5 under through 36 holes.

Shot of the day: A runner-up here a year ago, Carl Pettersson was in danger of missing the cut after opening with a 2-over 74 Thursday. He was able to advance to the weekend, though, largely thanks to his effort at the par-3 seventh hole Friday, where the Swede recorded a hole-in-one from 174 yards out en route to shooting a 3-under 69.

Quote of the day: 'This is about the same position I was in in 2011 when I ended up winning, I was about 50th...I finally feel like my game is in the position to light it up, where when I go to the range I'm not trying to search for something.' – Mickelson, who begins the third round nine shots off the lead at 1-under 143.

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.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: