What's intriguing about the rest of the 2012 golf season?

By Randall MellOctober 4, 2012, 9:21 pm

The majors have come and gone, the playoffs are finished and the Ryder Cup has wrapped up, but the golf season is far from over. The GolfChannel.com team weighs in with what they are most looking forward to over the final three months of 2012.

By RANDALL MELL

The world’s most colorful tour isn’t done entertaining us just yet.

The world’s best players aren’t done competing against each other for a meaningful title in 2012.

The European Tour’s DP World Tour Championship in Dubai is the most important competition left this year.

The Race to Dubai’s season finale Nov. 22-25 will bring all those European Ryder Cup stars back together in a bid to win the European Tour’s most coveted prize.

Eight of the top 10 players in this week’s Race to Dubai standings were members of the European Ryder Cup team that stunned the Americans by equaling the greatest comeback in Ryder Cup history. All 12 Euro Ryder Cuppers will rank among the top 60 who earn invites to the DP World Tour Championship next month.

Rory McIlroy, who should run away with the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year voting, is going after the Harry Vardon Trophy as the European Tour’s Race to Dubai winner. He leads the Race to Dubai standings. Who will step up to challenge him in the next seven weeks? Can Ian Poulter ride his hot Ryder Cup performance and challenge McIlroy in Dubai? Some of the best questions left in golf this year will be asked and answered in the Race to Dubai’s finish.


By REX HOGGARD

Whatever the Ryder Cup proved – Europe’s dominance, America’s perceived indifference, the inherent pressures of team golf – the three-day mosh pit did come up short in one critical race between the game’s alpha males.

As riveting as Sunday at Medinah was, it failed to give us the much-anticipated match-up between world No. 1 Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods. Truth is Lombard (Ill.) deputy police chief Patrick Rollins, who rushed McIlroy to the golf course on Sunday, spent more time with the Ulsterman last week than Woods.

Although the two failed to meet in match play at Medinah, the budding rivalry will be, with apologies to the Fall Series and the last edition of a meaningful Q-School, the most compelling headline in a rapidly waning season.

The two are scheduled to play next week’s Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals, an eight-man exhibition ripe with head-to-head opportunities, and again in an 18-hole match on Oct. 29 in China.

Neither event means much when compared with last week’s Ryder Cup drama, but the growing sentiment that the duo is destined to develop one of the game’s classic rivalries, however friendly, will only be fueled by the silly-season stops. What both events lack in competitive relevance they make up for with the only marquee in golf that matters – Rory vs. Tiger.


By RYAN LAVNER

Q-School as we know it is dead, or at least it’s on a ventilator. This fall’s qualifying series is the final time that players can directly earn a PGA Tour card; starting in 2013, qualifiers will be directed to the Tour’s secondary circuit, the Web.com Tour.

What I’m most interested in seeing is how college golf’s elite react to this upcoming change and if they take one final crack at earning a Tour card. Patrick Cantlay, a former college player of the year at UCLA, already left school this past summer. Texas sophomore Jordan Spieth is exempt into second stage and could bolt early, too. But what of Washington’s Chris Williams, or Alabama’s Justin Thomas, or Stanford’s Patrick Rodgers?

Golfers rarely have been one-and-done athletes in college. But for this year, and perhaps this year only, the best collegians in the country aren’t unlike their fellow classmates who play football, baseball or basketball – they will be forced to weigh whether to stay in school and earn a degree or leave campus and test the alluring world of pro sports. Players would make this decision during or after the fall semester. With golf’s NCAA Championship being contested in June, their decision could seriously damage their team’s chances of winning a national title.

More, though, their decision could greatly shape the youth movement on Tour.


By JASON SOBEL

Money can’t buy happiness. Money can’t buy me love. Money is the root of all evil.

Yeah, yeah. I know all the familiar sayings about greenbacks, but my interest level in the remainder of the golf calendar starts with straight cash, homey.

One year ago, Luke Donald pulled off a never-before-accomplished feat when he led the final PGA Tour money list, then crossed the pond and the claimed the European Tour money title, too. Considering it had never happened before, it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility to believe it would take awhile to happen again.

Well, how’s 12 months sound?

With just four Fall Series events remaining, Rory McIlroy has the PGA Tour money title all locked up with $8,047,952. He can now focus his efforts on the Euro circuit, where his €2,813,962 currently gives him a €437,334 lead over Justin Rose in his quest to match Donald’s mark from last year.

With the BMW Masters, Barclays Singapore Open and DP World Tour Championship still on his schedule, the 23-year-old is sitting squarely in the driver’s seat. From the last real Q-School to high-profile exhibition events to the silly season, there’s still plenty of golf left to be played in 2012 and plenty of things left to watch. Give me Rory’s pursuit of history over all of 'em.

After all, money makes the world go 'round.

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: