Nobilo: U.S. adjusted better to conditions

By Rex HoggardNovember 20, 2011, 9:57 am

MELBOURNE, Australia – Midway through Sunday’s singles matches Greg Norman’s International side had cut the American advantage to 16-14. The captain had told his team the night before anything was possible and the players were responding.

But as the Americans began answering the International victories with points of their own the math, more so than the required moxie, finally caught up to them.

“We talked about it on the bus last night; it’s like putting bricks in a wall, effectively,” International assistant captain Frank Nobilo told “Those first few matches were imperative, that they were all ahead and ahead big was even better.

“Then all of a sudden, Hunter Mahan got the first point (for the Americans). We knew if the fans got into it, which they’ve done all week, it would make it so much harder on the Americans if there was a swing point.”

It was the start Norman and Nobilo had envisioned but not the ending thanks in large part to American captain Fred Couples’ strategy to slot his veterans into the back of his Sunday lineup. Jim Furyk was the first to close out his match, followed by David Toms and finally Tiger Woods, who secured the winning point for the second consecutive Presidents Cup.

“We knew there was no way Woods was going to go out first. That’s not the way they historically do it,” Nobilo said. “I don’t think he was playing particularly well this week, but he knows how to win a point. Even a Tiger Woods slightly out of form is dangerous, particularly in a pressure situation. If he came out early that may have helped us, but in the back of our mind we knew that wasn’t going to happen.

“I was more surprised the (Steve) Strickers and all that were held back.”

For the week Nobilo said the biggest surprise for him was how easily the American players adjusted to a unique golf course and demanding conditions.

“I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve seen a golf course change so diversely for three straight days,” he said. “Three seasons, four winds for three straight days. That doesn’t even happen at an Open Championship. You’d like to think the guys who have played in Melbourne, that might have played into our hands. But seeing the shot-making from the Americans impressed me the most.”

This was Nobilo’s fifth Presidents Cup, three as a player and two as an assistant to Norman, and in the immediate aftermath of the 19-15 defeat he figured it was time for some “new blood.”

The experience, however, did give Nobilo a new perspective on the game and the matches.

“As a player you look at things very selfishly, but as an assistant you’re trying to help the captain, you’re trying to help the other 12 guys,” he said. “You’re probably a little more empathetic with the way you look at players.”

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Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.

Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.

Nathaniel Crosby at the 1983 Bing Crosby Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. Getty Images

Crosby selected as 2019 U.S. Walker Cup captain

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 3:19 pm

The USGA announced that former U.S. Amateur champ Nathaniel Crosby will serve as the American captain for the 2019 Walker Cup, which will be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

Crosby, 56, is the son of entertainment icon and golf enthusiast Bing Crosby. He won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club as a teenager and earned low amateur honors at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He also played in the 1983 Walker Cup, coincidentally held at Royal Liverpool, before embarking on a brief career in professional golf, with his amateur status reinstated in 1994.

"I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup team," Crosby said in a statement. "Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities."

Crosby takes over the captaincy from John "Spider" Miller, who led the U.S. squad both in 2015 and earlier this year, when the Americans cruised to a 19-7 victory at Los Angeles Country Club.

Crosby is a Florida resident and member at Seminole Golf Club, which will host the 2021 matches. While it remains to be seen if he'll be asked back as captain in 2021, each of the last six American captains have led a team on both home and foreign soil.

Started in 1922, the Walker Cup is a 10-man, amateur match play competition pitting the U.S. against Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. team holds a 37-9 all-time lead in the biennial matches but has not won in Europe since 2007.

Rose (62) sets blistering pace in Indonesia

By Associated PressDecember 14, 2017, 3:06 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Justin Rose shot a 10-under 62 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, starting on the back nine at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, had five birdies to go out in 31, then birdied four of five holes midway through his final nine and another birdie on his last hole in the $750,000 tournament.

Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

Gunn Charoenkul (64) was in second place and Kim Giwhan and Phachara Khongwatmai (both 65) were tied for third.

Brandt Snedeker shot 72. Ranked 51st in the world, the American is aiming for a strong finish in Jakarta to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.