Oh Rickie Youre So Fine

By Mercer BaggsSeptember 20, 2009, 7:16 pm

Rickie Fowler

CLOTHES MAKE THE MAN: Rickie Fowler, fresh off his perfect performance in the Walker Cup, missed the cut in his professional debut at the Nationwide Tour's Albertsons Boise Open. Fowler shot 73-71 for a 2-over total, five shots removed from the 3-under cut line. Sam Saunders, the grandson of Arnold Palmer, also missed the cut in his first Nationwide Tour event, shooting 71-71.
Backspin Fowler needs another Puma logo, in addition to the ones on his hat, his shirt, his belt buckle, his pants and his shoes. Maybe forearm tattoos [Of course, I'd name my next child Puma, if they paid me enough]. And not to poke fun - OK, to poke fun - but what's up with his hair? Your hair doesn't look like that with a hat on unless you meticulously styled it that way. Wonder if he prefers Fop or if he's a Dapper Dan man.

Na Yeon Choi

CHOI-OUS OCCASION: Na Yeon Choi claimed her first career LPGA title, capturing the limited-field Samsung World Championship by one stroke over Ai Miyazato. Choi became the ninth different Asian-born player to win on the LPGA this season.
Backspin Choi built a seven-stroke lead on the front nine Sunday, but lost it all on the back. Miyazato actually led by one until depositing her second shot into the water on the par-5 18th at Torrey Pines South. She made bogey, while Choi responded with a tournament-winning birdie on the same hole. Meanwhile, Jiyai Shin, the tour's leading money winner who has built a reputation for final-round comebacks, could only muster a 2-over 74 and finished five back in solo third place.

Lorena Ochoa

GETTING CLOSER: Lorena Ochoa tied 2008 champion Paula Creamer for fourth place at the Samsung World Championship. Ochoa had five birdies over her first 10 holes Sunday, but had no birdies, one bogey and one double bogey [on 18] over her final eight holes She remains winless on the LPGA since April.
Backspin Ochoa admitted during the week that personal matters, including her impending marriage to Andrés Conesa Labastida, the CEO of AeroMéxico and 40-year-old father of three, have disrupted her on-course focus. This week's result, however, was her second consecutive top-10, after having gone two months without a finish inside the top 25. There are still six tournaments left on the 2009 LPGA schedule, one of which she will be defending [Navistar LPGA Classic] and one of which she will be hosting [Lorena Ochoa Invitational]. She might not be able to catch Jiyai Shin on the money list or in the Player of the Year standings, but a strong finish in '09 could lead to a rebirth of dominance in 2010.

Donna Orender and Amy Mickelson

GOOD TO SEE YOU: Amy Mickelson returned to the public spotlight this past week when she participated in a LPGA event at Torrey Pines as part of the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit. Amy, who is recovering from breast cancer surgery, was representing the Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation.
Backspin Amy, as usual, was a wonderful sight, and we can only assume that means her recovery is going well. On other topic, the woman to her right is WNBA president Donna Orender. Was her presence any indication that she may be the next LPGA commissioner? She's purportedly one of the finalists for the job.

Rafael Cabrera-Bello

ZERO TO 60 IN 18 HOLES: Rafael Cabrera-Bello fired an 11-under 60 in the final round to win the Austrian Golf Open by one shot over Benn Barham. Barham had led after each of the first three rounds, and was eight clear of Cabrera-Bello to start Sunday. Cabrera-Bello, however, notched his first European Tour victory by recording 11 birdies and no bogeys. The score matched the lowest round in tour history.
Backspin Normally, Backspin would place the results of the Austrian Golf Open in the 'In Case You Missed It' section. But when a man does was Cabrera-Bello did, he deserves special mention. Plus, there really wasn't much going on in golf this past week so we needed some filler.

Jay Haas

GREATER THAN EVERYONE: Jay Haas, the two-time defending Player of the Year on the Champions Tour, picked up his first win of 2009 at the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn. Haas birdied five of his final six holes for a 7-under 65 and a two-shot triumph over Andy Bean and Russ Cochran.
Backspin The victory was a relief to Haas, who likely won't earn P.O.Y. honors for a third consecutive season, but at least avoided being shut-out in the win column. In case you were wondering, Fred Funk currently leads the Charles Schwab Cup points race and Bernhard Langer tops the money list. Langer has three wins this season, but no major victories. Funk has only one win, but it was the U.S. Senior Open. Then there's Loren Roberts, who has three wins, including a major [Senior British]. In case you were wondering.

Torrey Pines

GIMME MORE: As previously mentioned, this past week's Samsung World Championship was contested at Torrey Pines South. The layout played to a par 72 and measured 6,721 yards. It marked the first time since 1983 that Torrey Pines hosted an LPGA event.
Backspin We know it's easier said than done, but it would be great for the ladies to play some of the game's more recognizable courses. They do it at the Women's British Open, and it would be enjoyable to see that translate Stateside. The players would most certainly enjoy it and the fans would get a kick out of it, too.

A MILLION FOR ONE: Jason Hargett holed a 9-iron from 150 yards to win one million dollars at the Mark Eaton Celebrity Golf Classic. The 35-year-old restaurant manager landed his ball 10 feet past the hole and watched as it rolled back into the cup. Hargett, who was using his brother's clubs, said he almost didn't take part in the event due to a sore wrist.
Backspin This is the way people should react when something amazing happens on a golf course. This is how Lucas Glover should have reacted after he won the U.S. Open, not like he had just been given a flu shot.

Jim Thorpe

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Jim Thorpe pled guilty to two counts of failure to pay income taxes. ... Vinny Giles won the U.S. Senior Amateur. ... Former Secretary of State Condolezza Rice became a member of Shoal Creek. ... Ruth Day, a 64-year-old retiree from England, made two holes-in-one in the same round. ...U.S. club pros routed GB&I in the PGA Cup.
Backspin Thorpe agreed to pay all taxes, interest, and penalties to the Internal Revenue Service for 2002-04, which totals about $1.5 million. ... Giles, 66, won the U.S. Amateur in 1973, making his 37 years the longest span between multiple titles for any USGA champion. ...Shoal Creek was a symbol of racism when it hosted the 1990 PGA Championship. ... Day didn't start playing golf until her mid-50s. ...The Americans won 17 1/2 - 8 1/2 at Loch Lomond.

Getty Images

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.

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LaCava: Woods wouldn't talk after H.O.R.S.E. match

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 2:27 pm

The competitive streak within Tiger Woods knows no bounds - even on the basketball court, according to caddie Joe LaCava.

LaCava has been on Woods' bag since 2011, and he recently shared a story on "Inside the Ropes" on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio about a clash between the two men over a seemingly friendly game of H.O.R.S.E. Actually, it turned into nine straight games (and nine straight wins) for LaCava, who exploited a weakness in Woods' on-court strategy while leaning on a mid-length jumper of his own:

"The thing with him was if I missed a shot, which I missed plenty of shots, but if I missed the shot he'd go back down to the 3 (point line) because he liked to make the 3," LaCava said. "But it's harder obviously to make a 3, and I'd go right back to the baseline 12-footer, and he couldn't make it."

It's a short list of people who have beaten Woods nine times in any athletic pursuit, let alone in a row. But for LaCava, the fallout from his afternoon of on-court dominance was less than subtle.

"He did not talk to me the rest of the day," LaCava explained. "I didn't even get the old text, 'Dinner is ready,' because I stay across at the beach house. I didn't even get that text that night. I had to get take-out. He didn't announce he wasn't (talking), he just did it. I'm telling you, nine games in a row. Like I said, he's so competitive, even at something like that."