Watson keeping Champions Dinner menu a secret

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 27, 2013, 6:08 pm

With six weeks until the Masters, defending champion Bubba Watson held a conference call with reporters Wednesday to reflect on the victory and discuss how his life has changed since he slipped into the green jacket last April.

Here are some of the highlights: 

• Watson won’t reveal what he is serving at the Champions Dinner until the day after the ceremony. (Last year, Charl Schwartzel had South African barbeque.) “I think as Masters champion I should be allowed to just wait to tell everybody,” Watson said.

• For Bubba, family now comes first. His adopted son Caleb has begun crawling, learning how to clap, giving both Bubba and wife Angie kisses. “I thought golf was my life, then I thought when I got married, my wife was my life,” he said. “And now with my child, it’s my family is my life.”

• His mind-bending shot from the pine straw on No. 10 might have been the most memorable, but Watson said that it was the fourth-hardest shot he hit last year. In fact, Bubba pointed out that his second shot from the hard-packed mud on No. 17 Sunday was a more difficult shot. Also, on the 11th hole on Friday, he hit a big hook from the pine needles that avoided the trouble and kept him in the tournament. At the seventh hole, Watson drew a gnarly lie in the rough, had a 5-foot-wide gap through the trees and briefly considered chipping out, only to take his second shot over the trees and onto the green. “The other ones were difficult,” he said. “Just nobody cared what Bubba Watson was doing those other days or other shots.”

Bubba doesn’t feel compelled to go back to the scene of his famous recovery on the 10th hole. “That might be my only legacy of winning the Masters,” he said. “So I want that shot to live, and I want it to grow.”

• Bubba’s green jacket hasn’t seen much daylight – it’s been stuffed inside the closet, in its garment bag. He appeared on Morning Drive with the green jacket. He went to New York with the green jacket. He did a photo shoot for the local Augusta paper with the green jacket. “And then it’s been in my closet, hidden away,” he said. “I don’t let anybody see it or take pictures of it out of respect for the tournament and out of respect for the members of Augusta National.”

After winning his first major, Watson said he sought out Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Schwartzel and others to ask about life, post-major victory. The best advice, however, came from his manager, Jens Beck. That tidbit: Golf first. So he’s canceled a lot of corporate outings, turned down many interview requests. “I was Bubba Watson the golfer first before I won,” he said, “so we have to keep it simple and remember that golf first.”

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.