What We Learned: Boo's cruise, Matteo's march

By Jason SobelMay 27, 2013, 12:05 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com offers thoughts on 'what we learned' from the world of golf. In this edition, our writers weigh in on Boo Weekley's ball-striking, Matteo Manassero's blossoming talent, the still-looming possibility of chaos over the anchoring ban and the intriguing, if jarring, concept of 12-hole golf.

Whenever Boo Weekley's name is mentioned, the golfer most often associated as being his predecessor is John Daly just a pair of downhome Southern boys prone to brief fits of mercurial golf. But the comparisons end there. Whereas Daly has always been a bomber with soft hands around the greens on the course and an accident waiting to happen off of it, Weekley is more of an iron-playing wizard who has kept his nose clean, save for a long-ago boxing match with an orangutan at a county fair. There's more contrast, too: Despite two majors, Daly is known largely as an underachiever; Weekley, on the other hand, has worked his way back from injury to find the winner's circle once again. 

If a single characteristic is enough to compare one player with another, we might as well liken Weekley to another man known for his ball-striking prowess. His victory at Colonial Country Club came in the shadows of Ben Hogan's statue and while nobody would suggest that Boo is the second coming of the Hawk, his repeatable swing has in fact repeated, with back-to-back years atop the PGA Tour's ball-striking category and now three career wins, all on courses which fit that persona. Despite common sentiment, Weekley isn't another John Daly. In fact, in many ways he's just the opposite, as all of that hard work paid off once again on Sunday. – Jason Sobel

Maybe it’s because the Italian hasn’t played much in the States and his conquests have come on the European circuit. Maybe it’s because he hits the ball only 275 yards off the tee. Whatever it is, Matteo Manassero remains wildly underappreciated in our sport, even after his playoff victory at the BMW PGA Championship. Think about it this way: If a 20-year-old American had four PGA Tour titles to his credit, including The Players, can you imagine the hysteria? Jordan Spieth, who is 19, grabs all the headlines and has three top 10s this season. Manassero, meanwhile, remains as underrated as a 20-year-old four-time winner can get. – Ryan Lavner

The USGA and the R&A are at a crossroads, but they aren’t totally in control of which direction their futures lead. The PGA Tour and the PGA of America may dictate that. With their decision to implement Rule 14-1b and ban anchored strokes without first building a consensus with the PGA Tour and the PGA of America, the USGA and the R&A risked splintering rule-making authority. They risked the PGA Tour and PGA of America striking out on their own and creating their own rules. They took a stance against anchoring that could come with bifurcation as a consequence. Was it worth the risk? We’re all waiting to see. – Randall Mell

Golf needs more 12-hole tournaments. Because of torrential rains and flooding, the Paradise Island layout was reconfigured to 12 holes for this week’s Bahamas LPGA Classic and, we would argue, nothing was lost in the nip/tuck. For those traditionalists who claim 12 holes isn’t golf, we give you Shiskine Golf Club on the Isle of Arran in Scotland which opened for business in 1896 and is, by any definition, a classic gem. – Rex Hoggard

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: