What we learned: Couples, Gulbis back?

By Mercer BaggsJuly 29, 2012, 11:56 pm

Each week, the GolfChannel.com team offers thoughts on 'what we learned' from the most recent events and news developments. This week we learned that Fred Couples isn't done winning tournaments and that the Olympic Games' opening ceremonies have golfers fired up for the inclusion of their game in four years. 

Fred Couples has a shot at breaking a couple of long-standing PGA Tour records. After watching him win the Senior Open Championship, I could envision him winning another Tour event and even a major championship. A second career major would have to come at Augusta, and a 16th Tour title likely in Houston or at Riviera, but the possibilities remain. Couples turns 53 in October, which would make him the oldest player to win on Tour (Sam Snead – 52 years, 10 months, 8 days) and to win a major (Julius Boros, 48). Both are long shots, but I didn't think he could win an event in the U.K., so I'm not counting him out. – Mercer Baggs

Natalie Gulbis is back. By finishing T-4 at the Evian Masters, Gulbis logged her best LPGA finish since the 2007 ADT Championship. 

One high finish a season does not complete a comeback, but this is Gulbis' third top-10 effort in 2012. She had three combined from 2008-2011 and none in the last two seasons. Now healthy and not having to fight a chronic back injury as she has since 2010, she seems poised to become a household name – for golf. – Ryan Ballengee

News of golf being included in the 2016 Olympic Games and all of the subsequent talk about it likely didn’t get the world’s elite golfers as fired up about the possibility of competing in four years as anything that happened this week. Until now, the thought of golf in the Olympics has been more theory and less reality. This week was the first time since the IOC decided to include the sport that professional golfers could watch the opening ceremonies and actually picture themselves walking into the host stadium representing their country. There’s no doubt that some who were previously agnostic about the idea witnessed the scene and got goosebumps thinking about being in Rio de Janeiro four years from now. That scene helped turn the theory of competing into a stark reality. – Jason Sobel

For all the long- and belly-putter bluster we’ve heard the last few days it was still a player wielding a standard-length model (Scott Piercy) who emerged from the pack at the Canadian Open. In fact, of the half-dozen players with a chance to win on Sunday at Hamilton Golf & Country Club only Robert Garrigus (T-2) was using a long putter. The long putter may be destined for extinction, but it is not the ultimate fix some have tried to make it out to be. – Rex Hoggard

Dominant becomes vulnerable almost overnight in this crazy game.

It literally occurred overnight in the case of Tiger Woods, who is making his way back to the top of the game with sure-footed steps of late after that sharp detour into a neighbor’s yard three years ago. So maybe this is just re-learning that lesson with Yani Tseng amid her first real struggles since she gained the Rolex No. 1 ranking 76 weeks ago. In the case of Tseng, it only seems like her struggles have come overnight. They actually have stretched for six or seven weeks now. Back in the spring, Tseng was rolling with three victories in her first five LPGA starts of the year. Going into April, she had racked up 15 worldwide titles in 15 months.

When Tseng missed the cut at the Evian Masters this week, it was her second MC in three starts. That doesn’t seem like much, but missed cuts sting more in the women’s game. It’s just not as deep as the men’s game. Paula Creamer’s missed one cut in the past two seasons; same with Na Yeon Choi. Karrie Webb has missed one cut in the last three seasons; same with Suzann Pettersen.

Tseng is 36 over par in her last 13 LPGA rounds. She's off her normal game, and it may very well prove a minor blip in her run at the LPGA record books, but it's there, hovering as a growing storyline over this LPGA summer. Tseng’s record the past two seasons remains dominant, even as her form makes her look vulnerable. – Randall Mell

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:

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:

Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''

Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.