What We Learned: Ko and the cup

By Jay CoffinAugust 27, 2012, 12:05 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com offers thoughts on 'what we learned' from the week. This time we focus on what Nick Watney's Barclays win means in terms of the Ryder Cup; Lydia Ko's becoming the youngest LPGA winner ever, and, of course, Tiger Woods.

You either have it or you don't. Fifteen-year-old amateur Lydia Ko has it. In spades. It's the innocence of youth, but against one of the year's best and deepest fields, she stepped on the gas Sunday to shoot 67 and easily win the Canadian Women's Open. Ko is already halfway to Michelle Wie's career LPGA victory total, she has exactly one more victory than Paula Creamer this year on the LPGA and she stared down likely Player of the Year Stacy Lewis in the final round and dusted her by five shots. That's heady stuff from a 15-year-old who contends she'll still attend college. Imagine what she can accomplish by the time she's old enough to sip a victory beverage. – Jay Coffin

The job of Davis Love III just became more difficult. There’s no way of telling exactly what was going through the U.S. Ryder Cup captain’s mind prior to The Barclays, but it wouldn’t be a terrible assumption to believe that the likes of Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler were atop his list of potential wild-card selections. That was before Nick Watney, Brandt Snedeker and Dustin Johnson – three more viable candidates in their own right – finished 1-2-3 at Bethpage. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that a few very accomplished players won’t be making the trip to Medinah. – Jason Sobel

Davis Love III may have a tougher job than European captain Jose Maria Olazaba when it comes time to make his picks for next month’s matches. Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk seem to be locks to land two of Love’s four picks, but Nick Watney’s blazing finish at Bethpage, combined with the relatively pedestrian play of Hunter Mahan (MC) and Rickie Fowler (T-24), may lead to some last-minute soul searching. Watney finished the Ryder Cup points race at 30th while Brandt Snedeker, who finished second to Watney at The Barclays, was 13th, putting conventional wisdom on notice. – Rex Hoggard

Davis Love III just ripped up his lineup card after The Barclays when winner Nick Watney put some shine on an otherwise dull season. A former top-10 player who is now back in the winner’s circle? It’s hard to ignore a hot player with an even hotter putter. Throw in Brandt Snedeker, who won at Torrey Pines, was in contention all week at the Open Championship, and nearly came from behind to win at Bethpage; St. Jude winner Dustin Johnson, whose long-and-strong game seemingly would play well at Medinah, as well as most places with tee boxes and holes, and suddenly, Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler are no longer locks to make the team. The Deutsche Bank Championship just became must-see TV – for golf fans, sure, but also for Love.  Ryan Lavner

As much as fans try to will Tiger Woods to victory, it isn’t always going to happen.

The crowds in New York were – for the most part – in Tiger’s corner all week. But as much as fans might want Tiger to win, we can’t expect him to win every time he tees it up. Woods will win again. Woods will win majors again. He'lll probably even break Jack’s record. But we shouldn’t be so polarizing with our expectations of him. He’s going to have some great rounds and some not-so-great rounds, and that is the new norm for Tiger. Bailey Mosier

Youth isn’t wasted on the young.

Not in women’s golf.

Not within the LPGA ranks, where 23-year-olds now feel old. Just ask Yani Tseng. The Rolex world No. 1 said she felt old Sunday after watching Lydia Ko become the youngest winner of an LPGA event at 15.

Ko didn’t just beat the LPGA’s best at the CN Canadian Women’s Open. She waxed them. She won by three shots, but it must have felt like 10 shots to the pros who watched her close so ruthlessly on the back nine.

In what feels like “The Year of the Collapse” with so many PGA Tour pros blowing leads in big events, Ko put on a clinic in how to close out a victory. The exhibition has to flummox the LPGA veterans who watched this kid roll over one of their strongest fields of the year. It also has to scare them a little bit. Who else is coming behind Ko and Lexi Thompson? Who else is going to make 23-year-olds feel old? – Randall Mell

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: