What We Learned: WGC-Accenture Match Play

By Bailey MosierFebruary 24, 2013, 11:55 pm

Each week, GolfChannel.com offers thoughts on 'what we learned' from the world of golf. This week, our writers weigh in on Matt Kuchar's win in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, whether the tournament should remain at Dove Mountain despite problems this week with snow, and Ariya Jutanugarn's heartbreaking loss in the Honda LPGA Thailand.

I’m not going to make any major proclamation about Matt Kuchar soon becoming a major champion. If there’s any bad news for this year’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship winner, it’s that only two of the previous 14 winners of this event followed it with a major title later in the year. (That would be Geoff Ogilvy in 2006 and Tiger Woods in ’08.) So even though Kuchar vaulted himself into The Masters conversation on Sunday, it would be too narrow-minded to declare him on the verge of earning major hardware. Instead, I’ll use this opportunity to celebrate one of the more fascinating careers of the current era. Kuchar was, of course, a highly ranked amateur, making the cut in three of five majors before turning pro. He won in his first full PGA Tour season, but the train to superstardom soon derailed, as Kuchar found himself back on the Nationwide Tour just seven years ago. At that point, it was hard to picture the once heralded phenom as an elite player, but that’s exactly what he’s become, winning a top-level tourney in each of the past three seasons. Kuchar is still searching for that elusive first major, but his journey toward becoming one of the best without one deserves to be celebrated. – Jason Sobel


I initially favored the anchored putter ban when the U.S. Golf Association proposed it last November, but after hearing PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem speak Sunday at Dove Mountain, I may be changing my tune.

'If there’s one thing that prevailed across a lot of players and a lot of our board members was that, (anchored putters have) been around for a generation, and the game of golf has done quite well … Most players are saying, 'Without a significant upside and no competitive advantage, let’s don’t do it,'' Finchem relayed.

In so many words, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. However the ruling plays out, I give major kudos to Finchem and members of the PGA Tour for heavily weighing the pros and cons of the issue, and for taking a stand for what they believe. It made me change my stance, and who knows ... perhaps it will have a similar effect on the USGA. – Bailey Mosier


The Match Play needs a new home in 2015. This was painfully obvious before the freak snowstorm that hit the high desert last week. For years players have grumbled about the greens at Dove Mountain, which feature myriad humps and mounds. The isolated location isn’t ideal. The course is never jammed with spectators. The weather is too unpredictable, with snow, of all things, two of the past three years. If the PGA Tour doesn’t want to put the “world” back in the World Golf Championships – and move the Match Play to Brazil or South Africa, for instance – how about sending the 64-man event to Las Vegas? Or maybe Puerto Rico? You know, some place where it won’t snow in late February. – Ryan Lavner


There's yet another teen phenom ready to challenge the world's best women.

Despite Ariya Jutanugarn's heartbreaking stumble losing the Honda LPGA Thailand at the 72nd hole Sunday, the 17-year-old Thai joined 15-year-old Lydia Ko as the most compelling storylines in the LPGA's first two events of the 2013 season. Jutanugarn lost her bid to become the first Thai to win an LPGA event and the third youngest player to win on that tour, but she scripted a riveting tale doing so. It is remarkable how the women's game consistently delivers these precocious talents.

Two years ago, Lexi Thompson became the youngest winner of an LPGA event at 16. Last year, Ko topped her, winning the CN Canadian Women's Open at 15. Ko took a share of the final-round lead  into the LPGA season opener in Australia last week before fading.

It's all enough to make Michelle Wie feel old at 23. – 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: