Augustas Effect on Equipment - COPIED

By April 23, 2008, 4:00 pm

The opening round of The Masters is finally here! Although Augusta hasn't received any dramatic face lifts, the length and the difficulty of the course has some players looking to make some minor tweaks to get the most out of their equipment. If the course continues to play soft, there will be a premium on driving distance especially on the back nine which has some of the longest hitters hitting long iron approach shots.
 
Phil Mickelson has been testing Callaway's new I-Mix driver which features interchangeable shaft technology. In his Tuesday press conference, Mickelson said, 'I have been able to interchange shafts and put a longer shaft in if I want to get more distance. I'm hoping I only need one driver because I want to put an extra wedge in. But if I feel like distance is going to be a bigger factor, I'll stick a second driver in.'
 
Several players are tackling the distance issue by tweaking their golf balls. If the soft fairways persist, K.J. Choi has considered using Nike's lower spinning One Black ball and sacrificing some spin around the greens for the added distance the ball provides. Ernie Els is going the opposite way playing the higher spin Callaway Tour i golf ball, 'I'm actually going to use the softer Callaway ball this week, too, the i ball. I can spin it around the greens a lot better and the ball comes out a bit lower, but it spins better. So I think I'll probably use that.'
 
The difficult greens at Augusta are perhaps the most critical consideration. Justin Rose spent two and a half hours on the back nine fine tuning his short game with three clubs - sand wedge, lob wedge, and putter. '[I spent] a fair amount of time, probably hitting quite a few bunker shots here and there, but not hitting every area, but hitting areas I know I'm likely to miss the ball to, that's the key. For example, 11, you know that your miss is going to be right so hitting a few chips from the right side. So just kind of knowing your game and understanding your game, and, yeah, practicing from likely positions you'll be in.'
 

Players in the tournament get to have some fun as well with their equipment and accessories. Callaway and TaylorMade have released their new 2008 staff bags to commemorate the first major of the year. The Callaway bag is particularly impressive with it's Masters Green accents and details.
 

 

Nike and Adidas have been hard at work tweaking their apparel selections for their players. Adidas recently released the wardrobes of Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose and as expected the selections are conservative yet stylish in keeping with the tradition of The Masters.
 


 

 
Getty Images

McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

Getty Images

Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

 

 

Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.