Grill Room: What else needs to be banned?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 1, 2012, 7:50 pm

With the USGA and R&A’s recent overblown announcement on banning the anchored putting stroke, the Grill Room got to talking about what we thought were more pressing bans.

Golf Guy

As much as I don’t like seeing players using long putters (‘looks weird’ is my official stance on the matter), what I wish would be banned immediately would be white golf shoes and white belts. And I’m not just talking about the professionals – this ban needs to cover amateur players and office workers alike. Like crazy PETA people throwing paint on women that wear real fur, I’m thinking about carrying around a can of brown or black spray paint to try cover up any of the offending parties.

Al Tays

After effectively sanctioning anchored putters for years before reversing course and banning them, perhaps what the USGA should ban is ... the USGA.

But while we're waiting for that to happen ...

Ban the practice of picking up and marking your ball after every putt. Once your ball is on the green, you get to put your hands on it ONCE. And make putting continuous.

Ban the ban on repairing spike marks.

Ban tournament courses having pars of anything but 72.

Ban instant TV interviews with the poor saps who have just blown a tournament. Haven't they suffered enough?

Ban handicaps and the whole concept of 'net.' What ever happened to playing against 'Old Man Par' and the golf course? You shoot a 104? Own up to it; don't call it a 'net' 76. Instant benefit: No more sandbagging.

Jason Crook

While there are several issues with golf at all levels, the most pressing one has to be the pace of play. This is the 'now' generation, (referring to getting things done immediately, not those awesome CD's) so the solution is to ban things that slow down the game. 

Stop with the fourth and fifth practice swing, enough with the laying down on the green to read your three-footer, quit pretending you can play from the tips when you're shooting in the triple digits. 

It's bad enough watching a six-hour round on TV, watching one in person, when the group ahead of you has the benefit of driving a cart, is miserable. I don't blame any kids for not wanting to pick up a game that takes an entire day to play. Speed it up in the amateur ranks and the pros will follow suit.

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.