Quotes of the Week

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 9, 2012, 11:02 pm

''I didn't think everything would happen so quickly, but I'm on a good run at the minute and I want to keep it going as long as I can.' – Rory McIlroy, on his two-stroke victory at the BMW Championship. With the win, McIlroy joined Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus as the only players to win at least six times at age 23.

'It's fun to play with him, and he's just an amazing talent. You watch him swing the club and watch him putt and play, he doesn't have a lot of weaknesses. He's only going to get better, and that's kind of fun to see.'Tiger Woods, on current world No. 1 Rory McIlroy. Woods and McIlroy were paired together during the first two rounds of this week’s BMW Championship at Crooked Stick.

'Anything, everything, whatever. Just normal stuff, about this, about that.' – McIlroy, again, on what he and Woods discuss on the course.

'I think we're extremely deep this time, deeper than we've ever been. ... There was a lot of guys that played a lot of really good golf. You can analyze the numbers up and down and back and forth. It was tough to leave really anybody off.' – Davis Love III, explaining his Ryder Cup captain’s picks.

'I laid it out early on what I thought we needed and we stuck with it, I need Jim Furyk. I need Steve Stricker. The team will benefit from those guys being in the locker room, being in the team room.' – Love, again, on his choice to include veterans Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker on the Ryder Cup team.

“My three goals were to win, get to the Tour Championship and make the Ryder Cup team. We’re going to fall one short, but two out of three isn’t bad.” – Rickie Fowler, on earning his first Tour Championship trip in his third PGA Tour season with a T-41 finish at the BMW Championship.

''The neighbors were shaking their heads, and we were shaking our heads, and no one could put rhyme or reason to this (shooting). It's crazy. I've been an officer for 25 years, and if you're here long enough, I guess you've seen everything.'' – Police Lt. Keith Brown, on the recent arrest of a Reno man suspected of shooting and wounding a golfer after an errant ball broke a window at his home.

“I started out like I was going to lead the golf tournament and then an idiot fan kind of burped in my backswing.” – Robert Garrigus, on a bystander who burped in his backswing on the eighth hole. He double-bogeyed No. 8 but battled back to shoot a final-round 69 that left him in a tie for fourth place at the BMW Championship.

''It's just so tough as my mind is over in Florida with my wife and children but then I'm still trying to focus and win this event, particularly now I am only one behind.'' – Peter Hanson, on competing in the KLM Open in the Netherlands while his 1-year-old son is sick in Orlando with a respiratory virus known as RS. Hanson eagled the 72nd hole at the KLM Open for a two-stroke victory, his first title in two years.

'I like it, I like how it feels here, I like the people, everybody's been so nice, it's very relaxed. It's such a big tournament type of feel when you walk through or drive through the gates there at the beginning. It just makes you want to play well.' – Paula Creamer, one of several LPGA players to gush about this week’s Kingsmill Championship.

'Going into Sunday’s round at The Barclays, I was just trying to make it to Boston [for the Deutsche Bank] Championship. I put a nice round together and it kind of catapulted me. I started thinking I’ve still got a chance.' – Graham DeLaet, on having a chance to make a Cinderella run to the Tour Championship after starting the playoffs 106th in the FedEx Cup rankings.

'The second that I grazed it, we (caddie) both knew perhaps we might be in trouble. I’ve never seen that scenario before. It’s a tough lesson.' – Graeme McDowell, on the two-stroke penalty he was assessed for touching a loose impediment during the opening round of the BMW Championship. McDowell lightly brushed a leaf while addressing his ball.

If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

You don’t believe it, though.

She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

“In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

“I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

“She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

“She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

“Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

“It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

“No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

“I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”


RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

“He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.


RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''