Say what? Quotes of the Year: Part II

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 23, 2012, 2:00 pm

“I was probably five.” – Phil Mickelson, when asked to recall the last time he played seven holes in 7 over, including scores of 5 on each of the last six. He withdrew after shooting 7-over 79 in the first round of the Memorial Tournament.

“Did he make a mistake? Hell, yeah, he made a huge mistake. But did he ruin the game that I play? No. I wish he never would've done that. He might have 100 wins by now, and he would still be picked on.” – Fred Couples, on Tiger Woods' personal affairs that came to light after Thanksgiving in 2009. He went on to say it’s time for Woods’ critics to move past his personal troubles.


Quotes of the Year: Part I


“He wants to win another major championship so bad to shut everybody up; I honestly believe the pressure got to him, and he choked.” – Brandel Chamblee, on Woods falling out of U.S. Open contention in the third round.

“I'd love Tiger to go out first and kick his ass.”Rory McIlroy, half-joking, in his Barclays news conference, talking about a possible singles match on Sunday of the Ryder Cup against Woods.

“The dogs in the street knew I wasn’t getting a pick, so it wasn’t a hard phone call whatsoever. It was a polite phone call from Jose (Maria Olazabal). I knew the result.” Padraig Harrington, on not being selected for the European Ryder Cup team.

“What I'm seeing is that Tiger's really intimidated by Rory. When have you ever seen him intimidated by another player? Never. But I think he knows his time's up, and that's normal; these things tend to go in 15-year cycles. Jack (Nicklaus) took it from Arnold (Palmer). I took it from Jack, Tiger from me and now it looks like Rory's taking it from Tiger.” – Greg Norman, creating an uproar with comments about Woods and his rivalry with McIlroy.

“Quiet, Greg, quiet. Down boy.” – Jack Nicklaus, responding to Norman's comment on Woods.

“I’m pretty calm and cool out there. He might be borderline dead, but I think it’s a good thing.” Zach Johnson, on his partner Jason Dufner’s demeanor while on the course. Johnson and Dufner won two of their three matches while paired during the Ryder Cup.

“I had cysts in my rectum. How do you put that?” – Boo Weekley, on one of the reasons for his poor play in the last few years.

“Annika told me that world No. 1 is the loneliest place on the earth.” Yani Tseng, referring to Annika Sorenstam, at the unveiling of an exhibit in Taipei, Taiwan that celebrated Tseng's rise to the top ranking.

“No disrespect at all to Fred Couples, who has had a lovely career. I understand that he won two TPCs, the Masters. But I won more PGA Tour events, more majors. I won a U.S. Amateur. I mention this to Bernhard Langer, and he said, ‘You're going to get in.’ Is it when I stop playing? When I'm 6 feet under? When there's no one left to put in?” – Mark O’Meara, on Fred Couples' World Golf Hall of Fame induction and his own omission.

“I’m going to tell you something: If (McIlroy) doesn’t come and play Bay Hill, he might have a broken arm, and he won’t have to worry about where he’s going to play next.” – Arnold Palmer, joking on “Morning Drive,” about McIlroy not playing in the 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational. McIlroy has never played the tournament.

“Guys who play slow, we all know who they are. I feel like sometimes the guys get a hall pass because they’ll say, ‘Oh, I’m working on it.’ Well, you’re not working on it really hard because if you’re literally working on it and you’re still the slowest guy on Tour, then that says something about your work ethic because it hasn’t changed.”Brandt Snedeker, during his visit with “Morning Drive.” He went on to call the pace-of-play issue on the PGA Tour “pathetic.”

Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

"I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

"I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.

Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

"I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.


DP World Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the DP World Tour Championship


With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

"I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."