Notes and Quotes from Royal Montreal

By Ian HutchinsonSeptember 26, 2007, 4:00 pm
MONTREAL -- Tiger Woods and Charles Howell III are paired together for a foursomes match against K.J. Choi and Nick OHern, but it may not stay that way for Friday four-ball play.
 
In 2003, Woods and Howell defeated Choi and Stuart Appleby, 4 and 3, in foursomes and went 2-0 in foursomes with a 1-up win against Tim Clark and Retief Goosen.
 
Their overall record slipped to .500, however, with a couple of losses in four-ball play that year. Much has been made of OHern defeating Woods twice at the Accenture Match Play Championship, including 2005 when he followed up a victory over Howell with a win against Woods. In Presidents Cup four-ball and foursomes play, however, OHern is 2-2.
 
TIGER TIPS:
Not much I can say ' shoot 62 and hope for the best -- Ernie Els, who dueled Tiger Woods to a draw in a playoff in South Africa four years ago, on what advice he would offer Mike Weir if hes picked to face Woods in singles this year.
 
LAST RITES:
I just wanted to (play in the Presidents Cup/Ryder Cup) before I was laid out to pasture since Im the oldest guy here -- American rookie Woody Austin, who is 43.
 
DODGING THE BEARS NEEDLES: Maybe he hasnt watched me hit enough balls yet. Ive been staying away. I hear hes pretty brutal -- Lucas Glover, on Jack Nicklaus sense of humor.
 
SOGGY START:
The first two days of the Presidents Cup are likely to see scattered showers at Royal Montreal. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-to-high 60s, with scattered showers on Thursday and Friday. The wind is expected to pick up Friday, when it will be between 10 and 15 miles per hour, with gusts to 25. The weekend is expected to be partly sunny on Saturday and mostly sunny on Sunday, with temperatures in the mid-60s.
 
FOUNDATION RESTRUCTURING:
The World Golf Foundation announced a restructuring of its board of directors and a collaboration among leading golf organizations at Royal Montreal. The Royal and Ancient and the European Tour have been added to bring the number of organizations involved to seven. Each will be represented by its chief executive.
 
The executive committee of the foundation board now includes Peter Dawson (R&A), George OGrady (European Tour), David Fay (USGA), Tim Finchem (PGA TOUR), Joe Steranka (PGA of America), Carolyn Bivens (LPGA) and Jim Armstrong (Augusta National).
 
The chairman of the board will rotate annually between members of the executive committee, beginning with Fay in 2008. The board of directors will also increase to as many as 25 members. The World Golf Foundation has traditionally focused on the World Golf Hall of Fame, The First Tee program and Golf 20/20, devoted to accelerating growth, participation and diversity in golf.
 
In addition to these initiatives, the foundation will also focus on global communication, research and public affairs, as well as new phases of golfs anti-doping policy that will see a list of banned substances developed, among other things. It was also announced that Steve Mona, currently chief executive officer of the Golf Course Superintendents Association, has been named CEO of the World Golf Foundation.
 
Joe Louis Barrow, who has served as executive director of The First Tee, has been named executive vice president of the foundation and CEO of The First Tee and will report directly to Mona.
 
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    Toronto Sun Editor's Note: Ian Hutchinson is golf columnist for the Toronto Sun and senior writer for Pro Shop Magazine, a Canadian golf trade publication, and Canadian Golfer Magazine. He is also a frequent contributor to Golf Scene and Golf Canada Magazine, the official magazine of the Royal Canadian Golf Association.
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.