Bradley, Simpson in mix at World Challenge despite anchor ban

By Jason SobelNovember 30, 2012, 12:20 am

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – One day after the U.S Golf Association and Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews jointly announced their momentous proposal to ban anchored putting, reminders of the decision loomed ominously throughout Sherwood Country Club.

There was Keegan Bradley, walking into the World Challenge interview room after an opening-round 3-under 69, looking toward the assembled media, smiling and imploring, “No belly putter questions.”

Nice try.

There was Tiger Woods, striding past Bradley on the practice green after his round and without stopping, casually offering his buddy some grief: “You’ve got to cut that thing down.”

Good one.


World Challenge: Scores | Photo gallery


And there was the leaderboard, boasting Bradley and fellow anchorman Webb Simpson amongst the World Challenge leaders after the first round.

How ironic.

If Wednesday will be remembered as a day that shook the golf world, then Thursday was its aftermath, like scattered branches littering a neighborhood after a major storm. It’s undoubtedly been a whirlwind ride for Bradley, the first player to win a major championship while anchoring his putter and thus one of the faces of the movement to ban the style.

In a share of second place two shots behind leader Nick Watney, Bradley scoffed at the notion that any success he achieves prior to switching to a new putting style should be marked with an asterisk.

“I feel like the USGA has really put an X on our back and really shined a light on us, and I don't know if that's exactly fair,” he maintained. “You know, I just hope that people look at us for the type of players that we are and the accomplishments that we've had and not because we use a belly putter, and now the USGA says it's going to be illegal. When we started putting with it, they were legal, and they still are. It's a sticky situation, and I hope people can see through that.”

Not everyone can.

In the time since the proposal was announced, Bradley has already heard from plenty of fans and, well, those who aren’t exactly fans.

“I've been catching such flak on Twitter and these other places,” he confided. “I had a guy yesterday telling me to send my application in to Burger King for 2016.”

Hey, at least there he could have it his way.

If the social media jabs were malicious, those coming from his fellow players were of the more playful variety.

“A lot of joking around, a lot of ribbing,” he said. “I finally had enough of it on the putting green the other day. I was putting with Tiger, and I grabbed Tiger's putter, and all of a sudden I see everyone start to walk around and start to look. I took his putter, which is about the opposite of what I putt with -- it's upright, it's light, it's a blade -- and I made three out of four putts from 10 feet, so I made sure to remind those guys every time I see them that I made those putts.”

Maybe he should have stuck with it. Anyone suggesting Bradley owns an unfair advantage with his oversized flatstick found their argument losing traction on Thursday, as he anchored his way to 32 total putts while hitting 17 of 18 greens in regulation, thereby creating some ammo against those who claim he’ll struggle once the ban goes into effect.

The story was eerily similar for Simpson. The reigning U.S. Open champion posted a 2-under 70 not because of his anchored putter but in spite of it, needing a pedestrian 31 rolls on the day.

“I played well,” he said afterward. “Made a bad mistake on the last, but overall a pretty solid day.”

If Simpson and Bradley accomplished anything in their first round after the announcement, it’s more fodder for the side of the debate which steadfastly claims sticking a putter into your belly is hardly a solution or cure-all to poor putting, nor is it the lone reason that some elite players using anchored putters are considered elite.

Then again, Bradley could probably find some more proof for his argument.

When he used Woods’ putter to drain three of those four 10-footers on the practice green, Woods declined to return the favor and test out Bradley’s belly.

“You don't want to see Tiger putt with that putter,” Bradley joked. “If it was up to me, I'd film him and send that to [USGA executive director] Mike Davis, and I think he would take the ban off.”

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: