Coming down the stretch at the Nelson

By Jason SobelMay 19, 2012, 11:31 pm

IRVING, Texas – There’s an old story about Byron Nelson which pretty much tells everything you need to know about the man’s character.

When he would arrive at an unfamiliar track, Nelson would inquire as to the course record and who owned it. That may sound like an arrogant maneuver, but it was actually quite the opposite. Instead, he always wanted to be careful not to break the record of a club pro or local member, so that they may keep their own legacy intact.

For one of the most dominant golfers of his – or any other – era, that wasn’t an easy proposition.

Nelson’s numbers are the stuff of legend. He won 52 career PGA Tour titles – good for sixth all-time – and in 1945 he posted 18 wins, including 11 straight at one point.

Let the records show that in the third round of his eponymous tournament on Saturday, there weren’t any competitors on the verge of pulling a Byron. Which is to say, the course record wasn’t under threat of being surpassed and individual dominance was the furthest thing from anybody’s mind.

On a warm, blustery Texas afternoon, Moving Day looked more like a nine-car pileup on the interstate, with nine different players holding at least a share of the lead throughout the day. Their names read like a combination of “who’s who” and “who’s that” amongst the game’s elite: Jonas Blixt, Keegan Bradley, Jason Day, Jason Dufner, J.J. Henry, Matt Kuchar, Marc Leishman, Dicky Pride and Vijay Singh.

When the dust settled and play was concluded, it was Dufner who owned a one-stroke advantage over Day, Henry and Pride, but there remains 16 players within four shots of the lead.

It’s a role with which Dufner is feeling an increased comfort level.

The 35-year-old is becoming accustomed to playing the role of front-runner. He was 54-hole leader at last year’s PGA Championship and 36-hole co-leader at this year’s Masters before finally winning for the first time after owning the 54-hole lead at last month’s Zurich Classic.

“I feel pretty good with it,” he explained. “Last time in New Orleans was back and forth with Ernie [Els]; this week it's going to be the same thing. There are a lot of guys around the lead. I feel good with where my game is at, what I'm doing out there, getting more comfortable playing in final groups and getting more comfortable trying to win these tournaments. I think the more you do it the more comfortable you're going to be, and the more successful you are, it's going to carry over.”

Dufner may own the lead, but with nasty crosswinds expected to blow through the TPC Four Seasons venue once again on Sunday, the tournament still owns an “anybody’s ballgame” type of feel.

“It's going to be tough [Sunday],” Day said. “There are a lot of great golfers up there, and it's going to be tough to win this tournament. The guy that obviously makes the least amount of mistakes out there tomorrow is going to win. That's just how things are going to go.”

“So many want to make drama about it, but it all comes down to just keep playing golf,” Pride added. “If I wasn't here at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, I would be at the Nationwide Tour playing golf. Or at home. Just playing golf. All those cliches that no one wants to hear, but you’ve got to play. It's a heck of a challenge, but that's the idea.”

After Pride walked off the course following a third-round 67 that left him in contention for his first title in nearly 18 years, he hugged Peggy Nelson, widow of Byron, and exclaimed, “I’m still here!”

On a day when course records were far from the forefront of anyone’s thoughts and a week where nobody is producing Nelson-like domination, it’s a proclamation that many contenders can claim entering Sunday’s final round. By day’s end, though, that thought process will belong to just one.

Whether it’s a “who’s who” or a “who’s that” is an answer that for now remains blowin’ in these Texas winds.

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:

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:

Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''


Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.