Poulter makes a statement with opening 65

By Jason SobelMay 10, 2012, 11:40 pm

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Here’s to bearing bad news for believers in boring. There is concern for congregants of khaki. Depths of disappointment for devotees of dull.

Just days after Rickie Fowler claimed his first career PGA Tour victory in an orange wardrobe that would make Chester Cheetah purr with jealousy, Ian Poulter is one of two first-round co-leaders – alongside Martin Laird – at The Players Championship.

It’s part of a development that should have foes of fine fashion fluttering with fright.

Even though Poulter was dressed in a rather subdued all-white outfit for the opening stanza at TPC Sawgrass, his presence atop the leaderboard could be yet another blow for the “Look good, feel good, play good” motto that now more than ever is permeating the PGA Tour ranks.

Of course, one attribute that never goes out of style is putting – and Poulter wore it well on Thursday.

Starting on the ninth hole, the Englishman dropped nine consecutive one-putts that led to six birdies and three pars during that span.

“I had no idea that the run was nine single putts in a row,” he said. “But yeah, I mean, once you start holing a few putts, and obviously a nice 18-footer and a few nice 6-footers; 6-foot seems to be my range. My stats have always been good from there. So if I just miss a green, hopefully I have a chance to hit it inside 4 or 5 feet – and on these greens, as good as they are, you should expect to hole them. It was certainly nice to roll a few in.”

For the round, Poulter stroked 26 total putts, but that wasn’t the only aspect of his game that was firing on all cylinders. He also hit 11 of 14 fairways (T-15 in the field) and 14 of 18 greens in regulation (T-14) en route to a score of 7-under 65 on a day when red numbers were in abundance on the Stadium Course.

“It was a very, very good round of golf,” he said. “That's definitely probably in the top 10 of the rounds of golf I've ever played. To turn around and say that you're going to walk off 7 under par a little bit disappointed, but if I look at the chances I had on the front nine, that could have easily been a few more.”

This isn’t a course on which Poulter has enjoyed much success over the years. There was the runner-up result in 2009, when he finished four strokes behind winner Henrik Stenson, but otherwise he’s competed here seven times without scoring a single top 20.

That said, his torrid start shouldn’t come as a surprise based on recent form. In his last two PGA Tour appearances, Poulter finished solo third at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and solo seventh at the Masters; those were followed by a T-29 in China and a T-15 in Korea.

It’s all part of a process that has seen him scoring better by thinking less.

“I felt myself on the golf course being able to turn off and on, concentration levels, not thinking about anything else apart from golf, which is always handy,” he explained. “I do fill my brain full of lots of funny things at times. It's nice when that's empty and I can do what it is I love to do, and that's go out there and play golf. It's a little demanding out there, and I played very well.”

It’s never boring with Poulter, whether it’s his golf, his post-round comments or his sartorial splendor. But hey, boring is out anyway. Climbing to the top of the leaderboard is always in fashion.

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.