Blown Away

By Jay CoffinJuly 17, 2010, 1:24 am

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Lucas Glover stood over a 2-foot bogey putt on the Old Course’s treacherous par-3 11th hole for two minutes. When the fastest player on the PGA Tour takes several minutes to prepare for a putt of that length something is amiss.

On this day, at the home of golf, in a country known for terrible weather, the afternoon portion of the Open Championship’s second round was suspended for an hour, but should have stayed suspended for the remainder of the day. And the madness of it all was that it had nothing to do with Scotland’s trademark rain. Rather, the Old Course simply was not setup to withstand the winds that whipped across this charming town like a tornado that pelts America’s Heartland.

“Every pin they put on a knob on the back of the green,” said Oliver Wilson, who followed a 68 with a 79 and has the weekend off. “If you went to every green and said, ‘where is the worst place we can put these pins,’ they did it on 18 greens. Whoever set these pins should be fired.

“It’s links golf, it’s going to be like this. Either don’t cut the greens so short or put the pins somewhere where it’s flat.”

Just after 2:30 p.m. local time tournament officials blew the horn when conditions were deemed unplayable because wind gusts were over 40 mph, causing balls to move on some of the greens that were most exposed to the wind, particularly those along St. Andrews Bay. It was the first delay for wind at the British Open since 1998 when there was a 38-minute stoppage during the second round at Royal Birkdale.

This delay at the Old Course lasted just over an hour. The only problem was that conditions weren’t much better when players returned to their positions. In fact, they may just have been worse.

“To be honest, I think they just wasted an hour of our time,” said Andrew Coltart following his 77.

Said Tiger Woods: “We thought it might give us a break and we might come out there with less wind and have a chance at posting some pretty good numbers; that wasn’t the case. They were saying it’s a hole-by-hole scenario. They could call it at any time, but they didn’t, even though it was blowing pretty good.”

That seemed to be the theme of the day. Players were either miffed that they were taken off the course for an hour and put back on in similar conditions, or they were annoyed that they had to be on the course at all.

Funny how after the first round it was thought that those who played later in Round 1 and early in Round 2 were the ones who landed on the wrong side of the draw. In reality it was the opposite. The top four men on the leaderboard – Louis Oosthuizen, Mark Calcavecchia, Paul Casey and Lee Westwood – all were finished Friday before Mother Nature decided to play favorites.

There is plenty of evidence to suggest conditions were unplayable. On the aforementioned 11th hole, which was playing 174 yards, Nick Watney aimed left of the flag but his ball ended up way right, giving him a 120-foot birdie putt. His first attempt only went 80 feet, leaving him another 40 feet for par, which he missed.

Phil Mickelson played through rain in the morning and when he was finished his 1-under-par total was hovering right around the cut line. By day’s end he was in a tie for 38th place and easily able to punch a Saturday and Sunday tee time.

Camilo Villegas, not a short hitter by any definition, hit a poor shot off the sixth tee but still failed to reach the fairway on the 412-yard, par 4 hole. On the same hole, Woods yelled “go left, go way left” to his ball because he knew there was more room on that side and that he wouldn’t end up near Villegas.

After the round Woods said that playing partner Justin Rose hit a tee shot “fat” on the third hole because during his swing he thought the ball was moving but it was just oscillating.

Most players were afraid to ground their putters for fear of being assessed a one-stroke penalty should the ball move.

“I don’t think they should have called us off the golf course,” said Rory McIlroy. “When we got back out there the conditions hadn’t changed. The wind probably got a little bit worse. It probably wasn’t a smart move.”

To McIlroy’s credit, he didn’t blame the conditions for his poor play. The 22-year-old from Northern Ireland sent a buzz around St. Andrews Thursday when he opened with a major championship record-tying 63. The round quickly got sideways Friday when he made bogey on four of his first eight holes. He was never able to rebound and shot 80, essentially ending his hopes for a first major.

Woods' round was probably the most impressive on the day although a score of 73 would hardly make the world No. 1 pleased. But he was 2 over early in the round, got both shots back, lost two more near the end of the round before closing for birdie on the home hole that nearly was an eagle. Still, Woods sits eight shots behind Oosthuizen, who holds a five-shot lead over Calcavecchia.

“When we started off we had the bad wind because the front nine was tough,” Oosthuizen said. “And we got to 10 and it started raining again. And then it just dropped completely, the wind, and from 14 we had the last five holes downwind, which is a huge difference.”

The same can’t be said for the afternoon. While Oosthuizen was likely watching this Open Championship on the telly, conditions got nasty and stayed nasty.

Nasty enough for the speedy Glover to turn deliberate while standing over a short putt, proving that on this day around St. Andrews, something definitely was amiss.

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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

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.