Kids these days

By Jay CoffinJuly 16, 2011, 6:24 pm

SANDWICH, England – It was almost as if Rickie Fowler didn’t even notice it was raining.

With torrential rains that would make Noah’s Ark seem like it was out for an afternoon excursion and with more scores in the 80s than there were the 60s, Fowler slashed and dashed his way around Royal St. George’s with a swagger that brought back memories of a young Seve Ballesteros.

Kids these days. Four weeks after a 22-year-old won the U.S. Open in record fashion to capture his first major, another 22-year-old is in contention to win the Open Championship for his first-ever pro victory.

Fowler, wearing white raingear with pink polka dots and a white hat with a royal blue Puma logo, made four birdies and two bogeys to shoot 2-under 68 on a day many here at this hallowed championship called the worst they’ve ever seen.

Meanwhile, it seemed like Fowler got a thrill out of trying to tame the beast not many others could. Most were trying to survive. Fowler seemed to thrive.

“I had quite a bit of fun out there today,” Fowler said. “You have to kind of embrace where you’re at and what’s in front of you.”

A bogey came first for Fowler on the second hole and it looked like he would meet the same fate as the rest of the field. But he righted the ship with birdie on the fifth hole and made birdies on Nos. 13, 15 and 16 coming in to move rapidly up the leaderboard and end in a tie for third place, only three shots behind leader Darren Clarke.

As miserable of a day as it was, Fowler never looked out of control.

“He’s such a natural player and he’s got a lot of feel, so he controls his ball flight very well,” playing partner Rory McIlroy said. “He’s got a great short game. He gets it up and down when he needs to, holes good putts at the right times. Very impressive.”

There is a feeling that the U.S. so badly wants a youngster to cheer for in Tiger Woods’ absence. With McIlroy winning the U.S. Open, that feeling has grown even stronger. Europeans feel that the game in their land is safe in McIlroy’s hands. Americans want someone young to feel good about, someone who says the right thing, does the right thing.

By most accounts, Fowler is that person. But the victories have to come, preferably on the game’s grandest stages.

What happens Sunday is anyone’s guess. There is evidence to prove that Fowler has the fortitude to deal with the pressure that comes with contending at a major. There also is plenty evidence to the contrary.

Two weeks ago at the AT&T National, Fowler was in the final grouping on Sunday, tied for the lead and made double bogey on the second hole. That got him out of sorts – “wobbly” as they say here in England – and he shot 74 to finish eight shots behind winner Nick Watney.

There were several questionable decisions for Fowler last year. At the Phoenix Open Fowler opted to layup on the par-5 15th hole in the final round when his two playing partners went for the green – successfully – in two shots. Both made birdie, while Fowler made par and finished a shot off the lead. He also shot a final-round 73 at the 2010 Memorial while in contention and made a costly double bogey late.

“I think all those experiences we’ll build upon,” Fowler’s caddie Joe Skovron said.

For every poor decision or lackluster final-round performance there have been glimmers of greatness.

None greater than at the Ryder Cup last year in Wales when Fowler found himself 4 down to Edoardo Molinari after 12 holes in singles matches. He made birdie on each of the final four holes to grind out a much-needed half point for the red, white and blue.

At the WGC-Accenture Match Play this year Fowler stomped Phil Mickelson in the second round to the tune of 6 and 5. It was a performance that made Mickelson say, “he means a lot to American golf.”

Maybe it has just taken Fowler a little longer to figure out this winning thing. He is, after all, only 22. It doesn’t help Fowler that McIlroy has made winning look easy. The young lad from Northern Ireland has won three times, including a major, and is the same age as Fowler. Matteo Manassero, at age 18, has won twice on the European Tour.

Fowler’s day will come, that’s a sure bet. The question is when.

“I’d love for my first win to be a major and I’d love for it to be here,” Fowler said. “We just have to do the best that we can tomorrow and see where that puts us.”

Or he could throw all that out and window and do what he did Saturday – play like no one was watching.

Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.