Looking Back and Looking Forward

By Kelly TilghmanJune 1, 2007, 4:00 pm
Editor's Note: Each month, GOLF CHANNEL's Kelly Tilghman will be answering reader and viewer questions. Kelly is the first female in golf television history to be a lead play-by-play commentator.
Have you had any heroes in golf broadcasting/journalism and have you had the benefit of their advice and wisdom at any time in you career? ' Dan Dawson
Nick Faldo and Kelly Tilghman
Nick Faldo and Kelly prepare for THE PLAYERS telecast. (WireImage)
Dear Dan,
I don't have any broadcasting heroes per se but I do enjoy some styles more than others. I think it's important to understand a moment and the tone that it requires. I also think it's important to try to be yourself. That combination makes for a very thorough and entertaining anchor. On the sports side, Bob Costas does that very well. On the entertainment side, I think personalities like Matt Lauer and Ryan Seacrest are two of the best. The goal is to be informative and entertaining with the understanding that there is always room for improvement.
I read in last months questions that you do watch tapes of your performances. Like us all, I am sure you compare what you do to others that have preceded you. What do you think is your greatest opportunity for improvement in Golf broadcasting? ' Tom Haake, Centreville, Va.
Dear Tom,
I have the rare privilege of being able to watch my recorded work. Not many people can say that about their career. I would be inclined to think that if everyone was afforded this opportunity, they would probably take advantage of it. I remember when Tiger was just coming onto the professional scene. He would stop by the GOLF CHANNEL to look at all kinds of different tournament tapes. Golfers watch their swing on video all the time. When I do it, I don't actually compare my work to that of others. I just look at my performance individually and ponder the different ways that I can get better. Right now, my main focus is to continue growing into the role. It's a brand new position and I'm in the very early stages of transition. I'm trying to learn and have fun along the way.
I play maybe a dozen times a year during the warmer 8 months, and I usually hit the driving range 5 or 6 times a year to work out the kinks and tune up my swing. Any thoughts on how to continue to improve scores with limited amount of time available to play and practice? How do you keep your game sharp on the road? ' Dan Linney, Brentwood, Tenn.
Hi Dan,
I would recommend a lot of visualization drills to keep your golf game sharp when you have limited practice time. I know it sounds funny but there are proven studies that back up this suggestion. If you can spend five minutes a day recreating some of your best shots in your mind, you may find it easier to execute them when crunch time comes. Try it before you tell me that I'm crazy. Also, anytime you can work on your short game, even if it's indoors, it's worth it. Practice putting into a cup or chipping to a corner of the room when you have a little down time. Good luck!
I know that you are happy with your job and all. But when you cover all of the golf, do you ever (for just 1 second) wish you could be on the LPGA tour? ' par3man
Dear Par3man,
The short answer is no. I had a great run with my golf career but when I walked away it was because my heart told me to, not just my body or my checking account. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the competitive side of golf, I wasn't completely fulfilled on tour. I needed a different kind of challenge. It was time to walk away and I haven't looked back since. I still have that competitive drive and I release it through other activities like working out or water sports. When people ask me what I would be doing if I didn't work in television, I find it hard to come up with an answer. That's how I know I made the right choice.
Thanks for the question.
You were a college golfer. Do you think someone with pro aspirations would be better off turning professional right away or going to college and playing there? It seems like international players do pretty well by professionally early. ' Glenn, Jacksonville, Fla.
Dear Glenn,
That's a very personal choice and one that I couldn't make for someone. I wouldn't trade my collegiate experience for anything in the world but things seemed to work out pretty well for a guy like Tiger, who left after his sophomore season at Stanford. It just depends on your drive. If you know that golf is the only thing you will ever want to do, then skipping college probably isn't a bad decision. Personally, I wanted options because I knew that golf wasn't the only thing for me. Keep in mind, you can always go back to school if you so desire.
I hope that helps!
What event are you looking forward to covering most over the rest of the year? What was your favorite event to cover ' even as a reporter? ' Tracey
I'm really looking forward to so many events, but the one that I think will be most intriguing is the TOUR Championship. It's the first time these players will compete for the FedExCup and I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of drama will unfold. Will someone have a putt for $10 million? That's exciting stuff, don't you think?! My favorite event so far this year would have to be the Sony Open in Hawaii, because it was a real pleasure watching Tadd Fujikawa make the cut and actually make a bit of a run on the weekend. I also enjoyed the first day of the Accenture World Match Play, because it reminded me a little of March Madness. The first two rounds of THE PLAYERS was also a blast considering all of the changes to that event and the par-3 17th.
Thanks for the question!
Email Kelly with your questions for next month's Q&A
Getty Images

Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

Getty Images

Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

“I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

“The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

Getty Images

Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

He's making his first start in the event.

''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

Getty Images

Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

How rare is his missing the cut there?

The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.