QA Pulling for Faldo or for USA

By Kelly TilghmanJuly 5, 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. Email Kelly with your questions for next month's Q&A
Its obvious, even to a casual golf fan, that much of the reigning talent in womens golf resides in the international non-European golfers. Are you hearing any rumblings or inside news about the LPGA establishing an event to rival the Presidents Cup? ' Blair, Milford, Ohio
Nick Faldo and Kelly Tilghman
Will Kelly choose partner over country next year at the Ryder Cup? (Wire Image)
Dear Blair,
I haven't heard of any rumblings but one never knows. What would be a good name for it? The First Lady Cup? I think the Solheim Cup is such a great success for the LPGA Tour that it would be hard to create anything to try to parallel it. The World Cup has come on strong for the ladies in recent years but I would still like to see the higher-ranked players in the world compete in it. Just like the men's side, it doesn't always draw out the biggest names. I'm not saying a 'First Lady Cup' won't ever happen, but if it does, can we call it that?
When you played professionally, who was the best player you ever competed against? ' Stephen, Virginia
Well Stephen, you asked an easy one. When I was a senior in college, my team qualified for the NCAA championship and I was paired with a freshman from Arizona. She was quiet and small in stature with blonde hair held back in a pony tail by a little blue ribbon. Even though I was several inches taller than she was, she hit it about a club and a half longer than me and she was extremely accurate. I didn't even know she was Swedish until she spoke at the end of the round. Her name? Annika Sorenstam. She won the tournament as a freshman and she never looked back. When I played in my first big pro event at the 1994 Australian Open, Annika entered the same event and collected her first pro victory. Karrie Webb also made her professional debut. So you get the picture. That kind of talent will run you off of the golf course and into the studio! I competed against them for several years before swapping the clubs for a microphone. But it's safe to say, we all found our calling.
Thanks for the question.
Any chance you might be pulling for Europe next year in the Ryder Cup with your boy Faldo being the captain? ' Laurence, Calgary, Alberta
Dear Laurence,
Is that what we call in the business a 'sucker question'? Hmmm, how do I answer that one? I could take the easy way out and say that, as a broadcaster, I just want to see a healthy and hearty competition. But as a fan of the game and an American golfer, I'm not going to lie. I want to see the good old US of A stomp them! It's time, don't you think? It's time for many reasons. We need a U.S. victory to keep it interesting. The Europeans are becoming too dominant. I will say it's going to be fun watching Nick and Paul Azinger go back and forth. They will provide some of the best captain's jabs this competition has ever seen. It's probably the most intriguing and entertaining captain combination in the history of the event. Bring it on!
What are your favorite sports to watch on TV ' other than golf of course? Favorite teams? ' Brian, Florida
Hi Brian,
I am a big sports fan. My favorite time of year is March Madness. Considering the fact that I'm a Duke alum, you can see why. It was the only thing that mattered in our school. We actually won a national championship while I was there and the entire campus went nuts! I also love going to Major League Baseball games when I'm on the road. Growing up, the Atlanta Braves were my guys because they were the closest team to my hometown. I went crazy for them in the '90s when they were winning everything in sight, including the World Series. What is life without sports, right?
Thanks for asking!
Other than us getting stuck watching old coverage, what happens on your end during a rain delay? ' Mike, Florida
Hi Mike,
Rain delays are never fun because we all prefer to see live golf. When it does rain, it makes our job much more challenging because it becomes a waiting game. Typically, we scramble to get player interviews or we bring a guest up to the 18th tower for some relevant conversation. We never stop working, even if no golf is being played. This year, we added a new element to the broadcast during weather suspensions. We actually perform live commentary of taped rounds from years past. Does that make sense? It's actually quite a challenge because we don't have anything written down in front of us. We rely on memory and a producer's voice telling us what shot is coming next. So there you have it, a little insider information.
Email Kelly with your questions for next month's Q&A
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Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''

Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

“What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

“I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.