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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Ortiz takes Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

Former Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Tour Player of the Year.

McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

Memo to the golf gods:

If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.

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Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

"I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

"I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x