Battle Lines PGA Projections
All this wouldnt rattle my cage on a normal instance. However, this is the night to put the typing fingers to work and put a weeks worth of thought into a tidy little column for your information and entertainment.
And so it is that I cant go in depth on your answers to last weeks column about Fixing the Battle at the Bridges.
Believe me, I read each and every one, and saved a bunch to put into this column. But the problem is that with my server down I cant access my mailbox to serve you.
I will tell you that many of you are on the same page with regard to the Battle at the Bridges. You like it as a concept, (66% said youd like to keep it in a poll run on the Bank of America Leaderboard Report) but want it changed to find more entertainment value.
The biggest idea for change wont work and wont ever (not ever, not a single chance) come to be. Youd like to see the guys put up their OWN money and play in prime-time.
No chance at all that any of them pull money out of their bank account to free-wheel on Monday Night Golf.
Almost everyone chimed in with their foursome. Almost everyone likes Tiger involved and Mickelson as well. But the name Michelle Wie came up on more than three-quarters of your suggested dream foursomes for the Battle at the Bridges. Paula Creamer came up as well. So too did Natalie Gulbis among others mentioned frequently. The idea being that the young gals can play and wed love to see them involved with the men for a prime-time alternate shot format or a best ball using different tees.
Just my opinion, but if the Battle at the Bridges is resurrected, youll see the young ladies involved somehow.
One of you even dared to suggest that Deion Sanders (aka Primetime) should be involved since were talking about Primetime golf and entertainment. Yeah, right.
One of your best ideas was to have Lee Trevino walk the fairways as an on-course commentator and fire the questions at the four man involved in the Battle. Love it, love it, love it.
Many of you suggested games within the game. Alternate partners were suggested. So was the game of wolf. Not bad, but not easy for the non-golf fan to latch onto.
The one I liked the best (and I hope to print these ideas in a future column) suggested that gambling actually (gulp) be a part of the evening. Someone said each man (or woman or man-woman team) should begin the night with a bundle of money that they would use to play with on each hole.
The money earned at the end of the night goes to a designated charity (perhaps junior golf.) The players get their appearance fee to be a part of the night and play for a better cause than just their own pockets. John Daly would be perfect for this as long as he hasnt just traveled from half-a-world away.
Think about it. Tiger hits the par three tee-shot to 10 feet and he and his partner say well bet $100,000 on this hole. They only get the money if they make birdie. Its doubled for any eagle. A missed green or missed fairway would probably not result in a whole lot of risk, but at least wed have something to think about on each hole.
The team with the most money earned on each hole wins the hole. The most holes won wins the Battle at the Bridges.
I dont know. maybe it needs some tweaking and Im not certain the PGA Tour or the management company that puts the event together would love the idea of prime-time gambling. But in this day and age of World Series of Poker dominating television time why not?
Onto the PGA Championship.
Baltusrol is just days away and isnt it amazing how close we actually came to Tiger Woods going for the single-season slam? A couple of bogeys in the late, late stages of the U.S. Open did him in.
But theres no reason not to list Tiger as the favorite at the PGA Championship. Vijay Singh had a marvelous week at the Buick Open and deserves the accolades of anyone suggesting hes actually the favorite. Given his change of putters, Id like to list him right at the top as well.. but given his finishes at the majors this year, (very strong without winning or putting well) I just have to go with Woods.
Nicklaus won two majors at Baltusrol. We know what Tiger does at majors when Jacks involved in any way.
Something tells me to look out for a European, or a foreign born player. Harrington will be back. Garcia remains due. And the Presidents Cup is up for grabs too so look for a Rest of the World player to make a big move. Mark Hensbys been playing great. Robert Allenby never gets enough attention. K.J. Choi is extremely underrated. Are you prepared to count Michael Campbell out?
At this point though, Woods seems to be doing what hes more capable of than any player competing right now. And with Ernie Els out of the mix because of injury, and Phil Mickelson playing with the lack of consistency that he had when he won three times earlier this year, it comes down to Singh and Woods.
So often, the PGA Championship provides us with a surprise. This time, I think it might just be different.
While Im not quite prepared to give it to Woods just yet, (Ive got another week before we have to make a pick) I can only imagine what well all be thinking and talking about if Tiger pulls away and makes it 1,2,1,1 in the years four majors.
It could be a long off-season filled with questions and answers about that guy T.W. Just the way he likes it.. right?
Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann
Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test
One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.
Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.
"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."
Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.
"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.
Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.
"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."
Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage
Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.
Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.
Swipe to see what’s up in my world. It’s long-winded.... short version, we lost the baby. Had to share this since we had shared the news already. I know you’re all so supportive and kind. I just couldn’t face it before. Now let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming. #ihavealotoffeelings #andphotostocatchupon
“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”
The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.
“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia
This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.
The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.
Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.
The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.
A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.
And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.
Green jacket tour
Man of the people
Ace at 17th at Sawgrass
Departure from TaylorMade
Squashed beef with Paddy
Victory at Valderrama
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates:
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18