Go Ahead Tell Me Im Wrong

By Kraig KannMarch 26, 2004, 5:00 pm
Weve been up and down the range, in and out of the press room, up and down the stairs of our stage and in and out of discussion on our Sprint Pre & Post Game shows and Ive developed some strong opinions.
Call me crazy if you want, but heres the way I see a few things from the site of the Players Championship:
  • John Daly is back. He might not win this week. He might not make the field at the Masters. Thats fine with me. I root for the story and not the player. But this is a great story. No bogeys in an opening round of 69. NO BOGEYS! Hes found focus and his better days might be coming.
  • Tiger Woods is in trouble. Im sorry, but I cant see it any other way. He is one bad John Rollins hole away from being winless this year. And had he lost that match think of what wed be thinking. His swing doesnt seem right. He cant seem to decide if its the putting, the irons or the drives that are giving him fits. My cohorts on the show seem to think hes contradicting himself in conversation with the media. My hope is that he gets it turned around soon. A confused Tiger at The Masters isnt any fun now is it?
  • Jerry Kelly needs to be on Hal Suttons Ryder Cup team. There arent too many who possess more fire and determination. Kelly gets more from his game than many of the tours best players. Hes not going to win three tournaments each year, but hes good for three top 10s every five starts these days and consistency goes a long way in cup competition.
  • If only The Players Championship were in May ' wed have a whole different view on things. This is a terrific event on a golf course weve all come to know. The problem is that Augusta is about 10 days away and given that we havent had a major to talk about for some eight months, we cant help but look ahead! That hurts The Players and the players if you know what I mean. Give us The Masters first and The Players Championship will get its proper due. Heck, Tiger will play for a change between The Masters and the U.S. Open!
  • The American women had better step it up ' in a hurry! Imagine the LPGA without Annika Sorenstam. It needs another Nancy Lopez. Laura Diaz, Beth Bauer, Natalie Gulbisanyone, please give the great international flavor some competition.

  • Let Greg Norman find his A game for just one more week. Greg has that magnetic ability to turn the golf world on its ears. So please, Golf Gods, give it to us one more time before 50 hits. How about Shinnecock Hills?
  • Could golf fans PLEASE stop the silly habit of yelling the instant the clubhead meets the ball? It sounds ridiculous.
  • The 17th hole is the best hole on the PGA Tour. I didnt say golf ' I said the PGA Tour. In a matter of minutes it can make Tiger Woods look like the rest of us and can also make Tiger look like hes better than most. You just never know, and for some reason, were always glued to the set no matter whos on the tee.
  • Eight million dollars up for grabs in a golf tournament? Theres no end in sight and The Players Championship is driving the bus. I cant lie ' professional golfers should be able to make what Alex Rodgriguez or any other top athlete makes, but if a guys making 1.44 million to win, should the guy who finishes second make nearly $900,000? Hey, Commissioner Finchem, lets get things in check a bit. Weve got a national debt to pay off.
  • Great to see Phil Mickelson has (perhaps temporarily) abandoned the Futura putter and gone back to the blade. Scotty Camerons unique short-stick has revolutionized design, but as I see it, Mickelson looks better with the blade.
    A couple of other things regarding the Sprint Pre & Post Game shows. Frank Nobilo is a star. Period. One of the most knowledgeable analysts Ive been around because he really says something. Brian Hewitt plays his role as well as anyone in the business. His nose is always where its supposed to be and he definitely has the respect of the players. Peter Oosterhuis is all class ' and more about homework than anyone Ive worked with. Mark Rolfing gives you more in 10 seconds than anyone in golf. And you know what else? Theres no show in this showman. Weve got a great crew, were a tight bunch and we aim to entertain.
    Thanks for the many comments.
    Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann
  • Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

    Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

    Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    "I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

    But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.

    DP World Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the DP World Tour Championship

    With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

    Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

    The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

    "I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."

    Battling mono, Kaufman tied for lead at CME

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 2:05 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Kim Kaufman’s bout with mononucleosis might leave fellow tour pros wanting to catch the fever, too.

    A couple months after Anna Nordqvist battled her way into contention at the Women’s British Open playing with mono, and then thrived at the Solheim Cup with it, Kaufman is following suit.

    In her first start since being diagnosed, Kaufman posted an 8-under-par 64 Saturday to move into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. It was the low round of the day. She’s bidding to win her first LPGA title.

    “I’ve been resting at home for two weeks,” Kaufman said. “Didn’t do anything.”

    Well, she did slip on a flight of stairs while recuperating, hurting her left wrist. She had it wrapped Saturday but said that’s mostly precautionary. It didn’t bother her during the round.

    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

    “I’m the only person who can take two weeks off and get injured,” Kaufman joked.

    Kaufman, 26, left the Asian swing after playing the Sime Darby Malaysia, returning to her home in South Dakota, to see her doctor there. She is from Clark. She was told bed rest was the best thing for her, but she felt good enough to make the trip to Florida for the season-ending event.

    “We had some really cold days,” Kaufman said. “We had some snow. I was done with it. I was coming down here.”

    How does she feel?

    “I feel great,” she said. “I’m a little bit shaky, which isn’t great out there, but it’s great to be here doing something. I was going a little bit stir crazy [at home], just kind of fighting through it.”

    Kaufman made eight birdies in her bogey-free round.

    New-look Wie eyes CME Group Tour Championship title

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:32 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Michelle Wie is sporting a new look that even has fellow players doing double takes.

    Bored during her six-week recovery from an emergency appendectomy late this summer, Wie decided to cut and die her hair.

    She went for golden locks, and a shorter style.

    “I kind of went crazy after being in bed that long,” Wie said. “I just told my mom to grab the kitchen scissors and just cut all my hair off.”

    Wie will get to sport her new look on a big stage Sunday after playing herself into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. With a 6-under-par 66, she is in contention to win her fifth LPGA title, her first since winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago.

    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

    Wie, 28, fought her way back this year after two of the most disappointing years of her career. Her rebound, however, was derailed in late August, when she withdrew from the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open to undergo an emergency appendectomy. She was out for six weeks.

    Before the surgery, Wie enjoyed getting back into contention regularly, with six finishes of T-4 or better this season. She returned to the tour on the Asian swing in October.

    Fellow tour pros were surprised when she came back with the new look.

    “Definitely, walk by people and they didn’t recognize me,” Wie said.

    Wie is looking to continue to build on her resurgence.

    “I gained a lot of confidence this year,” she said. “I had a really tough year last year, the last couple years. Just really feeling like my old self. Really feeling comfortable out there and having fun, and that's when I play my best.”

    You Oughta Know: LPGA's Sunday scenarios

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:17 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – The CME Group Tour Championship is loaded with pressure-packed subplots Sunday at Tiburon Golf Club.

    Here’s what You Oughta Know about the prizes at stake:

    Race to the CME Globe

    Lexi Thompson and Sung Hyun Park are 1-2 in CME Globe points. They are best positioned Sunday to take home the $1 million jackpot in the season-long competition.

    Thompson and Park are tied for fifth in the tournament, one shot off the lead. If either of them wins, she will take home the jackpot.

    The way it’s unfolding Thompson is a good bet to take home the jackpot by merely finishing ahead of Park, unless they both stumble badly on Sunday.

    Ariya Jutanugarn is tied for the lead. She must win to take home the jackpot, but she would also need Thompson to finish ninth or worse and Park to finish eighth or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points to make a bold Sunday charge.

    Stacy Lewis is one shot off the lead with a longshot chance at the jackpot. She must win the tournament while Thompson finishes 26th or worse, Park finishes 12th or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points makes a bold Sunday charge.

    So Yeon Ryu, Shanshan Feng and Brooke Henderson are among others who still have a shot at the $1 million prize, but they have fallen back in the pack and need bold Sunday charges to take home the jackpot.

    Rolex Player of the Year

    The Rolex Player of the Year Award remains a four-player race.

    Ryu (162), Feng (159), Park (157) and Thompson (147) all have a chance to win the award.

    Park and Thompson are best positioned to make Sunday moves to overtake Ryu.

    Park needs to finish sixth or better to win the award outright; Thompson needs to win the tournament to win the award.

    It’s simple math.

    The top 10 in the tournament will be awarded points.

    1st - 30 points

    2nd – 12 points

    3rd – 9 points

    4th – 7 points

    5th – 6 points

    6th – 5 points

    7rd – 4 points

    8th – 3 points

    9th – 2 points

    10th – 1 point

    Vare Trophy

    Thompson took a 69.147 scoring average to Naples. Park needs to finish nine shots ahead of Thompson to have a shot at the trophy.

    Money-winning title

    Park leads the tour in money winnings with $2,262,472. Ryu is the only player who can pass her Sunday, and Ryu must win the tournament to do so. Ryu is tied for 32nd, five shots off the lead. If Ryu wins the tournament, she also needs Park to finish worse than solo second.

    Rolex world No. 1 ranking

    World No. 1 Feng, No. 2 Park and No. 3 Ryu are separated by just three hundredths of a point.

    Because they are so close, the scenarios for overtaking Feng are head spinning.

    At No. 4, Thompson is a full average ranking point behind Feng, but she could become the sixth different player this season to move to No. 1. Thompson, however, has to win Sunday to have a chance to do so, and then it will depend on what Feng, Park and Ryu do. Again, the scenarios are complex.