Things Id Like to See
The whole ordeal got me to thinking about the whole idea of simply seeing. You know, things I couldnt see so well versus things I could see well versus things Id really like to see. So heres where Im going with this weeks column. Now that John Daly has made us open up our eyes really wide. the following is a list of a few other things Id really like to see happen in golf ' be it this year or in the next few years. Here we go:
Phil Mickelson wins the 04 Masters
But heres the catch ' lets have him trail Tiger, Vijay and Ernie by two shots on Sunday when play commences. Lets have Phil head to the back nine on Sunday still trailing, only to mount a rally to remember. I wont lie, Id love to see Ernie win it too, and Im a big fan of watching Tiger do the unthinkable. But enough of this Mickelson story regarding the majors. Hes got the ability. Hes got the support. Its about time he got it done. I just hope he wins with some pizzazz, if you follow my thinking.
Jay Haas wins a PGA Tour Event
This guy is all class. If you were searching for the consummate professional ' this is your guy. He might not have the most victories or the most exuberant personality. What he does have is one of the best attitudes ever toward the game and an understanding of his place in it. Hes 50 now and everyone has him headed to the Champions Tour before he seems to want it. More power to you, Jay! Make it The Players Championship just for emphasis.
Colin Montgomerie wins in the United States
At this point, let him win the Permian Basin Open on the Nationwide Tour! This guy not only doesnt have a major, but hes without any win in the States. Heck, Jose Coceres has TWO! Monty is the guy everyone loves to pick on. Most of the time, its been well-deserved. But I wonder what hed be like if he won just one. Wouldnt it be neat to see? OK, maybe you shouldnt answer that.
David Duval returns with a bang
The most recent Mr. 59 wins a golf tournament and makes Hal Sutton think about the possibilities of having him on the Ryder Cup team at Oakland Hills. Makes for good debate, huh?
Laura Davies and Dottie Pepper earn entry into the LPGA Hall of Fame
Cmon already! Their current points total might not fit the current requirement for entry, but these two were making their big mark before Annika took the LPGA by storm. Peppers legendary on-course demeanor is enough to qualify. But she has the wins, the majors and the Solheim Cup numbers to go with it. Injury and personal conflict has slowed her down, but any red-white and blue-blooded young American need look no further than Pepper as the unofficial how to manual for spirit and competitive know-how.
As for Davies, please forget the ANZ debacle last week. Shes laid the modern day framework for female success and character in Great Britain. Catrin Nilsmark was just awarded a second term as European Solheim Cup captain. Take nothing from Nilsmark, but if thats what shes earned, then Davies should get a full decade as captain.
Ben Crenshaw catches fire
This guy is due like a 20-year-old library book. We talk all the time about the Champions Tour needing players like Fuzzy Zoeller, Craig Stadler and Tom Watson to have success. Jack and Arnie go without saying, but if Gentle Ben could find his way back to the winners circle ' WOW. Now wed really have something. How can you not like this guy? Im a strong believer in fate, and Ive got a good feeling about this, so maybe Ill be right. (Sorry for borrowing your material, Ben.)
Peter Jacobsen as the next PGA Tour commissioner
Dont get me wrong. Tim Finchem has (with a little kick from Eldrick) elevated the PGA Tour to heights unimaginable just a few decades ago. It is a powerhouse and may not even have hit its peak. Thats where Jake comes in. This guy gets it ' period. Show up to play, but show up with love to play. That seems to be his motto. Treat the amateurs like gold, make a few extra speeches, sign a few extra autographs ' and then lets see where were at.
Give back to the dedicated tournaments
Along the same lines of what Id do if I were commissioner, to all those sponsors (on any of the tours) who signed big money deals to lend their name and money to events BEFORE 9/11. give them an extra year on their deal at no cost. Use tour funds to subsidize that events purse for that year while still leaving the sponsors name attached. Talk about good will for those who stepped up when our economy was on thin ice!
Get rid of Doubleheader weeks
Show Tucson some respect. They deserve more than second billing. In fact, why not make Tucson Chrysler Classic, B.C. Open and Valero Texas Open designated majors on the Nationwide Tour? They dont need to scrape up $4 million for the purse ' just 1.5 or so and theyre guaranteed four rounds live on The Golf Channel with a chance to see the up-n'-comers like Chad Campbell, Jonathan Byrd or Zach Johnson battle for big money under much bigger pressure.
Tiger and lin get married live on The Golf Channel
Hey, if it was OK for Trista and Ryan, why not give it a shot?. Since Monday is now Your Game Night, maybe we could change Saturday to Your Wedding Night. Think of the possibilities! We get the exclusive which eliminates many of the tabloid shows and the dreaded possibility that Mary Hart and Bob Goin would show up. Heck, we could do a Sprint Pre-Game and a Sprint Post-Game!
Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann
Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ
Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
After Turkey call I will be heading over to Trump National Golf Club, Jupiter, to play golf (quickly) with Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson. Then back to Mar-a-Lago for talks on bringing even more jobs and companies back to the USA!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2017
Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.
Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong
HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.
Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.
''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''
Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.
Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.
''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''
Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.
Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).
''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''
Day (68) just one back at Australian Open
Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.
Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)
What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.
Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.
Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.
Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.
Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.
Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball
Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.
In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.
"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’
Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.
“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.
“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’
Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.