Lopez Joins The Golf Channel

By Martha BrendleMarch 27, 2002, 5:00 pm
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - Just two weeks after Hall of Fame member Nancy Lopez stunned the golf world announcing her semi-retirement from professional golf, she surprised the rank and file with news that she was teaming up with The Golf Channel.
TGC is the door to golf, Lopez commented. And I would like to contribute my experience and hopefully will do a great job for them.
Lopez, along with PGA Tour veterans Peter Jacobsen, Nick Faldo and Mark Rolfing will join an already strong team of Golf Channel commentators.
This is certainly an exciting day for our network, Golf Channel President David Manougian said in Wednesdays announcement. These people not only are household names in golf, but are some of the sports greatest personalities.
Lopez is without question one of the most prominent figures on the LPGA Tour with 48 career victories, nine LPGA awards and three majors ' including the Kraft Nabisco Championship title ' on her resume.
I have my knowledge to lend and 25 years as a pro, Lopez said. Id like to give my thoughts on what goes on out there to the telecast.
Im really looking forward to it. Ive done a little bit of work with other networks at the LPGA Championship over the years and really enjoyed it.
She will lend her on-course prowess to the network as a contributing reporter for Viewers Forum and Golf Central from several of the womens majors this season including this weeks event and the McDonalds LPGA Championship.
Lopez, whose last victory was at the 1997 Chick-fil-A Charity Championship, will join Donna Caponi and Grant Boone in The Golf Channel booth upon the conclusion of her rounds at the Williams Championship and the Safeway LPGA Championship.
In addition, the 25-year veteran will also serve as a color analyst in the TGC booth at the Shoprite LPGA Classic on Saturday and Sunday and at the First Union Betsy King Classic from Thursday through Sunday.
She is looking forward to her work with fellow Hall of Fame member Caponi, yet the ever-likable Lopez is venturing into this new territory in typical grounded fashion. Its funny, Ive asked them If I stink, please tell me and I hope they will.
This is a very exciting front for Lopez, who suffered from chronic knee problems in the 2001 season that confined her to a limited schedule of play. I love being out here. I love playing. I love golf,' she said.
I have had a wonderful life out here on the LPGA Tour and I have enjoyed it tremendously. But I want to still hit those good shots and if I cant hit those good shots anymore then I need to try and do something else with the rest of my other life,' Nancy said in a press conference Tuesday.
The 45-year-old may be toying with the idea of an exciting new career but no need to worry, since shes not quite ready to hang her Soft Spikes up just yet. Id still like to play a little golf - well see how it goes, she said.
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Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

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The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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LPGA lists April date for new LA event

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.