2000 In Review

By Mercer BaggsDecember 15, 2000, 5:00 pm
Majors, milestones and memories. Dial M for the 2000 Senior PGA Tour.
 
Okay, so the 2000 Senior season lacked the suspense of an Alfred Hitchcock movie, but there were plenty of highlights, and no one provided more than Larry Nelson.
 
In his third full season on the 50-and-over circuit, Nelson more than doubled his career victory count. The now-53-year-old won six times this year, good enough for Player of the Year honors and the 2000 money title.
 
Nelson credited a dietary change to his late-season surge, which included four wins and a runner-up finish in a five-start stretch, beginning in late August.
 
In addition to his six victories, Nelson recorded seven second-place finishes and 23 top-10s in 30 starts. He also earned over $2.7 million.
 
Nelson was one of only two players in 2000 to win in successive weeks. The other? Jim Thorpe. Playing in his sophomore season, Thorpe recorded his first career Senior victory at The Transamerica. The following week, he won the Gold Rush Classic.
 
Coincidentally, Thorpe's back-to-back wins came right after Nelson had accomplished the same feat. Nelson won the Bank One Senior Championship and the Vantage Championship in the two weeks prior to Thorpe's Transamerica triumph.
 
Thorpe's first victory broke a 68-start winless drought on the Senior Tour, the same number snapped by Ed Dougherty in 2000.
 
Two-and-a-half years and 68 starts without a win, Dougherty finally stepped into the winner's circle at the Coldwell Banker Burnet Classic. Dougherty joined Thorpe as one of five first-time winners in 2000. The other three were Tom Kite, Lanny Wadkins and Doug Tewell - all of whom were Senior rookies.
 
Speaking of Kite, Tewell and Wadkins, they, along with Tom Watson, were supposed to provide an influx of excitement on the Senior circuit in 2000. Wadkins' year was a bust. After winning in his first start at the ACE Group Classic, the 21-time PGA Tour winner failed to post another Senior victory over his final 22 starts. In fact, he recorded but one other top-10 the remainder of the season.
 
Likewise, Watson only won once this year (IR Tour Championship); though he did collect four runner-up finishes in 13 starts.
 
On the other hand, Tewell and Kite were multiple winners in 2000. Both won a major championship - Tewell at the PGA Seniors' Championship and Kite at the Countrywide Tradition. Kite added the SBC Senior Open to his victory total, while Tewell picked up the hardware at the SBC Championship and the Novell Utah Showdown. Tewell was also voted 2000 Rookie of the Year.
 
There were eight multiple winners in 2000. Aside from the aforementioned, there were Bruce Fleisher (4), Hale Irwin (4), Gil Morgan (3) and Hubert Green (2).
 
Green won both of his events in dramatic fashion, shooting 62 in the final round to win the Audi Senior Classic, and then firing 64 in the final round to capture the Kroger Senior Classic.
 
Irwin's four victories moved him to the top of the All-time Senior Tour wins list. With 29 career titles, Irwin is now tied with Lee Trevino, who won the 2000 Cadillac NFL Golf Classic.
 
Winning at the age of 60, Trevino proved age is just a state of mind. Others proved it could be a number on your scorecard. Gary Player, Miller Barber and Arnold Palmer all shot their age or lower in 2000.
 
Player and Barber did it on the same day. Player shot his age, 64, in the first round of the BellSouth Senior Classic, while the 69-year-old Barber carded a 68. Barber also recorded a quartet of 69s on the season.
 
Palmer shot 69 in the second round of the FleetBoston Classic, two weeks shy of his 71st birthday. He also posted a 70 in the final round of the Utah Showdown.
 
Aside from individual rounds, Palmer also reached a collective milestone in 2000, playing in his 1000th career PGA/Senior Tour event; he did so at the Instinet Classic in July.
 
The King wasn't the only man to reach 1000 in 2000, Dave Eichelberger played in his millennial event at the BellSouth Senior Classic, less than two months before Palmer.
 
Eichelberger and Palmer joined Barber and Gay Brewer as the only men to reach the 1000-event plateau.
 
Dana Quigley has a long way to go before he reaches that magical number, though he's on record pace to get there. For the third straight season, Quigley played in every official event. Quigley now enters the 2001 campaign having played in 129 consecutive events in which he's been eligible for, and 113 overall.
 
Perhaps the biggest accomplishment by any and all over the age of 50 was what they did at the major tournaments - on the PGA Tour.
 
Beginning at the Masters, Jack Nicklaus and Tommy Aaron made the cut. Nicklaus playing the weekend at Augusta National is really no surprise, but Aaron? The guy's 63 years old! Aaron, who won the Masters in 1973, finished higher than fellow Masters champions Jose Maria Olazabal, Mark O'Meara, Craig Stadler, Sandy Lyle, Ben Crenshaw and Fuzzy Zoeller. He also bested Lee Janzen and Lee Westwood, to boot.
 
Four Seniors made the cut at the U.S. Open. Irwin and Watson tied for 27th. Kite tied for 32nd. Eichelberger tied for 57th.
 
Watson also made the cut at the British Open. The five-time Open champion tied for 55th. Christy O'Connor (T60) and Kite (T70) also played all four rounds at St. Andrews.
 
At the PGA Championship, only two Seniors qualified for weekend play. However, both made the most of their extended stay. Watson tied for ninth, while Kite tied for 19th. The two men played in the same group together on Sunday - three hours later than Colin Montgomerie! Watson shot 65-68 on the weekend. Kite shot all four rounds at par of better.
 
Next year's rookie crop on the Senior Tour includes, among others, Bruce Lietzke, Mark McCumber and Q-School medallist Bob Gilder. Gilder will be eligible for the season's first full-field event. However, Lietzke and McCumber will have to wait until July and September, respectively, before they officially turn 50.
Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


President at the Presidents Cup


Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


Cart on the green


Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


Trump golf properties

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers


Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.