Bob Burns Up Disney

By Mercer BaggsOctober 20, 2002, 4:00 pm
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. ' After making 19 birdies in three rounds and still missing the cut in last week's Invensys Classic at Las Vegas, Bob Burns made a declaration to his caddie: 'I'm going to win next week.
The power of positive thinking.
Burns, the 1998 Buy.Com Tour Player of the Year, became the 16th first-time winner on tour this season by shooting 7-under 65 Sunday to win the Disney Golf Classic, doing so in his 173rd career tour event.
That you can win after saying you are going to win, that is kind of what happened this week, Burns said. Maybe that is what I should do every week.
The worlds 241st-ranked player finished at 25-under-par 263, one stroke clear of overnight leader Chris DiMarco (68). World No. 1 Tiger Woods (63) finished alone in third, at 23-under.
'My hat is off to him,' DiMarco said of Burns. 'He came out here and beat me today and that's what it's all about out here.'
In my mind it was so simple, Burns said. Maybe I predestined myself this week to win by saying I was going to win and I went out and that is all I thought about.
Premium Video - Subscription Required Bob Burns talks about his win.
Woods started the day six back of DiMarco, and tied his career-best final-round score on tour. He made six birdies in a seven-hole stretch starting at the fourth, and added more pressure with birdies on 13 and 14.
After a ninth birdie at 17, he pulled a six-footer for birdie at the last to come up short of his third Disney title.
Its crazy to think thats the number you have to shoot to have a chance, said Woods, who has now finished outside the top 4 only twice since The Players Championship.
Thankfully, it was only 72 holes, Burns said. Give (Woods) nine more holes and he would have had it.
Burns, who entered the week 118th on the money list, earned $666,000 to surpass the $1 million plateau for the season. He has now made more money this year than in his previous five seasons combined.
But more importantly, he secured his tour playing privilege for the next two years, and wont have to attend Q-School, like he did in 1999 and 2001.
'I played year-to-year so much in my career, trying to finish in the top 125, trying to get over an injury, trying to get over some personal problems, trying to get over something each year and just maintain my playing privileges, said Burns, who got married less than two months ago.
Were trying to start a family. We got a lot of plans for both of us. It helps, definitely helps.
DiMarco looked predestined to win this week after opening in 64-63. But he could only manage a 1-under 35 on the front side both Saturday and Sunday. His penchant for pars allowed the field to catch, and eventually surpass him.
As many as nine players reached the 20-under mark as the final pair hit the inward half, with Burns leading the way at minus 23 thanks to his third straight birdie at the par-4 11th.
He continued to climb the leaderboard with a 15-foot birdie at 13. He said he was advised by his caddie not to look at the leaderboard until he reached 24-under.
We looked at 24. Next hole I birdied to go to 25, he said.
With Burns now at 25-under, Woods needed to birdie 18 to have an outside chance of winning. He stuffed his approach shot to six feet, but ran his last-chance effort two feet past the hole. He had to settle for par, and set the clubhouse target at 23-under.
I figured I needed to make that putt to have a chance, Woods said. I dont think that Ive played a round where I fired at this many flags, not used to doing that. But you have to.
DiMarco wasnt able to match the exhausting pace he set the first two days. Instead, he was simply exasperated. DiMarco, who made only one bogey over his final 58 holes, made just eight birdies over the weekend ' after making 17 birdies and an eagle in rounds one and two.
Burns parred his final four holes, but DiMarco's chance to add to his Phoenix Open victory earlier in the season ended when he missed an eight-footer for birdie at 17. He birdied the last, but it only managed to break a second-place tie with Woods.
'I think that's the third time I've shot 24-under and lost,' DiMarco said.
Burns had a chance to win earlier in the year. After acing the par-3 11th to take a two-shot lead in the final round of the Kemper Open, he made double bogey at the par-4 16th when his approach shot ' which should have finished some 15 feet from the hole ' bounded off the dried-out greens and into a trough.
He eventually finished tied for third, but as he explained this past Thursday: 'I hit the shot I was trying to hit in the fairway (on 16) hopefully, Im right there again with three holes to play, you know, and Ill be able to pull off the shot that I want to.
This time it wasn't one shot in particular; it was 65 of them that got the job done.
It has been a long time and a lot of balls hit and a lot of putts on the practice greens and a few sleepless nights and early tee times, but here we are, he said. Thats what its all about.
Final results from the Disney Golf Classic

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.

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Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

 There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.

It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

“The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.

Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

“You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.

Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.

Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.

After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.

Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

“We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

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Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.

Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.