Golf Shares Spotlight - Until Monday

By Mercer BaggsAugust 27, 2003, 4:00 pm
NORTON, Mass. -- Andrew Magee pulled into his hotel parking lot Tuesday and saw something a bit unusual, something a tad uncommon in proximity to a professional golf tournament.
 
I was checking in last night and theyre all just kind of sitting on the couches, smoking cigarettes on the curb, laying on the curb,' he said. 'Without a black t-shirt and a tattoo, youre not going to fit in.'
 
Magee was talking in reference to the roadies that had overrun his hotel.
 
Golf isnt the only show in town this week.
 
Though the PGA Tour has returned to the Boston/Providence area for a regular event for the first time since 1998 ' Brookline Country Club in Sutton, Mass., hosted the 1999 Ryder Cup ' locals will have several other entertainment options.
 
In addition to the Deutsche Bank Championship, which will commence Friday and conclude Labor Day Monday, there is a KISS and Aerosmith combo Wednesday night and Jimmy Buffet gigs Thursday and Saturday nights.
 
The concerts will be played at the Tweeter Center, which is less than a mile from the tournament site, the TPC of Boston.
 
That means players in this most silent of sports will have to deal with a little noise pollution as bands gear up ' and not to mention the congested traffic when trying to leave the course.
 
We cant control that, because we dont own that property, said PGA Tour tournament director Mark Russell. So theyre going to be able to do what they want to do. But well live with it; were going to play and see what happens.
 
Robert Gamez, for one, isnt too concerned with the possible distraction. In fact, Id love to see Buffet play, he said. Its neat to have options, have other stuff to do.
 
And that stuff isnt limited to the music scene.
 
The New England Patriots contest their final pre-season game at home, in nearby Foxboro, against the Chicago Bears Wednesday night. And the Boston Red Sox host the American League East-leading New York Yankees in a crucial three-game set starting Friday.
 
The Sox host the Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday night, before playing another night game against New York Friday, and a couple of day games Saturday and Sunday.
 
Outside of a little game of golf this week, I want to get to a Yankees-Red Sox game, Paul Stankowski said. Ive never been to Fenway (Park).
 
Of course, with a $5-million purse up for grabs, and a $900,000 winners paycheck on the line, players wont be blinded by the nightlife.
 
What could be a cause for player concern, however, is routine. Most in the field didnt arrive onsite until Wednesday. And instead of officially keeping score Thursday, theyll be playing in a pro-am or practicing ' at an unfamiliar venue.
 
It throws you off, Gamez said of beginning and ending an event a day later than normal. Its a weird deal. But were all professionals and can handle it.
 
Its thrown everyones rhythm off a little bit, added Russell. But I think its good: a Labor Day, holiday finish. Well see what happens.
 
All involved are anxious to see how the course will play. The TPC of Boston was opened last June, and has been adjusted to meet tournament standards. Four new tee boxes have been built, and the eighth green has been reshaped.
 
Its new for everyone, including the players, the media and our guys, Russell said. Setting up the golf course, we dont know how the golf course is going to play, we dont know how long its going to play; we dont have any records from here, so were going to have to do the best we can do with that.
 
Fan support certainly isnt an official concern. Daily tickets, including for practice rounds, have been topped off to 25,000, and have been sold out throughout the week.
 
Obviously, the bevy of other attractions havent distracted people from wanting to witness the PGA Tour's first event in this region ' not including the Greater Hartford Open in Connecticut ' since the former CVS Charity Classic got the axe in 98 after a 34-year stint.
 
Yes, there will be Gene Simmons and his face-painted posse. Yes, the Parrotheads will flock. Yes, the NFL enthusiasm is palpable. And yes, the Evil Empire will invade Beantown.
 
But the area also has golf again. And they have Tiger, and the reigning U.S. and British Open champions. And 156 of the best players in the world. And come Monday, those left to entertain the masses wont have to share the spotlight with anyone else.
 
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  • 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.