Kuchar Stylish in Pro Debut

By Mercer BaggsNovember 23, 2000, 5:00 pm
Former U.S. Amateur champion Matt Kuchar got off to a good start in his professional debut at the Holden Australian Open. Kuchar fired a 3-under-par 69 to finish the first round one shot off the lead, held by a trio of players.
Australians Paul Gow and Peter O'Malley carded 4-under-par 68s Thursday at Kingston Heath to tie New Zealander Greg Turner for the top spot in Melbourne. Kuchar is tied for fourth place with defending champion Aaron Baddeley, Robert Allenby and Sweden's Pierre Fulke.
O'Malley was in position to distance himself from the field in the first round. The Aussie recorded six birdies in an eight-hole stretch to move to 7-under-par through 12 holes.
Then disaster struck.
O'Malley bogeyed the 15th and doubled the 16th to drop three shots in two holes. He parred out to finish the day in a three-way tie for the lead.
'Obviously I'm unhappy with the result of the finish because I had such a great round going, but it's not like I did anything wrong,' O'Malley said. 'I guess I hit two shots I thought were perfect and they got unlucky and went too far.
'I played a fantastic round of golf and I guess it's a shame to finish how I did because I didn't do that much wrong. I thought I played a great game today and I putted fantastic.'
Kuchar played the round of his professional life on Thursday. Then again, it was his first pro start. The man who succeeded Tiger Woods as the U.S. Amateur champion carded four birdies on the difficult Kingston Heath course, including one on his first hole.
Since winning America's most prestigious amateur event, Kuchar has steadily slipped off the public's radar. Despite a pair of inspired performances at the 1998 Masters and U.S. Open, the 22-year-old Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket has missed four cuts in eight PGA and European Tour starts over the past two seasons. His best finish in that time span came in a tie for 22nd at this year's Standard Life Loch Lomond.
Now, Kuchar finds himself where many expected him to be - near the top of the leaderboard alongside some of the game's best.
In addition to being tied with Allenby, who owns a pair of 2000 PGA Tour titles, Baddeley and Fulke, a multiple winner in Europe this season, Kuchar is slightly lower than a number of past major champions. Nick Faldo opened in 1-under-par 71, while Greg Norman carded an even-par 72. American Mark O'Meara didn't fare so well Down Under, the 1998 Masters and British Open champion posted a 4-over-par 76.
'It's definitely in my mind to win here,' said Kuchar, whose best performance in a professional tournament was a tie for 14th at the '98 U.S. Open.
Wednesday, Kuchar played his practice round with Greg Norman, who has become a mentor to him.
'Greg has been great to me,' Kuchar said. 'He has always been a role model of mine. I have emulated his swing and I have tried to conduct myself in the same way he does.'
Kuchar would also like to emulate Baddeley. Last year, as an 18-year-old amateur, the Aussie won his country's biggest event. He's back to defend in 2000, and he's trying to collect the $250,000 first-place check he missed out on a year ago.
Following his first-round 69, Baddeley said: 'I drove well and putted pretty well, but there were a few loose iron shots. A few things need fine tuning, and hopefully (Friday) I can shoot a better score.'
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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

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


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


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

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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