Medinah a Beast That Can be Tamed - COPIED - COPIED

By Mercer BaggsAugust 15, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 PGA ChampionshipMEDINAH, Ill ' The clouds began to step aside around 2:00 p.m. local time, adding a little light to what had been an otherwise overcast and breezy day about 30 miles northwest of the Windy City.
 
The sun showed up at Medinah Country Club, as players filed in, making their way to the course to prepare for the seasons final major championship.
 
Monday at the 88th PGA Championship was a day to acquire some familiarity for most of the 156 men in the field. There are 131 touring professionals and 25 club professionals in the mix, and many this week are either seeing the course for the first time in seven years or seeing it for the first time period.
 
Tiger Woods, however, is not among that group. He got in a practice round last week, before doing so again this morning.
 
Woods, who won the 1999 PGA Championship at Medinah, the last time the course hosted a major, played early Monday morning, signed a few autographs and then hightailed it out of Dodge.
 
A winner of his last two events, the Open Championship and the Buick Open, Woods is scheduled to give a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
 
Woods and his fellow returnees from the 99 PGA found the par-72 layout extended by 160 yards. Back then, the 7,401-yard layout was the second longest in major championship history. Now, at 7,561 yards, its the longest.
 
But that number, according to some of the early practitioners, appears gaudier than it does intimidating.
 
It doesnt play that long, said Zach Johnson, who held the 54-hole lead at last weeks International before slipping into a tie for 13th. I dont know why, but it just doesnt.
 
Jeff Sluman agreed almost word-for-word with Johnsons assessment. The 1988 PGA champion resides in nearby Hinsdale and is staying at home this week. He got a chance last week to play the No. 3 course and had nothing but positive remarks to share.
 
The golf course is in terrific shape. Its a set-up that doesnt really surprise anybody, he said. You just really need to drive it straight.
 
Unlike at Winged Foot, site of this years U.S. Open, the rough at Medinah will make its biggest impact just off the fairway.
 
USGA officials implemented a graduated rough, which became more penal the further offline a wayward ball traveled.
 
This week, however, a slightly inaccurate drive may prove much more costly.
 
If youre going to miss it, maybe miss it by about 10 yards, said Sluman. You might have a chance, because the rough just off the first cut is as bad as Ive seen, and I dont think youre going to see many shots getting up on the green from that kind of rough.
 
One of the biggest and most noticeable alterations to the venue is at the par-3 17th, the one on which Woods made a tournament-saving par en route to winning in 99.
 
There is a new back tee, but the hole will actually play a bit shorter than the 206 yards it did when Woods held off Sergio Garcia. Thats because the green has been lowered from off the hill, creating a more steeply downward approach to a green that is front-guarded by water. The penultimate hole is now listed at 197 yards on the card and should create an amphitheatre ' and even a little more excitement.
 
I think its a better hole, and there is more ' certainly more risk-reward to it, Sluman said.
 
I would imagine the pin is going to be cut on that back right on Sunday. Youre going to have to hit a very, very solidly struck shot to have a chance for birdie on that hole. It might not be extremely difficult to par it, but to make birdie, youre going to have to hit a great shot, which is what major championships are all about.
 
The back right pin placement (will be) very difficult, concurred Jim Furyk, who tied for eighth the last time Medinah hosted the PGA.
 
Furyk only played 15 holes Monday, but that included the 17th. He played all par-4s with the exception of No. 16, and said that he didnt hit anything longer than a 5-iron into the greens.
 
Length, said the 2003 U.S. Open champion, isnt always measured in raw numbers, but sometimes in the way a course is set up.
 
I think you can play a golf course thats 7,300 (yards) that can feel long, and you can play a golf course that plays at 7,400, 7,500 that doesnt feel long at all, he said, further explaining, theres lots of times where youre forced to play back on a tee shot and hit 5-iron into a green, where if you could have hit driver, you could have hit 8-iron in.
 
It all depends on the situation.
 
(This course) is still long, he made sure to clarify. Ill wait and see how long the golf course plays during the tournament. Its not short. Its not even average. Its long ' but we hit the ball a lot further than we used to, and its manageable.
 
'It reminds me of '99 quite a bit. Some of the holes are a little longer. But then again, I guess, so are we.'
 
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    After earning his maiden PGA Tour victory at the RSM Classic, Austin Cook vaulted from No. 302 to No. 144 in the world. Runner-up J.J. Spaun jumped 48 spots to No. 116, while a hole-out with his final approach helped Brian Gay rise 73 spots to No. 191 after finishing alone in third at Sea Island.

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    Love to undergo hip replacement surgery

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    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Two days removed from arguably the most hectic week of his year, Davis Love III will undergo replacement surgery on his left hip.

    Love, who hosted and played in last week’s RSM Classic, said he tried to avoid the surgery, but the pain became too much and he will undergo the procedure on Tuesday at the Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center in Birmingham, Ala.

    “I had a hip problem the last few years, and I had a hip resurfacing trying to avoid hip surgery because I’m a chicken, but after playing [the CIMB Classic and Sanderson Farms Championship] I realized it was an uphill battle,” Love said.


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    Love said doctors have told him recovery from the procedure will take between three to four months, but he should be able to start work on his chipping and putting within a few weeks.

    Love, who missed the cut at the RSM Classic, said earlier in the week that his goal is to become the oldest PGA Tour winner and that the only way to achieve that was by having the surgery.

    “Now I’m excited that I’ve crossed that bridge,” said Love, who will turn 54 next April. “Once I get over that I can go right back to the Tour. I won after a spine fusion [2015 Wyndham Championship] and now I’d like to win with a new hip. That’s the reason I’m doing it so I can get back to golf and keep up.”

    LPGA awards: Ryu, S.H. Park tie for POY

    By Randall MellNovember 20, 2017, 1:56 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – In the end, the CME Group Tour Championship played out a lot like the entire 2017 season did.

    Parity reigned.

    Nobody dominated the game’s big season-ending awards, though Lexi Thompson and Sung Hyun Park came close.

    Thompson walked away with the CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot and the Vare Trophy for low scoring average. If she had made that last 2-foot putt at the 72nd hole Sunday, she might also have walked away with the Rolex Player of the Year Award and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Park shared the Rolex Player of the Year Award with So Yeon Ryu. By doing so, Park joined Nancy Lopez as the only players in LPGA history to win the Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year titles in the same season. Lopez did it in 1978. Park also won the LPGA money-winning title.

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    Rolex Player of the Year
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    It marks the first time the award has been shared since its inception in 1966.

    Ryu and Park join Inbee Park as the only South Koreans to win the award. Park won it in 2013.


    Vare Trophy
    Thompson won the award with a scoring average of 69.114. Sung Hyun Park finished second at 69.247. Park needed to finish at least nine shots ahead of Thompson at the CME Group Tour Championship to win the trophy.

    There were a record 12 players with scoring averages under 70.0 this year, besting the previous record of five, set last year.


    CME Globe $1 million prize
    Thompson entered the week first in the CME points reset, but it played out as a two-woman race on the final day. Park needed to finish ahead of Thompson in the CME Group Tour Championship to overtake her for the big money haul. Thompson tied for second in the tournament while Park tied for sixth.

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    LPGA money-winning title
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    Rolex world No. 1 ranking
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    Rolex Rookie of the Year
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    By Randall MellNovember 20, 2017, 1:07 am

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    Much was made of Ko beginning the year with sweeping changes, with new equipment (PXG), a new coach (Gary Gilchrist) and a new caddie (Peter Godfrey).

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    “I think everybody has little ups and downs.”