Perez Gogel Looking to Rewrite History

By Mercer BaggsFebruary 2, 2002, 5:00 pm
History didnt repeat itself Saturday at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, and both Pat Perez and Matt Gogel hope the same holds true on Sunday.
Having never seen the back nine before, Perez birdied his final two holes at Spyglass Hill to maintain his overnight advantage of four shots. The 25-year-old San Diego native shot 2-under 70 to move to 15-under-par 201.
This is where I want to be, said the tour rookie.
Gogel (67, Spyglass) and Lee Janzen (70, Poppy Hills) are tied for second place at 11-under. Andrew Magee shot 67 at Poppy Hills and stands at minus 10.
Speaking of Gogel, he held a three-shot lead through 36 holes at this event a year ago, only to shoot 81 in round three at Spyglass. Perez endured no such outcome.
The Q-School medalist, who concluded his second round by shooting 30 on the front nine at Pebble Beach, started with a pair of birdies over his first three holes, and upped his lead to five shots. However, he gave one back with a bogey at the fifth, and then limped his way to the back nine.
Perez three-putted from 20 feet for bogey at the par-4 eighth. Still steaming, he pushed his tee shot at the par-4 ninth into the right-side fairway bunker. He responded to the errant drive by slamming his club, two-fisted, into the soggy tee box.
A tour rookie; a dwindling lead; and a quick temper, disaster appeared imminent on the back nine.
But as it turned out, making the turn was just what he needed.
I had a little adventure coming on the back nine because I had never seen it. I was just trying to get under par from there, he said.
Thanks to a 103-degree fever, Perez was unable to play the back nine at Spyglass during his practice round. He was forced to attack it blindly, armed only with notes from his caddie and a friend.
I got some help from my buddy (fellow pro) Jason Gore, Perez said. I called him, he played here last year and we went through the yardage book on the back nine. He gave me some notes. He had a pin sheet, it was helpful.
Following a bogey-breaking par at the 10th, Perez got up and down for birdie at the par-5 11th. He then reeled off five straight pars, including a 35-foot save at the 13th, before finishing birdie-birdie.
Four shots is nothing, Perez said of his lead. You guys have seen in the past, people come back from seven, eight shots. Im going to go out and try to match my 30 on the front tomorrow at Pebble and see where it goes from there.
Perez similarly held a four-shot lead down the stretch in the 2000 Buy.Com Monterey Open, held at the nearby Bayonet course. That Sunday, though, he was unable to accept success.
Shades of Bayonet all over again, he said. I had a four-shot lead going into the third day and the fourth day. Hopefully, I will have a different result.
Gogel, like Perez, wants to rewrite history. Hes hoping fate is fair.
Aside from his horribly inefficient third round last year, hes best known as the man who succumbed to Tiger Woods in the 2000 Pro-Am.
Gogel led Woods by seven shots with seven holes to play in the final round. But as Tiger moved forward, Gogel fell back. After shooting 31 on the front nine at Pebble Beach, he came home in 40.
I kind of got spooked a little bit, and Tiger made a great run, Gogel said. Ive learned from my mistakes.
Gogel started sluggishly Saturday, bogeying the 10th, his first hole, and three-putting for par at the par-5 11th.
Not the start I obviously wanted, but I knew I was hitting the ball much better than yesterday, he said.
Gogel went on to record seven birdies and one bogey to earn a chance to claim his first tour title. And though he trails by a healthy number, Gogel feels his past can help his present.
I have had about half a dozen times since 2000 to win a golf tournament, and each time you are in that situation, you learn, said Gogel, whose best tour finish is a tie for second in this event two years ago.
Four shots, as we all know, can disappear very quickly. No ill will to Pat, he is obviously playing well. If he continues to play the way hes playing, I dont think it will be a contest.
Sometimes ignorance is bliss. I think Pat has that on his side, I was certainly that way in 2000.
Added Janzen: 'If anyone knows four shots can be made up, it's Gogel.'
Perez, who said his crowd following was up from 12 people to about 30 in round three, believes no one thinks he'll win ' except himself.
I expect to win. Four-shot lead tomorrow, yeah, I expect to win, he said matter-of-factly.
Full-field scores from the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

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.