Players Preparing for Open Test
But despite all he's achieved, Palmer was pleased just to be addressing the media Wednesday morning.
Being here, you guys listening to me, me sitting here talking, thats a great accomplishment to me, that you still want to hear me, Palmer said. As Eddie Murphy would say, Simple as that.
'Simple' doesnt describe this years U.S. Senior Open. The event will be contested for the first time at the Caves Valley Golf Club in Baltimore, Md., on a 7,005-yard par-71 layout.
The fairways are spacious and the greens are fast but fair. However, the course is quite hilly, and the United States Golf Association wont allow the elders the use of carts. Throw in temperatures reaching the upper-80s, with a palpable humidity, and the Seniors are in for a four-day endurance test.
If the heat and humidity kills me this week, its the best way I know to die, the 72-year-old Palmer joked, adding he loved the location.
I can tell you that its probably as good a Senior Open venue as I have seen in the (23) years of the Senior Open, he said.
Palmer said he shot a forgiving 71 in his Saturday practice round. And despite the USGAs track record, many in the field this week think that low scores are possible.
Sunday, I played here for the first time and shot 65, said Hale Irwin.
Irwin, who won this event in 1998 and 2000, is among the favorites this week, thanks in part to his conditioning.
I think its going to be a course thats made for the fittest, Irwin said. I would hate to be out of shape and trying to walk around this place, and expect to play the best of golf.
Irwin is trying to put behind him an embarrassing performance two weeks ago in the U.S. Open on Long Island. The 57-year-old received a sponsors exemption into the tournament he has won three times, but could only muster scores of 82-81 on the Black Course.
Ive sort of picked up the pieces from Bethpage, and there were a lot of pieces to pick up, he said. Ive heard some of the other players comment this week on how difficult this course is. And I said you should have been up the road a couple of weeks ago.
Despite being the reigning U.S. Senior Open champion, Bruce Fleisher declined his invitation to play with the younger set at Bethpage ' a decision that drew the ire of many, including Irwin and Tom Kite, who also missed the cut at Bethpage.
I saw the course; I thought it was unplayable for my game. I was willing to pass my spot on to some young, aspiring golf professional, Fleisher explained Wednesday. I understand where Hale and Kite were coming from. I think in their hearts they felt I would be a wonderful representative of the Senior Tour. But it was my choice ' it wasnt theirs ' and you have to respect it.
Fleisher bypassed the U.S. Open to compete in the BellSouth Senior Classic, where he and others were afforded a free cancer screening. Test results showed the 53-year-old might have prostate cancer.
I plan on going in Monday after this week and having some work done, Fleisher said. As far as really thinking about it, no, no. Im thinking the best, you know.
Fleisher won last years event by posting an even-par total, and then waiting while others crumbled coming home.
Such a scenario could be possible this week, as the final stretch of holes features the 215-yard par-3 15th; the 430-yard par-4 16th; the 455-yard par-4 17th; and the 464-yard par-4 18th.
There will be a lot of complaints about how long 17 is, said Tom Watson. I think it shows 465 (yards) on the tee but the person who did the yardage by laser says 480. And its straight uphill.
Several may complain ' about the length, the weather, the walking, or all of the above ' but the oldest player in the field wont be among them.
When you start complaining about walking and the heat and humidity, the hell with that. Just go home and sit in front of the TV and have a beer, Palmer said.
Full coverage of the 23rd U.S. Senior Open
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
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.
Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
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
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.
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
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18