Redemption at the 17th

By Mercer BaggsSeptember 23, 2010, 10:26 pm

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Paul Lokey woke up at 2 a.m. Thursday morning. His eyes popped open as if he had been pricked with a needle.

“Seventeen,” he said in a voice straight out of a suspense thriller – or perhaps a horror movie.

For the first time this week, Lokey was thinking about the par-3 17th on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. That it entered his mind in the middle of his sleep and caused him to alarmingly wake up, meant that it had been lurking in his subconscious.

And for good reason.

Senior Championship Flight
Senior Palmer Flight
Senior Hogan Flight
Senior Sarazen Flight
Senior Jones Flight
Senior Snead Flight

The Senior Hogan Flight (handicaps 8.0-11.9) played the third round of the Golf Channel Amateur Tour’s Senior National Championship at the Stadium Course Thursday. It‘s the largest of the six senior flights, with 96 players competing.

Lokey played this very venue in a Senior Amateur Tour event earlier in the year. By his own account, he was having a solid round. And then he reached the island green 17th.

“I made 10,” he said.

This time around, Lokey was having a premiere day, just 2 over par through seven holes. The 58-year-old from Clearwater, Fla., birdied his first hole of the day, the par-4 10th and then added another at the par-4 12th – his first two birdies of the tournament.

“Here we go again,” he said with a laugh as his cart came to a stop at the tee box.

The 17th, infamously known for its role as the tricky – or tricked up – penultimate hole at The Players Championship, was playing 117 yards to the pin, which was on the front part of the two-tiered green.

The tee box was shifted left from where the PGA Tour pros play it in May, adding an unusual visual perspective for those familiar with the hole. But it was in the same place where it bit Lokey  in July’s TPC Sawgrass Open Major.

“It’s a terrible distance for me – in between a 9-iron and a wedge,” Lokey said. “I tried to baby a 9-iron last time. This time I’m going to take a wedge and mash it.”

Waiting for the group in front of him to putt out, Lokey strolled to the tee, put his egg on his peg and offered up:  “Let’s see what happens.”

Hitting first among his threesome, and coming off a par at the par-5 16th, Lokey “mashed” a wedge. The ball took flight right of the flag and never drew back in – but it didn’t leak either. It landed just above the pot bunker separating green from hazard and settled on the ridge of the top tier – safely on the green.

Lokey dropped to one knee and fist pumped. Kirk Gibson’s never been that excited.

“I wanted to give you something to write about,” he exclaimed. And that he did.

Lokey two-putted for par … and redemption.

After opening rounds of 14-over 86 at St. John’s Golf & Country Club and 15-over 87 at the Slammer & Squire course, Lokey finished with a 13-over 85 at the Stadium Course. He’s tied for 27th through 54 holes.

'Being a 10 handicap and shooting 85 on the Stadium Course under tournament conditions, I'm not unhappy,' he said.

'In one word,' he added when asked his assess his day, 'Awesome with a captial 'A.''

Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.

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

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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

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.