Annika Sorenstam - February 23, 2012

By Morning Drive TeamFebruary 23, 2012, 1:10 pm

Looking at the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play, Annika began by saying that many people – including Annika herself- were expecting Luke Donald to have a strong week and she was a bit surprised that the World #1 played the way he did and lost 5&4 to Ernie Els. In Match Play, all you can do is play the best golf you can and that can result in a win or a loss. It is much tougher to take a Match Play loss if you played poorly than if you played well and your opponent simply played better.

When you are leading in Match Play late in the round, it is tempting to start worrying about your score instead of your game and that really stress you out. The worst thing you can do when you are leading late is to start counting down the remaining holes because if you do that, you are vulnerable to getting caught and losing.

Tiger Woods has been working on so much over the last year and there were some swings that did not look good to her. Tiger’s position at the top of his swing looked very different and some of the shots he hit were unbelievably erratic. It is odd to see this from Tiger this week because his swing looked great at Pebble Beach. But still, a win is a win in Match Play and Tiger lives to see another round. He has a lot of work to do and seems to want it more than anybody but what Tiger needs to do is play more and to continue to work and she does not have any doubt that he will do that. The key to a successful swing is the ability to repeat it and Tiger does not seem to be able to repeat his swing often enough.

She wished that she had an update on the Olympic Course Designer announcement but she is waiting on news just like everyone else. She is not sure when she will hear something about this but she will let Erik and Gary know when she does.

Next week, she will be participating in a Ladies’ Day at The Honda Classic in West Palm Beach. There will be a lot of great people there and she looks forward to taking part and meeting with folks who are very interested in being involved with golf and the PGA TOUR.

She is heading to Phoenix, Arizona to take part in an event called Escape for Good which is a gathering a lot of athletes including herself, Mia Hamm, Andre Agassi, and others and it is a chance for the athletes to raise a lot of money for a lot of different charities.

When asked about her interest in appearing on “Dancing With The Stars” after Tony Dovolani expressed his interest in having her on the show, Annika said that a year ago she received a call from the show to be involved and she turned down that offer because she was pregnant. Now that she is not pregnant, she said that she would be interested and also said that when she and her husband were dating, they took dance lessons. She would be interested in being involved but it will come down to whether or not the show wants to have her participate.

When she watched Tiger during his match with Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, she saw Tiger do what great players do: turn a bad round into a not so bad round. As a result, he was able to pull off a 1UP win and now he is in the second round against Nick Watney who defeated Darren Clarke in the first round.

On the question of whether or not she would like to see more Match Play events, Annika said that she enjoys the format as a player and as a fan but she would not necessarily want to see more events like this. This format may be better for the LPGA Tour than the PGA TOUR because of the volatility and the likelihood of upsets. The timing of this event is also important because the earlier the event, the more likely people will pay attention to it. If you have this kind of event only once or twice a year, you are more likely to have the participation of all of or at least most of the best players in the world which is also important to the success of the event.

The kind of match play player which gives her the most trouble is someone who is slow and very deliberate with their game but also someone who is very chatty on the course gives her problems as well. It is wise to focus on your own game in this format and not get too emotional over individual shots and individual moments. She is also someone who likes to walk ahead of her opponent in this format.

When you are leading a match, you are more generous when it comes to conceding putts to her opponent but when you are tied or behind, you are not generous at all. When she was the Assistant Captain for the European Solheim Cup team, she did not advise the players to use forms of gamesmanship because she does not feel that is a good part of the format.

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.