Orender Elected President of PGA
Orender succeeds Jack Connelly of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., who will serve on The PGA Board of Directors as honorary president.
Succeeding Orender as vice-president is Roger Warren of Woodridge, Ill., who served the past two years as secretary. Brian Whitcomb of Bend, Ore., was elected secretary. In addition, three new members of The PGA Board of Directors were sworn into office.
Orender, 48, is the founding partner of Hampton Golf Inc., which operates Golf Club at South Hampton in Jacksonville, Fla., Golf Club at North Hampton in Amelia Island, Fla., Grand Haven Golf Club in Palm Coast, Fla., and Osprey Golf Club in St. Marys, Ga. A PGA member since February 1981, Orender served as president of the North Florida PGA Section from 1985-87, and was named North Florida PGA Professional of the Year in 1985. At the national level, Orender served on the Junior Golf Committee from 1982-85, the Membership Committee from 1985-92 and the Board of Control from 1993-95. He was elected to the Board of Directors in 1995 and served a three-year term through 1998, when he was elected secretary of The PGA of America.
He began his golf career in 1974 as an assistant professional at Diamond Hill Golf Club in Dover, Fla. He was named head professional in 1976, and in 1980, added the responsibilities of course superintendent. He was named general manager in 1982 and was appointed managing director in 1985. The president of Golf Trust Inc., from 1989 until 1996, when the company joined with Granite Golf Management, Orender served as president of Granite Golf Management until January 1999.
Warren, 52, is general manager and director of golf at Seven Bridges Golf Club in Woodridge, Ill. A PGA member since May 1990, Warren was president of the Illinois PGA Section from 1997-98, vice president from 1995-96 and secretary from 1992-94. Warren was named the 1998 Illinois PGA Golf Professional of the Year.
Whitcomb, 47, is a 17-year PGA member and the director of golf at Lost Tracks Golf Club in Bend, Ore., and is the owner or co-owner of four golf facilities in Arizona, Colorado and Oregon.
Whitcomb began his professional career in 1978 at Arizona Biltmore Country Club in Phoenix, and in 1981 leased Paradise Valley Park Golf Course in Phoenix, and later designed, financed and constructed an additional nine holes of golf. He still holds the lease to the facility. In 1989, Whitcomb designed and constructed The 500 Club in Phoenix, which he still operates with his partner, Tom Sneva, winner of the 1983 Indianapolis 500. In 1992, Whitcomb designed and constructed Club West in Phoenix, which he sold in 1998. In 1995, he designed and constructed Lost Tracks Golf Club in Bend, Ore., which he continues to own and operate.
Whitcomb partnered to design and construct The Golf Club at Beardance in Castle Rock, Colo. When completed the Colorado PGA Section will move its headquarters to Beardance.
Whitcomb also has a home in Scottsdale, Ariz., and served as Southwest PGA Board of Directors from 1989-91, and was Section president from 1995-97. In 2001, Whitcomb was named the Southwest PGA Golf Professional of the Year.
He served on the national PGA Board of Directors from 1998 to 2001, representing District 14, and was a member of the national PGA Properties Board of Directors from 1999-00.
The three new board members are: Jim Antkiewicz of Nevillewood, Pa., representing District 4 for the Central New York, Tri-State and Western New York PGA Sections; Jeff Porter of Hastings, Neb., representing District 8 for the Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska PGA Sections; and Doug Vilven of Salt Lake City, Utah, representing District 9 for the Colorado, Rocky Mountain and Utah PGA Sections. The new directors will serve three-year terms.
The PGA Board of Directors is composed of the Association's president, vice president, secretary, honorary president and 17 directors. The directors include representatives from each of The PGA's 14 districts, two Independent Directors and a member of the PGA Tour. New District Directors are elected by their local PGA Sections.
Founded in 1916, The PGA of America is a not-for-profit organization composed of more than 27,000 men and women professionals who are dedicated to growing the game of golf.
Watch: Daly makes birdie from 18-foot-deep bunker
John Daly on Friday somehow got up and down for birdie from the deepest bunker on the PGA Tour.
The sand to the left of the green on the 16th hole at the Stadium Course at PGA West sits 18 feet below the surface of the green.
That proved no problem for Daly, who cleared the lip three times taller than he is and then rolled in a 26-footer.
He fared just slightly better than former Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill.
Koepka (wrist) likely out until the Masters
Defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is expected to miss at least the next two months because of a torn tendon in his left wrist.
Koepka, who suffered a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU), is hoping to return in time for the Masters.
In a statement released by his management company, Koepka said that doctors are unsure when the injury occurred but that he first felt discomfort at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished last in the 18-man event. Playing through pain, he also finished last at the Tournament of Champions, after which he underwent a second MRI that revealed the tear.
Koepka is expected to miss the next eight to 12 weeks.
“I am frustrated that I will now not be able to play my intended schedule,” Koepka said. “But I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed, and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters. … I look forward to a quick and successful recovery.”
Prior to the injury, Koepka won the Dunlop Phoenix and cracked the top 10 in the world ranking.
Cut Line: Color Rory unafraid of the Ryder Cup
In this week’s edition, Rory McIlroy gets things rolling with some early Ryder Cup banter, Dustin Johnson changes his tune on a possible golf ball roll-back, and the PGA Tour rolls ahead with integrity training.
Paris or bust. Rory McIlroy, who made his 2018 debut this week on the European Tour, can be one of the game’s most affable athletes. He can also be pointed, particularly when discussing the Ryder Cup.
Asked this week in Abu Dhabi about the U.S. team, which won the last Ryder Cup and appears to be rejuvenated by a collection of new players, McIlroy didn’t disappoint.
“If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”
McIlroy has come by his confidence honestly, having won three of the four Ryder Cups he’s played, so it’s understandable if he doesn't feel like an underdog heaidng to Paris.
“The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”
September can’t get here quick enough.
Mr. Spieth goes to Ponte Vedra Beach. The Tour announced this year’s player advisory council, the 16-member group that works with the circuit’s policy board to govern.
There were no real surprises to the PAC, but news that Jordan Spieth had been selected to run for council chair is interesting. Spieth, who is running against Billy Hurley III and would ascend to the policy board next year if he wins the election, served on the PAC last year and would make a fine addition to the policy board, but it is somewhat out of character for a marquee player.
In recent years, top players like Spieth have largely avoided the distractions that come with the PAC and policy board. Of course, we’ve also learned in recent years that Spieth is not your typical superstar.
Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)
On second thought. In December at the Hero World Challenge, Dustin Johnson was asked about a possible golf ball roll-back, which has become an increasingly popular notion in recent years.
“I don't mind seeing every other professional sport. They play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball,” he said in the Bahamas. “I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage.”
The world No. 1 appeared to dial back that take this week in Abu Dhabi, telling BBC Sport, “It's not like we are dominating golf courses. When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy?”
Maybe it didn’t feel that way, but DJ’s eight-stroke romp two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions certainly looked pretty easy.
Long odds. I had a chance to watch the Tour’s 15-minute integrity training video that players have been required view and came away with a mixture of confusion and concern.
The majority of the video, which includes a Q&A element, focuses on how to avoid match fixing. Although the circuit has made it clear there is no indication of current match fixing, it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.
The other element that’s worth pointing out is that although the Tour may be taking the new program seriously, some players are not.
“My agent watched [the training video] for me,” said one Tour pro last week at the Sony Open.
Groundhog Day. To be fair, no one expected Patton Kizzire and James Hahn to need six playoff holes to decide last week’s Sony Open, but the episode does show why variety is the spice of life.
After finishing 72 holes tied at 17 under, Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole again and again and again and again. In total, the duo played the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club five times (including in regulation play) on Sunday.
It’s worth noting that the playoff finally ended with Kizzire’s par at the sixth extra hole, which was the par-3 17th. Waialae’s 18th is a fine golf hole, but in this case familiarity really did breed contempt.
Tweet of the week:
Welp I didn’t get hit by a ballistic missile today so that’s a plus! #imalive— John Peterson (@JohnPetersonFW) January 14, 2018
It was a common theme last Saturday on Oahu after an island-wide text alert was issued warning of an inbound ballistic missile and advising citizens to “seek immediate shelter.”
The alert turned out to be a mistake, someone pushed the wrong button during a shift change, but for many, like Peterson, it was a serious lesson in perspective.
Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake
Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.
While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.
“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.
Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.