Quotes of the Year
'The rookie mistake of the century. -- Will MacKenzie, after inadvertantly giving out his room number during an interview with the GOLF CHANNEL. He eventually had to turn off his phone to get it to stop ringing.
'Anybody that says 43 is old can go to hell. -- Vijay Singh, jokingly telling the crowd at the trophy presentation at the Mercedes-Benz Championship. Singh passed Sam Snead as the all-time leader in victories in PGA TOUR history after the age of 40.
'I'm happy with the way I played. I do try to win every decade, so I've accomplished that. -- Paul Goydos, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, after notching his first win since the 1996 Bay Hill Invitational.
I wasn't done grieving, nowhere near it. Similarly, I should have taken a break from golf after the Ryder Cup, because my heart wasn't really in it after that. -- Darren Clarke, on the recovery process after losing his wife, Heather, to cancer last year.
'I wanted to be his child. If I was a child I wouldn't play golf anymore, I'd be sitting in a boat somewhere spending all dad's money. I've been trying to get him to adopt me for the last five years, but he wouldn't do it. -- John Daly, when asked his thoughts on Tiger becoming a father.
'Keep improving, because I am going to do the same. -- Tiger Woods, giving his advice to the rest of the golf world.
Everything just goes back to Boo, which is where it should end, really, on Boo. It started on Boo and it should really end on Boo. -- Colin Montgomerie, joking with the press, about how a Q&A session somehow kept coming back to Boo Weekley.
'It's nice when you get him shaking his head, because usually he's got us shaking our heads. -- Chris DiMarco, after he and partner Henrik Stenson, thumped Tiger Woods and teammate John Cook at the Tavistock Cup.
I'm sure she's proud of me. -- Morgan Pressel, tearfully speaking of her mother who passed away four years ago from breast cancer, after becoming the youngest female player to ever win a major at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Even I've never heard of me! -- Zach Johnson, parodying himself during the Top-10 segment on the Late Show with David Letterman after his Masters victory.
I'm not sure if I qualify or not, but they're letting me in now, so the hell with everybody else! -- Hubert Green, to a roomful of laughing reporters at the press conference announcing his entry into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
'I couldn't take it much more. -- Annika Sorenstam, on a back injury that forced her to withdraw from the Ginn Open. Doctors discovered a ruptured disk and a bulging disk.
'It's ridiculous. Someone should have been shot I think. I mean, five hours and 45 minutes, that's insanity. -- Laura Davies, not mincing words about the pace of play during the third round at the Ginn Open.
'You ain't gonna see a redneck surfing! -- Boo Weekley, joking with GOLF CHANNEL reporter Steve Sands, after being told his victory earned him a trip to the Mercedes-Benz Championship on Maui, an island known as much for surfing as it is golfing.
'Byron (Nelson) knocked that last putt in for me. I couldn't see the hole, I couldn't see the ball, I didn't know what was happening. -- Scott Verplank, explaining his emotions to GOLF CHANNEL reporter Mike Ritz after his win at the Byron Nelson Championship.
Today is one of the most special days in my life. It's really special because I am at home and I am able to celebrate the news with the people in my country. This is a huge accomplishment for me. -- Lorena Ochoa, playing in the Corona Championship in her native Mexico, on her rise to the No. 1 ranking in the world.
'If I remember the quote correctly, he said he likes the new Tiger. I figure I've won nine of 12 (PGA TOUR events), and I've won three times this year -- the same amount he's won in his career. So, I like the new Tiger, as well. -- Tiger Woods, playfully responding to Rory Sabbatini's comments on how he thinks Woods is as beatable as ever.
'Hey, Rory. Still think Tiger's beatable? --Steve Banky, a spectator at Firestone, to Rory Sabbatini as Rory walked to the 10th tee already down four shots to the world's No. 1. Sabbatini then had officials remove Banky from the premises.
'I had to give it a slap across the face. I had no choice. -- Joakim Haeggman, recounting an incident that happened in the first round of the European Tour event in Spain, where he claims he was attacked by a goose in the fairway.
'Unfortunately, I got kicked in the teeth. -- Sean O'Hair, on his attempt to fire at the flagstick at the dangerous par-3 17th at Sawgrass.
'It was wacky. Ridiculous. -- Ernie Els, on his third round at Wentworth in which his scorecard showed two eagles, four birdies, a triple bogey, a double bogey and three bogeys. And that from a man who owns a home off the 16th fairway and has insider knowledge of the course as he was the one who oversaw the redesign.
'I just feel that there's a little bit of lack of respect and class just to kind of leave a tournament like that and then come out and practice here. -- Ginn Tribute host Annika Sorenstam, saying that she felt Michelle Wie owed her an apology for pulling out of the event due to injury and then immediately going to the McDonalds LPGA to practice.
'I don't really feel like I have to apologize for anything. -- Wie, saying that she wasnt sorry for any of her actions at Annika's event.
'To be honest, I felt very nervous. -- Maria Kostina, who became the first Russian to play in the U.S. Women's Open.
'Any press is good press ' unless its real bad. -- Will MacKenzie, talking about how he receives more attention for his lifestyle off the course than his play on it.
'There was a sign out there that said, 'No dogs or women allowed. Hopefully, they'll take it out for the week. -- Annika Sorenstam, referencing a sign she saw posted at St. Andrews when she last played there as an amateur. The Old Course hosted this years Womens British Open and women were allowed to enter the R&A clubhouse.
'Charles should give up. -- Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice, on the state of his buddy Charles Barkley's golf game.
'I'm fine with photographers on the course. It's the other players that I feel that was brought in for. The likes of Retief Goosen, and people like that, the people that really get upset over these type of things. -- Monty again, sarcastically answering a question about improvements in dealing with on-course noise.
'It must be liberating having no secrets. -- Paul Azinger, referring to John Daly and his much-publicized life of troubles.
'Here is more of a social club, of a drinking man's club, the average layman's club really. -- Aussie Graeme Courts , caddie for Loren Roberts, on Carnoustie's membership.
'I know for a fact that some golfers are doing it. -- Gary Player, on the eve of the Open Championship, talking about steroids in the game of golf.
'Yeah. I kind of put my foot in my mouth there, didn't I? But I didn't know. If you don't know, you don't know. I hated what I said, especially with him just saying what he said a couple days before, that he don't get no respect. And then I say something like that. It's like wham! Here's a slap to your head. -- Boo Weekley, on the story of how he asked 1999 Open Champion Paul Lawrie the question, 'How'd you get in? You qualify?'
'For me, this is the most special round of golf I ever played. -- Lorena Ochoa, following her win at St. Andrews, the first major title of her career.
'I was really, really looking forward to the guy on the first tee announcing 'The Open Champion' and he didn't do it. He just said: 'Padraig Harrington, Ireland'. I was gutted! I was looking forward to it for the last 24 hours. -- Padraig Harrington, on what happened on his first introduction at an event since becoming the Open champion.
'I'm really relieved. -- Mike Weir, in an obvious understatement, following his selection to the Presidents Cup that was played in his native country of Canada.
'Fat boys like me can get through the heat. Every time I worked out I threw up and I thought to myself that you can get drunk and throw up, so it's just not for me. -- John Daly, on his thoughts of possibly incorporating a workout program.
'I'm the first. -- Ben Curtis, on his tee shot to open the new PGA TOUR playoffs.
'M and O are pretty close together. -- Arron Oberholser, referring to the fact that he and Phil Mickelson's lockers are very close together in the locker room, on why he didn't care to elaborate on Mickleson's decision to skip the BMW Championship.
'I'm going with Phil Mickelson and Jacques Cousteau. -- Jack Nicklaus, in announcing his foursomes pairings for Saturday morning at the Presdients Cup, following Woody Austin's now imfamous dip into the water.
Marco. Polo. -- The Canadian gallery, alternating the chants of those two words to Woody as he strode down the fairways.
'It's funny. For years he was known as the guy who banged his head against his putter. And now he's the guy who banged his head against the water. -- Retief Goosen, with his take on Woody.
'We're never happy. We're golfers. -- Jason Gore, stating that no professional player -- not even Tiger Woods -- is completely satisfied with what he or she has accomplished.
'I got bullied into being here by a 12-year-old, a 10-year-old and a 3-year-old. -- Scott Verplank, on the big reason he played at the season-ending event at Disney World.
Everybody would like to perform better and play less, like Tiger. Unfortunately, not all of us can. -- J.P. Hayes, on his need to play in almost all of the Fall Series events in an effort to secure his PGA TOUR card for the 2008 season.
It's not life or death, but it's a hell of a big deal. -- Kevin Stadler, who moved inside the top 125 on the PGA TOUR money list thanks to his finish at Disney.
I never heard the guy complete a sentence in the 20 years I knew the guy. And now his voice activation system has switched on and you can't turn it off. -- Paul Azinger, with his thoughts on former broadcast partner Nick Faldo.
'I've learned after 11 years to let Tiger speak for himself. -- PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem when asked about the possibility Tiger Woods ever joining the European Tour with the new bonus money and $10 million dollar season-ending event in Dubai.
'This is awesome. I would like to dedicate this win to the Grateful Dead, as they have inspired me all the way. -- 'Dead Head' Bryan Saltus, after winning the inaugural Cambodian Open. Saltus has reportedly attended 153 Grateful Dead concerts.
'You see kids specialize in golf. I think that is idiotic. To play all the sports is great. I played everything. Golf to me was just another sport until I was about 19. When I won the National Amateur at 19, I finally said, 'Hmm, I must be a little better than I think I am.' It was just a game -- still is a game. -- Jack Nicklaus, speaking about the state of the game during a visit to the World Golf Hall of Fame.
I was gutted. But let's keep things in proportion, this is sport. It's not like anyone died out there. -- Ernie Els, on his Web site, following his collapse on the 72nd hole of the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
I'm in shock. -- England's John Bickerton, his response after Els' collapse.
I came here to get my card, but it's not life or death. I have things in perspective. -- Todd Demsey, after a 10-year absence and two operations to remove a brain tumor the size of a golf ball, finally making it back to the PGA TOUR through Q-school.
Quotes of the Week Archive
What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm
Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:
Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff
Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.
While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.
Watching Andrew Landry and Jon Rahm in playoff. Walking off tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me ? Talking at all. ?— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.
0 words— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The issue is I don’t want to make you a bit relaxed or comfortable. High pressure, good.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you watch the end of the NFL games yesterday ? Enough said.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
I didn’t say you couldn’t be friends and competitive. But in a playoff, 1 tiny mistake and you lose, and that devastated me. Friends before and after, competitors during play.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you win ? It’s all about surviving the competition to test yourself.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.
Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over
The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.
As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.
Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.
And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.
And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.
McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.
The Ryder Cup topped his list.
Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.
When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.
“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”
McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.
Or similar assertions from TV analysts.
“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”
European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.
And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.
The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.
Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.
And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.
Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.
The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.
The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.
More bulletin board material, too.
Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.
Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions
Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.
The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.
It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.
The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.
“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”
Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.