Goodbye Solheim Cup Hello FedEx Cup

By Randall MellAugust 25, 2009, 4:00 pm
With the Solheim Cup behind us, and the FedEx Cup Playoffs at hand, were guided by poets as we try to make rhyme and reason in setting the storylines for the week ahead:
Riding a Solheim Cup wave in Oregon
From Maya Angelous Phenomenal Woman. Its the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. Im a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, Thats me.
The Solheim Cup is made of crystal, but the LPGA is hoping it will bounce.
The tour would love to see the excitement built up last week bounce into a season thats been too much about whats wrong with womens golf.
Michelle Wie and Paula Creamer and the rest of the Solheim Cups stars will be looking to build on momentum gained in a highly entertaining American victory against a spirited European team at Rich Harvest Farms.
You want to know how this will help the LPGA? Hall of Famer Juli Inkster said in the Solheim Cup aftermath. If more people would just come out and watch us play . . . Ive been out here, as you guys know, a long time, and Ive never seen the golf that these women play now. Thats not only our team, but the European team. You have Lorena [Ochoa] and all the other ethnic groups out there. We have the best golf right now ever.
Inkster believes Wies experience will catapult her to a new level of play.
I would bet a large amount of money she is going to win before this year is out, Inkster said.
Wie will be trying to do just that this week at the Safeway Classic in North Plains, Ore, but shell have to go through Creamer and the other charged-up Americans. Eleven of the 12 U.S. Solheim Cup players are in the field. Inkster withdrew. Eight of Europe's 12 players also are in the field this week.
There are, however, lots of players at Safeway who didnt compete in the Solheim Cup and will be looking to take advantage of the increased interest the team event created for this weeks tournament. Ochoa, the worlds top-ranked woman, will be playing for the first time since the Womens British Open three weeks ago.
With the Solheim Cup played at such a spirited level, theres a danger of a Solheim Cup hangover at the Safeway Classic, but, then again, this marks the first regular LPGA event on American soil since the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic seven weeks ago. The women shouldnt have any trouble getting energized again.
Inksters looking forward to seeing greater focus on players instead of the tours struggles with title sponsorship renewals.
Were going to be great, Inkster said. You guys just got to be patient with us.

Kim says to heck with her critics
From William Shakespeares All the Worlds a Stage.
All the worlds a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts.
Count Christina Kim among the 19 players from the Solheim Cup at this weeks Safeway Classic.
Kims profile leaped with her performance helping the Americans win, but not for all the reasons she would like.
Though Kim was 3-1 in the matches, shes getting more attention for her role as exuberant American cheerleader, though that isnt what theyre calling her in Europe. Shes a new Solheim Cup villain over there.
This Sunday headline in the United Kingdoms The Telegraph sums up what shes up against overseas: The Solheim Cup is turning ugly . . . Christina Kim took her American team way over the edge of acceptable sporting behavior.
Kims tweets on Twitter show shes hurt by the idea she was being disrespectful. She doesnt see it that way. She points out her exhortations came after her opponents played their shots. She called her critics sensational seeking media and tweeted to heck with them.

Tiger, Tiger, Tiger
From Theodosia Garrisons The Torch.
Lord, let me be the torch that springs to light And lives its life in one exultant flame.
Tiger Woods got shut out in the majors this year, but he appears determined to come away with a lucrative consolation prize: The FedEx Cup Playoffs trophy and the $10 million winners check.
With Woods entry in The Barclays this week, we may get a full dose of Woods in all four playoff events this year, a first since the Tour created its postseason.
While the idea that 'playoffs' will never really matter in golf can be debated, theres no debating that golf fans like to see the best players compete against each other as often as possible. In that respect, the FedEx Cup Playoffs is a hit. Theyve assured us a large dose of Woods this summer. This week will mark the fifth event Woods has played in the last seven weeks. If he plays all four FedEx Cup events, hell have played eight times in an 11-week span. Even if Woods loses in the playoffs, golf wins.

Good till the final putt drops?
From Louise Driscolls Hold Fast Your Dreams.
Hold fast your dreams! Within your heart Keep one still, secret spot Where dreams may go, And, sheltered so, May thrive and grow Where doubt and fear are not.
The third rendition of the FedEx Cup Playoffs begins in search of a first rendition thats actually filled with the tension and theatrics we associate with postseason play.
With Woods winning the first year in anticlimactic fashion, and Vijay Singh the second in equally drama-less fashion, the FedEx Cup is still searching for a defining moment.
The PGA Tour needs a playoff memory fans can associate with the FedEx Cup, a moment that will make them say, `Oh, yeah, I dont want to miss that.
The Playoffs dont have to be as meaningful as major championships and still have meaning.
With the re-setting of FedEx Cup points shifted this year from the beginning of the playoffs to just before the Tour Championship finale, theres a better chance well see a meaningful finish. Of course, with Woods highly motivated, theres always a chance he wins it all in a rout.
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  • 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.