So much on the line Sunday at BMW

By Randall MellSeptember 9, 2012, 1:27 am

CARMEL, Ind. – These might be the FedEx Cup playoffs, but the BMW Championship feels like an All-Star Game.

If you don’t like this leaderboard, you don’t like golf.

All that will be missing from Sunday’s star-studded lineup is Ryan Seacrest and a red carpet to the first tee.

There’s something for just about everyone going into the final round at Crooked Stick.

A pair of Hall of Famers lead: Vijay Singh and Phil Mickelson.

Half of the top eight on the leaderboard have reigned as No. 1 in the world rankings.

Current world No. 1 Rory McIlroy is one of those guys, tied for third with former No. 1 Lee Westwood.

Count Tiger Woods and Singh as the other former No. 1s in this mix.

Four players among the top eight are multiple major championship winners, accounting for 23 majors.

“The crowd is pretty rowdy, and it’s an incredible leaderboard,” said Adam Scott, who’s yet another compelling storyline as he seeks to win two months after his British Open heartache. “This is going to be fun. I’m glad I put myself in this position.”

Scott is tied for fifth just two shots back.

There’s a lot at stake Sunday with players vying to make it to the Tour Championship to give themselves a shot at the $10 million FedEx Cup jackpot. The top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings at the end of play Sunday advance to the playoff finale at East Lake in Atlanta. The top five will go there as the only players guaranteed that if they win the Tour Championship they’ll also win the $10 million jackpot.

The Sunday pairings at Crooked Stick are loaded with intrigue.

Going off last together are Singh and Mickelson, who have had some epic showdowns in the past, not all of them on the golf course.

There’s Woods paired with another twentysomething dynamo, Dustin Johnson. After trading terrific golf blows with McIlroy in the first two rounds, Woods will go toe to toe with yet another fearless young foe. Johnson, 28, is the first player since Woods to have won in each of his first five seasons on the PGA Tour.

Johnson is two off the lead, Woods three behind.

There’s a Westwood and McIlroy pairing, two of Europe’s titans.

“It’s going to be a shootout tomorrow,” Mickelson said. “I just like the fact that I’m in the mix.”

Mickelson was a human fireworks show Saturday. He gained himself a share of the lead with an 8-under-par 64. He made 10 birdies and sits at 16-under 200 with Singh.

With almost 3 inches of rain overnight, preferred lines were played for a third consecutive day. The course remained soft and receptive and vulnerable to an all-out assault.

“I know that tournament organizers probably wanted a firmer, faster golf course this week,” Mickelson said. “It would have made scores not as low, but this has been a lot of fun for the players, and I think fun for the fans to watch.

“It’s a very challenging, demanding golf course, but with the soft conditions it gives the best players in the world the ability to show their skills.”

After winning the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-am as part of a strong start to his season, Mickelson has been off his top form. That’s changing as he heats back up in these playoffs. He tied for fourth at the Deutsche Bank Championship last week, his first top 10 since May. His scoring spree has come, not coincidentally, since switching to a new claw putting grip.

Mickelson has now posted seven consecutive rounds in the 60s in these playoffs.

“It’s taken me a little while to piece it back together, but I could tell last week that my game was back, and I was ready to play at the highest level again,” Mickelson said.

Singh is trying to become the oldest winner of the BMW Championship at 49 years, 6 months and 18 days old. He’s trying to become the seventh-oldest winner of any PGA Tour event. He’s also trying to get to East Lake. He’s 49th in the FedEx Cup standings and needs a top-four finish Sunday to advance to the playoff finale.

“I’m not really worried about that,” said Singh, who has a share of the lead despite bogeys at two of the last three holes Saturday. “I’m worried about trying to go out there and finish this tournament.”

It’s looking like that might be a wild finish with so many stars at their best.

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.