Accountability, alcohol monitor for youngest Floyd

By Rex HoggardAugust 22, 2011, 6:47 pm

There were other options. He could wear pants, or maybe even a bandana to conceal the cell-phoned sized device, an ever-present reminder of how far he has fallen and how badly he wants to make things right.

But the time for discretion has passed. That option vanished from the table on June 11 when Robert Floyd was booked for driving under the influence for the second time in three years.

For Floyd, the youngest son of Hall of Famer Raymond Floyd, the alcohol-monitoring device that will be strapped to his left leg is a reason to be optimistic, not ashamed. And if the device requires he answer a few uncomfortable questions then so be it.

“I thought about trying to hide it, but it goes against everything that I’m trying to do,” said Floyd, who begins a new job as caddie for Robert Allenby this week at The Barclays.

(Listen to Rex Hoggard discuss Floyd on 'Morning Drive.' Click here and forward to the 3:15 mark.)

Floyd, 35, has had a lot of time to think about the career he let slip away, about the pain he has caused his parents, but mainly about where he wants to go from here. Thirty days of house arrest can be terribly cathartic. And if a caddie gig doesn’t exactly sound like the promised land for the one-time amateur standout consider the path Floyd took to Allenby’s bag.

Floyd was a two-time All-American at the University of Florida, played the Nationwide Tour in 1998 with some success and is no stranger to PGA Tour leaderboards, like in 2008 when he found himself one stroke off the midway lead at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. But a back injury sustained during a pick-up basketball game at Florida and a “day job” as a south Florida real-estate agent to support his young family took its toll on his golf.

There was also the drinking. In 2008 Floyd was charged with his first DUI in Jupiter, Fla.

“When I got the DUI in 2008 it was a wake-up call and it lasted a few weeks,” Floyd said. “Then I got divorced in 2008 and I kind of spiraled. It just caught up to me.”

Rock bottom arrived on June 11 along a stretch of Interstate-95 in West Palm Beach, Fla., when Floyd was arrested for his second DUI following a night out with some friends. The case is still pending and Floyd is not allowed to give details about that day, but what has transpired since has changed his life.

“I was looking at jail time, still am based on the second case, so what we proposed to the court is that I continue follow-up care and I volunteered to wear an alcohol monitor,” Floyd said of the device that will be attached to his left leg this week at Plainfield Country Club. “It’s accountability. I’m not proud to be wearing it, but I’m proud to be where I’m at.”

During his house arrest Floyd watched two majors, the British Open and PGA Championship, with a surprising amount of interest and listened to the very public testimonials of Robert Garrigus and David Feherty, who have both been outspoken about their own struggles with alcohol and drug addiction.

“With (Garrigus) and with me the talent is there, for me something has been missing. I had a lot of success in college and early success on the Nationwide Tour and to read Robert’s story it was motivating. Look what he’s doing now that he’s gotten his life back together,” said Floyd, who says he has been sober since June 11.

“It gave me a chance to look at my life and realize I never really gave golf a complete try.”

During a publicity tour last week in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Floyd got a chance to see the Wanamaker Trophy and PGA champion Keegan Bradley. “It was really cool to look on there and see my dad’s name on there twice (for winning the 1969 and ’82 PGAs),” Floyd said.

Ultimately Floyd plans to play again, and views his stint on Allenby’s bag as a sort of reintroduction back into the game. He’s caddied before, for Jesper Parnevik as well as his father, and has been friends with Allenby since the two met playing Nationwide Tour events in Australia in 1998.

 “He took me under his wing and we’ve played a lot of golf together so this should be a lot of fun,” said Floyd of Allenby, who is currently 58th on the FedEx Cup points list which guarantees him a spot into at least the first two postseason events.

Showing up this week at The Barclays, alcohol-monitoring device and all, is an important first step, for both Floyd and his parents.

“My parents have been unbelievable, they have been 100 percent supportive of me,” said Floyd, a cast member on Golf Channel’s “Big Break Indian Wells” this year. “It has got to the point where I’m proud of where it got me to turn my life around.”

It’s a reality that made Floyd’s decision easy. There will be no long pants, no bandanas and, most importantly, no excuses because this time there is absolutely nothing to hide.

Battling mono, Kaufman tied for lead at CME

By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 2:05 am

NAPLES, Fla. – Kim Kaufman’s bout with mononucleosis might leave fellow tour pros wanting to catch the fever, too.

A couple months after Anna Nordqvist battled her way into contention at the Women’s British Open playing with mono, and then thrived at the Solheim Cup with it, Kaufman is following suit.

In her first start since being diagnosed, Kaufman posted an 8-under-par 64 Saturday to move into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. It was the low round of the day. She’s bidding to win her first LPGA title.

“I’ve been resting at home for two weeks,” Kaufman said. “Didn’t do anything.”

Well, she did slip on a flight of stairs while recuperating, hurting her left wrist. She had it wrapped Saturday but said that’s mostly precautionary. It didn’t bother her during the round.

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Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

“I’m the only person who can take two weeks off and get injured,” Kaufman joked.

Kaufman, 26, left the Asian swing after playing the Sime Darby Malaysia, returning to her home in South Dakota, to see her doctor there. She is from Clark. She was told bed rest was the best thing for her, but she felt good enough to make the trip to Florida for the season-ending event.

“We had some really cold days,” Kaufman said. “We had some snow. I was done with it. I was coming down here.”

How does she feel?

“I feel great,” she said. “I’m a little bit shaky, which isn’t great out there, but it’s great to be here doing something. I was going a little bit stir crazy [at home], just kind of fighting through it.”

Kaufman made eight birdies in her bogey-free round.

New-look Wie eyes CME Group Tour Championship title

By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:32 am

NAPLES, Fla. – Michelle Wie is sporting a new look that even has fellow players doing double takes.

Bored during her six-week recovery from an emergency appendectomy late this summer, Wie decided to cut and die her hair.

She went for golden locks, and a shorter style.

“I kind of went crazy after being in bed that long,” Wie said. “I just told my mom to grab the kitchen scissors and just cut all my hair off.”

Wie will get to sport her new look on a big stage Sunday after playing herself into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. With a 6-under-par 66, she is in contention to win her fifth LPGA title, her first since winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago.

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Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

Wie, 28, fought her way back this year after two of the most disappointing years of her career. Her rebound, however, was derailed in late August, when she withdrew from the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open to undergo an emergency appendectomy. She was out for six weeks.

Before the surgery, Wie enjoyed getting back into contention regularly, with six finishes of T-4 or better this season. She returned to the tour on the Asian swing in October.

Fellow tour pros were surprised when she came back with the new look.

“Definitely, walk by people and they didn’t recognize me,” Wie said.

Wie is looking to continue to build on her resurgence.

“I gained a lot of confidence this year,” she said. “I had a really tough year last year, the last couple years. Just really feeling like my old self. Really feeling comfortable out there and having fun, and that's when I play my best.”

You Oughta Know: LPGA's Sunday scenarios

By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:17 am

NAPLES, Fla. – The CME Group Tour Championship is loaded with pressure-packed subplots Sunday at Tiburon Golf Club.

Here’s what You Oughta Know about the prizes at stake:

Race to the CME Globe

Lexi Thompson and Sung Hyun Park are 1-2 in CME Globe points. They are best positioned Sunday to take home the $1 million jackpot in the season-long competition.

Thompson and Park are tied for fifth in the tournament, one shot off the lead. If either of them wins, she will take home the jackpot.

The way it’s unfolding Thompson is a good bet to take home the jackpot by merely finishing ahead of Park, unless they both stumble badly on Sunday.

Ariya Jutanugarn is also one shot off the lead. She must win to take home the jackpot, but she would also need Thompson to finish ninth or worse and Park to finish eighth or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points to make a bold Sunday charge.

Stacy Lewis is one shot off the lead with a longshot chance at the jackpot. She must win the tournament while Thompson finishes 26th or worse, Park finishes 12th or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points makes a bold Sunday charge.

So Yeon Ryu and Shanshan Feng are among others who still have a shot at the $1 million prize, but they have fallen back in the pack and need bold Sunday charges to take home the jackpot.

Rolex Player of the Year

The Rolex Player of the Year Award remains a four-player race.

Ryu (162), Feng (159), Park (157) and Thompson (147) all have a chance to win the award.

Park and Thompson are best positioned to make Sunday moves to overtake Ryu.

Park needs to finish sixth or better to win the award outright; Thompson needs to win the tournament to win the award.

It’s simple math.

The top 10 in the tournament will be awarded points.

1st - 30 points

2nd – 12 points

3rd – 9 points

4th – 7 points

5th – 6 points

6th – 5 points

7rd – 4 points

8th – 3 points

9th – 2 points

10th – 1 point

Vare Trophy

Thompson took a 69.147 scoring average to Naples. Park needs to finish nine shots ahead of Thompson to have a shot at the trophy.

Money-winning title

Park leads the tour in money winnings with $2,262,472. Ryu is the only player who can pass her Sunday, and Ryu must win the tournament to do so. Ryu is tied for 32nd, five shots off the lead. If Ryu wins the tournament, she also needs Park to finish worse than solo second.

Rolex world No. 1 ranking

World No. 1 Feng, No. 2 Park and No. 3 Ryu are separated by just three hundredths of a point.

Because they are so close, the scenarios for overtaking Feng are head spinning.

At No. 4, Thompson is a full average ranking point behind Feng, but she could become the sixth different player this season to move to No. 1. Thompson, however, has to win Sunday to have a chance to do so, and then it will depend on what Feng, Park and Ryu do. Again, the scenarios are complex.

Cook leads RSM Classic by three at Sea Island

By Associated PressNovember 19, 2017, 12:28 am

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook shot a 4-under 66 on Saturday to increase his lead to three strokes in the RSM Classic.

Cook, a shot ahead after a second-round 62, had five birdies and a bogey - his first of the week - to reach 18-under 194 with a round left at Sea Island Golf Club's Seaside Course.

''Putting is key right now,'' Cook said. ''Been able to make a lot of clutch putts for the pars to save no bogeys. Hitting the ball pretty much where we're looking and giving ourselves good opportunities on every hole.''

Former University of Georgia player Chris Kirk was second after a 64.

''I'm really comfortable here,'' Kirk said. ''I love Sea Island. I lived here for 6 1/2 years, so I played the golf course a lot, SEC Championships and come down here for the RSM Classic. My family and I, we come down here a few other times a year as well.''

Brian Gay was another stroke back at 14 under after a 69.

''I love the course,'' Gay said. ''We keep getting different wind directions so it's keeping us on our toes. Supposed to be another completely different wind direction tomorrow, so we're getting a new course every day.''

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Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

J.J. Spaun had a 62 to get to 13 under.

''I just kind of played stress-free golf out there and kept the golf ball in front of me,'' Spaun said. ''I had a lot of looks and scrambled pretty well, even though it was only a handful of times, but pretty overall pleased with how I played today.''

Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. The 26-year-old former Arkansas player earned his PGA Tour card through the Tour.

''I think with an extra year on the Web this past year, I really grew mentally and with my game, just kind of more confidence,'' Cook said. ''I was able to put myself in contention on the more this year than I have in the past. I think I've just, you know, learned from experiences on the Web to help me grow out here.''

He planned to keep it simple Saturday night.

''I've got my parents here and my in-laws are both here as well as my wife,'' Cook said. ''Go home and just have a good home-cooked meal and just kind of enjoy the time and embrace the moment.''

Kirk won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2015 at Colonial.

''It's nice to be back in contention again,'' Kirk said. ''It's been a little while for me. But I felt great out there today, I felt really comfortable, and so hopefully it will be the same way tomorrow and I'll keep my foot on the pedal and stay aggressive, try to make some birdies.''