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.

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Stock Watch: Strange grumpy; Tiger Time again?

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 1:00 pm

Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

RISING

Jon Rahm (+9%): This should put his whirlwind 17 months in the proper context: Rahm (38) has earned four worldwide titles in 25 fewer starts – or a full season quicker – than Jordan Spieth (63). This kid is special.

Tommy Fleetwood (+7%): Putting on a stripe show in windy conditions, the Englishman defended his title in Abu Dhabi (thanks to a back-nine 30) and capped a 52-week period in which he won three times, contended in majors and WGCs, and soared inside the top 15 in the world.

Sergio (+3%): Some wholesale equipment changes require months of adjustments. In Garcia’s case, it didn’t even take one start, as the new Callaway staffer dusted the field by five shots in Singapore.

Rory (+2%): Sure, it was a deflating Sunday finish, as he shot his worst round of the week and got whipped by Fleetwood, but big picture he looked refreshed and built some momentum for the rest of his pre-Masters slate. That’s progress.

Ken Duke (+1%): Looking ahead to the senior circuit, Duke, 48, still needs a place to play for the next few years. Hopefully a few sponsors saw what happened in Palm Springs, because his decision to sub in for an injured Corey Pavin for the second and third rounds – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard – was as selfless as it gets.


FALLING

Austin Cook (-1%): The 54-hole leader in the desert, he closed with 75 – the worst score of anyone inside the top 40. Oy.

Phil (-2%): All of that pre-tournament optimism was tempered by the reality of his first missed cut to start the new year since 2009. Now ranked 45th in the world, his position inside the top 50 – a spot he’s occupied every week since November 1993 – is now in jeopardy.

Careful What You Wish For (-3%): Today’s young players might (foolishly) wish they could have faced Woods in his prime, but they’ll at least get a sense this week of the spectacle he creates. Playing his first Tour event in a year, and following an encouraging warmup in the Bahamas, his mere presence at Torrey is sure to leave everyone else to grind in obscurity.

Curtis Strange (-5%): The two-time U.S. Open champ took exception with the chummy nature of the CareerBuilder playoff, with Rahm and Andrew Landry chatting between shots. “Are you kidding me?” Strange tweeted. “Talking at all?” The quality of golf was superb, so clearly they didn’t need to give each other the silent treatment to summon their best.

Brooks Koepka (-8%): A bummer, the 27-year-old heading to the DL just as he was starting to come into his own. The partially torn tendon in his left wrist is expected to knock him out of action until the Masters, but who knows how long it’ll take him to return to game shape.

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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

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

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

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.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

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.