Awards Season: Handing out the 2015 Rexys

By Rex HoggardDecember 15, 2015, 7:10 pm

Not surprisingly, Jordan Spieth highlights this year’s Rexys, and it’s equally predictable given the young champion’s penchant for inclusiveness that he will take over the award ceremony and thank everyone in the Dallas phonebook for his success in 2015.

Word Association Award. Earlier this week Merriam-Webster announced its word of the year which isn’t even a word, it’s a suffix – "ism" – which recognizes a narrative that ranged from socialism to racism to capitalism to terrorism.

Given this nod to the inclusive, and Spieth’s historic 2015 campaign, Spieth-isms are the new standard in golf.

In 2015, the 22-year-old wunderkind made humble look good with regular reminders that it takes a village to deliver a season that included five Tour titles, two major championships and a chance to become just the second player to ever win the first three legs of the single-season Grand Slam.

“I’m very pleased with the way we battled,” he said at St. Andrews, where he finished one stroke outside of a playoff.

“I’m really proud of the way that we fought,” Spieth said at the PGA Championship, where he finished second.

“It was amazing that we competed,” he said on Sunday at the Tour Championship, which he won.

And finally, earlier this month at the Hero World Challenge, when he was asked how he could duplicate what he did in 2015 in 2016, Spieth answered: “We’re going to try and do the same thing.”

You know the deal, there is no “I” in Jordan.

Activation Fees. Normally, your scribe uses this space to dole out hardware of various sizes, but after another lost season, it’s more appropriate to ship Tiger Woods an invoice.

He started the year with a career-worst 82 to miss the cut in his first start at TPC Scottsdale, bolted Torrey Pines on Day 1 with deactivated “glutes,” set a new career-worst round with an 85 at Muirfield, and closed the season with two back surgeries in less then two months.

The highlight of 2015 was a tie for 10th at the Wyndham Championship during an 11th-hour push to make the FedEx Cup playoff. The lowlights saw Woods post the same number of rounds in the 80s through the U.S. Open as he had in the 60s, with three each.

At his World Challenge earlier this month, Woods said he was looking forward to playing again, before adding a foreboding qualifier that “everything beyond this ... will be gravy.”

Even if Woods were to get a trophy of some sort, we’re not sure if it would be half full or half empty at this juncture.

Golden Gloves. Miguel Angel Jimenez, the most interesting man in golf, is so savvy he makes three-putts look good. Of course, that didn’t stop Keegan Bradley from going nose to nose with the Spaniard during this year’s WGC-Cadillac Match Play. During the duo’s Day 3 match at Harding Park, Bradley hit his drive left of the 18th fairway and was in the process of getting a ruling, a complicated ordeal that required two separate drops, when Jimenez injected himself and insisted Bradley was taking improper relief.

The exchange became heated, with Jimenez telling Bradley’s caddie Steve “Pepsi” Hale to “shut up.”

“I felt like he was being disrespectful not only to me but my caddie,” Bradley said. “I was kind of standing up for my boy here.”

The situation became even more tense in the locker room after the match. That said, the real rub was that neither player had any chance of advancing to the weekend rounds because of the new round-robin format. Call it the most contentious consolation match in the history of the game.

Golden Boot. He once shot a 63 at St. Andrews and would have rolled into the Auld Grey Toon the preemptive favorite to end Spieth’s historic run.

He would have added a level of intrigue to the jostling atop the Officia; World Golf Ranking that would have been unparalleled in the modern era.

He would have been, after early victories at the WGC-Match Play and Wells Fargo Championship, a legitimate challenger for the FedEx Cup and maybe even the Player of the Year Award.

All of those scenarios, however, ended in July, when Rory McIlroy ruptured a ligament in his ankle during a “kickabout” with friends.

The injury forced him to miss the Open Championship and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and hampered his efforts at the PGA Championship.

That said, McIlroy did rebound to win the European Tour’s finale, and offered a welcome commitment regarding his future extracurricular activities.

“If I do go for a kickabout, I will play goalie. I will stick to the net,” he said last month in Dubai.

Song Swansong. After perhaps only the claret jug, it’s been Ivor Robson and his distinctive voice that has defined the Open Championship for more than four decades.

Robson, who began his tenure as the first tee announcer at the game’s oldest championship in 1975 at Carnoustie, retired after this year’s Open, saying, “I feel you can’t go on forever, and if you’re going to step off, there’s no better place to do it than here (St. Andrews). It’s time to go.”

Robson said he planned to spend his golden years speanding time with his family and playing golf, so in honor of his final announcement: “On the tee, from Scotland, Ivor, the retired.”

Dope-ing. To be clear, Scott Stallings ran through one too many stop signs on his way to becoming just the third player suspended under the Tour’s anti-doping program, but this dubious award goes to those at the circuit’s headquarters for ignoring common sense.

At the urging of his doctor, Stallings took an over-the-counter supplement called DHEA, a precursor to testosterone production and a substance that is banned by the Tour.

When the 30-year-old realized he’d violated the anti-doping policy, he turned himself. “Whether I intended to or not, I took something that wasn’t allowed. I called a penalty on myself, that’s the best way to look at it,” he said.

Lost in the dogmatic doping code, however, is the fact that Stallings never failed a drug test, and many experts contend there is no performance benefit to taking DHEA, which is why the inaugural award – a sterile sample cup – goes to those in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., who refuse to distinguish between honest mistakes and malicious intent.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

Getty Images

Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump