Chew on This - COPIED

By Rex HoggardMay 15, 2009, 4:00 pm
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Made Cut
 
  • John Daly: Regardless of your tilt towards the Austin Powers-inspired wardrobe and 43-year-olds with bleached highlights, the big mans first two rehab starts on the European circuit are nothing short of captivating.
     
    And for all the cynics perched in Turn 2 awaiting the fiery pile up know this about the slimmed-down Daly, the world quickly became much less accommodating toward his off-course shenanigans and personal, as well as professional, extinction can be a powerful motivator.
     
    Exhibit A is JDs current swing through the Euro Tour. There was a time six-figure appearance fees were hardly enough to get him on a plane to the Continent. Hes touring Europe on his own dime these days. The reclamation project may still be a fashion mess but hes doing just fine on the golf course.
     
  • Anthony Kim: His game may be a few dimples off, the likely byproduct of assorted injuries and an off-season that was anything but off, but his presence in the field this week at the Valero Texas Open defies the selfish stereotype of the modern professional athlete.
     
    In 2006 Texas officials granted AK a sponsor exemption into what was then a fall afterthought and his tie for second place turned out to be a glimpse of things to come. Kim returned to the event in 07 after a stellar rookie season, but he had to miss last year because of scheduling issues.
     
    After 07 you felt like hed met his obligation, said Tony Piazzi, the CEO and president of the organization that runs the Texas Open. Then he turns around and comes to this years event. Thats cool.
     
    Texas, where Kim is the only top-20 player in the field, is AKs third consecutive start and the beginning of a run that will add up to seven events in eight weeks through the U.S. Open. All of which makes his San Antonio stop-over very cool, indeed.
     

     
    Missed Cut ' Did not finish (MDF)
     
  • David Feherty: If the CBS Sports funnyman is guilty of anything its not bringing the heat. His comment in a Dallas magazine last week wasnt even among the top 100 funniest things hes ever written and, truth be told, probably not among the top five most offensive.
     
    Sensitivities aside, Feherty is paid to entertain and does funny better than anyone else in the business. If he takes things a bit too far at times hes earned some freebies. Besides, of all the people wed want muzzled in golf, the Northern Irishman wouldnt even be in our top 100.
     
  • Henrik Stenson: The Swede was impressive on Sunday at TPC Sawgrass, but the chatter that followed didnt pass the bandwagon sniff test. He may be a big-game hunter ' with victories now at uber-field events in Dubai, the Match Play and The Players ' but were not penciling him into our fantasy lineup for the big brawl next month at Bethpage just yet.
     
    Phil Mickelson proved last year that you cant win a U.S. Open without a driver in your bag and, with all due respect to that nuclear 3-wood, Stenson ' by his own admission ' does not have a driver in his bag.
     
  • Drug testing: OK, the revelation that Paul Goydos ' the former high school teacher who, well, still looks like a high school teacher ' was the first player tested for performance-enhancing drugs at a major championship makes about as much sense as 600 yard par 5s and travelling handicaps.
     
    But in dizzying order the sports world has been rocked by more drug scandals in recent days that make Goydos turn at the testing counter at least understandable.
     
    While no one should be surprised that Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez tested positive for a banned substance, further soiling a sport that should simply change its logo to a fully-loaded syringe, but word last week that NASCARs Jeremy Mayfield had tested positive put the Tours testing initiative in perspective.
     
    Before Mayfields gaffe, it was hard to imagine NASCAR drivers testing positive for anything more harmful than Copenhagen snuff and Bud Light. Maybe drug-testing on Tour isnt a bad idea after all.
     

     
    Missed Cut
     
  • 'Made cut-did not finish': While we have little interest in rekindling the made cut-did not finish debate from last year, we were flummoxed to see the secondary axe take a few prisoners last week at The Players.
     
    If the Tour is serious about dubbing The Players the fifth major, it needs to exempt the event from the 78-player rule. None of the other majors employ a secondary cut and the events new spot in May gives officials plenty of time to get 80, 85 players around the golf course.
     
    The secondary cut impacts the competitive integrity of the event and Aaron Baddeleys Sunday surge proved why the Tour should revisit the rule. The Aussie finished Saturdays round at 2 over, one shot on the right side of the 54-hole cut, charged out early Sunday with a 6-under 66 and finished tied for ninth.
     
    It is a bad rule at the Buick Invitational, but it is a ridiculous rule at The Players Championship, said one manager who, admittedly, had multiple players miss the secondary cut.
     
  • Rory McIlroy: Were going to write off the Northern Irish phenoms comments regarding the Ryder Cup to youthful indiscretion and move on. It is the only way to explain McIlroys take on the transatlantic slugfest: The Ryder Cup is a great spectacle but an exhibition at the end of the day and it should be there to be enjoyed. In the big scheme of things it's not that important to me.
     
    Even 2010 European skipper Colin Montgomerie ' who can be easily hushed by a three-putt at the last but hardly ever by a metaphorical three-jack outside the ropes ' was left speechless by the lads take. The Ryder Cup is most definitely not an exhibition. Having played in it, having experienced the emotion and the stress of it, I can assure you of that, Monty said.
     
    David Duval and Hunter Mahan had similar takes on the biennial exhibition, until they felt the weekend heat at Brookline and Valhalla, respectively. Ask Mark Calcavecchia about the exhibition, that in 1991 left him emotionally drained and crying on a South Carolina beach. Trust us young Rory, youll never see that at a Skins Game.
     

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  • If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

    Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

    This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

    “I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


    Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

    In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

    If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

    “He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

    Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

    By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

    Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

    ''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

    The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

    The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


    ''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

    ''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

    First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

    Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

    ''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

    ''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''