Cut Line Angel and Heroes

By Rex HoggardApril 17, 2009, 4:00 pm
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Verizon Heritage may be the worst cut all year to miss. Even if youre out of the hunt come the weekend, sweeping views of Calibogue Sound and live music wafting up from the Quarterdeck make for easy living.
 
Made Cut
 
  • Angel Cabrera. A few years back we were talking with Geoff Ogilvys swing coach Dale Lynch and the conversation turned to the 2006 U.S. Open, perhaps the last major played with as many moving parts on Sunday as last weeks Masters, and the Aussies take was interesting.
     
    Four players had a chance to win with a par at the last hole (Ogilvy, Colin Montgomerie, Jim Furyk and Phil Mickelson), Lynch said. Only one player did it.
     
    The 2009 Masters may be known as the tournament Kenny Perry, or perhaps Chad Campbell, lost, but history has a way of gnawing away at the minutiae and leaving only the facts. And the fact is only the broad-shouldered Argentine was fitted for a green jacket on Sunday.
     
  • Hilton Head Heroes. Truth is every week a local charity benefits from having the Tour in town. This week in Hilton Head, however, the benefits seemed to be flowing in both directions.
     
    Following a short press conference earlier this week Gregg Russell ' who founded Hilton Head Heroes with his wife, Lindy, in 1998 ' was headed out the door when he stopped to meet Tour player Jonathan Byrd, whose father, Jim, is battling cancer. Fifteen minutes later the two were still talking.
     
    Hilton Head Heroes benefits children who suffer from life-threatening or serious illnesses by bringing them and their families to Hilton Head for a cost-free vacation.
     
    We try to give them a week away from the pressures of having a sick child and doctors and chemo and treatments and give them a week at the beach where they can run and play and see the dolphins and in many cases say good-bye to their little one who is sick, Russel said. The long-range goal is just to keep doing what we're doing. We never run out of families, that's the bad news.
     
  • Sandy Lyle. The 51-year-old former Masters champion plodded his way to perhaps the quietest top-20 finish ever. But then that lack of attention doesnt surprise those within Lyles inner circle.
     
    This years Ryder Cup snub may have hurt the Englishman but he has used the episode as motivation. Lyle began working with TPC Sawgrass swing coach Todd Jones last year and is playing his best golf in 10 years, said one close observer.
     
    In retrospect, the European Ryder Cup selection committee may have been leery of a captain with more game than some of his players. At Augusta National, the only potential European Ryder Cupper to beat Lyle was Graeme McDowell.
     

    Missed Cut ' Did not finish (MDF)
     
  • Rory McIlroy. We like the kid, in fact theres not much not to like, and he might have even had a point when he initially declined to return to Augusta National last Friday to review footage of what one UK network reported was a rules infraction on the 18th hole.
     
    Less than 24 hours later he defied the green jackets for the second time when he rushed past reporters following his third round. That may work when dealing with European Tour officials, but not at Augusta National.
     
    We write the entire episode off to youthful inexperience. Besides, if thats the only china the Northern Irishman mishandles during his barnstorming tour of the United States, one should consider the entire trip a success.
     
  • Europeans. Last weeks Masters made it a cool decade since a player from Europe has slipped into a green jacket. In fact, the Magnolia mile has gotten so daunting for the lads from the other side of the pond they didnt even have a player finish in the top 10 last week.
     
    The answer, at least considering the depth of talent the Continent has produced in recent years, seems to be little more than bad timing. But considering how one of these types of droughts can fester the sooner the slump ends the better. Just ask an Australian.
     

    Missed Cut
     
  • Sergio Garcia. You may not like the Spaniards snarky post-round assessment of the Georgia masterpiece, but El Nino is hardly the first player that didnt take a shine to Augusta National ' although he might be the first one to do it publically in some time ' and he certainly is entitled to whatever opinion gets him through his pampered days.
     
    But Cut Line has a bigger bone with Garcias canned apology ' weve interviewed him on numerous occasions and never heard the word iconic come out of his mouth.
     
    Just five days after fellow Spaniard Seve Ballesteros was honored at the champions dinner, Garcias sulking was poor form, but the apology was simply the worst kind of backpedaling.
     
  • World Nos. 1-6. We know Masters week can leave players in search of a soft couch, and maybe an equally soft sport psychologist. But there is something wrong when the closest thing the Tour has to a decompression chamber, also known as the Verizon Heritage, cant pull a single player in the top 6.
     
    Its hard to question No. 6 Perry, who may need a few weeks on the DL to recover from his Masters miss, and Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson certainly delivered the goods on Sunday in the years uber-pairing. But, as commissioner Tim Finchem has been telling anyone who will listen, these are tough times that demand new rules.
     
    Translation: you may not like Harbour Town, but for one week cant we suffer through tree-lined fairways and plates of shrimp and cheese grits for the greater good?
     

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  • Full Coverage - Masters Tournament
  • Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Cameron Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Jason Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Jordan Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

    Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

    Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

    Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

    The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

    Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

    "I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

    Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

    "From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

    "There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."