Cut Line Auld Grey Toon edition

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2010, 11:00 pm

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Earlier in the week Phil Mickelson suggested they play the Open Championship on the Old Course every year, not that it would help pull Lefty from his links funk. But it would certainly give John Daly a reason to look forward to July.

St. Andrews never disappoints, but everything else is fair game at golf’s oldest, and quirkiest, championship.

Made Cut

John Daly. They call this hamlet in Fife the “Fairytale Town” and JD’s opening 66 on Thursday certainly qualified as a fairytale start.

For all the missteps the big man has taken in his life Thursday was a collective epiphany, both competitively and personally. The desire may have wavered from time to time, but not the talent. Not the way he blasted his way around the Old Course with abandon and aplomb on Day 1.

But even more impressive was the way Daly handled himself at the microphone when the inevitable questions of a sordid past cropped up.

“I've never ran from my mistakes. I've always kind of been the man that you're supposed to be when you screw up, and I've screwed up an awful lot, not just on Tour but in other aspects of life,” Daly said. “I think it's how you come back and deal with it.”

And after a rough second-round 76, not sure the self-dubbed “Mild Thing” has two more days of Old Course magic in him, but it’s good to see his best days are not behind him.

Europe. Somewhere Corey Pavin is pacing nervously. The Ryder Cup is still over two months away and individual achievements usually mean little at the biennial grudge match, but things are not looking good for the U.S. side.

Four of the last six PGA Tour winners have been leading European Ryder Cup candidates – Justin Rose at the Memorial and AT&T National, Lee Westwood at the St. Jude Classic and Graeme McDowell at Pebble Beach – and a quick glance of the Open Championship leaderboard shows the continent with eight of the top 10 spots.

On Tuesday Westwood fired a playful jab at PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem during a golf writer’s award dinner: “It was lovely to see an American (Steve Stricker at the John Deere Classic) win on your Tour,” Westwood smiled.

And Paul Azinger thought he was playing into a four-club wind at Valhalla.

Tweet of the Week: @danjenkinsgd (Golf Digest writer Dan Jenkins) “Mark Calcavecchia stopped at St. Andrews on his way to the Senior British Open next week and he tripped over a 67.”


Made Cut-Did Not Finish

Royal & Ancient. For nearly 40 minutes Friday afternoon the wind whipped, the sun shone and a stunned populace waited for play to resume at the Open Championship. Or maybe they were just waiting for someone to announce the 150th anniversary of the game’s oldest member-member had just been punked.

They don’t stop play at the Open Championship, not for rain, and not very often for wind, but just as Tiger Woods was completing his first hole on Friday the delay horn sounded because of winds that were gusting to 41 mph and moving golf balls on the greens.

It was the first wind delay since the 1998 championship at Royal Birkdale and a decision that chaffed some of the day’s early starters, who shouldered through the worst of Thursday’s weather and didn’t have it much better on Friday morning. But mostly it just confused observers accustomed to the rub of the Scottish “summer.”

“Come on let’s play,” Dr. Bob Rotella smiled.

Phil Mickelson. Earlier this week Lefty heaped praise on the Old Course that bordered on the spiritual, leading some to believe that this was finally the year the world No. 2 solved the links enigma. All of which made his 73-71 start particularly disappointing, if not predictable.

The Hall of Fame resume is far from wanting, but Mickelson’s Open record is pedestrian at best. In 14 Open starts he has just a single top-10 finish and his best showing on the Old Course is a tie for 11th in 2000.

Some contend Mickelson’s aerial game on a links course is akin to bringing a spork to a knife fight, but the real reason may be much simpler. For the man who played one tournament with two drivers in his bag and another, at Torrey Pines no less, without any driver, links golf may ask too many quesitons.


Missed Cut

Tiger Woods. The world No. 1’s Q&A with an outwardly hostile United Kingdom press aside, he rates a one-stroke penalty for his subtle stab at the Old Course’s greens.

“These greens are just the slowest I've seen in a long time, if ever,” Woods said following his first-round 67.

This is the second consecutive major that has drawn Woods’ ire for a less-than-perfect roll, following last month’s take that Pebble Beach’s greens were “awful.”

Yet had the greens been a foot faster on the Stimpmeter play may never have resumed on Friday and it’s hard to imagine the Old Course’s putting surfaces rolling much faster in 2000 and 2005 when Woods lapped the field. Be it denial or deflection, on this one Woods was OB.

Restless in Reno. “Cut Line” has listened to one too many Tour types complain about diminishing playing opportunities to let this one slide.

This week’s opposite-field event in Reno was hit with a rash of last-minute withdrawals and an obscure qualification category that caught many players off guard. As a result, a field that was supposed to feature 132 participants played “short” with just 126.

We’ve never been a fan of contraction, not in golf or any business model, but when $3.5 million and a weekend in Reno isn’t enough to get you off the couch consider yourself spoiled, or worse entitled.

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 halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.

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

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


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

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm