Cut Line A Chalice Half Full

By Rex HoggardFebruary 12, 2010, 10:22 pm

Maybe it’s the Crosby Weather that has engulfed every inch of the United States sans the Monterey Peninsula, but “Cut Line” has spent the week searching for the silver lining to the metaphorical storm cloud that has been hanging over the game in recent weeks.

Color us hopelessly hopeful, but the storm and the endless assault on golf has to end sooner or later. Doesn’t it?

Made Cut

USGA/Ping. We’ve read a lot of ambiguous press releases in our day, but the U.S. Golf Association’s missive on Thursday regarding the ongoing talks with Ping to find a solution to Groovegate had a Salvador Dali feel to it – there was a hidden meaning but most minds aren’t twisted enough to figure it out.

“Our conversation with Ping regarding the status of the Ping Eye 2 irons on the major professional American tours was productive, and we are hopeful that a solution can be found that respects and reflects the best interests of golfers and the game,” new USGA president Jim Hyler said in the statement.

Best guess translation? The USGA is trying to sweet talk Ping like a freshman on prom night and the good news for the game is that Ping is listening. Stay tuned.

Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula CC. Here’s the rub, most Tour courses aren’t the best tracks in town. Truth is, some Tour haunts aren’t even the best in that zip code (that’s right, you heard me TPC Sawgrass). But give AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am organizers credit, this year’s move from Poppy Hills to the Shore Course is an upgrade by any measure.

“It’s a terrific track. One of my favorites now on Tour. I think Mike Strantz did a great job in his design of the bunkering, the greens, the holes, the layout,” said Phil Mickelson, who opened with a 2-under 68 on the Shore Course and also liked the improved pace of play on the layout. “We’re used to having two or three groups waiting at the turn, and we didn't have to wait at all. We just kept on playing.”

That’s high cotton from a player who blasted the redesign at Cog Hill last year, “In the pro-am and the first round I had the same yardages and hit 5-iron on every one of the par 3s. That’s a failing grade in Golf Architecture 101.” And who hasn’t been back to the Bob Hope since the Classic Club debacle.

Steve Stricker. Yes, we all know he’s a nice guy and a great interview, but we give the nod to our favorite “Cheese head” because the man’s signature move – after the simple swing and smooth putting stroke – is the water works that seem to follow every victory.

Tough guys may scoff at Stricker’s show of emotion, but it’s a testament to how much the game means to him and the depths from which he’s climbed. If anyone deserves to be a two-time Comeback Player of the Year, it is Stricker.

Tweet of the week. Courtesy of Joe Ogilvie (@ogilviej): “There is a fourth alternative to the groove rule: swallow the ego, do a mea culpa and suspend the groove rule immediately . . . that my friends is the easiest and fairest solution . . .”

And to think, the Tour didn’t let him run for a second term on the Policy Board.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Anthony Kim. Forget that misguided decision to chase an appearance fee earlier this year when he should have been playing the Bob Hope Classic, AK lands on the also-ran list for his decision to play in a celebrity basketball game on Friday as part of the NBA All-Star weekend in Dallas.

We’ve shared a court with Kim and must concede that he has plenty of game, but have to wonder why a player with such a long list of off-course injuries would put himself in harm’s way on the cusp of what many say is shaping up to be a stellar year.

Kim’s pro career was slowed by an ankle injury sustained . . . wait for it, during a pickup basketball game, he struggled for weeks, by his own admission, to recover from batting practice at Fenway Park in 2008 and was nearly TKO’d while riding a horse in New Zealand later that same year.

To put it kindly, he’s a golf heavyweight with a recreational glass jaw.

Missed Cut

Champions Tour I. The world’s most closed shop seems to become an even tougher ticket every year. Consider the plight of Sandy Lyle, who could not get into this week’s Ace Group Classic in Florida, but qualified to play in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am via an arcane exemption.

To recap, Lyle has been honored with the Order of the British Empire but somehow was not fit to lead a European Ryder Cup team. He can win 29 events, two majors and a Players Championship yet is inexplicably not in the World Golf Hall of Fame and can land a spot at the Clambake but not among the senior set.

Life truly is stranger than fiction.

Champions Tour II. Jim Thorpe was been suspended from playing the circuit after pleading guilty to two counts of failure to pay taxes.

Although the decision is not surprising, the method of deliver falls under the wrong execution of the right idea category. Thorpe told Golf Channel’s Rich Lerner that he learned of his suspension via an e-mail from the Tour.

We can only assume Champions Tour officials and Thorpe aren’t Facebook friends and, in their defense, a suspension is probably too heavy for a simple text or Tweet.

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


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

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.