Cut Line From Cup to Couples
A decade of majors: Last week's PGA Championship was the last major this decade, 40 Grand Slams that defined a Hall of Fame career (Tiger Woods) and defied logic and conventional wisdom (Y.E. Yang, Rich Beem, Todd Hamilton, et al).
Among Cut Lines personal highlights was the 2005 Masters and Woods chip that still seems perched on the lip of the cup at the 16th hole; 2008 U.S. Open and Rocco Mediates spirited tilt at the games most-imposing windmill; 2009 British Open because Tom Watson made us all believe; and the 2001 PGA where David Toms proved you dont have to hit the ball 320 yards to be a big winner.
Don Hodgskin: He never won a Tour event, doesnt play much golf these days and, truth be told, made his professional way in the world teaching tennis. Yet once a year the energetic fifty-something is every bit the major champion.
Every Aug. 18, Hodgskin can be found running the Veterans Golf Tournament at a central Florida layout, an emotional tribute to Hodgskins brother, James, who died fighting in Vietnam on Aug. 18, 1969.
The golf, lunch and drinks are free for any veteran who can show up and swing a club. Weve got one guy who fought in World War II, Hodgskin smiled last Tuesday at Orlandos Dubsdread Golf Club. I can live on this the rest of the year.
And the 200 or so who participated in the event cant wait until next year.
Made Cut ' Did not finish (MDF)
Solheim Cup: Its impossible not to notice that the LPGAs biggest event tees off this weekend near Chicago missing many of the games biggest stars.
Excluded by geography from the weeks matches are five of the top 10 players in the Rolex Womens World Rankings, including Nos. 1 and 2 Lorena Ochoa (Mexico) and Yani Tseng (Taiwan), respectively.
Its not as though the event has an embarrassment of historical riches, the first Solheim Cup was played in 1990, nor much of a competitive resume, the U.S. is 5-0 at home in the matches. Adding the rest of the world to the mix guarantees the worlds best will play and some competitive balance.
Wanted: Top players, regardless of passport.
Hazeltine National: Maybe Dave Hill was onto something, smiled one player as he walked off the course last week in middle Minnesota.
Hill famously quipped during the 1991 U.S. Open at Hazeltine that, All you need is 80 acres of corn and some cows.
Geoff Ogilvy also joined the fun, Tweeting: I am thinking we should all pool together and buy the PGA a lawn mower for Christmas.
Perhaps the loudest critique came from Tiger Woods, the Tours E.F. Hutton, who mentioned the layouts bumpy poa greens on numerous occasions, particularly after that 33-putt final round.
Were not saying Woods prompted the extreme makeover, but the club plans to tear up all 18 greens and fairways before the 2016 Ryder Cup comes to Hazeltine in an attempt to rid the layout of the poa infestation. A gentle nudge from the world No. 1 never hurts.
Fred Couples: GolfChannel.com colleague Randell Mell nailed this one down over the weekend at Hazeltine National ' the U.S. Presidents Cup captain said Hunter Mahan is a lock and Lucas Glover is likely to make his team as picks.
Hard to argue with that logic, both are team players and fearless competitors, but what if Brian Gay goes on a tear and wins the first two FedEx Cup events? Or Dustin Johnson? Or Steve Flesch, for that matter?
Boom Boom needlessly backed himself into a corner when he should have taken a page from Paul Azingers captains manual: always take the hot hand.
The Barclays: Not that theres anything wrong with the playoff opener and having Woods sign on this year will be a huge boost, it just seems like a bit of a buzz-kill to have the event at Liberty National. Along the same lines as having sporks at a formal dinner.
After years at storied Westchester, the event moved to the classic layout at Ridgewood last year in New Jersey and was a hit among players. Next year the event shifts to the Donald Ross-designed Plainfield, a must-play gem for anyone who enjoys golf.
Liberty may be a fine course, we hear the views of New York City are postcard ready, but an event searching for an identity would do well sticking with Ridgewood and Plainfield, perhaps the best one-two punch on Tour non-major flight.
Email your thoughts to Rex Hoggard
Highlights: Woods shoots Saturday 69 at API
Tiger Woods made six birdies Sunday, including one at the home hole, to shoot 3-under 69 and move to 7 under par for the week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
When he walked off the golf course, he was four off the 11-under pace set by Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson and Bryson DeChambeau, all of whom were still on the course.
"I'm going to have to shoot a low one tomorrow, and probably get a little bit of help," Woods told Golf Channel's Steve Sands in a post-round interview. "But my responsibility is to go out there and shoot a low one first."
Woods didn't bogey the first hole on Saturday like he did the day prior - but he did drop at a shot at the par-3 second when he failed to get up and down from the bunker.
Luckily, it wouldn't take him long to get that stroke back. One hole later, at the dogleg-left, par-4 third, Woods ripped a 2-iron off the tee, hit a less-than-stellar approach long and right, and poured in this 38-footer for birdie to get back to even par on the day.
He followed with another at the par-5 fourth, smoking a drive 313 yards uphill, short-siding himself with his second shot, and playing this deft pitch to set up a tap-in 4.
After a par save from the bunker at 5, Woods missed the fairway right at the par-5 sixth, laid up with his second, spun a wedge to 15 feet with his third, and rolled in this third birdie of the day to move to 6 under for the week.
Woods' momentum was slowed by a bogey at 8, the product of an errant tee shot, and a missed birdie try at 9 left Tiger to make the turn in 1 under-35, minus-5 for the week.
He quickly returned to 6 under for the championship when he hit an approach from 186 to inside 10 feet at the par-4 11th and walked in the putt:
Following four straight pars, Woods for the second day in a row made an unlikely birdie at the par-5 16th after missing the fairway to the right and declining to layup.
Woods would drop one more shot coming in when his ball fried in the front bunker at 17, leading to a bogey, but this closing birdie at 18, his sixth of the day, got him into the clubhouse 3 under for the round and 7 under for the week. It also elicited a rare straight-down fist pump.
Two-time major champ Pettersen pregnant
PHOENIX – Suzann Pettersen is pregnant with her first child.
Pettersen’s husband, Christian Ringvold, confirmed the news with Golf Channel’s Jerry Foltz.
Pettersen, 36, who married Ringvold in January of 2017, is due in the fall. The 15-time LPGA winner and two-time major champion has yet to make her first start this year. She’s an eight-time Solheim Cup veteran.
Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational
It was a 3-under 69 on Saturday for Tiger Woods for a 7-under total through three rounds. We tracked him at Bay Hill.
Tweets by GCTigerTracker
Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play
ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.
Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.
As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.
Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.
This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.
The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.