Cut Line: FedEx Cup not perfect, but delivers

By Rex HoggardSeptember 7, 2012, 3:29 pm

The FedEx Cup playoffs, like the rules that govern the game, may not be perfect, but as the PGA Tour powers through the final turn toward the Tour Championship it is tough not to recognize a post-season, however contrived, that has given us three weeks of power pairings, a peculiar penalty and, if you’re Davis Love III, some painful picks.

Made Cut

Rivalries. Maybe it’s a tad too close for some. Maybe we like our rivalries with a side order of implied distaste and a dollop of mutual distrust. Maybe if Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier would have been chummy Manila wouldn’t have been such a “thrilla.”

But that doesn’t seem to be the way Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy roll.

Last Sunday at TPC Boston during Woods’ post-round scrum with reporters, the Northern Irishman playfully held his cell phone over his head to record the interview which prompted Woods to smile, “Knock it off.” On Thursday the two even agreed to do their post-round interviews together at the BMW and spent much of their opening round at Crooked Stick bantering like a pair of octogenarians playing a Sunday morning four-ball match.

Golf’s dynamic duo is separated by 13 years and 12 majors but there is no mistaking the common bond and mutual respect. Like it or not Woods and McIlroy like each other, at least until Sunday singles at this month’s Ryder Cup and then all bets are off.

Davis Love III. Early Tuesday morning Captain America was strolling down New York’s Broadway Avenue when your correspondent asked how difficult “selection” night was? “It wasn’t really,” he smiled.

That wasn’t entirely true, but at least it was over. According to multiple sources close to Love the call to Hunter Mahan, who did not land one of the captain’s four picks, was emotional. A few moments later Love informed Brandt Snedeker he had made the team to complete the emotional rollercoaster.

“It was more emotional than he thought, both good and bad,” said one of Love’s advisors.

Let the second-guessing begin, it always does. But as Love made his way down Broadway at dawn on Tuesday it was clear he was at ease with his choices – in his mind they were good choices because they were done.

Tweet of the week: @TheChristinaKim (Christina Kim) “Ban, can and damn those things.”

Kim’s tweet was in response to news that the U.S. Golf Association and Royal & Ancient will rule on long putters and anchoring this month. In case you’re still unclear, Kim’s not a fan.


Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Luke Donald. He’s not the first person to let a “direct message” get away from him and, to be honest, his take on Gil Hanse’s nip/tuck of TPC Boston’s 18th hole last week was shared by many of the frat brothers, although his not-fit-for-primetime language will likely cost him a healthy fine/donation.

What makes the Englishman’s electronic snafu notable is how he handled the fallout. Donald owned the miscue, he didn’t sidestep the issue or claim someone “hacked” his account.

“I made a mistake, unfortunately. I made an error. I sent a message that was not meant to go out on Twitter, and I take full responsibility,” Donald said following his third round last Sunday.

“I realized it immediately, tried to delete it and tried to move on. Unfortunately it got caught up there, and such is life. I didn't mean to put it out there, and I apologize to anyone I offended, especially Gil Hanse.”

The real travesty here may be that golf lost one of its most-creative tweeters. Donald hasn’t posted anything to his account (@LukeDonald) since Sept. 1.

FedEx Cup. It’s not perfect. Truth is it might never be without a few warts, but the product of late has been beyond reproach.

McIlroy’s victory last week in Boston lifted him into the top spot followed by Nick Watney, who won the playoff opener in New York, and Woods in third, a lineup that sets the stage for a potential power showdown in two weeks at the Tour Championship.

Whatever issues playoff golf may have – exaggerated post-season points and a pre-East Lake reset being primary concerns – the faux “Fall Classic” has been successful at wrenching players out of early hibernation. For that we should all be thankful.


Missed Cut

Rules of Golf. These are the facts. During the opening round of the BMW Championship Graeme McDowell, who had holed a 9-iron approach shot for eagle a hole earlier, grazed a leaf while playing out of a bunker on No. 9, his last hole of the day, and was assessed a two-stroke penalty.

“I'm deemed to have touched a loose impediment in a hazard, which is a two-shot penalty,” McDowell said following his opening 68. “Despite the fact that nothing has moved, the lie hasn't improved, I just didn't give the branch enough respect. I've never seen that scenario before.”

Cut Line has, just last month, in fact, during the final round of the PGA Championship when Carl Pettersson ran afoul of the same rule on his first hole which prompted this assessment from Golf Channel’s David Feherty, who was the walking reporter with Pettersson’s group at Kiawah.

“That (rule) is designed so an amateur doesn’t drag his club back and make a channel for themselves. What do you think would happen if a pro did that out there? I think we can account for that,” Feherty said. “Why don’t professional golfers make rules for professional golfers? We’re the only sport that allows amateurs (to make rules).”

Feherty’s emotions may have gotten the better of him at Kiawah, but it is confounding that golf is the only professional sport that ignores intent.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: