Cut Line Hope weather warnings
“Cut Line” will shoulder on though because, as everyone knows, everything breaks toward Indio and cuts are made to be missed.
Player ownership. As a rule, input flows in one direction when it comes to PGA Tour players. From more playing opportunities to bigger shrimp at the buffet, the circuit’s suggestion boxes are filled with ways to make Tour-dom better, but rarely do these suggestions come with individual action items.
It’s a reality that makes this week’s news of a new Fall Series event an encouraging diversion from the norm because it seems it was players, not Tour types, who got dirty to close this deal.
The McGladrey Classic, which will be played at Sea Island (Ga.) Resort this October, is more than a post-Tour Championship diversion thanks in large part to the efforts of Zach Johnson and Davis Love III, both of whom are on the Tour’s Policy Board and Sea Island residents.
“We can make it a model for guys to see how to get involved with a tournament,” said Mark Love, Davis’ brother and the new event’s executive director. “This is a chance for (other players) to see the importance of becoming more active in the sponsorship area.”
The opportunities are endless. May we suggest the Cheesehead Classic presented by Wisconsin’s own Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly with all proceeds to benefit the Brett Favre Withdrawal Fund.
Jack Nicklaus. Old golf scribes will tell you the Golden Bear invented the “scrum,” the informal give and take between legend and media that makes the modern press conference seem like a physics lecture. Whether Nicklaus was the pioneer doesn’t seem to matter when you’re talking with him because it’s clear he’s perfected the art.
On Thursday Nicklaus turned 70 and the thought occurs that Tiger Woods will probably overtake the Golden Bear in the Grand Slam race, but he will likely never live up to Nicklaus’ ability to connect with the press or the people.
Among the highlights of this sporting life, we’ve watched Michael Jordan dunk a basketball, Woods rifle a 3-iron and Nicklaus explain things as only an 18-time major champion can.
Made Cut-Did Not Finish
eGolf Professional Tour. Let’s be clear, Doug Barron and common sense have the look of victims if you consider the Tour has granted other players exemptions to use some of the same drugs that the journeyman tested positive for last year and Barron’s decision to continue his legal challenge of his one-year suspension promises to shed light on what has been a murky process.
News last week, however, that Barron will continue to ply his trade this year on the North Carolina mini-tour smacks of economic expediency. For a $2,250 membership fee competitive integrity has been put on hold.
It’s hard to believe Barron is guilty of anything more than legal naiveté, but that’s for the courts to decide not a mini-tour in need of members.
Democracy. Asked earlier this week if the PGA Tour is rethinking its policy of granting members conflicting event releases commissioner Tim Finchem quickly dismissed the notion.
Although the timing is not ideal with a handful of top Tour members chasing appearance fees across the globe at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship while Bob Hope Classic officials glad-hand potential sponsors like a Massachusetts Democrat, professional golf is a collection of independent contractors and you don’t torch the Bill of Rights just because the freedom of speech clause is inconvenient.
The old Tour axiom is that every player is a Republican until they miss a cut, then they are Democrats. Add a rough economic environment and some struggling events to the mix and it seems we’ve also got a few socialist sprinkled in there as well.
Hope-less. No sponsor, no top 20 players in the world and now there appears to be a hole in the dome that once protected Bob Hope’s annual soiree from the elements and second guessing.
Truth is, the Hope has been on varying stages of outpatient care ever since the host with the most stopped wheeling around the Coachella Valley in that tricked up E-Z-Go, and it’s tough to blame the demise of Detroit on tournament director Michael Milthorpe.
Some of what ails the Hope, however, was self-inflicted. The move to oust George Lopez as host, the wind-blown experiment at the Classic Club and a dogmatic affinity to an unpopular five-round format have not helped the tournament.
Or, as Hope once deadpanned, “I’ve always been in the right place and time. Of course, I steered myself there.”
Reality. As we approach the two-month anniversary of “Black Friday” it seems surreal has become the standard when it comes to Woods.
If Woods is in a Mississippi sex rehab clinic (nine words we never thought we’d pen) as last week’s grainy photos suggest – although the Zapruder film seems more conclusive by comparison – then fans of the player, if not the man, should be encouraged by his attempt to battle his demons.
As for fans of the golfer, Woods seems focused on a much more important match right now. One that’s not going to be influenced by the major championship schedule or the call of Augusta.
Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome
Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)
The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...
And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.
Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas
He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.
Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.
Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.
In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.
Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.
Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.
Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic
Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double
Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open
Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open
Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row
Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow
Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship
The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ
Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year
And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season
Photo Galleries: Best of ...
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com counted down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below. And click here for the full collection of articles.
Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge
ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.
The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.
They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.
Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.
Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.
Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.
''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''
The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.
In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''
Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.