Cut Line Lowcountry Lowdown

By Rex HoggardApril 22, 2011, 6:26 pm

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – The buzz on the Harbour Town practice tee this week was a trifecta of hot-button topics, from the proposed Nationwide Tour/Q-School makeover and the future of the Heritage to a rash  – or maybe it should be dubbed rush  – of long-putter converts Cut Line offers a Lowcountry lowdown.

Made Cut

Ken Green. The amputee figures he’s a 3 or 4 handicap these days, but the emotional leaderboard doesn’t give strokes. A year after becoming the first amputee to play a major tour, Green is back on the tee sheet for this week’s Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf event in Savannah, Ga.

Green – who lost his right leg, brother, girlfriend and dog in a June 2009 recreational vehicle accident – finished 26th out of 33 teams at last year’s Legends. Paired this week with Mark Calcavecchia he’d like to better that mark, but it doesn’t seem likely.

“Taking a step back, it’s awful. Being worse than a year ago is not easy to take. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to say I’m worse a year later. I never would have foreseen that,” Green told Golfweek magazine.

Another 26th-place finish would be a competitive victory. Just having the 51-year-old in the field is an emotional walk-over.


Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Long putters. Maybe it was Adam Scott at the Masters, or Brendan Steele last week in Texas. Whatever the tonic, long is no longer wrong on the PGA Tour.

On Wednesday at Harbour Town there were no fewer than a dozen players experimenting with long putters, including the likes of Ernie Els and Camilo Villegas. Whatever stigma that may have been attached to long putters is fading with every victory.

“I’m tired of getting beat every week by a guy using one of these things,” said one top-50 player on the Harbour Town putting green on Wednesday.

With comments like that, why do we get the feeling there’s a U.S. Golf Association official plowing through the 'implements” section of the Rules of Golf right now?

Nationwide Tour/Q-School proposal. For more than 2 ½ hours on Wednesday players asked, officials answered and a proposal inched its way toward reality.

If the time and tenor of this week’s Players Advisory Council meeting is any indication there are still plenty of questions to be answered in regard to the proposal to make the secondary circuit the primary avenue to a PGA Tour card. But it’s not the proposal that concerns so much as it is the process.

Both Paul Goydos, one of four player directors on the Policy Board that will ultimately vote on the new plan, and Jim Furyk – a PAC member, former player director and, by his own admission, one of the more critical voices in the room on Wednesday – dismissed initial questions about the proposal.

“I’m probably not the right guy to ask,” said Goydos. Furyk had a similar take. Both players are on the second nine of their careers and Goydos conceded he would not play the Nationwide Tour again if it came to that, yet they will help chart the Tour’s future on this topic.

Neither Furyk, who is exempt on Tour through his 45th birthday, nor Goydos will ever be impacted by the new rule. Ditto for the four player directors, whose average age is 43. So the question is, who is the right guy to ask?

Dustin Johnson/Bobby Brown split. Player-caddie break-ups are rarely enjoyable, particularly for such a high-profile pairing, but they are largely inevitable.

According to a member of 'Team Dustin' the split between Johnson and Brown had nothing to do with the slugger’s final-round missteps at last year’s U.S. Open or PGA Championship and the source said the break-up was “amicable.” In this caddies are like swing coaches, just fired or about to be fired.

Johnson begins the search for a new caddie next week in Korea, and we have one question: Where do we send our resume?

Tweet of the week: @PaulGoydosPGA “Hilton Head is a great place to continue my lousy play. I need to step up to mediocrity.”


Missed Cut

The Heritage. Whether this is the last stop for the Tour in the Lowcountry will likely not be known for months and officials were optimistic a new title sponsor could be found as this week’s event got underway. That it has come to such 11th-hour dramatics is baffling.

Since 1969 the Heritage has been a Tour staple, the perfect post-Masters tonic for stressed professionals on one of the circuit’s most revered golf courses, and yet the tournament has been on life support since Verizon stepped down last year.

Tour officials have gone on record saying that everyone involved is pulling in the same direction. We’re just not sure which direction that is.

World Golf Ranking. Who knew 'Luke Donald Disease' was a pass to the peak of the world?

With apologies to Donald, who was unfairly saddled with that label following a series of missed Sunday chances, the ranking could reach a new low this week if the Englishman wins the Heritage and climbs atop the world heap.

Donald has been unquestionably one of the game’s most consistent players over the last two years, but he has just two victories in his two-year world ranking window, hasn’t won a stroke-play tournament on American soil since 2006 and will be the second man in the last six months to hold the top spot without a major on his resume.

Maybe all the current system needs is a name change. We suggest calling it a money list, or maybe FedEx Cup points list. Both seem more apropos.


Follow Rex Hoggard on Twitter @RexHoggard

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

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.