Cut Line: Party at Arnie's place

By Rex HoggardMarch 17, 2017, 9:14 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – In a St. Patrick’s Day edition, the PGA Tour returns to Arnie’s place for a party befitting a King, the membership at Muirfield guarantees the Open party will return to the East Lothian coast with a long-overdue vote and Cody Gribble goes full animal house at Bay Hill.

Made Cut

Fit for a King. From the new statue adjacent to the first tee at Bay Hill, to Wednesday’s opening ceremony, which included an impressive display of some 70 Tour players teeing off in succession, the first Arnold Palmer Invitational without the King has touched all the right notes.

The goal of organizers was to not make this week’s event another memorial for Palmer, who passed away in September, but instead a celebration of a truly remarkable life.

The ceremonies and attention to detail, including Palmer’s golf cart parked adjacent to the 16th green, have been impressive, but what has really made the week special are the stories – so many stories.

“I was fortunate and honored that Mr. Palmer even knew my name, because I didn't play in his generation,” Lucas Glover said. “But every time I came here, he knew my name and was respectful to me and I returned that favor. And all of us out here owe a lot to that man and I'm honored to be here this week and every week we get to come here.”

The 2017 API has been a celebration, not a funeral. Just the way Palmer would have wanted it.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Second time’s a charm. The membership of Muirfield voted to allow female members this week, a move that failed to pass last year.

The vote was followed quickly by news that the R&A would allow Muirfield back into the rotation to host The Open, which was not a surprise given the club’s history with the championship and how highly regarded the layout is among some competitors.

That it took two votes for the club to allow female members, however, didn’t sit well with everyone, most notably Rory McIlroy.

“In this day and age, where you've got women that are the leaders of certain industries and women that are heads of state and not to be able to join a golf course? I mean, it's obscene,” McIlroy said. “I still think that it got to the stage, this stage, is horrendous. We'll go back and we'll play The Open, because they will let women members in, but every time I go to Muirfield now I won't have a great taste in my mouth.”

Good news, bad news. News this week that Tiger Woods is healthy enough to travel was encouraging given the last update on the 14-time major champion’s health, but we still aren’t sure how close he may be to actually playing Tour golf again.

Woods will be at a Barnes & Noble in New York City on Monday for a book signing involving his new novel on the 1997 Masters, but there was no update on whether he’ll be healthy enough to play next month’s Masters.

He withdrew from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic earlier this year, skipped the Genesis Open, which he hosts, and this week’s stop at Bay Hill, which he’s won eight times, with an ailing back. So the fact that he’s healthy enough to travel to New York City should be considered progress of sorts, but it doesn’t exactly fill Cut Line with optimism.

Tweet of the week: @bowdo83 (Steven Bowditch) “Watching @PGATOURLIVE is a great way to see where I should attack my par putts from. #kidsdoyourhomework”

It’s not been an easy few months for the Australian, who has missed the cut in 15 of his last 16 starts, but it’s refreshingly endearing that Bowditch has chosen to take the glass-half-full approach.

Missed Cut

Gator tails. Cody Gribble didn’t know he was on camera, nor was he trying to become an Internet sensation, but it’s not often a Tour event devolves into an episode of Man vs. Gator, so the attention is understandable.

Gribble was strolling down the sixth fairway on Thursday at Bay Hill when he came upon an 8-foot alligator resting on the edge of a pond and gave the gator a tap on the tail.

“The gator looked like he needed some exercise, I don't know. But he was sitting right there in the way and, you know, I guess I was trying to get some adrenaline going somehow, but I wasn't really afraid of it,” he said.

Gribble said he’s had similar exchanges with alligators on the golf course. He even said he’s caught one before, but they’ve never been quick enough to get a clean bite at him.

While that kind of quick reaction is admirable and Gribble is by all accounts one of the circuit’s genuine up-and-coming stars, it’s a commonly held notion that amateur golfers often copy what they see Tour players do on TV.

So consider this a public service announcement. Don’t try this at home. Please.

Tweet of the week II: @CodyGribble (Cody Gribble) “Gators need exercise too, no biggie guys.”

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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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