Cut Line Presidents Cup

By Rex HoggardOctober 10, 2009, 5:19 am

Presidents CupSAN FRANCISCO – If there were a cut at the Presidents Cup, nix Geoff Ogilvy and sunscreen before we get to Saturday’s double matinee.

At least on Friday the Aussie pushed Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker to the 15th tee, but no further, and the sun wedged its way through the marine layer, otherwise the week has been a total wash for sunbathers and Ogilvy. The rest of the week’s winners and losers, however, are not so clear cut. 


MADE CUT

Harding Park. Some greens were burnt to a crisp by a maintenance snafu, traffic would be Draconian (in fact, some scribes thought the gridlock would be so relentless they renamed the muni gem Hard Parking) and the contrived routing would require a GPS to navigate.

Wrong, wrong and wrong.

What the NorCal treasure lacks in groomed perfection it more than makes up for with a series of back-nine half-par beauties that reward risk and have made the closing frames high theater.

As for that traffic, we can only say San Fran’s public stage has got nothing on that Long Island parking lot we visited during the U.S. Open.

Woods/Stricker. The American super tandem has lost one hole in two days, hasn’t seen the 16th tee and will probably spend the rest of the weekend side-by-side. Seems about right, the duo has been paired together regularly for the better part of the last month-and-half in the playoffs.

And in the spirit of Dave Stockton, whose putting tips gave us a resurgent Phil Mickelson, maybe Stricker can offer the world No. 1 a few suggestions with the short stick.

“We had Steve putting on every hole, which, trust me, it's a pretty nice feeling to have Steve putting for us,” Woods said Thursday. “I only hit four putts today, and granted, Steve only had to hit like about six putts and made them all.”

Who said it’s tough to partner with Woods?

Golf’s Olympic bid. Some thought golf was a lock to become part of the 2016 Games. Not PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem.

“I was a little nervous,” Finchem said. “I didn’t expect Chicago to get (just) 18 votes (to host the 2016 Games).”

At 5 a.m. (PT) Finchem got his answer and at 5:10 a.m. (PT) he went back to bed, nervous no longer.


 MADE CUT-DID NOT FINISH (MDF)

Greg Norman. Those dubious picks are both 1-1, the International side has not let the eighth Presidents Cup become the familiar landslide it has been in recent outings and the Shark has not been served with divorce papers in the International team room.

All things considered, not too shabby for a captain who seemed to need more mulligans than an 18-handicap before the teams even got to San Francisco.

Michael Jordan. The NBA great delivered everything U.S. captain Fred Couples thought he would – competitive insight, relaxed banter, photo ops. Yet somewhere along the way things got sideways between MJ and the PGA Tour.

Officials reportedly suggested Jordan not attend the opening ceremony, a move that later drew an unofficial apology but not before some American caddies penciled “23' into the hats in protest.

As for Jordan, he slipped across John Muir Drive and played a quick 18 at the Olympic Club on Wednesday, which, all things considered, was infinitely more enjoyable and didn’t take near as long as that opening ceremony. 


MISSED CUT

BALCO and Bonds. The shamed slugger was on hand for Thursday’s opening foursome session at Harding Park, which isn’t far from the infamous Bay Area lab that landed the former Giant in his steroids scandal.

Funny the Tour couldn’t “suggest” Bonds skip the proceedings, particularly on the eve of golf’s crucial Olympic vote.

Thankfully, on Friday Bonds was nowhere to be seen, and, for the record, not a single caddie had penciled his former number (24) into their hats.

European bickering. It’s become a “Cut Line” staple, snarky happenings across the pond that defy reason and common sense. This week’s edition features Thomas Bjorn, the chair of the European Tour players’ committee, blasting Padraig Harrington for the Irishman’s reaction to a possible rule change.

Harrington reportedly reacted negatively to a possible change that would require Europeans play more events to maintain their tour membership. “I don't believe in protectionism – I wonder if there may be a case for the European Union,” Harrington said.

“I don't know where Padraig is coming from, and he always uses the press. He never comes to people on the committee and never will,” Bjorn countered.

Harrington is one of the most honest and well-spoken players in golf, and Bjorn would do well to remember that Harrington is much more important to the European Tour than the tour is to him.

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


Masters victory


Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


Man of the people


Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


Departure from TaylorMade


Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


Victory at Valderrama


Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
Getty Images

Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.