Cut Line: Scott draws ahs in Oz

By Rex HoggardNovember 8, 2013, 8:35 pm

In this week’s edition PGA Tour caddies unite, the circuit expands and Brandt Snedeker loses a bout with a Segway scooter in Shanghai. According to various sources, however, the American star is recovering and not at all interested in a rematch.

Made Cut

A well-intended loop. As a group, PGA Tour caddies are an optimistic lot. Waiting around the next dogleg is another tee time, another chance for success in a game that is filled with far more valleys than peaks.

On Tuesday at Sea Island (Ga.) Resort, a group of caddies took the ultimate optimistic plunge with the creation of the Association of Professional Tour Caddies (APTC). The APTC is not a union; like their bosses, caddies are independent contractors, and its initial mission statement is to provide its members with employment basics – health insurance, retirement plans.

For those who organized the APTC, however, the association is more than a negotiating tool.

“It’s a new age of caddies. It’s more of a profession. It’s a different breed,” said James Edmondson, Ryan Palmer’s caddie who was elected president of the APTC. “It’s the time now to enhance the profession and make it better for the guys who are coming up behind us.”

Add another rule to the caddie credo: show up, shut up, keep up and, now, speak up.

Great, Scott. Your scribe is currently on assignment in Australia working on various stories, but we were jarred out of our insular cocoon earlier this week when a nurse at a Melbourne-area hospital pointed at a television and said how wonderful it was that Adam Scott, the Masters champion, had returned home with the green jacket.

Do you play golf, we asked?

“Never touched a club,” the nurse shrugged.

To get an idea of how significant Scott’s Masters breakthrough was, ask an Aussie where he was in April when the Australian outlasted Angel Cabrera at Augusta National (keep in mind, the back nine on Sunday at the year’s first major is early Monday morning in Oz), they can tell you exactly where they watched the historic event and what they broke during the celebration.

Far reach. For the third consecutive year, the PGA Tour will expand its brand with the addition of the PGA Tour China in 2014.

The new tour will begin in March 2014 with 12 events that feature purses of about $200,000 and will provide the top five money winners access to the Tour. In the fall of 2012 the Tour debuted the PGA Tour Latinoamerica with 11 events in seven countries, and this summer the PGA Tour Canada held nine events.

“The East will take over the West in the game of golf within a generation. When you have 1.4 billion people getting a taste of golf they will accelerate their progress,” Greg Norman, an advisory coach for the China National Golf Team, told Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" crew on Sunday.

An organization that once seemed to have misplaced its atlas – three of the four World Golf Championships events are played in the Lower 48 – has suddenly gone global.

Tweet of the week: @PaulAzinger “Putting is like the ghost of golf, talk bad about it and it will haunt your dreams.”

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Occupational hazards. Mayhem happens; it’s why college football Saturdays are filled with insurance commercials, and it’s hard to find fault in Brandt Snedeker’s most recent trip to a magnetic resonance imaging machine. But given the American’s checkered health history, a little restraint would have been in order this week.

Sneds injured his left knee while hopping off a Segway scooter during a corporate outing on Monday at Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai. According to his management team, Snedeker bruised his tibia and strained his ACL in the incident and had to withdraw from this week’s Australian PGA Championship.

Considering Snedeker’s health history – he missed more than a month this year with an ailing rib – may we suggest he stick with things that have four wheels.

Missed Cut

Sidebar. We live in a litigious society, but if the initial bout between lawyers for Vijay Singh and the PGA Tour is any indication, the Fijian’s lawsuit against the circuit promises to be particularly nasty.

New York Supreme Court judge Eileen Bransten heard arguments for and against the Tour’s motion to dismiss Singh’s lawsuit, which claims the circuit publicly humiliated him earlier this season when he was accused of an anti-doping violation that was later dismissed.

One of the more explosive revelations from the Oct. 23 hearing was a claim by Singh’s lawyers that the Tour has ignored similar violations in the past.

“The PGA (Tour) has made exception after exception after exception, both with regard to whom it was administering this drug policy and against whom it was disciplining,” Singh’s lawyer Peter Ginsberg said. “For some reason the (Tour) singled out Mr. Singh and treated him in a way that it has not historically or uniformly treated other (Tour) members.”

No word yet on how Bransten will rule on the current motion to dismiss, but if this case goes the distance it could be the most heated match on Tour in 2014.

Vegas lists Woods at 20-1 to win a major in 2018

By Will GrayNovember 22, 2017, 12:53 pm

He hasn't hit a competitive shot in nearly a year, but that hasn't stopped one Las Vegas outlet from listing Tiger Woods among the favorites to win a major in 2018.

The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook published betting odds this week on dozens of players to win any of the four majors next year. Leading the pack were Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth at 3/2, with Rory McIlroy next. But not far behind was Woods, who has been sidelined since February because of a back injury but was listed at 20/1.

Woods will make his much-anticipated return next week at the Hero World Challenge, and next month he will turn 42. Next summer will mark the 10-year anniversary of his last major championship victory, a sudden-death playoff win over Rocco Mediate at the 2008 U.S. Open.

Here's a look at the odds for several marquee players on winning any of the four biggest events in golf next year:

3/2: Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth

5/2: Rory McIlroy

7/2: Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day

9/2: Justin Rose

5/1: Brooks Koepka

15/2: Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Paul Casey

10/1: Adam Scott

12/1: Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Marc Leishman, Thomas Pieters, Patrick Reed

15/1: Daniel Berger, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Patrick Cantlay, Branden Grace, Kevin Kisner, Alex Noren, Louis Oosthuizen, Xander Schauffele, Charl Schwartzel, Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson

20/1: Tiger Woods, Francesco Molinari, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Tony Finau, Martin Kaymer

25/1: Ryan Moore, Zach Johnson, Webb Simpson, Lee Westwood, Jimmy Walker, Kevin Chappell, Bryson DeChambeau, Bill Haas, Jason Dufner, Charley Hoffman

30/1: Pat Perez, Gary Woodland, Bernd Wiesberger, Brian Harman, Padraig Harrington, Emiliano Grillo, Ross Fisher, Si Woo Kim, J.B. Holmes

Open Qualifying Series kicks off with Aussie Open

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 21, 2017, 4:24 pm

The 147th Open is nearly eight months away, but there are still major championship berths on the line this week in Australia.

The Open Qualifying Series kicks off this week, a global stretch of 15 event across 10 different countries that will be responsible for filling 46 spots in next year's field at Carnoustie. The Emirates Australian Open is the first event in the series, and the top three players among the top 10 who are not otherwise exempt will punch their tickets to Scotland.

In addition to tournament qualifying opportunities, the R&A will also conduct four final qualifying events across Great Britain and Ireland on July 3, where three spots will be available at each site.

Here's a look at the full roster of tournaments where Open berths will be awarded:

Emirates Australian Open (Nov. 23-26): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

Joburg Open (Dec. 7-10): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

SMBC Singapore Open (Jan. 18-21): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

Mizuno Open (May 24-27): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

HNA Open de France (June 28-July 1): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

The National (June 28-July 1): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open (July 5-8): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

The Greenbrier Classic (July 5-8): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open (July 12-15): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

John Deere Classic (July 12-15): Top player (not otherwise exempt) among top five and ties

Stock Watch: Lexi, Justin rose or fall this week?

By Ryan LavnerNovember 21, 2017, 2:36 pm

Each week on, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.


Jon Rahm (+9%): Just imagine how good he’ll be in the next few years, when he isn’t playing all of these courses for the first time. With no weaknesses in his game, he’s poised for an even bigger 2018.

Austin Cook (+7%): From Monday qualifiers to Q-School to close calls on the, it hasn’t been an easy road to the big leagues. Well, he would have fooled us, because it looked awfully easy as the rookie cruised to a win in just his 14th Tour start.

Ariya (+6%): Her physical tools are as impressive as any on the LPGA, and if she can shore up her mental game – she crumbled upon reaching world No. 1 – then she’ll become the world-beater we always believed she could be.  

Tommy Fleetwood (+4%): He ran out of gas in Dubai, but no one played better on the European Tour this year than Fleetwood, Europe’s new No. 1, who has risen from 99th to 18th in the world.   

Lexi (+1%): She has one million reasons to be pleased with her performance this year … but golf fans are more likely to remember the six runners-up and two careless mistakes (sloppy marking at the ANA and then a yippy 2-footer in the season finale) that cost her a truly spectacular season.


J-Rose (-1%): Another high finish in Dubai, but his back-nine 38, after surging into the lead, was shocking. It cost him not just the tournament title, but also the season-long race.  

Hideki (-2%): After getting blown out at the Dunlop Phoenix, he made headlines by saying there’s a “huge gap” between he and winner Brooks Koepka. Maybe something was lost in translation, but Matsuyama being too hard on himself has been a familiar storyline the second half of the year. For his sake, here’s hoping he loosens up.

Golf-ball showdown (-3%): Recent comments by big-name stars and Mike Davis’ latest salvo about the need for a reduced-flight ball could set up a nasty battle between golf’s governing bodies and manufacturers.

DL3 (-4%): Boy, the 53-year-old is getting a little too good at rehab – in recent years, he has overcome a neck fusion, foot injury, broken collarbone and displaced thumb. Up next is hip-replacement surgery.

LPGA Player of the Year (-5%): Sung Hyun Park and So Yeon Ryu tied for the LPGA’s biggest prize, with 162 points. How is there not a tiebreaker in place, whether it’s scoring average or best major performance? Talk about a buzzkill.

Titleist's Uihlein fires back at Davis over distance

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 21, 2017, 12:59 am

Consider Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein unmoved by Mike Davis' comments about the evolution of the golf ball – and unhappy.

In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, the outlet which first published Davis' comments on Sunday, Uihlein took aim at the idea that golf ball distance gains are hurting the sport by providing an additional financial burden to courses.

"Is there any evidence to support this canard … the trickle-down cost argument?” he wrote (via “Where is the evidence to support the argument that golf course operating costs nationwide are being escalated due to advances in equipment technology?"

Pointing the blame elsewhere, Uihlein criticized the choices and motivations of modern architects.

"The only people that seem to be grappling with advances in technology and physical fitness are the short-sighted golf course developers and the supporting golf course architectural community who built too many golf courses where the notion of a 'championship golf course' was brought on line primarily to sell real estate," he wrote.

The Titleist CEO even went as far as to suggest that Tiger Woods' recent comments that "we need to do something about the golf ball" were motivated by the business interersts of Woods' ball sponsor, Bridgestone.

"Given Bridgestone’s very small worldwide market share and paltry presence in professional golf, it would seem logical they would have a commercial motive making the case for a reduced distance golf ball," he added.

Acushnet Holdings, Titleist's parent company, announced in September that Uihlein would be stepping down as the company's CEO at the end of this year but that he will remain on the company's board of directors.