Cut Line: Social Insecurity

By Rex HoggardJuly 29, 2011, 10:15 pm

From social media-fueled spats, to very private decisions, golf’s marquee made plenty of news last week; very little of it, unfortunately, occurred on the golf course. And Cut Line counts ’em all in a viral edition of “he said, he said and he said.”

Made Cut

Tiger Woods. For all those who had the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and Bryon Bell on the bag in the office pool it’s time to collect. For the rest of us it’s time to hope for the best, as in is the game’s most-talked-about left knee and Achilles tendon ready for prime time?

Although Woods spent all day with swing coach Sean Foley on Friday knocking off the rust, that falls well short of his normal tune-up routine – a regimen that used to include a week’s full of two-a-days in the lab at Isleworth. But, as Woods said earlier this month at the AT&T National, maybe this time really is different.

As one longtime PGA Tour trainer told us Friday when asked if 11 weeks is enough time to heal an ailing knee and Achilles tendon? “Should be. The only issue is game speed vs. practice speed,” the trainer said.

Or, in NASCAR terms, it’s time to see if Woods can go from zero to 120 mph in four short days.

Carnoustie Golf Club. The bulldog of the British Open rotation made a predictably mean cameo for the ladies this week at the Women’s British Open, and two rounds into the fray “Carnasty” has lived up to its reputation, with the lone exception the curiously short par-5 17th hole, which played as a 459-yard par 4 for the men in 2007.

Only 46 players are below par through two rounds. Wind, no wind, rain, no rain, men, women, it seems Carnoustie is an equal opportunity offender.

This is the first time the women’s championship is being played on the Scottish layout and we're willing to wager a large portion of our meager weekly paycheck that many in the field are hoping it will be another couple hundred years before the event goes back to the venerable links.

Tweet of the week: @RyanPalmerPGA: “Wow. Talk about bold. I say I get 20 of my peers and they get 20 and let’s go have some fun! Trust me boys, it’s not that easy!”

Palmer’s tweet was in response to John Peterson’s comments following his runner-up finish to fellow amateur Harris English at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational on Sunday.

“I knew I could beat all those guys,” Peterson told Golf World magazine. “The top guys in college, the top 20 or 30 guys, can beat the top 20, 30 guys on the PGA Tour.”

Peterson’s youthful machismo is refreshing but entirely misplaced. Until you’ve got a six-pack of majors on the wall, humility is always the preferred medium.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

LPGA. Lexi Thompson finished 10 shots clear of the field at the tour’s first stage of Q-School yet she won’t be able to celebrate her victory or even rent a car to drive to second stage for that matter.

At 17 years old, Thompson clearly has the game to compete at the highest level, but we knew that long before she posted three rounds of 66 and one 67 at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Cut Line is still not convinced that the youthful phenom has all the other skills required to be a professional. Thompson has the talent to become a world beater . . . some day. Leapfrogging stops along the way, however, helps no one – especially Thompson.

We’ve seen this show before when the lead character was named Michelle Wie. Think it was a comic-tragedy.

Tweet of the week II: @JayATownsend (on-air analyst for BBC radio Jay Townsend): “(Rory McIlroy) should hire Stevie Williams, as I thought (McIlroy’s caddie J.P. Fitzgerald) allowed some shocking course management today.”

McIlroy responded in a tweet, “Well, I stand by my caddie.” Townsend, a former tour professional, is one of the best in the business and is paid to make those kinds of observations. McIlroy did the right thing standing by Fitzgerald, and Townsend was equally principled. You don’t have to agree with him, or even follow him in Twitter for that matter, but you can’t question his right to do his job.

Missed Cut

Darren Clarke critics. Although we’re not sure who would bash the Northern Irishman, he took time this week to answer some of the criticism that has been lobbed in his direction since his emotional victory at Royal St. George’s.

“I drink a little bit too much, smoke a little bit too much and enjoy myself a little bit too much at times,' Clarke said. 'It's the way I relax and I don't intend to change that in any way, shape or form.”

Just to be clear, what exactly didn’t the critics like about Clarke?

Tiger Woods. On Thursday the world’s 21st-ranked player announced the “where” (WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship, if all goes well in Ohio) and we now know the “who,” as in schoolmate Bryon Bell’s position as his new caddie.

There is some history here for Bell, who has been a member of Team Tiger for years and has run his golf course design business. Bell caddied for Woods when he won the 1999 Buick Invitational and at the 1996 U.S. Amateur.

I know Woods said this time was different, and getting rid of veteran looper Steve Williams last week certainly qualifies, but Bell was implicated in some media reports for having a hand in Woods’ 2009 sex scandal.

Woods’ manager has said there is no long-term plan in place to replace Williams just yet, but doesn’t having Bell around create the wrong kind of speculation?

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

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