Cut Line Straits Shooting

By Rex HoggardAugust 20, 2010, 9:47 pm
As the golf world continues to digest “bunker-gate” and one of the strangest major finishes in history (non-Carnoustie division), Herb Kohler’s Wisconsin wonderland shares the dubious “’Missed Cut” spotlight this week with the PGA Tour, which seems poised to pull the plug on the circuit’s preeminent island getaway in Hilton Head.

Made Cut

Dustin Johnson. It took Roberto De Vicenzo the better part of 40 years to get over his scorecard gaffe at the 1968 Masters, telling “Cut Line” a few years ago, “For 40 years (the mistake) made me cry. Now it makes me smile.”

Our gut tells us it won’t take the hard-swinging Johnson that long, particularly considering how he reacted in the hectic moments following one of the most surreal major finishes since Jean Van de Velde waded into a chilly Scottish burn.

“Obviously I know the Rules of Golf, and I can't ground my club in a bunker, but that was just one situation I guess. Maybe I should have looked to the rule sheet a little harder,” Johnson said. “That's how it goes.”

We also were impressed with the way Johnson’s caddie Bobby Brown handled the heartbreak.

“I've thought long and hard, and I'll have to take a little heat,” Brown told the Myrtle Beach Sun News. “Maybe I should've known. I always read those sheets; I carry them in my yardage book in case there's a question. I've walked by bunkers every day, and I never thought that was a bunker. I thought it was a waste area. It looked like sand off the hill.”

From where “Cut Line” is sitting a week removed from the madness, it looks like golf’s version of a hanging chad.

Sean Foley. Whatever the status of his relationship with the world No. 1, it seems to be providing Tiger Woods with constructive feedback if not glimmers of hope.

Although Woods’ rounds of 71-70-72-73 at Whistling Straits were hardly a reason to celebrate, most Tour observers agree his action is “better,” whatever that means, and his putting (he didn’t take more than 29 putts for any round at the PGA) suggests the Barclays may be more than simply a Playoff cameo for the embattled star.

 If so, Foley would get co-Coach of the Year honors with Buck Showalter, the new Baltimore Orioles skipper who has the Birds inching their way out of the American League basement.
Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)


Rory McIlroy. We love the kid – crazy game, engaging, mop of black curls spilling out from under the ball cap. Among the twentysomethings he is the most promising prospect both on and off the golf course, but we have to flag the Northern Irish-lad for his comments regarding Woods and the Ryder Cup.

Asked this week if he “fancies his chances (in a match)” against the world No. 1 McIlroy said, “Yeah I would, unless his game rapidly improves over the next few weeks. I think anyone on the European team would fancy their chances against him.”

Although he gets style points for his bravado, someone should remind McIlroy it is European captain Colin Montgomerie’s job to produce bulletin board fodder, and he’s very good at it.

Corey Pavin. Yes, we know, Tiger is on your short list of potential captain’s picks. It just seems Captain America is taking this coy schtick a bit too far.

Remove all the names from the potential picks and this is a non-story. Player W has 14 majors to his credit, has played on a combined 11 Ryder and Presidents Cup teams, has an impressive 3-1-1 Ryder Cup singles’ record and two top-5 finishes in majors this year.

By comparison, Players X, Y and Z (Nos. 9, 10 and 13 on the current points list) have one top-5 in 11 career majors, one top-5 of any kind this season and would be a Ryder Cup rookie, respectively.

You make the call.

Tweet of the week: @ogilviej (Joe Ogilvie) “I don’t know what is scarier, my putting today or the fact that the Federal Reserve will become second largest holder of U.S. dept by October.”
Missed Cut


PGA Tour. Not even “bridge” financing for at least one more year, 42 years of dedicated southern hospitality and one of the coziest setups this side of St. Andrews was enough to save the circuit’s Hilton Head Island, S.C., stop.

The Valero Texas Open will move into Hilton Head’s post-Masters date in 2011, although no commitments have been made beyond next year, and Harbour Town officials are hopeful a spot will open up elsewhere on the schedule but are still eyeing possible dates.

Still, “Cut Line” couldn’t help but revisit chief of operations Rick George’s comments before this year’s Heritage.

“This time of year is right after Augusta and the Masters. It makes a lot of sense, it's been a staple on Tour for the last 42 years, and we hope to be here another 42 years,” George said.

“I wouldn't say there’s other cities trying to take the tournament. Obviously we have every intention of being back here in 2011.”

That’s quite a 180 in less than four months. Either George was being less than forthcoming, or he was speaking completely out of school. You choose.

Herb Kohler and Pete Dye. To be fair, Kohler’s dream was to build America’s greatest golf resort and his slice of Wisconsin heaven certainly puts Whistling Straits and the American Club in the conversation among the nation’s best.

As a Grand Slam venue, however, the Straits Course is something less than ideal. In essence, there are 16 great holes – the par-5 fifth hole is a square peg in a collection of round holes and the 18th is best described as a work in progress – spoiled by a contrived collection of ornamental bunkers and enough hills to break a billy goat.

If the PGA of America is married to Whistling Straits as a venue, may we suggest the occasional PGA Professional National Championship. The club pros deserve a solid course and the fans deserve a break.

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.

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Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

 There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.



It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

“The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.



Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

“You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.



Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.



Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.



After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.



Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

“We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

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Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.


Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.