Cut Line Swing and Jive

By Rex HoggardSeptember 17, 2010, 7:55 pm
Nothing sparks a debate like a “bye” week and the playoff bashing has reached a BCS-like crescendo, which leaves “Cut Line” to think that somewhere PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem is smiling.

What’s not open to debate is the reality of a bona fide Player of the Year race and the motives of an overzealous taxman that may make this year’s Ryder Cup the game’s most expensive exhibition for some participants.

Made Cut

Corey Pavin. Not sure what to make of Team USA’s uniforms (do pinstripes and pastel sweaters really scream ‘come get some?’), but we do have to hand it to Captain America for staying on topic.

Asked last week if Tiger Woods was a lock to play all five matches at next month’s Ryder Cup, Pavin had no problem shutting down the notion that he would play favorites.

“I am going to treat every player the same. The objective is to try to win the Ryder Cup and if in my judgment I think Tiger is to play five matches, or should play four or three, then that is what I will do – that’s my call as captain,” Pavin told BBC Radio.

“For me, it’s how he’s playing golf. That’s my concern as far as the Ryder Cup goes.”

It truly has been a year of firsts for the world No. 1:  he missed the cut at Quail Hollow, finished 18 over par at Firestone, will miss the Tour Championship and may spend a portion of his week in Wales cheerleading.

Player of the Year race. Remember when these postseason awards were a foregone conclusion? Woods, or Vijay Singh, would lop up at East Lake, play four largely meaningless rounds and grab the POY hardware on their way to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson.

Now there are no fewer than a half dozen names that could secure the trophy at East Lake.

You may not like the playoffs, but at least now one can differentiate between the Tour Championship and the Shark Shootout.
Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Bye weeks. The lull before the Tour Championship storm is fine, particularly for the handful of players who will jump a charter from Atlanta to Wales on Sunday night to play the Ryder Cup, but why go dark entirely?

It has been a month since many Tour types played any meaningful golf and the circuit has plenty of inventory to plug in this week between all of the Fall Series and opposite-field tournaments.

These events won’t pull any top players, but then they don’t attract from the top of the Tour marquee anyway. Besides, we hear New York (Turning Stone Resort Championship) and Reno (Reno-Tahoe Open) are lovely this time of year.

FedEx Cup playoffs. The Tour’s fourth-year experiment isn’t perfect and, despite the best math and marketing efforts of Camp Ponte Vedra Beach, it may never be. The 2010 edition concludes next week at East Lake without Tiger Woods and, according to many players and pundits, with far too much volatility.

A playoff it isn’t. Nor is it an unequivocal answer to the Player of the Year question. But it is a collection of four solid events in major markets during a time of year that golf is traditionally a sporting after thought.

“It’s called the playoffs, and you have to play well during that time of year,” said Kevin Streelman, considered by some the poster child for a system that is weighted too heavily on the postseason. “It’s just like a wild-card winning the Super Bowl, it’s why we call it the playoffs.”

Tweet of the week: @IanJamesPoulter: “Well another finish in the top 30 on the money list and don’t get in tour championship [sic]. Are the playoffs any good?”
Missed Cut

Colin Montgomerie. It’s going to be a sad day when the matches are over and Captain “Doh” rides off into the Welsh sunset. But until then, let’s enjoy the ride.

It seems the Scot has spurned Paul Casey, again. During a press conference recently, Monty was asked who would step in if Lee Westwood, slowed this season by a calf injury, couldn’t play? Either Monty was confused or he should be committed because he said Justin Rose, not seventh-ranked Casey, would get the call.

You want Rose, fine. But why in the world would you lock yourself into a theoretical pick weeks before the matches? Here’s a hypothetical for you, what if Casey wins the Tour Championship, the FedEx Cup, the $10 million lottery and is the last man on earth? Never mind, think we know the answer.

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. The United Kingdom taxman has suddenly become very interested in what kind of footwear the U.S. team will be sporting at Celtic Manor.

According to reports, HMRC may tax players like Woods and Phil Mickelson for endorsement income from wearing branded products.

In a related item, Sean Foley has Woods hitting golf balls barefooted on the practice tee at Isleworth. No word yet if it’s a balance drill or tax dodge.

Swing wars. Charlie Wi fired a heated volley in the budding row between Foley, Woods’ new swing coach, and Wi’s instructors Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett, whose “stack and tilt” method was all the rage on Tour a few years back.

“There's an article coming out in Golf Digest, and there was a big problem with Andy and Mike and the person that's working with Tiger (Foley) because the pictures that are in Golf Digest are pretty much straight out of their golf book that they have released,” Wi said last week in Chicago.

“Andy approached (Foley) and said, hey, I don't think it's fair that you're using our material. But he goes, well, you know, they asked me a question and said who do you look up to as teachers, and he said that my first teacher is Andy and Mike, the ‘stack and tilt’ guys, so we'll see when the publication comes out if he did say that or not.

For what it’s worth, we’ve interviewed Foley on numerous occasions, before and after he started working with Woods, and he’s always given the “stack and tilt” tandem a healthy amount of credit for the evolution of his own philosophy.

It all reminds us of something another Tour instructor once told us, if you have to tell people how good you are ... well, you know the rest.
Getty Images

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

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.