Cut Line: Village people put on a show

By Rex HoggardJune 1, 2012, 5:20 pm

It’s raining so that must mean the PGA Tour is at Muirfield Village, but not even the ever-present threat of the weather-warning horn can dampen the proceedings this week thanks to tournament host Jack Nicklaus, who has the unique ability to make one, all at once, laugh and cry. And that’s before players ever even reach the redesigned 16th hole.

Made Cut

Golden moments. Only Jack Nicklaus, some 26 years removed from his last PGA Tour victory, can still captivate crowds and this week at Muirfield Village the Golden Bear did not disappoint.

On the eve of this year’s Memorial, Nicklaus honored his good friend and rival Tom Watson, who outdueled the Golden Bear in some of the game’s greatest clashes. But if Nicklaus holds a grudge against Old Tom it certainly didn’t seem that way during the induction ceremony.

“He embodies everything I could want in a friend,” an emotional Nicklaus said of Watson.

We all knew Nicklaus was a great champion, but we continue to learn what a great person he is.

Bulletin boards. OK, so European swing guru Pete Cowen didn’t do the Continent any favors when he suggested last week that captain Jose Maria Olazabal could whip the Americans at Medinah with his “B” team.

Yet considering Europe’s dominance in recent years it’s not a completely ridiculous comment and when asked later to clarify Cowen didn’t attempt to run for cover.

“People have been coming up to me to ask about it and I’ve been telling them that I meant what I said. To be honest, I get fed up with those who sit on the fence,” Cowen said. “They go on and on about how difficult away matches can be when they should be sending positive vibes.”

Cut Line doesn’t agree with Cowen but you have to appreciate the message, as well as the Englishman’s decision to own it.

Tweet of the Day: @Harris_English “Sitting in the safe house off No. 4 green (at Memorial). Jerry Springer is on TV. Ryo (Ishikawa) is getting his chance to experience America at its finest.”


Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Scheduling. Maybe it was the three straight tournaments, ending with the Byron Nelson Championship where he tied for seventh, or the emotional World Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony, or jet-setting stops in Italy and France to celebrate his wife’s 40th birthday. Or maybe it was the Tuesday outing on Long Island.

Or, for those who spend their time searching for gunmen on grassy knolls, it was a lax cell phone policy or that 7-over Thursday card that sent Phil Mickelson packing at the Memorial.

Chances are it was a combination of all these things that prompted Lefty to withdraw and, truth is, it doesn’t really matter. He made no secret about this, all that matters right now is the U.S. Open, a West Coast Open for the “People’s champion,” whatever that means.

You can question Mickelson’s scheduling, but not his priorities.

Status quo. First Capt. Boom Boom let it slip, as only Fred Couples could, that he was “going to help (U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III)” this year at Medinah, then he told anyone who would listen that it won’t be an “official” partnership.

Translation: The PGA of America isn’t ready or willing to embrace the idea that Couples – a two-time Presidents Cup captain who will get his third turn to go undefeated next year – may be exactly what the American side needs.

As a general rule, The PGA and PGA Tour don’t like to share captains and Captain Couples doesn’t exactly fit the mold of the buttoned-up skipper. But with the U.S. side mired in a 2-for-8 slump and desperately needing a victory on home soil this year, it may be time to color outside the lines.

Whatever Couples is bringing to the table at the Presidents Cup, it’s working. So we don’t care if you call him the “Lead golf cart driver/storyteller,” get him to Medinah and watch the fireworks.


Missed Cut

Not-so-sweet 16th. Nicklaus once referred to Muirfield Village’s par-3 16th as a good way to get from the 15th green to the 17th tee, a nondescript bridge that had a round-peg-in-a-square-hole feel to it.

Nicklaus’ answer was a new green, an extra 15 yards and a lake, transforming the former afterthought into the second-hardest hole this week. On Thursday, 17 tee shots found the water – including Mickelson and Bubba Watson on consecutive swings – and just 30 of 120 attempts found the green.

Only Nicklaus could turn a good way to get to the 17th tee into a reason to keep walking to the parking lot.

Grand Standing . . . eh, Slam. A year removed from the official start of his golden years, Colin Montgomerie revealed this week that he’s warming to the idea of a second career on the over-50 circuit, even suggesting that he is intrigued by the notion of winning the “Senior Slam.”

“I am tempted by the idea of a ‘senior grand slam,’” Monty said. “A tall order, I know, but golfing dreams are not the preserve of the young.”

Of course the entire affair smacks of revisionist nonsense by a player who realized a decade or so too late that he probably should have spent more energy chasing traditional majors instead of those eight European Tour Order of Merit titles.

Besides, has no one explained to Monty that the “Senior Slam” consists of five majors – Senior PGA, U.S. Senior Open, Tradition, Senior Players and British Senior Open – and that four of those tilts are contested in Lower 48?

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: