Cut Line Woods makes friends Monty makes enemies

By Rex HoggardSeptember 26, 2009, 3:49 am

ATLANTA – FedEx gave us 10 million reasons to pay attention, Tour brainiacs poked and prodded us into curiosity and Tiger Woods buzz killed yet another Tour Championship with one of those uber-efficient Fridays.

Seems Mother Nature and Woods have little interest in letting things get too exciting at East Lake.

There is no cut this week on the hallowed grounds where Bobby Jones learned the game, but Woods’ second-round 68 sent the pack home for the weekend metaphorically. They will go all 72, call it the Y.E. Yang exemption, but if the world No. 1 doesn’t get washed away with Saturday’s rains the Tour’s finale will suffer another flat weekend.


Made Cut

Tiger Woods. That second-round card was good, that impromptu putting lesson he offered Sean O’Hair was better.

“It’s what friends do,” Woods said.

Many of the game’s greatest players were not the easiest people to be around off the golf course. The only piece of advice Ben Hogan offered Al Geiberger, a rookie on the Hawk’s U.S. Ryder Cup team, was “don’t lose.”

Nick Faldo once famously said he wished he spent more time collecting friends instead of collecting trophies. Woods seems adept at collecting both.

Tour Championship. Despite Woods’ pyrotechnics, or maybe because of them, there is an uncertainty to the season finale that has been missing for the better part of a decade.

Question the math if you must, but the Tour made the Tour Championship relevant, if only for a day. We also have Woods and Padraig Harrington poised for Firestone 2.0, and European Tour official John Paramor and that infamous stopwatch are nowhere to be found.


Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Hit men. No, not the “Good Fellas” kind, but East Lake did seem particularly dangerous over the course of a hot and humid first round.

Woods hit a spectator at the eighth hole, Stewart Cink started his opening round by plunking a female fan in the eye, and Phil Mickelson hit everything except the green, or so it seemed, on his way to a quadruple-bogey 8 at the 14th on Thursday.

And they say East Lake was dangerous before it underwent that extreme makeover in the 1990s.

East Lake. Every corner of the clubhouse drips with history and the club’s resurrection has pulled the surrounding neighborhoods from the abyss of urban blight. The layout’s re-grassed putting surfaces, however, have left some pros pining for the days of Bent grass and gun shots.

Steve Stricker’s tee shot at the 18th hole on Friday cleared the front sand trap by 2 feet, jumped hard and raced to the back of the green. “Wow,” Stricker sighed. “I hit that high to.”

The combination of hard-boiled (greens) and soft shell (fairways) has left a golf course that may be bordering on the over-the-top side of playability. “Those greens are a joke,” fumed one longtime Tour observer.


Missed Cut

Payne Stewart Award. The concept of honoring one of the game’s true gems is noble, it just seems this year’s recipient leaves a little too much room for raised eyebrows.

Perry is a good man, a family man and a man who is accommodating and engaging above and beyond the call for most Tour players. But his recent split with longtime caddie Freddie Sanders, which occurred without warning and via Perry’s manager, caused “Cut Line” to double-clutch.

The Stewart award recognizes a player's commitment to charity, presentation of himself through dress and conduct, and for sharing Stewart's respect for golf's traditions.

We can’t help but wonder what Sanders thinks of that.

European drama. With all due respect to our friends across the pond, the bickering that goes on around every Ryder Cup has a “Teen Beat” quality to it.

And this Ryder Cup cycle things have started early. Ian Poulter was one of several players who skipped this week’s team event in Europe – which used to be called the Seve Trophy to honor the Spanish great Seve Ballesteros – and drew the wrath of 2010 Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie.

“I just feel that when you are selected for your country more of an effort might well have been made,” Montgomerie said. “Ian Poulter, not having qualified for the Tour Championship and having been picked for the last Ryder Cup team, I felt that a little more effort might have been made to come here.”

Monty quickly tried to quiet the inevitable controversy his comments would create: “Please don’t make any big issue of this,” he pleaded.

Too late.

Tim Finchem. During his Wednesday “State of the Tour” to the media at the Tour Championship, the commish said, “The BCS is blessed to have the kind of controversy they have. Everybody talks about it. . . . I hope we get talked about as much. It's great. That's what we want.”

The new “Saturday Night Live: Weekend Edition” show has an entertaining segment called “really,” which outwardly mocks public miscues and seems to fit here. Pining for BCS-type controversy . . . really?

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