Going the Extra Green Mile

By Rex HoggardMay 1, 2009, 4:00 pm
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Worse thing about missing the cut at Quail Hollow ' after, of course, the inevitable cash flow issues that follow a week without a paycheck ' is not being around for what is shaping up to be an epic weekend with the world Nos. 1 and 2 on an apparent collision course.
 
Made Cut
 
  • Quail Hollow Championship: Nowhere in the original Rules of Golf was it written that the game had to resemble child birth and its refreshing to see the scoring pendulum firmly swing back into red numbers.
     
    Tiger Woods tied the front-nine scoring record on Thursday, 69 players finished Round 1 under par and the top of the board looked like the stuff of marketing fantasy, with Woods and Phil Mickelson sitting first and tied for second, respectively.
     
    Good fortune only goes so far, and Quail Hollow officials dialed down the course for this years event, clipping the rough at 2 inches, in an attempt to liven up the festivities Augusta National style.
     
    We dont mind letting them go 12, 14 under, said tournament director Kym Hougham. We want some fun for our fans and the players.
     
    Done and done.
     
  • Nationwide Tour: The LPGAs decision to play last week in Mexico is a debate for another day, but Nationwide Tour officials deserve an attaboy for acting quickly and wisely to temporarily pull the plug on the Mexico Open.
     
    It often seems as if the Tour cant win with so many competing interest (see World Golf Championship item below), but postponing the event early was best for everyone involved and showed a refreshing level of concern for the players and the people who stage the event.
     
    A significant number of lives have been lost in Mexico, which is tragic. There are more important things for people to focus on at the moment, Nationwide Tour president Bill Calfee said in a statement.
     
    Missed Cut ' Did not finish (MDF)
     
  • WGC-HSBC TGIF LOL Champions: Or maybe they can shorten it to the Buy-A-Vowel Open. In one corner, we applaud the Tour for putting the world back in the World Golf Championships ' seems the Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., atlas only included a map of the Lower 48 ' but are flummoxed by an event that doesnt offer official money or a Masters invite.
     
    Call it a WGC Lite and, to be brutally honest, the entire affair falls under the wrong execution of the right idea flag.
     
    The $7 million event will be played in Shanghai, China, Nov. 5-8, the fourth WGC and the only world event not played in the United States. And while Tiger Woods and defending champion Sergio Garcia have said they will play the event, news that a HSBC win will not be considered an official Tour victory (read: no two-year exemption) and earnings wont count toward a players yearly haul has caused a metaphorical double take from players and pundits.
     
    Wow, that's weird, a bewildered Anthony Kim said of all the small print that accompanied this weeks announcement.
     
    With the HSBC played so late in the season, a week before the Tours final stop at Disney, officials are concerned that such a large payout could up end the money list, but the middle ground officials are trying to walk is too murky.
     
    Asterisks are for baseball records and insurance contracts, not World Golf Championships.
     
  • One-in-Four Rule: The concept crops up a bit more regularly as bullish markets turn bear and corporate sponsorships thin like the Quail Hollow rough, but the curse of the independent contractor gained t traction last week when Stewart Cink, a much louder voice than most because of his position on the Tours Policy Board, called the one-in-four concept a pretty popular proposal right now thats circulating around the players and staff.
     
    Cink went on to couch his comments and, as is always the case with these types of affronts to independent contractors everywhere, the devil is in the details.
     
    One longtime Tour observer said the plan that is currently being circulated around the practice ground is to exclude the top five money winners from the requirement.
     
    Lets get this straight, the only way a one-in-four rule works is with Woods blessing and the only way to get his blessing is to exclude him from it. And they say fixing the economy is hard.
     

    Missed Cut
     
  • Creativity:It seems originality took a vacation a few years back when tournaments started doling out jackets to go along with those oversized checks.
     
    According to a recent Tour release, Augusta National was the first to award its champion a jacket in 1949. Good stuff, everybody likes green. But in the years that followed seven more events have made the jacket a champions staple, including three different shades of blue (Quail Hollow, light blue; Arnold Palmer Invitational, dark blue; FBR Open, just plain blue), a Seersucker (Memphis) and two Tartans (Heritage and Colonial).
     
    May we suggest a houndstooth coat for the winner of the LPGAs Kraft Nabisco Championship, a pea coat for whoever weathers the Crosby weather at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and a straitjacket for the last man standing the next time the U.S. Open is played at Shinnecock.
     
  • British Media: This is a bit of a 180 degree turn from our take on a similar issue last year, but the victory wasnt 24 hours old and the championship still some three months away and the U.K. press was already carving up Zurich Classic winner Jerry Kelly for saying he would skip this years British Open to play the Tours Milwaukee tournament.
     
    Full disclosure: the Open Championship ranks first in the Cut Line Grand Slam power ranking. The history, the quirky venues, everything except for the food works. But Kelly is not Kenny Perry, who ducked three of the four majors last year on his way to Valhalla glory, and Milwaukee is more than just an opposite-field event.
     
    The U.S. Bank isnt Kellys fifth major, it is his second or third, if not his first. The man bleeds Wisconsin red, has never won the Milwaukee stop and is loyal like a Packers fan.
     
    The British press may not understand Kellys motivation, and he never asked them to try.
     

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  • Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

    Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

    Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

    The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

    Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

    "I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

    Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

    "From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

    "There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."

    Move over Lydia, a new Ko is coming to LPGA

    By Randall MellNovember 22, 2017, 5:11 pm

    Another gifted young South Korean will be joining the LPGA ranks next year.

    Jin Young Ko, the Korean LPGA Tour star, informed the American-based LPGA on Sunday night that she will be taking up membership next year. Ko earned the right by winning the LPGA’s KEB Hana Bank Championship as a nonmember in South Korea in October.

    Ko, 22, no relation to Lydia Ko, first burst on to the international spotlight with her run into contention at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry two years ago. She led there through 54 holes, with Inbee Park overtaking her in the final round to win.

    With 10 KLPGA Tour titles, three in each of the last two seasons, Ko has risen to No. 19 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.

    Ko told GolfChannel.com Sunday afternoon that she was struggling over the decision, with a Monday deadline looming.

    “It’s a difficult decision to leave home,” Ko said after the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, when she was still undecided. “The travelling far away, on my own, the loneliness, that’s what is difficult.”

    Ko will be the favorite to win the LPGA’s Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award next year. South Koreans have won that award the last three years. Sung Hyun Park won it this year, In Gee Chun last year and Sei Young Kim in 2015. South Korean-born players have won the last four, with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko winning it in 2014. Ko was born in South Korea and moved to New Zealand when she was 6.

    Ko released this statement through the LPGA on Wednesday: 

    "It has been my dream since I was young to play on the LPGA Tour and I look forward to testing myself against the best players on a worldwide stage. I know it is going to be tough but making a first win as an LPGA member and winning the Rolex Rookie of the Year award would be two of the biggest goals I would like to achieve next year."