Red White and True Blue

By Rex HoggardJanuary 19, 2011, 1:54 am

2012 Ryder CupTo the surprise of . . . well, no one, Davis Love III will be named America’s 27th Ryder Cup captain just before lunch on Thursday and with that bit of housekeeping out of the way will come real speculation.

That Love would be Team USA’s next skipper was common knowledge to anyone who has not been hiding under one of those stones that was hurled in the direction of former captain Corey Pavin following America’s Monday loss to the Europeans last year in Wales.

A source close to the situation confirmed as much to on Dec. 16 and DL3 was the consensus selection long before that. Love has the prerequisite credentials, 20 PGA Tour wins with a major high card (1997 PGA), six Ryder Cup starts with a 9-12-5 record (he’s also 16-8-4 in six Presidents Cups) and was one of Pavin’s assistants last year at Celtic Manor.

But now, with the formalities out of the way, the real question looms – what kind of captain will the 46-year-old be?

Love has played for six different Ryder Cup captains, from the bold Hal Sutton in 2004 to the measured Ben Crenshaw in ’99, but it will likely be the influence of two friends and a departed father that will set the standard for DL3’s captaincy.

Davis Love III
Davis Love played on six Ryder Cup teams. (Getty Images)

Fred Couples, whose laissez faire work at the 2009 Presidents Cup earned him an encore performance in Australia later this year, is the clinical extreme to Love’s legendary “type A” intensity. When Couples ventures to Sea Island, Ga., to visit his longtime friend the running joke is that it’s impossible to get one guy (Couples) off the couch and away from the TV while Love never met a distraction, from turkey hunting to paddle boarding, worth ignoring.

Still, the success of “Boom Boom’s” laid back schtick at Harding Park did not go unnoticed.

If Love were paying attention, and he was, he learned a few essentials: pair players comfortably, stock the team room with copious amounts of adult beverages and Ping-Pong tables and make sure the rain suits don’t leak (insert obligatory Pavin joke here).

America’s top dozen players need guidance and support at the biennial grudge match, not a babysitter.

The intrinsic value of a Ryder Cup captain, however, is often defined by the details, minutia that often influences the outcome of the matches and defines a captaincy but goes largely unnoticed.

Critics gauge Ryder Cup success from 30,000 feet, while good captains make a difference down in the weeds.

Captains like Paul Azinger, whose tireless handiwork led to victory in 2008 at Valhalla. From his behind-the-scenes tinkering with the selection process to an ingenious “pod” system and fan engagement, Azinger’s influence was less about what happened between the ropes than it was everything he did to make sure things ran smoothly off the golf course.

Love is a detail guy, cut straight from the Azinger mold, which means if there is an advantage to be had in 2012 at Medinah he will find it. Consider Love’s first-year stint as tournament host of the McGladrey Classic. Although he joked that he received a disproportionate amount of credit for the first-year event, brother/tournament director Mark Love told a much different story.

“He was always at the golf course when he was home making sure things ran smoothly,” Mark Love said in October. “And next week when we start taking things down he’ll be there. It’s just the way he is.”

Love’s Ryder Cup record also offers insight into what type of captain he will be. He’s had 12 different partners in 20 Ryder Cup team matches, including a 2-1 record paired with Tiger Woods, which suggests the University of North Carolina product was viewed as something of a swing man by former captains.

Good pairings are based on personality rather than playing styles, and a versatile utility player like Love will be drawn to likeminded teammates. Guys like Zach Johnson and Stewart Cink, who may not have the best team records but are easily interchangeable in any format, will factor heavily in 2012.

And finally expect Love to pull a page from his father’s coaching style. Davis Love Jr. died in a tragic 1988 plane crash, but the famed teaching pro’s legacy lives on.

In his book 'Every Shot I Take,' Love offered an interesting take on his father, and some insight into the passion he will bring to next year’s matches.

“I wish every golfer could have a kind of golfing education I had,” Love wrote.

To no one’s surprise, that education culminates late next year outside of Chicago.

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

Masters victory

Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

Victory at Valderrama

Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
Getty Images

Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.