Riding Out the Storm

By Rex HoggardJune 5, 2009, 4:00 pm
Bookmark and Share
DUBLIN, Ohio ' Thirty-six holes on the next best thing to a U.S. Open venue can be a grind. Tack on 36 holes of Open qualifying on Monday, which await many in this weeks field, and its hard to distinguish between the winners and losers Memorial week. Much like this weeks edition of Cut Line, rarely does the line between the top 70 and ties seem so blurred.
 
Made Cut
 
  • Mickelsons: Its good news for golf that Phil Mickelson plans to play next weeks St. Jude Championship and the U.S. Open. Its better news for those rocked by the news that Amy Mickelson had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
     
    The battle ahead is still daunting, but Lefty would not be packing his bags if things were as bad as originally feared. This, we all recall, is the same papa-to-be who picked his way around Pinehurst at the 1999 U.S. Open with a golf club in one hand and a beeper in the other vowing he would leave the national championship if his wife went into labor.
     
    If youre looking for signs, this would be a good one.
     
  • Erik Compton: The two-time heart transplant patient never stops amazing. Playing on a sponsor exemption at Memorial, Compton said he will honor the man he received his second heart from this week.
     
    Comptons second heart came from a man named Isaac, a 28-year-old who was from the Columbus, Ohio, area who died in a motorcycle crash in Florida a little over a year ago.
     
    Compton, who made the cut with rounds of 72-75, said hes been e-mailing Isaacs family and will meet them when the time is right. I wrote them a letter and said that Id be honoring him and making this memorable.
     
    He already has.
     

     
    Made Cut ' Did not finish (MDF)
     
  • Morgan Stanley: The embattled financial firm pulled its name from the marquee, its executives from the corporate tents, its clients from the pro-am, everything, it seems, except for its funding, because of the delicate position golf finds itself in during these troubled economic times.
     
    Yet from this curious chaos came the years best golf that didnt include an oversized check and trophy presentation. Wednesdays skin match between Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus was the most memorable exhibition since last years Ryder Cup.
     
    It may also be the last time the two greatest players to ever overlap a grip find themselves between the same ropes. If you didnt TiVo it, find it on YouTube. Its the closest thing to must-keep golf.
     
  • Caddie Slam: Wonder-jockey Calvin Borel will set out on Mine that Bird this Saturday looking to complete this years Triple Crown: Jockey Edition on two different rides. Remember Borel won the Kentucky Derby on Bird before going on to win the Preakness Stakes astride Rachel Alexandra.
     
    All of which begs an interesting question. Could a Tour caddie bounce between players and win all four of the seasons Grand Slam events. As best we can tell the Caddie Slam has never happened, but may we suggest Masters champion Angel Cabreras man, Ruben Yorio, take a 3-iron to Stevie Williams knee and slide into that AT&T bag for the next leg of the Grand Slam
     
  • Under six-foot tour: A caddie suggested this concept earlier this week and Cut Line was torn between the simple beauty of the idea and the utter lack of it ever happening.
     
    If your average golf fan wants to relate to a Tour player, forget Ernie Els long, athletic action or Tiger Woods barrel-chested motion and go straight to the diminutive likes of Luke Donald (5-foot-9) and Mike Weir (5-foot-9), both of whom are in the hunt this week at Muirfield Village but would never be early favorites in a pick-up basketball game.
     
    Look at a guy like Mark Wilson (5-foot-8), no one does more with less, said the caddie.
     
    Cut Line would like to nominate Corey Pavin commissioner and Ian Woosnam director of player relations.
     

     
    Missed Cut
     
  • Colin Montgomerie: Manny will be Manny, and Monty will be Monty ' sans the performance-enhancing drugs.
     
    Maybe the European selection committee picked the Scot to skipper the 2010 Ryder Cup team because hes never going to bore. Consider the news last week that Monty begged out of a pairing with American counterpart Corey Pavin at this weeks Wales Open at Celtic Manor, site of next years Ryder Cup.
     
    It all seems a little too gamey this early in the game and, besides, if Monty was so concerned about being shown up by his counterpart in front of his potential charges he neednt worry. Most of the European team was playing the Memorial.
     
  • Tim Clark: We like the South African. Hes overcome a birth defect that doesnt allow him to use a short-handled putter, an assortment of neck and back ailments and a game that often favors the chest-thumper over the chess player, but his behavior on Sunday at Colonial was OB.
     
    We understand that during the pitch of competition it is hard to gracious, particularly in defeat, but sidestepping the media after his playoff loss in Fort Worth, Texas, will be remembered long after that missed 7 footer fades from sight.
     
    The adage is that you learn more about a person in defeat than in victory, and Kenny Perrys behavior following his emotional loss at this years Masters is a perfect example of how far humble goes in the court of public opinion.
     
    Clark will win on Tour. Hes too good not to. But even if that payoff never comes, we hope he learns his actions matter either way.
     

    Email your thoughts to Rex Hoggard
     
    Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Memorial Tournament
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

    Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

    ''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''


    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


    Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

    ''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

    Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

    Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

    Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

    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.