Second Chances

By Rex HoggardMay 22, 2009, 4:00 pm
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As we inch closer to the dog days, its getting harder and harder to make the weekend. Cut Lines rigid weekend standards, however, prove to be more of a sliding scale as we commend and condemn the PGA of America, European Tour and Adam Scott.
 
Made Cut
 
  • PGA of America: Check the lineup for the Senior PGA Championship and it reads like a whos who of American classics.
     
    In recent years the Senior PGA has made stops at venerable venues like Aronimink (Philadelphia), Laurel Valley (Pennsylvania) and Oak Hill (New York). This weeks stop at Canterberry is another gem.
     
    In baseball, there is no going back to Ebbets Field, and the current Soldier Field in Chicago appears as if it ate the original version, but in golf these classics can be spruced up for the modern game with little heavy lifting and are a direct link to the games past.
     
  • Zach Johnson: Two weeks ago in the confines of TPC Sawgrass mens grill Johnson was still searching for answers behind his final-round meltdown at the Quail Hollow Championship.
     
    Im going to put it behind me, he sighed. I didnt dwell on it, and thats a good thing.
     
    A week later in San Antonio he closed the Quail Hollow chapter for the rest of us with a third-round 60, his second 60 on Tour, and his sixth Tour title. Since 2007, only Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have more victories and consider this, among the games elite players Johnson is the best at hitting fairways. Dialed back grooves in 2010 are going to make the kid from Cedar Rapids a perennial contender.
     

     
    Missed Cut ' Did not finish (MDF)
     
  • PGA of America: Its a Cut Line first, an organization makes it through the first two rounds for a spot in the weekend only to fall on the 54-hole axe. Happens to Tour players all the time, just ask the 12 who were sent packing after three rounds at The Players.
     
    Ryo Ishikawa may have crafted himself a handy resume on the Japan Golf Tour, but how does three missed cuts and a 71st-place finish on the PGA Tour qualify anyone for a special exemption into this years PGA Championship?
     
    Ishikawa may go on to be the world-beater everyone claims he is, but right now there is much more style than substance to the young mans game and the PGAs freebie has a bottom-line feel to it. Glorys Last Shot seems to have taken a shot to the kidneys with this one.
     
  • Shane Lowry: Easy to like the cherubic Irish lad and until we walk a mile in his soft-spikes its impossible to say whether he made the right decision to turn pro.
     
    The Walker Cup, however, is a different animal, particularly for a player who cut his competitive teeth on Irelands Home International squad. We once asked Jason Gore the highlight of his golf career and the big man didnt hesitate ' the 1997 Walker Cup. I could hardly get the tee in the ground I was so nervous, he smiled.
     
    There is also evidence that an intense Walker Cup bout is the best way to prepare for life as a pro. In 2005 when J.B. Holmes blew away the Q-School field he said his play was the direct result of the confidence he gained in that years match. Two years later hard-swinging Dustin Johnson made a similar connection.
     
    The point? Playing for glory and country trumps even the largest purses?
     
  • Corning Classic: Our colleague Randall Mell wrote it best, Norman Rockwell didnt paint Corning (N.Y.) to life. It just feels that way.
     
    Its hard to blame the economy or LPGA Tour or Corning for pulling the plug on the little tournament that could, but that doesnt change the fact that golf will lose something special without small-market stops like Corning.
     
    Maybe the game has outgrown the likes of Corning (pop. 10,321), and thats too bad.
     

     
    Missed Cut
     
  • European Tour: In the Irish twilight and amid the glow of the Europeans crushing victory over the U.S. side at the 2006 Ryder Cup, Sergio Garcia used his bully pulpit to take a back-handed swipe at the Nationwide Tour.
     
    Hopefully we won't get asked if the Nationwide Tour is the second-best tour in the world anymore, El Nino said in a not-so-subtle shot at all of those who argued the Nationwide circuit was deeper than the European Tour.
     
    But Lowrys victory at last weeks Irish Open begs the question: How is it possible a relatively unheralded amateur can clip the best on the worlds second-best circuit?
     
    Lowry is the third amateur in recent years to win on the Euro circuit. By comparison, Daniel Summerhays is the only amateur to ever win a Nationwide Tour event in 2007 (for the record, Phil Mickelson was the last amateur to win on the PGA Tour in 91 in Tucson).
     
    Second best, indeed.
     
  • PGA Tour: Seems there is no instant in instant replay on the games biggest stage. The video of Kenny Perry during a playoff at this years FBR Open is inconclusive, at best, and officials were rightfully quick to absolve him of any wrongdoing.
     
    Why this came up more than three months after the fact boggles the mind.
     
    And they think they have problems with the video review process at the new Yankee Stadium, which takes a mere eight minutes because of the location of the review booth. Were guessing Tour rules chief Mark Russell has never heard of YouTube
     
  • Adam Scott: As if things werent bad enough for the struggling Aussie. But five consecutive missed cuts, a two-way miss and a cold putter were just the tip of Scotts emotional baggage last week.
     
    According to reports, Kate Hudson, whom Scott was linked with earlier this year in Hawaii, is reportedly seeing Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. Whats next, a flat tire on the G4?
     

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    Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

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    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.

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