Thats a Wrap

By Rex HoggardNovember 16, 2009, 4:57 am
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Pat Conroy novels don’t have this many sub-plots and the crowded byway from Queens to Bethpage, N.Y., has never seen so many detours.

Officially the 128 assembled Tour types at Walt Disney World Resort played for just a single trophy, yet essentially the rewards were limitless. From every corner of the money list, from every turn of the tee sheet, battles large and small were won and, more often than not, lost on Sunday at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic.

Rich Beem began the final day tied for 31st and was projected outside the top 125 in earnings (128th). He’d panicked his way through a Friday 73, got a pep talk from his swing coach Cameron Doan before Round 3 and gutted out a 68-68 weekend that felt like a pair of 59s.

“Panic set in a little bit,” Beem admitted. “I was fixated on keeping my job, going to Hawaii (Sony Open), the Bob Hope. When someone tells you you can’t do your job next year it’s not a very good feeling.”

With that “Beemer” turned to the ever-changing scoring computer, which listed the former PGA champion at 125th in earnings. “I can’t handle this boys,” he sighed. “I got to go have a beer.”

All total it was a good day for former car stereo salesmen and beer vendors, as the unnerved became unhinged.

Jimmy Walker was headed for an adult beverage of his own, cruising along at 5 under through 16 holes and safely inside the money Mendoza Line when he followed a bad swing thought with a bad swing and a three-putt for double-bogey.

The par-4 17th was the final Kodak Challenge offering of the season, and Walker was a perfect snapshot of what happens to normally mild-mannered men when your job depends on how well you negotiate the final 492 yards of the final tournament.

It is, of course, the acme of foolishness to fixate on the last hole of the season. Of the 1,332 holes Walker played in 2009 there are as many “what ifs” as there were swings. In Tampa he was forced to withdraw with a neck injury before the final round, missing out on a check of any kind that would have made Disney a layup, not a lay-awake-at-night week.

Walker didn’t make things easy at the last hole. He missed the fairway right, the green right and ran his chip 5 feet by the hole. The clichés were ubiquitous. “Get up there, rock the shoulders and keep your head down. Left center,” he breathed deeply.

James Edmondson, the caddie for Ryan Palmer who played college golf with Walker’s looper Andy Sanders, inched to the edge of his seat: “You make these in your sleep, don’t you?” he asked. Or your nightmares.

Walker made the par save and took Beem’s place at the computer. He moved to 124th in earnings. Then No. 125. By the time the computer stop adding, Walker’s name remained inside the bubble, his hand wrapped firmly around a Bud Light and that flight home to San Antonio suddenly felt a lot shorter.

Nicholas Thompson was already headed home to south Florida by the time the processors stopped, similarly unaware of his 2010 status following an equally eventful finish.

After Thompson’s drive at the last settled between roots right of the fairway, he pulled a 6-iron, settled over the ball and swung hard neither concerned nor mindful of potential injury.

“I planned on this being my last tournament of the year,” he smiled widely. “I knew (par) would get me golden and (bogey) would probably do it.”

Following a blistering start, Thompson said he figured he needed to make about $100,000 to avoid a return to Q-School: “I went to Georgia Tech I can do the calculations on the fly,” he said during a five-minute interview during which he dropped from 123rd in earnings to 125th. He eventually settled in at No. 123.

Yet for every Walker and Thompson there were more than enough David Duvals and Robert Garriguses to go around.

Duval missed the cut and tumbled from 125th to 130th, while Garrigus also watched from his couch as he slid from 123rd to 127th.

Jeff Maggert, who putted like he had a pair of those thick white Mickey Mouse gloves on coming down the stretch, shot 70 to earn a ticket to Q-School and was in no mood for small talk.

“You guys don’t want to talk to me all year long, now you do,” sneered Maggert, who bogeyed the 16th and missed a 20 footer for birdie at the last.

Maggert’s a nice guy made mad man by circumstances and the simple law of the Tour jungle – perform or pay the price at Q-School.

There were other stories to tell on a Magic Kingdom-perfect Sunday. Players vying for the top 150 (exempt into the final stage of Q-School and limited 2010 status), top 70 (exempt into all invitational fields) and top 30 (U.S. Open and Masters starts).

Jonathan Byrd shot 68, tied for 11th and moved from 72nd to 67th; while D.A. Points was 7 under through 12, tied for seventh and jumped from 77th to 66th.

“That was my major goal this week to finish in the top 70,” Points said. “I’ve been leaning on Mr. (Arnold) Palmer for invites. It’s going to be nice not to have to ask, and I have a couple top-70 bonuses written into my contracts, so it was nice.”

Sunday at Mickey’s place was like an episode of the 1950s cop series “Naked City,” complete with eight million stories. All were compelling, many were gut wrenching.

And in case you missed it, Stephen Ames took the trophy after George McNeill’s putt at the second extra frame caught more lip than a Manny Pacquiao left cross. At least that’s the rumor.

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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.

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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

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm