Eye of the Beholder

By Rich LernerJune 21, 2010, 6:35 am

2010 U.S. Open

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – The USGA’s aim at the national championship sounds simple and reasonable: Identify the best player through a rigorous examination.

Rigorous? What we saw today made Computational Mechanics at MIT seem easy. In a typical U.S. Open game of he who bleeds the least wins, everybody looked like Jerry Quarry in the ring against  Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier at the same time.

And poor Dustin Johnson. He got clocked by Mike Tyson in the second round and never got up, a sad almost pitiful sight

U.S. Open Sundays can be damn cruel. They can also be sweet and sentimental. It was for Tom Watson.

Yet when Watson was about Johnson’s age he coughed up a U.S. Open at Winged Foot with a 79 in the final round. So Johnson should know before he reads the papers that before Watson ever won the first of his eight majors he suffered the same kind of searing pain Johnson has to be feeling now.

But Johnson’s not alone at the pain clinic.

There would be no Cherry Hills charge for Phil Mickelson. And goodness it looked possible when he drove the fourth. Then he three-putted. Invest in Phil at your own peril.

Now, instead of comparisons to Arnie, we’re left with echoes of Ben Hogan, who claimed that not a day went by in his life that he wasn’t gutted by the disappointment of that blown U.S. Open 50 years ago.  

Ernie Els will have to live with the missed putt at 15 as Hogan did the water ball at 17.

And The U.S. Golf Association will live with the bumpy greens and grumbling players and likely not lose an ounce of sleep. Par was protected. Mission accomplished.

As for the Frenchman, Gregory Havret came shockingly close to rounding out Pebble’s U.S. Open starting five: Nicklaus, Watson, Kite, Woods and Havret.  Sounds right to me.

Was it a great Open?  It had great moments and a couple of great rounds, notably from Mickelson on Friday and Woods on Saturday. But it won’t be recalled fondly the way Nicklaus in ’72, Watson in ’82 and Woods in 2000 are.

And when the tents come down and the dust settles, Pebble Beach will be beautiful again.

It was not, however on this Sunday, but for one man. Three back, Graeme McDowell shot 3 over. And won.

Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee:

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.