Hooks and Cuts From the Tour Championship

By Rich LernerSeptember 23, 2010, 10:09 pm

2006 The TOUR Championship presented by Coca-ColaUnseating No. 1 in any sport should be done emphatically. Think George Foreman destroying Smokin’ Joe Frazier. Phil Mickelson could finish second this week and overtake Tiger Woods. Would you be convinced? Hardly. So, the way to do this is to win the Tour Championship, win Player of the Year for the first time in his career and become No. 1. Now that would be a big Sunday.

  • If they voted guys into the Hall of Fame just based on media accessibility Ernie Els waltzes in. That said, the “Easy” moniker doesn’t fully describe him. He could be tough on those around him and on himself, particularly over these last eight, majorless seasons. Still, to be acknowledged as one of the best of your era has to be gratifying in ways most of us will never know. Well done, Ernie.
  • Difficult to find a guy who enjoyed greater stature with fewer victories than Tom Lehman. He only won five, but was No. 1 for a brief period in the mid-90s and always projected great humility to go with 1950s values. Tom won the Payne Stewart Award, but he was always more Jimmy Stewart than Payne Stewart.
  • Player of the Year is dominating discussions, but I always thought the Vardon Trophy for low scoring average was a great distinction because it speaks to season-long consistency. Heading into the Tour Championship Matt Kuchar leads by a thread over Steve Stricker.
  • Laura Davies isn’t in the Hall, but she is a legend. Davies’ victory last week in Europe was her 76th worldwide. And even if Davies doesn’t earn the requisite points, she’ll be enshrined someday by the veteran’s committee. She still plays the game like a 14-year-old who doesn’t know how hard it really is.
  • Partner Frank Nobilo believes the U.S. is the favorite in Wales unless the weather turns nasty. He thinks the European team is diluted without Paul Casey, Justin Rose and Robert Karlsson. That point might be driven home with a sledgehammer if Casey’s holding the trophy and a $10 million check Sunday at East Lake.
  • President George H.W. Bush being inducted to the Hall has sparked some backlash. Is it enough for a President to love the game, to have supported its various causes like First Tee? Does President Clinton then deserve consideration? Difficult to say, but maybe a Presidential wing of the Hall of Fame might be a suitable manner in which to honor them.
  • First he said he’d like a crack at a slumping Tiger, now Rory McIlroy says that winning a major or even a world championship event would be bigger than the Ryder Cup. If that’s how he feels, fine, but I figured he was heady enough to play to the base in Europe, and that base is rabid for the Ryder Cup. Now, he’ll have to deal with a full court press from the press. I’ll be curious to see if his opinion changes after he experiences the cup for the first time. Just about every player’s blown away by the hyper-charged atmosphere.
  • Masters adding another hour of television is like Sports Illustrated adding five more pages to its swimsuit issue. Who’s going to argue with it?
  • I like the idea of clearing the slate for a Sunday shootout for the $10 million. Simplify and amplify.
  • If Phil does win this week, it would make the Americans considerably more imposing next week.
  • For pure entertainment value, Monty will hammer Pavin 6-and-4 in the captains’ press conferences.
  • On a golf trip last week with some childhood pals, I disappeared on my partner one day on the 14th hole. I was right of right playing a game of oak tree Ping Pong and with another group coming down the adjacent 15th I had to wait. Eventually I landed in a greenside bunker. My partner was left of the green and needed a club. After blasting from the sand, I jumped in the cart to hustle over and get him a club. He took a 58 degree, and stubbed it 5 feet. I zoomed away in the cart to go back to rake the trap. He barked, “Hey I need another club.” I fired back, “What the hell do you need another club for? Your ball went 5 feet.” I gave him his 52 degree. He hit a perfect scoop-chunk-lift and of course it went smack in the hole for a par. The game we play is so much funnier than the game the pros play.
Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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