Hooks and Cuts: U.S. Open

By Rich LernerJune 15, 2011, 10:18 pm

BETHESDA, Md. – On the grounds of Congressional Country Club, storylines are forming and excitement is mounting at the 111th edition of the U.S. Open.

– Nos. 1 and 2 in the world are a combined 0-83 at major championships. Being No. 1 and 2 in the world doesn’t mean what it used to.

– There are maybe 40 to 50 players this week you could make a reasonable case for who could win this thing.

Tiger Woods is out, but not done. Remember, he tied for fourth in three of his last five major starts. Not bad. Not Tiger-like, certainly, but not bad.

– Stories that could make the front page of the New York Times: A win by teenagers, Ryo Ishikawa or Matteo Manassero; a win by Phil Mickelson; a win by an amateur; or a win by a long-shot qualifier.

–  Entry to the Hall of Fame gets sealed with a win by Jim Furyk or Angel Cabrera.

– These are hard times in Europe, with austerity in Ireland and Spain, and promiscuity in Italy and France. The Continent’s most stable currency is its golfers.

– Now 80, Ken Venturi’s back at Congressional celebrating his 1964 U.S. Open victory. The boy who stuttered turned to golf because it was the loneliest sport he could find. He’d play Harding Park in San Francisco, announcing as he played, “Venturi has this putt to win the U.S. Open.” Not only did he win his country’s Open, he won its affection as the preeminent announcer of his time. Early on, he asked Bing Crosby for an interview at Pebble Beach. When he started talking too quickly, Bing took the microphone and interviewed Ken in his slow, silky manner. “This is Bing Crosby. Today I got Ken Venturi and we’re gonna talk some golf.” What he taught Ken was that “people don’t listen to people who talk fast and loud.”

– Long-bomber Gary Woodland could become a superstar if he pulls it together at a big hitters' park like Congressional, which is very well suited for his considerable talents.

– Long shots worth a thought: Brandt Jobe and Harrison Frazar.

– The balance of power has shifted with Lee Westwood and company, taking world ranking points aboard their G5s to wherever international banking giants are doing business in emerging markets, ready to hand out sizable appearance fees. The Euros have never been averse to upfront money, nor to tapping their inner Vasco da Gama. 

– Your champion probably hasn’t been discussed in any of the pre-game shows to any great length. Recent major winners Charl Schwartzel, Martin Kaymer, Louis Oosthuizen, Graeme McDowell, Y.E. Yang, Lucas Glover and Cabrera weren’t in any discussions I can recall. So why not say a Bo Van Pelt? Or a Bill Haas? Or a Martin Laird?

– Nice to see Steve Irwin in his first U.S. Open at age 36. His dad was pretty good in this championship. Hale Irwin won three of 'em. Steve’s wife Jessi will caddie.

– I would not be shocked to see Manassero at 18 become the youngest ever to win the U.S. Open. He’s that polished and that good.

Luke Donald and Westwood are Nos. 1 and 2, but fellow Englishmen Paul Casey, Ian Poulter and Justin Rose are also more than capable.

– Nice to see Sam Saunders earning his berth into the U.S. Open. His grandfather had a pretty good moment at this championship in 1960.

– Donald and Westwood are best at accruing world ranking points, but the public - at least in America - seems to be saying, “Convince me. Win a U.S. Open, not the Indonesian Open.” Then again, without a single reigning American major champion, and without The Ryder Cup, is anyone listening to what America says?

Sergio Garcia could linger well into the weekend, as strong as he is tee to green.

– The sentimental choices are Phil, Steve Stricker and Rory McIlroy.

– Wouldn’t it be bizarre to see Stevie Williams hugging Adam Scott after a winning putt on Sunday?

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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