Hooks Cuts Burke Edition

By Rich LernerJune 7, 2009, 4:00 pm
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DUBLIN, Ohio ' Hooks and Cuts celebrates the great Jack Burke, Jr., one of this years Memorial Tournament honorees. Burke is old school to the core and dispenses wisdom like Tiger Woods drills 4-footers, so pay attention as we go along. Burkes best players ever: (Sam) Snead was probably the most creative ball striker, (Ben) Hogan the most consistent, (Jack) Nicklaus and Tiger the two best putters.
  • If Tiger starts hitting fairways as routinely as he does those must make 10-footers or outrageous chip-ins, then well be looking at, in the words of colleague Dave Shedloski, a Category 5 force with 8-, 10- and 12-shot wins.
  • Three time Masters champion Jimmy Demaret once worked as a club maker for Burkes dad at River Oaks and actually used to baby sit Jack, Jr. What did the kid learn from the legend? How not to drink bourbon, he said.
  • Jack Nicklaus played high school basketball for the Upper Arlington Golden Bears. Seriously, thats the nickname. He averaged 18 points a game and shot 90 percent from the charity stripe. Its not surprising that he was able to focus at the free throw line.
  • Burke spent a lot of time around Hogan. They dont realize how generous he was. People just think Hogan was this guy that nobody really knew. They even did a book, The Hogan Mystique. Ben watched his dad kill himself. He had a tough life. It wasnt easy. He was a very insecure person. Thats why he practiced so much. He wasnt secure with the way he was playing. Even if he shot 66, that wasnt good enough. So he went from insecure to secure and back to insecure every day.
  • Sift through the muck and mire of money and personality in sports and all fans really want to see is a guy produce in the clutch. Jack did it. Tiger does it ' almost every damn time. Zach Johnson on Tiger: If it needs to be made, its made.
  • Bedrock fundamental Burke learned from his father: If you cant come to the dinner table and tell everybody what you did last night you probably shouldnt be doin it.
  • Jim Furyk jokingly chided the media, saying of the microscopic critiques of Tigers swing, I wish you guys would quit ticking him off.
  • Burke on his double major 1956 season: I dont pay much attention to what happened 50 years ago.'
  • Burke on how he got it done: I just trusted my swing. All I got is me. You cant be somebody else out here or Id have been Sam Snead.
  • After a mild meltdown Friday, then a ridiculous 63 Saturday, then a quadruple bogey-8 on the 14th Sunday that took him out of contention, Geoff Ogilvys a candidate for HBOs psychiatrist-driven In Treatment.
  • Burke on the modern players reliance on swing gurus: We were all teachers so we could teach ourselves. I didnt have Vincent Lombardi sittin behind me, coachin me to go play. You cant look for the coach.
  • At what point do the chip-ins like the one Tiger made at 11 stop blowing the mind?
  • Bedrock fundamentals of the golf swing Jackie learned from his old man: Make the head of the club point at your target, the shaft finish on your neck and try to hit the inside of the ball. Thats about all you need to know.
  • If its Tiger and Phil down the stretch at Bethpage itll rock like Giants Stadium in late December. Given the affection New Yorkers have had for Phil and given whats happening with Amy, Phil will be the Giants in that scenario and Tiger the Eagles. Itll make the Tiger/Rocco epic by the Pacific sound like a quiet church service.
  • The modern game could use a Jimmy Demaret. If you were around Demaret, Burke said, you were going to have a good time. He was a singer, you know. He didnt know if he wanted to sing or play golf. But he could do both.
  • Burke owns Champions Golf Club in Houston and even now, well into his 80s, he walks the ground picking up paper. If you can pick up paper, he says, you can always get a job. In fact, when they run you off this announcer thing youll have a job. Call me if they run you off, will you?
  • Unofficial survey of Golf Channel producers and staff says the Memorial is the best non-major tournament of the year. Its played on a phenomenal golf course in a town that embraces the event with good restaurants and good winners. Quail Hollows right there for all the same reasons.
  • Finally this absolute pearl from Burke: Muirfield has an identity and Jacks very well aware of that. Augusta has an identity. You can lose your identity over night. Lehman Brothers did. Just do the wrong thing or get on the wrong side of the law and youre history. The game teaches you that. There are white stakes. Just keep the ball between the white stakes and youll have no problem. If the USGA rule book was put on the tables of all the boards in this country we wouldnt have anybody going to jail. Those rules keep this game alive. No what if meetings out here. If youre out, youre out. Just play; whatever lie youre in, whatever weather youre in.
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  • Spieth stalls on Moving Day at Australian Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 25, 2017, 4:30 am

    Moving Day? Not so much for Jordan Spieth in Round 3 of the Emirates Australian Open.

    Spieth, the defending champion and also a winner in 2014, continued to struggle with his putter, shooting 1-under 70 on Saturday at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney.

    “I was leaving them short yesterday and today it was kind of misreading, over-reading. I missed a lot of putts on the high side – playing wind or more break,” he said. “I just really haven’t found a nice marriage between line and speed to get the ball rolling.”

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    The world No. 2 started the day eight off the pace and was unable to make a charge. He had three birdies and two bogeys, including a 4 at the par-5 finishing hole.

    Spieth praised his ball-striking in the wind-swept conditions, but lamented his putting, which has hampered him throughout the week.

    “Ball-striking’s been fantastic. Just gotta get the putts to go,” he said.

    Spieth, who is scheduled to compete in next week’s Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, is still holding out hope for a third title in four years at this event. He fired a brilliant 63 in very windy conditions to prevail in ’14.

    “Tomorrow is forecasted as even windier than today so you can still make up a lot of ground,” he said. “A few years ago I shot a final round that was a nice comeback and anything like that tomorrow can still even be enough to possibly get the job done.”

    South Korean LPGA stars lead KLPGA team

    By Randall MellNovember 24, 2017, 10:32 pm

    South Korea’s LPGA team of all-stars took the early lead Friday on the Korean LPGA Tour in a team event featuring twice as much star power as this year’s Solheim Cup did.

    Eight of the world’s top 20 players are teeing it up in the ING Life Champions Trophy/ Inbee Park Invitational in Gyeongju. There were only four players among the top 20 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings when the United States defeated Europe in Des Moines, Iowa.

    Park led the LPGA team to a 3 ½-to-2 ½ lead on the first day.

    Park, who has been recuperating from a back injury for most of the second half of this season, teamed with Jeongeun Lee5 to defeat Hye Jin Choi and Ji Hyun Kim, 5 and 4, in the lead-off four-ball match.

    So Yeon Ryu and Park, former world No. 1s and LPGA Rolex Player of the Year Award winners, will be the marquee pairing on Saturday. They will lead off foursomes against Ji Young Kim and Min Sun Kim.

    Nine of the 11 South Koreans who won LPGA events this year are competing. Sung Hyun Park and I.K. Kim are the only two who aren’t.

    The fourball results:

    LPGA’s Inbee Park/ Jeongeun Lee5 def. Hye Jin Choi/Ji Hyun Kim, 5 and 4.

    LPGA’s Mirim Lee/Amy Yang def.  Ji Hyun Oh/Min Sun Kim, 3 and 1.

    LPGA’s M.J. Hur/Mi Hyang Lee halved Ji Hyun Kim/Ji Young Kim.

    KLPGA’s Ha Na Jang/Sun Woo Bae def. Sei Young Kim/Hyo Joo Kim, 5 and 4.

    LPGA’s Na Yeon Choi/Jenny Shin halved Jin Young Ko/Da Yeon Lee

    LPGA’s In Gee Chun/Eun Hee Ji halved Jeongeun Lee6/Char Young Kim.

    NOTE: The KPGA uses numerals after a player’s name to distinguish players with the exact same name.


    Cut Line: Lyle faces third bout with cancer

    By Rex HoggardNovember 24, 2017, 5:40 pm

    In this week’s holiday edition, Cut Line is thankful for the PGA Tour’s continued progress on many fronts and the anticipation that only a Tiger Woods return can generate.

    Made Cut

    The Fighter. That was the headline of a story Cut Line wrote about Jarrod Lyle following his second bout with cancer a few years ago, so it’s both sad and surreal to see the affable Australian now bracing for a third fight with leukemia.

    Lyle is working as an analyst for Channel 7’s coverage of this week’s Emirates Australian Open prior to undergoing another stem cell transplant in December.

    “I’ve got a big month coming,” Lyle said. “I’m back into hospital for some really heavy-duty treatment that’s really going to determine how things pan out for me.”

    Twice before things have panned out for Lyle. Let’s hope karma has one more fight remaining.

    Changing times. Last season the PGA Tour introduced a policy to add to the strength of fields, a measure that had long eluded officials and by most accounts was a success.

    This season the circuit has chosen to tackle another long-standing thorn, ridiculously long pro-am rounds. While there seems little the Tour can do to speed up play during pro-am rounds, a new plan called a 9&9 format will at least liven things up for everyone involved.

    Essentially, a tournament hosting a pro-am with four amateurs can request the new format, where one professional plays the first nine holes and is replaced by another pro for the second nine.

    Professionals will have the option to request 18-hole pro-am rounds, giving players who limit practice rounds to just pro-am days a chance to prepare, but otherwise it allows Tour types to shorten what is an admittedly long day while the amateurs get a chance to meet and play with two pros.

    The new measure does nothing about pace of play, but it does freshen up a format that at times can seem tired, and that’s progress.

    Tweet of the week: @Love3d (Davis Love III‏) “Thanks to Dr. Flanagan (Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center) for the new hip and great care! Can’t wait to get back to (the PGA Tour).”

    Love offered the particularly graphic tweet following hip replacement surgery on Tuesday, a procedure that he admitted he’d delayed because he was “chicken.”

    The surgery went well and Love is on pace to return to the Tour sometime next spring. As for the possibility of over-sharing on social media, we’ll leave that to the crowd.

    Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

    Distance control. The Wall Street Journal provided the octagon for the opening blows of a clash that has been looming for a long time.

    First, USGA executive director Mike Davis told The Journal that the answer to continued distance gains may be a restricted-flight golf ball with an a la carte rule that would allow different organizations, from the Tour all the way down to private clubs, deciding which ball to use.

    “You can’t say you don’t care about distance, because guess what? These courses are expanding and are predicted to continue to expand,” Davis said. “The impact it has had has been horrible.”

    A day later, Wally Uihlein, CEO of Acushnet, which includes the Titleist brand, fired back in a letter to The Journal, questioning among other things how distance gains are putting a financial burden on courses.

    “The only people that seem to be grappling with advances in technology and physical fitness are the short-sighted golf course developers and the supporting golf course architectural community who built too many golf courses where the notion of a 'championship golf course' was brought on line primarily to sell real estate,” Uihlein wrote.

    For anyone paying attention the last few years, this day was inevitable and the likely start of what will be a drawn out and heated process, but Cut Line’s just not sure anyone wins when it’s over.

    Tiger, take II. Tiger Woods’ return to competition next week at the Hero World Challenge was always going to generate plenty of speculation, but that hyperbole reached entirely new levels this week as players began giving personal accounts of the new and improved 14-time major champion.

    “I did talk to him, and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years,’” Day said as he prepared for the Australian Open. “If he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.”

    Rickie Fowler added to the frenzy when he was asked this month if the rumors that Woods is driving the ball by him, by 20 to 30 yards by some reports, are true?

    “Oh, yeah,” he told Golf.com. “Way by.”

    Add to all this a recent line that surfaced in Las Vegas that Woods is now listed at 20-1 to win a major in 2018, and it seems now may be a good time for a restraint.

    Golf is better with Woods, always has been and always will be, but it may be best to allow Tiger time to find out where his body and game are before we declare him back.

    Missed Cut

    Searching for answers. Twelve months ago, Hideki Matsuyama was virtually unstoppable and, regardless of what the Official World Golf Ranking said, arguably the best player on the planet.

    Now a year removed from that lofty position, which featured the Japanese star finishing either first or second in six of his seven starts as the New Year came and went, Matsuyama has faded back to fifth in the world and on Sunday finished fifth, some 10 strokes behind winner Brooks Koepka, at the Dunlop Phoenix.

    “That hurt,” Matsuyama told the Japan Times. “I don’t know whether it’s a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well. It seems there are many issues to address.”

    Since his last victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Matsuyama has just two top-10 finishes on Tour and he ended his 2016-17 season with a particularly poor performance at the Presidents Cup.

    While Matsuyama’s take seems extreme considering his season, there are certainly answers that need answering.

    Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

    Updated at 9:50 p.m. ET

    Images and footage from Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson's round Friday at Trump National in Jupiter, Fla., alongside President Donald Trump:

    Original story:

    Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

    President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.