Hooks Cuts from Butch to Calc

By Rich LernerApril 24, 2007, 4:00 pm
  • Butch Harmon tutoring Phil Mickelson certainly adds a new wrinkle to the Tiger/Phil rivalry that were still waiting to play out, but mostly it speaks to the rock star status of todays instructors. Years ago, Jack Nicklaus took advice from Gardner Dickinson and Jim Flick in addition to his longtime mentor, Jack Grout, and it barely registered. With no contracts, drafts or drug scandals, golfs hungry for scraps of news.
  • Lorena Ochoas character and talent are undeniable, but her ascension to world No. 1 without winning a major is questionable.
  • Anthony Kims caddie, Ron Levin, known as Bambi, says the 21-year-old is a superstar starter kit. The pieces just need to be assembled.
  • Mark Calcavecchias putting together another very good year with a very 80s philosophy. Ill be at Harrahs at 2 in the afternoon having a couple beers and playin blackjack while everyone else is out hittin balls, he said prior to the Zurich Classic in New Orleans.
  • Of the tougher-is-better trend on the PGA TOUR, Davis Love III asks, Why wouldnt you want home runs? If baseball moved the fences back to 450 feet little kids wouldnt go to the games. People want to see birdies, not guys struggling for par.
  • Journalism lost a giant of Nicklaus proportions when David Halberstam died in a car crash in California earlier this week.
  • Apparently the V1 doesnt fall far from the Titleist. Acushnet boss Wally Uihleins kid, Peter, shot 67-71-67 to win the prestigious Terra Cotta Amateur in Naples. Equipments clearly not an issue.
  • Played 11 holes in 35 mph winds at Kiawahs Ocean Course recently. Thats like trying to score a touchdown from the three with your ankles tiedblindfolded ... against the '85 Bears. If it blows, good luck to the 50-plus set at the upcoming Senior PGA.
  • Speaking of tough, Oakmont got Tigers attention. He liked what he saw over several recent rounds and reached the 288-yard, par-3 eighth with a 3-wood into a stiff breeze. To the APs Doug Ferguson on why he didnt hit driver, Tiger cracked, Its against my religion. Plenty of guys wont have a prayer this June.
  • Long before people knew what a spine angle was, instructors kept it simple. To the legion of the frustrated who ventured to my Pops Pennsylvania driving range looking to cure their slice, Frank Stocke, the cardigan and Sansabelt pro who worked the overnight shift at a local battery plant, would say, Well ya gotta pronate the hands. Hed then flick his unfiltered camel farther than they could hit their 5-iron.
  • Nick Watney did everything right last week, but nothing better than wearing the Virginia Tech hat.
  • Earlier this month Davis also said, Lets not let The Players become a U.S. Open. Were going to stay on em the next couple weeks.
  • Calcs message to young TOUR players: Dont over grind. If you hit 10 good 5-irons, drop it and go have a good time.
  • A friend tells the story of an old Savannah pro, Walt Ronan, in a cart watching a guy take a swipe at a ball sitting perfectly atop some heavy rough. Walt elbows a pal seated next to him and whispers, He might could miss that. Naturally, the guy whiffed. Golf commentary, like golf instruction, is best served without a lot of garnish. Butch Harmon, old school to the core, understands that exceedingly well.
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.