Texas, it seemed, would never run out of blue sky, pretty women or golfing legends. Why then did just one top-10 player make the trip to Fort Worth?
Butch Harmon coaches Phil Mickelson, but he still respects Tiger Woods. Tigers the gladiator in the Coliseum, he said recently. Hes in with four lions, and the lions die.
A while back I visited Shady Oaks, the Fort Worth club where Hogan spent his retirement years. The old waiter who served him at the same seat overlooking 18 every day remembered that Mr. Hogan liked a Navy Bean soup; he like it hot and he like a hamburger well done. Bet the soup never came out lukewarm, the burgers never medium.
Tiger and Phil are clearly not speed dialing, text messaging pals. And with Butch now in Phils camp, its like Classy Freddy Blassie suddenly deserting Bruno Sammartino in a WWF flip-flop. Theres just one problem with this steel cage, 460cc, pay-per-view fantasy - the other 154 guys who keep showing up at golf tournaments.
Its not my bag, but just once Id like to go ice fishing for walleye in Minnesota with Lumpy. In the plaid jacket he won at Colonial. Mind you, I dont know a walleye from a red eye, but it sounds good.
Fact is that tradition for many matters most at the majors, increasingly emphasized by the press and the dominant players, their schedules built around those tournaments that will determine their place in history.
I played Kiawah in 35-mile-per-hour winds, my scorecard quickly resembling a high-scoring NBA game.
Fulton Allem popped up at Colonial. His caddie remembers Fulty telling him during a particularly trying round, Cuzzy, get me a cigarette.
I forget them, the caddie said.
Alright, Fulty countered. Im trying to quit anyway.
Almost immediately, Fulty hit a terrible shot.
Dammit, he barked I cant play without cigarettes. Get me some menthols.
The caddie swapped two golf balls for two menthols with an accommodating fan.
Would it be a total shock to see tough minded Zach Johnson halfway to the Grand Slam after Oakmont metes out its punishment next month?
In an interview to be broadcast on GOLF CHANNEL Tuesday, June 12 at 9 p.m. ET, Johnny Miller, responding to the charge that he doesnt talk to the players he covers, said, I was never chummy and most of your Hall of Fame players didnt chum either -- Hogan, Nicklaus, Floyd. They werent chummy guys.
Can Texas bring the zing back to the swing? Honda re-grouped and kicked off a beefed up Florida swing. True, the new lineup with the big bang, eight-figure, FedExCup finish was sure to have the inevitable soft spot and this may be it. But there are enough big power players in a state that does big bigger and better than anyone else to make a renewed push. Heck, call Jerry Jones for an idea. He just landed the 2011 Super Bowl for Arlington. Jerry might just be the guy to give pro golf in the Metroplex a nice facelift.
Its Borscht Belt old but I still love it. Fulty, enraged over a lousy shot, says to his caddie, Give me something to break. The caddie shoots back, Why dont you try breaking par?
“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”
The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.
“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.
This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.
The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.
Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.
The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.
A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.
And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.
According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:
“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”
Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.
“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.
The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.
“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”
The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.
Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.
Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.