Hooks Cuts Post Valhalla

By Rich LernerSeptember 23, 2008, 4:00 pm
  • If Boo Weekly has a pulse and can walk, he HAS to be in the next Ryder Cup doesnt he?
  • Laughters as important as birdies, and Boo delivered in both departments.
  • Whats your lasting image from Valhalla? Is it Anthony Kim holding the American flag after the victory, or Boo riding the donkey down the first fairway on Sunday? Or is it something else?
  • Kenny Perry hugging his father ' pure Kentucky with his denim overalls ' put a lump in the throat, didnt it?
  • Nick Faldos getting blasted, which is what happens to the losing captain when his stars dont win a match.
  • For pure electricity, Steve Stricker topping Sergio Garcia on Saturday, after Sergio had cut loose with that primal scream, was the best sequence of the weekend.
  • Hunter Mahans reaction Sunday at 17 was very Tiger-like, and Id love to see more of that from him in regular tournaments.
  • Think of how your view of various players changes because of the Ryder Cup. Boo Weekleys one of the greatest characters the games ever seen; Kims a rock star who will be winning majors soon; Mahans tough as nails; J.B. Holmes is unreal; Ian Poulters clutch; and Robert Karlssons better than we even knew.
  • I dont have a problem with Paul Azinger retaining his captaincy.
  • Setting up the golf course to yield birdies was critical. It allowed the home team to juice up the huge galleries and it made for a wildly entertaining fan experience. This was a high volume rock concert with one fist-pumping, crowd erupting, get-in-the-hole-get-in-the-hole, scream-at-the-top-your-lungs birdie after the next.
  • This Cup allowed golf to show the world its not elitist, with deep fried, down home originals like Boo and Kenny and J.B., with the kind of emotion and player reaction usually reserved for sports like hockey, and crowds that behaved like it was Florida against Georgia.
  • Zinger and the boys hanging out with the grounds crew deep into the night leading the cheers of We got the Cup is a scene I wont soon forget.
  • Kim taking apart Sergio was the equivalent of a first inning grand slam in a World Series Game 7. Valhalla was shaking.
  • European fans are hilarious and bring color and spirit to the Cup. My brother lives in Louisville and was at a downtown restaurant. A group of Euro revelers broke out in Ole, Ole, Ole only to be matched by some Americans responding with U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A. My brother asked the waiter to see if the Europeans would mind singing happy birthday to his wife. Before he knew it, theyd gathered around the table and serenaded my sister-in-law!
  • Padraig Harrington seemed a bit spent off his double major summer. Sergio, but for that one roar, was at last silenced.
  • Zinger tossing USA lapel pins like confetti on Tuesday to the crowds lingers in my mind. Show us some love this week, he shouted. A torrid affair it was.
  • Raymond Floyd chest bumping Kim brings a smile. At last a new generation of buck-up boys a bit like the old ones.
  • 2004 captain Hal Sutton, at Valhalla for the past captains get-together, told me on Friday the reason he liked this team is because they were individuals. I balked, thinking that goes against the idea that they needed to come together as a team. He explained that they had strong personalities and that guys like Boo and J.B. had one-of-a-kind swings which were evidence that they believed strongly in themselves.
  • I told 1995 captain Lanny Wadkins that Butch Harmon said Kim reminded him of a young Lanny. Lanny said with a smile, I like that.
  • Butch was spot on early in the week when he told me he loved this U.S. team, because the young guys brought no baggage and no scars from past Ryder Cup losses. He said they were hungry.
  • Itd be nice if the next captain invited Larry Nelson to help out.
  • This was a significant moment for American golf, which had been dominated for the last decade by Tiger, with Phil having had a brief period in the spotlight. Its now about something more.
  • What a year for American golf, too, with Tiger at Torrey and Zingers ringers at Valhalla.
  • All the emotion that poured out over three days is an ingredient thats missed week-to-week on Tour. Wouldnt you love to see more of what we saw from Mahan, Boo, Stricker, Justin Leonard, Poulter and Graeme McDowell?
  • If youve never been to a Ryder Cup, make it a point. Theres nothing in golf that remotely looks, sounds or feels like it.
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  • If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.

    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

    Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

    This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

    “I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”

    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

    Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

    In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

    If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

    “He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

    Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

    By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

    Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

    ''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

    The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

    The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.

    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

    ''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

    ''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

    First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

    Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

    ''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

    ''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''