Hooks Cuts Tiger to Lopez

By Rich LernerMarch 14, 2008, 4:00 pm
  • Tiger Woods is the greatest putter in the history of golf. In preparing a feature story to air on GOLF CHANNEL Wednesday night before the Masters, I posed that statement to a number of players. Here are some of the following responses from TOUR players.
    Zach Johnson: True.
    Fred Couples: Ill agree with that.
    Daniel Chopra: Hes the greatest putter in the history of golf under pressure.
    Tom Lehman: I would never argue that statement.
    Paul Azinger: Hes the best pressure putter Ive ever seen but I didnt see Jack Nicklaus in his prime.
  • Are the tournaments and sponsors who keep calling on John Daly acting as enablers? The questions been raised and warrants some thought.
  • Good-hearted George Lopez tried his best, but found out that sunny Palm Springs, as pleasant as it appears, can be rather frosty.
  • Getting back to Azingers comment, NBCs Bob Murphy saw plenty of Jack in his prime and said when The Bear was playing well he made every putt under 10 feet, but Jack didnt make the putts from 20 to 30 feet like Tiger does.
  • Playing in an over-40 basketball league, I dont ask my teammates to get back on defense. Instead I tell them, Take your time, when you get there you get there, just be careful.
  • Losing Phil Mickelson hurt The Hope. Lopez skewering Lefty at his 07 concert for allegedly ignoring an autograph request from actor Anthony Anderson couldnt have helped. And its no secret that the change of venues wasnt well received across the TOUR either.
  • Players divorce their putters at a rate that would make Hollywood seem chaste. But the great rollers of the rock tend to show fidelity. Crenshaw was pure and ever-faithful with his heel-shafted Wilson 8802. Said Tiger: If you look at all the years Ive ever putted its been the same look. The Anser and Anser II were the putters I grew up with. Scotty Cameron later crafted the putter he uses today. Tiger added: The companies have changed but its always been the same look.
  • The idea at The Hope a few years ago was to get younger and fresher. They may have missed the boat by not locking down Justin Timberlake, now set to energize the flagging Vegas event.
  • Billy Andrade once asked Jack if hed ever 3-putted when it mattered. Jack replied, Yeah I did it one time in 1966 at The Bing Crosby Pro-Am. I 3-putted the last hole to lose and I never did it after that.
  • Over-40 basketballs a lot like over-40 golf. Its easy to embarrass yourself. In both sports, by the way, I always admired Bobby Jones, the Grand Slam golfer as well as the unselfish, back-door cutting, fast break finishing Tar Heel and 76er great.
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.