Magee Makes Mayhem in the Desert

By Rich LernerJanuary 26, 2001, 5:00 pm
Tiger Woods' 1997, roof raising hole-in-one is now the second greatest shot in the wacky history of the Phoenix Open. Andrew Magee moves to the very top of the charts. And Omar Uresti's older brother, Rusty, quite strangely, has been eyewitness to both.
Magee stepped to the 333-yard 17th hole in a bit of a funk. Two holes earlier he'd doubled the easiest hole on the course, the par-5 15th. He bounced back with birdie at 16.
'I had that double and I'm thinking, 'Great, another good start' (Magee teed off on number 10). I had had a double in Tuscon and a triple in Hawaii. Then when I birdied 16, I was like, 'Whoopie. Big deal.''
Now Magee has the honor. Ahead, Gary Nicklaus, Steve Pate and Tom Byrum were on the green at 17.

'I had never bounced a ball up on that green,' said Magee. Keep in mind Magee's a Scottsdale area resident who's played the TPC course many times.

So Magee swung away.
'I just killed it,' he said.
Meanwhile on the green, Byrum,to the left of and below the cup, was lining up an eight footer for par. Magee's ball hit on the first cut of the green, 11 paces short of the cup, bounced once and began to roll.
This is where Rusty Uresti enters the picture. Caddying for Nicklaus, he saw the ball.
'I said, 'Look out,' but instead of moving out of the way, Tom just kinda turned in that direction,' Uresti recounted to The Phoenix Tribune. 'The ball goes right at his putter and his putter just happened to be at just the right angle. It bounced off and goes straight into the hole.'
Cracked the Tour's top one-liner artist, Steve Pate, 'It was the best putt Tom hit all day.'
Byrum, who finished with an even par 71, didn't seem quite as amused.
'(Magee) just hit into us and (the ball) hit my putter and went into the hole,' he said. 'What else is there to say?'
What else is there to say? Lighten up Tom.
What did Magee see from his vantage point on 17 tee?
'I see a ball rolling toward the cup,' he said. 'I don't know if it's my ball or if it's someody's putt. Then I hear the crowd and I say,'That sounds like a hole-in-one.''
Magee wasn't sure what to record on his card. He consulted with an official, who gave him the good news. He'd made what is believed to be the only double eagle on a par 4 in the history of the PGA Tour. According to rule 19-1, hitting your ball off an outside agency, in this case the other player's putter, is simply the rub of the green. No penalty. Just so you know, had the ball hypothetically caromed off the putter, down a cart path and out of bounds, that would also be rub of the green, and too bad for Magee.
'The first thing I said to my caddie when I got to the 18th tee box was give me the ball before I snap hook it in the water,' said Magee, who like Pate is a scratch handicap wise cracker. 'It's in my pocket.'
Magee finished with five under 66. 'We were all in shock,' he said.
And now back to Rusty Uresti. He was caddying for his brother, Omar, in 1997. Paired with Woods, Omar staked his tee shot on 16 to within three feet. Tiger then jarred his and the place went bonkers.
Four years later, Uresti witnessed the unthinkable yet again, the Magee Miracle, as it's been dubbed.
The analysis from Uresti?
'Crazy,' he mused.
Par for the course at The Phoenix Open.
Share your hole-in one story or read how others made their ace!
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Watch: Tiger highlights from Round 2 at Honda

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 23, 2018, 8:12 pm

Tiger Woods started at even par in Round 2 of the Honda Classic. Friday began with a bogey at the par-4 second, but Woods got that stroke back with a birdie at the par-4 fourth:

Following four consecutive pars, Woods birdied the par-4 ninth to turn in 1-under 34.

At 1 under for the tournament, Woods was tied for 10th place, three off the lead, when he began the back nine at PGA National. And the crowd was loving it.

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Defending champ Fowler misses cut at Honda

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 23, 2018, 7:14 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – The roles might be reversed this weekend for Rickie Fowler.

Last year, when he won at PGA National, Fowler was greeted behind the 18th green by Justin Thomas, one of his Jupiter neighbors. Thomas had missed the cut in his hometown event but drove back to the tournament to congratulate Fowler on his fourth PGA Tour title.

It’s Fowler who will be on the sidelines this weekend, after missing the Honda Classic cut following rounds of 71-76.  

Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos

“I haven’t been swinging it great the last month and a half,” he said afterward. “Obviously playing in the wind, it will pick you apart even more.”

After a tie for fourth at Kapalua, Fowler has missed two of his last three cuts. In between, at the Phoenix Open, he coughed up the 54-hole lead and tied for 11th.

Fowler said he’s been struggling with commitment and trust on the course.

“It’s close,” he said. “Just a little bit off, and the wind is going to make it look like you’re a terrible weekend golfer.”

Asked if he’d return the favor for Thomas, if he were to go and win, Fowler smiled and said: “Of course.”  

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 23, 2018, 7:00 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

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Cut Line: Woods still eyeing Ryder Cup dual role

By Rex HoggardFebruary 23, 2018, 6:57 pm

In this week’s edition, Jack Nicklaus makes the argument, again, for an equipment rollback, Tiger Woods gets halfway to his Ryder Cup goal and Paul Lawrie laments slow play ... in Europe.

Made Cut

Captain’s corner. Last week Tiger Woods coyly figured he could do both, play and be a vice captain for this year’s U.S. Ryder Cup team. On Tuesday, he made it halfway to his goal.

U.S. captain Jim Furyk named Woods and Steve Stricker vice captains for this year’s matches, joining Davis Love III on the team golf cart.

Whether Woods will be able to pull off the double-header is now largely up to him and how his most recent comeback from injury progresses, but one way or another Furyk wanted Tiger in his team room.

“What Tiger really has brought to the table for our vice captains is a great knowledge of X's and O's,” Furyk said. “He's done a really good job of pairing players together in foursomes and fourball. When you look at our team room and you look at a lot of the youth that we have in that team room now with the younger players, a lot of them became golf professionals, fell in love with the game of golf because they wanted to emulate Tiger Woods.”

Woods is currently 104th on the U.S. points list, but the qualification process is designed for volatility, with this year’s majors worth twice as many points. With Tiger’s improved play it’s not out of the question that he gets both, a golf cart and a golf bag, for this year’s matches.

#MSDStrong. Every week on Tour players, officials and fans come together to support a charity of some sort, but this week’s Honda Classic has a more personal impact for Nicholas Thompson.

Thompson graduated from nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and last week’s horrific shooting there inspired the former Tour member to work with tournament organizers and find a way to help the victims.

Officials handed out 1,600 maroon ribbons to volunteers to honor the victims; and Thompson and his wife, who is also a Stoneman Douglas graduate, donated another 500 with the letters “MSD” on them for players, wives and caddies.

Thompson also planned to donate 3,100 rubber bracelets in exchange for donations to help the victims and their families.

“I’m not much of a crier, but it was a very, very sad moment,” Thompson told “To see on TV, the pictures of the school that I went through for four years and the area where it occurred was terrible.”

The Tour makes an impact on communities every week, but some tournaments are more emotional than others.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Golden moment. Jack Nicklaus has never been shy about expressing his thoughts on modern equipment and how far today’s professionals are hitting the golf ball, but this week the Golden Bear revealed just how involved he may be in what is increasingly looking like an equipment rollback of some sort.

During a recent dinner with USGA CEO Mike Davis, Nicklaus discussed the distance debate.

“Mike said, ‘We’re getting there. We’re going to get there. I need your help when we get there.'” Nicklaus said. “I said, ‘That’s fine. I’m happy to help you. I’ve only been yelling at you for 40 years.’ 1977 is the first time I went to the USGA.”

The USGA and R&A are scheduled to release their annual distance report before the end of the month, but after the average driving distance jumped nearly 3 yards last year on Tour – and nearly 7 yards on the Tour – many within the equipment industry are already bracing for what could be the most profound rollback in decades.

Stay tuned.

Geographically undesirable. Although this will likely be the final year the Tour’s Florida swing is undercut by the WGC-Mexico Championship, which will be played next week, the event’s impact on this year’s fields is clear.

The tee sheet for this week’s Honda Classic, which had become one of the circuit’s deepest stops thanks to an influx of Europeans gearing up for the Masters, includes just three players from the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking, and none from top three. By comparison, only the Sony Open and CareerBuilder Challenge had fewer top players in 2018.

On Monday at a mandatory meeting, players were given a rough outline of the 2018-19 schedule, which features some dramatic changes including the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players shifting back to March, and numerous sources say the Mexico stop will move to the back end of the West Coast swing and be played after the Genesis Open.

That should help fields in the Sunshine State regain some luster, but it does nothing to change the fact that this year’s Florida swing is, well, flat.

Missed Cut

West Coast woes. Of all the highlights from this year’s West Coast swing, a run that included overtime victories for Patton Kizzire (Sony Open), Jon Rahm (CareerBuilder Challenge), Jason Day (Farmers Insurance Open) and Gary Woodland (Waste Management Phoenix Open), it will be what regularly didn’t happen that Cut Line remembers.

J.B. Holmes endured the wrath of social media for taking an eternity - it was actually 4 minutes, 10 seconds - to hit his second shot on the 72nd hole at Torrey Pines, but in fairness to Holmes he’s only a small part of a larger problem.

Without any weather delays, Rounds 1 and 2 were not completed on schedule last week in Los Angeles because of pace of play, and the Tour is even considering a reduction in field size at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open to avoid similar schedule issues.

But all this seems to miss the point. Smaller fields aren’t the answer; rules that recognize and penalize slow play are the only solution.

Tweet of the week: @PaulLawriegolf (Paul Lawrie) “Getting pretty fed up playing with guys who cheat the system by playing as slow as they want until referee comes then hit it on the run to make sure they don't get penalized. As soon as ref [is] gone it’s back to taking forever again. We need a better system.”

It turns out slow play isn’t a uniquely Tour/West Coast issue, as evidenced by the Scot’s tweet on Thursday from the Qatar Masters.