New Years Hooks Cuts

By Rich LernerJanuary 5, 2006, 5:00 pm
  • Used to be a time in golf when January in Maui with a million bucks on the line was a big deal. These days, superstars react as if theyre being asked to sling fries at a Jack in the Box in Detroit in February.
  • On the other hand, if Jack in the Box sponsored an event in February in Detroit with a five million dollar first prize, I suspect the heavyweights would put on the parkas and play.
  • Then again, if youre not moved by a million, and you have 20 or 40 or 100 of those tucked away, maybe youre not even moved by five large ones.
  • Favorite winter break moment: a well-struck 6-iron lingering against the setting Florida sun with my 13- and 7-year-old sons rolling the rock on the practice putting green behind me at our local muni.
  • Think about it, if youre Tiger, do you really need Maui when you can hop aboard your luxury yacht and cruise the Caribbean with your gorgeous Swedish wife?
  • Couple of reasons golf is better than college football: meaningful contests dont stretch past midnight, and unlike the Florida State kicker who lipped out an overtime field goal, the guy who blows the must-make three-footer cant hide from the cameras behind some mammoth linemen.
  • Wonder if Mr. Mercedes Benz has had any conversations with Mr. Tim Finchem? Cant imagine the premium automaker is very happy with the status quo. And with top players committed to the commissioners WGC largesse, and so many lucrative opportunities popping up across Asia, well, as I said, a mill in Maui isnt what it used to be.
  • The greats own all the jet skis and boats and planes and homes their hard-earned cash can buy, but its the majors theyre after and the majors that will define their legacies. And therein lays a problem for the commissioner. Not a single major belongs to the PGA Tour, which offers heaps of money that top players like but dont necessarily need, yet little of the glory they ultimately crave.
  • On the subject of majors, here are a handful of guys who should be feeling some heat this year: Davis Love III, Chris DiMarco, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia and Padraig Harrington. It should also get a bit uncomfortable for Stuart Appelby and Stewart Cink.
  • Reminded of several truths over the holiday hiatus: I still love pick-up basketball even if my 45-year-old body does not, and the sweats crucial because I also love Valdianos Pizza, Breyers Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream and Sweet and Sour Shrimp from Eastern Pearl.
  • Worth following early this year: Mike Weir, who fell from eighth to 45th in the world, and Charles Howell III, whose only win came several years ago and who has now fallen behind other young Americans like Sean OHair, Ben Crane and perhaps even Ryan Moore.
  • Played a charity event with Jim Thorpe and Im fairly certain Ill never again laugh that hard on a golf course. Hes to salty stories what Nicklaus was to the Masters.

  • Two-cent movie reviews: Crash is deep and disturbing, a solid rental; as for Syrianna, its timely, intricate, possibly even confusing, though in all a thought-provoking look at big oil, big government and the big picture in the Middle East.
  • When I start reviewing movies, its clearly time to check out. Happy, healthy New Year to you and yours. Of course, wed all be a little happier and a little healthier if we played more golf and shot lower scores, wouldnt we?!
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    PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

    The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

    PGA Tour:

    The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.


    We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

    Getty Images

    Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

    By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

    JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

    The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.

    Full-field scores from the Joburg Open

    Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

    ''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

    Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:16 pm

    Shubhankar Sharma earned his first career European Tour win at the rain-delayed Joburg Open and punched his ticket to The Open in the process.

    Sharma returned to Randpark Golf Club Monday morning after storms washed out much of the scheduled final day of play. Beginning the re-start with a four-shot lead, he hung on to win by three over South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen.

    Both men can make travel plans for Carnoustie next summer, as this was the second event in the Open Qualifying Series with three spots available for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 10. The final spot went to Shaun Norris, who tied for third with Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen but had a higher world ranking (No. 192) than Pulkkanen (No. 197) entering the week.

    The Joburg Open was the final official European Tour event of the year. The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open in January, where four spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs.