#AskLav mailbag: Curing the post-Masters hangover

By Ryan LavnerApril 18, 2013, 2:00 pm

Pass the Advil and throw on the shades – this post-Masters hangover has been especially harsh.

Armchair rules officials are still stewing over Dropgate.

Casual fans can’t watch Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy for two more weeks.

And even the women are bummed out. In 24 hours, they went from hoping that Masters winner and resident golf hunk Adam Scott would be on “The Bachelor,” to learningthat he’s actually in a healthy, happy and committed relationshipwith his former longtime girlfriend, Marie Kojzar, a Swedish interior designer. Life is indeed good for Scotty, if you weren’t already aware. 

But chin up, everyone. We’re only 56 days away from the start of the next four-day rager: the U.S. Open.

In the meantime, enjoy this week’s head-pounding #AskLav mailbag:

One suggestion: Read more GolfChannel.com. We batted this exact question around a few days ago. But since you missed it, here's a recap: A few staffers opined that Scott will be stuck on one major for the rest of his career. I'm not ready to go that far his ball-striking gives him a chance in each major he enters. And on those rare weeks when he marries up his long-game prowess with a hot flatstick (as we saw on the back nine at Augusta on Sunday), then he has asgood a chance as any to bag another major title. Questions linger, however. How will the anchoring ban affect his game? Does he yearn to be one of the game's all-time greats? After playing his entire career in the Tiger Woods era, will Scott be undercut by another up-and-coming star (see: McIlroy, Rory)?

I'll step aside and finally let Brandel Chamblee answer this question just kidding.

Here's my take: The blame falls on the Masters rules officials, who too quickly green-lighted Woods' drop in the second round. It was an illegal drop. Tiger admitted that. But the rules committee threw out the possibility of a DQ as soon as they initially decided that he shouldn't be penalized. There are no mulligans in championship golf. I still believe that a Woods withdrawal would have been a magnanimous gesture, the best P.R, if only to remove himself from a no-win situation and keep from clouding the race to 18 majors. But in the end, hisfinishing four shots behind the difference between a kick-in birdie and triple bogey on the 15th hole was punishment enough.

The East Course at Merion will be set up at 6,996 yards, which will take the big stick out of Tiger's hands. Yet again, that may prove to be his winning major formula much like Hoylake, in '06 for he is one of the game's best tacticians and can bludgeon the course with 2-irons and 3-wood stingers. Also, he's a good bet to win at Muirfield. Don't forget, in 2002, he finished six shots out of the playoff, and that was only after a Saturday 81 when players got blown away in the wind and rain.

No, it was not 14-year-old Tianlang Guan's T-50 at this year's Masters, even if it's forever etched in Masters lore. The gold standard remains Ken Venturi's performance in 1956, when he held a four-shot lead after 54 holes, shot a final-round 80 in windy conditions, and eventually lost by one. Other notable achievements include Matt Kuchar's T-21 at the '98 Masters and Ryan Moore's T-13 in 2005, following up on the hype from a year earlier when he won the NCAAs, Western Amateur, U.S. Publinx and U.S. Amateur, all in the same summer.

Seems Guan and I will see each other in New Orleans. If the 14-year-old doesn't want to engage in a pushup contest, perhaps we will determine who can eat 100 oysters the fastest. Bet on me, always.

Two surprising names who are staggering in the low-200s in the world: Camilo Villegas (No. 278) and Jhonattan Vegas (No. 294). No, I didn't pick them just because their surnames rhyme.

For Villegas, 2008 must seem like a lifetime ago. In 2008, he won back-to-back FedEx Cup playoff events and rose to No. 7 in the world. Now, he has lost his playing privileges on the PGA Tour, doesn't have a top 10 in a full-field event in 20 months, and finds himself just ahead of some guy named Alessandro Tadini in the OWGR.

Surely you remember Jhonny Vegas, too. Great backstory, humble kid, and he won in his fifth career start, at the event formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic. Since then, he has missed the cut in half of his 44 starts (and recorded only four top 10s), and in February announced that he was undergoing shoulder surgery and will miss at least six months. Oy.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: