Weetabix And Webb
Annika Sorenstam, who missed the cut, said playing a women's major championship at Turnberry validated the ladies game. Karrie Webb, the champion, said she grew up dreaming of playing Turnberry because two of her favorite players, Greg Norman and Nick Price, won British Opens here. Not a negative word all week.
It really is a stunning place. The links sit beside Turnberry Bay and the Firth of Clyde leading out to the Atlantic Ocean. On a few clear nights we could see the east coast of Northern Ireland out on the horizon. The views from high atop the course at the Turnberry Hotel are amazing. The lighthouse on No. 9. The Ailsa Craig sticking straight out of the water off No. 8. The sun starts setting at 8 and there's still light in the sky at 10.
Which leads us to our champion for the week. Karrie Webb doesn't receive the notoriety that Annika Sorenstam does, but how about her record! She now has won six major titles. She is the only player to win the Women's British Open three times, although the first two the tournament wasn't a major. She is now the only player, male or female, to win five different professional majors. I know the Women's British has only been a major for two years, taking the place of the du Maurier in 2001, but five DIFFERENT majors is still an awesome feat. Ninety-nine percent of golfers who have ever competed professionally would trade their entire career to win five majors.
Karrie was amazing all week. She opened in 66 and closed with the same number. Down by three beginning the final round, she quickly birdied three of the first six holes to catch the leaders. It was over from there. Experience in majors is a killer. Once the four-letter word WEBB appeared on top of the small yellow leaderboard next to each green, Carin Koch and Jennifer Rosalis, who played in the final group, were probably using their own four-letter words.
The only thing missing was a duel at the end for Karrie from Annika, Se Ri or Juli. The Inkster/Sorenstam battle at the U.S. Women's Open will go down as the best moment of the year so far, but this week at Turnberry was special.
Sports memories last forever for a number of reasons, least of which are the venues that host the events. We build new stadiums in the U.S. - tearing down classic stadiums, arenas and ballparks is almost commonplace now - and it's sad. In Scotland, the older the better. Preserve, don't demolish. Turnberry did itself proud this week. In the words of champion Karrie Webb as she addressed the crowd after her win, 'Thanks for inviting us. We had a great time.'
Full coverage of Weetabix Women's British Open
Romo set to make PGA Tour debut at Punta Cana
While much of the attention in golf this week will be focused on the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Tony Romo may send a few eyeballs toward the Caribbean.
The former quarterback and current CBS NFL analyst will make his PGA Tour debut this week, playing on a sponsor invite at the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic. The exemption was announced last month when Romo played as an amateur at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and he's apparently been hard at work ever since.
"I'll be treating it very serious," Romo told reporters Tuesday. "My wife will tell you she hasn't seen me much over the last month. But if you know me at all, I think you know if I care about something I'm going to commit to it 100 percent. So like I said. you'll get the best I've got this week."
Romo retired from the NFL last year and plays to a plus-0.3 handicap. In addition to his participation in the Pebble Beach event, he has tried to qualify for the U.S. Open multiple times and last month played a North Texas PGA mini-tour event as an amateur.
According to Romo, one of the key differences between pro football and golf is the fact that his former position is entirely about reactive decisions, while in golf "you're trying to commit wholeheartedly before you ever pull the club out of your bag."
"I'm not worried about getting hit before I hit the ball," Romo said. "It's at my own tempo, my own speed, in this sport. Sometimes that's difficult, and sometimes that's easier depending on the situation."
Romo admitted that he would have preferred to have a couple extra weeks to prepare, but recently has made great strides in his wedge game which "was not up to any Tour standard." The first-tee jitters can't be avoided, but Romo hopes to settle in after battling nerves for the first three or four holes Thursday.
Romo hopes to derive an added comfort factor from his golf in the Dallas area, where he frequently plays with a group of Tour pros. While Steph Curry traded texts with a few pros before his tournament debut last summer on the Web.com Tour, Romo expects his phone to remain silent until he puts a score on the board.
"I think they're waiting to either tell me 'Congrats' or 'I knew it, terrible,'" Romo said. "Something along those lines. They're probably going to wait to see which way the wind's blowing before they send them."
Romo will tee off at 8:10 a.m. ET Thursday alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.
Spieth vs. Reed random? Hmm, wonders Spieth
AUSTIN, Texas – Monday’s blind draw to determine the 16 pods for this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play didn’t exactly feel “blind” for Jordan Spieth, whose group includes Patrick Reed.
Spieth and Reed have become a staple of U.S. teams in recent years, with a 7-2-2 record in the Ryder and Presidents Cup combined. So when the ping-pong ball revealed Reed’s number on Monday night Spieth wasn’t surprised.
“It seems to me there's a bit more to this drawing than randomness,” laughed Spieth, whose pod also includes Haotong Li and Charl Schwartzel. “It's not just me and him. It's actually a lot of groups, to have Luke List and Justin [Thomas] in the same group seems too good to be true. It might be some sort of rigging that's going on, I'm not sure.”
Spieth will play Reed on Friday in the round-robin format and knows exactly what to expect from the fiery American.
“I've seen it firsthand when he's been at his best. And we have history together in a couple of different playoffs, which is a match-play scenario,” Spieth said. “I've got to take care of work tomorrow and the next day for that day to even matter. But even if it doesn't matter, trust me, it will matter to both of us.”
U.S. Open champ Koepka (wrist) to miss Masters
Reigning U.S. Open champ Brooks Koepka will miss the Masters, according to a USA Today report.
Koepka has been battling a left wrist injury since late last year, and he hasn't played since finishing last at the limited-field Sentry Tournament of Champions in early January. Weeks later he revealed that he had a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU) tendon but hoped to return in time for the season's first major.
According to the report, Koepka only started putting this week and plans to begin hitting chips next week.
"They said I would be about 80 percent, but I can't play 80 percent," Koepka said. "I either have to go full bore or not at all. I don't want to risk getting it re-injured and then be out a long time."
Koepka has finished T-33 or better in each of his three prior Masters appearances, culminating in a T-11 result last year.
Spieth's agent leaving firm, but keeping Spieth as client
AUSTIN, Texas – Jay Danzi has stepped down as COO of Lagardère Sports U.S., and will take one of the game’s most marketable players, Jordan Spieth, with him.
In a press release, Danzi said, “after careful consideration I feel that it’s time for a new adventure.” Danzi will represent Spieth independently.
“It’s been a privilege having Jordan be part of the Lagardère Sports’ family for the last five years and watching him grow from a promising young player to someone who transcends the game,” said Steve Loy, Lagardère Sports president of golf. “We are also grateful for Jay’s contributions over the years, in golf and other areas of our business.”
Lagardère Sports underwent an aggressive expansion in recent years, acquiring numerous boutique firms including Danzi’s business and Crown Sports Management.
Although losing Spieth, the world’s fourth-ranked player, and Danzi, who took over as Lagardère COO in February 2017, is a setback, the firm still has a number of high-profile clients including Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm and Patton Kizzire, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour this season.