Twenty - or 21 - Questions With Tim Hegarty

By Mercer BaggsMay 17, 2011, 12:41 am

“Do you hear that sound?” Tim Hegarty’s trainer asks him. “The Pain Train is coming.”

During some recent downtime from the game, Hegarty has been working on his physical fitness. After admittedly getting a little lazy during the winter and early spring months while stationed in Orlando, Fla., he’s back in New York, back to exercising three times a week.

“He’s kicking my a**,” Hegarty said via phone Monday.

Hegarty is getting ready for a busy summer stretch. It begins Tuesday with U.S. Open local qualifying at Brae Burn Country Club in Purchase, N.Y. It will continue with an eGolf Professional Tour event in Southern Pines, N.C., next week and will run through a host of New York state tournaments. In the mix, there will also be some Nationwide Tour Monday qualifying and hopefully a start in mid-June at Congressional Country Club.

In preparation, and in addition to getting his butt kicked by his trainer, Hegarty has been practicing with swing coach David Glenz and working with sports psychologist Dr. Nick Molinaro.

“I’ve been obsessed with golf lately,” Hegarty said. “I can’t get my mind off it. I went to a wedding with my girlfriend and I brought a sandwedge and putter into the hotel. She thought I was crazy, practicing in our room.

“I’ve just got a real good attitude right now. I’m loving the game.”

Since Hegarty has been in prep mode for the last few weeks, and considering we’ll be reading plenty about his professional endeavors in the near future, we took time to get to know the 28-year-old a little bit better with 20 questions. Or 21. Whatever.

1. Favorite sports team? Jets. New York Jets

2. Favorite athlete? Chad Pennington.

3. Favorite golfer? Phil Mickelson.

4. Go-to shot? Slight draw.

5. Favorite club? Driver.

6. Ultimate foursome (no family)? Chad Pennington, Glenz, Ben Hogan.

7. Lucky charm? I have a St. Michael’s chain that my mom gave to me when I was 13. It’s only come off my neck one time, when I had to get an x-ray. It was even blessed at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

8. Favorite musician/group? Pearl Jam.Pearl Jam

9. Favorite golf course? Sleepy Hollow (in Scarborough, N.Y.).

10. Pre-round ritual? Get in my car and listen to music for five, 10 minutes to get my mind straight.

11. Most important influence in your career? My old man.

12. Actor you’d want to play you in a movie? (Leonardo) DiCaprio.Leonardo DiCaprio

13. Course you most want to play that you haven’t? Cypress Point … no, Pebble Beach.

14. Lowest score? 62 in the Met(ropolitan) Open at the Country Club of Fairfield (2008).

15. Favorite movie? “The Departed.”

16. Favorite book? Ben Hogan’s “Five Lessons of Golf.”Ben Hogan

17. Most memorable golf TV moment? Tiger Woods vs. Bob May in the PGA (2000).

18. You can live anywhere. Where? New York.

19. Greatest golf accomplishment? Shooting 62 at the Met (Go to 00:45 mark). It’s the third oldest Open golf tournament in the U.S. People like Hagen and Sarazen and Byron Nelson have won it and I have the tournament record. Pretty cool.

20. Ultimate career goal? Win the United States Open.

21. What one word describes you? Integrity. That’s the one word that was emphasized over and over again by my dad. That’s the way he is. You say you’re going to do something, you do it. It a real good mark of a real good man.

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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.