Pete Dye Father of Golf Courses

By Adam BarrMay 6, 2007, 4:00 pm
The great mans advance team strode in and cased the joint. She sniffed, drew herself up to her full 22 inches, and commenced to pace around the room.
 
From the hallway came a growl.
 
Sixty! Get out here and siddown.
 
It was the Great Man. Sixty, a two-year-old white German Shepherd, reluctantly sauntered into the hall and returned with her master, golf course architect Pete Dye. He had agreed to meet me for a sit-down interview to support a show I was producing on the latest changes at TPC Sawgrass.
 
Pete Dye
Pete Dye titled his autobiogrphy, 'Bury Me in a Pot Bunker.' (WireImage)
It was about two in a blazing hot south Florida afternoon; we had sought air-conditioned refuge in the Education Center of the PGA of Americas excellent facility in Port St. Lucie.
 
Dye, 81, had already put in the kind of day that would floor a younger, less vigorous man (or dog). He and Sixty had been to Gasparilla Golf Club in west Florida, and had been flown over to St. Lucie to see me. After we were done, he still had work to do. He looked neither wilted nor deterred.
 
While I am often portrayed today as a wicked designer from hell, I am in fact from the quiet midwestern town of Urbana, Ohio, wrote Dye with Mark Shaw in Bury Me in a Pot Bunker, his 1995 autobiography.
 
This time of year, just before THE PLAYERS Championship begins, the specter of Dye as Great Satan, not Great Man, reemerges as the best in the world try to figure and refigure TPC Sawgrass, one of his most notable creations.
 
Today he will discuss with me why it was necessary to peel back the turf on that course, scrape out a quarter centurys accumulation of organic muck, and replace it with fast-draining white sand. (You can see the whole process in the new Golf Channel special, TPC Sawgrass: A New Era, Wednesday, May 9th at 9 p.m. ET)
 
What may be most frustrating to those who love to hate Dye is the fact they all know: far from being evil, Pete Dye is one of the best things that ever happened to golf ' for tours, fans, and yes, players, even those who have to brain-wrack their way around some of his exceedingly difficult tests.
 
If Alice (his wife and a fine player and architect in her own right) ever divorced me, my staff would drop to exactly zero, Dye said as the microphone was being clipped on, Sixty finally recumbent at his feet.
 
So it has ever been.
 
If its hoopla in any way, Dye is not interested. No cell phone, no entourage, no drawings except what can be scrawled on the nearest surface at hand with whatever is available ' usually a stick and some dirt, on-site. (A new painting of Dye in the new clubhouse at Sawgrass shows him in just this mode ' the usual khaki pants, blue golf shirt, and ball cap, stick in hand, drawing brilliance on the desert floor. If he did cave paintings, we could be sure golf would survive eons into the future.)
 
Hoopla aversion aside, the man has a sense of drama. To best demonstrate to PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem how 25 years had undermucked Sawgrass, Dye brought the course to Finchem ' a couple Dixie cups worth, anyway.
 
I took out a big plug [of turf] and put it on his desk, one Sunday afternoon, Dye said, his tone implying the question, Well, how the hell else would you do it? Finchem corroborates the story. When Dye asked if he could clean up the desk, Finchem said no; he wanted his staff to see this.
 
The redone Sawgrass that will welcome the first PLAYERS in May will play hard and fast, as Dye originally intended, thanks to the process begun by Dyes plug of turf. The course-wide six inches of new sand under the turf will drain much better, keeping the course from getting like Velcro for golf balls if rains come.
 
When Pete designs a golf course, its like one of his kids, Finchem said. He has to keep an eye on it, he wants to take care of it.
 
That includes giving the kids a good start in life. When the interview was over and my cameraman and I began to disassemble the equipment, Dye said he needed to borrow me for 10 minutes.
 
We got in the car and drove a mile to the Dye Course at PGA Golf Club. Here; stop here. Theres a break in the trees, Dye told our driver. I followed him onto the first fairway just short of the green, where the land gently sloped down then up again to the green, framed by a long bunker with a high lip. How did this get done in south Florida flatland?
 
We just pushed some things around gently, Dye said as he walked purposefully up the fairway. Nothing major. But look, he said, pointing to the side. Were actually below the bottom of those cypresses in the woods over there. We were able to scoop this out just a little to get that effect. But here, this is what I really wanted you to see. Lemme get the sumgun offa here.
 
By now, all 81 spry years of Pete Dye were on his knees in the fairway, forcing off a six-inch drain cover and shoving his arm in up to the shoulder. I mean, the man used to walk around the Sawgrass construction site shirtless and machete rattlesnakes in the late 1970s. So whats one more water moccasin in a drainpipe, right?
 
No snakes this time. Well, were in a drought, so the water is down a bit, Dye said, bringing up a dry hand. But look at this course. Not burned out, but were not breaking the bank on irrigation either. Let me show you why.
 
We walked behind the cypresses to the side of the green and he opened a huge steel door that was almost flush with the ground. Fifteen feet below, water rippled in a cistern.
 
All recycled irrigation, he said. Used over and over. Caught in that drain, along with the danged rain when we can get it, and reused. There are more of these on the course. This is how it should be done. I keep tellin em, what with the cost of water and maintenance these days, and environmental concerns and all. Here, they listened. The PGA people who are in there now; they didnt even know they had this. When I showed em, it was a revelation, you can be sure. They were pleasantly surprised.
 
He closed the door with a bang, then looked around at the contours of the first green and the expansive view from the second tee. Some of the best work Ive ever done. Right here.
 
It takes a real great man, I suppose, to check on the kids once theyve grown up.
 
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Ciganda, S.Y. Kim share lead in Shanghai

By Associated PressOctober 20, 2018, 9:28 am

SHANGHAI - Carlota Ciganda of Spain fired a 5-under 67 Saturday to share the lead with Sei Young Kim after the third round of the LPGA Shanghai.

Ciganda carded her fifth birdie of the day on the par-4 18th to finish tied with overnight leader Kim at 11-under 205. Kim shot a 71 with four bogeys and five birdies.

Angel Yin also birdied the final hole for a 68 and was a further stroke back with Brittany Altomare (69), Danielle Kang (71) and Ariya Jutanugarn (71).


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Local favorite Yu Liu was in sole possession of seventh place after offsetting a lone bogey with four birdies for a 69.

Paula Creamer also shot a 69 and shared eighth at 8 under with Minjee Lee (70) and Bronte Law (71).

The tournament is the second of five being played in South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan in the LPGA's annual Asian swing.

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Koepka's pursuers have no illusions about catching him

By Nick MentaOctober 20, 2018, 8:50 am

Ahead by four, wielding his driver like Thor's hammer, Brooks Koepka is 18 holes from his third victory in five months and his first ascent to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking.

The tournament isn't over. No one is handing him the trophy and updating the OWGR website just yet. But it will likely take some combination of a meltdown and low round from someone in the chase pack to prevent a Koepka coronation Sunday in South Korea.

Thirteen under for the week, the three-time major champion will start the final round four shots ahead of his playing partners, Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy, and five ahead of six more players at minus-8.

As is his nature, Poulter figures to be undaunted. The 42-year-old is fresh off a Sunday singles victory over Dustin Johnson at the Ryder Cup and in the midst of a career renaissance, having broken a five-year winless drought earlier this year. In one sense, it's Europe vs. the United States again, but this isn't match play, and Koepka, a guy who doesn't need a head start, has spotted himself a four-shot advantage.


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"Tomorrow I'm going to need to make a few birdies. Obviously Brooks is in cruise control right now and obviously going to need a shoot a low one," Poulter conceded. "Do what I'm doing, just enjoy [it]. Obviously try and make as many birdies as I can and see how close we get."

Perez, in the group at 8 under par, isn't giving up, but like Poulter, he's aware of the reality of his situation.

"We're chasing Brooks, who of course obviously is playing phenomenally," he said. "A lot of the long hitters now when they get in contention, they hit that driver and they're really hard to catch. I'm not worried about it too much. It's going to be harder for me tomorrow than him, so I'm going to try and go out and just do my thing, hit some shots, hopefully hit some close and make some putts and we'll see. I don't expect him to come backwards, but hopefully I can try to go catch him."

Gary Woodland, also 8 under par, summed up the predicament best when he alluded to Koepka's perhaps advantageously aloof demeanor.

"You obviously want to get off to a good start and put pressure on him as soon as you can," he said. "You know, Brooks doesn't seem like he cares too much, and he's playing so good, so you're going to have to go out and post a number."

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Koepka has his chance 'to earn' his way to No. 1

By Nick MentaOctober 20, 2018, 8:09 am

There won't need to be any wonky math involved. He won't have to settle for finally reaching the the top via some kind of mathematical reset while he's sitting at home on the couch (or more likely working out in the gym).

No, Brooks Koepka on Sunday in South Korea will have a chance to ascend to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking the way every player would most want to - with a victory.

On the strength of a bogey-free round of 5-under 67 Saturday, Koepka will enter the final round of the CJ Cup four clear of Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy, with six more players five behind.

The tournament is Koepka's to lose, and so too is the No. 1 ranking. So long as Justin Thomas doesn't somehow defend his title from 12 shots back, Koepka can supplant Dustin Johnson atop the rankings with a win or a solo second-place finish.


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"It was something I wanted to do. I always wanted to become World No. 1 in a week that I was playing," Koepka said Saturday. "I thought like I could really earn it and not have a week off where it just so happens that you bump up. No, it would be very special, and to do it here would be nice and hopefully get to world No. 1 and cap it off with a win, I don't think there would be much better."

It would be a fitting end to this breakthrough year for Koepka, who successfully defended his U.S. Open title and then added his third major victory at the PGA Championship en route to claiming the PGA Tour's Player of the Year Award. Oddly enough, considering his status a three-time major winner and an impending No. 1, this would be Koepka's fifth Tour victory but only his second in a non-major; his only regular Tour win to date was his first, at the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

"My confidence has always been pretty high," Koepka said. "Anytime you can win three majors you're going to be feeling pretty good about yourself. To do what I've done over the last two years has been special, but I'm looking to build on that."

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Koepka ahead by four, with No. 1 ranking in his grasp

By Nick MentaOctober 20, 2018, 5:48 am

Following a closing birdie and a third-round 67 at Nine Bridges, Brooks Koepka will take a four-shot lead over Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy into final round of the CJ Cup. Here's how Koepka separated himself from the field in South Korea.

Leaderboard: Koepka (-13), Piercy (-9), Poulter (-9), Rafa Cabrera Bello (-8), Cameron Smith (-8), Jaime Lovemark (-8), Pat Perez (-8), Gary Woodland (-8), Chez Reavie (-8)

What it means: Koepka is in search of his fifth PGA Tour victory and – believe it or not – only his second non-major. The three-time major champion’s only other win came all the way back in February 2015, at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. One off the lead to start the day, Koepka opened with eight straight pars and birdied Nos. 9 and 10 to take the outright lead at 10 under par. He added three more circles at 14, 17 and 18 to close out a bogey-free round of 5 under and go ahead by ahead by four. He'll be chased on Sunday by Piercy, a four-time PGA Tour winner who won the Zurich Classic earlier this year alongside Billy Horschel, and by Poulter, who ended a five-year worldwide winless drought back in April and is coming off a 2-2 performance at the Ryder Cup, with a Sunday singles victory over current world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. Speaking of which, unless Justin Thomas finds a way to win this tournament from 12 back, Koepka will for the first time ascend to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking with a win or a solo second-place finish.

Round of the day: After contending last week at the CIMB, Shubankhar Sharma rebounded from opening rounds of 74 and 75 with a nine-birdie, 8-under 64 to move up 45 spots into a tie for 26th through 54 holes.

Best of the rest: Four players – Rafa Cabrera Bello, Ted Potter Jr., Jason Day and Brendan Steele – shot 7-under 65 Saturday. Day played his first four holes in 2 over and his final 14 in 9 under.

Biggest disappointment: The only previous winner of this event, world No. 4 Justin Thomas entered the week with a chance to take back the No. 1 ranking with a successful title defense. But rounds of 73-70-72 have him 1 under for the week. Thomas played his back nine in 1 over Saturday with six pars, a birdie, a quadruple bogey and a closing eagle.

Shot of the day: Koepka flying his tee shot 330 yards to the front edge of the green at the par-4 14th and going on to two-putt for birdie.