Dalys Ryder Cup Hopes May be Dashed

By Associated PressAugust 12, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 PGA ChampionshipHAVEN, Wis. -- If this had been match play, John Daly's wild adventure Thursday on the 18th hole at Whistling Straits would have cost him only one hole.
But it was the PGA Championship, and his quadruple-bogey 8 almost certainly cost him more than just four shots to par.
It likely cost him any chance of making his first Ryder Cup team.
Needing a great performance to earn his way onto the team, Daly turned in his worst score of the year -- an 81 that featured three double bogeys and that ugly 8 -- leaving him 16 shots out of the lead and headed for his third weekend off in the majors. Daly was tied for last place with Rory Sabbatini.
'I've got to play some incredible golf tomorrow just to make the cut,' Daly said. 'I've been through worse challenges. Hopefully, I'm up for this one.'
Daly won at Torrey Pines in February for his first U.S. victory in 10 years. He was one putt away from a chance to win two weeks ago at the Buick Open, which moved him up to 20th in the Ryder Cup standings and made him the people's choice to be a captain's pick, if he didn't get into the top 10 and make the team on his own.
It all vanished with a couple of bad swings with a 2-iron, and one disastrous hole.
'(No.) 18 really crushed me,' he said.
On his ninth hole of the opening round, paired with Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh, Daly hit 2-iron off the tee left and into a bunker. He couldn't figure out how to get out, either by going sideways or even backward, so he tried to blast it over a valley into a landing area.
But it came up short, and Daly could only advance it a few yards out of the gnarly grass. He hit his fourth shot into a bunker in such a bad spot that his only option was to play away from the flag, the ball trickling some 70 feet away on a green about the size of a football field.
Three putts later, Daly had an 8 -- and still nine holes to play.
He finished with two double bogeys, both times missing the fairway with a 2-iron, and was dead last among the early starters.
Other players in contention to make the Ryder Cup team took advantage. Scott Verplank (14th in the standings) had a 67, while Chris DiMarco (15th) and Jay Haas (10th) each had 68.
'Some guys on the board are doing good,' Daly said. 'I've got to worry about making the cut, and then try to do something on the weekend.'
Daly's round came one day after U.S. captain Hal Sutton offered strong suggestions that while Daly might be a sentimental favorite, he was more interested in statistics.

And one statistic that has jumped out at Sutton is how guys fare on the par-4s and par-3s, particularly important since power might not be all that important at Oakland Hills for the Ryder Cup next month.
'There are three par-5s at Oakland Hills,' Sutton said on the eve of the PGA. 'There's more par-3s and more par-4s than anything else. And go look at everybody's stats for par-3s and par-4s for the year. You'll find out what I think is important and what's not important.'
Sutton only needed to look at Daly's round on Thursday.
His only two birdies came on the par-5s. He played the par-4s in 11 over par, not the best way to impress the captain.
'Like Hal said, par-3s and par-4s are what he's looking at,' Daly said. 'I really wish he'd say, 'JD is leading the all-around stats on the PGA Tour.''
Daly is the only two-time major winner to have never played in the Ryder Cup, and his popularity with blue-collar fans -- especially those in Detroit -- led several people to believe he would be a logical choice.
But Sutton has been looking for players who desperately want to be on the team, and he was never sold on Daly. Not only did Daly skip qualifying for the U.S. Open -- a major where Ryder Cup points count double -- he was perplexed why Daly chose to skip the International last week.
Those close to Sutton say what really got under his skin was when he asked the top 25 players to be fitted for Ryder Cup uniforms at the Memorial, and despite being reminded, Daly never bothered to show up.
Daly said he wasn't paying attention to the Ryder Cup this week, that he only wanted to play good golf.
'I hadn't even really thought about it,' Daly said. 'The way I'd been playing, I was honestly thinking, 'Hey, I could win this golf tournament.' And I love this course. I'm just trying to do the best I can.'
It wasn't enough on Thursday. Not even close.
Daly said he would love to play on his first Ryder Cup team, 'but I've got to play better than I did today.'
Even that probably won't be enough.
Related Links:
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    Hammer in position (again) to co-medal at U.S. Am

    By Ryan LavnerAugust 14, 2018, 10:37 pm

    PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Cole Hammer is in position to go for a rare sweep in this summer’s biggest events.

    Two weeks ago, Hammer, an incoming freshman at Texas, was the co-medalist at the Western Amateur and went on to take the match-play portion, as well.

    Here at the U.S. Amateur, Hammer shot rounds of 69-68 and was once again in position to earn co-medalist honors. At 6-under 137, he was tied with 19-year-old Daniel Hillier of New Zealand.

    “It would mean a lot, especially after being medalist at the Western Am,” Hammer said afterward. “It’s pretty special.”

    No stroke-play medalist has prevailed in the 64-man match-play bracket since Ryan Moore in 2004. Before that, Tiger Woods (1996) was the most recent medalist champion.  

    Match scoring from U.S. Amateur

    U.S. Amateur: Articles, photos and videos

    On the strength of his Western Am title, Hammer, 18, has soared to No. 18 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. He credited his work with swing coach Cameron McCormick and mental coach Bob Rotella.

    “Just really started controlling my iron shots really well,” said Hammer, who has worked with McCormick since 2015, when he qualified for the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay as a 15-year-old.

    “Distance control with my wedges and all my iron shots, playing different shots, has become really a strength in my game. I’ve really turned the putter on this year, and I’m seeing the lines and matching the line with the speed really well. I think that’s been the key to my summer.”

    A two-time New Zealand Amateur champion, Hillier is ranked 27th in the world. He said that, entering the tournament, he would have been pleased just to make it to match play.

    “But to come out on top, it’s amazing,” Hillier said. “Cole is a really good golfer and has been playing well lately. So, yeah, I’m in good company.”

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    Tee times, TV schedule, stats for Wyndham Championship

    By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 14, 2018, 9:55 pm

    It's the last tournament of the PGA Tour's regular season as the top 125 in the FedExCup points list advance to next week's playoff event. Here's the key info for the Wyndham Championship. (Click here for tee times)

    How to watch:

    Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 3-6PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 3-6PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

    Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

    Purse: $6 million

    Course: Sedgefield Country Club (par 70, 7,127 yards)

    Defending champion: Henrik Stenson. Last year he defeated Ollie Schniederjans by one stroke to earn his sixth career PGA Tour win.

    Notables in the field

    Henrik Stenson at the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational.

    Henrik Stenson

    • Missed the cut last week at the PGA Championship

    • Six top-10 finishes this year, including T-5 at the Masters and T-6 at the U.S. Open

    Sergio Garcia

    • Eight missed cuts in last 10 PGA Tour starts

    • Currently 131 in FedExCup standings (33 points back of 125th)

    Webb Simpson

    • Five top-10 finishes in this event since 2010 (won in 2011)

    • 56 under par in last five years in this event (best of any player in that span)

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    Faldo: Woods told fellow Masters champ 'I'm done' in '17

    By Will GrayAugust 14, 2018, 7:42 pm

    Fresh off his runner-up finish at the PGA Championship, it's easy to get caught up in the recent success and ebullient optimism surrounding Tiger Woods. But it was not that long ago that Woods even hitting another competitive shot was very much in doubt.

    Six-time major champ Sir Nick Faldo shed light on those darker times during a recent appearance on the Dan Patrick Show when he relayed a story from the 2017 Masters champions' dinner. The annual meal is one of golf's most exclusive fraternities, as only the chairman of Augusta National Golf Club is allowed to dine with the men who have each donned a green jacket.

    Last spring Woods had not yet undergone spinal fusion surgery, and Faldo explained that Woods at one point turned to an unnamed Masters champ and grimly assessed his future playing chances.

    Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    "I know he whispered to another Masters champion, two Masters dinners ago, 'I'm done. I won't play golf again,'" Faldo said. "He said, 'I'm done. I'm done, my back is done.' He was in agony. He was in pain. His leg, the pain down his legs, there was nothing enjoyable. He couldn't move. If you watched footage of him, he couldn't even get in and out of the golf cart at the (2016) Ryder Cup when he was a vice captain."

    But Woods opted for fusion surgery a few weeks later, and after a lengthy rehab process he returned to competition in December. His 2018 campaign has been nothing short of remarkable, with a pair of runner-up finishes to go along with a T-6 result at The Open when he held the outright lead on the back nine on Sunday.

    After apparently even counting himself out, Woods is back up to 26th in the latest world rankings and appears in line to be added as a captain's pick for the Ryder Cup next month.

    "What he's been able to do is unbelievable," Faldo said. "To turn this aruond, to get this spine fusion, it's completely taken away the pain. To have this mobility is absolutely amazing. Great on him, and great for golf."

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    McDowell needs Wyndham result to maintain status

    By Will GrayAugust 14, 2018, 5:56 pm

    For the first time in nearly three years, Graeme McDowell heads into an event with his PGA Tour status hanging in the balance.

    The Ulsterman joined the Tour in 2006, and he has had nearly uninterrupted status since winning the 2010 U.S. Open. But McDowell's two-season exemption for winning the 2015 OHL Classic at Mayakoba only extends through this week, where he will start the Wyndham Championship at No. 143 in the season-long points race.

    McDowell tied for fifth at Sedgefield Country Club in 2016, and he will likely need a similar result to crack the top 125 in the standings and retain his fully exempt status for the 2019 season. While he finished T-10 in Las Vegas in November, that remains his lone top-10 finish of the Tour season. The veteran's best results this year have come in Europe, where he tied for fifth at the Italian Open and finished T-12 at the BMW PGA Championship.

    Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    "I'm trying not to put too much pressure on myself. I feel like it's not a do-or-die scenario for me," McDowell told reporters earlier this month at the Barracuda Championship. "I feel if I was 25 years old without a European Tour card to fall back on, it would be a do-or-die scenario. Certainly trying to put the pressure off, if I don't get myself into the top 125 it's not the end of the world for me. I still feel like I can play a great schedule next season."

    By finishing Nos. 126-150 in points after this week, McDowell would retain conditional status that would likely ensure him at least 12-15 starts next season. He would also still have privileges as a past tournament champion.

    But he's not the only winner from the 2015-16 season whose two-year exemption is on the verge of running out. Fabian Gomez (160th), Peter Malnati (164th) and Billy Hurley III (202nd) all need big results in Greensboro to keep their cards, while Shane Lowry, David Lingmerth and Matt Every all earned three-year exemptions for victories in 2015 but currently sit Nos. 139, 140 and 184 in points, respectively.

    Last year four players moved into the top 125 thanks to strong play at Wyndham, with the biggest jump coming from Rory Sabbatini, who went from No. 148 to No. 122 after tying for fourth place.