Nicklaus Wants to Spice Up 08 Ryder Cup Site

By Associated PressAugust 23, 2006, 4:00 pm
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Jack Nicklaus wants to turn back the clock.
The golfing great spent several hours at Valhalla on Wednesday, home of the 2008 Ryder Cup, trying to find a way to counter the modifications in equipment that have allowed today's pros to turn some of golf's most revered courses into glorified pitch and putts.
'Times have changed,' Nicklaus said. 'In the 20 years since we did the golf course, golf equipment has changed dramatically. The ability of the players has changed dramatically with the equipment. To challenge the players of today ... we need to add a little bit more spice to it.'
That means adding approximately 300 yards to the 7,200-yard layout in time for the 2008 competition between the U.S. and European teams. It also means dotting the course with more bunkers and trying to design a par 4 that players won't be able to hit a wedge into, as he described the par 4 No. 6 at Valhalla. It could play around 500 yards after the redesign.
When Valhalla opened in 1986, Nicklaus didn't imagine it would become outdated in two decades. But Nicklaus said the course -- which hosted the 1996 and 2000 PGA Championships and the 2004 Senior PGA Championship -- no longer has enough teeth to produce the kind of challenging golf a prestigious event like the Ryder Cup requires.
'It's a different era, it's a different game, I don't even relate to it,' he said. 'The golf that Tiger (Woods) has been playing lately has been phenomenal. I can't imagine beating all the players in the world hitting irons and leaving all the woods in the bag like he did at the British Open.'
Nicklaus said courses can only be stretched so far, adding that golf's two governing bodies -- the United States Golf Association and the Royal and Ancient -- seem to understand it's time to do something.
'I think they realize that the game has gotten out of hand and they know they're going to have to do some things,' he said. 'What those things are? They are the governing body and they're studying it. It took them a bit of time to get there and they're getting there. We'll just have to see. We may come back and shorten the course 500 yards next year.'
Nicklaus said an obvious change would be placing restrictions on the equipment.
'It's devil of a lot cheaper to change a golf ball or a spec on a golf club than it is to change every golf course that you play a golf tournament on, and a darn site cheaper,' he said. 'But it is what it is.'
Which is a game that Nicklaus doesn't recognize.
'I like the old game,' he said. 'I'm sure the guys today like the new game. Now the new game today is exciting, but we've got to take the golf courses and make it fit today's game.'
Nicklaus didn't see much of Woods' win at the PGA Championship at Medinah last week -- his 12th career major -- but joked that he doesn't think it'll take long for Woods to surpass his record of 18 major wins.
'He's going to blow by that in a week or two,' Nicklaus said with a laugh. 'I don't really think much about it. Obviously nobody wants their record to be broken but every time you pick up a newspaper, every time you pick up a magazine, 'It was 11, only seven to go.' 'It was 12, only six to go.' It keeps me in the newspapers, too. It keeps you guys writing about me, too. The type of golf he's playing, nobody is able to stop him right now.'
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Actor/Comedian Kevin Nealon Joins "Feherty," Monday, Aug. 20 at 9 p.m. ET

By Golf Channel Public RelationsAugust 16, 2018, 1:15 pm

Actor/comedian Kevin Nealon (Saturday Night Live) will join David Feherty on his self-titled, Emmy-nominated series Feherty presented by Farmers Insurance®, Monday at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.

Filmed at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles last month, the episode will focus on numerous topics, including:

  • Nealon discussing his start in comedy in Los Angeles, where he worked as a bartender and filled in for comics who failed to show up for their act.
  • Reminiscing about his appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1984.
  • Reflecting on his nine-year run as a cast member on Saturday Night Live.
  • Recounting the time when his golf ball struck Adam Sandler during a round they were playing with filming Happy Gilmore.
  • Recalling time spent with Arnold Palmer during the filming of a commercial a few years ago.

The following Monday (Aug. 27), Feherty will be joined by 20-time LPGA Tour winner Cristie Kerr at 9 p.m. ET, and then on Monday, Sept. 3 (9 p.m. ET), major champion Jimmy Walker will join as a guest for the series’ season finale.

A two-time Emmy-nominated host (Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Host) Feherty has been described as “golf’s iconoclast,” by Rolling Stone, and “the last unscripted man on TV,” by Men’s Journal. His all-star lineup of golf-enthused and culturally relevant guests feature celebrities from across entertainment, sports and politics. To date, Feherty has sat down with four U.S. Presidents (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump); sports legends Charles Barkley, Nick Saban, Stephen Curry and Bobby Knight; Hollywood icons Matthew McConaughey, Larry David and Samuel L. Jackson; World Golf of Fame members Nancy Lopez, Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson; and a host of current golf superstars including Paula Creamer, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Michelle Wie. Feherty is produced by Golf Channel’s original productions group, which also oversees production for Driver vs. Driver, Golf Films as well as the network’s instruction platforms.

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Thomas talks Tiger, plays 'Facebreakers' on 'Tonight Show'

By Grill Room TeamAugust 16, 2018, 1:14 pm

Justin Thomas didn't successfully defend his title at last week's PGA Championship, but he did get a guest spot on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon."

Thomas appeared on the talk show Wednesday night and, of course, a primary topic was Tiger Woods' run at the Wanamaker Trophy.

Thomas also played a game of "Facebreakers" with host Fallon, in which both men tried to break panes of glass emblazoned with the other's face with golf shots. Thomas nearly took out the real Fallon on his first shot, and after several uncessful attempts by both men, massive cheating ensued.

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Bhatia loses U.S. Am match after caddie-cart incident

By Ryan LavnerAugust 16, 2018, 2:21 am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – One of the hottest players in amateur golf had his U.S. Amateur run end Wednesday under unusual circumstances.

Akshay Bhatia, the 16-year-old left-hander who has been dominating the junior golf circuit over the past year, squandered a late lead in his eventual 19-hole loss to Bradford Tilley in the Round of 64.

Bhatia was all square against Tilley as they played Pebble Beach’s par-5 14th hole. After knocking his second shot onto the green, Bhatia and his caddie, Chris Darnell, stopped to use the restroom. Bhatia walked up to the green afterward, but Darnell asked what he thought was a USGA official for a ride up to the green.

“The gentleman was wearing a USGA pullover,” Darnell explained afterward. “I asked if I could get a ride to the green to keep up pace, and he said yes. So I hopped on the back, got up to the green, hopped off and thought nothing of it.”

Conditions of the competition prohibit players and caddies from riding on any form of transportation during a stipulated round unless authorized.

It turns out that the cart that Darnell rode on was not driven by a USGA official. Rather, it was just a volunteer wearing USGA apparel. A rules official who was in the area spotted the infraction and assessed Bhatia an adjustment penalty, so instead of winning the hole with a birdie-4 to move 1 up, the match remained all square.

U.S. Amateur: Articles, photos and videos

Even more interesting was what Darnell said happened earlier in the match.

“I had already seen the other caddie in our group do it on the ninth hole,” Darnell said. “Same thing – USGA pullover, drove him from the bathroom up to the fairway – so I assumed it was fine. I didn’t point it out at the time because everything seemed kosher. He had the USGA stuff on, and I didn’t think anything of it.”

Bhatia won the 15th hole to go 1 up, but lost the 17th and 19th holes with bogeys to lose the match. He didn’t blame the outcome on the cart incident.  

“What can you do? I’ll have plenty of opportunities to play in this tournament, so I’m not too upset about it,” he said. “It’s just frustrating because I deserved to win that match. That wasn’t the outcome I wanted, but I can’t do anything about it.”

Bhatia, of Wake Forest, N.C., has been a dominant force in the junior ranks, going back-to-back at the Junior PGA (including this dramatic hole-out), capturing the AJGA Polo, taking the Sage Valley Invitational and reaching the finals of the U.S. Junior.

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1, 2, 3 out: Thornberry, Suh, Morikawa lose at U.S. Am

By Ryan LavnerAugust 16, 2018, 1:14 am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – The top three players in the world had a tough afternoon Wednesday at Pebble Beach.

Braden Thornberry, Justin Suh and Collin Morikawa – Nos. 1-3, respectively, in the World Amateur Golf Ranking – all lost their Round of 64 matches at the U.S. Amateur.

Thornberry lost, 2 and 1, to Jesus Montenegro of Argentina. As the No. 1 amateur in the world, the Ole Miss senior was in line to receive the McCormack Medal, which would exempt him into both summer Opens in 2019, provided he remains amateur. But now he’ll need to wait and see how the rankings shake out.

Suh and Morikawa could have played each other in the Round of 32, but instead they were both heading home early.

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Suh, a junior at USC, never led in his 1-up loss to Harrison Ott, while Cal's Morikawa lost to another Vanderbilt player, John Augenstein, in 19 holes.

Englishman Matthew Jordan is the fourth-ranked player in the world, but he didn’t make the 36-hole stroke-play cut.

The highest-ranked player remaining is Oklahoma State junior Viktor Hovland, who is ranked fifth. With his college coach, Alan Bratton, on the bag, Hovland beat his Cowboys teammate, Hayden Wood, 3 and 2, to reach the Round of 32.