Notes Daly Promoting Tournament for Best Friends

By Associated PressFebruary 1, 2005, 5:00 pm
Not many PGA Tour players appeal to common folks like John Daly, so it's only fitting that the two-time major champion is helping to launch a national tournament aimed at the grass roots of golf - playing with friends.
Daly is promoting the Championships of Best Friends,'' which will take place in eight NFL cities this spring for twosomes who will be judged by their scores and an essay they write about their friendship.
This is something different,'' Daly said. This is more family oriented. It's cool to be able to share stories, because every story will touch somebody in life.''
The tournament will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and will be played in Jacksonville, Fla., Detroit, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Pittsburgh. Teams can sign up at The entry fee is $299.
Each team must have a USGA handicap and a short story about their relationship. The 30 best net scores and gross scores will advance to the city finals, along with 10 teams judged to have the best friendship stories.
The winners of each city will meet on the TPC at Valencia in California next January, where each will be paired with a PGA Tour player and his friend.
Organizers said all eight teams will go to the Super Bowl after the tournament.
Among the PGA Tour players expected to play are Daly, Scott Hoch, Chris Riley Rory Sabbatini and Rod Pampling.
Golf is a sport that brings friends together,'' Daly said. It's a sport that doesn't discriminate, and one that has seen many friends through good times and bad.''
Daly said he still enjoys playing with his buddies as much as he does on tour.
They don't care what I shoot,'' he said. We get in a cart, and they look at all the new stuff I've got that's coming out, and they want to know how they can get some of it.''
The 54-hole leader on the PGA Tour wins something called the Crestor Charity Challenge, and gets to designate $50,000 to a health charity of his choice.
So far this year, that's all he gets.
None of the third-round leaders have gone on to win through the first four tournaments this year - Vijay Singh at the Mercedes Championships, Shigeki Maruyama at the Sony Open, Tom Lehman at the Buick Invitational and Joe Ogilvie at the Bob Hope Classic.
That's the longest such streak to start off a season since 1976, when the 54-hole leaders failed to cash in at the first five tournaments until J.C.
Snead finished off the job in the Andy Williams-San Diego Open.
Curtis Strange turned 50 and already sounds like he's losing his mind.
I don't know where to go,'' he said in a recent interview. I don't know where to stay. I don't know where to fly.''
The two-time U.S. Open champion has a good excuse.
Strange will be the newest rookie when the Champions Tour resumes in two weeks at The ACE Group Classic in Naples, Fla., among several cities he never played during his 26 years on the PGA Tour.
As for the rest of his senior schedule? Stay tuned.
I was never one to set a schedule, because I never knew how I was going to feel,'' Strange said. And that's the way I'll take this.''
Strange has no idea what to expect.
He last won in the 1989 U.S. Open, where he became the first player since Ben Hogan to win back-to-back U.S. Open titles. Strange said his pursuit of a third straight U.S. Open - he was two shots out of the lead going into the last round until closing with a 75 at Medinah - might have contributed to a case of burnout.
It was after going for three that I kind of lost a lot of drive,'' he said. I think burnout would probably be as close to describing my feeling as anything else. I just never got quite the enthusiasm back, and I played with a lot of enthusiasm. If I was not on edge, then I didn't play very well.''
Strange spent the last decade as an analyst for ABC Sports, and had only seven top-10 finishes during his time in the booth. He has been a regular on the range the last few months to get his swing in shape, although he's keeping his expectations modest for the Champions Tour.
I'm anxious to find out what I have, and I'm a little leery about finding that out,'' he said.
The world ranking becomes a popular topic this time of the year with the cutoff for the Match Play Championship just two weeks away.
Everyone in the top 65 after the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am will qualify for the $7.5 million event at La Costa. The one extra spot is because Ernie Els is not playing this World Golf Championship for the second straight year.
Tim Herron helped his cause with a tie for sixth at the Bob Hope Classic, moving him up nine spots to No. 54 in the world. Then again, Lumpy is among those who quit worrying about his ranking.
The more you look at it, the higher your ranking starts going,'' Herron said. So I don't even look at it. They can tell me if I'm in or not. I'll just commit to it five weeks down the line.''
Another big move came from Loren Roberts, who rose 17 spots to No. 64 with his tie for fourth at the Hope.
Among those who will have to play well the next two weeks are Brad Faxon (No. 71), who has missed the cut in his first three tournaments this year; and Colin Montgomerie (No. 73), who narrowly got into the Accenture Match Play Championship last year by winning in Singapore.
Hale Irwin has 100 finishes in the top three on the Champion Tour.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Getty Images

Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 12:34 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tommy Fleetwood looked like an Open rookie when he set out on Friday under gray skies and a cold, steady rain.

Because the Englishman doesn’t have an equipment sponsor he made a quick turn through the merchandise tent for an umbrella – but at least he didn’t have to pay for it.

“We stole it,” he laughed when asked about his Open-brand umbrella. “We got one given for free, actually. We didn't steal it. We don't always carry an umbrella. So it just so happens this week that we've got a nice Open Championship [umbrella]. It looked quite nice, the yellow and the course.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

It was Fleetwood’s only rookie move on Day 2 at Carnoustie, posting a flawless 65 to move into an early tie for second place at 5 under par.

Fleetwood holds the competitive course record at Carnoustie, a 9-under 63 he shot last fall during the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, but given Friday’s conditions and the difficulty of this course during The Open, his 65 on Friday might have been better.

“It's not a course record, but it's pretty good,” said Fleetwood, who was stroke behind leader Zach Johnson. “If you went out, you wouldn't really fancy being 6 under out there. So I think that's a good indication of how good it was.”

It was a dramatic turnaround for Fleetwood on Friday. He said he struggled with his ball-striking, specifically his tee shots, on Day 1, but he was able to turn things around with an hour-long session on the range following his opening round.

Getty Images

Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.

Getty Images

McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

Said Harmon:

“Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

“This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

“Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.

Getty Images

How The Open cut line is determined

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:57 am

Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.

The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.

• There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.

• There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.

The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.