Notes Jack Troubled by Kids Focus on Golf

By Associated PressNovember 28, 2007, 5:00 pm
Along with his record 18 professional majors and a PGA TOUR career that spanned four decades, perhaps one of the most remarkable tributes to the consistent greatness of Jack Nicklaus was that he only withdrew from two tournaments.
 
One of them was the Philadelphia Golf Classic in 1970. The other was the 1983 Masters.
 
Nicklaus doesn't consider himself lucky, just well-rounded -- not his shape, but his interest in other sports.
 
Even when he was at Ohio State, Nicklaus said he would put the clubs away after the golf season and play intramural football, basketball and volleyball. As a teenager, he played sports in every season.
 
'I think I was developed to play other things and do other things, and golf didn't beat me down to one thing. I just didn't wear out,' Nicklaus said during his recent visit to the World Golf Hall of Fame.
 
Hardly anyone lifted weights if they were serious about golf when Nicklaus was growing up, but so much about this sport has changed. Nick Faldo and Greg Norman were fanatical about fitness, then Tiger Woods and a host of others have taken that to a new level.
 
'It's a different day,' he said.
 
What concerns Nicklaus are kids who are steered toward golf and spend their time doing little else.
 
'You see kids specialize in golf. I think that is idiotic,' he said. 'To play all the sports is great. I played everything. My dad played everything. Golf to me was just another sport until I was about 19. When I won the National Amateur at 19, I finally said, 'Hmm, I must be a little better than I think I am.' It was just a game -- still is a game.'
 
His advice to young golfers?
 
'I think kids should be playing everything, doing everything,' he said. 'Eventually, if you want to specialize in something, that's fine. But go out and enjoy, and be happy to be able to play other things.'
 
EVE N. PAR:
The LPGA Tour rolled out a playful statistic this year, keeping track of how much a player would have earned by finishing at even par (Eve N. Par) in all official events.
 
Eve N. Par would have finished with $605,121 to finish at No. 24 on the LPGA money list.
 
Apply that to the PGA TOUR, and the statistics get skewed, for Eve N. Par would have won the Masters and the U.S. Open. Total earnings would have been $4,650,492 to finish at No. 5 on the PGA Tour money list, playing in 43 tournaments.
 
Throw out the majors and replace them with opposite-field events (when applicable), and the total would have been $1,780,875 to finish 48th on the money list.
 
ULTIMATE GAME:
The Ultimate Game offers a $1 million first prize to two-player teams that pay their own entry fee of up to $60,000. The competition is off limits to fully exempt members of the PGA, European, Asian, Japan, Nationwide and Champions tours.
 
But it doesn't say anything about the LPGA Tour.
 
U.S. Women's Open champion Cristie Kerr plans to sign up for the March 6-11 event with her swing coach, Jim McLean.
 
'It's not often that I get to play in such a unique format with my longtime mentor and a person who has so greatly influenced my golf game,' Kerr said of McLean. 'Couple that with the fact that it's a chance to play for $1 million, and I can't wait.'
 
Kerr will play from the same tees as the men in the better-ball format. Entry fees range from $45,000 to $60,000 per team, and players get that back if they win two matches. It will be held at the PGA West Stadium Course.
 
CHOPRA'S CHOICE:
Daniel Chopra made plenty of right decisions when he won the Ginn sur Mer Classic last month, his first PGA TOUR victory that gives him a two-year exemption.
 
With Q-school starting Wednesday, it was a reminder of another good decision he made six years ago.
 
Chopra reached the final round of Q-school on the European Tour, and the second stage of Q-school on the PGA TOUR. The problem was they were scheduled the same week in November 2001.
 
'So I had to make a choice,' Chopra said. 'Do I go to European Tour school, final stage, have a chance to get on to the big tour? Or do I say, 'No, I want to go and play the PGA TOUR?''
 
The decision was surprisingly easy.
 
Chopra backed out of the European Q-school finals, stunning many around him. It was a huge risk; had he not advanced and earned a card through the PGA TOUR's Q-school, he would have essentially had nowhere to play in 2002. But he wound up making the Nationwide Tour that year, got to the big tour in 2004 and finally showed he could win.
 
'Took a long time,' Chopra said.
 
JACK IS BACK:
Jack Nicklaus is heading into the meat of his tournament schedule.
 
First up is the Del Webb Father-Son Challenge this weekend in Orlando, where he and Gary will try to win for the second time. Then after a three-month break, Nicklaus and Tom Watson will defend their title in the Wendy's Champions Skins Game in Hawaii.
 
That's about all the competition Nicklaus needs these days.
 
Nicklaus and Watson will compete in the Champions Skins Game Feb. 23-24 against Arnold Palmer and Jay Haas; Gary Player and Loren Roberts; and Fuzzy Zoeller and Peter Jacobsen. The format at Royal Kaanapali is alternate shot.
 
Nicklaus has earned $2,295,000 in the Champions Skins Game, about 40 percent of what he earned in his 45 years on the PGA TOUR.
 
DIVOTS:
Davis Love III had hoped to return from ankle surgery in time for the Father-Son Challenge and the Target World Challenge, but he is not ready to play. His next start likely will be the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Love, who received an invitation to Target, was replaced in the 16-man field by Colin Montgomerie. ... The PGA Grand Slam of Golf will return to the Mid-Ocean Club on Bermuda next year. It will be played Oct. 14-15, two weeks after the Tour Championship. ... PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem was asked if he could envision Tiger Woods ever joining the European Tour with the new bonus money and $10 million season-ending event in Dubai. 'I've learned after 11 years to let Tiger speak for himself,' he said. ... The 18 players in the Father-Son Challenge have combined to win 62 majors.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK:
Sixteen players at the final stage of Q-school are past champions on the PGA TOUR.
 
FINAL WORD:
'It's not quite the Masters, but it's $675,000. Thank you.' -- Stephen Ames, on winning the LG Skins Game.
 
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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'The Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team

By Nick MentaJuly 19, 2018, 4:45 pm

“The Golf Club 2019” is adding a new name to its commentary team.

Broadcaster Luke Elvy will join returning announcer and HB Studios developer John McCarthy for the title's third installment.

Golf fans will recognize Elvy from his recent work with CBS in addition to his time with Sky Sports, FOX Sports, TNT, PGA Tour Live and PGA Tour Radio.

A 25-year media veteran from Australia, he now works in the United States and lives with his family in Canada.

"Ian Baker-Finch was my right-hand man on Australian televison," Elvy told GolfChannel.com in an interview at the Quicken Loans National. "And Finchy said to me, 'What are you doing here? You should be with me in the States.’ He introduced me to a few people over here and that's how the transition has happened over the last five or six years."

Elvy didn't have any prior relationship with HB Studios, who reached out to him via his management at CAA. As for why he got the job, he pseudo-jokes: "They heard the accent, and said, 'We like that. That works for us. Let's go.' That's literally how it happened."

He participated in two separate recording sessions over three days, first at his home back in February and then at the HB Studios shortly after The Players Championship. He teased his involvement when the game was announced in May.

Although he doesn't describe himself as a "gamer," Elvy lauded the game's immediate playability, even for a novice.

“It’s exactly how you’d want golf to be,” he said.

"The Golf Club 2019" will be the first in the HB series to feature PGA Tour branding. The Tour had previously licensed its video game rights to EA Sports.

In addition to a career mode that will take players from the Web.com Tour all the way through the FedExCup Playoffs, "The Golf Club 2019" will also feature at launch replicas of six TPC courses played annually on Tour – TPC Summerlin (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open), TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course (The Players Championship), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic/WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship), TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic), and TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

“I played nine holes at Scottsdale,” Elvy added. “It’s a very close comparison. Visually, it’s very realistic."

The Golf Club 2019 is due out this August on PlayStation 4, XBOX One, and PC.

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Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

“Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

The problem was an expired visa.

Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

“Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

“It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

“The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

“That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

“They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

“The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”