Notes Jobes Fingers Reattached Weir Woes
This time, he had reason to believe his career might be over.
Jobe was sweeping his garage late last year when the handle broke, exposing a thin piece of metal that sliced through his fingers. He felt pain, then a little fear when he looked down and saw the top of his fingers on the floor.
He calmly placed the tips in a bag and said to his 6-year-old daughter, ``Daddy has to go to the hospital.''
Jobe said three doctors at the emergency room near Dallas told him there was nothing they could do, but he found another one - Dr. David Zehr - who specializes in attaching fingers. He went to work on it right away, and it was a success.
``Emotionally, this was the hardest of the injuries,'' Jobe said. ``I was lucky.''
In 2003, Jobe broke a bone in his left wrist and broke it again a year later. He still has no feeling in his pinky finger from those injuries.
Jobe is making his 2007 debut at the PODS Championship, with 10 tournaments having already been played.
``It wouldn't be that big of a deal if this were a normal year,'' Jobe said. ``But with the FedExCup and everything, you probably have to be 80th to have any chance of winning it. I'm already two months behind.''
He is not eligible for three of the next four tournaments (Bay Hill, Doral and the Masters) but plans to play often. Assuming he stays healthy.
``If I keep this up, I'm going to be a bionic man,'' he said.
BACK TO GOLF:
Robert Ames made a decent living the last three years as the caddie for his brother, Stephen, whose victories include the Western Open and The Players Championship.
But Robert Ames wasn't ready to let go of his golf dreams.
After spending the winter playing in South America, he will spend the next few months playing on mini-tours in Florida and trying to qualify Monday for the Nationwide Tour. He played smaller tours before going to work for big brother.
``I sat down and looked at all the options of where I was going with my career,'' Ames said. ``I called up Steve and said, 'Thank you for all you've done for me and my family, but I'm going to do my own thing.'''
What made Ames & Ames such a good combination was the difference in their thinking. Stephen Ames has always been about feel, while Robert Ames concentrates on the technical side.
``Hopefully, he learned some things over the last three years,'' Stephen Ames said. ``He needs to spend more time playing golf instead of playing the golf swing.''
They played together in Barbados, representing Trinidad & Tobago in the World Cup. They tied for 21st at 4-over 284.
``I think I've learned to manage my game better,'' Robert Ames said. ``We had a discussion about that in Barbados. He told me that I'm swinging it good. It's taking me a little bit of a time, but so far it's good.''
For the first time this year, FedExCup points matter.
The next two weeks will help determine the field for the World Golf Championship at Doral, and the PGA TOUR added a wrinkle recently by awarding spots to the top 10 in the FedExCup standings after Tampa and Bay Hill.
Jeff Quinney is 11th in the standings, 366 points behind Henrik Stenson (18th place is worth 375 points). Everyone else down to Kevin Sutherland at No. 18 already is eligible, and Sutherland would need a third-place finish to qualify for Doral.
Once players get to Doral, the focus returns to money, as the top 10 on the PGA TOUR money list are eligible for the Masters. No one knows that better than Mark Wilson, which he proved Monday when someone mentioned a PGA TOUR victory no longer makes a player exempt for Augusta National.
``Top 10 on the money list does, though - through Doral,'' Wilson said after his playoff victory at the Honda Classic. ``I looked at that last night.''
His victory put him at No. 7 on the money list. Now he has three weeks to stay there.
The PGA TOUR first looked at taking the Presidents Cup to Canada in 2003, the year Mike Weir won the Masters. Now, the matches will be played the last week in September at Royal Montreal, and the International team might be devoid of Canadians.
Weir is in somewhat of a slump while undergoing swing changes to alleviate pressure on his back, but he did finish fifth last week in the Johnnie Walker Classic in Thailand. Even so, he is not among the top 15 in the standings for the International team.
Just because the Presidents Cup is in Canada for the first time, don't expect any favors from the captain.
``I can't just put a Canadian in because we're playing in Canada and the people would love to see it,'' Gary Player said last week. ``It's my duty as captain to put in the very best team. But if he's in 21st position, I know that Mike Weir wouldn't expect to be in the team. Whoever it is has got to earn his spot in the team.''
It was strange that Player used 21st in the standings as an example.
Two years ago, he used a captain's pick on countryman Trevor Immelman at No. 22, passing over PGA runner-up Steve Elkington and Geoff Ogilvy, who tied for fifth in the British Open and tied for sixth in the PGA Championship.
``The entire press crucified me,'' Player said. ``They had five Australians in the team as it was, and I picked Immelman, and Immelman is now becoming one of the best players in the world. But I never heard them say, 'You were right' or 'I apologize.' I was the bum. Now I know they were the bums because they made a terrible mistake.''
Immelman went 1-3 in his four matches that week.
Mark Wilson's victory at the Honda Classic was the 200th by a player who has competed on the Nationwide Tour. ... ESPN will remain the exclusive cable network of the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Senior Open through 2014. ... Candy Hannemann has started ``Candy Cares,'' in which she will donate $50 for every birdie she makes on the LPGA Tour toward youth and education programs in her native Brazil.
STAT OF THE WEEK:
Ten tournaments into the PGA TOUR season, three players already have earned more than $1 million without winning - Geoff Ogilvy, John Rollins and Trevor Immelman.
``They should be very proud of their tour, justifiably so. I don't think there's much awry there. I just feel that the rest of the world has caught up.'' - Colin Montgomerie, on the state of American golf and the PGA TOUR.
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
McIlroy: U.S. Open MC 'blessing in disguise'
CROMWELL, Conn. – Watching a major championship unfold from the comfort of your living room is never an ideal strategy for any top-ranked pro, but sometimes players are forced to make the best of a bad situation.
Case in point Rory McIlroy, who ballooned to an opening-round 80 at the U.S. Open and never factored after that. The Ulsterman struggled to find a comfort zone at Shinnecock Hills, missing the U.S. Open cut for the third straight year.
But given a few extra days to prep, McIlroy appears to have cured what was ailing him after leading the Travelers Championship field in a number of ball-striking categories during an opening-round 64 that left him one shot behind leaders Jordan Spieth and Zach Johnson.
“Obviously you never want to miss a cut in a major, but it might have been a blessing in disguise for the rest of the year,” McIlroy said.
Even after hitting 17 of 18 greens in regulation during his second trip around Shinnecock, McIlroy went back to the drawing board as he looks to emulate the swing he used in 2010 and 2011 when he won twice on the PGA Tour including the U.S. Open. While he notes that changes to his body will limit his ability to conjure an exact replica, he’s more in search of the positive thoughts that helped get his burgeoning pro career off the ground.
“It’s just trying to go back and, OK, I was swinging it really well then. What was I doing? What was I thinking about? What was the focus on the swing?” McIlroy said. “Just trying to rack your brain to recreate feelings that you had back then. That’s basically what I did over the weekend. I got a feeling that really sort of resonated with me, and brought me back to a time when I was swinging it really well, and just sort of went with that feeling.”
Spieth, McIlroy get back on track at Travelers
CROMWELL, Conn. – What a difference a week makes.
Players speak in unison about a desire to peak four times per year when the major trophies are on the line. But it’s a soft science, easier said than done. Sometimes the key is to play your way onto the biggest stages, while other times the best practice is to build reps far away from the PGA Tour rope line.
Jordan Spieth got to Shinnecock Hills the weekend before the U.S. Open began, logging two full practice rounds before sitting down for his pre-tournament interview. Rory McIlroy went to an even further extreme, basically establishing residency in the Hamptons while playing every top-100 golf course within a 20-mile radius.
They were concerted efforts, carefully calculated plans of attack that both men hoped would yield a second U.S. Open title. They also blew up in their faces in record time.
Spieth was 4 over after just two holes at Shinnecock, while McIlroy played his first 11 in 10 over. Just like that, the best-laid plans got lost in the knee-high fescue as one of a finite number of legitimate shots at major glory went by the wayside before lunch was served.
Both players snuck off the premises well before the course became the weekend storyline, each bearing the battle scars of a missed cut. But given a chance to quickly reverse their fortunes, they both took full advantage at the Travelers Championship.
Spieth has spoken openly in recent weeks about the wars he continues to wage with his own game, as his putter has been downgraded from balky to outright uncooperative. Just as things started to turn around on the greens at the Memorial, his reliable ball-striking began to fade. A full-blown game of whack-a-mole has ensued.
“It’s certainly a testing year for me, and it’s a building year,” Spieth said. “It’s one where I can actually come out stronger. I’ve kind of looked at it that way the last couple months.”
It’s also been difficult for Spieth simply to get out of the gates in recent weeks. His third-place showing at the Masters remains a high water mark, but it was the product of a scintillating finale that came after starting the day well off the pace. Spieth remains candid about the fact that he has lacked a quality chance to win this year, one that he has previously defined as being within six shots of the lead entering Sunday.
All of those factors combined to make his opening 63 especially satisfying, as he returned to TPC River Highlands as defending champ and quickly grabbed a share of the lead, once again carving up a lush layout where he has nothing but positive memories.
“First rounds have been tough for me, trying to do a little bit too much. Trying to get shots back when I drop one and trying to have to birdie easy holes,” Spieth said. “The putter is starting to look better to me, so I can play a little bit more conservatively and still get a lot out of the round.”
McIlroy was alongside Spieth and Zach Johnson before a bogey on the final hole, but even a 6-under 64 matched his low round of the season on Tour. The Ulsterman downplayed his eye-popping score at Shinnecock entering a fresh week, noting that his tee-to-green performance where he hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation during the second round might be good enough to win this week at a more vulnerable venue.
It appears his thesis has merit, albeit through one round.
“I did a lot of similar things to what I did today. It’s just a completely different animal,” McIlroy said. “Like, it’s nice getting off to a good start here. But as I keep saying, I’m not playing that differently now than I did last Thursday, and it’s a 16-shot difference.”
Just like his last competitive round, McIlroy missed only one green in regulation. But this time the stat line portends even greater potential, as he also led the field Thursday in driving distance, strokes gained: off the tee and strokes gained: tee-to-green.
McIlroy’s ceiling remains absurdly high, as demonstrated by the way he surged from the pack to win at Bay Hill and seemingly took early command of the BMW PGA Championship without breaking a sweat. It also doesn’t need lowering after a couple errant days on a grand stage.
“I played really well today. I feel like the work that I did over the weekend sort of started to pay off already,” McIlroy said. “Being able to work the ball both ways was something I wasn’t quite as comfortable doing last week.”
Despite flooding their respective scorecards with birdies, neither Spieth nor McIlroy created any distance from the field on a day when low scores were ripe for the picking. A total of 22 players opened with rounds of 66 or better, including four major champions not named Spieth or McIlroy.
But after pouring time, effort and energy into last week’s major and watching it all go so horribly wrong, this was a day to remember that sometimes the solutions are closer than the recent results make them appear.
“I’ve been sticking to the process. I’ve been very positive about making progress from how I got pretty off earlier this year. So it’s nice to see a good score,” Spieth said. “Just glad. The first rounds have been kind of detrimental to me, so it’s nice to be in the thick of things.”
Spieth shares Hartford lead; Rory 1 back
Just a few miles north but light years removed from the difficulty of Shinnecock Hills, the PGA Tour returned to week-in, week-out normalcy with the Travelers Championship. Here's what happened in the first round at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn.:
Leaderboard: Zach Johnson (-7), Jordan Spieth (-7), Rory McIlroy (-6), Peter Malnati (-6), Brian Harman (-6)
What it means: The two biggest names in the field, Spieth and McIlroy, are looking for a boost of confidence after missing the cut in the U.S. Open. Their scores look good, but McIlroy won't be happy about closing with a bogey.
Round of the day: Johnson and Spieth both put up 7-under 63s. Johnson, after a relatively pedestrian 2-under front nine, caught fire on the back, making six consecutive birdies on holes 11-16. A three-putt bogey at the 17th ended the run, and he parred the last for his 63. Spieth, the defending champion, put up two birdies and an eagle on the front and four more birdies on the back. Like Johnson, he had only one blemish, a bogey-5 on the drivable par-4 15th when he hooked his drive into the water.
Best of the rest: McIlroy, Malnati and Harman each shot 64. Malnati eagled the 15th and followed that with birdies at 16 and 17 and a back-nine 29. Harman had a rare birdie on the 444-yard 18th for his 64, but McIlroy threw away a shot at the closing hole to fall out of a share of the lead. His right foot slipped as he was hitting his approach shot, and he missed the green. After taking a drop to get away from a sprinkler head, he was unable to get up and down.
Biggest disappointment: Bubba Watson, a two-time winner of this event, could manage no better than an even-par 70. Two-under through 11 holes, he bogeyed three of the next four.
Shot of the day: Can we safely say that Spieth likes the bunkers at River Highlands? Last year he got up and down from one at the 18th hole to get into a playoff, then he holed out from the same bunker to win the playoff. On Thursday he worked his magic at the par-5 sixth hole, sinking his sand shot for eagle.
Biggest storyline going into Friday: Most eyes will be on Spieth and McIlroy, to see if they're over their U.S. Open funks and gearing up for The Open Championship.
NBC Sports Group to Showcase Top Players in Women's Golf With Comprehensive Coverage of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, June 25-July 1
Golf Channel and NBC to Combine for More Than 40 Hours of News, Tournament and Instruction On-Site from Kemper Lakes Golf Club, Most in Tournament History
KPMG Ambassador Phil Mickelson to Join Golf Central on Monday, June 25 Live from Soldier Field
Condoleezza Rice and Olympians Nancy Kerrigan, Hilary Knight and Maia Shibutani to Headline KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit Wednesday, June 27
ORLANDO, Fla., June 21, 2018 – Featuring one of the strongest fields of the year, NBC Sports Group will dedicate more than 40 hours of comprehensive on-site news, tournament and instruction coverage of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – most in tournament history – Monday, June 25 - Sunday, July 1. Taking place at Kemper Lakes Golf Club near Chicago, the third LPGA Tour major of the season will be headlined by World No. 1 Inbee Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn, No. 3 Lexi Thompson, ANA Inspiration champion Pernilla Lindberg and defending champion Danielle Kang. In 2017, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship was the most-watched women’s major championship of the year.
“Through the partnership with KPMG, the PGA of America and the LPGA Tour, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship has been elevated to become one of the most impactful weeks of the year in women’s golf,” said Molly Solomon, executive vice president of content, Golf Channel. “As the broadcast partner for the championship, we strive to elevate our coverage each year to celebrate not only the best players in women’s golf but also female leaders in the workplace through the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit.”
BROADCAST TEAM: Live tournament coverage of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will be anchored by Dan Hicks, joined by Paige Mackenzie and Gary Koch in the broadcast booth. Tom Abbott will report from an on-course tower, with Kay Cockerill, Jerry Foltz and Mark Rolfing walking the course. Steve Sands will conduct player interviews.
NBC SPORTS GROUP TO IMPLEMENT POPULAR “PLAYING THROUGH” ENCHANCED COMMERCIAL BREAKS: Making its debut on NBC at the Ryder Cup in 2016, Golf Channel and NBC will implement the popular “Playing Through” enhancement in an effort to elevate the viewing experience for fans tuning in to the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. NBC Sports Group is partnering with several national advertisers to present select commercial breaks in utilizing “Playing Through,” which will employ a split-screen model for a select number of national commercial breaks. This enhanced break will display both the commercial with audio as well as a continuous feed of the tournament action.
COMPREHENSIVE ON-SITE NEWS COVERAGE: Golf Channel’s signature news programs, Golf Central and Morning Drive, will provide comprehensive, wraparound news coverage throughout the week, produced on-location at Kemper Lakes Golf Club. In addition to daily shows, Golf Central will present special player news conference shows Tuesday and Wednesday, June 26 and 27, at 5 p.m. ET.
Rich Lerner will anchor Golf Central’s live coverage alongside LPGA major champion Karen Stupples and Arron Oberholser beginning Wednesday, June 27, with Lisa Cornwell reporting and conducting player interviews. Chantel McCabe will set the stage each day on Morning Drive with on-site interviews and analysis, with Paige Mackenzie joining her Monday-Wednesday.
PHIL MICKELSON TO JOIN GOLF CENTRAL LIVE FROM SOLDIER FIELD MONDAY, JUNE 25: Kicking off KPMG Women’s PGA Championship week will be the KPMG Windy City Skills Challenge, taking place at Soldier Field in Chicago on Monday, June 25. KPMG Ambassadors Phil Mickelson and Mariah Stackhouse along with athletes from the Chicago Bears, Bulls, Fire, Red Stars and Skywill be conducting a special clinic and skills challenge event with local youth organizations. Mickelson will join Golf Central live from Soldier Field on Monday following the conclusion of the skills challenge.
SCHOOL OF GOLF ON-SITE AT KEMPER LAKES: School of Golf will air Tuesday at 7 p.m. from on-site at Kemper Lakes Golf Club, with Martin Hall and Blair O’Neal hosting a special short-game episode. Scheduled guests include 2018 U.S. Women’s Open champion Ariya Jutanugarn and her coaches, Golf Channel Academy coaches Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott, as well as LPGA major champion Morgan Pressel.
KPMG WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP SUMMIT: Golf Central will offer news coverage of the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit, which will be hosted on-site Wednesday, June 27, featuring an assembly of accomplished leaders in sports, business, politics and media to inspire the next generation of women leaders. 66th Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Olympians Nancy Kerrigan, Hilary Knight and Maia Shibutani will headline the gathering. NBC Sunday Night Football sideline reporter Michele Tafoya will serve as master of ceremonies. The summit will be streamed live on Wednesday on Golf Channel Digital. In addition, portions of the summit also will be streamed via Golf Channel’s Facebook Live.
DIGITAL AND SOCIAL MEDIA COVERAGE: Golf Channel Digital will feature expanded editorial content during KPMG Women’s PGA Championship week. GolfChannel.com senior writer Randall Mell will report from Kemper Lakes Golf Club with columns and daily blogs, and Golf Channel social media host Alexandra O’Laughlin will contribute to Golf Channel’s social media platforms with exclusive behind-the-scenes content throughout the week. Golf Channel and NBC also will integrate social media throughout the telecasts, incorporating social media posts from players and fans using the hashtag #KPMGWomensPGA.
News and tournament action surrounding the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship can be accessed at any time on any mobile device and online via Golf Channel Digital. Fans also can stream NBC Sports’ coverage of live golf via NBC Sports.com and the NBC Sports app.
GOLF CHANNEL / NBC LIVE TOURNAMENT AIRTIMES(all times Eastern):
Thursday, June 28
11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Friday, June 29
11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Saturday, July 30
Sunday, July 1
The PGA of America and KPMG joined forces with the LPGA Tour in 2015 to create a world-class major championship that not only sustains the 60-year legacy of the former LPGA Championship, but also aims to elevate women on and off the golf course. The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship provides a platform to inspire the next generation of women leaders through the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit and the KPMG Future Leaders Program.
-NBC Sports Group-