Notes Masters Post-Mortem Floyds Big Give

By Associated PressApril 22, 2008, 4:00 pm
For those who believe the excitement at the Masters is forever gone because of changes to Augusta National, there are still a few questions to consider.
 
How to explain 2003, two years after the first big overhaul, when Len Mattiace only needed a par on the 18th hole to shoot 64 and win the Masters? He made bogey and lost in a playoff to Mike Weir.
 
What about 2004, when Phil Mickelson birdied five of the last seven holes to beat Ernie Els by one shot?
 
In 2005, Tiger Woods tied a course record by making seven straight birdies in the middle of the third round, the final four on Sunday morning because of rain delays. He went on to beat Chris DiMarco in a playoff after both finished at 12-under 276.
 
And for a course that supposedly had gone silent, Trevor Immelman was at 11-under 205 going into the final round. One has to go back to 2001 to find a lower score for the 54-hole leader, when Woods was at 12-under 204 and on his way to a fourth straight major. That was the year before the first dose of lengthening.
 
Could it be that one reason Immelman closed with a 75'and this is just a guess'was the wind? According to the weather service, the wind was blowing 16 mph and gusting to 26 mph when the final group teed off.
 
Much was made out of CBS Sports showing highlights of Gary Players victory in 1978, when he shot 30 on the back nine for a 64, the lowest final round by a Masters champion. Great stuff, for sure, but its not like that happens every year.
 
Remember, it was only a year ago when Jim Nantz produced a colorized version of Arnold Palmers victory in the 1960 Masters. Palmer didnt birdie either of the par 5s on the back nine, but rallied with a 30-foot birdie on the 17th and a 6-iron to 6 feet on the final hole.
 
He closed with a 70.
 
One final thought: Woods missed a 5-foot birdie putt on the 13th, failed to get up-and-down for birdie on the 15th (not the easiest chip), missed a 12-foot birdie on the 16th and three-putted for bogey on the 14th. Convert all those and he shoots 68, coming from six shots behind to the win his fifth green jacket.
 
Still a boring Masters?
 
POWELL HONORED
Renee Powell gave a public lecture last summer at St. Andrews titled, The Many Faces of Womens Golf. She returns to the gray old town this summer for an occasion she never imagined.
 
A coach, player, pioneer and one of only three blacks to play on the LPGA Tour, Powell will become the first female golfer awarded an honorary degree at the University of St. Andrews.
 
This is my first honorary degree, and to receive it from the University of St. Andrews, I am truly humbled, Powell said. I am very honored to be one of just a handful of golfers to receive an honorary doctorate from the university. And to be the first female golfer is incredible.
 
Other golfers who be awarded an honorary degree include Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, and Charlie Sifford.
 
Powell played 13 years on the LPGA Tour before retiring in 1980 to become a golf instructor in the United States, Africa and Europe. She is the head pro at Clearview Golf Course in Ohio, the only U.S. course that is designed own and operated by a black person'in this case, her father, William Powell.
 
It will be Powells third trip to the home of golf.
 
When I walk around St. Andrews, I realize how very fortunate I am to have been taught the game of golf and to play to such a level that has allowed me the opportunity to travel to St. Andrews, she said.
 
DUBAI CHAMPIONSHIP
One of Greg Normans golf courses at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai has been selected to host the inaugural Dubai World Championship, which will end the European Tour season in 2009 and offer a $10 million purse, the richest in golf.
 
The tournament will be held on the Earth course, which features a four-hole closing stretch that measures exactly one mile. Norman said it will be considered one of the most challenging and exciting miles of golf.
 
The longest mile in golf used to be known as the four closing holes at La Costa Resort, which hosted the Accenture Match Play Championship as recently as 2005. But that was before the nines were switched. And before the final 300 yards were under water because of so much rain.
 
DIVOTS
Laura Diaz and Nicole Castrale have been invited to play in the CVS Caremark Charity Classic. Its the second straight year that tournament hosts Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade have invited an LPGA team to the exhibition, to be held June 22-24 at Rhode Island Country Club. The tournament has raised more than $10 million for New England charities dedicated to children and families over the last nine years. The CN Canadian Womens Open will be played next year at Priddis Greens outside Calgary, where Karrie Webb won her first major at the old du Maurier Classic in 1999. THE PLAYERS Championship will allow free admission to practice rounds for local police and firefighters.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
In four tournaments this year, Lorena Ochoa has finished a combined 45 strokes ahead of Annika Sorenstam.
 
FINAL WORD
We have our Olympics'we have our major championships. And to add another layer in the Olympics, I think is the wrong thing to do. We need to concentrate on getting more affordable golf for people to play.'Tom Watson.
 
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    Ryu thriving again after simple advice from Inbee Park

    By Randall MellJune 21, 2018, 7:07 pm

    So Yeon Ryu shared Rolex Player of the Year honors last year.

    She reigned as world No. 1 for almost five months.

    So when she couldn’t keep her momentum going at year’s start, she got frustrated. She wasn’t happy with two top 10s in her first 11 starts.

    “I lost a lot of confidence at the beginning of the year,” Ryu said Thursday as she prepared to lead a strong field as the defending champion in Friday’s start of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. “My expectation level was way too high.”

    So she sought the counsel of her pal, world No. 1 Inbee Park, who gave her some plain-spoken advice.


    Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship


    “Get over it,” Park told her. “You know what to do. You’ve done it, so it’s not really a big deal. Don’t worry about it. You were No. 1. You’ve achieved a lot of things as a professional golfer. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.”

    Ryu got over it winning the Meijer LPGA Classic last week, the sixth LPGA title of her career, her third in 15 months. She’s feeling good again leading a stellar field this week at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark., a strong tune up before next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the year’s third major championship.

    World No. 1 Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn and No. 3 Lexi Thompson are among the top nine players in the world scheduled to compete this week. Twenty-four of the top 30 are in the field.

    “When you come to defend your title, you obviously have a lot of pressure, but after I won last week, now I sort of think, maybe I have a chance to defend my title,” Ryu said. “So I've got total confidence, by last week.”

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    Watch: Spieth, JT hole bunker shots in back-to-back groups

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 6:57 pm

    Jordan Spieth has a thing for holing bunker shots at the Travelers Championship, where he made one in a playoff to win last year.

    He did it again in Round 1 at TPC River Highlands, knocking in this shot for eagle at the par-5 sixth to reach 4 under par for the tournament



    In the next group, Justin Thomas did the same thing to reach 1 under. Keep an eye out for the best part of this highlight, when Thomas' caddie Jimmy Johnson tries to hand him his putter.

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    River Highlands a 'breather' for Zach Johnson (63)

    By Will GrayJune 21, 2018, 6:43 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – After enduring the pressure-cooker of the U.S. Open, Zach Johnson was more than happy to drift north to the friendly confines of TPC River Highlands.

    Birdies were rare last week at Shinnecock Hills, but they’ll be plentiful all week long at the Travelers Championship. Browned-out and crispy conditions transitioned to lush and verdant, and players can attack flags without fear of turning a possible par into a struggle to avoid triple.

    Johnson did just that in the opening round, carding eight birdies against a single bogey to take the early lead with a 7-under 63.

    “It’s a different kind of breathing. It’s a different kind of exhaling, if you will, but they’re both good,” Johnson said. “You can put some red on the board here. We know that. We’ve seen it. You can go the other way in a hurry if you press it; it can keep going in the other way. So you kind of have to let it happen. This is one of those courses where you have to let it happen.”


    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    Like many in this week’s field, Johnson took it easy after a grueling major championship, staying away from the course Monday and easing into his prep over the next two days. Those decisions paid off quickly as he rattled off six straight birdies on Nos. 11-16 to take sole possession of the lead.

    While Johnson tied for 12th last week at Shinnecock Hills, that was just his second top-15 finish since the Sony Open in January. But the veteran is no stranger to fast starts at TPC River Highlands, having now opened with 65 or better four times in his last eight appearances dating back to 2011.

    It’s a course where he continues to have success, even if his past consistency hasn’t lived up to expectations.

    “I feel like every time I get here it feels like I should shoot nothing, and it bites me,” Johnson said. “The last couple years I’m like, ‘All right, you can’t have any expectations in that regard. You’ve just got to go out and execute, you know, put the ball in the fairway and you will have opportunities.’” 

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    First photos from Norman's 'Body' shoot

    By Grill Room TeamJune 21, 2018, 6:35 pm

    It was revealed earlier this week that Greg Norman would be one of the athletes showcased in ESPN's "Body Issue," which features the models stategically posed in the nude.

    Well, the first photos are out from Norman's shoot and ... here they are, if you want them.