Notes A Weekend Warriors Nightmare

By Associated PressMarch 22, 2005, 5:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)Mark Hensby had a good reason for not playing the 18th hole last week at Bay Hill after hitting his tee shot out-of-bounds - he was out of balls.
 
Hensby said his caddie didn't replenish the supply when they resumed the first round Friday morning, with 11 holes still to play. He prefers to use a new ball every third hole, and his caddie usually gives the old ones to kids in the gallery.
 
'He saw three or four balls in the bag and said, 'That's fine. We've only got 11 holes to play,'' Hensby said. 'I made double bogey on No. 9, so I gave that one away. I hit in the water on 11. He must have given one away somewhere else.'
 
When they arrived on the par-3 17th, the caddie told him there was only one ball left. His tee shot on the 18th caromed off a cart path and went over the fence.
 
Hensby plays the Pro V1, so he couldn't borrow one from Mike Weir (Pro V1x) or Andre Stolz (Callaway).
 
'When I saw the marshals go like this,' he said, motioning left with his arms to indicate OB, 'I put my head down and started walking. What was I going to do? It was embarrassing.'
 
Hensby walked with his group, shook their hands on the green, went into the scoring trailer and put an 'X' in the box under the 18th hole.
 
He said he would write tournament host Arnold Palmer a letter to explain what happened.
 
NOT O-KAYE
The stop-and-start week due to the rain delay at Bay Hill almost proved costly to Jonathan Kaye.
 
He was on the range Sunday morning, getting ready to finish five holes of his third round, and going through his routine or rubbing down the grip of his driver with sand paper.
 
One problem: Kaye technically was in the middle of his third round.
 
He summoned a rules official who delivered the bad news. Players cannot alter the characteristics of their clubs during a round, so Kaye had no choice but to take the driver out of his bag, leaving him with 13 clubs.
 
Kaye hit 3-wood on the par-5 sixth hole, which most players can reach in two. He went into the rough, hacked out and had to hit a utility club toward the green. But he made it through the morning.
 
'Parred them all,' Kaye said proudly after completing his 68.
 
TIGER & TAVISTOCK
Tiger Woods' preparation for the Masters now includes the Tavistock Cup.
 
Woods will be playing for Isleworth Country Club when it tries to retain its title against Lake Nona, two exclusive clubs in Orlando where several touring professionals live.
 
The matches will be played at Isleworth the Monday and Tuesday after The Players Championship.
 
Mark O'Meara returns as captain for Isleworth, and his team features three major champions (O'Meara, Woods and Lee Janzen), along with Stuart Appleby, Robert Allenby, Craig Parry, Scott Hoch, John Cook and Charles Howell III.
 
Ernie Els is playing captain of Lake Nona, with a squad that includes four major winners (Els, Annika Sorenstam, Retief Goosen and Nick Faldo), joined by Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Trevor Immelman, Justin Rose and Mark McNulty.
 
Isleworth won last year, 14 1/2-9 1/2, at Lake Nona.
 
TITLEIST CHIEF
Wally Uihlein, chairman and CEO of the Acushnet Co., is the first head of an equipment company to receive the PGA of America's Distinguished Service Award.
 
Uihlein will be honored Aug. 10 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center during the PGA Championship at Baltusrol.
 
'Wally Uihlein's impact upon the business of golf over nearly three decades is a success story that has resulted in serving the needs of players of all abilities,' PGA president Roger Warren said.
 
Uihlein joined Acushnet in 1976 as a regional salesman for the Titleist division, moving up to national sales manager in one year and eventually landed as chairman and CEO five years ago.
 
PRESIDENT PRICE
Nick Price doesn't have to look far to find motivation this year. With so many international players doing well, Price has slipped to No. 24 in the Presidents Cup standings.
 
Majors are important, and Price still believes he can contend. But his priority is returning to Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Virginia in September.
 
'That's a huge motivating force for me this year, to make it in the top 10,' Price said. 'And if I don't accrue enough, to show (captain) Gary Player that I've played well enough to warrant an invitation.'
 
Price has played in every Presidents Cup, although his only singles victory came in 1998 against David Duval, the second match of the day that clinched victory for the International team.
 
'Of any event that I ever played in my life, when I stop playing golf, that will be the one I miss the most,' he said.
 
DIVOTS
David Duval plans to be at Augusta National, but how long he stays depends on his wife, who reached the 32nd week of her pregnancy on Sunday. The baby is due the first part of May, but Duval said the baby likely will come in mid-April. ... The USGA has followed the lead of the International Olympic Committee and the Ladies Golf Union in Britain by allowing transgender athletes to compete in its championships. That would allow Mianne Bagger, a Danish woman born a male, who tried to qualify for the U.S. Women's Open. The USGA policy allows players to compete two years after gender reassignment surgery. ... Green fees are going up at America's most famous public course. According to the Monterey County Herald, a round of golf will cost $425 at Pebble Beach. That computes to $23.61 per hole. ... Coca-Cola has extended its partnership with the PGA Tour through 2010 as the presenting sponsor of the Tour Championship and the official soft drink of the tour.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
John Daly has had two of the highest scores in the Bay Hill Invitational - an 18 on the sixth hole in 1998 and an 11 on the 18th hole last week. Both times, he birdied his next hole.
 
FINAL WORD
'When they brought out the driver test, somebody told me to take a nap.' - Scott Verplank, who ranked 173rd on the PGA Tour in driving distance.
 
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Phil rubs fan's Donald Duck hat seven times, signs it

By Nick MentaJune 18, 2018, 3:09 pm

There is a case to be made that what Phil Mickelson did on Saturday made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

There is also a case to be made that the USGA's setup of Shinnecock Hills made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

Whatever you think about what Mickelson did on Saturday - and how he attempted to justify it after the fact without even a hint of remorse - watch this video.

The next time you hear someone say, "If anybody else had putted a moving ball on purpose and not apologized for it, it would get a different reaction," you can point to this video and say, "Yeah, here's why."

Here's what happened once a still-strident Mickelson was done rubbing Donald Duck hats on Sunday, per Ryan Lavner:

If you’re wondering whether Mickelson would be defiant or contrite on Sunday, we don’t know the answer. He declined to stop and speak with the media, deciding instead to sign autographs for more than a half hour and then offering a few short answers before ducking into player hospitality.

“The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’” he said. “I don’t know.”

The 2024 Ryder Cup at Bethpage is going to be a three-ring circus, and Mickelson, a likely choice to captain the U.S. team, will be the ringmaster.

Separately, shoutout to 2017 Latin Am champ Toto Gana, who does a terrific Donald Duck (skip to end).

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Ryder Cup race: Mickelson out, Simpson in

By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:34 pm

There's a new man at the top of the U.S. Ryder Cup race following the U.S. Open, and there's also a familiar name now on the outside looking in.

Brooks Koepka's successful title defense vaulted him to the top of the American points race, up four spots and ensuring he'll be on the team Jim Furyk takes to Paris in September. Dustin Johnson's third-place finish moved him past Patrick Reed at No. 2, while Webb Simpson entered the top eight after a a tie for 10th.

While Bryson DeChambeau remained at No. 9, Phil Mickelson dropped two spots to No. 10. Tony Finau, who finished alone in fifth, went from 16th to 13th, while Tiger Woods fell two spots to No. 37.

Here's a look at the latest U.S. standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

1. Brooks Koepka

2. Dustin Johnson

3. Patrick Reed

4. Justin Thomas

5. Jordan Spieth

6. Rickie Fowler

7. Bubba Watson

8. Webb Simpson

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9. Bryson DeChambeau

10. Phil Mickelson

11. Matt Kuchar

12. Brian Harman

On the European side, England's Tommy Fleetwood took a big stride toward securing his first Ryder Cup appearance with a runner-up finish that included a Sunday 63 while countryman Matthew Fitzpatrick snuck into a qualifying spot after tying for 12th.

Here's a look at the updated Euro standings, with the top four from both points lists joining four picks from captain Thomas Bjorn at Le Golf National:

European Points

1. Tyrrell Hatton

2. Justin Rose

3. Tommy Fleetwood

4. Francesco Molinari

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5. Thorbjorn Olesen

6. Ross Fisher

World Points

1. Jon Rahm

2. Rory McIlroy

3. Alex Noren

4. Matthew Fitzpatrick

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5. Ian Poulter

6. Rafael Cabrera-Bello

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Koepka autographs local kids' 'Go Brooks' sign after win

By Grill Room TeamJune 18, 2018, 2:30 pm

Brooks Koepka is a two-time U.S. Open winner, but that doesn't mean he's now too big to go sign a couple pieces of cardboard in somebody's front yard in the middle of the night.

Koepka's girlfriend, Jena Sims, posted two pictures to her Instagram story on Sunday of "Go Brooks" signs she says were put up by some local kids in the area where Koepka was staying for the week.

The first is dated prior to Koepka's final-round tee time.



The second is from Sunday night.



And here, separately, for no reason in particular (other than the fact that she posted it) is a video of Sims running over a parking cone at last year's U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

Speaking of kids, just feels those two are gonna make it.

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Koepka moves to No. 4 in world with U.S. Open win

By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:05 pm

After successfully defending his U.S. Open title, Brooks Koepka reached a new career high in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Koepka held off Tommy Fleetwood to win by a shot Sunday at Shinnecock Hills, becoming the first player to go back-to-back in nearly 30 years. As a result, he jumped five spots in the latest rankings to No. 4, six spots higher than he reached with last year's U.S. Open victory at Erin Hills.

Fleetwood finished alone in second place and moved up two spots to No. 10, tying his career-best placement. Patrick Reed moved up two spots to No. 11 by finishing fourth, while fifth-place Tony Finau went from No. 37 to No. 31.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


It was a largely quiet week in the rankings despite the fact that a major championship was contested. Outside of Koepka and Finau, the only other player inside the top 50 to move up or down more than three spots was Jason Dufner, who went from 53rd to 48th with a T-25 finish.

Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1 for the second consecutive week, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Koepka and Jordan Spieth. Jon Rahm dropped one spot to No. 6, with Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day and Fleetwood rounding out the top 10. Hideki Matsuyama fell two spots to No. 12, dropping out of the top 10 for the first time since October 2016.

Despite a missed cut at Shinnecock, Tiger Woods actually moved up one spot to No. 79 in the latest rankings. He plans to play the Quicken Loans National and The Open in the coming weeks, which will be his final two chances to move into the top 50 in time to qualify for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. The event is being held for the final time this summer at Firestone Country Club, where Woods has won eight times.