Notes Woods Faldo Shake Hands

By Associated PressJuly 19, 2006, 4:00 pm
135th Open Championship HOYLAKE, England -- For those hoping to see a heavyweight fight on the first tee Thursday at the British Open, they'll have to settle for golf.
The tabloids have been buzzing all week about Tiger Woods and Nick Faldo playing together the first two rounds, fueled by Woods' comments Tuesday that he would be surprised if Faldo wanted to talk.
But there was talk and a handshake Wednesday afternoon on the practice range.
According to photographers who were across the street on the range, Faldo and Woods chatted briefly, then shook hands. Faldo later circled behind him and spoke with swing coach Hank Haney as Woods continued to hit balls.
The frosty relationship stems from Faldo making critical comments, which eventually made their way back to the Woods' camp, of a bad swing by Woods at the 2005 Buick Invitational.
One tabloid noted they had not spoken a word since that tournament. Then again, Woods and Faldo are so far removed from each other that they might not have seen each other in 18 months.
John Daly swapped his driver for a guitar, playing at the famous Cavern venue that helped start the Beatles on their rocket path to stardom.
Taking time off from his British Open preparations, the 1995 champion received warm applause for his rendition Tuesday night of 'Knocking on Heaven's Door' and 'Lost Soul,' a song he wrote himself.
'I was a little bit nervous considering all the great bands that have played here,' he said. 'But I know I am not that good, so it took the edge off. I'll be more nervous at Hoylake when the tournament starts.'
Daly will play Thursday with Colin Montgomerie and Stuart Appleby.
The late Mark McCormack, a pioneer in sports marketing whose handshake deal with Arnold Palmer led to the creation of IMG, was selected Wednesday for the World Golf Hall of Fame through the Lifetime Achievement category.
McCormack, who died in May 2003, will be inducted Oct. 30 at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., along with Larry Nelson, Vijay Singh, Marilynn Smith and the late Henry Picard.
'Very few things could have pleased me more than to get word that Mark had been chosen for induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame,' said Palmer, who will introduce him at the ceremony.
After making the deal with Palmer, McCormack signed Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, giving him the 'Big Three' in golf.
He later formed a media division (TWI), which became the world's largest non-network producer of televised sports. Among tournaments created by IMG is the HSBC World Match Play Championship in England, and McCormack was behind the development of the Official World Golf Ranking, used by the four majors to determine their fields.
Brad Faxon got in another practice round Wednesday, but it might be his last at Royal Liverpool.
Asked how he was doing, Faxon winced and said, 'Depressed.'
He was sixth alternate when he flew from Rhode Island to Hoylake on Monday, hopeful that none of the players ahead of him on the list would show up and enough players would drop out for him to get a starting time Thursday.
Trevor Immelman withdrew Tuesday night because his wife gave birth to their first child (a boy they named Jacob), and the news went out soon enough for first alternate Andrew Buckle of Australia to catch a flight from St. Louis.
The second alternate is Jesper Parnevik, who lives in Florida. He was in his native Sweden on holiday, but when he heard he moved up to first alternate, he came to Royal Liverpool.
'I don't think Brad was too happy to see me,' Parnevik said.
Then again, the Swede wasn't all that thrilled when he stored his clubs in the locker room Wednesday afternoon.
'It's getting slimmer,' Parnevik said of someone else withdrawing.
His last hope might be Seve Ballesteros, who has not played the British Open since 2001 and has a history of saying he will play tournaments, only to withdraw before they start.
But the Spaniard is using his son as a caddie this week, and he did play in the French Open last month, badly missing the cut.
'It looks like he's keen on playing,' Parnevik said. 'I don't think he's played here before, and he wants to play.'
No one in the field has played Royal Liverpool, last used in the rotation in 1967.
If Parnevik does get in, at least he'll have his regular caddie.
Lance Ten Broeck was coming to Britain, anyway, because he will try to qualify for the Senior British Open on Monday.
Mark Calcavecchia wanted to beat the heat Wednesday, and he was on the steps of the clubhouse at Royal Liverpool shortly after 5 a.m., wife Brenda along as his caddie.
One problem.
'The door was locked, and we couldn't get the clubs,' Calcavecchia said.
They knocked on the door until an attendant came by, only to inform them that the course would not open until 7 a.m.
'That wasn't going to work,' Calcavecchia said.
He got his clubs, headed to the first tee and was done playing by 9 a.m.
Five-time British Open champion Peter Thomson believes too many modern players are too comfortable to develop a winning mentality, and he quoted Shakespeare to state his case.
The 75-year-old Australian, who won the title 50 years ago on the Royal Liverpool links for his third straight claret jug, says there is so much money in the game that players are happy to finish in the top 10.
'I think not too many people actually want to win desperately or have it in their makeup that they really squirm if they don't win,' he said on the eve of the 135th Open. 'I think a lot of people are content to be not the managing director but to be a general sales manager or something like that. The responsibility of the top is too much for most people.
'I think, as Henry IV said, 'Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown'. Not everybody wants the crown.'
Related Links:
  • Tee Times - 135th Open Championship
  • Course Tour - Royal Liverpool
  • Full Coverage - 135th Open Championship
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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).

    Getty Images

    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


    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


    5. Thorbjorn Olesen

    6. Ross Fisher

    World Points

    1. Jon Rahm

    2. Rory McIlroy

    3. Alex Noren

    4. Matthew Fitzpatrick


    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.