PGA Tour Tests Tigers Driver

By Associated PressMarch 22, 2005, 5:00 pm
PGA TourPONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Everyone assumed the device that measures a driver for springlike effect was gathering dust in some PGA Tour office.

Tiger Woods learned otherwise.

After finishing his pro-am round at the Bay Hill Invitational, Woods was headed for the parking lot when PGA Tour rules officials Mark Russell and Slugger White stopped him. Turns out a fellow player wanted Woods' driver tested to make sure it conformed to the rules.

'They said, 'We've had an inquiry,'' Woods said. 'I said, 'No big deal.''

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods' driver passed the PGA Tour's test at Doral.
Woods gave the club to caddie Steve Williams, who took it to the tournament office to be tested. The limit for coefficient of restitution -- otherwise known as springlike effect for those without a degree in physics -- is 0.83. The results don't show a number, only whether the driver passed or failed.

'It wasn't even close,' Woods said. 'I'm well below the speed limit. The hotter it gets, the more I cut it. I can't control the ball if it's coming off the face that fast.'

Who wanted the driver tested?

'I didn't ask who it was,' Woods said. 'They're not supposed to tell. Doesn't matter. I know I'm not close.'

That his driver was tested didn't create any hard feeling with Woods, although it raised questions whether players should have a right to know who is pointing fingers -- and why.

Golf is built around honor, all in the interest of protecting the field. Players not only routinely call penalties on themselves, they are not shy about pointing out possible infractions of their peers.

'I questioned a guy at Firestone last year,' Kenny Perry said.

'We were playing lift, clean and place, and I was coming down the third fairway. He hit his tee shot (from No. 1) into our fairway and picked his ball up. I said, 'I'm not sure you can do that.' We called a rules official over. It was nothing personal.'

The PGA Tour believes in keeping disciplinary issues private. Someone can rat on another player for using foul language, and the guilty party is not supposed to learn the identity of his accuser.

That extends to testing equipment.

'Just like we do with discipline, in the event a driver passes or doesn't pass, we don't want it to have a bearing on the relationship between the players,' said Henry Hughes, chief of operations for the PGA Tour. 'It's important to protect the field. Where we get the information is less important.'

But that information always finds its way back to the source, because gossip on the PGA Tour is more rampant than at office cocktail parties.

Tour officials tested the grooves in Phil Mickelson's wedges two years ago because someone saw him hit a shot out of the rough with an extraordinary amount of spin. Before long, Mickelson figured out it was Michael Clark, and left him a note in his locker thanking him for his concern and wishing him well at Q-school.

It didn't take long for the source of Woods' driver test to leak.

Turns out it was Tom Pernice Jr., and the source of his concern was some drives Woods hit in the final round at Doral during that great duel against Mickelson. One drive, on the par-5 eighth hole, was 44 yards longer than Lefty's.
Pernice was not at Doral. Woods says the last time they played together was in 2003.

'I was watching on TV and Phil hits it out there pretty good,' Pernice said Tuesday. 'I knew it was a new driver, and he was hitting it 25 yards past Phil. Nothing against Tiger. I was just surprised how far he was hitting it past Phil.

'If Tiger is upset that his driver is tested ... if someone wanted to test my driver, I'd be honored,' he added. 'With new equipment, you never know.'

The driver test was intended to remove all doubt. The policy the PGA Tour has in place -- its own version of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' -- only leads to a question of motives.

There is some irony with Woods having to submit his driver for testing. He's the one who first stirred the pot, suggesting two years ago that there were drivers on the PGA Tour that were over the limit. That led the tour to initiate voluntary testing at the start of 2004.

The development gets even more interesting considering that Pernice is best friends with Vijay Singh and has been critical of Woods over the last six months -- the best zinger coming at Pebble Beach when Pernice said Woods wasn't doing enough for tour sponsors.

Maybe that's why questions about equipment should be kept quiet.

'It's supposed to be confidential,' Pernice said. 'But that's fine. I don't care.'
David Toms, one of four players on the PGA Tour policy board, believes these matters should not be public, the same way players get anonymity for turning in their peers for conduct unbecoming a professional.

'To keep from having bad feelings among players, that would be the thing to do -- keep quiet,' Toms said.

But he also suggested a better way to handle inquiries.
'I would probably say something to him first,' Toms said. 'It's like giving the player the option of either calling something on himself or having himself turned in. That's what our game is all about.'
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”