Torrey Pines Weighing Heavily on Players Minds

By Associated PressJune 2, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. OpenLAFAYETTE HILL, Pa. -- Jim Furyk gathered three of his golf buddies for an informal exhibition Monday, yet the foursomes thoughts were far from The Ace Club in suburban Philadelphia.
 
Furyk hosted of the 10th Exelon Invitational, and joined fellow PGA Tour players Steve Stricker, Aaron Baddeley and K.J. Choi in putting on an entertaining show for the thousands who trekked around the breezy, sun-splashed Gary Player-designed course.
 
The USA vs. The World best-ball twosome format (Furyk and Stricker vs. Baddeley and Choi) featured plenty of shot-making and even some laughs. But each player got serious when the topic of conversation switched to the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
 
When the pros converge on the San Diego area next week, Torrey Pines will feature the usual narrow fairways and high rough, and could play nearly 7,600 yards. But that number didnt faze the players.
 
Length doesnt concern anyone on our tour, said Furyk, the only major winner in Mondays group and runner-up at the Open in the last two years. You cant make golf courses long enough anymore. Seventy-six hundred yards is not that long, especially if the course is playing fast and hard.
 
But the golf course concerns me because it is hard. The greens are very severe, as severe as weve seen for a long time at a U.S. Open. A lot of the fairways are pitched You have to carve the ball to keep the ball in the fairway.
 
Baddeley, Stricker and Choi all have their major aspirations.
 
Last year, the 27-year-old Baddeley led the U.S. Open after three rounds, but fell out of contention after a triple-bogey at No. 1 in the final round.
 
Baddeley says the experience made him stronger. And should he win a title, he promises to cherish it.
 
The names that are on that trophy, and to be a part of that history, it would be something that would be so special, the Australian said.
 
Stricker enjoyed a resurgence in his game recently and is a two-time PGA Tour comeback player of the year. He has struggled this season, however, missing the cut six times after missing six total cuts the two previous seasons. Hes hoping for one more chance to contend for a major.
 
It would be the ultimate, Stricker said. My career is kind of winding down; Im 41. That would be the ultimate. It would be a dream come true.
 
Furyk won his only major in 2003, the U.S. Open at Olympia Fields. He admits that Torrey Pines isnt high on his list of places to play.
 
Its no secret Ive only played Torrey Pines three times in 15 years, Furyk said. And unless I win the Open, theres a good chance Im not going back next year.
 
I dont dislike it. I dont think its a bad course. Its a good golf course and its hard.
 
Furyk said Baddeley and the Choi as players doing well enough this season to be in the hunt.
 
I have to go with the hot player, Furyk said. If it had been last fall, Id have said it would have been Strick. But he has kind of cooled off this spring.
 
And Choi has been doing well. The 13-time worldwide winner from South Korean claimed the Sony Open in January and has six top-25 finishes in 12 events this year. He was followed around The Ace Club by a large contingent of Korean fans.
 
Furyks event is the only professional golf that the Philadelphia area gets on a yearly basis. Born in the Philly suburb of West Chester and raised in nearby Lancaster, Furyk is well-versed in the areas place in golf lore.
 
There is a lot of rich golf history here, Furyk said. We have a lot of wonderful golf courses with (Bobby) Jones winning the Slam at Merion (in 1930) and finishing that off. Its a big part of the city and its a shame we dont have an event here.
 
The international pairing defeated Furyk and Stricker 3 and 1 after Choi spun a wedge to 6 inches at No. 17. The event raised more than $300,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Eastern Pennsylvania and nudged the decade-old events total earnings for charity past $1.2 million.
 
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    Chamblee: Like Tiger in '13, Mickelson should've DQ'd self

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 19, 2018, 2:46 pm

    Two days after Brooks Koepka left Long Island with the U.S. Open trophy, the third-round antics of Phil Mickelson are still garnering plenty of discussion.

    Mickelson became a lightning rod of opinion after he intentionally hit a moving ball on the 13th green Saturday at Shinnecock Hills, incurring a two-shot penalty but not a disqualification. In the aftermath, he explained that he made a conscious choice to take the penalty to avoid playing back and forth across the crispy putting surface, and he tied for 48th after a final-round 66.

    Speaking Tuesday on "Morning Drive," Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee shared his view that Mickelson would have been well-served to disqualify himself ahead of the final round. He also compared it to Tiger Woods' incident at the 2013 Masters, when he took an incorrect drop and, like Mickelson, received a two-shot penalty but not a disqualification.



    "I think Tiger, at least it's my opinion that his year would have been less distracting if he had done so," Chamblee said. "And I think the same of Phil Mickelson. If he had withdrawn from the championship and said, 'Look. This is a little sketchy. It didn't play out the way I thought. I've given it some thought and it's in the best interest of the championship that I withdraw.'"

    Chamblee added that Mickelson's antics were "really distracting" on a day filled with drama as the USGA lost control of course conditions, noting that Mickelson and playing partner Andrew "Beef" Johnston were the only tee time where both players failed to break 80 despite the difficult conditions.

    But having had time to review the situation and having surveyed a number of peers, Chamblee is as convinced as ever that Mickelson made a mistake by showing up for his final-round tee time.

    "What Phil did, I haven't run into a single person that hasn't said he deserved to be disqualified," Chamblee said. "Under any interpretation, a serious breach - if gaining an advantage is not a serious breach, I don't know what is. And he clearly said he was gaining an advantage and doing it for strategic reasons."

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    Norman to pose in ESPN's 'Body Issue'

    By Grill Room TeamJune 19, 2018, 2:05 pm

    Professional golfers have, from time to time, appeared in ESPN's "Body Issue," which features athletes strategically posed in the nude. The list includes: Belen Mozo, Carly Booth, Gary Player, Camilo Villegas, Sandra Gal, Christina Kim, Anna Grzebien, Suzann Pettersen and Sadena Parks.

    And now, Greg Norman.

    Modesty has never been an issue for Norman, who has an affinity for posing without a shirt (and sometimes without pants) on his Instagram account.

    He joins a list of athletes, in this year's edition, ranging from professional wrestlers (Charlotte Flair) to Olympians (Adam Rippon) to WNBA stars (Sue Bird). Click here for a full list of the athletes to appear.

     

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    DJ listed as betting favorite for The Open

    By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 2:00 pm

    With the U.S. Open officially in the books, oddsmakers quickly turned their attention to the season's third major.

    Minutes after Brooks Koepka holed the winning putt to successfully defend his title at Shinnecock Hills, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook published its first set of odds for The Open. Jordan Spieth, who opened at 14/1, will defend his title as the tournament shifts to Carnoustie in Scotland for the first time since 2007, when Padraig Harrington defeated Sergio Garcia in a playoff.

    Joining Spieth at 14/1 is 2014 Open champion Rory McIlroy, but they're both listed behind world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. Johnson, who was a runner-up at the 2011 Open at Royal St. George's and just finished third at the U.S. Open, opened as a 12/1 betting favorite. Koepka, now a two-time major winner, is listed at 20/1 alongside U.S. Open runner-up Tommy Fleetwood.

    Here's a look at the first edition of odds, with The Open just five weeks away:

    12/1: Dustin Johnson

    14/1: Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy

    16/1: Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas

    20/1: Brooks Koepka, Tommy Fleetwood, Jon Rahm

    25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

    30/1: Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama

    40/1: Phil Mickelson, Branden Grace, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Marc Leishman

    50/1: Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Tyrrell Hatton

    60/1: Matt Kuchar, Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, Ian Poulter, Francesco Molinari, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Matthew Fitzpatrick

    80/1: Tony Finau, Zach Johnson, Thomas Pieters, Daniel Berger, Xander Schauffele, Bubba Watson, Shane Lowry

    100/1: Charl Schwartzel, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker

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    Golf Channel, Loch Lomond Partner on Claret Jug Tour Ahead of 147TH Open

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsJune 18, 2018, 9:35 pm

    Award-Winning Independent Scotcb Whisky Sponsoring Tour to Select U.S. Cities; Will Include Special Tastings and Opportunities for Fans to Engage with Golf’s Most Storied Trophy

    Golf Channel and Loch Lomond Group are partnering on a promotional tour with the Claret Jug – golf’s most iconic trophy, first awarded in 1873 to the winner of The Open – to select U.S. cities in advance of the 147TH Open at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland. Loch Lomond Whisky’s sponsorship of the tour further enhances the brand’s existing five-year partnership with the R&A as the official spirit of The Open, initially announced in February.

    “We are proud to partner with Golf Channel to support this tour of golf’s most iconic trophy,” said Colin Matthews, CEO of Loch Lomond Group. “Whisky and golf are two of Scotland’s greatest gifts to the world, and following the news of our recent partnership with the R&A for The Open, being a part of the Claret Jug tour was a perfect fit for Loch Lomond Group to further showcase our commitment to the game.”

    “The Loch Lomond Group could not be a more natural fit to sponsor the Claret Jug tour,” said Tom Knapp, senior vice president of golf sponsorship, NBC Sports Group. “Much like the storied history that accompanies the Claret Jug, Loch Lomond’s Scottish roots trace back centuries ago, and their aspirations to align with golf’s most celebrated traditions will resonate with a broad range of consumers in addition to golf fans and whisky enthusiasts.”

    The tour kicks off today in Austin, Texas, and will culminate on Wednesday, July 11 at the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe one week prior to The Open. Those wishing to engage with the Claret Jug will have an opportunity at one of several tour stops being staged at Topgolf locations in select cities. The tour will feature a custom, authentic Scottish pub where consumers (of age) can sample Loch Lomond’s portfolio of whiskies in the spirit of golf’s original championship and the Claret Jug. The Claret Jug also will make special pop-up visits to select GolfNow course partners located within some of the designated tour markets.

    (All Times Local)

    Monday, June 18                    Austin, Texas              (Topgolf, 5:30-8:30 p.m.)

    Tuesday, June 19                    Houston                      (Topgolf, 5-8 p.m.)

    Wednesday, June 20               Jacksonville, Fla.        (Topgolf, 6-9 p.m.)

    Monday, June 25                    Orlando, Fla.               (Topgolf, 6-9 p.m.)

    Wednesday, July 4                 Washington D.C.        (Topgolf, 5:30-8:30 p.m. – Ashburn, Va.)

    Monday, July 9                       Edison, N.J.                (Topgolf, Time TBA)

    Wednesday, July 11               Lake Tahoe, Nev.       American Century Championship (On Course)

    Fans interacting with the Claret Jug and Loch Lomond during the course of the tour are encouraged to share their experience using the hashtag, #ClaretJug on social media, and tag @TheOpen and @LochLomondMalts on Twitter and Instagram.

    NBC Sports Group is the exclusive U.S. television home of the 147TH Open from Carnoustie, with nearly 50 live hours of tournament coverage, Thursday-Sunday, July 19-22. The Claret Jug is presented each July to the winner of The Open, with the winner also being given the title of “Champion Golfer of the Year” until the following year’s event is staged. The Claret Jug is one of the most storied trophies in all of sports; first presented to the 1873 winner of The Open, Tom Kidd. Each year, the winner’s name is engraved on to the trophy, forever etched into the history of golf’s original championship. It is customary for the Champion Golfer of the Year to drink a favorite alcoholic beverage from the Claret Jug in celebration of the victory.