Tway Sets Record at Island-Green 17th

By Associated PressMarch 28, 2005, 5:00 pm
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Golf course architect Pete Dye would be proud. One of his most famous tests, the island green at TPC Sawgrass was living up to its dubious reputation at The Players Championship.
 
And no one felt its sting worse than Bob Tway, the former PGA champion who set the all-time record for futility, taking a 9-over 12 on the devilish 17th hole after dumping four balls in the water. View Tway's Scorecard
 
Youre playing great in the tournament and all of a sudden, in one hole, you might as well be finishing last, a somber Tway said Monday.
 
His score erased the mark of Robert Gamez, who took an 11 on the hole during The Players Championship in 1990.
 
I didnt think anybody would break it, Gamez said. Eleven is a pretty big number.
 
Tway was tied for 10th stepping to the 17th tee Monday morning and thought he struck a decent iron to the green, but a gust carried it into the water. At the drop area, 77 yards from the cup, things got worse.
 
Tway again went over the green. His next two shots came up short, and he finally hit the back side of the green, 40 feet away. He three-putted for a 12.
 
I think I played the hole 4, 4, 6 and 12, he said. I dont know what that adds up to, but I think thats quite a few.
 
After finishing at No. 18, Tway sat alone at the end of his golf bag, hands covering his face. Scott Verplank, a fellow Oklahoman and one of Tways good friends, patted his buddy to boost his spirits.
 
Tway was far from No. 17s only victim.
 
Phil Mickelson put two shots in the water during the third round for a quadruple bogey, then dumped another one in during the final round for a double bogey.
 
Sergio Garcia went over the green on his first shot, then short after the drop to take a triple bogey.
 
Tiger Woods couldnt escape trouble either. His shoulders slumped as his ball sailed over the green for a saddening splash.
 
Woods loves the hole, he just wishes it werent in such a critical location.
 
Ive always said, 17 is a great hole if it was No. 8, not No. 17, he said. I dont think a hole like that should decide a tournament.
 
The wind was a major factor. Morning gusts blew to 35 mph, keeping players guessing what clubs to choose.
 
Vijay Singh, a resident of Ponte Vedra Beach, was asked what he normally does in these conditions.
 
When its this breezy, we dont even go out, not even to the range, he said.
 
It wasnt so long ago, Dye says, when PGA Tour pros hated his creation and the havoc it caused. Only recently, he said this week, have the players not snarled as they go by.
 
If Dye were around at the end of this one, he might have heard those old, familiar grumbles. Tway shrugs his shoulders. Theres not much to say after a hole like that.
 
Its a shame that it happens, that you play that well for that long, he said. But everyones got to play it.
 
GETTING INTO AUGUSTA
Joe Ogilvie and Tom Lehman are heading to Augusta National.
 
Ogilvie was ninth on the PGA Tour money list after The Players Championship, while Lehmans tie for second at TPC Sawgrass left him right behind in 10th, qualifying both for The Masters in two weeks.
 
Ogilvie finished 1-over at The Players, 10 shots behind champ Fred Funk. But that was still good enough to leave him at $1,223,855. When Ogilvie finished his round, he wasnt sure what his status was as far as going to for the green jacket.
 
If I get it, itll be great, Ogilvie said as he signed autographs.
 
Dont worry, Joe. Youre in. It will be the first time down Magnolia Lane for Ogilvie, wholl turn 31 on the Friday of Masters week.
 
For Lehman, its a return to Augusta after missing last year. Lehman cemented his entry by tying for second, the prize money of $597,333.33 bringing him to $1,211,560 -- $2,030 ahead of 11th place Kenny Perry.
 
Im looking forward to getting back there, Lehman said.
 
PLAYING BELLSOUTH
Calm down Atlanta golf fans and BellSouth Classic organizers, Phil Mickelson says hes coming.
 
With a bright, sunny day, Mickelson was able to finish The Players Championship on Monday. That means he can get in his practice for the Masters at Augusta National on Tuesday and arrive at TPC Sugarloaf in time for Wednesdays pro-am.
 
With five weather delays this weekend and nearly two rounds of golf left to play, the defending Masters champion thought hed have to break his commitment to the BellSouths pro-am.
 
PGA Tour rules are clear'no pro-am without an excused absence, no tournament.
 
Mickelsons schedule cleared up once the weather did at TPC Sawgrass.
 
Now that we got it in today, Ill go to Augusta, play tomorrow and should make it to Atlanta in time for Wednesday, Mickelson said.
 
WHOS LEADING?
You couldnt tell the leaders without a scoreboard'at least on the 18th hole of The Players Championship.
 
Things were so windy Monday morning on the 18th hole that tournament personnel took down the names and numbers from the large, white hand-operated scoreboard from behind the green. Lee Westwoods name literally blew off the leaderboard and nearly went into the lake before a worker chased it down.
 
Winds gusting up to 35 mph swept over the Stadium Course early on and breeze continued blowing strongly throughout the final round.
 
Divots
Lee Westwoods morning was one to forget. Once tied for the lead, Westwood had a stretch from the 14th to 18th holes of bogey, bogey, bogey, quadruple bogey, bogey. He shot a third round of 80. ... Thomas Bjorn withdrew during Mondays restarted third round. Brent Geiberger also pulled out after shooting a 78 in the third round and continuing his troubles in the final round with two bogeys and a double bogey. He left the last round after five holes.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - The Players Championship
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  • Cut and not so dry: Shinnecock back with a new look

    By Bradley KleinMay 21, 2018, 9:22 pm

    SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. - The last time the USGA was here at Shinnecock Hills, it nearly had a train wreck on its hands. The last day of the 2004 U.S. Open was so dry and the turf so firm that play was stopped in the morning just to get some water on the greens.

    The lessons learned from that debacle are now on display three weeks before Shinnecock gets another U.S. Open. And this time, the USGA is prepared with all sorts of high-tech devices – firmness meters, moisture monitors, drone technology to measure turf temperatures - to make sure the playing surfaces remain healthy.

    Players, meanwhile, will face a golf course that is 548 yards longer than a dozen years ago, topping out now at 7,445 yards for the par-70 layout. Ten new tees have assured that the course will keep up with technology and distance. They’ll also require players to contend with the bunkering and fairway contours that designer William Flynn built when he renovated Shinnecock Hills in 1930.

    And those greens will not only have more consistent turf cover, they’ll also be a lot larger – like 30 percent bigger. What were mere circles averaging 5,500 square feet are now about 7,200 square feet. That will mean more hole locations, more variety to the setup, and more rollouts into surrounding low-mow areas. Slight misses that ended up in nearby rough will now be down in hollows many more yards away.



    The course now has an open, windswept look to it – what longtime green chairman Charles Stevenson calls “a maritime grassland.” You don’t get to be green chairman of a prominent club for 37 years without learning how to deal with politics, and he’s been a master while implementing a long-term plan to bring the course back to its original scale and angles. In some cases that required moving tees back to recapture the threat posed by cross-bunkers and steep falloffs. Two of the bigger extensions come on the layout’s two par-5s, which got longer by an average of 60 yards. The downwind, downhill par-4 14th hole got stretched 73 yards and now plays 519.

    “We want players to hit driver,” says USGA executive director Mike Davis.

    The also want to place an emphasis upon strategy and position, which is why, after the club had expanded its fairways the last few years, the USGA decided last September to bring them back in somewhat.

    The decision followed analysis of the driving statistics from the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills, where wide fairways proved very hospitable to play. Players who made the cut averaged hitting 77 percent of fairways and driving it 308 yards off the tee. There was little fear of the rough there. “We didn’t get the wind and the dry conditions we anticipated,” says Davis.

    Moving ahead to Shinnecock Hills, he and the setup staff wanted to balance the need for architectural variety with a traditional emphasis upon accuracy. So they narrowed the fairways at Shinnecock Hills last September by seven acres. They are still much wider than in the U.S. Opens played here in 1986, 1995 and 2004, when the average width of the landing areas was 26.6 yards. “Now they are 41.6 yards across on average,” said Davis. So they are much wider than in previous U.S. Opens and make better use of the existing contours and bring lateral bunkers into play.

    This time around, with more consistent, healthier turf cover and greens that have plenty of nutrients and moisture, the USGA should be able to avoid the disastrous drying out of the putting surfaces that threatened that final day in 2004. The players will also face a golf course that is more consistent than ever with its intended width, design, variety and challenge. That should make for a more interesting golf course and, by turn, more interesting viewing.

    Driven: Oklahoma State Cowboys Documentary Series Continues Tonight at 8 p.m. ET on Golf Channel

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsMay 21, 2018, 8:27 pm

    Monday’s third installment in the four-part series focuses on the Big 12 Championships and NCAA Regional Championships

    Reigning NCAA National Champion Oklahoma Sooners and Top-Ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys Prepare for Showdown Friday at the 2018 NCAA Men’s Golf National Championships

    ORLANDO, Fla., May 21, 2018 – Tonight’s third episode of the critically-acclaimed documentary series Driven: Oklahoma State Cowboys (8 p.m. ET) wraps up the conclusion of the 2017-18 regular season and turns to post-season play for the top-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys and reigning NCAA National Champions Oklahoma Sooners.

    Drivenwill take viewers behind the scenes with the conclusion of regular season play; the Big 12 Conference Championship, where Oklahoma captured their first conference championship since 2006; and the NCAA Regional Championships, where Oklahoma State and Oklahoma – both No. 1 seeds in their respective regionals – were both victorious and punched tickets to the NCAA Men’s Golf National Championships.

    The episode also will set up the showdown starting Friday at the NCAA Men’s Golf National Championships, where Oklahoma State will attempt to dethrone Oklahoma as national champions, all taking place at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., Oklahoma State’s home course. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will be paired together for the first two rounds of individual stroke play Friday and Saturday.

    Driven’s fourth and final episode will air on NBC on Saturday, June 16 at 5 p.m. ET, recapping all of the action at the NCAA Golf National Championships and the two programs’ 2017-18 golf seasons.

    Golf Channel is airing back-to-back weeks of live tournament coverage of the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. Golf Channel’s coverage begins today (4-8 p.m. ET) to crown the individual national champion and track the teams attempting to qualify for the eight-team match play championship. Golf Channel’s coverage on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 22-23 will include all three rounds of team match play, ultimately crowning a team national champion. Next week (May 28-30), the same programming schedule will take place for the NCAA Men’s Golf National Championships.

    Getty Images

    Mann's impact on LPGA felt on and off course

    By Randall MellMay 21, 2018, 8:00 pm

    Just a few short hours after winning the U.S. Women’s Open in 1965, Carol Mann was surprised at the turn of emotion within her.

    She called her friend and mentor, Marlene Hagge, and asked if they could meet for a glass of wine at the Atlantic City hotel where players were staying.

    Hagge was one of the LPGA’s 13 founders.

    “I’ll never forget Carol saying, `I don’t mean to sound funny, because winning the U.S. Women’s Open was wonderful, but is that all there is?’” Hagge told GolfChannel.com Monday after hearing news of Mann’s death.

    It was one of the many defining moments in Mann’s rich life, because it revealed her relentless search for meaning, within the game, and beyond it.

    Mann, an LPGA and World Golf Hall of Famer, died at her home in Woodlands, Texas. She was 77.

    “Carol was a very good friend, and a really sincere and good person,” Hagge said. “She was intelligent and insightful, the kind of person who always wanted to know the `why’ of things. She wasn’t content to be told this is the way something is. She had to know why.”

    Mann’s search for meaning in the sport took her outside the ropes. She was a towering presence, at 6 feet 3, but her stature was more than physical. She won 38 LPGA titles, two of them major championships, but her mark on the game extended to her leadership skills.

    From 1973 to ’76, Mann was president of the LPGA, leading the tour in challenging times.

    “Carol was a significant player in the growth of the LPGA,” LPGA Hall of Famer Judy Rankin said. “She was involved when some big changes came to the tour. She was a talented woman beyond her golf.”

    Mann oversaw the hiring of the tour’s first commissioner, Ray Volpe, a former NFL marketing executive. Their moves helped steer the tour out of the financial problems that threatened it.

    “Carol was willing to do something nobody else wanted to do and nobody else had the brains to do,” Hagge said. “She loved the LPGA, and she wanted to make it a better place.”

    At the cost of her own career.

    Juggling the tour presidency with a playing career wasn’t easy.

    “My golf seemed so secondary while I was president in 1975,” Mann once told author Liz Kahn for the book, “The LPGA: The Unauthorized Version.”

    That was a pivotal year in tour history, with the LPGA struggling with an ongoing lawsuit, a legal battle Jane Blalock won when the courts ruled the tour violated antitrust laws by suspending her. With the tour appealing its legal defeats, a protracted battle threatened to cripple LPGA finances.

    It was also the year Mann led the hiring of Volpe.

    “I could barely get to the course in time to tee off,” Mann told Kahn. “There was so much other activity. I burned myself out a bit.”

    Still, Mann somehow managed to win four times in ’75, but she wouldn’t again in the years that followed.

    “I had launched a ship, and then I had to let it go, which was not easy,” she said of leaving her tour president’s role. “I was depressed thinking that no one on tour would say thank you to me for what I had done. Some would, others never would, and 10 years later players wouldn’t give a damn.”

    Mann’s reign as a player and a leader aren’t fully appreciated today.

    “A lot of players in the ‘60s haven’t been fully appreciated,” Rankin said.

    Mann won 10 LPGA titles in 1968, the same year Kathy Whitworth won 10. Mann won the Vare Trophy for low scoring average that year. She won eight times in ’69 and was the tour’s leading money winner.

    “Those were the toughest times to win,” Hagge said. “You had Kathy Whitworth and Mickey Wright, who is the best player I ever saw, and I saw them all. You had so many great players you had to beat in that era.”

    Mann’s good humor came out when she was asked about her height.

    “I’m 5-foot-15,” she liked to say.

    After retiring from the tour at 40, Mann stayed active in golf, working as a TV analyst for NBC, ABC and ESPN. She found meaning in her Christian faith, and she was active supporting female athletes. She was president of the Women’s Sports Foundation for five years. She wrote a guest column for the Houston Post. She devoted herself to the World Golf Hall of Fame, taught at Woodlands Country Club and became the first woman to own and operate a course design and management firm.

    “I’ve walked on the moon,” Mann once said. “I enjoy being a person, and getting old and dying are fine. I never think how people will remember Carol Mann. The mark I made is an intimate satisfaction.”

     

    Getty Images

    Nelson win moves Wise to 12th in Ryder Cup race

    By Will GrayMay 21, 2018, 7:12 pm

    Aaron Wise received plenty of perks with his title Sunday at the AT&T Byron Nelson, but the victory also brought with it a healthy bump in the latest U.S. Ryder Cup standings.

    The 21-year-old notched his maiden win at Trinity Forest in impressive fashion, holding off Marc Leishman in near-darkness. After starting the week at No. 46 in the points race for Paris, Wise is now all the way up to 12th with the top eight players after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically for the team.

    Jimmy Walker moved from 18th to 15th with a top-10 finish in Dallas, while an idle Tiger Woods dropped one position to No. 32.

    Here's a look at the updated standings, as the top 11 names remained in order this week:

    1. Patrick Reed

    2. Justin Thomas

    3. Dustin Johnson

    4. Jordan Spieth

    5. Bubba Watson

    6. Rickie Fowler

    7. Brooks Koepka

    8. Phil Mickelson

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    9. Webb Simpson

    10. Matt Kuchar

    11. Brian Harman

    12. Aaron Wise

    It was also a quiet week on the European side of the race, where the top four from both the European Points and World Points list in August will join a roster rounded out by four selections from captain Thomas Bjorn.

    Here's a look at the latest European standings:

    European Points

    1. Tyrrell Hatton

    2. Justin Rose

    3. Jon Rahm

    4. Ross Fisher

    ---

    5. Matthew Fitzpatrick

    World Points

    1. Rory McIlroy

    2. Tommy Fleetwood

    3. Sergio Garcia

    4. Alex Noren

    ---

    5. Ian Poulter