Golf Food for Thought

By Brian HewittOctober 25, 2006, 4:00 pm
The e-mail messages come in all shapes and sizes and tones and biases. Every once in a while one arrives that gives you more pause than usual. The one I have decided to reprint today in its entirety feels to me, like it contains America-bashing -- which is not a good thing. But I think it also contains a lot of food for thought. It was in response to a column I wrote recently pointing out the failures of recent American Rookies of the Year to make the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

It came from someone named Rebekah. And I will let you decide which parts you feel are valid and which are objectionable. By the way, I have nothing against Annika Sorenstam.
A tale of two gifted third graders:

Chinese born female: top of the Math class -- everything done way beyond the call of duty. Parents hire classroom teacher to tutor her in the fourth grade math book -- they want her to be way ahead of the game.

American male: incredibly gifted at Math -- can 'see' solutions without being taught how to work through the problem. Arrives at school several times per week with written excuses from parents why he can't complete his homework. Fails tests because he doesn't do homework.

Yes, these are individual cases but I laugh when my friends who teach at the University level are now seeing the same trend.

As a generalization, my foreign born parents would come to me and say, '(W)hat can I do to help my child be more successful?' And, they would go home and work through the suggestions and come back for more!

American parents (and, of course, this wasn't every one but it was a large percentage) would come in with everything from mild excuses to outrageous blame including, '(W)hy do you hate my child and want to fail him/her?'

I saw an article last week -- I'm sorry I don't remember where -- about a study that happy and contented students were actually less successful than unhappy students. This generation of(:) Americans have lost the work ethic that characterized the Americans at the turn of the last century. They have been taught to look for excuses and tomorrow will be another day. Mathematics and Science are lacking American students because they're subjects that require work and they just aren't 'fun'.

Of course, it's a generalization and my international parents were oftentimes students themselves working on advanced degrees. But your international golfers represent the same self-selection: they intend to take full advantage of the opportunities that they've worked hard to give themselves and they are the best of the best. Villegas is a perfect example -- arrived at UF underweight, saw that working out would improve his golf game... no excuses, he became a gym fanatic. Kind of like the women of the 70's when breaking gender boundaries -- they knew they had to work twice as hard and still couldn't expect to be GIVEN any breaks:-) Foreign golfers on American soil have to work hard to prove themselves and even when they do (see Sorenstam -- ((and exactly why do you dislike Annika? -- you make such a face whenever her name comes up -- like you're looking at a vegetable that you hate)), anyway, they often aren't given the recognition that they deserve.

Unfortunately, it's a huge trend in the American culture that the children of the 80's, 90's and 00's have been taught to look for excuses rather than gutting it out and working for the goal. My latest take on Tiger is that Earl maybe wasn't trying at first to raise a world class golfer but Earl had lived through the segregation era before the 60's and through the Vietnam (W)ar perhaps he was only trying to give Tiger the mental stamina to survive the racism and brutality of Americans against black men.

An untempered sword will break in battle. When a sword is forged, it must be heated then beaten... heated then beaten... and the process continues until the blade is hard and razor-sharp. Tiger was carefully forged. The Depression and WWII forged our parents -- Palmer still does not take for granted what the game of golf has given him. Laura Davies is one who always is grateful for what the game of golf has given her. Unfortunately most of our young American golfers were raised in relatively affluent homes (I'm including middle class because American middle class is a very high standard of living) -- things come easily to them. Michelle (Wie) is the perfect example -- she is being handed exemptions, money, fame, etc. and given excuses when she doesn't perform. Oh let's just casually drop out the fact that she was T26 at the Women's British when we calculate her placement on the LPGA for 2006 -- does this now mean that I can drop my worst hole from my scorecard?

Karrie Webb's comment at the Trump a few years ago when Annika surged ahead of their rivalry is appropriate -- I don't want to work that hard. She's obviously changed her mind as her game shows this year.

But there was also (John) Feinstein's comment in I believe it was a Good Walk Spoiled that he actually spoke with players that would rather be just below the limelight -- a great living without the hassle (I'm obviously paraphrasing).

Somewhat on the same subject -- yes, I agree with you that Lorena (Ochoa) will be a great LPGA player... she does know what it means to do the required work and, like Laura Davies, is appreciative of the life golf provides. My husband and I have been looking for this year since we noted her college career. She looks quiet and demure but it has been obvious for a long time that she has Annika's drive and determination.

And on a final note, I didn't bother to count how many Englishmen were ahead of Rose in the World Rankings -- I don't really care but when you said there were two Simon's -- I also immediately knew who they were. Don't underestimate your golf addicted viewers... TGC does carry the European Tour and the Simons have contended this year.
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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.”