No Kenny Perry Rule Change

By Brian HewittJanuary 28, 2009, 5:00 pm
One of the many issues raised last year by Kenny Perrys three-win season, in which he played in just one round of one of the four major championships, was the USGAs qualifying standards for its national Championship.
 
Currently a player must win twice on the PGA Tour in the 12-month period leading up to the U.S. Open to get an exemption into the U.S. Open. The exact wording for the 2008 U.S. Open on this was: Any multiple winner of PGA Tour co-sponsored events whose victories are considered official from April, 2007 through June 1, 2008.
 
Not long ago The Masters eased its qualifying standards to allow players with just one official PGA Tour victory in the last 12 months into its field.
 
Perry won The Memorial last year two weeks prior to the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. But he chose not to attempt to qualify through sectional play. He later won twice more and starred in the U.S. teams rousing victory over Europe in the Ryder Cup.
 
He took a lot of heat from a lot of people for skipping the British Open and then had to withdraw after one round of the PGA because of an eye ailment.
 
Anyway, the word started going around that the USGA might follow suit with the Lords of Augusta and lower the standard from two wins to one. That word, apparently, was wrong.
 
One win wont do and I doubt seriously if that position will change in the foreseeable future (assuming my crystal ball is reasonably clear), USGA executive director David Fay informed Golf Channel.com in an e-mail.
 
Fay said the USGA wont finalize anything on this matter until its annual meeting in February. GolfChannel.com has learned that there is some sentiment to making a change on the USGAs executive committee but that Fays position represents the majority.
 
The good news as it relates to Perry and the U.S. Open is that he has already qualified for this year and has said he plans to play at Bethpage Black in June.
 

 
Award Winner: Northern Trust Open tournament director Tom Pulchinski expects to name the recipient of the first Charlie Sifford Exemption by the end of this week.
 
The tournament recently announced it would extend an exemption in honor of Siffords trail-blazing efforts on behalf of African-American golfers.
 
The exemption will go to the player who represents the advancement of diversity in golf but who wouldnt otherwise be eligible.
 
Sifford is 86 now and didnt earn his Tour card until he was 39 because of doors that werent open in golf for African Americans.
 
Pulchinski said the exemption wont be restricted to professionals but did say this years recipient will be an African-American. Other minorities, in future years, will receive consideration.
 
The Northern Trust Open will be played Feb. 19-22 at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Ca.
 

 
GOLF BOOKS: There are so few really good ones. And there are way too many overly sentimental ones. James Dodson struck all the right notes in his tome, Final Rounds, more than 10 years ago.
 
In May, we will get the release of his latest major work, A Son of the Game.
 
Its a memoir, the publisher says about finding new meaning through an old sport.
 
And Dodson does this better than most. A quick perusal of an advance copy confirms that Dodsons cleanly-carpentered prose still has all the familiar beveled edges.
 
A sample from the early pages: During the spring of 1948, cheered on by his rowdy fraternity brothers from Chapel Hill and wielding a wooden-shafted putter hed found as a kid on a bench in the locker room of his fathers nine-hole golf club in tiny Tarboro, (Harvie) Ward came out of nowhere to win the coveted North and South Amateur Championship at Pinehurst, making himself a star overnight.
 
Thats a long sentence that reads short. Doing that takes talent. My sense is the 289 pages will go by quickly, too. I am looking forward to it.
 

 
PET PEEVE OF THE WEEK: This will be a new semi-regular feature of this mid-week golf notes column. Nit-picking, by the way, is allowed.
 
And this weeks pet peeve is the word trajectory. More specifically, its the seeming inability of most players ' and even some announcers ' in golf to pronounce it correctly.
 
Listen closely and you will hear chadrectory and chajecory, but rarely trajectory. Even the great Jack Nicklaus struggles with this one.
 
It all reminds me of how Lee Trevino still pronounces Baltusrol. He puts an extra t in there and says, Baltustrol.
 
Somehow, coming from Trevino though, its not a pet peeve.
 

Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 9:20 am

Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.


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McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

Said Harmon:

“Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

“This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

“Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.

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How The Open cut line is determined

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:57 am

Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.

The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


• After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.

• There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.

• There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.

The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.

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The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:30 am

Take a look at some answers to frequently asked questions about The Open:

What's all this "The Open" stuff? I thought it was the British Open.

What you call it has historically depended on where you were. If you were in the U.S., you called it the British Open, just as Europeans refer to the PGA Championship as the U.S. PGA. Outside the U.S. it generally has been referred to as The Open Championship. The preferred name of the organizers is The Open.

How old is it?

It's the oldest golf championship, dating back to 1860.

Where is it played?

There is a rotation – or "rota" – of courses used. Currently there are 10: Royal Birkdale, Royal St. George's, Royal Liverpool and Royal Lytham and St. Annes, all in England; Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland and St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal Troon, Turnberry and Muirfield, all in Scotland. Muirfield was removed from the rota in 2016 when members voted against allowing female members, but when the vote was reversed in 2017 it was allowed back in.

Where will it be played this year?

At Carnoustie, which is located on the south-eastern shore of Scotland.

Who has won The Open on that course?

Going back to the first time Carnoustie hosted, in 1931, winners there have been Tommy Armour, Henry Cotton (1937), Ben Hogan (1953), Gary Player (1968), Tom Watson (1975), Paul Lawrie (1999), Padraig Harrington (2007).

Wasn't that the year Hogan nearly won the Slam?

Yep. He had won the Masters and U.S. Open that season, then traveled to Carnoustie and won that as well. It was the only time he ever played The Open. He was unable to play the PGA Championship that season because the dates conflicted with those of The Open.

Jean Van de Velde's name should be on that list, right?

This is true. He had a three-shot lead on the final hole in 1999 and made triple bogey. He lost in a playoff to Lawrie, which also included Justin Leonard.

Who has won this event the most?

Harry Vardon, who was from the Channel Island of Jersey, won a record six times between 1896 and 1914. Australian Peter Thomson, American Watson, Scot James Braid and Englishman J.H. Taylor each won five times.

What about the Morrises?

Tom Sr. won four times between 1861 and 1867. His son, Tom Jr., also won four times, between 1868 and 1872.

Have players from any particular country dominated?

In the early days, Scots won the first 29 Opens – not a shocker since they were all played at one of three Scottish courses, Prestwick, St. Andrews and Musselburgh. In the current era, going back to 1999 (we'll explain why that year in a minute), the scoreboard is United States, nine wins; South Africa, three wins; Ireland, two wins; Northern Ireland, two wins; and Sweden, one win. The only Scot to win in that period was Lawrie, who took advantage of one of the biggest collapses in golf history.

Who is this year's defending champion?

That would be American Jordan Spieth, who survived an adventerous final round to defeat Matt Kuchar by three strokes and earn the third leg of the career Grand Slam.

What is the trophy called?

The claret jug. It's official name is the Golf Champion Trophy, but you rarely hear that used. The claret jug replaced the original Challenge Belt in 1872. The winner of the claret jug gets to keep it for a year, then must return it (each winner gets a replica to keep).

Which Opens have been the most memorable?

Well, there was Palmer in 1961and '62; Van de Velde's collapse in 1999; Hogan's win in 1953; Tiger Woods' eight-shot domination of the 2000 Open at St. Andrews; Watson almost winning at age 59 in 2009; Doug Sanders missing what would have been a winning 3-foot putt at St. Andrews in 1970; Tony Jacklin becoming the first Briton to win the championship in 18 years; and, of course, the Duel in the Sun at Turnberry in 1977, in which Watson and Jack Nicklaus dueled head-to-head over the final 36 holes, Watson winning by shooting 65-65 to Nicklaus' 65-66.

When I watch this tournament on TV, I hear lots of unfamiliar terms, like "gorse" and "whin" and "burn." What do these terms mean?

Gorse is a prickly shrub, which sometimes is referred to as whin. Heather is also a shrub. What the scots call a burn, would also be considered a creek or stream.