Second-Guessing Perry

By Brian HewittJune 4, 2008, 4:00 pm
The second-guessers are still having a field day with Memorial winner Kenny Perrys controversial decision to skip U.S. Open qualifying and remain locked in on making the U.S. Ryder Cup team. But at least one high-ranking USGA official says hes OK with Perrys choice.
I actually have no problem with what hes saying, were the words chosen by USGA executive director David Fay. He wants to put himself in the best position to get a spot on the Ryder Cup team..I think he made a well-calculated decision.
Fay said he also would not second guess Irishman Darren Clarkes decision to skip the European qualifying for the U.S. Open. Clarke is playing in the Austrian Open this week and said he didnt think hed be able to get to Torrey Pines in time to shake off the jet lag and properly prepare.
Meanwhile Pat Perez, who worked at Torrey Pines as a teenager and has played Torrey Pines South, by his own estimation, approximately 250 times, has emerged as a kind of anti-Perry. Perez was recently quoted as saying hed rather MAKE the U.S. Open than win at Memorial. And he got his wish Monday when he qualified out of the Columbus, Ohio sectional.
Asked about Perrys decision, Perez said Perry should have been granted a special exemption for winning Memorial and being ranked No. 27 in the world. Perez blamed the system for Perrys absence and said it was a joke and an embarrassment that Perry wont be at Torrey Pines next week.
For his part, Fay makes no apologies for the selection system. But he did inform GOLF CHANNEL there will be renewed USGA discussion about qualification standards later this year.
Then theres Ollie Schniederjans who wasnt even born when Perez was picking the range at Torrey Pines. Schniederjans is the 14-year-old high school freshman from Powder Spring, Ga. who fell 14 shots short of advancing out of his sectional Monday in Roswell, Ga. He impressed everybody who watched him.
Schniederjans finished third in the recent Georgia state high school championship. Hes mature beyond his years, says Lance Bailey, the pro at Bentwater Golf Club in Acworth, Ga., where Schniederjans family belongs.
And hes spooky calm on the golf course, adds Mark Anderson, the pro who taught Schniederjans how to play and still works with him.
Bailey said he played regularly with Schniederjans last summer and was amazed at how regularly Schniederjans would hit his 5-iron inside Baileys 8-iron on certain par-4s. Now this year, Bailey says, Im still hitting 8-iron on those holes and Ollies hitting sand wedge.
Bailey says the strength of Schniederjans game is with the scoring clubs, especially around the greens. And, yes, there were college coaches watching Schniederjans at Mondays sectional.
Jason Bohn, the medalist at Roswell, played in the same pairing as Schniederjans and afterward told reporters Schniederjans had the golf maturity of a 25-year TOUR veteran. Not a 25-year-old, but a 25-year TOUR veteran. Schniederjans scores were 76-72.
To put Schniederjans age in perspective, hes four years younger than Michelle Wie. (Doesnt it seem like she was 14 just a few weeks ago?)
Wie will attempt to qualify for the U.S. Womens Open Monday at the Woodmont sectional in Maryland where she will have 36 holes to show her sixth-place finish at last weekends womens German Open was no fluke.
And already there is yet another mini-controversy surrounding Wie. She will be grouped at Woodmont with Connecticut teaching pro Sue Ginter who, when she found out shed be playing with Wie, told the Hartford Courant she was not happy with her draw because of all the commotion that will be surrounding Wie.
Wie will be one of approximately 120, including a large contingent of LPGA players, competing for roughly 35 spots.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - 108th U.S. Open
  • Getty Images

    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

    Getty Images

    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.”

    Getty Images

    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.”

    Getty Images

    After 36, new Open favorite is ... Fleetwood

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 7:49 pm

    With a handful of the pre-championship favorites exiting early, there is a new odds-on leader entering the third round of The Open at Carnoustie.

    While Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner share the 36-hole lead, it's England's Tommy Fleetwood who leads the betting pack at 11/2. Fleetwood begins the third round one shot off the lead.

    Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at

    Tommy Fleetwood: 11/2

    Zach Johnson: 13/2

    Rory McIlroy: 7/1

    Jordan Spieth: 8/1

    Rickie Fowler: 9/1

    Kevin Kisner: 12/1

    Xander Schauffele: 16/1

    Tony Finau: 16/1

    Matt Kuchar: 18/1

    Pat Perez: 25/1

    Brooks Koepka: 25/1

    Erik van Rooyen: 50/1

    Alex Noren: 50/1

    Tiger Woods: 50/1

    Thorbjorn Olesen: 60/1

    Danny Willett: 60/1

    Francesco Molinari: 60/1