Monty says Europe in full health - COPIED

By Doug FergusonSeptember 28, 2010, 6:16 pm

Ryder Cup

NEWPORT, Wales – European captain Colin Montgomerie might have had cause to be concerned about the health of his Ryder Cup team when he arrived at Celtic Manor.

Lee Westwood has not competed since the second round of the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone on Aug. 6. Peter Hanson of Sweden had to pull out of the tournament in France last week with a chest infection.

Montgomerie said both players were fit and ready to go.

“I spoke to Peter yesterday. He’s landed here in Britain now and he’s OK, he’s raring to go,” Montgomerie said. “And Lee, I’ve been following his progress very much over the last month. And I’m so glad that he’s played 36 holes over the weekend within a day, so he can cope with that all together. He’s been playing a lot of golf, a lot of practice. So there’s no worries with our fitness at all.”

There was talk that Montgomerie might take Paul Casey – who was not among the three captain’s picks – in case of an injury to Westwood or any other injury on the European side.

Casey had planned a biking trip in western Canada, and that’s where Montgomerie expects him to be.

“He’s gone for a bike ride, and I wish Paul Casey all success,” Montgomerie said. “Lee Westwood has been in close contact with me over the last month. And for that reason – total return to fitness – there was no need to have a so-called reserve.”

If either Europe or the United States needs a reserve, it must be announced before the opening ceremony Thursday. Montgomerie wouldn’t say who that might be – Casey is No. 7 in the world, but Justin Rose won twice in America this summer.

“I would have to go back to my vice captains and we would discuss the situation,” he said.


CELTIC MANOR: As the host captain, Colin Montgomerie can set up the golf course any way he likes. He didn’t do much to Celtic Manor, home of the Wales Open on the European Tour.

He didn’t think he had to, nor did he think it was in the best interest of the Ryder Cup.

“This golf course is set up in a very, very fair manner to allow the best team to win,” he said. “I don’t think it was right to set the course up any other way than to what it’s been designed for. It’s a great, great golf course and it’s in super condition.”

There is a yard-wide stripe of secondary cut about a half-inch deep, then the heavy stuff beyond that. Montgomerie said the greens would be running about 10 1/2 or 11 on the Stimpmeter, which he called ideal.

Montgomerie said the advantage was simply being a European Tour course.

“I was hardly going to set up a U.S. tour setup,” he said. “So it’s a very fair test of golf, and something that our European Tour players will be used to in the pace of greens.

“I think I’m allowing the best team here to win.”

He still can dictate hole locations. And the slower greens typically favor the Europeans.


CLASSY MOVE: The greatest act of sportsmanship in this Ryder Cup so far came on the charter flight over.

Three caddies were bumped off the flight when the plane was reconfigured and there were not enough business-class seats. Instead of sending the caddies to coach, the PGA of America paid for caddies of three captain’s picks – Steve Williams (Tiger Woods), Frank Williams (Stewart Cink) and Joe Skovron (Rickie Fowler) – to go business class from their home cities.

That’s when Jim Mackay stepped in.

Wanting Fowler’s caddie to have a good experience at this first Ryder Cup, Mackay gave up his business-class seat on the charter to Skovron. Mackay, the longtime looper for Phil Mickelson, took a seat that came open in coach on the charter flight.

“Very cool of him,” Skovron said Sunday night at the airport.

Then again, it was suggested to Mackay that an even greater gesture was NOT offering his seat to Steve Williams, who was just as content to fly on his own from his summer home in Oregon.


FREE OF CHARGE: Whether the Americans have the best team at the Ryder Cup won’t be decided until Sunday. They arrived in Wales on Monday as the richest team – at least based on what happened Sunday.

Nine Americans who played in the Tour Championship collectively earned more than $18.66 million – most of that FedEx Cup bonuses, the rest of it Tour Championship earnings. Jim Furyk was the big winner with a combined $11.35 million for both trophies.

“He walked into our team area that we had set up and he got a nice round of ovation from everybody,” U.S. captain Corey Pavin said. “Everybody is happy to see him win. And I’m sure Jim was probably the happiest of all. It’s quite a payday for him. What was it, $11.35 million or something like that? That’s a good deal. He was quite pleased.”

No one will make that much at the Ryder Cup, the one week of the year they play for free.


DIVOTS: The world ranking Monday made it official: For the first time, all 24 players at the Ryder Cup are among the top 50 in the world. It nearly happened two years ago, except that J.B. Holmes was No. 56. Eight of the top 10 players in the world ranking are at the Ryder Cup, with Ernie Els replacing Matt Kuchar in the top 10. Paul Casey, No. 7, was not picked.
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Miller to retire from broadcast booth in 2019

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 15, 2018, 9:14 pm

After nearly 30 years in the broadcast booth, Johnny Miller is ready to hang up his microphone.

Following a Hall of Fame playing career that included a pair of major titles, Miller has become one of the most outspoken voices in the game as lead golf analyst for NBC Sports. But at age 71 he has decided to retire from broadcasting following the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

“The call of being there for my grandkids, to teach them how to fish. I felt it was a higher calling,” Miller told GolfChannel.com. “The parents are trying to make a living, and grandparents can be there like my father was with my four boys. He was there every day for them. I'm a big believer that there is a time and a season for everything.”

Miller was named lead analyst for NBC in 1990, making his broadcast debut at what was then known as the Bob Hope Desert Classic. He still remained competitive, notably winning the 1994 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at age 46, but made an indelible mark on the next generation of Tour pros with his frank and candid assessment of the action from some of golf’s biggest events.

Miller’s broadcasting career has included 20 U.S. Opens, 14 Ryder Cups, nine Presidents Cups, three Open Championships and the 2016 Olympics. While he has teamed in the booth with Dan Hicks for the past 20 years, Miller’s previous on-air partners included Bryant Gumbel, Charlie Jones, Jim Lampley and Dick Enberg.

His farewell event will be in Phoenix Jan. 31-Feb. 3, at a tournament he won in back-to-back years in 1974-75.

“When it comes to serving golf fans with sharp insight on what is happening inside the ropes, Johnny Miller is the gold standard,” said NBC lead golf producer Tommy Roy. “It has been an honor working with him, and while it might not be Johnny’s personal style, it will be fun to send him off at one of the PGA Tour’s best parties at TPC Scottsdale.”

Miller was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1998 after a playing career that included wins at the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont and The Open in 1976 at Royal Birkdale. Before turning pro, he won the 1964 U.S. Junior Amateur and was low amateur at the 1966 U.S. Open at Olympic, where he tied for eighth at age 19.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Miller now lives in Utah with his wife, Linda, and annually serves as tournament host of the PGA Tour’s Safeway Open in Napa, Calif.

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Randall's Rant: Tiger vs. Phil feels like a ripoff

By Randall MellOctober 15, 2018, 7:45 pm

Usually, you have to buy something before you feel like you were ripped off.

The wonder in the marketing of Tiger vs. Phil and “The Match” is how it is making so many people feel as if they are getting ripped off before they’ve shelled out a single penny for the product.

Phil Mickelson gets credit for this miscue.

Apparently, the smartest guy in the room isn’t the smartest marketing guy.

He was a little bit like that telemarketer who teases you into thinking you’ve won a free weekend getaway, only to lead you into the discovery that there’s a shady catch, with fine print and a price tag.

There was something as slippery as snake oil in the original pitch.

In Mickelson’s eagerness to create some excitement, he hinted back during The Players in May about the possibility of a big-money, head-to-head match with Woods. A couple months later, he leaked more details, before it was ready to be fully announced.

So while there was an initial buzz over news of the Thanksgiving weekend matchup, the original pitch set up a real buzzkill when it was later announced that you were only going to get to see it live on pay-per-view.

The news landed with a thud but no price tag. We’re still waiting to see what it’s going to cost when these two meet at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, but anything that feels even slightly inflated now is going to further dampen the original enthusiasm Mickelson created.

Without Woods or Mickelson putting up their own money, this $9 million winner-take-all event was always going to feel more like a money grab than real competition.

When we were expecting to see it on network or cable TV, we didn’t care so much. Tiger's and Phil’s hands would have felt as if they were reaching into corporate America’s pockets. Now, it feels as if they’re digging into ours.

Last week, there was more disappointing news, with the Las Vegas Review-Journal reporting that tickets won’t be sold to the public, that the match at Shadow Creek will only be open to select sponsors and VIPs.



Now there’s a larger insult to the common fan, who can’t help but feel he isn’t worthy or important enough to gain admittance.

Sorry, but that’s how news of a closed gate landed on the heels of the pay-per-view news.

“The Match” was never going to be meaningful golf in any historical sense.

This matchup was never going to rekindle the magic Tiger vs. Phil brought in their epic Duel at Doral in ’05.

The $9 million was never going to buy the legitimacy a major championship or PGA Tour Sunday clash could bring.

It was never going to be more than an exhibition, with no lingering historical significance, but that was OK as quasi silly-season fare on TV on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23), the traditional weekend of the old Skins Game.

“The Match” still has a chance to be meaningful, but first and foremost as entertainment, not real competition. That’s what this was always going to be about, but now the bar is raised.

Pay per view does that.

“You get what you pay for” is an adage that doesn’t apply to free (or already-paid for) TV. It does to pay per view. Expectations go way up when you aren’t just channel surfing to a telecast. So the higher the price tag they end up putting on this showdown, the more entertaining this has to be.

If Phil brings his “A-Game” to his trash talking, and if Tiger can bring some clever repartee, this can still be fun. If the prerecorded segments wedged between shots are insightful, even meaningful in their ability to make us understand these players in ways we didn’t before, this will be worthwhile.

Ultimately, “The Match” is a success if it leaves folks who paid to see it feeling as if they weren’t as ripped off as the people who refused to pay for it. That’s the handicap a history of free golf on TV brings. Welcome to pay-per-view, Tiger and Phil.

Celia Barquin Arozamena Iowa State University athletics

Trial date set for drifter charged with killing Barquin Arozamena

By Associated PressOctober 15, 2018, 7:28 pm

AMES, Iowa – A judge has scheduled a January trial for a 22-year-old Iowa drifter charged with killing a top amateur golfer from Spain.

District Judge Bethany Currie ruled Monday that Collin Richards will stand trial Jan. 15 for first-degree murder in the death of Iowa State University student Celia Barquin Arozamena.

Richards entered a written not guilty plea Monday morning and waived his right to a speedy trial. The filing canceled an in-person arraignment hearing that had been scheduled for later Monday.

Investigators say Richards attacked Barquin on Sept. 17 while she was playing a round at a public course in Ames, near the university campus. Her body was found in a pond on the course riddled with stab wounds.

Richards faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

LeBron's son tries golf, and he might be good at everything

By Grill Room TeamOctober 15, 2018, 5:36 pm

LeBron James' son seems well on his way to a successful basketball career of his own. To wit:

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Finally got it down lol

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But with just a little work, he could pass on trying to surpass his father and try to take on Tiger and Jack, instead.

Bronny posted this video to Instagram of him in sandals whacking balls off a mat atop a deck into a large body of water, which is the golfer's definition of living your best life.

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How far, maybe 400 #happygilmore

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If you listen closely, at the end of the clip, you can just barely hear someone scream out for a marine biologist.