Notes: Rose considers coach Foley a true friend

By Doug FergusonJune 18, 2013, 11:16 pm

ARDMORE, Pa. – Next week marks four years that Justin Rose first began working on his swing with Sean Foley. But in the moments after winning the U.S. Open for his first major championship, Rose referred to him as more than just a swing coach.

He gave credit to Foley for improvements each year, particularly being able to hit the ball a little longer and a little straighter. Rose also mentioned a text that Foley sent him Sunday morning before he closed with an even-par 70 for his two-shot win.

''He said something along the lines of just go out there and be the man that your dad taught you to be and be the man that your kids can look up to,'' Rose said Sunday. ''Really, that was my goal. Today was about winning the U.S. Open, but it was also about honoring great men that have come before us. A lot of us have that sort of situation with their fathers.''

Rose lost his father, Ken, to leukemia in 2002 when Rose was 21 and is just starting to recover from a rocky start to his pro career. Rose describes their time together as quality over quantity.

As for Foley?

''I would say it's more than just a player-coach relationship,'' he said. ''I regard him as a true friend, and I regard him as someone who if I ever had a question about golf or about life, he would be very much at the top of my list. He's a very interesting character and very strong mentally. And he passes that on well.''


ON THE BUBBLE: Jimmy Walker, who narrowly missed out getting into the top 60 in the world for an exemption to the U.S. Open, is on another bubble again.

Walker is among those who have three weeks to crack the top 20 in the FedEx Cup for a chance to get an exemption into the British Open. Walker is at No. 21. After The Greenbrier Classic, the leading five players – not already exempt – from the top 20 in the FedEx Cup will earn a spot at Muirfield.

Colonial winner Boo Weekley is at No. 8 and would appear to be safe. The other players inside the top 20 and not yet in the British Open field are Charles Howell III (No. 14), Sony Open winner Russell Henley (No. 15) and St. Jude winner Harris English (No. 17).

Right behind Walker are Byron Nelson winner Sang-Moon Bae,Scott Stallings and Martin Laird of Scotland.

The only other way for a PGA Tour player to earn a spot into the British Open would be to win the John Deere Classic, which is held the week before the Open.


MEMORABLE SECONDS: The U.S. Open has been held five times at Merion, and already four players who were runner-up are in the Hall of Fame – Gene Sarazen (1934), Lloyd Mangrum (1950), Jack Nicklaus (1971) and Phil Mickelson (2013).

Sometimes it's the strength of the leaderboard – not necessarily the winner – that shows what kind of championship test a course provides. Merion passes both tests. Of its five U.S. Open champions, all are multiple major champions except for Justin Rose, who won his first one Sunday at age 32.

Merion might not have the best list of second-place finishers for a U.S. Open.

Oakmont has held the U.S. Open eight times and its runners-up include Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk (2007), Colin Montgomerie (1994), Tom Watson (1983), Arnold Palmer (1962) and Sam Snead (1953).

The strongest list would have to go to Olympic Club in San Francisco, however. That list features Hogan, Palmer, Watson, Payne Stewart and Graeme McDowell.


TIGER CHANCES: Tiger Woods has now played 16 majors since he last won the 2008 U.S. Open, so he remains four short of matching the record of Jack Nicklaus. Can he do it? Padraig Harrington says there is ''no question about it.''

''He only needs to win four more. He's got plenty of years,'' Harrington said. ''The weeks he plays well, he wins. Not too many guys can say, 'Well, if I play well, I'm winning.' All he has to do is pick the right week. Clearly, he's not as good as he was in the past, but he's going to hit the right week enough times to win four more majors.''

Woods has picked the wrong week so far. He has four wins on the PGA Tour.

''That's irrelevant,'' Harrington said. ''He's going to hit the right week eventually.''


NOT AS EASY AS 1-2-3: Being part of the U.S. Open's grouping of the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 players draws a big gallery to watch some ordinary golf.

Merion was the fourth time the USGA went with the 1-2-3 pairing, and the second straight time that none of the three broke par while playing together. In fact, Tiger Woods (68 at Torrey Pines), Lee Westwood (68 at Congressional) and Martin Kaymer (70 at Congressional) represent the only rounds under par.

Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott were a collective 6-over at Torrey Pines in 2008. Westwood, Kaymer and Luke Donald were 7-over at Congressional in 2011. The worst was last year at Olympic Club, when Westwood, Donald and Rory McIlroy combined to go 26-over - only Westwood made the cut.

This year, Woods and McIlroy each shot 3-over, while Scott was at 7-over.


RORY'S ESCORT: The police officer who got Rory McIlroy to the Ryder Cup on time for his singles match at Medinah is moving up. Pat Rollins, the deputy chief of the Lombard Police Department for the last 12 years, is taking over as police chief for the Sugar Grove Police Department.

McIlroy was looking at the wrong time zone when he realized he was running an hour behind. Rollins got him to the Chicago-area golf course in an unmarked car, and McIlroy beat Keegan Bradley as Europe staged a record-tying rally to win.

The car, meanwhile, was to be replaced this year. Instead, the village of Lombard put it up for auction on eBay.


DIVOTS: According to the USGA, Billy Horschel hit all 18 greens in regulation in the second round. He hit 22 greens in regulation over the last two rounds combined. ... Steve Stricker and David Lingmerth were the only players to make par all four rounds on the 18th hole at Merion. ... The Web.com has a new season-ending tournament, with Winco Foods signing a three-year deal as title sponsor of the Portland Open. It will be played Aug. 21-24 on the Witch Hollow course at Pumpkin Ridge. ... Louis Oosthuizen was at the U.S. Open for one day of competition, at least long enough to show off the new logo on his clothing. He is the latest to become a golf brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz, which also plans to support his junior golf academy in South Africa. ... Tiger Woodshad a 293, which would have put him into a playoff at Merion with Olin Dutra for the 1934 U.S. Open.


STAT OF THE WEEK: Tiger Woods has not broken 70 in his last 10 rounds, his longest such streak since July 2010.


FINAL WORD: ''It's not getting any easier as I get older.'' – Steve Stricker, 46, on trying to win his first major championship.

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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

A post shared by Bronny James (@bronnyjames.jr) on

But with just a little work, he could pass on trying to surpass his father and merely 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.

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Sponsored: Callaway's 'Golf Lives: Home Course'

By Grill Room TeamOctober 15, 2018, 4:20 pm

In this original series, Callaway sets out to profile unique golf locations around the country based on their stories, communities and the characters that surround them. The golf cultures across the series are remarkably diverse, yet in all cases it's the course itself that unifies and ignites the passions of those who play.

“Golf Lives: Home Course” focuses on three distinct home courses across the country – one in D.C., one in Nebraska and one in Portland, Ore. All have very different golf cultures, but are connected by a deep love of the game.

Click here for a look at all three series segments, as well as past Golf Lives features.

And here’s a breakdown of the three courses in focus: 

FILM 1

Langston Golf Course (Washington, D.C.)

Opened in June 1939, Langston is steeped in a rich history. Known for its triumphant role in the desegregation of public golf, the course has been integral to the growth of the game’s popularity among African Americans. With its celebratory feel, Langston shows us golf is not unifies individuals, but generations. 


FILM 2

Edgefield Golf Course (Portland, Ore.)

The air is fresh, the beers are cold and the vibes are electric at Edgefield. You'd be hard pressed to find a more laid back, approachable and enjoyable environment for a round. Overlooking stunning panoramic views of northeast Portland, two par-3 pub courses (12 holes and 20 holes) wind through vineyards, thickets of blackberry bushes and a vintage distillery bar. All are welcome at Edgefield, especially those who have never swung a club. 


FILM 3

Wild Horse Golf Club (Gothenburg, Neb.)

In 1997, the locals and farmers living in the tight-knit town of Gothenburg decided to build a golf course. A bank loan, a couple of tractors, and a whole lotta sweat-equity later, their prairieland masterpiece is now considered one of the best in the country. Wild Horse is the soul of the community, providing unforgettable memories for all who play it.

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Pepperell likely sews up Masters invite via OWGR

By Will GrayOctober 15, 2018, 2:13 pm

Eddie Pepperell received a trophy for his win Sunday at the British Masters, but another prize will be coming in the mail at the end of the year.

Pepperell held on to win by two shots at rainy Walton Heath, giving him his second win of the year to go along with a pair of runner-ups. The Englishman started the year ranked No. 133 in the world and was as low as 513th in May 2017. But with the win, Pepperell jumped 17 spots to a career-best 33rd in the latest world rankings.

It means that Pepperell, who finished T-6 at The Open while fighting a hangover in the final round, is in line to make his Masters debut next spring, as the top 50 in the world rankings at the end of the calendar year become exempt into the season's first major.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


Another player now in the mix for that top-50 exemption is Emiliano Grillo, who went from 62nd to 49th with a T-2 finish at the PGA Tour's CIMB Classic. Grillo has played in two Masters but missed this year's event. Marc Leishman moved up eight spots to No. 16 with his win in Malaysia, while T-2s result moved Chesson Hadley from 75th to 60th and Bronson Burgoon from 162nd to 102nd.

There were no changes among the top 10 in the latest rankings, with Dustin Johnson still ahead of Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy. Francesco Molinari remains in sixth, with Bryson DeChambeau, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth rounding out the top 10.

Both Koepka and Thomas are in the field at this week's CJ Cup in South Korea, where they will have an opportunity to overtake Johnson for world No. 1.

With his next competitive start unknown, Tiger Woods stayed at No. 13 for another week.

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USGA, R&A unveil new limits on green books

By Rex HoggardOctober 15, 2018, 1:53 pm

Following a six-week feedback period, the USGA and R&A unveiled a new interpretation of the Rules of Golf and the use of green-reading materials on Monday.

The interpretation limits the size and scale of putting green books and any electronic or digital materials that a player may use to assist with green reading.

“We’re thankful for everyone’s willingness to provide feedback as we worked through the process of identifying a clear interpretation that protects the essential skill of reading a green, while still allowing for information that helps golfers enjoy the game,” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior managing director of governance.

Players will be allowed to continue to use green-reading books beginning in 2019, but the new interpretation will limit images of greens to a scale of 3/8 inch to 5 yards (1:480), and books can be no larger than 4 1/4 inches by 7 inches (pocket-sized). The interpretation also bans the use of magnification devices beyond normal prescription glasses.

The USGA and R&A will allow for hand-drawn notes in green books as long as those notes are written by the player or their caddie. The rule makers also dropped a proposal that would have limited the minimum slope to four percent in green-reading material.

“These latest modifications provide very practical changes that make the interpretation easier to understand and apply in the field,” Pagel said.