Wild ride: A different take on the year in golf

By Doug FergusonDecember 27, 2011, 8:54 pm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Mike Tuten has spent the last 20 years on the North Shore of Oahu shaping surf boards. He joined his brother, Titleist rep Chris Tuten, for a round of golf on the Plantation Course at Kapalua at the start of the year.

Walking down the seventh fairway, the Pacific Ocean on the horizon, Tuten said he found a lot of similarities between surfing and golf.

“It’s all about controlling your inner self and enjoying the environment around you,” Tuten said.

That made sense to Adam Scott, who does a fair bit of surfing.

Ditto for Geoff Ogilvy, who described himself as a “splash-in-the-water kind of surfer.”

“A lot of surfing is just sitting on the back of your board and just enjoying the place you’re at,” Ogilvy said. “You can do it with friends or on your own. Some of the appeal is that you’re out there on your own with golf, too. Surfing is similar. A lot of guys who go surfing would be those types of guys who like to get out and do their own thing.”

For a technical answer, Kelly Slater weighed in.

“Physically, there’s not a lot of similarities,” Slater said at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. “When you surf, you do twist your body. You twist your shoulders and bring the board to where your shoulders are. When you catch a wave, you don’t want to be thinking about the crowd, cameras, how pretty it is. You want to have a calm mind when you take off on a wave.”

It all sounded good in theory until the question was posed to Ernie Els on the range at Waialae.

Are there any similarities between golf and surfing?

“No, I don’t agree with that,” Els said.

He pointed to the 30-foot palm trees lining both sides of the range to make his argument.

“You see a wave that big coming at you, I don’t see how you can enjoy your environment,” Els said. “I would be trying to get the hell out of there. No, golf is not like surfing. You don’t get killed playing golf.”

The 2011 season began with waves crashing along the shores of Maui and Oahu. Rory McIlroy wiped out at the Masters and had the ride of his life at the U.S. Open. Luke Donald is riding a wave that doesn’t seem to end. And late in the year, Tiger Woods showed signs of paddling back out to sea.

Along the way, there were plenty of other moments that went beyond birdies and bogeys.


Saturday at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is when CBS Sports focuses primarily on the celebrities in the field, who don’t always take golf – or the interviews – all that seriously. David Feherty attempted to interview comedian George Lopez, who essentially spent his time in front of the camera making fun of the Irishman.

Feherty was riding his bike along 17 Mile Drive the next morning, still thinking about how Lopez buried him on TV, when he decided it was time for revenge. It was 6 a.m. and he knew the house where Lopez was staying, so Feherty went to the front door and began ringing the bell. Over and over and over.

No answer.

He took out his phone and called Lopez, and the comedian answered with a groggy voice.

“George! Why aren’t you answering the door?” Feherty told him.

Lopez informed him that his door bell wasn’t ringing. Just at that moment, Feherty heard another groggy voice, slightly perturbed, through the intercom.

“Who is this?”

Feherty froze. He was at the wrong house. Lopez was in the one on the other side of the road.

“I was looking at him across the street,” Lopez said. “I think I’ve still got a picture of it. He looked like a wet rat.”


Bo Van Pelt walked up to the porch at the Augusta National clubhouse to find his caddie waiting for him with the golf bag and listening to a man on the bench telling stories.

“Bo,” caddie Mark Chaney said. “Have you met Bob Goalby?”

For the next hour, the 1968 Masters champion regaled Van Pelt with stories about practice rounds with Ben Hogan, about the stories Sam Snead once told at the Champions Dinner at Augusta, about playing in the Ryder Cup against British players hardly anyone knew.

Van Pelt didn’t want to leave. Goalby would finish a story, there would be a long pause, and then he would start another.

At the end of the week, Van Pelt was among eight players who had a share of the lead on Sunday. He tied for eighth. Yet that Tuesday afternoon on the porch with Goalby was as strong a memory as his best finish at the Masters.

“To me, those are the things where I feel fortunate I get to do what I do,” Van Pelt said a few weeks ago. “It’s great to be at Augusta. And you’re thinking about the tournament. But when you get a chance to visit with someone like that, those other things can wait. I could have sat there all day.”


Darren Clarke couldn’t do the math.

For a guy who spent two decades chasing the claret jug, Clarke did a remarkable job keeping a clear head until he approached the 18th green at Royal St. George’s and tried to figure out what remained for him to capture golf’s oldest championship.

He played the final hole the way he wanted, taking the bunkers out of play off the tee and hitting to the back left of the green.

“The crowd was roaring and shouting, and I’m thinking, `How many putts do I have from there?’ I promise you, that’s what I was thinking,” Clarke said. “And I couldn’t get the number in my head. The only time that I really figured it out was when I was standing over the ball. I’ve got five putts.”

He took three to make a meaningless bogey and win by three shots over Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson.


Fred Couples was outside the ropes near the first tee at Royal Melbourne, holding court on the world of sports as only Couples can do, while Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson prepared to play for the first time as partners in the Presidents Cup.

Couples wanted to know about the sale of the Houston Astros, and how they could go to the American League, and if someone bought the Seattle Mariners, could the new owner demand they be in the National League? The conversation shifted to hockey, back to baseball, a brief stop for the NFL, back to hockey. And then he stopped.

“You know, I should be over there talking to Dustin and Tiger instead of you two clowns,” he said.

Maybe so. But, as one reporter asked, what would be his preference?

“You guys,” Couples said. Nodding in the direction of Woods and Johnson, he added with a smile, “Those guys don’t give me anything.”


Arnold Palmer was asked to describe his perfect day, and he frowned.

“I’m in a dilemma right now because I can’t hit the ball the way I want to,” Palmer said. “I can do things that will allow me to hit the ball where I want to hit it, but not as far. But straight isn’t the answer for me because I can’t hit it far enough. At 82, am I going to put the effort into it that I have to for me to enjoy playing? It’s very difficult.”

At the end of a long day that included a golf-course opening, Palmer made up his mind.

“I’ve decided I’m going to give it a shot this winter at Bay Hill, for my own satisfaction,” he said. “I’m going to work at it.”

Three weeks later, using a 5-iron from 163 yards on the Charger Course at Bay Hill, the King made his 20th career hole-in-hole and shot 79.

Geoff Ogilvy and family at the 2009 WGC-Accenture Match Play. Getty Images

Notes: Ogilvy moving family to Australia

By Doug FergusonMay 22, 2018, 6:55 pm

Geoff Ogilvy's immediate future involves fewer golf tournament and longer flights.

Ogilvy has been contemplating in the last few years moving back home to Australia, and after discussing it with his Texas-born wife, Juli, they plan to return to Melbourne shortly after Christmas.

Their daughter, Phoebe, turns 12 in October and will be starting the seventh grade in Australia. They have two sons, Jasper (10) and Harvey (8). The Ogilvys figured that waiting much longer to decide where to live would make it tougher on the children.

''We just talked about it, for lots of reasons, and we kept making pros and cons. Juli was strong on it,'' Ogilvy said. ''We're excited. I'm at the point where I'm not going to play 27 times a year. It's going to be brutal to play from there. But you've got to choose life.''

Ogilvy won the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot, and he counts three World Golf Championships among his eight PGA Tour victories. He also has won the Australian Open and the Australian PGA Championship and has reached No. 3 in the world.

His last victory was in 2014, and Ogilvy has slipped to No. 416 in the world.

He has been dividing some of his time with a golf course design business with projects that include Shady Oaks in Fort Worth, Texas, (including a ''Little Nine'' course that opened last year), a renovation in China and a 36-hole course called Peninsula Kingwood in Melbourne.

Ogilvy, who grew up at Victoria Golf Club, still has a home on the 14th hole of the West Course at Royal Melbourne. If he didn't move back home, Ogilvy figured he would be spending six months in Melbourne and six months in Scottsdale, Arizona.

''It's a feeling more than anything,'' he said. ''Scottsdale is dreamy. We live a great existence. I know what I'm getting there. If we didn't move back, we'd be a six-and-six family. The kids get out of school, and they're bounced back and forth. It's not good for continuity.''

As for golf?

Ogilvy narrowly kept his full PGA Tour card last year and this season has been a struggle. He hasn't sorted out what kind of schedule he would keep, understanding it would involve long trips from Sydney to Dallas.

The immediate goal would be to play a heavy fall schedule and miss most of the West Coast swing to get acclimated to the move.

''And then we'll start working it out,'' he said.


US OPEN QUALIFYING: The U.S. Open likes to consider its championship the most democratic of the majors, and it has it just about right again this year. With the addition of 23 players who became exempt by being in the top 60 in the world ranking, 77 players in the 156-man field are exempt from qualifying. That number could go up slightly with another cutoff for the top 60 the Sunday before U.S. Open week.

The U.S. Open is the only American major that does not offer automatic exemptions to PGA Tour winners. Five such winners from this season still face qualifying, including Patton Kizzire, who has won twice (OHL Classic at Mayakoba and Sony Open). The others are Austin Cook, Ted Potter Jr., Andrew Landry and Aaron Wise.

Kizzire is at No. 63 in the world, followed by Wise (66) and Landry (69). All have three weeks to crack the top 60.

Until 2011, the U.S. Open offered exemptions to multiple PGA Tour winners since the previous Open. It leans heavily on the world ranking, as do the other majors. It also awards recent major champions and top finishers from the previous U.S. Open, along with the Tour Championship field from the previous year, to reward a consistently strong season.

''All of the tours around the world have bought into the official world golf ranking rankings,'' said Jeff Hall, the USGA's managing director of rules and open championships. ''And this provides just the right place for us to be with exemptions. We don't have to get into the weighting of one tour over another, this championship versus that event, a week-to-week event. We focus on the official world golf rankings and it seems to get us the right players for our championship.''



FICKLE GAME: Careers can change quickly in golf. No one can attest to that as well as Michael Arnaud.

The 36-year-old Arnaud had never finished better than a tie for fifth in his 49 starts on the Web.com Tour, and that was three years ago. His career earnings were just over $130,000. He had only made it into one previous event this year, and he wasn't in the field at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in South Carolina last week until Kent Bulle withdrew on the eve of the event.

Arnaud tied the course record with a 60 in the second round. He closed with a 63 and won by five shots.

He won $126,000 and moved to No. 13 on the money list, giving him a reasonable chance to reach the PGA Tour if he finishes the season in the top 25.

''A lot of people kept pushing me when I wanted to step away from it,'' Arnaud said. ''My wife was one of those that told me to take the chance and go. Low and behold it really paid off.''


SHINNECOCK SAVANT: Rory McIlroy is excited to get back to Shinnecock Hills for the U.S. Open, a course he already has played a few times.

Equally excited is his manager, Sean O'Flaherty, who knows the course on New York's Long Island better than McIlroy.

O'Flaherty spent two summers as a caddie at Shinnecock Hills.

He went to college at Trinity in Dublin, had friends in the Hamptons and came over during the summer months in 2002 and 2003 to work as a caddie.

''I got to know a lot of members,'' O'Flaherty said. ''I can't wait. To me, it's the best course in the world.''


DIVOTS: Justin Thomas won the Honda Classic on Feb. 25 at No. 4 in the world. No one from the top 10 in the world has won a PGA Tour event since then, a stretch of 12 tournaments. ... Guy Kinnings is leaving IMG after nearly 30 years to become the deputy CEO and Ryder Cup director of the European Tour. He will report directly to European Tour chief Keith Pelley. ... The LPGA tour will play in China during its fall Asia swing at the Buick LPGA Shanghai at Qizhong Garden Golf Club. The tournament will be Oct. 18-21, one week before the men play the HSBC Champions at Sheshan International in Shanghai. ... Alice Chen of Furman has been selected for the Dinah Shore Trophy, awarded to top college women who excel in golf, academics and work off the golf course. ... The Irish Open is going to Lahinch Golf Club in 2019, with former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley serving as the tournament host.


STAT OF THE WEEK: Matt Kuchar, Peter Uihlein and Jhonattan Vegas are the only players to compete in all five Texas events on the PGA Tour this year.


FINAL WORD: ''The sum of his shots seems to add up to slightly less than the sum of the shots from another guy.'' - Geoff Ogilvy on Jordan Spieth.

Getty Images

Arizona's run continues, knocks off top seed to reach semis

By Jay CoffinMay 22, 2018, 6:35 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – The No. 1 seed in match play has still never won the women’s NCAA Championship.

That dubious distinction continued Tuesday at Karsten Creek when Arizona knocked out top-seeded UCLA on the final hole of the final match.

With the matches tied at 2 apiece, the anchor match between Arizona junior Bianca Pagdanganan and UCLA freshman Patty Tavatanakit was tied on the 18th hole, a par 5 that’s reachable in two shots by many.

Tavatanakit was just short of the green in two and Pagdanganan, the Wildcats’ hero from Monday when she made eagle on the last hole to give her team a shot at match play, blasted her second shot onto the green. Tavatanakit failed to get up and down – missing a 4-footer for birdie – and Pagdanganan two-putted for birdie to give Arizona the victory.


NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage


“We’re lucky to be in match play,” Arizona coach Laura Ianello said. “Let’s ride the highs. Why not?”

Arizona will now face Stanford in the semifinals. The Cardinal, the 2015 champion and 2016 runner up, has qualified for match play in each of the past four seasons. They beat Northwestern, 3-2, in the quarterfinals to advance.

USC will face Alabama in the other semifinal, meaning three Pac-12 teams have advanced to the Final Four. The Crimson Tide had an easy go of it in their quarterfinal match against Kent State, winning 4-1. The decisive victory gave Alabama extra rest for its afternoon match.

USC beat Duke, 3-1-1, in the other quarterfinal, pitting teams that have combined to win nine NCAA titles in the past 20 years. But neither team has had much success in the past four years since the championship turned to match play. Not only has neither team won, neither has even reached the championship match.

Duke’s Leona Maguire won the first match and the second match was halved, but USC swept the last three matches with Gabriela Ruffels, Alyaa Abdulghany and Amelia Garvey all winning to propel the Trojans into the semifinals.

Alabama (2) vs. USC (3)

2:30PM ET: Lauren Stephenson (A) vs. Jennifer Chang (USC)

2:40PM ET: Kristen Gillman (A) vs. Amelia Garvey (USC)

2:50PM ET: Cheyenne Knight (A) vs. Allisen Corpuz (USC)

3:00PM ET: Lakareber Abe (A) vs. Alyaa Abdulghany (USC)

3:10PM ET: Angelica Moresco (A) Gabriela Ruffels (USC)


Stanford (5) vs. Arizona (8)

3:20PM ET: Emily Wang (S) vs. Gigi Stoll (A)

3:30PM ET: Shannon Aubert (S) vs. Yu-Sang Hou (A)

3:40PM ET: Mika Liu (S) vs. Haley Moore (A)

3:50PM ET: Albane Valenzuela (S) vs. Sandra Nordaas (A)

4:00PM ET: Andrea Lee (S) vs. Bianca Pagdanganan (A)

Getty Images

NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 5:50 pm

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals were contested Tuesday morning with semifinals in the afternoon. The finals are being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

Scoring:

TV Times (all times ET):

Tuesday
4-8PM: Match-play semifinals (Click here to watch live)

Wednesday
4-8PM: Match-play finals

Getty Images

Spieth grouped with Kisner, Stricker at Colonial

By Will GrayMay 22, 2018, 5:34 pm

It's a short commute for the PGA Tour this week, as Colonial Country Club sits less than an hour away from last week's host site, Trinity Forest. Here's a look at some of the marquee, early-round groupings at the Fort Worth Invitational, where local favorite Jordan Spieth will look to contend at "Hogan's Alley" for the fourth straight year (all times ET):

8:55 a.m. Thursday, 1:55 p.m. Friday: Jon Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau, Rickie Fowler

Rahm impressed in his Colonial debut last year, finishing T-2 in his first trip around one of the Tour's most historic venues. He returns this week and will play alongside DeChambeau, who missed the cut in his first two Colonial appearances but has played well this year, and Fowler, who makes his first trip to Fort Worth since missing the cut in 2014.


Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


9:06 a.m. Thursday, 2:06 p.m. Friday: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Kisner, Steve Stricker

Spieth has had great success at Colonial, with his 2016 title sandwiched between a runner-up in 2015 to Chris Kirk and one last year behind Kisner, who returns to defend his title on the heels of two straight missed cuts. Stricker, who won here in 2009, returns for the fourth straight year after a T-7 finish last year.


1:55 p.m. Thursday, 8:55 a.m. Friday: Aaron Wise, Zach Johnson, Justin Rose

At age 21, Wise became the Tour's latest winner when he cruised to a three-shot victory Sunday in Dallas, and he'll play the first two rounds alongside a pair of major champs. Johnson won here in 2010 and 2012 and remains the tournament's leading money-winner, while Rose opted to skip the European Tour's flagship event to make his first start in Fort Worth since 2010.


2:06 p.m. Thursday, 9:06 a.m. Friday: Webb Simpson, Brooks Koepka, Adam Scott

Simpson tees it up for the first time since his victory at TPC Sawgrass, and he does so on a layout where he has cracked the top five each of the last two years. Koepka will be making his Colonial debut, while Scott returns to a course where he won as world No. 1 back in 2013 as he continues his quest to crack the OWGR top 60 to earn a spot in the U.S. Open.