Power Rankings: 2014 Deutsche Bank Championship

By Will GrayAugust 27, 2014, 5:19 pm

This week marks the 43rd event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, as the Tour continues the playoffs with the Deutsche Bank Championship. A field of 94 players will tee it up this week at TPC Boston, where the winning score often exceeds 20 under par.

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Henrik Stenson returns to defend the title he won a year ago over Sergio Garcia. Here are 10 names to watch this week in Norton:

1. Adam Scott: The Aussie was T-15 last week at Ridgewood despite a Saturday 75, his seventh straight top-15 finish dating all the way back to May. Scott got his first PGA Tour win here back in 2003 and has added four top-10 finishes since then, including three years in a row from 2010-2012. He knows what it takes to contend at TPC Boston, and should do so again this year.

2. Rory McIlroy: An "off" week for the Ulsterman still netted a top-25 finish, which McIlroy has produced in every start on Tour this year. He won here in a shootout back in 2012 and while his other two results haven't been spectacular, he has shot 65 or better in four of 12 competitive rounds at TPC Boston. McIlroy is certainly not hurting for confidence these days, and should contend again before heading to Denver.

3. Jason Day: Day appears ready to put an injury-plagued summer behind him, as he followed a T-15 finish at Valhalla with a runner-up showing at The Barclays. The Aussie cracked the top three in Boston in both 2010 and 2011, and he had four rounds in the 60s en route to a T-13 finish a year ago.

4. Jim Furyk: While another chance to end his victory drought passed him by, Furyk still notched an eighth-place finish at Ridgewood, his ninth top-10 finish in 18 starts this season. He hasn't finished outside the top 20 since Colonial, and he continues to lead the Tour in scrambling. Furyk has three top 10s in nine starts at TPC Boston, most recently 2011 when he finished sixth.

5. Brandt Snedeker: Despite a missed cut last week in New Jersey, Snedeker remains one of the hotter players around and now heads to a course where he finished sixth or better for three straight years from 2010-2012. Snedeker's three prior starts before the missed cut at Ridgewood all netted top-15 finishes, and he should add to that tally in his final start before Ryder Cup captain's picks are announced.

6. Matt Kuchar: In his first start since withdrawing from the PGA Championship with a bad back, Kuchar picked up right where he left off with a T-5 finish at Ridgewood. It was his third straight top-15 result, and Kuchar has turned 21 starts this season into 11 top 10s and 15 top 25s. He's cracked the top 15 at TPC Boston three of the last five years, including a T-4 finish last year.

7. Hunter Mahan: Now atop the FedEx Cup standings, Mahan is heating up just in time for a potential Ryder Cup berth. His Barclays win was his third straight top-15 finish including Firestone and Akron, and Mahan was among the field leaders in GIR percentage each of those three weeks. He's finished inside the top 15 in Norton two of the past three years, including a T-13 finish last year when he opened with 65.

8. Rickie Fowler: One of the best players this summer, but heading to a course where he has had limited success in the past. Fowler is now riding a streak of five straight top-10 finishes after a T-9 result at Ridgewood but his finishes at TPC Boston have gotton progressively worse: T-41, T-52, T-74 and a missed cut last year. Something's gotta give.

9. William McGirt: The veteran is quietly flying under the radar, and has now notched four straight top-25 finishes. After bookend 64s at Sedgefield, he tied for fifth at The Barclays to head to TPC Boston with some significant momentum. He is among the Tour's putting leaders and has shot 66 or better in six of his last 16 competitive rounds.

10. Jordan Spieth: Spieth hasn't had a month to remember in August, but he closed with a 67 at Ridgewood to finish T-22 last week, his 17th top-25 finish of the season. Spieth is seventh on Tour in birdie average in 2013-14 and returns to TPC Boston after a memorable debut last year, when he tied for fourth after a final-round 62 that locked up his spot on the Presidents Cup team.

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Davies leads Inkster after Day 1 of Senior LPGA Champ.

By Associated PressOctober 16, 2018, 1:10 am

FRENCH LICK, Ind. - Laura Davies opened with a 4-under 68 despite finishing with two bogeys Monday, giving her a one-shot lead over Juli Inkster after Round 1 of the Senior LPGA Championship.

Davies, who earlier this year won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open, had a lost ball on the par-5 18th hole on The Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort. She still salvaged a bogey in chilly, windy weather that had the 55-year-old from England bundled up in a blanket between shots.

Inkster, runner-up to Davies at the Senior Women's Open, made eagle on the closing hole for a 69.

Jane Crafter was at 70. Defending champion Trish Johnson opened with a 73.

Temperatures were in the high 40s, but the damp air and wind made it feel even colder.

Inkster made a bogey on the 17th hole by missing the green with a 9-iron.

''As old as I am, I still get made and I crushed that drive on 18,'' said Inkster, who followed with a 3-wood to 15 feet to set up her eagle.

The 54-hole event concludes Wednesday.

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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.