Arnie Timeless Ageless In This Age
If there ever were a 'Mr. Golf,' this is it. He plays strictly because he loves it. Oh, how he loves it. He's 71 and he's still playing three tournaments a year on the regular tour - the Bob Hope, Bay Hill, the Masters - and five or six on the Senior Tour. At an age when everyone else has put it to bed, he continues to get out and knock it around.
He does it because he wants to. No other person who hit the little white ball for a living has such a love for driving it down the fairway and hitting it up on the green.
Arnold did it last week at the Hope, and in the interview room somebody mentioned that not since Snead 22 years ago had anybody shot their age. 'I wondered why in the hell you wanted me in here. I couldn't figure it out,' he snorted in mock indignation.
'But you know, it's fun,' he said. 'That's why I'm still playing. I enjoy the competition. I enjoy the feeling I get when I'm out there.
'You know, you get nervous, and want to play well. Of course, I'm not fortunate enough to do that as much as I would like. But I don't give up, and I don't think that I will give up. As long as I can compete and be a part of the game, I'm going to try to be. If I'm making some contributions to it, that's my goal.'
Yeah, he's making contributions. He's making lots of them, still, at age 71. He realizes he has to be careful about where he plays on the regular tour now. Even though it would be immensely popular if he were to tee it up more often on the regular tour - and he could readily get a sponsor's exemption for any one of them - he has to be mindful that he is taking up a slot which could be spent on a young player. The only tournament he does this at is the Bob Hope. Bay Hill and the Masters are invitationals and not locked in to a certain number of entrants.
Rounds such as this one, when he shot 71 at age 71, make him consider ever so briefly changing the schedule. 'I'd have to play a lot more good rounds,' he explains, and you have to appreciate his sincerity because you know how badly he wants to be out there.
'But once you feel like you're making some progress, that could change my opinion and maybe have me play a few more events. But as I say, it's going to have to be more consistent that it has been. You know, I started with 81, and then I shot 79, and then I shot 75, and then I shot 71.
'If I could have shot 71 and gone down the same way, I would be sure to play a few more events.'
Of course, the Hope is relatively easy. I say 'relatively,' because there is no way most of us could shoot 71 on those courses, and I don't mean when we are 71. Most of us couldn't shoot 71 if we just played 15 holes and toted them up. But the winner, Joe Durant, shot 36-under for five days of play. The point is, if Arnold was going to do it, this is the place. The pins were relatively accessible for Arnie and partner Troy Aikman, the better to get the amateurs around. The courses were in immaculate condition - 'Goodness, you could eat your lunch on anything out there,' said Palmer. And they were fairly short.
But even when it's a day for the 81s to come creeping in, he still has a wonderful time. He has grudgingly made his peace with it. He can look in the mirror and realize, difficult as it is, that it is going to happen some days out here.
And when it does, he can roll with the punch. He knows he isn't here to win. He's here to play fairly decent golf and to have a good time. An 81 isn't any fun, even at age 71 when most of the world would die for such a score, but it's so much fun just being Arnold Palmer on days like that.
'Rather than aggravate myself with the game, I talked to all my friends,' he said.
'All his friends,' incidentally, is anybody who has ever played golf. His list of friends isn't too exclusive. Eighteen tees, 18 flags and three other Joes to keep him company is all Mr. Golf needs to have a nice day.
Read more of what Arnie had to say after shooting his age!
Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off
NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.
Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.
The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.
Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.
Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.
Third-round tee times for the 147th Open
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.
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
Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm
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.
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.”
Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish
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.”
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.”