Payne holds his annual news conference at the Masters

By Jay CoffinApril 9, 2014, 5:24 pm

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Augusta National chairman Billy Payne held his annual news conference on the eve of the Masters and weighed in on various topics like the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship, the loss of the Eisenhower Tree, Tiger Woods and the infamous drop ruling that surrounded last year’s Masters.

Here’s a smattering of Payne’s best comments:

• The absence of Tiger Woods: “We miss Tiger, as does the entire golf world. What I like best about Tiger is, no matter where he is on a specific day, he is such a competitor. He is always a threat to make a run and do well and win here at Augusta National.”

• Thoughts on last year’s Tiger Woods ruling about the improper drop: “I think that we made the right decision. I believe that the golf world has affirmed that. I know that some of you disagree with the decision. Nevertheless, I think it is important that we communicate quickly with people, as we have a serious matter under deliberation, and we’re going to do that.”

• Regarding the inaugural Drive, Chip and Putt Championship: “I was somewhat surprised that I have been approached by virtually all of our members recounting all of the emails that they have received quite independent of me or the organization, rather to say how wonderful they believe the effort was. I think as we all attended, and as I’ve said once before, it was extraordinarily powerful.”

• News relating to the loss of the Eisenhower Tree: “I’ll make a confession here. At the time it happened, I was in the Bahamas bonefishing. I received the emergency call, got back as fast as I could.”

• Plans for No. 17 now that the tree is gone: “We do not have a definitive plan as to what, if anything, we will do to the 17th hole beyond this year’s tournament. We are closely examining play and scoring on the hole this week, and will make a decision after careful observation and consideration.”

• Benefits of the club since allowing female members: “As I’ve said before, we readily and joyously welcomed our lady members when that happened a couple years ago, and it remains a very good decision on our part.”

• Should the R&A vote to allow female membership: “Well, I’m proud to be a member of the R&A and I bet you can guess how I’m going to vote.”

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Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 21, 2018, 8:02 pm

Tiger Woods is looking to close his season with a win at the Tour Championship. We're tracking him this week at East Lake Golf Club.


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Web.com pro shoots under par despite a 10

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 21, 2018, 7:34 pm

We've all been there. We make a big number early in a round, and mentally we pack it in for the day, believing our shot to break 100/90/80 is gone before we've even worked up a sweat.

The next time this happens to you, remember the case of Max Rottluff, who made a 10 - a 10! - on a par 4 early in the first round of the Web.com Tour Finals and found himself 6 over par after only two holes. And he had to hole out from the fringe to keep it to a 10!


Full-field scores from the Web.com Tour Championship


Rottluff, a native of Germany who played collegiately at Arizona State, bore down after that, never dropping another stroke. Not only that, but he made seven birdies - two on the front nine and five on the back - to shoot a 1-under-par 70.

Rottluff started the Web.com Tour Finals in 82nd place, so he has a long way to go to reach the top 25 and earn a PGA Tour card. (He did follow his 70 with a 66 in the second round, so he's headed in the right direction.) He finished 64th on the Web.com Tour's regular-season money list, which guarantees him a full exemption on that tour next year.

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Tiger gets rapper Big Boi's support during opening 65

By Grill Room TeamSeptember 21, 2018, 6:00 pm

Tiger Woods fans everywhere were buzzing during his opening 65 at the Tour Championship, and that includes Atlanta hip-hop legend Big Boi, who was supporting the 14-time major champ from the East Lake gallery.

Perhaps best known as one half of the rap duo "Outkast" along with André 3000, Big Boi played the part of Woods superfan on Thursday, following Tiger around the course and posting videos on Twitter, before eventually stopping for a chat and a few pictures after the round.

Big Boi, who kicked off the Tour Championship with a performance at the event’s opening ceremonies, is hardly the first hip-hop superstar to buddy up to Woods - who could forget these incredible pictures with Snoop Dogg?

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After Web.com Tour Finals, Peterson retires ... again

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 21, 2018, 5:50 pm

OK, now it’s official: John Peterson is done with professional golf.  

With one last chance to secure his PGA Tour card for next season, Peterson missed the cut in the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship. After failing to keep conditional status on Tour – in the most excruciating of circumstances – Peterson is now out of options to play the big tour in 2019, so he’s stepping away from professional golf, at age 29.


Full-field scores from the Web.com Tour Championship


It’s been one of the most unusual storylines of the year. The former NCAA individual champion from LSU announced at the beginning of the year that he was done if he didn’t keep his card on his major medical extension. He’d grown tired of the nomadic existence on Tour, and as a new father and husband, he’d already lined up his next career, in real estate and business development in his hometown of Fort Worth, Texas.

In July, Peterson said that the Web.com Tour Finals would be his final opportunity. If he earned a full PGA Tour card through the four-event series, then he’d continue to play in 2018-19 because he’d be able to pick and choose his schedule. But he never threatened full status, missing three cuts and tying for 56th in the other start.

And so on Friday afternoon, Peterson tapped out this tweet, saying goodbye to the Tour: