Which course deserves a FedEx Cup playoff event

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 24, 2010, 11:04 pm

In this edition of Travel Punch Shots, TravelGolf.com senior writers Mike Bailey and Brandon Tucker weigh in on two courses that are tough, exciting and deserve to host a PGA Tour FedEx Cup playoff event.

By MIKE BAILEY

No disrespect to Ridgewood Country Club and The Barclays, but how about bringing the PGA Tour playoffs to the west coast? Specifically, I would love to see a FedEx Cup playoff event at the recently renovated Bayonet Course at Bayonet/BlackHorse in Seaside, Calif.

In the old days, Bayonet had a reputation as one of the toughest hombres in the West, and it played hosted to a number of professional events. Now that it's received a facelift as part of a $13 million renovation by architect Gene Bates, it's even better – a lot better.

And it's still really tough. I'd love to see the tour pros tackle these narrow fairways and firm, tricky greens. In fact, at a U.S. Open qualifier at Bayonet earlier this year, the medalist shot even par, and there were a few scores in the 90s. At just over 7,100 yards, Bayonet isn't long by today’s PGA Tour standards, but its rating/slope of 74.8/141 is a testament to its difficulty.

If the course is set up firm, as it typically is in the summer and fall, even the pros will have a hard time holding the greens at Bayonet.

As for tough holes, take your pick. The ninth is a 480-yard dogleg right uphill par 4. And just for good measure, there are deep bunkers guarding a green with plenty of tough pin positions.

The finishing stretch doesn't appear particularly foreboding, with two par 4s less than 400 yards, but trust me, it isn't easy, and it could make for great drama. The last two holes, a 225-yard par 3, and a 519-yard par 5 that plays uphill sets up for an exciting finish.

Besides difficulty, though, Bayonet is also easy on the eye. The renovation saw to that. Underbrush was cleared and trees trimmed to provide views of Monterey Bay not seen in years. Bunkers were renovated. And the golf course is pure bentgrass, tee to green now, so all you see is deep green turf surrounding ragged edged snow-white bunkers and ocean blue in the background.

The course is also very walkable, both for fans and players. And the Pacific Ocean provides plenty of air conditioning. What's not to like?

By BRANDON TUCKER

Golf hotbed Reno-Tahoe is a more deserving destination than serving as host of a sponsor-less PGA Tour event opposite the British Open. It deserves a FedEx Cup playoff event.

Tahoe's North Shore is a 30-minute drive from Reno-Tahoe Airport and is home to a handful of tour-worthy courses. Timilick Club in Truckee would be the most fitting for a PGA Tour playoff event. It’s a new private club that offers some daily public tee times while it tries to fill membership. It ranks among the best courses I've seen in 2010 and would be a great showcase of the area beyond Edgewood Tahoe on the south shore. Spectators who come to town would surely fall in love with Truckee's historic downtown and wealth of natural attractions around Lake Tahoe.

Designed by Johnny Miller and John Harbottle, Timilick is a more traditional-looking course compared to its showier mountain neighbors, and the routing is pretty easy to walk, especially on the flatter front side.

And the hole variety is tremendous, boasting not only varying visual scenery but it demands plenty of different shots too. There are two drivable par 4s (the 11th is one of the best out there), elevated greens and downhill holes, plus a 600-plus-yard finishing hole with plenty of trouble to create some playoff drama.

The course plays to a par of 71 and at 7,022 yards it might need a few new back tee boxes built to cope with today's best players and its High Sierras elevation, but many of the bunkers are deep and severe and the fairways could be thinned a bit to ensure a little bite. Then again, just about every course on tour has been getting chewed up this year.

The world's best pros would have a hard time finding faults here. They could even fly in on their private aircraft just a mile down the road at Truckee-Tahoe Airport.

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Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

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.

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Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

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.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


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

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Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

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.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


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.”

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Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

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.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


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.”