Houston I Have a Problem

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 31, 2008, 4:00 pm
Editor's Note: In Backspin, the GOLFCHANNEL.com editorial staff takes a look back on the biggest stories from the past week in golf -- with a spin.
THE RICHES: Isleworth Country Club defeated Lake Nona Golf and Country Club, 19 - 11 , to claim the Tavistock Cup. First-time participant J.B. Holmes was the big winner, leading the home team to victory and collecting the $500,000 awarded to the player with the lowest score on Day 2.
Backspin One cant possibly imagine what these players get compensated to compete in this event. Despite having the Doral event wrap up Monday morning, many of the players still traveled upstate from Miami to Orlando to play that afternoon and then again on Tuesday. Were pretty sure they didnt make this effort out of pride and loyalty to their enclave. The best story of the event may have come from Robert Allenby, who didnt want to take the charter flight to Orlando because he didnt want to leave his Bentley in Miami.

RED SHIRT, BLUE MOUTH: Tiger Woods caught heat this past week from media members for his profanity-laced tirade at a photographer in the final round of the WGC-CA Championship. A camera clicked as Woods was hitting on the par-3 ninth. Woods pushed his tee shot, nearly into the water, and eventually made bogey. Woods dropped a couple of F-bombs and threatened to break the neck of the next photographer to take a picture during his swing.
Backspin Tiger had his chance on an ESPN program to apologize for the incident and instead shrugged it off. Were certainly not going to apologize on his behalf, but we do understand there must be an incredible frustration level when youre trying to accomplish what Tiger is and someone interferes with that in an unprofessional manner. Of course, Tiger was also unprofessional in his reaction. One thing about Tiger: hes as apologetic about his behavior on the course as John Daly is off it.

WHAT'S DONE IS DONE: Argentine Andres Romero closed with a 4-under 68 to beat Aussie Peter Lonard by a stroke to win the Zurich Classic of News Orleans. In the process, he became the fourth straight player to collect his maiden PGA TOUR victory in New Orleans.
Backspin Most remember Romero for being the surprise leader late in last year's Open Championship at Carnoustie. Well, make that, most people remember Romero's train wreck on the 17th hole that ultimately left him one stroke out of the playoff with Sergio Garcia and Padraig Harrington. But what most people may not remember is that Romero was able to brush that crushing defeat aside by winning the very next week on the European Tour. And now, with his win in New Orleans, the Argentine will forever be remembered as a PGA TOUR winner. At least in the history books.

AT THE MOMENT...: Lorena Ochoa started slowly but picked up momentum throughout the week and then left the field in the Arizona desert dust, cruising to a seven-shot win at the Safeway International. It was her second win of the season in just three events and her second straight at Superstition Mountain.
Backspin Nobody's arguing that the 26-year-old Mexican is, at the moment, the game's best player. And for good reason. But the real test comes this week as the ladies of the LPGA Tour make their way to Rancho Mirage, Calif., for the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first of the LPGA Tours four majors. For all her wins she has racked up over the past several years, Ochoa has but just one major victory to her credit. And then there's a certain Swede that has notched 10 majors. We'll revisit the topic of Lorena next Monday.

NO LOVE Davis Love III shot 76-75 to miss the cut at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, thus putting serious pressure on himself to avoid missing the Masters Tournament for the first time since 1990. Love hasnt missed a major of any kind since the 1990 U.S. Open. He's entered into this week's Shell Houston Open, and will need to win the event in order to be invited to Augusta National.
Backspin Thirteen years ago, Love won in New Orleans to punch his Masters ticket. He then proceeded to finish runner-up, the closest he has ever come to winning a green jacket. Love said that he feels good physically (bad back and neck) and mentally, but at age 44 (come April 13), Love is in danger of never being able to add to his lone major triumph, the 1997 PGA Championship ' which could be the difference between a Hall of Fame career and an underachieving one.

IRWIN-ESQUE?: Bernhard Langer pulled away from the field at the Ginn Championship, surviving very windy conditions to post an eight-stroke win. He was one of only three players to card a score of under par in Sunday's final round.
Backspin Langer put an end to an exciting stretch of Champions Tour endings with his runaway victory at the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach. It was his second win of the season and prompted GOLF CHANNEL analyst Frank Nobilo to utter, although somewhat reluctantly, that Langer's play was 'Irwin-esque' in reference to Hale Irwin's one-time Champions Tour dominance. High praised indeed considering Irwin's staggering 45 wins on the senior circuit. The closest to Irwin's, probably unbreakable, record is Lee Trevino at 29. Langer's win total at this point? Three and counting.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Thomas Levet won the Andalucia Open in Spain on the first playoff hole Sunday, defeating 19-year-old Oliver Fisher; Australias Gavin Coles won the Louisiana Open for his fourth career Nationwide Tour title; Celebrity chef Paul Prudhomme was struck by a stray bullet while setting up his cooking tent at TPC Louisiana; Fred Couples named Jay Haas as an assistant captain in the 2009 Presidents Cup; A bearded Jose Maria Olazabal made his first start since the 2007 PGA Championship in his native Spain.
Backspin Levet can thank the teenage Fisher for, well, playing like a teenager. The young Englishman blew a three-stroke lead with six holes to play and bogeyed the final hole in regulation as well as the first hole in the playoff to hand the Frenchman the title; Coles, who has conditional status on the PGA TOUR, is now in the strange position of having to choose between which tour to play and when; Authorities believe the bullet was fired into the air within a 1 -mile radius and randomly fell on the Dom DeLuise lookalike. Conspiracy theorists, however, believe it was a mistaken attempt to keep Prudhomme out of the next Cannon Ball Run; Actually Jay Haas and Robin Williams are equally funny nowadays; Ollie was sidelined for seven months due to rheumatic pains in his shoulder and groin. The double Masters winner tied for 61st, just two weeks before the seasons first major.

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Zurich Classic of New Orleans
  • Full Coverage - Safeway International
  • Full Coverage - The Ginn Championship
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    Ryu thriving again after simple advice from Inbee Park

    By Randall MellJune 21, 2018, 7:07 pm

    So Yeon Ryu shared Rolex Player of the Year honors last year.

    She reigned as world No. 1 for almost five months.

    So when she couldn’t keep her momentum going at year’s start, she got frustrated. She wasn’t happy with two top 10s in her first 11 starts.

    “I lost a lot of confidence at the beginning of the year,” Ryu said Thursday as she prepared to lead a strong field as the defending champion in Friday’s start of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. “My expectation level was way too high.”

    So she sought the counsel of her pal, world No. 1 Inbee Park, who gave her some plain-spoken advice.

    Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship

    “Get over it,” Park told her. “You know what to do. You’ve done it, so it’s not really a big deal. Don’t worry about it. You were No. 1. You’ve achieved a lot of things as a professional golfer. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.”

    Ryu got over it winning the Meijer LPGA Classic last week, the sixth LPGA title of her career, her third in 15 months. She’s feeling good again leading a stellar field this week at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark., a strong tune up before next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the year’s third major championship.

    World No. 1 Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn and No. 3 Lexi Thompson are among the top nine players in the world scheduled to compete this week. Twenty-four of the top 30 are in the field.

    “When you come to defend your title, you obviously have a lot of pressure, but after I won last week, now I sort of think, maybe I have a chance to defend my title,” Ryu said. “So I've got total confidence, by last week.”

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    Watch: Spieth, JT hole bunker shots in back-to-back groups

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 6:57 pm

    Jordan Spieth has a thing for holing bunker shots at the Travelers Championship, where he made one in a playoff to win last year.

    He did it again in Round 1 at TPC River Highlands, knocking in this shot for eagle at the par-5 sixth to reach 4 under par for the tournament

    In the next group, Justin Thomas did the same thing to reach 1 under. Keep an eye out for the best part of this highlight, when Thomas' caddie Jimmy Johnson tries to hand him his putter.

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    River Highlands a 'breather' for Zach Johnson (63)

    By Will GrayJune 21, 2018, 6:43 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – After enduring the pressure-cooker of the U.S. Open, Zach Johnson was more than happy to drift north to the friendly confines of TPC River Highlands.

    Birdies were rare last week at Shinnecock Hills, but they’ll be plentiful all week long at the Travelers Championship. Browned-out and crispy conditions transitioned to lush and verdant, and players can attack flags without fear of turning a possible par into a struggle to avoid triple.

    Johnson did just that in the opening round, carding eight birdies against a single bogey to take the early lead with a 7-under 63.

    “It’s a different kind of breathing. It’s a different kind of exhaling, if you will, but they’re both good,” Johnson said. “You can put some red on the board here. We know that. We’ve seen it. You can go the other way in a hurry if you press it; it can keep going in the other way. So you kind of have to let it happen. This is one of those courses where you have to let it happen.”

    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Like many in this week’s field, Johnson took it easy after a grueling major championship, staying away from the course Monday and easing into his prep over the next two days. Those decisions paid off quickly as he rattled off six straight birdies on Nos. 11-16 to take sole possession of the lead.

    While Johnson tied for 12th last week at Shinnecock Hills, that was just his second top-15 finish since the Sony Open in January. But the veteran is no stranger to fast starts at TPC River Highlands, having now opened with 65 or better four times in his last eight appearances dating back to 2011.

    It’s a course where he continues to have success, even if his past consistency hasn’t lived up to expectations.

    “I feel like every time I get here it feels like I should shoot nothing, and it bites me,” Johnson said. “The last couple years I’m like, ‘All right, you can’t have any expectations in that regard. You’ve just got to go out and execute, you know, put the ball in the fairway and you will have opportunities.’” 

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    First photos from Norman's 'Body' shoot

    By Grill Room TeamJune 21, 2018, 6:35 pm

    It was revealed earlier this week that Greg Norman would be one of the athletes showcased in ESPN's "Body Issue," which features the models stategically posed in the nude.

    Well, the first photos are out from Norman's shoot and ... here they are, if you want them.