Punch Shot: Does British win give Park Grand Slam?

By Rex HoggardJuly 30, 2013, 7:35 pm

All eyes are on Inbee Park this week as she tries to win her fourth consecutive major at the Ricoh Women’s British Open. But what exactly is on the line at the Old Course in St. Andrews? The traditional Grand Slam? Or would she need to also capture the LPGA’s fifth major, the Evian Masters in September, to complete some kind of Super Slam?

We asked our panel of writers: If Park wins this week, would you consider it the Grand Slam?


By RYAN LAVNER

Yes.

Forget what the schedule says. The Evian Masters doesn’t deserve to be a major, not yet anyway, and certainly not just because the LPGA wanted to appease a deep-pocketed sponsor and pushed for a status change. Major status is earned, not bought. The Big 4 in women’s golf are the Kraft, the LPGA, the Women’s Open and the Women’s British, for now and the foreseeable future. Winning all five is a bonus, a Super Slam. Requiring a clean sweep now is a disservice to Park, and the game in general. In Scotland she is attempting to become the first player, male or female, to win four professional majors in a calendar year. Make no mistake: that’s the Grand Slam.


By REX HOGGARD

Let it be told in 50-point bold type, if Inbee Park wins this week’s Women’s British Open it will be the Grand Slam, regardless of what the historians and housekeepers may claim.

With respect to the Evian, a first-year member of the LPGA’s major party, the symmetry of the grand four far outweighs the economic urgency of the one, to pencil whip history would be a disservice to Park and everyone who came before her with the singular notion of winning the single-season Grand Slam.

The LPGA can call it whatever they wish if Park goes on to win the Evian (may we suggest the Super Slam, or maybe the Park Slam), just don’t muddy the major waters with small print or an asterisk.

To put Park’s accomplishment in context, Tiger Woods – the best player of this generation and perhaps all time – has never won the first three legs of the single-season Grand Slam and Phil Mickelson is still a U.S. Open title away from the career Grand Slam ... at 43.

When Bobby Jones collected the single-season slam in 1930 he won the U.S. and British opens and U.S. Amateur and British Amateur championships, there was no footnote on that accomplishment pointing out the PGA Championship, which would later join the major rotation, had been played since 1916.

Similarly, if Park makes history this week at St. Andrews it will be the Grand Slam. Let the historians figure out what to do with the Evian.


By RANDALL MELL

If Inbee Park wins the Ricoh Women’s British Open this week, it will be the grandest feat in the history of professional golf, but it won’t be a slam, at least not a Grand Slam.

I’m with the folks who play bridge, the card game from which the term Grand Slam was borrowed. You've got to sweep all the points in the card game to win the Grand Slam. You've got to sweep all the majors in a single season to win the Grand Slam in golf.

Now, it’s unfortunate, even aggravating, that Park doesn’t arrive at St. Andrews with everything on the line in a Grand Slam bid. It’s such a terrific story, and the drama would be heightened knowing this is it, that a victory makes her the first man or woman to win professional golf's Grand Slam. However, there’s no ignoring the LPGA declaring the Evian Masters will serve as the fifth major this year. While I think the more big events the LPGA has the better, the timing’s unfortunate. It’s the LPGA’s sour luck that a Grand Slam bid would arrive the first year it goes to five majors.

Then again, maybe it’s just the opposite. Maybe it's grand luck. If Park wins the Women’s British Open and next month’s Evian Masters, it’s over-the-top good luck for women’s golf. Then it’s perfect timing. It's not only grand, it's a Grand Slam.


By JASON SOBEL

Poor Inbee Park. Just her luck: On the year when she claims the first three major titles, the LPGA added a fifth one. That’s like knocking out Mike Tyson in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, only to find out you’ve then gotta beat Muhammad Ali or someone like that.

It’s not Park’s fault, but rules are rules. The same executives who smack title sponsorships on major championships and make players compete in pro-ams before they start decided that the Champions Tour must have it right, since they followed suit by adding another major.

It was a bad decision in the first place, but now looks even worse, as debate will continue over whether the first four alone would give Park the Grand Slam title.

I say no. The term Grand Slam in baseball means four, but in golf it includes all major championships. The LPGA has five of ‘em now, so despite commissioner Mike Whan’s plea that Park will hold the Grand Slam with just the first four, he’s made this bed and now he’s got to lie in it. If you want to earn that title, you’ve got to win ‘em all.

Of course, there is a silver lining for Park. If she wins the first four, but fails to claim the Evian Masters, she’ll still hold four majors in one year. It won’t be a Grand Slam, but it’s still pretty damn good.

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Bend it like Garcia? Sergio scores in player-caddie soccer match

By Grill Room TeamOctober 20, 2018, 2:44 am

Sergio Garcia has always been able to work his golf ball from left to right, but he's also - apparently - proficient at playing a draw with a soccer ball.

This year's Adalucia Valderrama Masters is suffering through some weather issues. But the highlight of the week - and, according to the Felipe Aguilar, "the year" - was always going to be the event's player-caddie soccer match, which you can see here:

The standout highlight? This bending, left-footed(!) strike from defending champion Sergio Garcia:

"Just a little bit of fun with the caddies and some of the players," Garcia nonchalantly says in the video. "Yeah, just a little bit of running and it was good fun."

Garcia, a diehard Real Madrid fan who kicked off El Clasico in his green jacket back in 2016, has previously appeared in professional matches for CF Borriol, a Tercera Division club in Spain. 

"It's good fun and whenever I'm around I get to practice with them a little bit and play a little bit here and there. This season, I've played probably five games, so not a lot, but I enjoy it," Garcia told CNN back in 2013.

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Dunlap, in 'excruciating pain,' shares early Dominion lead

By Associated PressOctober 19, 2018, 10:29 pm

RICHMOND, Va. – Scott Dunlap and Fran Quinn shot 5-under 67 on Friday to share the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' playoff-opening Dominion Energy Charity Classic.

Fighting a left wrist injury that will require surgery, Dunlap matched Quinn with a closing birdie on the par-5 18th on The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course.

''Maybe excruciating pain is the key to playing good golf because I'm not getting nervous on a shot, you're just trying to get through it,'' Dunlap said. ''The worst parts are gripping it and getting the club started ... that's when that bone hits that bone.''

The top 72 players qualified for the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs opener. The top 54 on Sunday will get spots next week in the Invesco QQQ Championship in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and the top 36 after that will advance to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix.


Full-field scores from the Dominion Energy Charity Classic


The 55-year-old Dunlap entered the week 29th in the standings. Playing through the wrist injury, he's coming off ties for ninth and seventh in his last two starts.

''I think I finally taped it the right way,'' Dunlap said. ''Or maybe it's the pain meds kicking in. I don't know, one of the two.''

Quinn is 64th in the standings.

''I finished up strong last year, too, kind of secured my privileges for the following year making eagle on 18,'' Quinn said. ''I played solid all day. I had a lot of opportunities. A couple hiccups.''

Jay Haas was a stroke back with Kent Jones, Stephen Ames, Woody Austin and Tim Petrovic. The 64-year-old Haas won the last of his 18 senior titles in 2016.

Vijay Singh and Miguel Angel Jimenez, second in the standings, were at 69 with Joey Sindelar, Tom Gillis, Billy MayfairLee Janzen, Glen Day and Gene Sauers.

Defending champion Bernhard Langer opened with a 70. The 61-year-old German star won the SAS Championship last week in North Carolina to take the points lead. He has two victories this year and 38 overall on the 50-and-over tour.

Defending Charles Schwab Cup champion Kevin Sutherland had a 71. He's 14th in the standings. No. 3 Jerry Kelly shot 72. No. 4 Scott McCarron, the 2016 tournament winner, had a 74.

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Weather continues to plague Valderrama Masters

By Associated PressOctober 19, 2018, 7:55 pm

SOTOGRANDE, Spain  -- Marc Warren helped his chances of retaining his European Tour card by moving into a tie for second place behind Englishman Ashley Chesters at the rain-hit Andalucia Valderrama Masters on Friday.

Bad weather interrupted play for a second straight day at the Real Club Valderrama in southern Spain before darkness caused the second round to be suspended until Saturday, with overnight Chesters still ahead at 5-under.

Weather delays on Thursday, including a threat of lightning, had kept 60 golfers from finishing their opening round. They included Scottish player Warren, who went out on Friday and finished his first round with a 2-under 69.

He then made three birdies to go with one bogey on the first nine holes of the second round before play was halted. He joined Frenchman Gregory Bourdy one shot behind Chesters.


Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters


''I'm hitting the ball as well as I have in a long time,'' Warren said. ''Hitting fairways and greens is the most important thing around here, so hopefully I wake up tomorrow with the same swing.''

Chesters and Bourdy were among several golfers unable to play a single hole in the second round on Friday.

Warren, a three-time European Tour winner, has struggled this season and needs a strong performance to keep his playing privileges for next year.

Currently ranked 144th, Warren needs to break into the top 116 to keep his card.

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Watch: Is this the up-and-down of the year?

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 3:30 pm

Play away from the pin? Just because there's a tree in your way? Not Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano. Watch him channel some Arnie (or, more appropriately, some Seve) with this shot in the Valderrama Masters: