The Show of Shows

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 21, 2008, 5:00 pm
Editor's Note: In Backspin, the editorial staff takes a look back on the biggest stories from the past week in golf -- with a spin.
HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL: D.J. Trahan rallied from four shots back on the final day to overtake Justin Leonard to win the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. It was Trahan's second career PGA TOUR victory, following his win at the 2006 Southern Farm Bureau Classic.
Backspin Perhaps the bigger story, however, was Leonard's awful collapse on the inward nine. Looking for his second win at the Hope and second win in just the last four months, the Texan had three bogeys on the back nine to hand over the victory to Trahan.

MORE CONTROVERSY: A week after Kelly Tilghman's on-air remarks, Golfweek magazine fueled the flame by placing an image of a noose on its January 19th issue. The magazine's parent company, Turnstile Publishing Co., then fired Golfweek's vice president and editor, Dave Seanor.
Backspin Whatever the thinking at Golfweek, they at least knew that going with that particular image for its cover would spark more outrage. And it most certainly did. Jim Thorpe, one of two African-Americans on the Champions Tour added, 'That was absolutely stupid. That was just throwing fuel on the fire. Let him get barbecued.'

WORLD CUP WOES: Jennifer Rosales and Dorothy Delasin of the Philippines shot a 7-under 65 Sunday to beat South Korea by two strokes at the Women's World Cup of Golf. The United States team of Pat Hurst and Julie Inkster had a disappointing week ending up tied for 10th with Scotland.
Backspin The Philippines had to rally late against South Korea, with five birdies on the back nine, to capture its first title. Meanwhile, World Cup woes continue for the United States, who is now 0 for 4 at the event. Their best finish thus far was a fourth-place showing back in 2005, when they were represented by Paula Creamer and Natalie Gulbis.

ALOHA, FRED!: Fred Funk birdied the final two holes to gain a two-shot win at the season-opening MasterCard Championship in Hawaii. The 51-year-old Funk rang up 23 birdies over the three days, averaging just under eight birdies a round.
Backspin Funk, who had already played twice this year in Hawaii - on the PGA TOUR - is off to a good start in his quest to win $2 million on the both tours during the 2008 season. He earned $300,000 for his Champions Tour win and has collected close to $200,000 on the PGA TOUR. We want the Funk, bring on the Funk!

THE SHOW OF SHOWS: The PGA of America staged its 55th PGA Merchandise Show at the massive Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., this past week. The annual show brings together over 1,000 exhibitors that take up more than 1 million square feet of showroom floor.
Backspin The big buzz at this year's show was undoubtedly the innovations that will allow the golfing public to interchange their golf shafts from the head of the driver. But, of course, that was just one aspect of the show. The real fun is seeing many of the new, and sometimes useless products, that see there way to the showroom floor. And we're not sure what those skimpily clad women were hawking, but we think it had something to do with golf.

ABU DHABI SURPRISE: Martin Kaymer was the surprise winner this week at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship. The 23-year-old German, who led by six going into the final round, managed to hang on to win at 15 under-273, topping Henrik Stenson and Lee Westwood by four strokes.
Backspin Kaymer did his best to blow a chance at his first ever win on the European Tour, with three straight bogeys early in his round, eventually struggling to a 2 over par in the final round. But despite his worst efforts, the six-stroke lead he held going into the final round propelled the young German to victory.

FLAG FLAP: The management of the Chinese women's team at the Women's World Cup of Golf asked - and was granted - the removal of the Taiwanese flag from display on flagpoles, golf bags and scoreboards. China does not recognize the independence of Taiwan, referring to it as a breakaway province.
Backspin The Taiwanese team was not happy with the situation but played on anyway, eventually finishing in a tie for third with Japan. The Chinese team placed T-12, seven shots back of Taiwan. It should also be noted that South Africa - where the event was being played - also doesn't recognize Taiwan's independence. The Taiwanese players, it turns out, showed up to just play good golf.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: John Daly is considering filing a lawsuit against the insurance company that represents the Palm Beach County-based Honda Classic because of an injury he suffered last year when a female fan snapped a picture of him in the first round; The Hall of Fame ballots were released this past week and this years list comprises 17 names compared to 20 last year.
Backspin Apparently Daly is looking for different ways to collect checks since playing golf hasn't worked for him in the past several years. With as many exes as Daly has, he needs as much financial help as he can get; Lanny Wadkins expects to be inducted this year. Wadkins won 21 times on the PGA TOUR, including the 1977 PGA Championship and the 1979 PLAYERS.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Bob Hope Chrysler Classic
  • Full Coverage - MasterCard Championship
  • Full Coverage - Women's World Cup of Golf
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    Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

    The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

    The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

    After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

    “I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”

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    Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

    Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

    “I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

    To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

    “More punishment,” he said.

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    DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.

    Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.

    Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.

    It’s Thomas' first missed cut since The Open last year. Indeed, in three Open appearances, he has two missed cuts and a tie for 53rd.  

    With Johnson and Thomas out of the mix, the No. 1 spot in the rankings is up for grabs this weekend.

    Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can reach No. 1 with a victory this week.

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    TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:

    • Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.

    • This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.

    • Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    • In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”

    • At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.

    • Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.

    • My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.