What We Learned: Park confides in mother

By Randall MellJuly 1, 2013, 1:59 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com offers thoughts on 'what we learned' from the world of golf. In this edition, our writers weigh in on Inbee Park's remarkable run –  winning the first three majors of the season, Paul Casey's break through at the Irish Open and a 19-year-old rookie who looks wise beyond his years on the PGA Tour.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, there’s nothing like mom’s tender counsel.

Inbee Park seems to play with this unshakeable sense of peace. It has to rattle her opponents, how she never looks rattled, but she can be as fragile as anyone else, she just doesn’t show it. We learned that Sunday night.

Park, on the eve of her U.S. Women’s Open victory, needed some motherly help. She confided to her mother that she couldn’t sleep, that she was nervous, that she didn’t’ want to let down family, friends and the South Korean people in Sunday's finish.

Park’s mom, Sung Kim, reassured her, telling Inbee it didn’t matter if she won or lost, that she made her family very happy. Park went to sleep, and then she won her third consecutive major championship – Randall Mell

Paul Casey is the second coming of Lee Westwood. That used to be a good thing … then it wasn’t for a while … and now it is again. Just as Westwood went from a top-10 player to one who struggled mightily with his game only to regain that top-10 status, Casey is following a similar career path. Injuries and personal issues led to a demise that found the former Ryder Cup team member in a lengthy malaise. Through it, though, he remained one of the game’s better interviews – a guy quick with a smile even when he didn’t have much to smile about. And so it’s easy to feel good for him now that he’s back on the right career path with a win at The Irish Open on Sunday, his first in nearly two-and-a-half years. What’s next? Well, he’s already qualified for the Open Championship, but this is more of a big picture thing for Casey. Expect a continued climb up the rankings – and expect his resurgence to be an intriguing subplot over the long haul. – Jason Sobel

During both weekend rounds at the AT&T National, Jordan Spieth started hot and moved into a share of the lead, only to fade late. That suggests there are still lessons to be learned for this 19-year-old, but with his sixth-place finish at Congressional, it’s safe to assume this uber-prospect is closing in on his first pro title. Spieth has now surpassed $1 million in season earnings, which is even more impressive when you consider that after he turned pro last December, he had no status on any major tour. The former Texas star made the most of his sponsor exemptions and now has locked up his Tour card for 2014, when expectations will consist of him not just keeping his status on the big tour, but breaking through for his first win. A learning curve, forever accelerated. – Ryan Lavner

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Watch: Koepka flies ball 330 yards, drives green

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 20, 2018, 4:44 am

It's a good thing par doesn't actually matter in tournament play, because if it did, the PGA Tour would have to consider 350-yard par-3s, and even those might not stop Brooks Koeopka.

Already ahead by two during Saturday's third round at the CJ Cup in South Korea, Koepka drove the green at the par-4 14th, carrying his ball 330 yards to the front edge.

The back-to-back U.S. Open champ would go on to two-putt for birdie and push his lead to three.

... The USGA is going to try that 350-yard par-3 idea, isn't it?

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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.