Quotes of the Week

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 21, 2012, 3:11 pm

'I don’t know what happened Sunday. I’m still licking wounds from that. It still stings. It’s one of the toughest, most difficult losses I’ve ever had in my career.' – Phil Mickelson, on the U.S. Ryder Cup loss.

'The way I’m hitting it the last three weeks, I’m having fun, and I want to try to play (on the U.S. Presidents Cup team). .... I’d love to be a part of that again, whether it’s to play or drive a golf cart or help out Freddie. I want to do whatever I can.' – Davis Love III, on next year's Presidents Cup at Muirfield Village.

'I had cysts in my rectum. How do you put that?' – Boo Weekley, on one of the reasons for his poor play in the last few years.

'She's a little bit of a mystery the last year or so. I think she's just now come to terms with the fact that she's playing golf full time.' – David Leadbetter, on his longtime pupil Michelle Wie.

'It hurts a little bit, the fact that the governing bodies are basically banning it because of such great play. You've got guys on Tour that have been putting with these for 15-20 years ... I don't know that it's the right move to just all of a sudden ban these clubs to us that have been using them for a long time.' – Keegan Bradley, the 2011 PGA champion, on the use of anchored putters.

'If they said today, 'We met with the Tour, we’re going to change putters.' Keegan Bradley is going to get himself a different (conforming) putter, and he’s still going to be a really good putter. He’s just going to have to make a change, but you’d rather not talk about it for three years and have it be a distraction.' – Love, again, on the possibility of a ban on anchored putters.

'Now it’s at 13 (events). Thirteen is a little more different to get to, that’s one of the reasons why they implemented the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. Going forward, I don’t know.' – Tiger Woods, on the possibility of him joining the European Tour.

'The level of intensity (Tiger) displays is impressive as he can just turn it on. It’s something that I struggle to do sometimes.' – Rory McIlroy, on the challenge to muster enough enthusiasm each times he tees it up.

'He was yapping pretty much the whole day.' – Bradley, again, on his recent round with basketball star Michael Jordan, who displayed a penchant for trash-talking throughout his NBA playing career.

'The fall series is like a 16-round Q-School for me. All you can do is pull on what you’ve done before.' – Mathew Goggin, on his quest to finish inside the top 125 on the PGA Tour money list, in order to secure his Tour card for next season.

'Every time I get to that low point, it seems like I’ll go shoot 64 out of the blue. It keeps teasing you. The man upstairs has a sense of humor, I guess. He likes to see how many times he can kick me in the face before I don’t get back up. But there’s no quit in me, man. No quit.' – Joey Lamielle, enduring his sixth Q-School.

'I'm assuming you got Toms, (Jim) Furyk, (Phil) Mickelson, (Tiger) Woods, (Justin) Leonard. I would bet Toms (in 2014).' – Love, again, on possible future U.S. Ryder Cup captains. He stressed, however, that he didn’t have any inside information.

Getty Images

USGA receives more than 9,000 U.S. Open entries

By Will GrayApril 26, 2018, 4:31 pm

The field of contestants for golf's most democratic major has been set.

The USGA announced that it received 9,049 entries for this year's U.S. Open, with the deadline for entry expiring at 5 p.m. ET Wednesday. That total includes 515 applications on the final day, 115 in the final hour and a buzzer-beater from Drew Caudill, a 32-year-old pro from Mount Vernon, Ohio, who beat the entry deadline by only 23 seconds.

This marks the seventh straight year that the USGA has received more than 9,000 entries, but the total marks the second straight year of a decline in applications. At least 9,860 players entered each year from 2013-16, topping out in 2014 when 10,127 applications were received. But last year there were 9,485 entries for Erin Hills, and this year's return to Shinnecock yielded only one more application than the USGA got in 2005.

For the vast majority of entrants, the next step is a spot in 18-hole local qualifying which begins April 30 and runs through May 17. The fortunate few advance from there to 36-hole sectional qualifiers, played May 21 in Japan and June 4 across 11 other sites in the U.S. and England.

A total of 54 players are already exempt into the 156-man field, including 12 former winners. The only remaining ways to earn an exemption from qualifying are to win either The Players or BMW PGA Championship next month, or be ranked inside the top 60 in the Official World Golf Rankings on either May 21 or June 11.

The U.S. Open will be played June 14-17 at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y., which is hosting the event for the first time since 2004.

Getty Images

Report: Houston Open may move to Memorial Park in '19

By Will GrayApril 26, 2018, 3:48 pm

Still without a permanent spot on the PGA Tour schedule, the Houston Open appears to be on the move.

According to a report from the Houston Business Journal, there is a proposal in place to shift the tournament downtown in 2019, returning to Memorial Park Golf Course which previously hosted the event from 1951-1963.

While formal relocation plans have not been announced, the tournament officially reached the end of an era this week when the Golf Club of Houston, which has hosted the event since 2003, informed the Houston Golf Association that it would no longer serve as tournament host moving forward.

"We received notice this week from the Golf Club of Houston regarding the club's decision to no longer host a PGA Tour event," read an HGA statement obtained by GolfChannel.com. "Currently, the HGA's focus is on securing a long-term title sponsor. The Golf Club of Houston has been a great venue for the Houston Open dating back to 2003 and we look forward to maintaining a great relationship with the club."

Such a move would be a win for Houston mayor Sylvester Turner, who has expressed an interest in returning the tournament within city limits. The Golf Club of Houston is located in Humble, a suburb 20 miles northeast of downtown.

"This move would place the tournament on center stage in downtown Houston, creating a central location for the city to rally around," read marketing materials cited in the Business Journal report. "Houston Proud Partners of the Houston Open would have the opportunity to collaborate with the Houston Golf Association on this historic move and make a lasting statement that would be seen for generations."

The Houston Open's lineage dates back to 1946, but its future remains in question. Shell Oil ended its 26-year sponsorship of the event in 2017, and this year it was played without a title sponsor and financed in part by the HGA.

The tournament has also carved out a niche with its pre-Masters slot on the schedule, where it has been played every year but once since the advent of the FedExCup in 2007. But next year that coveted position will go to the Valero Texas Open, leaving Houston's place on a revamped 2019 schedule in question.

The Houston Open remains one of only two tournaments on the current Tour calendar without a title sponsor. Earlier this week Charles Schwab signed a four-year deal to sponsor the Fort Worth Invitational beginning in 2019, and a report this week indicates the other unsponsored event, The National, may be on the verge of moving from the Washington, D.C. area to Detroit.

Getty Images

With baby on the way, Piller WDs from Zurich

By Ryan LavnerApril 26, 2018, 2:45 pm

AVONDALE, La. – With wife Gerina set to give birth to their first child, Martin Piller figured he’d need to check his phone every few holes at the Zurich Classic.

He didn’t even make it that far.

Piller withdrew before the start of the first round Thursday.

Piller’s partner, Joel Dahmen, who only got into the field because of Piller’s status as the team’s A player, was allowed to remain in the event.

Piller was replaced in the field by Denny McCarthy. The new team of McCarthy-Dahmen will tee off at 2:36 p.m. ET.

The format change at the Zurich should make things easier for the new teammates. The first round is now best ball, not alternate shot.

The only event that Gerina, a three-time U.S. Solheim Cupper, has played this season was the Diamond Resorts Invitational in January. The couple’s baby was due May 3, and she said that she plans to take off the entire year.

Getty Images

China's Jin (64) leads by one in Beijing

By Associated PressApril 26, 2018, 12:28 pm

BEIJING – Daxing Jin took a one-stroke lead at the China Open after shooting an 8-under 64 Thursday in the first round.

Jin's bogey-free round at the Topwin Golf and Country Club included six birdies and an eagle on the par-5 eighth. The 25-year-old Jin is playing in only his eighth European Tour event and has made the cut only once.

Matt Wallace (65) had an eagle-birdie finish to move into a tie for second with Nino Bertasio, who also produced a bogey-free round. Alexander Bjork and Scott Vincent (66) were a further stroke back.

Defending champion Alexander Levy, who won last week's Trophee Hassan II in Morocco, is in a large group five shots off the lead at 3 under.