Woods and Mickelson both miss cut at Greenbrier

By Jason SobelJuly 6, 2012, 11:11 pm

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. – It would be like catching a Rolling Stones concert … only without Mick Jagger and Keith Richards jamming onstage.

It would be like going to dinner at Peter Luger Steakhouse … only to find they’re sold out of both the filet and the porterhouse.

It would be like visiting the nation’s capital … only to hear the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial are closed for renovations.

On Friday, for the first time in 198 occasions that they’ve played the same PGA Tour event as professionals, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson each missed the cut.

Think about that for a minute: There have been 197 previous tournaments where at least one of the game’s two biggest stars has cashed a paycheck on the weekend.

Of those 197, one of them missed the cut only 22 times.

Of those 197, at least one of them finished inside the top 10 152 times.

Of those 197, they combined to win 69 times.

It was a truly remarkable streak between the two of ‘em. And it’s now over after 17 years.

Woods posted rounds of 71-69 and Mickelson countered with scores of 71-71 as each failed to finish inside the number at The Greenbrier Classic. The only other time that’s happened was at the 1993 Byron Nelson Championship, when Woods was still a baby-faced 17-year-old amateur.

During a week in which rumors have circulated that each player may have received – or will be receiving – some sort of appearance fee that circumvents PGA Tour rules via loophole, there was a line making the rounds on social media sites that these turned out to be “disappearance fees” instead.

What does it all mean going forward? In the grand scheme of things, not much.

Woods’ missed cut came in his first trip to the West Virginia foothills, while Mickelson failed to reach the weekend for the second time in two tries here.

For a pair of players who clearly want their games to peak four times a year – they own 14 and four major championship titles, respectively – missing the cut should hardly equate to some type of death march on the private jet home.

For Woods, it marks just the ninth missed cut of his professional career and the first time that he didn’t reach the weekend in the very next week after a victory. Coupled with his MC at the Wells Fargo Championship earlier this year, it’s also the first time since 2005 that he’s missed multiple cuts in a season.

Of course, when weighed on the scale against three wins already this season, it should hardly be cause for concern.

“It happens,” Woods said after his round. “You know, you miss cuts out here. I’ve been doing it for a long time, and I think I’ve missed nine cuts. One or two every couple of years, I guess.”

Coming off Sunday’s triumph at the AT&T National, he maintained that he was surprised by his result.

“Yeah, because I had my distance control dialed in,” Woods explained. “But this week I was hitting balls so far. I know it’s hot; I know there’s altitude. [But] my sand wedge is going 142, 145 [yards], wedges 160. These are not numbers I normally hit. Some of the bigger guys hit those numbers, but I don’t. I was really struggling to hit the ball on the right number.”

As for Mickelson, despite a win and two other top-three finishes so far this season, there should be greater cause for concern.

Friday’s round was his seventh consecutive over-par total, a number he had never before reached during a Hall of Fame career.

“I don’t know what to say about that,” Mickelson said. “It hasn’t been great. The parts don’t feel that far off, but I haven’t been putting them together.”

For the second straight day, he carded three birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey, leaving him cautiously optimistic, but without full confidence in the current state of his game.

“It doesn’t feel bad off the tee; it doesn’t feel bad with the iron play; it doesn’t feel bad chipping or putting,” he added. “But I’m making a lot of loose drives here or there, some loose iron shots here or there, missing some short putts here or there, and just haven’t been putting it all together.”

It’s easy to focus on the negative after Tiger and Phil – one-named wonders, each of them – fail to find any success on the very same week.

It isn’t the end of the world for either one, though. Far from it, in fact. With the Open Championship coming up in two weeks, each will have a chance to redeem himself on a much bigger stage, far from the West Virginia countryside that rendered them mortals for the past two days.

If anything, the end of their streak should be met with celebration. For 17 years, the game’s two biggest stars combined to live up to expectations nearly every single time they teed it up in the same event, with at least one of them always sticking around for the weekend.

This isn’t the end of some era, but that streak is over now. The historic numbers remain, though, as do memories of a shared run that deserves to be appreciated for its longevity.

Getty Images

Lauren Thompson and a giant 'gator eating a turtle

By Grill Room TeamApril 19, 2018, 4:53 pm

Really, the headline says it all.

"Morning Drive" co-host Lauren Thompson was playing the Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes on Thursday in Orlando, Fla., when her threesome turned into a foursome, with the appearance of a giant alligator. Techincally, it was a fivesome, as the 'gator had a turtle in its mouth.

Hey, it's a slow news week for Grill Room.

Getty Images

Sources confirm Charles Schwab to sponsor Colonial event

By Rex HoggardApril 19, 2018, 2:42 pm

Multiple sources have confirmed to GolfChannel.com that officials at Colonial are poised to announce a new sponsorship agreement with Charles Schwab Corporation.

Tournament officials scrambled this year after Dean & DeLuca ended its sponsorship of the event just two years into a six-year agreement, pulling together an assortment of local sponsors and renaming the event the Fort Worth Invitational.

Colonial’s status on the PGA Tour schedule became even more uncertain when the PGA Championship announced it would move from August to May, beginning in 2019 as part of a major overhaul of the circuit’s schedule.

According to the Dallas News, and confirmed by multiple sources at the club, officials plan to announce the new long-term agreement with Charles Schwab on Monday that will begin in 2019.

News of a long-term sponsorship deal would also suggest the event will remain in May in 2019 and beyond. The Tour has indicated it plans to announce the ’19 schedule at next month’s Players Championship.

Getty Images

PNC Extends Title Sponsorship of PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 19, 2018, 1:00 pm

ORLANDO, Fla., April 19, 2018 – IMG and NBC Sports today announced that The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. has extended its contract as title sponsor of the PNC Father/Son Challenge, the tournament that pairs the games’ legends alongside their sons, daughters and grandchildren.

PNC’s multi-year extension as title sponsor keeps the PGA Tour Challenge Event in Orlando reflecting the bank’s commitment to Central Florida. PNC has served as title sponsor of the tournament since 2012. The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando, Grande Lakes will continue to play host to the PNC Father/Son Challenge. The 2018 PNC Father/Son Challenge will take place Friday-Sunday, Dec. 14-16, with television coverage on Golf Channel and NBC.

“The PNC Father/Son Challenge long ago became one of my family’s favorite golf tournaments,” said 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus. “I have had the pleasure of playing with my sons, and last year, partnering with my 15-year-old grandson GT was a thrill. I am delighted the event—a uniquely special one to us fathers and grandfathers, and perhaps to the many fans out there watching from home or outside the ropes—will continue for many years to come.”

“After our victory in 2016, I said that this win was as good as anything I have done in my career,” said former World No. 1 and major champion David Duval, who alongside his stepson Nick Karavites captured the 2016 title. “I felt blessed to have Nick inside the ropes with me and to have our family surrounding us all week. That’s what makes the PNC Father/Son Challenge so special, and I’m pleased to hear that PNC has extended its support of the event. This golf tournament means so much to all of us who are lucky enough to have the opportunity to play in this event.”

The tournament also holds three events in qualifier markets per year. This year they will be in Dallas, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

“The PNC Father/Son Challenge allows fans to see golf’s legends playing the game they love alongside those they love most,” said Alastair Johnston, vice chairman, IMG. “We are grateful for PNC’s ongoing support of this unique tournament and we look forward to returning to Orlando to celebrate golf and family for many years to come.”

Community support is a key aspect of the tournament and PNC’s sponsorship. PNC is committed to donating $150,000 annually to local non-profits over the life of its sponsorship. Across six previous years of title sponsorship, PNC has already donated $900,000 to Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation and the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children to support the “Healthy Families Orange” program. Over the years, PNC has also had the opportunity through this tournament to co-host events for local women in business, to put on clinics and provide free access to the tournament for active military, and even provide a service dog for a local veteran.

"PNC's long-standing sponsorship of the Father/Son Challenge reflects the philanthropic values we share with the PGA Tour and the golf community, as well as our focus on strong relationships,” said Bill Demchak, chairman, president and chief executive officer of The PNC Financial Services Group. “As PNC Bank continues to expand its footprint, the PNC Father/Son tournament helps us gain visibility with new audiences and to strengthen the relationships we enjoy today with more than 8 million retail, wealth, and corporate and institutional banking customers across the country.”

“NBC Sports is extremely proud of our heritage as co-founder for the Father/Son Challenge, one of golf’s most special events that closes out the calendar year on the golf schedule,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports. “Our relationship with PNC Bank elevates this event each year as a must-attend and must-see event for players and fans alike, and we look forward to our continued relationship with PNC Bank for years to come.”

Past winners of the PNC Father/Son Challenge include some of the biggest names in golf including Raymond Floyd (1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001), Jack Nicklaus (1999), Bernhard Langer (2005-06, 2014), Davis Love III (2012) and David Duval (2016).  Masters champion Angel Cabrera and his son, Angel Cabrera Jr. captured the 2017 title.

To qualify for the PNC Father/Son Challenge, participants must have won either a major championship or THE PLAYERS Championship in their career. The professional’s partner must not currently hold a Tour card, and while the majority of partners in the history of the event have been the sons of the golf legends, the family-themed tournament has seen daughters, grandsons and one father – Justin Leonard’s dad, Larry – participate over the years.

The PNC Father/Son Challenge is operated in partnership by IMG and NBC Sports.

Getty Images

Fire damages National Golf Links of America clubhouse

By Will GrayApril 19, 2018, 12:55 pm

A fire broke out Wednesday at National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y., causing "extensive damage" to a portion of the historic course's clubhouse.

According to a 27East.com report, an initial call was made to the Southampton police department about a fire on the roof of the clubhouse at 11:34 a.m. With the club's gates too narrow to fit a fire truck through, more than 100 firefighters from various departments helped douse the flames by transporting water up a hill to the east side of the clubhouse.

The fire was reportedly extinguished by 2:30 p.m., with no injuries requiring medical attention. According to a Golf Digest report, the club was undergoing construction on its outdoor eating area known as "the Birdcage" and that most of the club's historical documents reside on the opposite end of the clubhouse from where the fire broke out and was contained.

Opened in 1911, National Golf Links of America was designed by C.B. MacDonald and hosted the inaugural Walker Cup in 1922. The biennial matches returned in 2013 to NGLA, which is often rated among the top courses in the U.S. and sits adjacent to Shinnecock Hills, site of this summer's U.S. Open.