Catching Up with Kip

By Kip HenleyJune 24, 2005, 4:00 pm
May 26th
My last diary entry I thought I had just over practiced my elbow, but it turned out to be a flair up of gout. My diet would make the late Marlon Brandos diet look healthy. Standing on No. 1 tee today I did not feel that bad. There is a pond on the left not in play; at the top of my backswing the club kind of slipped out of my hands and I almost fouled it off my left shin, it hooked so quickly. It nearly landed in No. 9 fairway which is a two-day bus ride from No. 1 tee. Good thing I wasnt wired for sound. It shocked and embarrassed the heck out of me. I went down to the edge of the lake to drop, needed to move a gallery rope stake. I grabbed it and kicked it (kinda hard) to loosen it and it cut my palm. Now I am mad, embarrassed, hurried and bleeding and its only the first hole. At the end of the day, I shoot 79. Managed to hit at least one ball in every lake on the back nine. My elbow and palm really did not bother me that bad, I just did not prepare well needing to rest my elbow, and my swing was loose with low confidence.
 
May 27th
My brother Lindy (the smart Henley boy) caddied this week and never lost his eternal optimist attitude. He will say things like, You can birdie the next eight holes and ace the last one. If God had given me his attitude you might have heard of me before the BBII. Backed up my 79 with a big fat 80. I did decide on an injection of pain killer directly into my elbow this morning before the round, more to see if I could tolerate it if this ever happened again. Didnt effect my day though; I hit it in a lot of hazards again today. Maybe the pain in my elbow is zipperitis from having to unzip my golf bag for a new ball every couple holes. All in all a very disappointing week in Memphis.
 
May 28th
We thought about sticking around and eating the killer food in the players lounge for the weekend. I have never tasted crme brulee before this week but I will again someday. If I played this tour full time for a year I could become a grand champion sumo the next year. Decided to drive to Chattanooga instead for next weeks Nationwide event. Checked into our hotel (Country Inn and Suites); these are great for our family. We search these out because they usually have a separate bedroom (most of you can figure that one out.)
 
May 30th
Played in the Chattanooga Classic Monday Pro-am with brother Lindy, brother in law Jimmy Taylor, and buds Mike Lister and David Brown. We shot 20 under, single best ball and finished fourth. I told them they have got to do a better job lying about their handicap. Reminds me of my father. He kept a 7 handicap for as long as I can remember. He was so competitive; sometimes in tourneys he would play way over his head. One time in the Tennessee Section Chattanooga Open he shot even par Day 1, plus-1 the last round, and was still 13 under and finished third. He was so mad. His comment was, You just cant beat these cheaters. I said, What do you think the guy at -12 is saying? We laughed like crazy, something we did a lot of in our family growing up.
 
May 31st
What an awesome day. Played in the Celebrity Skins match with pros Casey Wittenberg, Jim Gallagher Jr., Troy Matteson, and NFL stars Corey Bradford. Craig Hendrich, Frank Wycheck (Frank said he enjoyed every episode of the Big Break and loved it, which made me feel good), and Vince Gill, the most beautiful voice in music, and huge supporter of golf and junior golf in Tennessee. Vince is very competitive and has tons of game. After I teed off on No. 1, Vince joked to everyone out loud, I heard you were dating Danielle from BB III, is it true? I said, Ask that girl right behind you what she thinks. It was Sissi; he did not know her, and we had a big laugh and a great day. Vince stuck around for the Pro-Am party and donated a day with himself and his wife Amy Grant at the Grand Ole Opry for the charity. Vince is a wonderful person.
 
*Casey is a way misunderstood kid: some folks dont like the way he hides his eyes with dark sunglasses. I say so what: he is so focused and quiet on the course but as good a person as anybody on any tour and can shoot like crazy.
 
*Jim Gallagher Jr. is a talkative, friendly, smart, gracious veteran.
 
*Troy is a great guy but quieter than a mouse peeing on cotton. Everything about him is understated except his golf game. I predict he is a top 50 player in the world in less than three years.
 
*Craig and I teamed up; he out played me and we finish second behind Casey and Corey.
 
June 2nd
First round of the Chattanooga Classic, paired with Stephen Gangluff and B.J. Staten. Stephen shot 28 on the front nine and made my 37 look even worse than it was. I hit a lot of bad shots both days but hit a few decent shots that came down in the wrong spots and it just killed me. I am not playing relaxed enough and each time I made birdie I backed it up with a bogey. Besides poor driving, weak iron play, suspect putting, poor short game, and bad concentration, my game is in great shape.
 
June 3rd
Jacked another cut. Feeling the heat; time is ticking. I am working hard and trying to focus on next week in Chicago.
 
June 5th
I flew out of Chattanooga heading to the Windy City Chicago. I checked into my hotel tonight and the lady said 'Welcome Mr. Henley, blah, blah, blah, we have you checking out on Friday.' I thought for a second and said, well the way things have been going probably, but you best make my check out day Sunday. I guess the folks at the hotel have been tracking my progress and are just playing the odds.
 
June 6th
Today I played in Mon. Pro-Am. This course, The Glen Club, is a cool place.
 
June 7th
My girls flew in to OHare this afternoon and I picked them up at the airport. We went to a Cubs game today. Treated unbelievably by the tournament; they charted four buses for the game. Got to go out on Wrigley field for a picture with my family. Great game but the Cubs lost 6-4.
 
June 8th
We got three holes in the Pro-Am before sent in for bad weather. Sat around for an hour and a half and finally washed the day. My brother Brent is taking a week out of his really busy schedule (Woody Austins regular tour caddy) and is caddying for me this week. Brent and I needed this day to feel out the course.
 
June 9th
My first round tee time was at 1:50. The Golf Channel asked me to wear a heart rate monitor today. I agreed to wear it but told them that I didnt need the monitor to know that my heart was pounding through my chest. I just havent hit on a good relaxed mode yet and its killing me. I consider your mental state just like any other facet of the game, just like putting or chipping that comes and goes. When I find the key to it again, it will all fall into place. I didnt feel like I was hitting it so bad; just when I did hit it off line it was deadsville. Got a few bad breaks and didnt finish as well as I would have liked. But maybe I can get them back tomorrow.
 
June 10th
I hit it pretty decent today but just got nothing out of my round. Brent did an awesome job caddying for me. We got along great on the course; he thinks and plays the game a lot like me. It would be nice to someday be competitive enough on tour to entice him away from Woodrow. I shot 147 and missed the cut again, this week by five shots. That may seem like a lot to some but its only one or two bounces away. Case in point: I stood on 17 and hit a great shot that was 6 feet from the hole dead straight up the hill. Brent said great shot and I handed him the club and it started teetering down the slope and when it finally came to rest it was 40 feet away. I three-jacked it from there. I ended up bogeying the par-5 18th that I hit driver, 4-iron into the day before. Had I birdied 17 and been able to reach and eagle 18 I would have hit on the cut line instead of missing by five. If ifs and butts were candy and nuts we would all have a great Christmas. Thats golf.
 
June 11th
I practiced this morning and the girls and I went downtown in the afternoon to see some of the sights in Chicago. Had an awesome pizza dinner and went to the top of the Sears Tower to watch the sunset. We cant leave yet because it will take us two days to pack up our hotel room! Onto Knoxville. I am sick of saying this but I have to focus on next week. I have had some success in Knoxville Nationwide events so maybe I can get a good feeling and get it started.
 
June 16th
I had a 9:20 tee-time this morning. As I was warming up, I started to notice a ton of familiar faces. While on the way up the hill to the first tee I looked up and saw a huge crowd surrounding the tee. An old friend grabs me and says, Kip about 60 of us rented a bus and came up from Fairfield Glade in Crossville to watch you today and 60 different people are coming to watch the second round. I was one of the golf professionals in the Glade for 15 years. I still have a lot of dear friends out there. Sissi counted at one point 93 people following our group, which is amazing because I struggled all day and shot 83. It was hot as the dickens and they never left. I was getting claps for bogeys at one point. I guess I just tried too hard, I dont know for sure what it is but nothing seems to be working. Ive been practicing so hard, my head is just filled with too many swing keys. After the round, I went to visit one of my old teachers in Knoxville, Daniel Walker, to see if he could make things simpler for me. His biggest point was that I just wasnt turning my shoulders; I was lifting my arms to finish my backswing. This is a tendency of players that are unsure or doubting their golf swing, and Ive had plenty of that.
 
June 17th
2:15 tee time. I hit it a little better today but tripled my 16th hole and shot 76. Despite my score yesterday, I still had a lot of people following me today, which is just amazing. I have a lot of dear friends in this ole world, and for each of them to still want to come to watch me play, I am grateful. If I was them I would have come up with any excuse ' maybe of having to straighten my sock drawer or something ' rather than come out and watch me hit it 159 times. After I finished my round today, some Golf Channel guys asked if I would do an interview. I said sure but Im sick of doing these Friday afternoon exit interviews. I want desperately to do a late Sunday interview. I realize I cant be a big feature of these events if I keep playing poorly and I know the Golf Channel is doing all they can to keep my flame flickering; the key is for me to start shooting lower scores. Well gear up for Erie.
 
June 18th
I am looking forward to the week off to straighten up my game. Being in my own bed for the first time in seven weeks (except for one night) sounds pretty good. My oldest daughter Darbi turns 16 on the 21st and it will be special to be home and spend it with her.
 
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    Schauffele just fine being the underdog

    By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

    Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

    Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

    Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

    “All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”

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    Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

    So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

    Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

    Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Jordan Spieth: 7/4

    Xander Schauffele: 5/1

    Kevin Kisner: 11/2

    Tiger Woods: 14/1

    Francesco Molinari: 14/1

    Rory McIlroy: 14/1

    Kevin Chappell: 20/1

    Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

    Alex Noren: 25/1

    Zach Johnson: 30/1

    Justin Rose: 30/1

    Matt Kuchar: 40/1

    Webb Simpson: 50/1

    Adam Scott: 80/1

    Tony Finau: 80/1

    Charley Hoffman: 100/1

    Austin Cook: 100/1

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    Spieth stands on brink of Open repeat

    By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 7:49 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jordan Spieth described Monday’s “ceremony” to return the claret jug to the keepers of the game’s oldest championship as anything but enjoyable.

    For the last 12 months the silver chalice has been a ready reminder of what he was able to overcome and accomplish in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, a beacon of hope during a year that’s been infinitely forgettable.

    By comparison, the relative pillow fight this week at Carnoustie has been a welcome distraction, a happy-go-lucky stroll through a wispy field. Unlike last year’s edition, when Spieth traveled from the depths of defeat to the heights of victory within a 30-minute window, the defending champion has made this Open seem stress-free, easy even, by comparison.

    But then those who remain at Carnoustie know it’s little more than a temporary sleight of hand.

    As carefree as things appeared on Saturday when 13 players, including Spieth, posted rounds of 67 or lower, as tame as Carnoustie, which stands alone as The Open’s undisputed bully, has been through 54 holes there was a foreboding tension among the rank and file as they readied for a final trip around Royal Brown & Bouncy.

    “This kind of southeast or east/southeast wind we had is probably the easiest wind this golf course can have, but when it goes off the left side, which I think is forecasted, that's when you start getting more into the wind versus that kind of cross downwind,” said Spieth, who is tied for the lead with Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner at 9 under par after a 6-under 65. “It won't be the case tomorrow. It's going to be a meaty start, not to mention, obviously, the last few holes to finish.”

    Carnoustie only gives so much and with winds predicted to gust to 25 mph there was a distinct feeling that playtime was over.

    As melancholy as Spieth was about giving back the claret jug, and make no mistake, he wasn’t happy, not even his status among the leading contenders with a lap remaining was enough for him to ignore the sleeping giant.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    But then he’s come by his anxiousness honestly. Spieth has spent far too much time answering questions about an inexplicably balky putter the last few weeks and he hasn’t finished better than 21st since his “show” finish in April at the Masters.

    After a refreshingly solid start to his week on Thursday imploded with a double bogey-bogey-par-bogey finish he appeared closer to an early ride home on Friday than he did another victory lap, but he slowly clawed his way back into the conversation as only he can with one clutch putt after the next.

    “I'm playing golf for me now. I've kind of got a cleared mind. I've made a lot of progress over the year that's been kind of an off year, a building year,” said Spieth, who is bogey-free over his last 36 holes. “And I've got an opportunity to make it a very memorable one with a round, but it's not necessary for me to prove anything for any reason.”

    But if an awakened Carnoustie has Spieth’s attention, the collection of would-be champions assembled around and behind him adds another layer of intrigue.

    Kisner, Spieth’s housemate this week on Angus coast, has led or shared the lead after each round this week and hasn’t shown any signs of fading like he did at last year’s PGA Championship, when he started the final round with a one-stroke lead only to close with a 74 to tie for seventh place.

    “I haven't played it in that much wind. So I think it's going to be a true test, and we'll get to see really who's hitting it the best and playing the best tomorrow,” said Kisner, who added a 68 to his total on Day 3.

    There’s no shortage of potential party crashers, from Justin Rose at 4 under after a round-of-the-week 64 to 2015 champion Zach Johnson, who also made himself at home with Spieth and Kisner in the annual Open frat house and is at 5 under.

    Rory McIlroy, who is four years removed from winning his last major championship, looked like a player poised to get off the Grand Slam schneid for much of the day, moving to 7 under with a birdie at the 15th hole, but he played the last three holes in 2 over par and is tied with Johnson at 5 under par. 

    And then there’s Tiger Woods. For three magical hours the three-time Open champion played like he’d never drifted into the dark competitive hole that’s defined his last few years. Like he’d never been sidelined by an endless collection of injuries and eventually sought relief under the surgeon’s knife.

    As quietly as Woods can do anything, he turned in 3 under par for the day and added two more birdies at Nos. 10 and 11. His birdie putt at the 14th hole lifted him temporarily into a share of the lead at 6 under par.

    “We knew there were going to be 10, 12 guys with a chance to win on Sunday, and it's turning out to be that,” said Woods, who is four strokes off the lead. “I didn't want to be too far back if the guys got to 10 [under] today. Five [shots back] is certainly doable, and especially if we get the forecast tomorrow.”

    Woods held his round of 66 together with a gritty par save at the 18th hole after hitting what he said was his only clunker of the day off the final tee.

    Even that episode seemed like foreshadowing.

    The 18th hole has rough, bunkers, out of bounds and a burn named Barry that weaves its way through the hole like a drunken soccer fan. It’s the Grand Slam of hazardous living and appears certain to play a leading role in Sunday’s outcome.

    Perhaps none of the leading men will go full Jean Van de Velde, the star-crossed Frenchman who could still be standing in that burn if not for a rising tide back at the 1999 championship, but if the 499 yards of dusty turf is an uninvited guest, it’s a guest nonetheless.

    It may not create the same joyless feelings that he had when he returned the claret jug, but given the hole’s history and Spieth’s penchant for late-inning histrionics (see Open Championship, 2017), the 18th hole is certain to produce more than a few uncomfortable moments.

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    Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.

    One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.

    McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”

    McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.

    “I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”