Random Thoughts from My Desk

By Kraig KannSeptember 6, 2007, 4:00 pm
This weeks column isnt about deep thoughts, or long conversation. Its not about research either.
After spending the week at the Barclays hosting our Sprint Post Game shows and a week sitting glued to week two of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, and other tournament golf, Im simply tossing you some one-liners that might allow you to fire back with a response.
  • Steve Strickers win at the Barclays and the way it happened was better for the Playoffs than Tiger winning ' which might have ended the run for the cup before anyone was winded.
  • Vijay Singh missing 2 straight cuts on the PGA TOUR? Amazing. And given that he was in danger again at the Deutsche Bank, somethings not right. (He didnt miss the cut ' and given that hed never missed 3 straight ' he wasnt going to)
  • Tiger Woods hitting a 30 yard cut fairway wood from a fairway bunker and hitting the green was proof that Woods is the best shotmaker in the game ' period.
  • The fact that Woods 3-putted the same hole and struggled with 3-putts for the week in Boston means hes human (which is nice.)
  • Phil Mickelson isnt as consistent as Woods week-to-week. but when hes on hes just as fun to watch.
  • Woods and Mickelson together for 3 of 4 rounds at the Deutsche Bank Championship? Cmon who could ask for anything better.
  • I really believe these Playoff events will come to mean more to win for players than the WGC events. More at stake, more pressure, and more emotion ' ask Steve Stricker who probably treasures his Barclays win more than his Accenture Match-Play title.
  • Rich Beem is the best there is ' in the pressroom. As well as hes played in the playoffs, its a shame hes not in Chicago ' at least for a press conference or two before the tournament.
  • Whos the first network to hire Beem someday as an on-course commentator? I hope its GOLF CHANNEL.

  • Sherri Steinhauers wire-to-wire win was exhilarating to watch. Im serious. Did you see the finish? Talk about clutch ' which is great for Betsy Kings Solheim Cup hopes.
  • Speaking of King. Her choice not to pick Christina Kim can certainly be questioned. Runner-up finishes in consecutive weeks and a whole lot of fire ' which never hurts in cup competition. Diaz has it. Castrale? Dont think so.
  • Annikas still stuck on 69 wins. Shocking. 7 events since her return from a ruptured disk in her neck. If there really is a golf god then please let her get there.
  • Arron Oberholser has the exact makeup youd like on a Ryder Cup team. I hope hes there when Azingers team visits Valhalla.
  • Dr. Gil Morgan beats Hale Irwin on the Champions Tour at Pebble Beach. More than 60 wins combined for the two men who used to dual week-to-week. If we cant get OMeara and Price then Morgan and Irwin make us think back to some good ol days.
  • Please no points next year for the FedEx Cup do it on money. And reward more guys for good play in each of the events. Brian Hewitt is advocating some bonus points or money for low round of the day, which keeps everyone involved. I like it.
  • As much as I loved the Deutsche Bank. I cant warm up to a Monday finish. Lets get this thing done on Sunday so everyone can enjoy the day with the family.
  • Nothing against Michelle Wie, but its been a nice break from the hype the last few weeks. Let her get her game back before the publicity train rolls again.
  • If Appalachian State can beat Michigan ' in Ann Arbor.. then the PGA TOUR needs to allow for a better chance of somebody outside number 15 winning the FedEx Cup. (PGA TOUR projections never allowed for someone outside 13 in their computer runs.)
  • I guarantee the BMW Championship will have a bigger feel than any WGC event played this year. Kudos to Commissioner Tim Finchem for the idea though it still needs some tweaking. (Dont know what that says about the WGC events moving forward.)
  • Actually, I wish theyd go away with the exception of the Match Play. Keep the venues but rid us of the no-cut, big purse event and find a way to give back to some of the tournaments that have lost their way. For example ' the folks in Milwaukee who support their event as well as anyone.
    Im sure Im missing something. But thats where you come in. And thanks for the responses I get each week ' positive or otherwise. Your thoughts are welcome.

    Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann
  • Getty Images

    Kim cruises to first win, final Open invite at Deere

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 9:38 pm

    Following the best week of his professional career, Michael Kim is both a winner on the PGA Tour and the 156th and final player to earn a tee time next week at The Open.

    Kim entered the final round of the John Deere Classic with a five-shot lead, and the former Cal standout removed any lingering doubt about the tournament's outcome with birdies on each of his first three holes. He cruised from there, shooting a bogey-free 66 to finish the week at 27 under and win by eight shots over Francesco Molinari, Joel Dahmen, Sam Ryder and Bronson Burgoon.

    It equals the tournament scoring record and ties for the largest margin of victory on Tour this season, matching Dustin Johnson's eight-shot romp at Kapalua in January and Molinari's margin two weeks ago at the Quicken Loans National.

    "Just super thankful," Kim said. "It's been a tough first half of the year. But to be able to finish it out in style like this means a lot."

    Kim, 25, received the Haskins Award as the nation's top collegiate player back in 2013, but his ascent to the professional ranks has been slow. He had only one top-10 finish in 83 starts on Tour entering the week, tying for third at the Safeway Open in October 2016, and had missed the cut each of the last three weeks.

    But the pieces all came together at TPC Deere Run, where Kim opened with 63 and held a three-shot lead after 36 holes. His advantage was trimmed to a single shot during a rain-delayed third round, but Kim returned to the course late Saturday and closed with four straight birdies on Nos. 15-18 to build a five-shot cushion and inch closer to his maiden victory.

    As the top finisher among the top five not otherwise exempt, Kim earned the final spot at Carnoustie as part of the Open Qualifying Series. It will be his first major championship appearance since earning low amateur honors with a T-17 finish at the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion, and he is also now exempt for the PGA Championship and next year's Masters.

    The last player to earn the final Open spot at the Deere and make the cut the following week was Brian Harman, who captured his first career win at TPC Deere Run in 2014 and went on to tie for 26th at Royal Liverpool.

    Getty Images

    Poulter offers explanation in dispute with marshal

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:47 pm

    Ian Poulter took to Twitter to offer an explanation after the Englishman was accused of verbally abusing a volunteer during the third round of the Scottish Open.

    Poulter hooked his drive on the opening hole at Gullane Golf Club into a bush, where Quintin Jardine was working as a marshal. Poulter went on to find the ball, wedge out and make bogey, but the details of the moments leading up to his second shot differ depending on who you ask.

    Jardine wrote a letter to the tournament director that he also turned into a colorfully-titled blog post, accusing Poulter of berating him for not going into the bush "feet first" in search of the ball since Poulter would have received a free drop had his ball been stepped on by an official.

    Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open

    "I stood and waited for the player. It turned out to be Mr. Poulter, who arrived in a shower of expletives and asked me where his ball was," Jardine wrote. "I told him and said that I had not ventured into the bush for fear of standing on it. I wasn't expecting thanks, but I wasn't expecting aggression, either."

    Jardine added that Poulter stayed to exchange heated words with the volunteer even after wedging his ball back into the fairway. After shooting a final-round 69 to finish in a tie for 30th, Poulter tweeted his side of the story to his more than 2.3 million followers:

    Poulter, 42, won earlier this year on the PGA Tour at the Houston Open and is exempt into The Open at Carnoustie, where he will make his 17th Open appearance. His record includes a runner-up at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and a T-3 finish at Muirfield in 2013.

    Getty Images

    Immelman misses Open bid via OWGR tiebreaker

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:25 pm

    A resurgent performance at the Scottish Open gave Trevor Immelman his first top-10 finish in more than four years, but it left him short of a return to The Open by the slimmest of margins.

    The former Masters champ turned back the clock this week at Gullane Golf Club, carding four straight rounds of 68 or better. That run included a 5-under 65 in the final round, which gave him a tie for third and left him five shots behind winner Brandon Stone. It was his first worldwide top-10 since a T-10 finish at the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open.

    There were three spots available into The Open for players not otherwise exempt, and for a brief moment it appeared Immelman, 38, might sneak the third and final invite.

    Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open

    But with Stone and runner-up Eddie Pepperell both not qualified, that left the final spot to be decided between Immelman and Sweden's Jens Dantorp who, like Immelman, tied for third at 15 under.

    As has been the case with other stops along the Open Qualifying Series, the tiebreaker to determine invites is the players' standing in the Official World Golf Rankings entering the week. Dantorp is currently No. 322 in the world, but with Immelman ranked No. 1380 the Swede got the nod.

    This will mark Dantorp's first-ever major championship appearance. Immelman, who hasn't made the cut in a major since the 2013 Masters, was looking to return to The Open for 10th time and first since a missed cut at Royal Lytham six years ago. He will instead work the week at Carnoustie as part of Golf Channel and NBC's coverage of The Open.

    Getty Images

    Stone (60) wins Scottish Open, invite to Carnoustie

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:06 pm

    There's never a bad time to shoot a 60, but Brandon Stone certainly picked an opportune moment to do so.

    Facing a jammed leaderboard in the final round of the Scottish Open, Stone fired a 10-under 60 to leave a stacked field in his wake and win the biggest tournament of his career. His 20-under 260 total left him four shots clear of Eddie Pepperell and five shots in front of a group that tied for third.

    Stone had a mid-range birdie putt on No. 18 that would have given him the first 59 in European Tour history. But even after missing the putt on the left, Stone tapped in to close out a stellar round that included eight birdies, nine pars and an eagle. It's his third career European Tour title but first since the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December 2016.

    Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open

    Stone started the day three shots behind overnight leader Jens Dantorp, but he made an early move with three birdies over his first five holes and five over his first 10. Stone added a birdie on the par-3 12th, then took command with a three-hole run from Nos. 14-16 that included two birdies and an eagle.

    The eye-popping score from the 25-year-old South African was even more surprising considering his lack of form entering the week. Stone is currently ranked No. 371 in the world and had missed four of his last seven worldwide cuts without finishing better than T-60.

    Stone was not yet qualified for The Open, and as a result of his performance at Gullane Golf Club he will tee it up next week at Carnoustie. Stone headlined a group of three Open qualifiers, as Pepperell and Dantorp (T-3) also earned invites by virtue of their performance this week. The final spot in the Open will go to the top finisher not otherwise qualified from the John Deere Classic.