Teeing Off in Mid-Summer - COPIED

By Kraig KannJuly 24, 2007, 4:00 pm
The heat of the summer can at times make you dizzy ' at least in Florida. Throw in the fact that were in the midst of major championship madness and the mind is spinning with thoughts about golfs current state.
 
So rather than focus on just a single topic this week, Im teeing off with my thoughts on several things ' golf related. And, as always, I welcome your thoughts so fire right back.
 
  • Michelle Wies not in the John Deere Classic this week. Shes also declined an opportunity to play the in the HSBC Womens World Match Play. Good for her. At this point it is absolutely the wisest decision. Shes simply not good enough to justify her appearance with the men. And I hope she makes the same call when the Evian Masters comes calling. Some have said she should bypass the Ricoh Womens British. I disagree there. Play the big ones stay away from the ones offering the big appearance money. Lets work on building the resume and re-building the reputation ' not the bank account.
     
  • Tiger Woods is the obvious choice to win at Carnoustie. And while I started the year thinking Carnoustie and Southern Hills (PGA Championship) didnt fit as well as Augusta and Oakmont, I now believe were more likely to see a repeat of 2006 with a motivated Tiger winning both the Open Championship and another PGA.
     
  • I read the list of favorites for the Open Championship this week in the Orlando Sentinel. While Woods was at the top, Ernie Els was second. Id love to see it, but how in the world can you give him that distinction right now? Hed probably argue the same. But I could think of at least five names before Ernie (Furyk, Mickelson, Singh, Scott, Casey ' and Id even through South Africans Immelman and Sabbatini ahead of him at this stage). Els has always been one of my favorites just not my betting favorite right now.
     
  • Tadd Fujikawa turns pro before his junior year in High School. You remember Tadd from this years Sony Open in Hawaii. Another youngster goes pro. And it makes me nervous. Sixteen years old is plenty old enough to drive a car, but hardly mature enough to deal with life as a touring professional. What in the world has happened to the idea of going to college, playing golf, and simply growing up?
     
  • Im struggling with the FedExCup points standings. Dont get me wrong ' Im looking forward to the playoffs. But the Top 10 in FedExCup points mirrors the money list almost to the letter. The top three names are the same on both (though Singh and Mickelson switch places in the 2 and 3 spot depending upon which list you look at.) Steve Stricker and John Rollins are the only names different in each list of the top 10 names. The PGA TOUR has de-emphasized the money list in favor of the points. But as we all know, money talks louder than points and the point of the FedExCup wont be driven home until the playoffs. Its still wait and see for me.
     
  • John Daly spent time with Rich Lerner recently talking about marriage, partying and playing golf. The best thing for John would be to stick to his pre-season pledge of practicing harder than ever in the effort to win tournaments. The skill is still there, now he needs to prove that the will still exists. If not, then please dont tease us with your presence.
     
  • I predicted a big comeback year for Annika Sorenstam. At this point I dont see it happening. Big bogey for me although I never predicted the herniated disc trouble that has set her so far back. The question for the rest of 2007 ' will she win any tournament this year?
     
  • Twenty-plus Korean born players made the cut at the U.S. Womens Open. Twenty-plus Americans made the cut at the U.S. Womens Open. Great news for golf overseas. Not great news for America. That said, things dont look too, too bad for the United States at the upcoming Solheim Cup on foreign soil. Annexing Mexico for the week wouldnt be a bad idea but given the play by Christie Kerr, Brittany Lincicome and Morgan Pressel, I think (on paper) that the U.S. looks to be in better shape given Europes list of Trish Johnson, Laura Davies, Becky Brewerton, Sophie Giquel, Bettina Hauert, Linda Wessberg and Rebbecca Hudson.

  • A few players on the PGA TOUR would like to see the Nationwide Tour take on a bigger role in golf. One PGA TOUR winner floated the idea that the final seven events fall under the Nationwide Tour umbrella to raise the perception of that tour. Dont know if that works too well, but Jay Williamsons near win at the Travelers Championship and Brian Batemans win at the Buick (he was at Q-School last fall) is proof that the line between the two PGA TOUR sanctioned tours is very, very fine.
     
  • My colleague Vince Cellini has parted ways with the GOLF CHANNEL. Im not breaking news here as it was reported this week in the trade magazines. Hate to see it happen ' but in this business it can definitely happen. A mutual decision on both sides, Vince is/was an anchor in the truest sense. One of my best friends in 12 plus years at TGC, hell be just fine but I miss him already.
     
    As always, I welcome your thoughts. And if you have the secret to hitting more fairways, let me know ' Im all ears.
     
    Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann
  • Getty Images

    Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

    By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

    It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

    Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

    The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

    The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

    For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

    Getty Images

    Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

    By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

    After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

    But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

    Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

    Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

    Getty Images

    Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

    By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

    Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

    The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

    “There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

    “To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

    Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

    “To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.

    Getty Images

    Rose: T-2 finish renewed my love of The Open

    By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 9:00 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose made the cut on the number at The Open and was out for an early Saturday morning stroll at Carnoustie when, all of a sudden, he started putting together one great shot after another.

    There was no pressure. No one had expected anything from someone so far off the lead. Yet Rose shot 30 on the final nine holes to turn in 7-under 64, the lowest round of the championship. By day’s end he was five shots behind a trio of leaders that included Jordan Spieth.

    Rose followed the 64 with a Sunday 69 to tie for second place, two shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. His 133 total over the weekend was the lowest by a shot, and for a moment he thought he had a chance to hoist the claret jug, until Molinari put on a ball-striking clinic down the stretch with birdies on 14 and 18.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I just think having made the cut number, it’s a great effort to be relevant on the leaderboard on Sunday,” said Rose, who collected his third-career runner-up in a major. He’s also finished 12th or better in all three majors this year.

    In the final round, Rose was well off the pace until his second shot on the par-5 14th hole hit the pin. He had a tap-in eagle to move to 5 under. Birdie at the last moved him to 6 under and made him the clubhouse leader for a few moments.

    “It just proves to me that I can play well in this tournament, that I can win The Open,” Rose said. “When I’m in the hunt, I enjoy it. I play my best golf. I don’t back away.

    “That was a real positive for me, and it renewed the love of The Open for me.”