Patriotism Abounds at Hall of Fame Induction

By Mike RitzNovember 11, 2001, 5:00 pm
Fireworks, tears and cheers. A wonderful and appropriate mixture on this November 11, Veterans Day. The World Golf Hall of Fame weekend was the perfect American celebration of a Holiday that warrants special notice these days.
The winners of this years four senior major championships played each other over 36 holes on the World Golf Villages Slammer & Squire course. In the awards ceremony this afternoon for the Senior Slam, runner-up Tom Watson didnt focus on the golf, he had the presence of mind, the presence of a patriot to thank all of the Veterans for what theyve done for him, for our country.

'Without the members of the Armed Forces, Tom said, I wouldnt be able to play golf for a living.
Watson, the Senior PGA champion, had just earned $150,000 for finishing second to Senior Players champion Allen Doyle. The Veterans, Hall of Fame member Watson said, give us our freedom and protect our way of life. We owe them everything.
A few hours later, six men and women who have contributed so much to the game of golf were inducted into the Hall of Fame. Three greats of golf were honored posthumously: St. Andrews first professional Allan Robertson, Ping founder Karsten Solheim and two-time U.S. Open champion Payne Stewart.

Judy Bell, the United States Golf Associations first woman president, two-time U.S. Womens Open champion Donna Caponi and two-time British Open champion Greg Norman were all proudly on stage to reap the applause and honors they all so justly deserve.
All of the speeches were marked by patriotic and American themes. Norman, an Australian, spoke of how proud he is of the close alliance between his homeland and the United States, of how proud he is to now live in this great and resilient country.
November 11, 1918 was the day World War I came to an end. In 1926, Congress enacted a resolution creating the holiday, Armistice Day. The resolution states it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations.
In 1954, Congress re-named November 11 Veterans Day. Later that same year, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day Proclamation which, in part, stated: In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose.
Judy Bell ended her speech God Bless America. Payne Stewarts widow, Tracey, moved the audience to tears in remembering her husband. Donna Caponi inspired all of us on-hand to smile.
Spectacular fireworks capped the evening. What a wonderful way to celebrate Veterans Day.
Getty Images

'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

“The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

“That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

Getty Images

Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

“They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

“The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”

Getty Images

Ball headed O.B., Stone (68) gets huge break

By Mercer BaggsJuly 19, 2018, 2:14 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Brandon Stone knew it when he hit it.

“I knew I hit it out of bounds,” the South African said following his opening round in the 147th Open Championship.

Stone’s second shot on the par-4 18th, from the left fescue, was pulled into the grandstands, which are marked as O.B. But instead of settling in with the crowd, the ball ricocheted back towards the green and nearly onto the putting surface.

Stone made his par and walked away with a 3-under 68, two shots off the early lead.

“I really didn’t put a good swing on it, bad contact and it just came out way left,” Stone said. “I feel so sorry for the person I managed to catch on the forehead there, but got a lucky break.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“When you get breaks like that you know you’re going to have good weeks.”

It’s been more than just good luck recently for Stone. He shot 60 in the final round – missing a 9-foot birdie putt for the first 59 in European Tour history – to win last week’s Scottish Open. It was his third career win on the circuit and first since 2016. It was also just his first top-10 of the season.

“A testament to a different mental approach and probably the change in putter,” said Stone, who added that he switched to a new Ping Anser blade model last week.

“I’ve been putting, probably, the best I have in my entire life.”

This marks Stone’s sixth start in a major championship, with his best finish a tie for 35th in last year’s U.S. Open. He has a missed cut and a T-70 in two prior Open Championships.