Annika Sorenstam - February 2, 2012

By Morning Drive TeamFebruary 2, 2012, 1:11 pm

Earlier this week, Annika Sorenstam went to Brazil to make a presentation alongside Jack Nicklaus to the 2016 Summer Olympic committee on their proposal to design the golf course for golf’s return to the Olympics. She had never been to South America before so it was certainly a very exciting trip. It has been great to work closely with Jack Nicklaus and learn just how much he knows about golf course design. The trip was very quick – just under 48 hours – but it was very exciting and she admitted that she was nervous because this is a big deal and she would be honored to be a part of the 2016 Olympics.

The Olympics are 4 years away so Rio has a lot of work to do and while a lot of things are underway, the city still has a number of issues to deal with. Golf is not on people’s minds there because there are not many courses and there are not many players. The Olympics provides a great opportunity to introduce golf to the people of Brazil and hopefully grow the game.

For many people, winning a gold medal is the ultimate dream in their given sport. Neither she nor Jack Nicklaus had a chance to win a gold medal and both would love to be involved in growing the game through the Olympics and South America seems like a great place to grow the game in a variety of ways. As far as their presentation, she was not able to go into many details but it is well-known what their intentions are as far as their design philosophies and their hopes for the future of the game.

Obviously, they as well as anyone who wants to design the Olympic course wants to build a golf course that is exciting and competitive but also they understand how important it is that they build a course that is able to be a center for golf that is open to the public in Rio.

She is being honored with the Bob Jones Award in Texas which is the highest honor that the USGA can give. Annika is very flattered and very humbled to receive this honor and she found out about the honor last year when she was in Sweden visiting her family. She and her husband are leaving for Houston on Saturday morning and they are very excited to be a part of such a big event that honors the highest values of the game of golf. She has a draft version of her acceptance speech and she is still working on it to make sure that she gets it right.

When it comes to the most valuable trophies, she said that hers would certainly be the Major Championship trophies including the U.S. Open. The Bob Jones Award is certainly one of the highest honors of her career and she knows that she would not be receiving it if she did not play as much as she did.

It is a credit to the game of golf that you are seeing someone like 14-year-old amateur Lydia Ko win a professional event. It says a lot about the way the kids today are being taught how to play, how to prepare, and ultimately, how to win. She is very excited about the future of the game of golf.

When asked about Kyle Stanley’s final round collapse last weekend in the Farmers Insurance Open, Annika said that it is always very hard to sit and watch something like this because she knows how big the dream of earning your professional win really is. So many things go through your mind in that circumstance and she doubts that Stanley slept very well on Sunday night. Hopefully he was able to learn some lessons from that day and she hopes that he gets another chance to win soon.

It is very easy to relax a little bit down the stretch when you are leading by a number of shots late in the final round. She has certainly done it and there have been many times where she has had to remind herself that there is still work to do. There were a number of moments where she had a big lead and lost it in the final round. Those moments always hurt but you hope that you always learn something as well. It is very important to get back on the horse quickly because you cannot change the past but you can control how you approach the future. If you allow bad moments to drag you down, you hold yourself back from having future success.

When you think of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, you think about the 16th hole and she thinks that the Coliseum hole is a lot of fun. The LPGA Tour did not have a similar kind of tournament hole but the Solheim Cup would have a similar kind of intensity. She would not necessarily want a hole like #16 every week but every now and then is great for golf.

As Meg Mallon is the U.S. Captain for the 2013 Solheim Cup, the European team is still deciding who they will pick for 2013. Annika said that she has been asked to be the Captain and she has also been asked to reconsider the offer. She has said that she has a lot to do in her life with her family and businesses and her foundation. Also, she understands just how much commitment is required to be the Captain since she was an Assistant Captain to Alison Nicholas in 2011. The decision regarding the Olympic Course Design will play a role in determining her ultimate answer to the offer to be the European Captain.

Getty Images

Noren so impressed by Rory: 'I'm about to quit golf'

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 5:33 pm

Alex Noren won the BMW PGA Championship last year, one of his nine career European Tour victories.

He opened his title defense at Wentworth Club in 68-69 and is tied for fourth through two rounds. Unfortunately, he's five back of leader Rory McIlroy. And after playing the first two days alongside McIlroy, Noren, currently ranked 19th in the world, doesn't seem to like his chances of back-to-back wins.

McIlroy opened in 67 and then shot a bogey-free 65 in second round, which included pars on the pair of par-5 finishing holes. Noren walked away left in awe.

"That's the best round I've ever seen," Noren said. "I'm about to quit golf, I think."

Check out the full interview below:

Getty Images

Bubba gets to drive dream car: K.I.T.T. from 'Knight Rider'

By Grill Room TeamMay 25, 2018, 4:42 pm

Bubba Watson is a known car aficionado.

He purchased the original General Lee from the 1980’s TV show “Dukes of Hazzard” – later saying he was going to paint over the Confederate flag on the vehicle’s roof.

He also auctioned off his 1939 Cadillac LaSalle C-Hawk custom roadster and raised $410,000 for Birdies for the Brave.

He showed off images of his off-road Jeep two years ago.

And he even bought a car dealership near his hometown of Milton, Fla.

While recently appearing on the TV show “Jay Leno’s Garage,” the former “Tonight Show” host surprised Watson with another one of his dream cars: K.I.T.T.

The 1982 Pontiac Trans Am was made famous in the ‘80s action show “Knight Rider.”

Though, Bubba didn’t get to keep this one, he did get to drive it.

Bubba Watson gets behind the wheel of his dream car—the KITT from Knight Rider from CNBC.

Getty Images

Cut Line: USGA readies for Shinnecock 'mulligan'

By Rex HoggardMay 25, 2018, 3:26 pm

In this week’s Memorial weekend edition, the European team adheres to the Ryder Cup secret formula, the USGA readies for the ultimate mulligan at next month’s U.S. Open and a bizarre finish at the Florida Mid-Am mystifies the Rules of Golf.

Made Cut

Cart golf. When the U.S. side announced the creation of a Ryder Cup task force following the American loss at Gleneagles in 2014, some Europeans privately – and publicly – snickered.

The idea that the secret sauce could be found in a meeting room did stretch the bounds of reason, yet two years later the U.S. team emerged as winners at Hazeltine National and suddenly the idea of a task force, which is now called a committee, didn’t seem so silly.

To Europe’s credit, they’ve always accomplished this cohesion organically, pulling together their collective knowledge with surprising ease, like this week when European captain Thomas Bjorn rounded out his vice captain crew.

Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald (a group that has a combined 47-40-13 record in the matches) were all given golf cart keys and will join Robert Karlsson as vice captains this year in Paris.

Perhaps it took the Americans a little longer to figure out, but Bjorn knows it’s continuity that wins Ryder Cups.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

The USGA’s mulligan. The U.S. Open is less than a month away and with it one of the most anticipated returns in recent major championship history.

The last time the national championship was played at Shinnecock Hills was in 2004 and things didn’t go well, particularly on Sunday when play had to be stopped to water some greens that officials deemed had become unplayable. This week USGA executive director Mike Davis was asked about the association’s last trip to the Hamptons and, to his credit, he didn’t attempt to reinvent history.

“Looking back at 2004, and at parts of that magnificent day with Retief (Goosen) and Phil Mickelson coming down to the end, there are parts that we learned from,” Davis said. “I’m happy we got a mulligan this time. We probably made a bogey last time, maybe a double bogey.”

Put another way, players headed to next month’s championship should look forward to what promises to be a Bounce Back Open.

Tweet of the week:

Homa joined a chorus of comments following Aaron Wise’s victory on Sunday at the AT&T Byron Nelson, which included an awkward moment when his girlfriend, Reagan Trussell, backed away as Wise was going in for a kiss.

“No hard feelings at all,” Wise clarified this week. “We love each other a ton and we're great. It was a funny moment that I think we'll always be able to look back at, but that's all it really was.”

Missed Cut

Strength of field. The European Tour gathers this week in England for the circuit’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, and like the PGA Tour’s marquee stop, The Players, the event appears headed for a new spot on the calendar next year.

As the PGA Tour inches closer to announcing the 2018-19 schedule, which will feature countless new twists and turns including the PGA Championship’s move to May and The Players shift back to March, it also seems likely the makeover will impact the European Tour schedule.

Although the BMW PGA currently draws a solid field, with this week’s event sporting a higher strength of field than the Fort Worth Invitational on the PGA Tour, it’s likely officials won’t want to play the event a week after the PGA Championship (which is scheduled for May 16-19 next year).

In fact, it’s been rumored that the European Tour could move all eight of its Rolex Series events, which are billed as “unmissable sporting occasions,” out of the FedExCup season window, which will end on Aug. 25 next year.

Although the focus has been on how the new PGA Tour schedule will impact the U.S. sports calendar, the impact of the dramatic makeover stretches will beyond the Lower 48.

Rules of engagement. For a game that at times seems to struggle with too much small print and antiquated rules, it’s hard to understand how things played out earlier this month at the Florida Mid-Amateur Championship.

In a story first reported by, Jeff Golden claimed he was assaulted on May 13 by Brandon Hibbs – the caddie for his opponent, Marc Dull, in the championship’s final match. Golden told police that Hibbs struck him because of a rules dispute earlier in the round. Hibbs denied any involvement, and police found no evidence of an attack.

The incident occurred during a weather delay and Golden conceded the match to Dull after the altercation, although he wrote in a post on Twitter this week that he was disappointed with the Florida State Golf Association’s decision to accept his concession.

“The FSGA has one job, and that’s to follow the Rules of Golf,” Golden wrote. “Unfortunately, there’s no rule for an inebriated ‘ex-caddie’ punching a player in a match-play rain delay with no witnesses.”

Because of the conflicting statements, it’s still not clear what exactly happened that day at Coral Creek Club, but the No. 1 rule in golf – protecting the competition and the competitors – seems to have fallen well short.

Getty Images

Watch: Pieters snaps club ... around his neck

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 1:19 pm

After opening in 3-over 75, Thomas Pieters was in no mood for more poor play on Friday.

Unfortunately for Pieters, he bogeyed two of his first three holes in the second round of the BMW PGA Championship and then didn't like his second shot at the par-5 fourth.

Someone - or some thing - had to pay, and an innocent iron bore the brunt of Pieters' anger.

Pieters made par on the hole, but at 5 over for the tournament, he was five shots off the cut line.

It's not the first time a club has faced Pieters' wrath.