That is exactly what 34-year-old Matt Dobyns did in winning the 2012 PGA Professional National Championship by a record setting 8 strokes. The PGA Head professional at Fresh Meadow Country Club in New York broke Sam Snead’s 40-year-old record for largest margin of victory and Dobyns earns a spot in the Season's Final Major and six PGA TOUR Exemptions over the next year.
- Major Invites
19 additional players punched their ticket to Kiawah Island in August for the PGA Championship including University of Illinois coach Mike Small, 58-year-old Darrell Kestner who will be playing in a Major Championship in a fifth straight decade, and Michael Frye who survived an 8-man playoff for the final spot.
- Oh Captain, My Captain
U.S. Ryder Cup Team Captain Davis Love III made two of his assistant captains official on Wednesday in announcing that Fred Couples and Mike Hulbert will help lead the American Squad at Medinah in September. Love III is expected to announce two additional captains over the next few weeks.
- Showing Off
World #5 Suzann Pettersen will be among the 27 athletes taking it off for the fourth annual 'Body Issue' in ESPN the Magazine. The Norwegian will be the highest ranked player male or female to be featured in the issue.
- U.S. Supreme Court Will Decide Fate of ObamaCare
- Barclays Interest Rate Probe Escalates
7:12a ET: Bertha Coombs, CNBC Business Report
7:25a ET: Alex Wallace, Weather Channel Report
7:30a ET: David L. Brown, Web.com Chairman, President, & CEO
7:45a ET: Annika Sorenstam, World Golf Hall of Fame Member
8:15a ET: John Feinstein, Golf Channel Contributor
8:30a ET: Julian Tutt, European Tour Analyst
8:40a ET: Webb Simpson, 2012 U.S. Open Champion
WATCH & LISTEN TO TODAY'S ACTION
Webb Simpson Interview > Watch Now
Best of June 28, 2012 > Listen Now
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“Magnificent” by U2
“The Word” by The Beatles
“Golden Years” by David Bowie
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Friday, June 29
Thursday - June 28, 2012
Descending into golf's depths, and trying to dig out
Watching Alvaro Quiros finish second this past week in Morocco, I was reminded of just how rare it is for player to come back from the depths of golf hell.
Quiros, a player of immense ability, hype and length, won the Dubai World Championship – his sixth win in four years – to close out 2011 and then went down the rabbit hole of trying to change his golf swing. He would miss 11 cuts in 2012 and either miss the cut or withdraw in another 41 European Tour events over the next four years. Because he hadn’t won a major championship, his epic backwards slide in the world rankings (435th prior to this past week) mostly went unnoticed – but it was far from unusual.
Ian Baker-Finch won the 1991 Open Championship, but just three years later, when he played 20 events on the PGA Tour and missed 14 cuts, he no longer looked anything like a recent major champion. In 1995, he played in 18 events and either missed the cut, withdrew or was disqualified from every one of them. In 1996, he missed the cut in all 11 events he entered on the PGA Tour; and in 1997, he shot 92 in the first round of The Open, withdrew from the championship and stopped playing professional golf.
Like Quiros, Baker-Finch’s downfall came after his biggest win, when he finally thought he had the time, because of the 10-year exemption he received, to change his golf swing.
David Duval won the 2001 Open Championship and just two years later he shot 83-78 in the same event and missed the cut, which was one 16 events he either missed the cut or withdrew from that year. In 2005, he missed 18 cuts in 19 starts. Duval’s competitive demise may well have been precipitated by injuries and an existential malaise after winning golf’s oldest championship, but it was accompanied by queries far and wide as to how to correct his swing and thinking, just like Baker-Finch before him and Quiros thereafter.
These desperate searches for help, like the indelible ink stains on dyer’s hands, are the one common thread amongst those who suffer from the absolute negation of their technical and then creative abilities. Those who take as indisputable the theories of others are, in the deepest sense, wounding their own intuition. They are controverting the evidence of their own senses in such a way that is comforting to the insecure player, but tragic to the artist. To quote Carl Jung: “Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.”
As I write this, PGA Tour winners Steven Bowditch (1,885th in the world) and Smylie Kaufman (337th) are in similar downward spirals in their careers and no doubt are desperate for, and susceptible to any suggestion.
One player they can look to who made it back from the frantic madness that accompanies losing one’s game, is Henrik Stenson. He put his trust in one man, Pete Cowen, even though while working with Pete he missed 14 cuts in 2002, followed by 15 missed cuts in 2003, and 11 in 2004. What Stenson did not do was panic and run from teacher to teacher, from shrink to shrink, as the missed cuts piled up.
Stenson, with Cowen’s help, slowly built one of the most reliable swings in the history of the game. A swing that regularly leads events in fairways found and greens hit in regulation. A swing that authored the lowest score ever shot in major championship history. A swing that is a far cry from the OB-launching swipes he was taking in late-2001 and 2002.
Given the soul-eating depths of where he came from, a place from which few have dug themselves out of, I watch Stenson play golf with a far great admiration than I otherwise would, and similarly was pulling for Quiros in Morocco. The same way I am pulling for Bowditch and Kaufman to find their games again.
Langer skipping Senior PGA for son's HS graduation
Defending champion Bernhard Langer will miss this year’s Senior PGA Championship to attend his son’s high school graduation.
Langer made the announcement Monday, during Senior PGA media day at Harbor Shores in Michigan. The event will be held May 24-27.
“I won’t be able to defend my title this year because my son graduates from high school that very same weekend,” he said. “Family comes first in my life, so I have to be there to celebrate.”
Langer said that his son, Jason, will play golf for the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. Langer and his family live in South Florida.
Langer won last year’s event at Trump National outside Washington, D.C. The 60-year-old has no wins but three runners-up in eight senior starts this season.
Landry reaches OWGR career high after Valero win
After notching his first career PGA Tour win at the Valero Texas Open, Andrew Landry also reached unprecedented heights in the latest installment of the Official World Golf Ranking.
Landry shot a final-round 68 at TPC San Antonio to win by two shots, and in the process he cracked the top 100 in the world rankings for the first time at age 30. Landry started the week ranked No. 114, but he's now up to 66th. The move puts him within reach of a possible U.S. Open exemption, given that the top 60 in the May 21 rankings will automatically qualify for Shinnecock Hills.
Trey Mullinax went from No. 306 to No. 169 with his T-2 finish in San Antonio, while fellow runner-up Sean O Hair jumped 29 spots to No. 83 in the world. Jimmy Walker, who finished alone in fourth, went from No. 88 to No. 81 while fifth-place Zach Johnson moved up five spots to No. 53.
Alexander Levy took home the title at the European Tour's Trophee Hassan II, allowing the Frenchman to move from No. 66 to No. 47. With no OWGR points available at this week's Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Levy is guaranteed to stay inside the top 50 next week, thereby earning a spot in The Players.
Idle since an MDF result at the Houston Open, former world No. 1 Lee Westwood dropped two spots to No. 100 this week. It marks the first time Westwood has been ranked 100th or worse in nearly 15 years, ending a streak of consistency that dates back to September 2003.
The top 10 in the rankings remained the same, with Dustin Johnson leading off at No. 1 followed by Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm and Justin Rose. Rickie Fowler remains No. 6 with Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Sergio Garcia rounding out the top 10.
With no starts announced until the U.S. Open in June, Tiger Woods dropped two more spots to No. 91 in the latest rankings.
What's in the bag: Valero Texas Open winner Landry
Andrew Landry won his first PGA Tour event at the Valero Texas Open. Here's a look inside the winners' bag.
Driver: Ping G30 (9 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 65X shaft
Fairway woods: Ping G (14.5 degrees adjusted to 15.5), with Project X HZRDUS Yellow 75X shaft; (17.5 degrees), with Project X HZRDUS Yellow 85X shaft
Irons: Ping iBlade (3-PW), with Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 105 S shafts
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 (52, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts
Putter: Ping PLD ZB-S
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x