Tuesday - September 20, 2011

By Morning Drive TeamSeptember 20, 2011, 8:40 am

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- Back to the ATL
Just two months after the PGA Championship, the top 30 in the PGA TOUR Playoffs are back in Atlanta for the TOUR Championship. PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem addresses the media at 3 this afternoon.
- Tiger's In
Tiger Woods is eligible for his own Chevron World Challenge. Tiger JUST made into into the top 50 in the world ranking exemption. He's 49th in the world.
- Mid-Ams
Amateurs 25 and older from across the U.S. are competing in the Mens and Womens U-S Mid-Amateur Championships this week.
- Hope Lost
Bob Hope's widow, Delores Hope, died Monday at 102. Delores supported charities through the Humana Challenge for 47 years and everyone at Golf Channel wants to express their condolences to her family.
CNBC Business Headlines
- AT&T Pressure on Congress
- GM Electric in Shanghai
- Google Expands Wallet App
7:12a ET: Courtney Reagan, CNBC Business Report
7:15a ET: Joe Morgan, Baseball Hall of Fame Member
7:30a ET: Steve Largent, Pro Football Hall of Fame Member
7:40a ET: Julius Erving, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Member
7:45a ET: Charles Barkley, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Member
8:15a ET: Lexi Thompson, 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic Champion
8:30a ET: Jason Kokrak, 2011 Albertsons Boise Open Champion
8:45a ET: Jay Don Blake, 2011 Songdo IBD Champion
9:15a ET: Solheim Cup News Conference (C. Kim, A. Stanford, M. Wie)
9:30a ET: Randall Mell, GolfChannel.com Senior Writer
9:45a ET: Solheim Cup News Conference (R. O’Toole, V. Hurst, S. Lewis)
10:15a ET: Solheim Cup News Conference (M. Reid, L. Davies)
10:30a ET: Judy Rankin, 1996 & 1998 U.S. Solheim Cup Team Captain
10:45a ET: Solheim Cup News Conference (A. Nordqvist, M. Hjorth)
Joe Morgan Interview > Listen Now
Steve Largent Interview > Listen Now
Lexi Thompson Interview > Listen Now
Julius Erving Interview > Listen Now
Charles Barkley Interview > Listen Now
Jay Don Blake Interview > Listen Now
Jason Kokrak Interview > Listen Now
Randall Mel Interview > Listen Now
Judy Rankin Interview > Listen Now
Best of Morning Drive Sept. 20, 2011 > Listen Now
*WEB EXCLUSIVE* Pressure in Ireland > Watch Now

If interested in the music you heard today on 'Morning Drive', download it on iTunes.
Come Together - Abbey Road “Come Together” by The Beatles
Edge of Seventeen - Bella Donna “Edge of Seventeen” by Stevie Nicks
Wild Wild Life - The Best of Talking Heads (Remastered) “Wild Wild Life” by Talking Heads
Tune-in or stream the show live on GolfChannel.com this week at 7AM ET
Wednesday, September 21
Alex Miceli
John Hawkins
Solheim Cup News Conferences

Getty Images

Gooch chooses 'life over a good lie' with gators nearby

By Ryan LavnerApril 26, 2018, 11:31 pm

AVONDALE, La. – A fairway bunker wasn’t Talor Gooch’s only hazard on the 18th hole at TPC Louisiana.

Gooch’s ball came to rest Thursday within a few feet of three gators, leading to a lengthy delay as he sorted out his options.

Chesson Hadley used a rake to nudge two of the gators on the tail, sending them back into the pond surrounding the green. But the third gator wouldn’t budge.

“It woke him up from a nap,” Gooch said, “and he was hissing away and wasn’t happy.”

The other two gators remained in the water, their eyes fixed on the group.

Full-field scores from the Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Articles, photos and videos

“I’m sure we would have been fine, but any little movement by them and no chance I would have made solid contact,” he said.

A rules official granted Gooch free relief, away from the gator, but he still had to drop in the bunker. The ball plugged.

“I chose life over a good lie in that situation,” he said.

He splashed out short of the green, nearly holed out his pitch shot and made par to cap off an eventful 6-under 66 with partner Andrew Landry.

“It was my first gator par,” he said. “I’ll take it.”

Getty Images

Koepka's game 'where it should be' even after injury

By Ryan LavnerApril 26, 2018, 11:18 pm

AVONDALE, La. – Brooks Koepka didn’t look rusty Thursday while making six birdies in the first round of the Zurich Classic.

Making his first start in four months because of a torn ligament in his left wrist, Koepka and partner Marc Turnesa shot a 5-under 67 in fourballs at TPC Louisiana.

“It felt good,” Koepka said afterward. “It was just nice to be out here. I played pretty solid.”

Full-field scores from the Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Articles, photos and videos

The reigning U.S. Open champion felt soreness in his wrist the week after he won the Dunlop Phoenix in the fall. He finished last at the Hero World Challenge in December and then the following month at the Tournament of Champions before shutting it down.

He only began practicing last week and decided to commit to the Zurich Classic after three solid days at Medalist. He decided to partner with one of his friends in South Florida, Marc Turnesa, a former PGA Tour winner who now works in real estate.

Koepka hasn’t lost any distance because of the injury – he nearly drove the green on the 355-yard 16th hole. He’s planning to play the next two weeks, at the Wells Fargo Championship and The Players.

“I feel like I’m playing good enough to be right where I should be in April,” he said. “I feel good, man. There’s nothing really wrong with my game right now.”

Getty Images

Like a tattoo: Ko shares early Mediheal lead

By Randall MellApril 26, 2018, 10:45 pm

Lydia Ko put herself in early position Thursday to try to extend her birthday celebration through Sunday at the LPGA Mediheal Championship.

Ko, who turned 21 on Tuesday, is off to a strong start at Lake Merced Golf Club, where she has a lot of good memories to draw upon as she seeks to regain the winning form that made her the greatest teen phenom in the history of the women’s game.

With a 4-under-par 68, Ko moved into a four-way tie for the lead among the morning wave in the first round. I.K. Kim, Jessica Korda and Caroline Hedwall also opened with 68s.

All Ko has to do is look at her right wrist to feel good about returning to San Francisco. That’s where she tattooed the date April 27, 2014, in Roman numerals. That’s how she commemorated her Swinging Skirts victory at Lake Merced, her first title as an LPGA member. She won there again the following year.

“This is a golf course where I've played well,” Ko said. “The fans have been amazing. They’ve been super supportive every single time I've come here, even since I played the U.S. Juniors here.”

Full-field scores from the LPGA Mediheal Championship

Ko made it to the semifinals of the U.S. Girls’ Junior at Lake Merced in 2012.

“It just brings back a lot of great memories,” she said.

Ko got this week off to a good start with friends from South Korea and New Zealand flying to California to surprise her on her birthday. She was born in South Korea and grew up in New Zealand.

“Turning 21 is a huge thing in the United States,” Ko cracked. “I’m legal now, and I can do some fun things.”

Ko is looking to claim her 15th LPGA title and end a 21-month winless spell. Her ball striking was sharp Thursday, as she continues to work on improvements under her swing coach, Ted Oh. She hit 11 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens in regulation.

“My ball striking's been getting better these last few weeks, which has been really nice,” Ko said at week’s start. “But then I've been struggling with putting, which was the aspect of the game that was going really well. I feel like the pieces are there, and just, sometimes, the hardest thing is to kind of put all those pieces together. Just have to stay patient, I know there are a lot of good things happening.”

Getty Images

Watch: Rose drops trou despite gator danger

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 26, 2018, 10:12 pm

We all know how fashion-conscious pro golfers are, and sometimes that even trumps modesty.

Take Justin Rose, whose tee shot on the par-3 third hole in Thursday's opening round of the Zurich Classic found the water. But the ball was close enough to shore for Rose to try to play it. Not wanting to get his light-colored pants dirty - what is up with all the white pants on Tour these days, anyway? - he took them off to play the shot.

If there were any gators in the water hazard - and this being Louisiana, there almost certainly were - they showed no interest in the Englishman.

It was only appropriate that Rose should strip down for a shot, as his partner, Henrik Stenson, famously did the same thing (to an even greater degree) at Doral in 2009.

Finally, just to provide some closure, Rose failed to get up and down.