Orender Elected President of PGA
Orender succeeds Jack Connelly of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., who will serve on The PGA Board of Directors as honorary president.
Succeeding Orender as vice-president is Roger Warren of Woodridge, Ill., who served the past two years as secretary. Brian Whitcomb of Bend, Ore., was elected secretary. In addition, three new members of The PGA Board of Directors were sworn into office.
Orender, 48, is the founding partner of Hampton Golf Inc., which operates Golf Club at South Hampton in Jacksonville, Fla., Golf Club at North Hampton in Amelia Island, Fla., Grand Haven Golf Club in Palm Coast, Fla., and Osprey Golf Club in St. Marys, Ga. A PGA member since February 1981, Orender served as president of the North Florida PGA Section from 1985-87, and was named North Florida PGA Professional of the Year in 1985. At the national level, Orender served on the Junior Golf Committee from 1982-85, the Membership Committee from 1985-92 and the Board of Control from 1993-95. He was elected to the Board of Directors in 1995 and served a three-year term through 1998, when he was elected secretary of The PGA of America.
He began his golf career in 1974 as an assistant professional at Diamond Hill Golf Club in Dover, Fla. He was named head professional in 1976, and in 1980, added the responsibilities of course superintendent. He was named general manager in 1982 and was appointed managing director in 1985. The president of Golf Trust Inc., from 1989 until 1996, when the company joined with Granite Golf Management, Orender served as president of Granite Golf Management until January 1999.
Warren, 52, is general manager and director of golf at Seven Bridges Golf Club in Woodridge, Ill. A PGA member since May 1990, Warren was president of the Illinois PGA Section from 1997-98, vice president from 1995-96 and secretary from 1992-94. Warren was named the 1998 Illinois PGA Golf Professional of the Year.
Whitcomb, 47, is a 17-year PGA member and the director of golf at Lost Tracks Golf Club in Bend, Ore., and is the owner or co-owner of four golf facilities in Arizona, Colorado and Oregon.
Whitcomb began his professional career in 1978 at Arizona Biltmore Country Club in Phoenix, and in 1981 leased Paradise Valley Park Golf Course in Phoenix, and later designed, financed and constructed an additional nine holes of golf. He still holds the lease to the facility. In 1989, Whitcomb designed and constructed The 500 Club in Phoenix, which he still operates with his partner, Tom Sneva, winner of the 1983 Indianapolis 500. In 1992, Whitcomb designed and constructed Club West in Phoenix, which he sold in 1998. In 1995, he designed and constructed Lost Tracks Golf Club in Bend, Ore., which he continues to own and operate.
Whitcomb partnered to design and construct The Golf Club at Beardance in Castle Rock, Colo. When completed the Colorado PGA Section will move its headquarters to Beardance.
Whitcomb also has a home in Scottsdale, Ariz., and served as Southwest PGA Board of Directors from 1989-91, and was Section president from 1995-97. In 2001, Whitcomb was named the Southwest PGA Golf Professional of the Year.
He served on the national PGA Board of Directors from 1998 to 2001, representing District 14, and was a member of the national PGA Properties Board of Directors from 1999-00.
The three new board members are: Jim Antkiewicz of Nevillewood, Pa., representing District 4 for the Central New York, Tri-State and Western New York PGA Sections; Jeff Porter of Hastings, Neb., representing District 8 for the Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska PGA Sections; and Doug Vilven of Salt Lake City, Utah, representing District 9 for the Colorado, Rocky Mountain and Utah PGA Sections. The new directors will serve three-year terms.
The PGA Board of Directors is composed of the Association's president, vice president, secretary, honorary president and 17 directors. The directors include representatives from each of The PGA's 14 districts, two Independent Directors and a member of the PGA Tour. New District Directors are elected by their local PGA Sections.
Founded in 1916, The PGA of America is a not-for-profit organization composed of more than 27,000 men and women professionals who are dedicated to growing the game of golf.
Schauffele just fine being the underdog
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.
Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.
Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.
“Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”
Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.
“All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”
Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1
Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.
So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.
Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.
Jordan Spieth: 7/4
Xander Schauffele: 5/1
Kevin Kisner: 11/2
Tiger Woods: 14/1
Francesco Molinari: 14/1
Rory McIlroy: 14/1
Kevin Chappell: 20/1
Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1
Alex Noren: 25/1
Zach Johnson: 30/1
Justin Rose: 30/1
Matt Kuchar: 40/1
Webb Simpson: 50/1
Adam Scott: 80/1
Tony Finau: 80/1
Charley Hoffman: 100/1
Austin Cook: 100/1
Spieth stands on brink of Open repeat
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jordan Spieth described Monday’s “ceremony” to return the claret jug to the keepers of the game’s oldest championship as anything but enjoyable.
For the last 12 months the silver chalice has been a ready reminder of what he was able to overcome and accomplish in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, a beacon of hope during a year that’s been infinitely forgettable.
By comparison, the relative pillow fight this week at Carnoustie has been a welcome distraction, a happy-go-lucky stroll through a wispy field. Unlike last year’s edition, when Spieth traveled from the depths of defeat to the heights of victory within a 30-minute window, the defending champion has made this Open seem stress-free, easy even, by comparison.
But then those who remain at Carnoustie know it’s little more than a temporary sleight of hand.
As carefree as things appeared on Saturday when 13 players, including Spieth, posted rounds of 67 or lower, as tame as Carnoustie, which stands alone as The Open’s undisputed bully, has been through 54 holes there was a foreboding tension among the rank and file as they readied for a final trip around Royal Brown & Bouncy.
“This kind of southeast or east/southeast wind we had is probably the easiest wind this golf course can have, but when it goes off the left side, which I think is forecasted, that's when you start getting more into the wind versus that kind of cross downwind,” said Spieth, who is tied for the lead with Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner at 9 under par after a 6-under 65. “It won't be the case tomorrow. It's going to be a meaty start, not to mention, obviously, the last few holes to finish.”
Carnoustie only gives so much and with winds predicted to gust to 25 mph there was a distinct feeling that playtime was over.
As melancholy as Spieth was about giving back the claret jug, and make no mistake, he wasn’t happy, not even his status among the leading contenders with a lap remaining was enough for him to ignore the sleeping giant.
But then he’s come by his anxiousness honestly. Spieth has spent far too much time answering questions about an inexplicably balky putter the last few weeks and he hasn’t finished better than 21st since his “show” finish in April at the Masters.
After a refreshingly solid start to his week on Thursday imploded with a double bogey-bogey-par-bogey finish he appeared closer to an early ride home on Friday than he did another victory lap, but he slowly clawed his way back into the conversation as only he can with one clutch putt after the next.
“I'm playing golf for me now. I've kind of got a cleared mind. I've made a lot of progress over the year that's been kind of an off year, a building year,” said Spieth, who is bogey-free over his last 36 holes. “And I've got an opportunity to make it a very memorable one with a round, but it's not necessary for me to prove anything for any reason.”
But if an awakened Carnoustie has Spieth’s attention, the collection of would-be champions assembled around and behind him adds another layer of intrigue.
Kisner, Spieth’s housemate this week on Angus coast, has led or shared the lead after each round this week and hasn’t shown any signs of fading like he did at last year’s PGA Championship, when he started the final round with a one-stroke lead only to close with a 74 to tie for seventh place.
“I haven't played it in that much wind. So I think it's going to be a true test, and we'll get to see really who's hitting it the best and playing the best tomorrow,” said Kisner, who added a 68 to his total on Day 3.
There’s no shortage of potential party crashers, from Justin Rose at 4 under after a round-of-the-week 64 to 2015 champion Zach Johnson, who also made himself at home with Spieth and Kisner in the annual Open frat house and is at 5 under.
Rory McIlroy, who is four years removed from winning his last major championship, looked like a player poised to get off the Grand Slam schneid for much of the day, moving to 7 under with a birdie at the 15th hole, but he played the last three holes in 2 over par and is tied with Johnson at 5 under par.
And then there’s Tiger Woods. For three magical hours the three-time Open champion played like he’d never drifted into the dark competitive hole that’s defined his last few years. Like he’d never been sidelined by an endless collection of injuries and eventually sought relief under the surgeon’s knife.
As quietly as Woods can do anything, he turned in 3 under par for the day and added two more birdies at Nos. 10 and 11. His birdie putt at the 14th hole lifted him temporarily into a share of the lead at 6 under par.
“We knew there were going to be 10, 12 guys with a chance to win on Sunday, and it's turning out to be that,” said Woods, who is four strokes off the lead. “I didn't want to be too far back if the guys got to 10 [under] today. Five [shots back] is certainly doable, and especially if we get the forecast tomorrow.”
Woods held his round of 66 together with a gritty par save at the 18th hole after hitting what he said was his only clunker of the day off the final tee.
Even that episode seemed like foreshadowing.
The 18th hole has rough, bunkers, out of bounds and a burn named Barry that weaves its way through the hole like a drunken soccer fan. It’s the Grand Slam of hazardous living and appears certain to play a leading role in Sunday’s outcome.
Perhaps none of the leading men will go full Jean Van de Velde, the star-crossed Frenchman who could still be standing in that burn if not for a rising tide back at the 1999 championship, but if the 499 yards of dusty turf is an uninvited guest, it’s a guest nonetheless.
It may not create the same joyless feelings that he had when he returned the claret jug, but given the hole’s history and Spieth’s penchant for late-inning histrionics (see Open Championship, 2017), the 18th hole is certain to produce more than a few uncomfortable moments.
Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.
One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.
McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.
“It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”
McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.
“I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”