Accountability, alcohol monitor for youngest Floyd

By Rex HoggardAugust 22, 2011, 6:47 pm

There were other options. He could wear pants, or maybe even a bandana to conceal the cell-phoned sized device, an ever-present reminder of how far he has fallen and how badly he wants to make things right.

But the time for discretion has passed. That option vanished from the table on June 11 when Robert Floyd was booked for driving under the influence for the second time in three years.

For Floyd, the youngest son of Hall of Famer Raymond Floyd, the alcohol-monitoring device that will be strapped to his left leg is a reason to be optimistic, not ashamed. And if the device requires he answer a few uncomfortable questions then so be it.

“I thought about trying to hide it, but it goes against everything that I’m trying to do,” said Floyd, who begins a new job as caddie for Robert Allenby this week at The Barclays.

(Listen to Rex Hoggard discuss Floyd on 'Morning Drive.' Click here and forward to the 3:15 mark.)

Floyd, 35, has had a lot of time to think about the career he let slip away, about the pain he has caused his parents, but mainly about where he wants to go from here. Thirty days of house arrest can be terribly cathartic. And if a caddie gig doesn’t exactly sound like the promised land for the one-time amateur standout consider the path Floyd took to Allenby’s bag.

Floyd was a two-time All-American at the University of Florida, played the Nationwide Tour in 1998 with some success and is no stranger to PGA Tour leaderboards, like in 2008 when he found himself one stroke off the midway lead at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. But a back injury sustained during a pick-up basketball game at Florida and a “day job” as a south Florida real-estate agent to support his young family took its toll on his golf.

There was also the drinking. In 2008 Floyd was charged with his first DUI in Jupiter, Fla.

“When I got the DUI in 2008 it was a wake-up call and it lasted a few weeks,” Floyd said. “Then I got divorced in 2008 and I kind of spiraled. It just caught up to me.”

Rock bottom arrived on June 11 along a stretch of Interstate-95 in West Palm Beach, Fla., when Floyd was arrested for his second DUI following a night out with some friends. The case is still pending and Floyd is not allowed to give details about that day, but what has transpired since has changed his life.

“I was looking at jail time, still am based on the second case, so what we proposed to the court is that I continue follow-up care and I volunteered to wear an alcohol monitor,” Floyd said of the device that will be attached to his left leg this week at Plainfield Country Club. “It’s accountability. I’m not proud to be wearing it, but I’m proud to be where I’m at.”

During his house arrest Floyd watched two majors, the British Open and PGA Championship, with a surprising amount of interest and listened to the very public testimonials of Robert Garrigus and David Feherty, who have both been outspoken about their own struggles with alcohol and drug addiction.

“With (Garrigus) and with me the talent is there, for me something has been missing. I had a lot of success in college and early success on the Nationwide Tour and to read Robert’s story it was motivating. Look what he’s doing now that he’s gotten his life back together,” said Floyd, who says he has been sober since June 11.

“It gave me a chance to look at my life and realize I never really gave golf a complete try.”

During a publicity tour last week in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Floyd got a chance to see the Wanamaker Trophy and PGA champion Keegan Bradley. “It was really cool to look on there and see my dad’s name on there twice (for winning the 1969 and ’82 PGAs),” Floyd said.

Ultimately Floyd plans to play again, and views his stint on Allenby’s bag as a sort of reintroduction back into the game. He’s caddied before, for Jesper Parnevik as well as his father, and has been friends with Allenby since the two met playing Nationwide Tour events in Australia in 1998.

 “He took me under his wing and we’ve played a lot of golf together so this should be a lot of fun,” said Floyd of Allenby, who is currently 58th on the FedEx Cup points list which guarantees him a spot into at least the first two postseason events.

Showing up this week at The Barclays, alcohol-monitoring device and all, is an important first step, for both Floyd and his parents.

“My parents have been unbelievable, they have been 100 percent supportive of me,” said Floyd, a cast member on Golf Channel’s “Big Break Indian Wells” this year. “It has got to the point where I’m proud of where it got me to turn my life around.”

It’s a reality that made Floyd’s decision easy. There will be no long pants, no bandanas and, most importantly, no excuses because this time there is absolutely nothing to hide.

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Schauffele just fine being the underdog

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

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.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“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.”

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Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

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.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

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

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Spieth stands on brink of Open repeat

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 7:49 pm

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.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

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.

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Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:44 pm

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.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“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.”