A Christmas Carol

By Rex HoggardMay 21, 2009, 4:00 pm
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MINNEOLA, Fla. ' Thursdays green-grass Christmas Carol unfolded on two continents and featured a vastly divergent cast, but the elements were unmistakable. As if on cue, potential past, present and future marched across golfs stage, each tale unique yet vaguely familiar.
Unlike the Hollywood version of Christmas Carol, potential present ' in the form of Irish phenom Shane Lowry ' was first up. At Dublins Westbury Hotel the most recent cant-miss kid moved beyond the amateur ranks to join the work-a-day-world of professional golf.
Its easy to Thursday morning quarterback a young mans decision, but then those in glass press rooms should avoid tossing laptops. Just ask Ty Tryon, perhaps the original wee world beater who crashed the PGA Tour party unannounced in 2001 at the age of 17 and almost as quickly became a Trivia Pursuit answer: Who was the youngest Tour player ever to retire for $300, please Alex.
On the heels of Lowrys coming out, we caught up with Tryon in the parking lot at Sugarloaf Mountain Golf Club in central Florida where he was playing a U.S. Open local qualifier. Could the one-time phenom offer the newest member of the club any advice?
Be true to yourself, said Tryon, but not to the young Lowry. No, that pearl was directed right back at the kid in the visor with the overgrown locks.
At a worldly 24, Tryon has grown into the ultimate enigma. The flame that burned so bright should have scorched every amber of love for golf, but on Thursday on the rolling Sugarloaf layout Tryon was pure passion. Just like he was in 2001 when he finished 39th at the Honda Classic and later that fall when he aced the Q-School test to become the youngest Tour member.
Tryon hasnt quit the game. Not even close. In fact, judging by the bounce in his step on Thursday hes pulled off the rarest of turnarounds. Hes rekindled his passion and his fire for a game that at one time looked as if it might destroy him.
In 2004 on the Nationwide Tour my heart just wasnt in it, said Tryon, whose 70 earned him a spot in a playoff for an alternate spot that he ultimately lost to Eustis Paine. I was dreading going to the golf course at certain times. There were times I wanted to be done with the game at that moment, but I was never done.
Perspective arrived about three years ago in the form of a healthy, happy little boy named Tyson. The one-time man child now has a child of his own, and a home and a wife and an identity that doesnt depend on how well hes putting or how far hes hitting his driver.
Tryon gave it his best shot in 2008, chasing Monday qualifiers on the Nationwide Tour he logged more than 26,000 miles in his jet-black SUV and almost as many close calls. He played two good rounds at the first stage of Q-School last fall, lost focus on Day 3 and blew up.
The old Tyron would have moped for months. But when youve got a 3 year old you cant take your 87s home with you, so he moved on and got a 40-hour a week job at the David Leadbetter Academy at ChampionsGate just outside Orlando, Fla.
He wasnt chasing the dream, but he was still in golf. And that was good enough.
I dont want to go back out trying to Monday qualify on the Nationwide Tour, Tryon said. Id rather see what its like to be a dad.
He hasnt given up on playing professionally. Far from it, in fact. He hopes to play the Tarheel Tour this year and maybe try a couple Monday qualifiers to stay sharp for Q-School.
Days like Thursday help. That 70 ' just his second competitive round since his October meltdown at Q-School ' didnt earn him a spot at sectional qualifying, but his birdie-birdie start got his competitive juices flowing and his finish had the 24-year-old version looking a lot like the 16-year-old model.
I said I would eagle the last, and I did, he smiled. Its so good to think of your shot, pick a line and pull it off. That gets you excited.
As for Lowry, Tryon wouldnt even entertain the thought of unsolicited advice. A man who has been second guessed his entire career has no interest in playing the what if game. If he could TiVo his own explosive career and play a mulligan, however, there is one thing hed change.
If I was in the same position again I would have tried to stay a little more true to myself, he said. I should have tried to get better every single day.
About an hour before Tryon signed for his 70, Carlos Miguel Fabregas bounded up the stairs to the Sugarloaf Mountain clubhouse, 68 on his card and dreams of Bethpage Black filling his head.
The ghost of potential future had an eerily familiar glow to him as he awaited his qualifying fate. Fabregas, 20, is a self-described Leadbetter kid, honed at the renowned instructors academies and bent on professional success. He turned pro last year because, My dads not a big fan of college, so Im not a big fan of college.
The bar-stool analyst beckons. When did it become status quo to short change youth? College may not be for everyone, but the question begs: Is it for anyone anymore?
And just as quickly the ghost of potential past interrupts.
For a year and half I didnt miss a shot or a putt. I had no fear of failure, Tryon said of those halcyon days when he burst onto the Tour scene. But its different now. My perspective has changed. Ive been able to keep the love of the game and be a father.
Lost in all that second guessing is the resiliency of youth. Ghosts past, present and future may never reach professional glory, but as Tryon has proven, maybe its more important if they can just stumble into personal glory along the way.
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    Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

    By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

    Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

    The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

    Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

    Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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    Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

    Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

    Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

    Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

    4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

    4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

    4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

    4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

    4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

    5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

    5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

    5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

    5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

    5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

    6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

    6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

    6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

    6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

    6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

    6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

    7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

    7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

    7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

    7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

    7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

    7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

    8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

    8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

    8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

    8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

    8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

    8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

    9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

    9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

    9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

    9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

    9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

    10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

    10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

    10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

    10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

    10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

    10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

    11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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    Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

    He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

    “There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

    Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

    “I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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    Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

    Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

    Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

    “I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

    Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

    “It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

    More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

    “I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”