Cut Line Aloha Means Goodbye
However, “Cut Line’s” weekly lineup is not so kind, particularly for those with short memories or short attention spans.
Dave Stockton Sr. If the putter whisperer is not careful the PGA Tour will put him on its lengthy list of performance-enhancing elements.
Stockton’s work with Phil Mickelson and Michelle Wie was well-documented last season and according to GolfWorld’s Tim Rosaforte the senior plans to start working with the likes of Anthony Kim and Hunter Mahan.
He’s even trading Christmas cards with Sergio Garcia, who must have confused Stockton with that other elderly gentleman who lives at the North Pole when he was sending out his 2010 “wish list.”
Mark McGwire. No, we have no love for the disgraced slugger or his grossly misguided belief that he would have put up the same numbers whether he was doping or not.
There is, however, a lesson to be learned in McGwire’s well-scripted mea culpa. Faced with the certainty of a media circus when he returns to the big leagues this year as a hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, “Big Mac” hired Ari Fleischer, a former White House press secretary who runs a crisis-communications firm.
McGwire’s first televised interview occurred on the league-owned MLB Network, as sympathetic an outlet as there could be, and the preemptive move was an obvious attempt to clear the air before the start of spring training. You may not care for the message, but you have to respect the method.
Note to Tiger Woods’ manager Mark Steinberg: Call Fleischer.
Made Cut-Did Not Finish
Buick. Detroit has enough issues without the golf world hammering what turned out to be a broken business model, and Buick’s 2009 bankruptcy didn’t leave a lot of room for corporate entertainment, but it just seems the company’s split with Torrey Pines had a “Jon and Kate” feel to it.
Buick pulled the plug on the San Diego Tour stop a year early in 2009, yet by all accounts Century Club officials were slowed in their search for a replacement sponsor. Whatever the reason for the slow play, the Tour now must cobble together a plan to pay the bills in 2010.
“It’s in the Tour’s hands,” Century Club chairman Tom Wornham told the Union-Tribune. “This is a very special arrangement that they’ve done with us and they’re not going to want to replicate it.”
May we suggest a “want ad” on eBay: Tour staple seeks deep pockets. Two seaside golf courses, solid field that includes Phil Mickelson and sometimes Tiger Woods. Seven-million to $10 million per year, OBO.
Aloha also means goodbye. Those eight players who began their year last week at the SBS Championship in Maui but skipped this week’s Sony Open in Honolulu missed the point, if not a few extra days in paradise.
OK, it is a long season and most of the game’s top draw are thinking marathon not sprint, but the circuit is sailing through rough economic waters and the commissioner could use all the help he can get when he heads to corporate America with hat in hand.
What’s the rush to get home? The driveway will still need to be shoveled next week.
Anthony Kim. Speaking of independent contractors, AK’s decision to skip next week’s Bob Hope Classic – played at, among other venues, PGA West, where Kim spent much of his high school years – is a curious move.
Kim, like every other Tour player, has the right to roll up where and whenever he wants, but this is a bit different. Hope officials gave the fourth-year player a sponsor exemption his rookie season and the one-time jewel of the West Coast Swing could use a little star power ever since Phil Mickelson pulled the plug on the Coachella Valley.
Instead, Kim – who also missed last year’s Hope with an injury – will play the Abu Dhabi Championship on the European Tour. Similarly, he skipped last year’s Northern Trust Open, which also gave him an exemption his rookie year, to play overseas. He must need the frequent flyer miles.
Frank Lickliter. “Frankie the Blade” has never failed to entertain. Asked a few years ago after taking medalist honors at Q-School why he declined to talk to the press for the first five days of the tournament Lickliter hissed, “Hogan didn’t talk to the press.” Nor did Hogan ever go to Q-School, but that’s another story.
This one is even better. According to Golfweek magazine Lickliter commissioned an artist to paint a 5-foot-by-7-foot canvas portraying his own victory at this year’s U.S. Open complete with a leaderboard in the background and a vision of Tiger Woods, reflected in Lickliter’s signature wraparounds, dropping to his knees in anguish.
Never mind, of course, that Lickliter has never finished better than 18th at the national championship, or that he failed to keep his Tour card in 2009 (finishing 191st in earnings), or – wait for it – that he is not even qualified for this year’s championship at Pebble Beach.
The power of positive thinking or delusions of grandeur? You make the call.
Watch: Tiger makes 6 birdies, 1 amazing par in Rd. 3
Tiger Woods started the third round of The Open at even par, having made seven birdies and seven bogeys over the first 36 holes at Carnoustie.
Following three pars to start on Saturday, Woods went on a birdie binge.
No. 1 came with this putt at the par-4 fourth.
No. 2 with this two-putt at the par-5 sixth.
No. 3 thanks to this 30-footer at the par-4 ninth.
No. 4 after nearly jarring his approach shot on the par-4 10th.
No. 5 when he almost drove the green at the par-4 11th and two-putted, from just off the green, from 95 feet.
And No. 6, which gave him a share of the lead, came courtesy another two-putt at the par-5 14th.
Woods bogeyed the par-3 16th to drop out of the lead and almost dropped - at least - one more shot at the par-4 18th. But his tee shot got a lucky bounce and he turned his good fortune into a par.
Woods shot 5-under 66 and finished the day at 5 under par.
Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship
Tiger Woods made six birdies and one bogey on Saturday for a 5-under 66 in the third round of The Open. We're tracking him as he vies for major No. 15.
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Rose's Saturday 64 matches Carnoustie Open record
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose needed to sink a 14-foot putt on the final hole Friday just to make the cut on the number at The Open.
Freewheeling when he came to the course Saturday, Rose tied the lowest score ever recorded in an Open at Carnoustie.
Entering the weekend nine shots off the lead, the world No. 3 carded a bogey-free, 7-under 64 to at least make things interesting. It won’t be known for several hours how many shots Rose will be behind, but his back-nine 30 gives him an opportunity, if the wind blows 25 mph Sunday as forecast, to challenge the leaders.
After all, Paul Lawrie was 10 shots back entering the final round here in 1999.
“I think the birdie on 18 last night freed me up, and I’m just very happy to be out on this golf course and not down the road somewhere else this morning,” said Rose, who is at 4-under 209. “So that might have been part of the shift in mindset today. I had nothing to lose from that point of view.”
Rose’s 64 matched Steve Stricker and Richard Green’s record score at Carnoustie (2007).
It also was Rose’s career-low round in a major.
Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage
NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:
Saturday, Day 3 (Times ET)
Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)
8:20AM-3PM (Watch): As the skies cleared on Friday afternoon, defending champion Jordan Spieth made a run to try and regain the claret jug. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.
1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter and Cameron Smith.
Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)
Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.
1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.