Cut Line Bananas beers and best intentions

By Rex HoggardJuly 31, 2010, 2:27 am

This week's “Cut Line” features dueling Grand Slams that are marred, one by a major scheduling snafu and the other some seriously flawed qualifying logic, while the dog days get a breath of fresh air via a Swedish celebration and something special in West Virginia.

“Cut Line” covers the rest of the week’s scoreboard in a special “Midsummer’s nightmare” edition.

Made Cut

Swede week. Golf’s answer to “Shark Week”’ came by way a Swedish Double last Sunday as Richard S. Johnson stormed to victory at the Scandinavian Masters with a comedian on his bag and Carl Pettersson had some laughs of his own, both on and off the golf course, in Canada.

Johnson called his victory “epic” and the home game was made that much more entertaining by the antics of Anders Timmell, a friend of Johnson’s who is a local Swedish DJ- restaurant owner-comedian who filled in as his caddie.

While Pettersson, who eased the pain of narrowly making the cut on Friday in Canada with a few local pints, said following his victory, “I'm not your typical Swede, as you know. I don't have a 28-inch waist, and I don't eat bananas at the turn.”

The Old White. This week’s stop at the Greenbrier Classic may not have the best date on the PGA Tour schedule or the agronomic docket, wedged before a WGC and a major and during a time of year that demands soft conditions, but the Charles Blair Macdonald-designed gem is putting on a show nonetheless.

“Cut Line” holds to the theory that the Tour often plays the second-, or third-, best course in town any given week, but the Greenbrier is the exception to the rule.

In fact, the classic old layout is the start of perhaps the best architectural run on the Tour with upcoming stops at Sedgefield in North Carolina (Donad Ross), Ridgewood in New Jersey (A.W. Tillinghast), Cog Hill in Chicago (Joe Lee, Dick Wilson, et al) and Atlanta’s East Lake (Ross).

Tweet of the week: @PaulAzinger “Did Lane Kiffin hate orange jerseys, Old Rocky Top and getting pounded by the Gators enough to go to USC and play for nothing?”

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Corey Pavin. There is no such thing as too much communication, particularly when the world No. 1 is involved, but what in the world could Captain America have in mind for the Détente he has scheduled with Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship?

Other than, “the plane leaves at 6 p.m. for Wales, you’ve already been upgraded,” the entire affair smells of 10 minutes neither man will ever get back.

Woods is currently eighth on the U.S. points list and could fail to secure an automatic spot on the team, but we challenge Pavin or anyone else to name someone more deserving of a pick. He may not be 100 percent, he may not even be at 75 percent, but Pavin will need all the help he can get in Wales.

Cell phones. Give Wyndham Championship officials a nod for creative thinking, although we don’t want to be there the first time a “Spice Girls” ring tone disrupts Vijay Singh’s pre-shot routine.

We don’t like cell phones on the golf course – any golf course, be it a Tour stop or a Saturday morning four-ball – but the electronic leash is a reality in the world in which we live and lest we forget the Wyndham folks are in the business of putting butts in seats.

Besides, as incoming Tour Policy Board member Paul Goydos recently joked at a player meeting when the subject was brought up, “Cell phones aren’t allowed on the golf course?”

Missed Cut

Senior majors. It’s Friday which means the over-50 set must be playing a major, or so it seems.

But then the three-majors-in-five-weeks lineup would be easier to stomach if the seniors could get on the same page and create some spacing for their biggest events. Travel logistics likely cost the Senior British Open a Fred Couples cameo and I don’t care how many SkyMiles your rack up, travelling eight time zones from Scotland to Seattle is not conducive to good play or pre-tournament hype.

How about a U.S. Senior Open in June? We hear the Pacific Northwest is beautiful that time of year.

Kapalua. By any name the season-opener is still paradise but it’s become clear things aren’t perfect on Maui.

The word from the islands is that the SBS Championship will be run by a different charitable organization next year, and likely involve island native Mark Rolfing, and we hear commissioner Tim Finchem is pushing to expand the winners-only field.

One member of the Player Advisory Board told “Cut Line” earlier this month that the Tour is pushing to give circuit winners a two-year exemption, creating a larger field that could also boost attendance the following week at the Sony Open.

“Cut Line” remembers a time, not that long ago, when a week in Hawaii in January was a cure, not a cause, for all of one’s woes.

Ladies’ Golf Union. There are no “freebies” in golf, and to Alexis Thompson’s credit she wasn’t looking for a handout. All the teen-ager wanted was a spot in Monday’s final qualifier for the Women’s British Open but she was denied by LGU officials.

Earlier this year Vijay Singh landed a “get out of jail free” card from the U.S. Golf Association and a spot at Pebble Beach and a millionaire hotel owner with a 2-handicap gave himself a spot into next week’s Turning Stone Championship.

Three wrongs wouldn’t have made a right, but giving Thompson, who just days earlier nearly won the Evian Masters in France, a chance to qualify would have been the right thing to do.

Getty Images

Woods admits fatigue played factor in Ryder Cup

By Jason CrookOctober 17, 2018, 12:35 pm

There was plenty of speculation about Tiger Woods’ health in the wake of the U.S. team’s loss to Europe at last month’s Ryder Cup, and the 14-time major champ broke his silence on the matter during a driving range Q&A at his annual Tiger Woods Invitational at Pebble Beach on Tuesday.

Woods, who went 0-4 in Paris, admitted he was tired because he wasn’t ready to play so much golf this season after coming back from a fourth back surgery.

“It was just a cumulative effect of the entire season,” Woods said. “I was tired because I hadn’t trained for it. I hadn’t trained this entire comeback to play this much golf and on top of that deal with the heat and the fatigue and the loss of weight.”

The topic of conversation then shifted to what's next, with Woods saying he's just starting to plan out his future schedule, outside of "The Match" with Phil Mickelson over Thanksgiving weekend and his Hero World Challenge in December.

“I’m still figuring that out,” Woods said. “Flying out here yesterday trying to look at the schedule, it’s the first time I’ve taken a look at it. I’ve been so focused on getting through the playoffs and the Ryder Cup that I just took a look at the schedule and saw how packed it is.”

While his exact schedule remains a bit of a mystery, one little event in April at Augusta National seemed to be on his mind already.

When asked which major he was most looking forward to next year, Woods didn't hesitate with his response, “Oh, that first one.”

Getty Images

Podcast: Fujikawa aims to offer 'hope' by coming out

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 17, 2018, 12:03 pm

Tadd Fujikawa first made golf history with his age. Now he's doing it with his recent decision to openly discuss his sexuality.

Last month Fujikawa announced via Instagram that he is gay, becoming the first male professional to come out publicly. Now 27, he has a different perspective on life than he did when he became the youngest U.S. Open participant in 2006 at Winged Foot at age 15, or when he made the cut at the Sony Open a few months later.

Joining as the guest on the latest Golf Channel podcast, Fujikawa discussed with host Will Gray the reception to his recent announcement - as well as some of the motivating factors that led the former teen phenom to become somewhat of a pioneer in the world of men's professional golf.

"I just want to let people know that they're enough, and that they're good exactly as they are," Fujikawa said. "That they don't need to change who they are to fit society's mold. Especially in the golf world where it's so, it's not something that's very common."

The wide-ranging interview also touched on Fujikawa's adjustment to life on golf-centric St. Simons Island, Ga., as well as some of his hobbies outside the game. But he was also candid about the role that anxiety and depression surrounding his sexuality had on his early playing career, admitting that he considered walking away from the game "many, many times" and would have done so had it not been for the support of friends and family.

While professional golf remains a priority, Fujikawa is also embracing the newfound opportunity to help others in a similar position.

"Hearing other stories, other athletes, other celebrities, my friends. Just seeing other people come out gave me a lot of hope in times when I didn't feel like there was a lot of hope," he said. "For me personally, it was something that I've wanted to do for a long time, and something I'm very passionate about. I really want to help other people who are struggling with that similar issue. And if I can change lives, that's really my goal."

For more from Fujikawa, click below or click here to download the podcast and subscribe to future episodes:

Getty Images

Davies takes 2-shot lead into final round of Senior LPGA

By Associated PressOctober 17, 2018, 2:00 am

FRENCH LICK, Ind. - Laura Davies recovered from a pair of early bogeys Tuesday for a 2-under 70 that gave her a two-shot lead going into the final round of the Senior LPGA Championship as she goes for a second senior major.

In slightly warmer weather on The Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort, the 55-year-old Davies played bogey-free over the last 11 holes and was at 6-under 138. Brandi Burton had a 66, the best score of the tournament, and was two shots behind.

Silvia Cavalleri (69) and Jane Crafter (71) were three shots behind at 141.

Juli Inkster, who was one shot behind Davies starting the second round, shot 80 to fall 11 shots behind.

''I had a couple of bogeys early on, but I didn't panic,'' Davies said. ''I'm playing with a bit of confidence now and that's good to have going into the final round.''

Davies already won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open this summer at Chicago Golf Club.

Getty Images

Miller's biggest on-air regret: Leonard at Ryder Cup

By Jason CrookOctober 17, 2018, 12:00 am

Johnny Miller made a broadcasting career out of being brutally honest, calling golf tournaments exactly like he saw them.

His unfiltered style is what kept him on the air for nearly 30 years, but it wasn't always the most popular with players.

After announcing his upcoming retirement, Miller was asked Tuesday if there were any on-air comments he regretted over the last three decades. One immediately came to mind.

"I think that I didn't say the right words about Justin Leonard at Miracle at Brookline about he should be home watching it on TV. I meant really - I did say he should be home, but I meant the motel room. Even then I probably shouldn't have said that," Miller recalled. "I want so much for the outcome that I'm hoping for that I actually get overwhelmed with what I want to see. Almost the kind of things you would say to your buddies if you were watching it on TV, you know? He just couldn't win a match."

After struggling on Friday and Saturday in team play, Leonard ended up the U.S. hero after halving his Sunday singles match with José María Olazábal by holing a 40-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole - one of the most famous shots in Ryder Cup history.

"Of course he ended up - after the crappy comment I made that motivated maybe the team supposedly in the locker room, and he ends up making that 45-, 50- foot putt to seal the deal," Miller said. "Almost like a Hollywood movie or something."

Not only did the putt seal the comeback for the U.S., but it also earned Leonard an apology from Miller. 

"I apologized to him literally the next day; I happened to see him. I tried to make a policy when I go over the line that I get ahold of the guy within 24 hours and tell him I made a double bogey, you know. That's just the way I have done it through the years."